Saturday, 5 May 2012

Amazing Month of April

Hello Everybody,

     Sorry that once again it's been forever since my last blog! I have been really busy over my break so I haven't had a lot of time, but I will post this one before finals start! I have been on break since April 5th and it has been a lot of fun. For the first week of break, I really didn't do too much. My friends and I did a few things around London like the London Dungeons which were fun. We mostly just hung out. A lot of my friends have been in and out of London traveling so I everyone has been really busy. My mom, dad, brother, and Nana came to visit me the second week of break for a week. I'm glad they came and had a good time! It was really nice to see them because I miss them. We did A LOT of walking and sightseeing. The last few days they were here, we headed up to Nottingham, England to visit my dad's family who lives there. It was nice meeting them since I haven't really met most of them before. I am going to try to go back up there before I go home because I would love to see them again :)
     After my family left, I went on a trip for a week with my friend Alexis. Our first stop was Paris! I love that city and it was my second time there, so we mostly spent our time there just walking around the city and sightseeing. I took lots of pictures, a lot of the Eiffel Tower because I love it! Our second night in Paris, Alexis' friend who is studying there brought us to her dorm where her and her friends made us dinner and took us out. It was a lot of fun and I loved meeting new people. They were from all different countries and all so nice!

      After Paris, we flew to Venice, Italy. Possibly had to be the most beautiful city in the world! We got to the airport and found out that we had to take an hour speedboat ride to get to the island. I don't like boats so that part wasn't fun, but once we got to the island it was great! It looks so surreal and fake because it is so pretty. Our hostel was in a great location and the city is so much fun. There are no cars there, so it is literally just a maze of streets and bridges! It was crazy. We loved seeing everything and my favorite part was watching all of the Gondolas go by constantly! We wanted to go on one, but they were way too expensive and it's a short ride so we decided it wasn't worth it. Our diet in Italy consistes of Gelato, Pizza, and Pasta. I could live on Italian food! It is amazing! It was about 80 degrees out and I got a horrible sunburn which was not fun at all, but being in Venice made it ok :)

      After a couple days in Venice, we took a train from there to Florence. The train ride was only about 2 hours and it was a lot of fun because it was a pretty scenic ride and we got to see a lot of the Italian countryside and mountains. The couple days we spent in Florence were amazing. It was about 90 degrees out, which was a big change from London weather for sure! I made sure I got sunscreen when I got there. The nice and tan Italians were giving me looks because obviously my Irish skin didn't fit in well there. We went on a walking tour our first day through the city and got to see most of the center. It was absolutely beautiful. Our tour guide was great! We went into these beautiful gardens after and there was a really high hill and the sight from the top of it was amazing! You could see the whole city and the mountains behind it. After that, we walked around ourselves and got some delicious Italian food for dinner and got ready to head out.

      Our last day of vacation, we took a train from Florence to Pisa because that's where we were flying out of. There really isn't much to do in Pisa, but we figured we would go for a couple of hours before our flight to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was really cool and I'm glad we got to see it! After the Tower, we got a bus to the airport and headed back to London. It was an amazing trip and I am so happy I have had the opportunity to visit so many places! I am having the time of my life and there is seriously nothing better than studying abroad.

     Now, I am back in London until I leave. This week, I have been studying for finals and that's about it. I have two finals on the 10th and one on the 15th so I have a lot of studying to do. It's really hard getting back into school mode after a month and a half off! I honestly cannot believe I come home three weeks from today. I am in denial that I have to leave so soon. It's starting to get emotional thinking about leaving. I am excited to come home and see everyone though! I have been skyping with my friends and they keep telling me how much they miss me and I really cannot wait until I reunite with them, especially my sorority sisters. It's really hard going from seeing people everyday to not seeing them for 5 months. I'm glad my family got to come visit though! I'm going back to studying but I figured I would post a blog before I forgot. If I don't get a chance to post another blog before I come home, I just want to say that this has been the most amazing experience of my life and I would do it again everyday. I would advise anyone who ever has the chance to study abroad to do it. You will not regret it! I will see everyone in a few weeks :)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Sorry my last post was forever ago. I kind of forgot about it until now! I have done so much since the last one. I went to Sweden a few weekends ago with one of my roommates. We walked around Gothenburg City, went to see a little castle, went across to a little island, walked along the water, and did so much more. It was kind of hard getting around and figuring out food on menus because everything was in Swedish, but most of the people there knew how to speak English so it ended up being ok. Since then, not much has been going on until this weekend. I have just been hanging out and exploring London with my friends. Last weekend was so nice out, so my friend Dave and I just went on a five hour adventure exploring the city! London is huge and it is impossible to see everything even in the time I've been here, I haven't even got to see half of it! There is so much more to it then you think. Exploring is the way to see London in a different way.

