Sunday, February 1, 2009

2:54 PM: So I was wrong.

Westminster Abbey is not Catholic, but Anglican. I feel dumb. Sorry for the error. I'll do better next time.

Wait, today was 'next time'! Emily, Caris, Kristen, and I went to St. Paul's Cathedral this morning for the Sunday "Holy Eucharist" service at 11:30 AM. And, yes, it's not Catholic, but Anglican. I've been to St. Paul's before and have seen the breath-taking architecture, but I've not been to a service. On Sundays, the church closes all tours, though you're welcome to look around the ground floor between services. I'm always amazed by how quiet it is, even when the church is completely full of people. The ceilings seem to reach up forever; the intricate designs in the moldings, archways, and windows are beautifully detailed and draw the eye further upward. But never is there a sense that the cathedral is overdone or too showy. It's gorgeous.

The service was much like the one at Westminster, with some minor differences. For instance, the "president," or the head of the service, sang almost everything instead of simply saying it. And she wasn't always on pitch. I would have preferred for her to just say it. Oh well.

Yesterday was another wonderful adventure. After lunch, Caris, Kristen, and I went to the (ridiculously freezing, horrifically windy) park before lunch to take some pictures for their photography class assignment. I modeled for them. It was a bit awkward but ultimately fun and pretty hilarious. I couldn't ever keep a really straight face because Caris was laughing her head off behind the camera. It was a memory. :) After lunch, Caris, Emily, and I headed back to Borough Market. Emily had never been, Caris wanted to take pictures there, and I just love it so much! We bought all kinds of little things at the stand where we'd gotten the chocolate-covered coffee beans and raspberries; this time, Caris got the coffee beans and chocolate-covered orange peels, and I did too. They're amaaaazing. Emily got chocolate-covered almonds and honeyed pecans. It's all fantastic. Because it was Saturday, tons of people were crowding the market, and many more vendors had set up red, green, and yellow tents outside of and around the covered market. The smells were unbelievably good--the spice of hot, mulled wine, the tanginess of fresh fish, the cuddly warmth of baked bread, the sweet stickiness of homemade jams. I could wander around there for hours and hours and taste everything. If only it weren't so cold...

The market closed at 4 pm, and we started thinking about dinner. We found this amazing little Greek restaurant on the south bank of the Thames called "The Real Greek," which was fairly inexpensive and served fantastic food. We ordered lamb skewers, sundried tomato and roasted pepper dip, assorted olives (Emily and Caris didn't like them, so I ate them all! Yay olives!), and Greek flatbread. It was heavenly. I love food... especially Greek food! I can't wait until we go in March!

We leave for France on Thursday. I'm excited and a bit nervous. I've been trying to learn some new French phrases before I go, but I'm not great at pronouncing them. We'll see how much I get laughed at... Caris' brother's girlfriend is in school in France, near Paris, and she's hanging out with us all weekend. Hopefully, she'll be our translator!

Au revoir!

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