Friday, May 31, 2013

America bound!

After 10 hours on a plane and 7 hour drive I am finally back home! I truly enjoyed my time in London. It was a once in a life time opportunity that I am so glad I took. I learned so much about the justice system in the UK as well as the culture aspect of things. The things I experienced very few people are able to experience those things in a lifetime. Although I loved it over there and had a wonderful time I am loving being back in America. We drive on the right side of the street, can travel by car and not the tube or train, and most of all I am used to the food and love it here.  Right after we landed my parents took me to eat and we went to Texas Road house and I ate like I had been starving for days.
This is what I ate...yum!

One thing I was really looking forward to was coming home to some sunshine. Getting off the plane we were kindly greeted by 80 degree weather. On the drive home I was surprised how green everything was, it reminded me of London. When I got back to Wyoming the weather has been cold and rainy, so I really feel like I am still in London.
  Looking back I think I would like to go back some day! Do some of the things I didn't get to do this time around. London has so much to offer that it is just impossible to do everything in one trip. The London Eye, London Dungeon, and the Madame Tussauds are things I would fit in my schedule if I ever went back.

It's amazing to compare the two countries and see both the similarities and the differences. The two justice systems are both a major similarity as well as differences. Gun Control is a major difference we see in the two systems. England has a very strict law on gun control and, most police officers have never carried a gun. Richard, a Metropolitan Police we meet while over there had never carried a gun in his career as a police officer. To us as Americans we are shocked by that statement, because when we think of a police officer you simply associate them with a gun. In England there are some officers that do carry guns, and each police department has a specialized firearms unit. We saw several police officers that did carry guns in high security areas. Another thing I found interesting was that some cops commute by horse. Both systems are very similar because the American system came from the English common law.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, Our last day in London

Friday we woke ate breakfast (which I must say was far better than what was served in our hotel), then said goodbye to my cousins oldest daughter Maisie as she was off to her last day of school.

After Maisie left for school we then walked her 7 year old son Alfie to school. Then we packed up her car and headed for the coast. It was very weird being in the front seat of the car where the drivers seat is on the left. I kept feeling like I should have been driving. We went to Broadstairs, and visited a few of the beaches.
The sea was gorgeous.

The tide almost got Elliot and I, lucky we ran fast enough. Kayla was not so lucky she got soaked, poor girl.
This link is a video of Erin my cousin trying to take a picture of her son Elliot and I as the tide nearly got us.
When we got back to London we went with the group to our last dinner in London. What did we have you ask...Pizza Hut! We were all very full leaving and happy with that decision. 
Following dinner Kayla and I went to the Wicked show. Seeing this live was absolutely amazing. I have never seen a show like this before so I was excited to go. The story line of Wicked was the story before the Wizard of Oz. Good thing I went because I didn't know any of that story. After about an hour and 15 min into the show the ended the scene with was we thought was a grand finally. Kayla and I grab our stuff to leave, realizing that not everyone was getting up. I texted my cousin confused, was it over or was it an intermission. To our surprise the show was not over it was only an intermission.  When the show was indeed over we headed back to the hotel to pack our things to head back to America! We meet at 4 am in the hotel to leave for the airport, So I stayed up almost all night hoping I could sleep on the plane. 


 Thursday morning we went  get coffee and breakfast before we went on the legal walk. Before leaving our hotel I noticed that the coke bottle I bought that had my name on it was half gone. Since we were gone and none of us drank we came to realize that the house keepers drank it. :( After confronting the professors about it it seems that there were some similar issues in our group.
I bought a bottle to bring back to the states, thought about buying another but figured why bother.
PHA Digital

 An area in London is known as the legal walk because it is where the Inns of Court are located. There are four Inns of Court; Inner Temple, Middle Temple,  Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's Inn. The Inns are institutions that provide the barristers (lawyers) with the proper legal education before they are on they own. The institutions are all located  near the Royal Courts of Justice. The Inner and Middle Inns share a Temple, but the other two have their own. They also all have their own park/garden. These are amazingly beautiful. I didn't have my camera that day so I was not able to capture any pictures. We got to see the required uniform that they wear. Something that caught my attention was the fact that all barristers have to wear wigs. It was a tradition that never died.  After seeing all the Inns of Court we then when to the Royal Courts of Justice, we all got to sit in on a case. Most cases are appeals or civil cases. The case I sat in on was an appeal case to the sentencing. We got to see a real court take place with barristers and their proper attire. 
After our court visits we were free to do as we please. My roommates and I went to the Tate Modern Museum  This museum is huge, although we spent a great deal of time there we didn't get to see all that much. The art is very interesting, some is very modern while others you have no idea while they even call it art. Some pieces were very interesting while others you didn't even know what it was suppose to be. All in all it was a good experience. Leaving the court we saw a police officer on a horse. This was interesting to see because it is such a common thing in England but never heard of in the U.S. 
Following the Museum my roommate Kayla and I headed on a train to Sevenoaks to visit my cousin Erin and her family.  On the train ride there we got to see the beautiful country side of London.  When we arrived Erin took us around to show us the town of Sevenoaks including the schools her children attend. We stayed over night at her house, which was amazing! Seeing what a traditional English cottage looked like was awesome. Her husband RJ, made us lasagna that tasted so good. It was nice to have such a well known American dish for dinner, that everyone loves. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recovery day!

