Monday, June 15, 2015

Sunday Service & Speke Estate (Liverpool Day 4)

 After a long day of watching futball and traveling on the bus Sunday was a pretty laid back day with church and touring a local estate. 

My self and a couple other of the students went to All Saint's Church in Childwall for the family service in the late morning. It was a pretty short and fun service because all of the kids were there. It was noisy and entertaining to watch the kids run around and answer questions about the bible that were asked.

After the service the whole group met up and took the bus out to see Speke Estate. This estate had been around for 400 years. This estate is a traditional Tudor style estate meaning that it is low to the ground and wide as well as painted on the outside the tradition black and white.

Way in the back you can see the estate, we had a little bit of a walk up to the estate but we enjoyed the pretty fields and forests surrounding the area.

Above is door to the carriage house. This was used to house all of the families horses as well as guests horses. Below was the servants house but was turned into a tea parlour for the tourists.

The front of the estate was currently under restoration so we were not able to see it in all of its glory but you can imagine how beautiful it is! Below shows the Adam and Eve trees that stand in the courtyard of the estate. These trees are about 1,000 years old but it is unsure exactly how old they are because to be able to do that they would have to cut them down. For now the trees stand there and look pretty!

I loved in the first room that this beautiful organ hid a fireplace. The story was that the room was originally two rooms and the family decided they wanted it to be bigger so they knocked down the wall.

This statue above is of a Tudor family member. It is unsure who this statue is but they must have been very important to be able to have such a big and magnificent statue made of them. Below is a portrait of one of the families most important body guards who was later a wrestler. This man was so famous because he was unusually tall for the time, it is estimated that he was about six and half feet tall.

The family was privileged enough to have a separate room for their bathroom which at the time was very unusual. Of course servants still had to heat up water down stairs and run it upstairs for baths but that wasn't problem.

The servants bells in the servants courters. Each bell was made a little differently so that if a servant could not see the bell ring they could hear it and know what room they needed to report to. Below are the remnants of the family's pigeon and dove home. This housed a couple hundred birds that they kept as pets, food, and messenger birds.

Part of the houses back gardens and below is a lovely view of the back of the estate.

After a long day of touring Speke Estate and soaking in all of the information it was time to get some energy from Abbey Friar. I feel in love with this place! It was so delicious, always fresh, and right down the street from campus (also it was super cheap). By the end of my stay the workers knew who I was and what I wanted (no shame).

I found that their litter bins were so pretty! Below is a photo of the little street of shops we all frequented just around the corner from campus. This street held Abbey Friar, the convenience store, Bargain Booze, and the pharmacy.

Overall this was a great low key day and pretty great first weekend in Liverpool. Looking back at these photos I really miss this place, it stole a piece of my heart. I also am really missing the fish and chips, nothing in America compares to Abbey Friar.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Your Song

I'm going to take a quick break from my Liverpool posts to share with you what has been going on since I got back.

This year I had the opportunity to be a ballet teacher to 7-9 year old girls and it was a dream come true! I was able to teach at my old dance studio and it was blast. At times it was a little difficult but these girls changed my life and made me smile. 

Last weekend was the studio's end of the year recital. The recital theme this year was L.O.V.E. meaning that all the songs were about love, about places we love, or just songs us teachers loved! My girls danced to Your Song by Elton John and they made me cry. These girls are at the tipping point of choosing to take ballet very seriously or take it something fun to do and so I wanted to give them music and a piece that was a little more challenging.

These girls blew me away and I could not be more proud of them. I hope to return as a teacher this coming year and hopefully continue teaching these girls at a high level.
 My girls in their ending pose back stage
My friend Molly and I, we went from freshmen college roommates to dance teachers at the same studio. I could not have asked for anyone else to go through my first recital as a teacher with.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Everton Football Game (England Day 3)

Our first weekend here in England we had the privilege of going to a home football (soccer) game for Everton. Sadly we couldn't see Liverpool because they were out of town that weekend. I am a big soccer nut and that's rare in the USA so I was excited to be in a place where everyone else loved the sport as much as I do. I normally root for Manchester or one of the bigger teams but being able to go to a game for a team that has such a rich history was just as exciting. I had to turn in my reds and pull out my blues.

It was a packed house since it was the third to last game of the season. The teams were playing really hard because they better their season looks they then will move up in football leagues.

The security was watching to make sure no crowds tried to stampede the field during half time or after the game.

The stadium cleared out really quickly after the game which was nice. Everton sadly lost to Sunderland (0-2) but it was still great to hear some of the chanting and the spirit in real life rather then through a television.

After the cold day at the field it was nice to be back on campus and cuddle up in bed with some Abbey Friar.

