Monday, March 30, 2009



We (my friends J & N & I) got back from Paris Saturday (around 9ish we were back at the flat) just in time to go out with A & her boyf one last time. We went to an indie club in Soho, the (as S put it) "gay and trendy part of London." Whatever you want to call it, it was super fun. Nevertheless, I was worn out from the day of traveling, so I was back in bed by 2:30 or 3 (which is quite a feat, considering I had to wait for my night bus at Piccadilly and ride it back, which can take a good 45 minutes depending on when the last bus came and how many ridiculously drunk people are pushing the "stop bus" button for fun).

Yesterday I spent most of my time moping around, being sleepy and happy I didn't have anything in particular to do (aside from my religion homework, which I finished this morning). I sent off J & N yesterday, and then in the evening my remaining friends and I had a farewell dinner at Nando's (home of legendary, Portuguese, flame-grilled PERi-PERi Chicken). S & A flew back to America this morning, and I'm afraid everyone that I sent home has flown into delays and cancellations, which could really present some problems with school (since class technically resumed today). Oh bother.

I took about 200 pictures while in Paris, but I haven't really had the chance (read: taken the time) to go through them and find the ones I like. We also STILL don't have internet at our flat, though yesterday we pirated some from an odd French channel (?) for a little while. The forces that be have said that we should be back up and running by April 3rd, which will come to a grand total of over a month without properly accessible 'net, and it's driving some people crazy. Look at me...I'm in McDonalds at 8 in the morning just so I can check my e-mail before I go to class.

Pictures and stories to come!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Sorry things have been a little quiet around here. From what I can tell, all of my friends are loving the city, and tomorrow morning I fly out to Paris! A couple of my friends and I will be staying there Thurs, Fri and Sat, and then we'll be back in London by Sat night. It should be a crazy busy weekend, but I'll have some more fresh pictures to put up once we're back.

The days they are a'dwindling. I make my decent into the US on the 26th of April, which is a couple days over a month from now. I'll be happy to leave, sad to leave, happy to be home, and missing this home, all at the same time. ...but it's not something I'm going to think about right now.

Today we went to the Inns of Court, which are where all the barristers have their chambers, and we visited the courts and sat in on some trials. I thought it was pretty dang cool, and all of the barristers and judges got to hang out in horse hair wigs. Yesterday we had an in depth lecture about the English legal system and I found it highly interesting...probably because I've had some practice digesting that kind of information from my PLS class last semester.

After our trip, a few friends and I headed to Old Street to try and find an art gallery for an extra credit paper. Only after half an hour of wandering around in the rain (hahaha, yes! the London weather is BACK!) did someone think to ask the only other art gallery in the area where our destination was. And it was closed. Indefinitely.

Then I ate some Hummus Bros with Amanda and Nik, wandered around Soho, headed back home, took a nap, and ended up in McDonalds to use the internet because it's been almost a month and the flat STILL doesn't have its wireless fixed.


This post is all over the place.

On my tube ride back to Earl's Court, I sat across from a poem.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Things are going well. I've got 4 (read it: 4!) friends visiting me for MSU's spring break, so I've been a little busy entertaining/going out. I get to play tour guide a little bit, and act like I know all about this strange, beautiful city I've been living in for the past three months.

How our conversations usually go:
Them: "Oh, that's pretty! What's that building?"
Me: "I...don't know."
Them: "Well what about that one?"
Me: "You know, I'm not sure."
Them: "And that one?"
Me: "I, looks kind of like a government building..."

It was St. Paul's Cathedral.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today I got my hair cut by a musketeer from Germany.  It was his second day on the job.

Would you trust these men with your hair?  

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Cinque Terra photos see the light of day, finally! (unless you're looking through my facebook albums, in which case none of this is new).

I know I promised these quite a while ago, but you didn't think I'd forgotten completely, did you? Oh no, I wouldn't do that. However, there's not much to say about them. One of the days we had allotted for Florence we spent exploring a few coastal towns in Tuscany. We were actually supposed to spend about 5 hours on a hike along the water that would have taken us through 5 different towns, but the majority of the trail was closed due to flooding, so we splashed around in the towns we could get to. All in all, it was an amazing, relaxing, beautiful day that I would recreate in a heartbeat.


I would first like to apologise to my mom for visiting Parliament today. I had no choice, it was an IE field trip for which I was graded. I realise visiting Westminster Palace on a day (as I assume most are) when the alert is severe would not usually constitute sound judgement, but I am back in once piece and all the better for it.