Today was the first day we were able to sleep in. It was AMAZING, I forgot how nice it is. After resting up my roommates and I headed back to Camden Town to hit up the market again. I got a lot of gifts bought for people to bring back. We got to see some more performers on the street. They are floating people.

It was pretty cool. 
After Camden Town we headed to ride the London Eye, but hitting rush hour in the tube center of London was a disaster! We got lost several times and had to back track. We then decided the line was so long we would do the London Dungeon first but that was closed. We were so hungry we ate at a Starbucks near by then traveled back to Camden Town to eat even more food because we were so hungry. We got some real Mexican food. At this point on the trip if it weren't for Starbucks and co-cola I don't know if I would survive. Caffeine is my friend and it nice to know that its the same around the world. 
Looking forward to going to stay with my cousin and her family tomorrow!

A gloomy day in Paris!

Yesterday we spent all day in Paris!! When I say all day I mean all day, we left the hotel at 3:45 am. When we arrived we were greeted with some AMAZING weather. It was like 40 degrees, gloomy, and rainy all day. We started our day off visiting Notre Dame. This building was amazing to see. Later that day we were shopping in  the souvenir shops when we noticed a ton of police officers outside the Notre Dame, turns out someone committed suicide in the building that day.
 This symbol is on the ground out in front, it is known that if you cross this in your path it is suppose to give you good I crossed it because we all know I have bad luck as it is and need all the good luck I can get!
We then got on a red bus tour that took us around Paris to see the city. 
the Louvre court yard

It truly is a beautiful city.

We got to go to the Lovers bridge to see all the locks, ended up that there was a guy selling locks as well so we all decided to take part in this Paris tradition.

Got myself a lock, since I don't have a significant other! Hope it brings good luck
We went to the Louvre Museum  which is one of the worlds largest museums. I really wanted to see the Mona Lisa and the Hammurabi Code but it was closed...sad day. 

Paris was absolutely amazing to see, however; I was a little bummed I didn't meet a good looking french guy.  For dinner we went to a restaurant and got dessert to eat, because we were so sicks of paying for food we don't like. I got chocolate cake and when they brought it out it had a sparkler on it. It was pretty cool. On our way to the train station we got to see a drunk guy in the Metro station get taken away by a paramedic team because he was so drunk. He carried a box of wine and a guitar and couldn't even stand up. We we got back on the train to head back to London I was very thankful to sit down and fall asleep.


Monday we went to the Old Bailey Crown Court. This court is the highest court, they hear the more serious cases like murder cases. We learned about the history and then got to sit in on a closing argument of a case. A man got his blackberry stolen then hired some men to track the guys down, when they found them they beat them up and ended up killing one of them. All the guys including the man who hired the men are being charged for murder.The closing argument was very hard to follow and was hard to understand. After the court we then went to the ISA building and listened to a professor from King's college talk about the comparison and differences between the UK and American justice systems. This was interesting to see how similar they are but also how different they at the same time. We then ate dinner at the pub in our hotel and drank a beer. Not a very exciting day but very educational.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The big day!

Yesterday was a very long but exciting day for the group. We spent our day outside of London where we got to see a national monument, a historical city, and a historical temple. After eating half of the wonderful continental breakfast in our hotel which consisted of burnt toast, canned fruit, and corn flakes we headed out early. We first when to the national monument Stonehenge, one of the most famous sites in the world. Stonehenge was built around 5,000 years ago. This monument is significant because it is a very unique icon as well as the location. The location is magnificent, but no where near by are any stones. The stones they used they had to move 90-240 miles. The large stones weight up to 50 tons each. The smaller stones are called blue stones, because they are actually warmer to touch then other stones. The blue stones are the stones they had to move 240 miles. 

Next we went to Bath, England which is known for its rich heritage and impressive architectural sights. The heart of the city is the Roman Bath's. This is one to be known as the only hot spring around Britain. The water from the spring was to be healing water. People all over the world would travel to drink the water. It was suppose to cure the sick and help women who were having difficulties conceiving a child. My friends were joking around about throwing me into the spa in hope to cure my medical issues. 

At the end of the tour there is a place where you can drink the water. I tried it, the water is warm and taste like minerals...yum! :/

Walking through the city there was many performer on the streets. This lady was probably the coolest we saw that day.