This weekend a few of my friends and I headed to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day!!! It was by far the best trip I have taken since I've been here! We flew into Shannon on Wednesday night and stayed in Galway. On Thursday, we took a really interesting bus tour through a little bit of southern Ireland to the Cliffs of Moher. We stopped at lots of sites on the way through the mountains and it was really pretty. I would love to live in Ireland! We got to the Cliffs and had a really good time even though it was raining and very foggy. They are so high it was probably one of the scariest things I have ever seen. We walked over the barrier and went to the edge of the cliff and looking over is so nerve racking but it was definitely worth it! I took so many pictures. When we got back to Galway, we went to listen to live Irish music in the pubs which was a ton of fun. On Friday, we explored Galway and went sightseeing. We went to lots of pubs and saw some more live bands. We went to see the National University of Ireland, Galway which was the other school I got into the study abroad. I have to say, as much as I loved Galway, I am very glad I chose London :) Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year, St. Patrick's Day!! It was one of the best St. Patrick's Days I have ever had. I dressed up like crazy and it was so much fun!! We went to the Galway parade and then just went pub hopping. We saw live bands, met some people, and watched the big Ireland vs. England rugby game. Ireland lost, which wasn't fun but that's ok. The Massachusetts State Police were in the parade and when my friend and I walked by them at a bar, I stopped to tell them I was from Massachusetts. I told them I was from Pembroke and they told me to come in and take a picture with them. They gave me a Massachusetts badge and pin. I was so excited! They were so nice and so happy to see someone from MA! We had lots of fun, but we had to get up at 4 am this morning to head to the aiprort which wasn't so fun. I wasn't really ready to leave Ireland but I'm definitely happy to be back "home" in London!

School is going pretty well. We only have less than 3 weeks of classes left which is kind of crazy. I have so many presentations and tests due so it's going to be a busy few weeks, but once it's over, we have a spring break from April 5th until May 10th! It's crazy how long it is but I have my whole break planned out! I may possibly try to visit some family friends up in Northern Ireland and see where my family is from the beginning of April. My mom, dad, nana, and brother are coming to visit the middle of April so I'm really excited to see them because I miss them and I can't wait to show them around London! After they leave, my friend Alexis and I are spending a week traveling to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Pisa so we are really excited for that! The time is going by way too fast. I can't believe I only have about two months left here. It's sad. I'm going to miss this place when I have to leave. I do miss my family and friends though.

Other than that, nothing much has been going on. I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much! I've been traveling and very busy! If anyone wants to see all of my pictures, I have a ton of them on facebook. I have taken so many pictures since I've been here. I am already on my second memory card. I will definitely be making a scarpbook this summer! I hope everyone is well and I will try to blog again once my classes are over in a few weeks and I have some free time :)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Travling Galore!

It's been a while since the last blog. Sorry, I've been really busy. I'm trying to add more pitcures to the blog but it won't let me right now.  I have done a lot since my last post. A couple of weeks ago, our program went on a bus trip to Warwick Castle and Stratford Upon Avon. They are about 1.5-2 hours from London but it was really fun because we got to see a little bit of the England countryside, which is really pretty. The Warwick Castle was a lot of fun. We spent a few hours there. We walked around the castle, saw the beautiful views from the top, got to be a knight by putting on a helmet and holding a sword, and we got to see the prisons. It was a lot of fun and definitely worth visiting if you ever come to England. After the castle we headed over to Stratford Upon Avon which is Shakespeare's hometown. It was such a pretty little town and everything there pretty much has to do with Shakespeare. We went to see his church where his tomb is which was really cool. After that we headed over to his birthplace which is on the main road in Stratford. They gave us about an hour to walk around so we went to eat lunch at a really old English pub. Got to love the pubs! It was a long travel back because we got stuck sitting on the highway not even moving for about a half hour because of a bad accident. It was not fun but we made it back ok. 
The first week of February, me and a few of my friends went on the London Eye and out to dinner for a friend's birthday. The eye was so much fun!! It wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be, but it did make me a little nervous. It is huge and the view is beautiful. You can see pretty much all of London from the top and you can see up to 25 miles on a clear night. It was great! We also went out to dinner after which was a lot of fun. For the Superbowl we went to the same bar we watched it at last time and it was a lot of fun until we lost, then it wasn't fun anymore. It was a late game and I was upset at first, but I'm getting over it. Another exciting thing that happened was that it snowed in London!! It was so exciting and so pretty! The people here aren't used to snow so a lot of my British friends were having snow parties and drinking and having snowball fights outside. It was a lot more fun having snow here then at home. We got about 5 inches so the next morning me and my roommate from L.A. went to sightsee. She was really excited to see snow so it was fun!! The sights looked way prettier in the snow and I hope it snows a little bit again. This past weekend me and my friend Alexis went to Edinburgh, Scotland! It was so much fun and pretty. We had a very long trip getting there. We had to leave my room at 4 am, take three different buses across the city which took an hour and a half, and then we had to get on another bus to the airport for another hour. We barely made it to the airport but we did! Gatwick is a much bigger airport than I thought! We got to Edinburgh around 9:30 am and we took a bus to our hostel. Our hostel was actually really fun and nice! We loved it. We had roommates from Australia, Italy, and another one from Massachusetts. They were really nice. The first day there, we explored the city and went to a couple of art museums.  went to eat at a restaurant and then just went back to the hostel because we were exhausted. On Friday, we went to the Edinburgh Castle which was huge and had some great views of the city. It was raining a little and really foggy and cloudy so the view wasn't as good, but it was still good enough. I wish it was nicer so there was a clearer view of the mountains. We wanted to take a trip to the ocean because it's really close to the city but it was raining and we really weren't ready to walk 2 hours to the water. We walked down the Royal Mile, did some souvenir shopping, saw a street performer, and got lost but it was fun. We ended up walking around almost the entire city by the end of the day so we ended the day at a pub and went back and hung out with our roommates at the hostel. Yesterday, we walked down the Royal Mile again, bought some fudge, did a little more shopping, saw some bagpipers, and headed to the airport for our long journey back to our rooms. Scotland was beautiful and I would love to go back at some point.My roommate  I just planneda trip to Sweden for the 24th of February so I am really excited for my next journey there. I still love it here and I love traveling!! Other than that, school is going well. My auditing class is really hard and I have my first test next week so I'm studying a lot for it. Next week, the 20th-24th we have no classes. It's called Guided Independent Study week so it is just a time to get some work done on your own I guess. The time is flying by and I don't like it! It needs to slow down. My 21st birthday is on Saturday so this weekend is going to be a lot of fun. My friends and I have a lot planned to do around London and I'm so excited! It's going to be a lot of fun! Hope everyone is well and I will post again after my next trip! 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Greetings From London!

