Q&A: Mrs. Stephanie Parks, Science


Mrs. Stephanie Parks, Science, stand in front of the Buckingham Palace gates with her two daughters. The Parks family visited London during spring break.

Bianca Matchain

Q: How did you decide to take your trip to London?

A: My husband has a satellite office in London. Some of their biggest clients are in London. He goes there about six to eight times a year and we go with him when we can. We have been with him twice.


Q: Where did you visit?

A: We took a train to Windsor one day in the summer. We went to go visit a friend, who lives in the country and went to a petting zoo farm. When you’re out in the country, you wouldn’t know if you were in Indiana or London. They have the same kind of slight rolling hills and pastures. This past trip we stayed in the city because we were with my parents and we wanted to show them so many things in the city. There are so many things to do in the city of London, we didn’t even have time to go anywhere else. Big Ben is under construction; it is completely covered in scaffolding. We spent a day on the Thames River and did an architectural river cruise. We went to the British Natural History Museum, which was really cool and we got to see the Rosetta Stone. We went to St. Paul’s Cathedral which was gorgeous. We went to Westminster Abbey where there are 3,000 people buried there. When you’re there it has a medieval, cold-feeling to me because it is just tomb after tomb. I was just in complete awe of the historical significance that is there.


Q: What was a unique experience?

A: Since my husband is there for work, he travels with one of his coworkers who is actually from India. They travel to London together, but everyone else they work with is British. When they were there, they were visiting with some other clients from Germany, so we had a dinner one night and it was just a multicultural dinner. I was sitting there with my daughters, my parents, my husband, Basant, who is from India, Adrian, who is British, Andrew, who is South African. It is just a really cool experience. When I’m here, I don’t get those multicultural influences. Not only do I appreciate it, my daughters are getting exposed to other cultures they wouldn’t normally have here. When the guys who work over there come to the states, they will come to our house for the weekend and we get to show them around. I think it’s neat that we are still tourists, but we have developed and established friendships there as well.


Q: Did you learn anything?

A: I think that the one thing I am always in awe of is just the historical significance that is there. I feel like when you are in London or visiting places like St. Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster, it is like a living museum. People are still going to worship there, people are still going to services there, and yet they could be sitting in service over Sir Isaac’s tomb. It is absolutely fascinating. It is just part of their daily culture. London is such an international city, you gain an understanding and appreciation for diversity and other cultures. I also like the way that they have built this metropolitan city around things that are so ancient and old.


Q: Would you change anything about it?

A: Not that I have control over the weather, but it rained for three days and that was hard because we were walking everywhere. We were only there for a week and it decides to rain. I would not want to change anything else.


Q: Did your family share the same experience?

A: My parents have never been before. It was a really important trip for me because we got to take my parents and show them something they have never experienced before. I think that will be the trip of a lifetime. Sitting in an old pub, drinking a beer with my dad was really cool.


Q: Did you bring back any funny stories?

A: I have an obsession that has anything to do with royalty. They live such a fascinating life style. The Queen’s life has been dedicated to serving her country. She was born into it and she didn’t ask for it but she has to serve her duty. Since I have this obsession, we went to the tower of London, and I wanted to visit the Crown Jewels. I am looking at the crown jewels with my daughter and I am of course in complete awe at the jewels. I have seen some big jewelry before but it is nothing like what the Queen has. My daughter is asking my husband if he is going to buy me jewels like that so that is the joke in my house now.


Q: What would you recommend to someone who has never been?

A: I would say if you are going to do one thing, visit the tower of London. It was positioned on the Thames River so they would be able to defend the city. I found it fascinating to be able to walk through the rooms and to be able to see the armor and swords they still have on display. You get to see the mint and where they would arrest priests. I found it like a living museum where you could walk through and feel and be a part of.