Friday (July 30) I woke up early to go over my notes one more time, catch up on some stuff and get ready. We walked over to Harriet at 10 for Judgement Day. Everyone was kind of giggly and nervous, because we didn't really know how Tom was going to test us, and figured it wasn't going to be easy at all. The sheer number of terms we needed to know was daunting. A bunch of stuff was really Welsh, which was a problem for the non-Welsh students, and all of us felt like we didn't know as much as Tom expected us to when he'd ask us questions at sites we visited. Still, we had studied so much and were kind of just resigned to the fact that we might not pass.
Thankfully, Tom pulled right from the flashcards - which was the main tool I'd been using to study. I passed the quiz, missing 2.5/60, so that was a definite relief. The quiz was much easier than we all worried and anticipated. Most people passed or nearly passed. Those who didn't just had to work with Tom on giving a verbal history, so it wasn't too bad. I fist pumped outta there.
We were all pretty excited afterwards. We went home and got ready for an excellent afternoon. Due to some real estate issues, we hit the road for our sites almost an hour late, but it worked out ok. Our first stop was Stourhead. This is a huge 17th C. estate with the most fantastic garden/grounds I've ever seen in my entire life. The Palladian villa was gorgeous. I'd absolutely love to live here.
The grounds are designed to always keep something from the viewer's eye. No matter where you stand, you can't see everything, and there's always something to keep drawing you further into the grounds. It's pretty amazing.
For anyone who has seen the latest (Keira Knightley) Pride and Prejudice, this place is pretty unbeatable. The scene when she runs across the bridge and is proposed to in the rain by Mr. Darcy was filmed here. Yeah, we re-enacted it several times.
After getting our fill of Stourhead, we rushed to head for the main event of the day - Stonehenge. Yeah, THE Stonehenge. We have all been pretty excited about this for a while. It's not super fun or anything, just one of those awesome buckt list things that you HAVE to do. We were all starving and it was starting to get cold, but we had a timed reservation so we had to drive like mad straight there. WORTH IT.
It was awesome. We had a blast! We had the entire place to ourselves. So what did we do? Donned our brand new matching hoodies (courtesy of the judicious financial wizardry of our director, Tom) and took a bajillion photos.
Of course we did a pyramid. Thanks for asking.
This was another one of those days that I just can't describe adequately. We were all just on. We just have so much fun together. Everything is funny, we're all friends, and nothing can get us down. The friendships I have formed here are quality AND quantity, and they aren't just a result of being stuck together for 6 weeks. We've done and been a lot for one another. I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to make these great friends. Not to mention enough inside jokes to last a lifetime.
Starving and chilled, we drove a short ways to the Sainsbury in Salisbury. I know, right? Sainsbury is a grocery store. Salisbury is the city. We grabbed some "Meal Deals," and headed out to the park outside to finally eat. Grocery stores here generally have some great "Meal Deals," which include a bunch of deli sandwiches, wraps and salads, chips or fruit, and a beverage. For like 2 pounds! We love those. Afterwards we walked down to the Salisbury Cathedral, which was absolutely beautiful at night, but due to the darkness I couldn't get a good picture.
As mentioned above, most people passed the quiz, we were all just on, and we purchased an FM transmitter for iPods, so dancing and singing were pretty prevalent all day. While people were going to the bathroom before we left Salisbury, we pumped up our favorite tune here - The Club is Alive by JLS - and GOT DOWN. It was really awesome. Parking lot dance parties sound so gay when you talk about them later. I know that. But in the moment it was literally the best decision we could have made. This photo is from Stonehenge, but you get the idea of what we did most of the day. Loved it. We didn't get home till about 1 am, but it was so worth it.