Saturday, December 28, 2013

100 Quirky Things I'll Never Forget (because I'm writing them down...)

1. The wobbly sidewalks
2. The cobblestone
3. The Tube
4. Red post boxes and telephone booths
5. 57 Tytherton Rd. Tufnell Park
6. The zebra cross walks
7. Z="zed"
8. "busting", "jokes", "posh", "proper", "pissed"
9. Never sit on the top of night buses...
10. The passcode to get into Dilke House
11. The food market behind Birkbeck
12. The fact that we never actually knew the name of our school. Birkbeck? UCL?
14. The christmas present my home-stay family got me that I wasn't allowed to open until Christmas
15. Sandy the "ginga ninja"
16. BBC radio ALWAYS playing at home
17. Charlie yelling at Gabe each and every morning to wake up
18. Gwen threatening Gabe to come eat dinner "Gabe, I'm so hungry I'm going to kill you!"
19. The first dinner I ever had with my home-stay family in the backyard with a candelabra and feast to feed 20
20. My awful jet-lag for the first week and a half....
21. The time I puked on the bus and the train on the way to the airport for mid-term break and the fact that I almost didn't go because of it
22.  When I got pooped on by a pigeon at the colosseum
23.  The sales clerk at the convenience store in Florence who probably knew us by name and that we only bought 3 euro bottles of wine but he still gave us free cups and opened our bottles for us. (we were still his most loyal customers)
24. The fact that Toff's isn't open on Sundays
25. The fact that NOTHING is open on Sundays
26. Zara (the scarves to be exact), Topshop, Mango, Harrods, Brandy Melville, (I'll even throw in Primark... there super comfy tights were a god send) ALL OF OXFORD STREET
27. Royal China and all its greatness
28. Byron's Proper Hamburgers!
29. The time it poured when we went to Greenwich
30. The time it never rained the last 3 weeks we were there
31. Double decker buses and double decker candy bars
32. Kinder Buenos, Crunchie bars, Jaffa Cakes, Digestives
33. TEA!
34. High Tea with my parents at the Four Seasons... yummmm clotted cream
35. Timber by Ke$ha and Pitbull
36. Pub Golf
37. The infamous GoPros that captured so many moments
38. Learning to use my fancy shmancy camera
39. Nights in with my roommates/bffs
40. My 49 new friends
41. Catching Fire world premiere and watching the first midnight premiere at the Odeon
42. Roxy
43. The McDonald's next to Roxy...
44. Glenn's
45. The AIFS staff. Honestly, what would we have done without them?
46. Bunny Little's Bakery
47. When JJ didn't know who the Prime Minister was.......
48. When Clare took bus 4 one stop down our street. By herself.
49. Mornington Crescent. No one gets on, no one gets off. Ever.
50. "Baby on board!" pins
51. "Mind the gap"
52. "There is a delay on the northern line because of someone under the tracks"
53. The time Gianna flung her entire glass of wine on me.... but I forgive you!!!
54. The fact that I have now seen the mona lisa, the david, and the Sistine Chapel.
55. When we saw the David and the Trevi Fountain in the same day
56. When I got to sit in business class on the train for the same price as everyone else and they didn't sit in business class LOL
57. bed bugs in hostels...
58. The people we kept running into in Italy from Notre Dame.
59. Every time Kayla would work out and I would just sit there probably eating
60. Stand on the right walk on the left. It's not hard.
61. The silence of the tube :)
62. My favorite place: Hyde Park
63. The view the last night from Alexandra Palace and the multiple shooting stars we saw that night.
64. The Clique
65. Tripping on the uneven sidewalks
66. How I really didn't like markets...
67. Linda Bolton. Such a cute professor! And when I ran into her on one of the last days (outside of the National Gallery of course)
68. Big Ben. I was mesmerized every time I saw him.
69. Paragliding in Switzerland and everyone else's crazy jumps and how they talked about their videos for at least 2 weeks......
70. All the books we read
71. Minesweeper
72. Ladurée macaroons and how much money I spent on them..... stupid me.
73. The restaurant Claire took us to in Paris where we had those giant happy hour drinks
74. Cider and the sweet realization that Strongbow is sold in the US!
75. When Brits hated Americans but didn't know where Minnesota was
76. Those marketing exams and business ethics journals...
77. The little minions I got to spend four hours with a week at Wix and was really sad to say goodbye to
78. When my teacher from busn200 gave me a bottle of mulled wine as a gift and a huge card from the kids
79. When my family came and I realized how much I had changed
80. When Doug chugged a Guinness and strangers video tapped it
81. When my home-stay parents woke up at 5:00 am to bid us farewell
82. FIsh and Chips being the most delicious meal ever
83. The Londoner blog that was practically my bible
84. When we never knew which classroom to go to
85. Screen-less windows
86. Hand washing all of our dishes
87. My oyster card and ancient Nokia
88. Walking fast and talking quietly. The opposite from at home.
89. Getting my eyebrows threaded at Blink in the basement of Topshop. Yeah, I know...
90. "calling" nessie at Loch Ness
91. When a stranger gave me tissues when I was upset. Thanks, stranger.
92. When JJ got us even more lost in Rome and ate 21 flavors of Gelato in the same day
93. Seeing one of my best friends in Scotland and celebrating raisin with her...
94. When Clare bought Tartan tights in Scotland
95. Everything Collin said
96. Kirb-stomp. LBS would not have been the same without that little nugget.
97. Some coins are worth 1 and 2 pounds.
98. Tesco and Sainsbury's and Budgens. Constantly having to grocery shop there because there are no preservatives in food there.
99. Switching peanut butter for nutella. Not even sorry.
100. London. A city where you can find something new everyday.

