Just wanted to write up this post to tell about this past weekend, which was one of the best so far.
Kendal and I had bought a Groupon for a tour to Leeds Castle, the Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury a few weeks ago, and finally used it this past Saturday (29/3/14). The weather was absolutely PERFECT – sunny, clear skies – and made for an absolutely wonderful day.
We started our day at Victoria Coach Station where we boarded a bus that took us to Leeds Castle, which is southeast of London in Kent. The castle is hundreds of years old, once owned by Edward I, and eventually belonged to Henry VIII, who gave it to (one of his many wives) Catharine of Aragon.
In addition to once belonging to historic British monarchs, the castle eventually belonged to a few wealthy families. The last person to privately own it was Lady Baillie, who lived there in the 1930s. The amount of money these people had is actually unfathomable, and actually being there and seeing that wealth around us was insane to say the least.
Like I said before, we had absolutely GORGEOUS weather that provided amazing photo opportunities:
Next stop on the tour was the Cliffs of Dover. I was especially excited to go to this spot because of a scene in the most recent Pride & Prejudice adaptation, Elizabeth Bennet standing on the cliffs looking out to the sea. It is one of the most beautiful scenes in a movie I have ever seen, and I was highly anticipating seeing these cliffs in person! I wish we could have gotten a little closer to them, but regardless, it was amazing to finally get to see them in person!
Again, the weather held up and really good pictures were taken:
The next stop on the tour was Canterbury, another historic English city. Canterbury is probably familiar to a lot of you because of The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer that is based on the popular pilgrimage that Christians take to Canterbury Cathedral, where Thomas Becket was murdered. Kendal and I visited the cathedral which was just as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside.
Canterbury has a lot of literary history as well. A lot of famous playwrights and authors – one of which is Christopher Marlowe, who I am writing one of my final papers on! – were from there/wrote a lot of their famous works there. Charles Dickens, who was one of these authors, apparently walked to Canterbury from London several times. That’s 60 miles, by the way…
After our time in Canterbury, the bus took us back to London, specifically to Greenwich. I actually hadn’t been to that part of London yet since I have been here, so it was nice to walk around and get some good pictures of the Old Royal Naval College, which is not only an actual university, but was also used to film some epic scenes in a recent superhero movie. Any guesses which one?
..the answer is Thor 🙂 (that was for you, Gianna and Celene 😀 )
The next day, Kendal and I casually attended the European premiere of DIVERGENT in Leicester Square, and it was actually one of the best days of my life. Let me preface this story with a few things. First, I LOVE the Divergent books. Celene gave me the first one for my birthday a few years ago, and since then I have been hooked. Veronica Roth, the author of the trilogy, was at the National Book Festival in DC last semester, and I was one of the first people there to see her and have my book signed. Secondly, I LOVE movies, and am very interested in film publicity. I interned for a film promotion company last semester, and fell in love with it. The whole atmosphere in Leicester Square was actually insane, but so much fun, and something I would love to do as a career in the future!
SO, going to this was a huge deal for me. I am highly anticipating this movie, and Kendal (who also loves the books) and I jumped at the chance to possibly see it ahead of time, as well as meet the stars of the film.
We only got there about 2 hours early, but still (somehow, magically, miraculously) were able to get VERY close to the red carpet. There was an opportunity for us to get into the actually screening of the movie, but it required us to literally RUN to get a spot, and we had such good spots near the red carpet, we didn’t want to risk running for our lives and then lose our current spot near the red carpet. Although we didn’t see the actual movie, we got AMAZINGLY AMAZING pictures of the stars of the film.
Here are the pictures I took… I DIED:
Veronica Roth was there, which was pretty cool! She is the mastermind behind the whole story, after all.
Next, we saw Shailene Woodley, who I am slightly obsessed with. She gets a bad reputation for being on the television show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” but she is (in my opinion) SO much more than that show! Watch The Descendants or The Spectacular Now and you will see how amazing of an actress she is. Also, I did my final Entertainment Communication project on her last semester, so I know just about every facet of her life.
I got some amazing paparazzi-worthy pictures of her (the very close-up ones where she is literally INCHES from my face are blurry, BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE):
Next, we saw Ben Lloyd-Hughs, who I honestly had never heard of.. After some research, Kendal and I discovered that he is a British actor, and was in the very popular British show “Skins.” He plays a kind of major character in the movie, which I am excited to see him in.
Next, we saw Neil Burger, the director of the movie!
Next, was the one and only Kate Winslet. She is actually one of my favorite actresses of all time, and is a true legend. To see her in the FLESH was incredible. Kendal and I had a few laughs because someone across the way from us had their Titanic DVD with them for her to sign, which was hilarious and brilliant at the same time. Before the premiere started, some book promoters were passing out little pamphlets of a chapter of some new random young adult book. Kendal had taken one, and since she nor I had any paper for Kate to sign, Kendal had her sign that. We thought it was pretty funny!
Lastly, we saw Theo James, the lead actor in the movie. Downton Abbey fans should know that he plays none other than the Turkish Ambassador, Mr. Pamuk, in season 1, who had a pretty MAJOR part in the whole Mary saga on the show.. Anywho, he is starring in Divergent and is beautiful and I died.
He is essentially waving to me in this picture.
It was SUCH an incredible day that I will never ever forget!
That is all for now. More fun-filled weekends are in the future! 😀