Hello Everyone! I've been so busy my first two weeks here but I finally decided to start a blog! I have done so much in the past two weeks! This might be a long one. My flight over was good, not too long. When I arrived at Heathrow Airport I had to wait in the customs line for 45 minutes which was not fun at all but I got through easily! I got my luggage and met up with my group where I met my program advisor and people from my group. We took a shuttle to our rooms and settled down before going out to a pub. It was a typical old English pub and there was live music. It was a lot of fun! I had trouble adjusting to the time change and jet lag was hard to get over but I'm fine now! Our first full day here we went on a boat and bus tour around London and saw all of the major landmarks! We saw Big Ben and the Parliament building, the London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and so much more! I loved it and took so many pictures! Our tour guide told us how there was going to be a movie premiere that night and that William and Kate were going to be there. Me and my two friends decided to go and we ended up seeing Steven Spielberg and William and Kate! It was so cool. We only saw them for a second while they walked up to the red carpet but it's still awesome to be able to say I saw them while I was here!
 The first week we had no classes or anything so we had a lot of time to explore the city. I went to a market in Camden which is a bunch of shops and markets where you can buy pretty much anything. It was fun. I have went out to a few bars and pubs around the area. They are so much fun. There's stuff going on pretty much every night. Last week, a few of us went on a Beatles Tour! It was really good. We went around to all different places the Beatles filmed videos, saw Jon Lennon's old house, and we went to Abbey Road. We were going to take a picture on the crosswalk but we decided since we have plenty of time here we will go back during a time of day where there aren't hundreds of cars driving by beeping at you and getting pissed off! So pretty much my first week here was just exploring the city and doing all of the typical tourist like things. Getting around is so easy with the tube and the train! It was confusing at first but it's alright now. My friend Nicole and I went to see the Changing of the Guard one morning at the Palace. It was so cool! I would love to go back and see it again. One night last week all of the study abroad kids from around the world went on a Booze Cruise down the Thames river. It was really fun and I met a lot of people from all over the place. Last weekend I went to see our family friend, Kieren who lives in London. He made me a great dinner and took me to a British play called "Dick Whittington." It was really fun and I enjoyed it very much. I will probably be going to see him again soon! Last Saturday me and a couple of friends went to a bar to watch the Patriots game! I didn't realize so many people over here watched the NFL but it was a lot of fun and we are going to watch the game tomorrow as well.
       This past week I started classes. I only have classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which is great! They all went well. I like all of them and they seem interesting so I'm really excited for the semester! I really like my Business of Sport class! Yesterday me and two of my friends went to the National Gallery and the Museum of Science! The Science Museum was really fun. We are going back some time soon because we didn't get to see all of it. It was a good cultural experience day yesterday. Today is a relaxing day. I am planning my trips out for the semester and my 21st birthday trip to Paris with some of my friends! I'm so excited because it's so soon! I absolutely love it here and am so happy I decided to come here. I am loving everything about London and can't wait to explore so much more in the next four months. There is so much to see and do! I will post blogs as much as I can. Sorry the first one took so long. Have a good weekend! GO PATRIOTS!!