Personally, I shall have warm memories of the building and will always remember it as smelling of delicious breakfast, even in the House of Lords.

Bonus points to you if you read that blurb in your head with a British accent, as that's how I was composing it in mine.

Secondly, I would like to give you a run-down of what I would like to get accomplished today, in a perfect world: hair cut, laundry, mail postcards, bargain hunt, enjoy the day.
It is once again unbelievably sunny, and I broke a sweat walking the 5 miles back home from Westminster. How wonderful. =)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Four beautiful days in a row?! It's almost too much to ask for, but this morning I woke up, yet again, with the warm sun tickling my eyelids. These are the kinds of days that just beg for the park, for a walk, and for shopping!

It was a relief to spend a beautiful weekend in London by myself, especially after all the traveling in Italy. It was a fantastic opportunity, but a week later I was still drained. Most of my loves went off to Ireland or Paris or someplace nice, so I took advantage of my freed-up status to go out dancing with some friends I don't get to see as often (my old roomie from freshman year) and to experience some live music in what turned out to be an old, white, rich man's club. Very funny.

Saturday I took a long walk through Hyde Park, and Sunday my friend C and I woke up early to go to Camden Market and find the Irish Cultural Centre for free breakfast. Come to find out, the breakfast wasn't free, they just didn't mention a price online. How nice of them. And no, we didn't want to pay 7 pounds for it, so we headed back towards the market and grabbed an English breakfast for 3 pound 95. Much better.
After we explored the market for a little while (I got some cute brown shoes on super-sale and a little yellow birdy necklace) C and I rode the bus back to Picadilly Circus and enjoyed the festival taking place in Trafalgar Square. The place was packed with good-natured drunks (for the most part) and the entertainment kept us interested for a couple hours, at least. One of my favorites was an Irish boy band called Closure.

Let me just say that again, for emphasis:
Irish Boy Band.

Monday, March 16, 2009


“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” --Pablo Picasso

Today I visited the National Gallery for Art Appreciation, and we got to see the exhibit Picasso: Challenging the Past.
It was absolutely marvelous. Picasso, in fact, was absolutely marvelous. The exhibit was organized into 6 or so rooms, each with 8 - 10 paintings centered around a common theme (portraits, still lives, nudes, etc.). The exhibit really showed the breadth of his skill as a painter, spanning his early years (while still a teen, even!) right up to his most-cubist elderly years, and focused mainly on how his work was influenced by the artists and styles of the past (hence the title).

You know what else was marvelous today? The weather.
I'll let you know how marvelous the weather and my weekend was when I get back from salsa dancing!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


For 3 days after Venice we explored the Italian city of Florence!

The first day we waited in line for a few hours to get into the Uffizi gallery, but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside (surprise). The third day we saw Michelangelo's David, and hit up the Duomo and climbed to the top, but my camera died right as I was going in. So I don't have a lot of photos, sorry.

Next time...Cinque Terra!


Long, looooong overdue: Spring break, Venice

Sorry this has taken so long, I haven't been that busy...just lazy. Regardless, here are the pictures from the first city I visited during spring break, Venice.

It was wonderful to spend a couple days in a place where there were no cars whatsoever. You don't even realize how much you love it until you arrive in Florence and the city is full of Fiats and mopeds and surly pedestrians. We went to the Piazza di San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica, took a gondola ride, and reveled in the leftovers of Venice's Carnavale. After hours of walking the alleyways and bridges, it was heaven to just soak up the sun by a canal with a calzone and a coke and not worry about homework at all. We ate a lot of pizza, too, but it was good pizza. I usually just had a margherita (cheese pizza, tsk tsk) and the last pizza I ate in Italy was made with thick mozzarella and slices of cherry tomatoes.

The souvenir shops were dominated by masks, and it was common to run across shops that were exclusively masks ranging from 15 euro to hundreds. There were also a fair amount of shops that sold Venetian glass jewelry, and others that sold some of the most beautiful leather gloves I've ever seen. There were also shops that sold nothing but delicious gelato, but we're not going to spend any more time talking about the massive amounts of ice cream I consumed while on break. Because it was a looot.

I hope this tides you over until I get my Florence pictures up. I don't have many from was more of a basic big city than Venice, and who wants to take pictures of typical store-lined streets? However, I took about a hundred thousand pictures during our day trip to the Italian coast, so there will be plenty of eye candy from that. Oh, how I miss the Tuscan sun.