I have to say that leaving on Wednesday is going to be hard. I have totally fallen in love with everything about England and so wish I could stay. Although I do really miss home and can't wait to see my dad, cats, boyfriend, and everyone else.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Slavery Museum, Albert Dock, and Laughterhouse (England day 2)

After the first day of trudging through everything and trying to adjust to the time change as quickly as possible day two was much better. Granted a lot of us were still very very tired but this day was a little more bearable. We still did some stuff as a group but our professors gave us a little more free reign and we were able to do some exploring.

Together we all went to the International Slavery Museum at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool on Albert Dock. Way back when Liverpool played a key role in the slave trade since it was a port city and a good place to stop between Africa and America. Although it was a small exhibit it did hit home and made me think about how much of the world's history is not very pleasant. 

Never in my wildest thoughts did I think I would be standing in front of a real KKK robe. It was really terrifying to stand in front of this display and think that someone used to wear it.

These amazing celebration clothes from Africa were so intricate and bright. They were a little bit of sunshine in the exhibit and showed how despite the turmoil celebration still happened for Africans and they tried the best they could to always enjoy themselves.

After going through the Slavery Museum a bunch of us took the afternoon to wander Albert Dock and pop into the funky little stores that were there. This day was a typical rainy England day but it just made the city look even prettier in my opinion. After looking through stores and getting a little wet we decided to spend the rest of our afternoon bar hoping.

Only in Liverpool will you see a display of The Beatles made out of 15,000 Jellybellies

Later in the day after dinner we were set to go to the Laughterhouse for comedy night but while walking there we ran into Drury Lane and had to ask the question, "Do you know the muffin man?"

Laughterhouse was a great experience. It is a tiny basement comedy club in The Slaughter House and it was packed. There were three comedians and they introduced us to our first live experience of British wit and humor. The first act was great, the second would have been good if I knew about the locals and other towns more, and the third guy had clearly been drinking or smoking to much before he got on. Overall my favorite part of the night was the MC who killed it and kept the whole show from completely flopping.

While at the comedy club we got to sit behind a hen party which is what the Brits call a bachelorette party. There was a mix of older and younger women together out celebrating two different women's last nights a single girls. They were all a hoot sporting as much pink as possible and maybe getting a little too tipsy.

It's sad to think I'm in the last week of my stay here in Liverpool but I love doing these posts because they remind me of how much fun I have had and how much I have learned. I cannot wait to continue sharing all of my adventures and stories with you, let me know what you think or if you have seen any of these things from today's post.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Liverpool Travel

I am currently still in Liverpool and I am having so much fun! This post will cover my travelings and first day in England.

The day started off with a flight from Grand Rapids to Chicago and then to Manchester. After the two flights we took a coach to the University and off we went to explore the city. Our flights started in the late afternoon and went through the night so by the time we got into Manchester it was 7am. Everyone was exhausted because we couldn't sleep very well on the plane so this first day was a little bit of a blur for me.

Our professors let us put our bags into our rooms and unpack before they took us out to show us the area. We are staying in a conference/visiting dorm so that means we have our own rooms, which is really nice at the end of a long day.

Our professor took us all over Liverpool Hope University campus to show us the important buildings and where the refectory was. From there we walked down to Calderstones Park and off to Tesco, a grocery store. While at Tesco we were able to explore and see all the different things that were there. Before I could even think about looking around the store I stopped on the second floor for a cup of coffee from Costa Coffee. After getting a soy flat white I was ready to explore the store. While exploring Olivia and I found the international food aisle where we found the "American" section. We laughed at what people thought Americans eat and like. It was mainly Poptarts, peanut butter, and Oreos.

 Once we all were done exploring Tesco we took a walk down to District One Liverpool where we had lunch at Philharmonic Dining. It was an okay meal but the architecture was lovely. The building and bar were very very old and so pretty. I thought I would commemorate my first meal to a tradition UK meal of fish & chips and mushy peas.

After our late lunch we were down to the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral which was an amazingly beautiful church.

 While walking down to the Liverpool Cathedral we ran into our first Lambanana! The lambanana is something that is all around the city and decorated different ways depending on the area and the artist who was commissioned to decorate it.

 We ran into China town but sadly did not get the chance to stop. I am hoping before leaving Liverpool to take a trip to China town and see what it has to offer.

With a full day of walking and exploring a group of us thought it was necessary to stop at the Halfway House down the street from campus for a drink and some food. I tried a Bass Pale Ale and was surprised I actually liked it. I have found that I am a very picky drinker and don't like many beers, wines, and few ciders. 

 Through this whole time I have started to get used to counting out the pounds and pence for purchases and coach fair. I still can't get over how pretty their money is and all the cool shapes it comes in.
Overall I am having a great time here in Liverpool and will continue to give you posts about my time here. I hope you enjoy the pictures and my stories.