Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Graduation

Woo-hoo! The big day has finally arrived! On July 25, 2012 the RVC BVetMed Class of 2012 celebrated their graduation at the {Freemason's Hall} in London. Despite the super warm temperature, it was a great day to celebrate. The RVC did a great job with the ceremony.... now I just have to wait for my diploma to arrive in the mail! Below are some pics from the ceremony.

Getting my license from the principal

In the grad rags

Mom, Dad & I

The hall where we had refreshments

Lauren, Rachel and myself

Mark, Myself and Matt

Mom, me, and dad outside the hall

Jamie, me and Matt

Freemason's Hall

Saying the Veterinarian's Oath

The program

Inside the Hall

Sunday, 29 July 2012

One Last Hop On/Off Tour

Although I've done them several times now, my family and I decided to take one last Hop on/Hop off tour of London. We decided we'd go with The Original Tour: London Sightseeing and we made sure to purchase our tickets online in advance to save a few pounds. We were lucky enough that we had a beautiful (and somewhat hot) day, which made for a great time on the open top tour. As with every other time I've toured with them, the live tour guides were super friendly and quite funny. For those of you that don't know what these tours are about, well, you get on a double decker bus, follow a tour route (they have various ones) and you can get off at any of their stops (usually associated with a tourist attraction), walk around and explore, and then get back on at any of their stops. Your ticket is good for 24 hours and a Thames Boat Cruise is also included. 

Some of the sights on the tour include: Piccadilly Circus, The National Gallery, Nelson's Column, St. James' Palace, Ritz Hotel, Buckingham Palace & Changing of the Guard, St James' Park, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & Parliament, The London Eye, The London Aquarium, 10 Downing Street, Covent Garden, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Dungeon, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, London Bridge, and a lot more.

Although it can seem pricey, it's definitely worth the money for a first time visitor to London, as you get to see everything in a decent amount of time!

Below are some photos of London throughout my parents' visit. Not all pictures were taken on the tour, but those are still some of the sights you'd see.

The Fam in front of Parliament

Parliament and the tower (with Big Ben inside!)

Myself in front of Buckingham Palace

Tower Bridge with the Olympic rings!

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

A peek of St. Paul's Cathedral

Mom and dad having a brewskie at the pub

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Camden & Borough Markets

I'd have to say that out of all the markets in London, my two favourites are {Camden Market} (closest tube station is Camden Town) and the {Borough Market} (closest tube station is London Bridge). They are two totally different markets, the Camden Market offering everything from clothing to furniture, to nic nacs, to food, and the Borough Market offering all things food. The Camden Market will always have a special place in my heart, as Camden was the first part of London that I lived in.

Borough Market is open Thursdays (11-5), Fridays (12-6), and Saturdays (8-5).
The Camden Market is open daily until approximately 6pm.
  Below are some photos of my last visit to each of these markets.

Camden Stables Market

Camden Lock

Meringues at the Borough Market

Oil & Vinegar at the Borough Market

Bread at the Borough Market

Veg at the Borough Market

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Day in the Cotswolds

Every now and then I find a good deal on {GroupOn}. Luckily a deal for a day trip to the Cotswolds and Stratford Upon Avon came up for the time that my parents were visiting. I had already been to Stratford Upon Avon with Julia in second year, however, I have never been to the Cotswolds. Word on the street is that the Cotswolds is a beautiful area and a 'must see' for those visiting England.

{Our tour} was with {Premium Tours}. We departed from London Victoria Coach Station in the early morning and made several stops in a few of the towns in the Cotswolds. Lunch was provided at one of the local hotels (a very nice one) in one of the towns and then a light snack at one of the Shakespeare houses in Stratford Upon Avon. Overall, it was a decent tour -- it was somewhat rushed at points and the time in Stratford Upon Avon was quite short, but it was well worth the deal I got it for. When visiting the UK, {GroupOn} is definitely worth checking out. You never know what kind of deals you might stumble upon!

The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds

Lunch Main Dish: Trout -- farmed right there!

swan

Cotswolds


Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Premiere

Originally, the first day that my parents were visiting, we were going to do a Hop on Hop off bus tour. Unfortunately, we didn't start our day until a bit later and it was raining, so we decided to forgo the bus tour and instead, I'd take them around London myself. Towards the end of our journey, we ended up in {Leicister Square}, and it just happened to be the {London premiere} for the {Dark Knight Rises}!

It was crazy busy, but we decided to hang around and see if we could see any celebs. It was soooo packed and soooo hard to see.... And it started raining. Anywho, I had a hard time seeing any of the celebs because of everyone around me, so the only decent photos I could get were of the celebs on the monitors -- boourns. Anywho, below are some of the pics.

