London Adventures- Vince Acri

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Hello everyone! This past week and a half was my fall break from school, and it was very busy with different activities I had planned.

Starting last Saturday I went to Kew Gardens, which is a 500 acre botanic garden with different displays and exhibitions hosted around the grounds. There was a lot of walking that day, and it was packed for the Japanese gardens display in the main house which is the main visiting exhibit for 2021. My friends and I walked on the sky bridge, which was shaking in the wind and I could not be more relieved to have gotten off (fear of heights). The garden and its different indoor houses are extremely beautiful and stunning, especially the lily pad lake house. We are planning on returning for the Christmas at Kew light show exhibit which starts pretty soon.
I noticed that Halloween is not as big a deal over here, except for teenagers and students dressing up to go clubbing. Trick or treating is not really a thing in most neighborhoods, and not a lot of decorations are up around places or stores, most have Christmas decorations and lights up already instead. I did a lot of Halloween stuff this month, especially watching the horror movies that I watch each year. I have been going to the Prince Charles Cinema which plays classic movies. I saw Psycho, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Thing, Deep Red, and An American Werewolf in London over the last week and half. I also played a Halloween themed scavenger hunt game throughout the city which took up about two hours, it was really fun and a lot of the clues were challenging which I enjoyed. I did not get the highest score for the game but still did really well.

I went to Harrod’s for the first time, which was very overwhelming. It is a 6 story building, with giant food halls and shopping floors. It also has its own Christmas world in the basement with decorations and gifts. I bought a nutcracker to take back home. I used to buy them a lot as a kid with my Nana and they had a really cool one that I could not resist buying. I also saw Dune this week in IMAX, it was my first time seeing a movie in IMAX. Growing up Dune was one of my favorite books that I had read so I have been really excited to see this movie for quite a long time since it was announced a couple years ago. It was a fantastic movie and the theater was sold out.

I did a guided bus tour yesterday to parts of England that I have been looking forward to seeing. We stopped at Stratford-upon-avon, Bibury, and Oxford. I am a huge Shakespeare fan and it was really awesome to go to his home village and explore the places he lived and worked during his life, as well as visiting his final resting place at Trinity Church. The place had a really nice Christmas shop with cool ornaments and decorations, some of which I bought to take back home to my parents. Bibury was a very small but beautiful village in the Cotswolds, with a gorgeous trout farm and sprawling countryside. One of the village huts was used for Bridget Jones’ Diary which made it extremely popular with all tourists there for pictures. I was really excited to visit Oxford and go into the buildings to visit some of the libraries and locations used to film Harry Potter. Unfortunately, there was a graduation yesterday that was postponed from its original date, so almost all of the academic buildings were closed for the different ceremonies going on for it. I did get to go into some of the buildings, but the most popular tourist ones were closed. I do plan on going back with some of my friends for a day trip just to Oxford, so I will eventually get to see these locations at some point. I visited the Turf Tavern, which is the oldest pub in Oxford operating since 1381, and is supposedly haunted with Ghosts. Many famous celebrities and former students have spent many long nights in this pub, including Bob Hope and Bill Clinton. This was the location where President Clinton claimed to have “not inhaled” the strange cigarette given to him. The tour guide Darren was fantastic and had a lot of cool things to share with us before setting us loose into the different locations we visited. I learned a lot and took hundreds of pictures yesterday.

Next week it is back to business as usual, and I am really excited to start my internship next week. This will open up new doors for me and present great opportunities to apply what I have learned in school over the last few years in a professional setting. I cannot wait to share how my first week of work is, also I cannot wait for it to be November so I can start celebrating Christmas. I am a huge Christmas person, so expect a lot of my future journals to include a lot of Christmas activities and wintery things!

Attached below are a picture of me at Kew Garden and a picture from my visit to Oxford yesterday afternoon!