Thanks for the memories, London, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland, LBS

A day in the life abroad

I realized all I was really blogging about was the trips and events and made it seem like that was all I ever did.  I swear I went to class! Therefore I thought I would "walk"you through a typical day abroad.

I wake up at 7:30, get dressed, prepare my backpack, and go downstairs to eat breakfast which usually consisted of toast, crumpets, english muffins (or do they just call them muffins?), or cereal.

Then at 8:00 we leave the house walk down Tytherton Rd.

Turn left past Bunny Little's Bakery and Budgen's grocery.

Turn right down Tufnell Park Rd. with everyone taking there kids to school and everyone going to work to the Tufnell Park tube station to hop on the rush hour tube

We have to check the signs to make sure we are getting on a train that says either Kennington (via Charing x) or Morden (via Charing x).  You really don't want the Bank branch...

I cram myself in the tube under someone's arm and put my backpack between my legs. I usually pass the time by reviewing notes for class on my iPhone or reading a good book like Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" (highly recommend it by the way) because the tube is silent and perfect in that way.

If we're lucky we get to class around 8:35 and have some down time to grab a coffee from Costa, Starbucks, Cafe Nero, or Patisserie Valerie (or just coffee at ULU if all we have is a 1.30).  However, sometimes there are delays on the tube and we have to wait a while to get on a train and if it's bad enough we have to take the 134 bus all the way there.  That's why we leave so early!

After my first class: Marketing, we all congregate at ULU to have lunch.

After lunch we go to our second class. For me it's Business Ethics. 

Then the rest of the day we have free to explore London (or sleep... we don't get much of that so when you can we cherish those moments)

And at the end of the day I get back on the tube, go 6 stops to Tufnell Park, walk down Tytherton Road and plan for the rest of my time in London!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Leed's Castle and Rochester Christmas Market

For our final day trip we went to Leed's castle and Rochester Christmas Market about 2 hours outside of London.  We had to be on the bus at 8:30 am which was not easy for most of us but we did it! We slept on the bus so we missed most of what the castle was about and then our tour got cancelled so we were just free to walk around it ourselves.  But it was probably one of the most lavish castle's I have ever seen (since I have seen quite a few now...).  There was a small Christmas market outside of the castle but we waited until we got to the real deal later that day... which wasn't that great either.  I was disappointed all day because I knew there was so much more to do in London and the market and castle just really weren't worth it. I actually forced myself to buy something because we had been promised this christmas market would be the best thing ever so I was hoping to get a lot of my christmas shopping done here. That didn't happen.

mince pie! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Where I spent my Thanksgiving... Interlaken/Zurich, Switzerland

While everyone was at home feasting on stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey, LBS was off on our last excursion of the semester.  But most definitely one for the books.  We were going to Switzerland!! This was one of the coolest trips for me because Switzerland was never somewhere I had ever thought about going. Ever. In my whole life. Without this study abroad trip I probably never would have gone to Switzerland. We stayed in a little city called Interlaken and were free to do whatever we wanted the whole time.  The night we got there we got off the plane, jumped on a bus for an hour and half, and then finally arrived at Baulmer's Hostel.  It was dark when we got there so we couldn't even see the alps but we knew we were there. We were all starving so we looked for the only thing open. Don't judge me when I tell you were I had my Thanksgiving dinner..... Hooters. It might not have been turkey and stuffy but hey, the wings tasted just like the ones at home! Then it was off to bed.  The next morning we woke up to an amazing view of the Swiss Alps.  The weekend was just beginning! 

They even served us thanksgiving dinner! However it was on Friday and not Thursday but it was complete with turkey, carrots, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and even dessert (but not pumpkin pie).  Not quite like my normal thanksgiving but I'll take it!  

The next day we were off to Zurich for a little day trip that has the world's largest Christmas Market. It was a lovely city. However, I really wish they would have told us it was the second most expensive city in the world BEFORE I had signed up for the day trip.  They only thing I ended up buying was food and some very nice chocolate from Sprüngli and an apple strudel from the Christmas Market which was delicious but probably the only good thing about the market. 

The next day I headed up to a little mountain town called Grindelwald.  We had to take the bus to the train and then the train up the mountain which was spectacular in itself because we got the best views. It was Sunday so most everything was closed but it was a really cute town and a nice little walk for the last day in Switzerland. 

And I might have done something a tad bit adventurous, mom and dad. BUT I assure you it was the safest thing I could have done. A girl tore her ACL skiing for crying out loud! others jumped off canyons with just a rope and others fell from planes skydiving. Be happy all I did was paragliding. Plus I got THE best views of Interlaken EVER! 

I mean look how much fun I am having! 

Look at that view! 

Hope I'll be back one day!