The red carpet

Marion Cotillard

Christopher Nolan

Joseph Gordon Levitt

Christian Bale (hard to tell, I know)

Cillian Murphy

Bat mobile

Anne Hathaway

Mark Wright (left) from {The Only Way is Essex}

Blake Harrison who plays Neil on {The Inbetweeners} (just behind umbrella)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Parental Units Have Arrived

Yay! My parents have finally arrived! They'll be sticking around for a full two weeks doing touristy stuff and  going to my graduation before we fly home together at the end of the month!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Christy Comes to Visit

My friend Christy, whom I met in high school, now lives in Holland. She's been there for a few years now and we've each had the opportunity to visit one another in our respective countries. Last week Christy came for her second visit to England. She came at an opportune moment... one where I was in dire need of a friend -- exam results time! 

Thankfully she was happy to deal with a stressed out me, and be there for me on results day (thanks for double checking my grades Christy!), and I think she enjoyed herself some too ;) We attended a 4th of July BBQ, ventured to {Westfield Mall} for some shopping, {Camden Town} for some dinner and beverages, the Old Manor for a few more beverages, and to the {Marylebone Hotel Lounge} for afternoon tea.

The afternoon tea was delicious. We were so stuffed after all the scones, sandwiches, desserts, and tea! We ended up finding a 2 for 1 deal on www.afternoontea.co.uk so it only cost us about 10 pounds per person, which was a steal, considering how much food we got! The service was great, and the atmosphere was relaxing. The only change I'd make is to have a bit of a higher table!! Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for an affordable location for afternoon tea!
Tea Time!
Our delicious afternoon tea tray

Westfield had some art for sale... I didn't give them permission to sculpt me! lol


Saturday, 14 July 2012

I'm officially a vet!

It's official! I've passed all my veterinary licensing exams and my finals. Congrats to all my classmates -- you guys all deserve it! 

I couldn't have done it without the help of all my friends and family, especially my parents! Thanks for all the support guys!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Movie Review: Killer Joe

So Jamie and I decided to go out for lunch one day and catch a flick. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen Magic Mike, but sadly, it wasn't out yet here in the UK. So we decided to see {Killer Joe}. Big mistake! Although Matthew McConaughey expanded his acting repertoire from romantic to pervert and murderer, it was super creepy to see him obsess over a little girl and use a chicken drumstick in such an explicit way (you'll know what I mean if you see the movie!). Definitely a hard to watch movie and one I definitely don't recommend. Whoever came up with this storyline must be pretty messed up!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Adventures in Thorpe Park & Another Star Sighting!

One of the post-exam events that was organized by some of the students was a trip to {Thorpe Park}. Now for those of you that aren't from the UK, Thorpe Park is the equivalent to {Canada's Wonderland} back home. Those of us that didn't have a car took the Mac, our school's over-the-hill van. While on the motorway, I looked out my window and saw a man in an orange t-shirt driving with his window down. I immediately recognized him as {Bradley Walsh}, famous for playing Danny Baldwin on Corrie, and for playing Ronnie on Law and Order UK. Forgetting that the windows of the van were not tinted, I was pointing and asking some of the other passengers if that was him. He obviously say us pointing, and he nodded at us, definitely confirming our suspicions. After that he quickly did up his window and took the next exit! 

Despite it being a rather rainy day, Thorpe Park was pretty fun. It had been ages since I had been to a theme park, so that was exciting, plus, I had the opportunity to hang out with some fellow students that I had never really hung out with before. It's always fun to get to know people better! As for the rides, I'd have to say my top 2 were Saw- the ride and Stealth. Saw was pretty cool because it had 100 foot drop (see pic below) and Stealth's main feature was its 80 mph take off. Overall, my least favourite ride was the Nemesis -- because I got soaking wet due to the rain water that poured on me as it ascended! Thankfully that didn't happen until the end of the day!

Overall, a good day out! A definite must-do on a nice day!
Group Shot!

Saw- the ride (source: Thorpe Park website)

Stealth (source: Thorpe Park website)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

One of my last times in Brookman's Park

I have some classmates that live in Brookman's Park. They rent out a beautiful giant house (there are 7 of them). Anywho, they love to host parties, and a few nights ago they held their last one in that house. The end of an era has come! It was small in comparison to their last ones -- some people have gone home, some are recuperating from the night before, and others were just too exhausted -- but those of us that were there tried to make the most of the night, chilling outside until it got too cold, and then we ended the night moving inside to play flip cup.

Enjoy some photos below... including one of Mark in one of his many famous costumes (this time he was David Bowie of Labyrinth, minus the hair).
Chloe, Mark, Nicky, & Jess

Flip cup time!

More flip cup

Tower building in between flip cup rounds