Friday, November 29, 2013

Xmas markets are the BEST markets (Flashback 7)

My time in London draws near an end...only a few shorts weeks left.

Much to do, shopping to be done, things to see...running out of time, money, and the will to go back to the States.

There seems to be a lapse in my diary, made up for the numerous pictures which were taken despite the literary gap.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
Kelsey and I saw Les Mis one night in the city and wow. It was beautiful.

Have you seen the film? Forget about it... not even close to comparison.

Yesssss, sir.

I've lost track of the number of food pictures I may or may not have taken...and by that, I mean I quite possibly have way far too many.

The Eye, all lit up at night...Kelsey and I had ridden to the top earlier!

So many fond memories, yet I find I must recall upon my own recollection as there is no written word.

Perhaps no written word was needed to describe the times we had together...the beer and friendship we all shared, and continue to cling onto despite not having the location of the magical city as our glue.

We have each other, our short months together, and a lifetime to remember and reconnect throughout our crazy adventures from different parts of the country, of the world.

Go big or go home.

As I recall, even at this point there were many tears to be had as we counted down the weeks until we must all depart. Tears over stupid boys and trivial things like class and wondering how our wallets are going to be at the end of our journeys abroad...

Thanksgiving was spent together. For most, it was our first Thanksgiving away from home; for the English, their first Thanksgiving ever.

So many fond memories which feel like yesterday. Yesteryear as it is called...yesteryear I was away, yesteryear is where my mind remains.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Haggis, neeps, and fried Mars bars for the hell of it. (flashback 6)

"Scotland was beautiful!"

Damn straight.

We traveled to Edinburgh and took the same train route as JK Rowling. On a scale of excitement from McKayla Maroney to seeing baby kittens a week after they're born, this tops out pretty close to the latter... Holy cricket, this is Scotland!

Made lots of friends, saw Loch Ness and stepped into the shallows to nab a rock, ate haggis, tried a fried Mars bar, and danced on the tables of the hostel during the great dance party with some locals. When in Scotland, you roll how the Scottish roll, which involves lots of stomping and standing on the highest bit of furniture which will hold your weight.

The following weekend took me to Amsterdam: 4 countries in a what seemed like one of the longest 12 hours... London to Dover, ferry to Calais (we all got seasick, joy), bus ride through Belgium, and into die Niederländer!

Edam and Volendam were nice little towns on Saturday morning. Much cheese was bought from our group... I was quite happy my Pesto cheese made it through customs at Newark Airport!

*Things I dare not post*
Thus concludes these adventures...with a plethora to come.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mingling at the Mill (flashback 5)

One of our favorite places to go was The Mill on Mondays...good beer (aka cheap), Snakebites for £1.50 (lager+ cider + blackcurrant), and always an interesting mix of people, such as our buddy, Ben Fagg.

I had nearly forgotten about my museum hopping day in the city, nearly forgotten next to the late birthday celebrations of that night. Three museums and much exploration that day: the Museum of London, the British Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as some old ruins and a few markets. A typical day in the city is usually not so typical. There's something about the city which gives it that whimsical, dare I say it for fear of being clichĂ©, magical aura.

The city is in shroud, but not in the cloudy sense which I rarely experienced. Cloudy?? Foggy?? London?? Psssh.

Walking around felt so surreal, little thoughts popping into my head, thinking of ridiculous stories of those I passed on the streets...this was home, I was home, and I had only been there for a few weeks. The city had sucked me in, taken me under its wing, and made me its own.

Yet, I always had that feeling at the back of my mind...nearly every entry ending with, or a brief mention, a whisper in the hallway of the cluster of events happening in my life, of Kurt: "I miss Kurt. I really do. And that scares me." "English guys....are so not Kurt."

Perhaps despite my attempts at thinking I was okay, tucked away in my magical getaway, I couldn't truly be home unless he was there. It was at this point I began to understand that home may not be a place. I thought I had finally found it in London, and maybe I had, but it could not be so without my other half.

We're all victims to our minds, ensnared within our thoughts, unable to escape but for the vices..."I feel like my trips are me scoping out places for Kurt & I to visit...dammit, I miss him wholeheartedly." Looking back through these posts, I've come to realize my terrible tendencies to lock myself away, unafraid to go on adventures, but fearful of letting myself be vulnerable in that raw sense.

Off to Scotland this weekend....mix of Mill, feelings, nostalgia, past&present.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You only turn 21 once (flashback 4)

Another post-post as I have dubbed them...a backwards look of trying to retell what has happened on my adventures since my hiatus.

Perhaps it is the amount of free time with which I have found myself that calls me back...or the wanderlust, nostalgia, or a cry for help for someone to take me back to the place which felt like home.


I made it to Paris and walked around with a lovely American lady I met in the hostel. We saw the Eiffel Tower at night...

Caroline and I palled around and her friend Christel, who lives in France, showed us Paris from the local's perspective. Absolutely gorgeous...I even got to use some of my French!

I ate my first Big Mac ever while in Paris...
I felt horrible afterwards.

On my birthday, I woke up to four men in my hostel room, so that was quite a shock...I quickly and quietly got ready in our shared bathroom and made a beeline for the exit to explore the city.

For my Grammie and Pap Pap
and one for sisterly love

Notre Dame!

Caroline and I went to the Palace of Versailles for much of the day. A sober birthday with somber travels and a beautiful day to say the least.

Joyeux anniversare pour moi!

How many millennials can say they went to Paris, alone for their 21st?

C'est ma vie et je t'aime beaucoup ;) 

Airport lunch: when beer is cheaper than water and soda

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pubs for dayz (flashback 3)

Pubs are one of the things I'll miss about Europe. Sure, America has its bars, those hole in the walls which one has claimed as their niche while they're in college, or the place down the road with the cheap beer and good music, but we don't have the same thing over here...

For one of my newfound American friends in England, we celebrated her 21st with, what else? Pubs, quality beer, cheap shots, and a group of great people. The times you look back on and think damn, this is my life right now and it's pretty freakin' awesome.

Electrified at the Fighting Cocks!


Ram's Head, The Fighting Cocks, The Mill, Weatherspoons, O'Neil's....birthday girl and those accompanying all had a great time. Wimbledon adventure in the morning for burritos and the famous tennis fields!

Then it was off to Oxford shortly after!

The lodgings of our own Former President Bill Clinton...
and where he liked to smoke weed.

Oxford....the school of my dreams since I was about 10. Unfortunately, they do not offer International Business, and so this was the mental justification I gave myself as to why I did not look here as a potential college (aside from the fact I most likely wouldn't get in and holy shite, expensive, and also Mum would never have let me study for a full BA in another state, let alone another country.

In memorandum of those priests burned
to death by Bloody Mary

I saw the office window of one of the most genius literary authors and ate in the very seats graced with the presence of The Inklings, of which two of my favorite authors were members: JRR Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. I was in bookworm heaven.

Tolkien's office

Illegal picture taken of Tolkien's sketches

Pub of choice for The Inklings

Chicken Wellington...YES

Standing with my boyfriend on the steps in Christ
Church which were featured in Harry Potter

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." (Flashback 2)

Harry Potter heart was beating so fast in anticipation.

A long train ride and bus ride later....

FYI: I cried before and after the tour.

Kelsey & I learning proper wand etiquette

*cold* Butterbeer!

Had to commit to the theatrical pose

"...curious, but where to put you?"

"After all this time?"