Saturday, June 18, 2011

With Love: Meish, Mom and Catey Bug

The last days of my study abroad program came to an end and it was weird to say good bye to these wonderful people I have grown so fond of and lived so closely with for the past six weeks. Knowing that my mom and cute sister were on there way to the wonderful city I have called home for the past two months.  On my Friday morning I had a surprise waiting for me on the outside of my flat door..... mom and cate!! We spent four wonderful days touring around London and then headed to the city of lights to see the sights of Parie. 

Portobello Road.  Cate and I were asked at least three times if we were twins.  

new necklaces. 

There was a startling chicken theme to our European adventure.... What tipped it off was that the owner of the house we stayed in while in London was an avid animal lover.  Her housing agreement, which we were required sign in agreement, clearly stated that meat was not allowed within the walls of the house.  Holly, our house owner and both of her dogs were strict vegetarians.  Not only did she have two hyper puppies she had two pet chickens which, by the way, roamed the house in diapers!! So these diapered chickens made this man dressed in a chicken suit strutting around the Underground all the better.

 Shortly after our chicken suit encounter we walked out of the tube station and ran into this mile upon mile long bike race of NAKEDS! It took me a whole three seconds to realize that this bike race was full on nudies before turning on the spot and running the other way.  Oh Europe!

On the steps of St. Paul's. 

"Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep. 
It's time to trust my instincts close my eyes and leap."

Wicked in the West End !

Changing of the guard on a soggy Sunday morning.

Organ concert in Westminster Abbey.

Bobby Hats!

Baguettes in PARIS!

Notre Dame

The Louvre

Arc de Triomphe

Eiffel Tower


Marie Antoinette's Cottages.

 Eiffel at Night! Last night in Parie. 

View from the top


Thanks for following my adventures over the last few weeks.  Going abroad was an incredible experience and I feel so lucky and am so grateful for the opportunity. 
As always... Cheers!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Strange Is This Gift Called: TIME

Well this is such a bittersweet week.  My finals are over, we saw our last play as a group and tomorrow we have to say goodbye. My program ends officially tomorrow and everyone will fly off to their next adventure.  Time is such a strange thing, It truly is a gift but one that slips away so quickly.  As I reflect back over the past 6 weeks I feel that my first day in London, when I walked onto South Kensington Road without the slightest idea where I was, seems decades ago.  Yet, the days in between then and now are a blur and I am struggling to come to an understanding of where the time has gone. There are so many things I am going to terribly miss about this city.  There are also things I am currently terribly missing about home.  I guess the best thing to do is live in the moment, love that moment and try not think too hard about what you should be missing - because that honestly will get you no where. London has been a remarkable experience, one in which I know I will not be able to forget. 

One of my favorite nights throughout this entire adventure was the night we did the London Eye.  The Eye is a giant ferris wheel located across the Thames from Parliament.  It sits right on the water's edge allowing passengers one of the best birds eye view of the whole city. The rotation of the Eye takes a half hour to complete - we loaded our large capsule and sat back to see a beautiful sunset soaked view of this city we have grown so fond of. 

 Tea at the Kensington Palace Orangery.
 My delicious fruit scone - complete with clotted cream and chamomille herb tea. yum.

We finally made our way over to the British Museum where we found the Rosetta Stone.  It was much larger than I was expecting. 
We recognized that we have been living in Europe for long enough now because we are starting to be on museum overload.  Unfortunately we have begun to be desensitized of seeing very old things... it starts to look very similar after you have walked through so many museums already.  But still we had a great time among the mummies and Roman statues.  

 The one and only..... ABBEY ROAD

This road is essentially just another extremely busy street in London.  Luckily when the crosswalk has black and white poles to the side, cars are required to stop for the crossing pedestrians.  This law was essential for our Abbey Road picture.  We didn't feel ridiculous at all as we crossed.

Leaving my John Hancock on the wall outside of Abbey Studios.

The entire wall was filled with lyrics, pictures, inscriptions and signatures.  

Our last play as a group... Haunting Julia. This show was surprisingly very scary! A very fun show to end on.

Audio Tour.

Ornate ceilings... I was actually allowed to take pictures inside this palace which was a first.

The cute Schneider family arrived today and let me tag along to tour St. Pauls Cathedral.  We climbed up many flights of stairs to reach the dome of the cathedral.  Carli and I have been training for this climb for six weeks as we make the daily ascend up 6 flights to our flat.  The view was great, this cathedral really is breathtaking. 

One of the greatest lesson I have been reminded of on this 6 week journey is the importance of creating and cultivating relationships.  All of my happiest moments in life have been memorable and wonderful because of the people that surrounded me.  I have had the opportunity to share six weeks with 34 strangers.  Out of these strangers I have discovered best friends, scholars, people whom I admire, individuals whose name I will surely see in lights one day, artists and intellectuals.  We all came here not knowing what to expect but with one goal: to gain something from London.  This goal was more than accomplished for me.  I have grown and learned and changed immensely over the past 6 weeks and I am so grateful for this opportunity to live abroad. Although my program has reached the finish line I don't have to say goodbye to Europe just quite yet! My Mom and Cate are frantically packing their things to catch a plane the Heathrow Airport tomorrow morning! See you in TWO DAYS guys! Can't WAIT!!!