Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Spring Break Part I.. Madrid!

My friends and I decided to go to Madrid, Barcelona and Vienna for our spring break... I'd never been to Madrid before but my friends that have studied abroad there told me it was the best! And they were totally right! The weather was beautiful, the people were fun, there were so many cool stores, beautiful plazas and awesome food and sangria! We got to see some friends from SLU and celebrated Cody's 21st birthday which was awesome! Maryn and I spent a lot of time in El Retiro Park, where we rowed the row boats which was really fun (I have pictures!). We went to Plaza de Sol for lunch and Plaza Mayor to hang out in the afternoon. We also went on a bus tour where we saw the Royal Palace, The Bank of Spain, and a LOTTT of statues! Everything in Madrid was so laid back. The food there was TOO good! We ate a lot of Tapas and Ice Cream :) Here are some PICTURES!

mmm lunch :)

a little lunch time entertainment whatsup minnie mouse?


maryn getting her row on!

PLAZA MAYOR! (one of my friends has some great pictures of us and "spiderman" that I'll add later :) )

haha mel...

The Glass Market Fruit! SOO good!


Miss you guys!!! :)


okay so I know I've been totally lame with updating my blog but I promise that once I catch up with this post and spring break I'll be much better about it! woooo!

So hyper right now so this post might be a little spazzy!

I got to spend a weekend in Edinburgh with three friends from my trip as a "study tour" where we were basically supposed to compare english and scottish culture... I didn't really have any expectations going into my trip, I just knew that the Scots really enjoy their whisky and rugby! ;) I don't think that I could have ever imagined how beautiful Edinburgh is, it's unlike anywhere I've ever been before! The city is breathtaking, there are beautiful castles, statues, and museums, mixed with parks, bagpipers and kilts EVERYWHERE! The people were AWESOME sooo outgoing and friendly and really easy to talk to!
a little bagpipe action for ya!
000h h333y
peace up ace town down
me and padma!!! so tired after a 4 am departure EEK!
MY GROUP! James. Me, Padma, Lizzie
see ya!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

FIRST ENTRY! I have some catching up to do! eeeek

Hiii :)
I don't even know where to start! I've been in London for a little over a month now and I'm definitely starting to get used to it! For the first week or so I didn't really think I was under any kind of culture shock. I figured that I've been exposed European Culture since well forever, and I speak English- nothing could be too complicated about studying abroad in London ... right? wrong. two words... THE TUBE oh my gosh what a system they have established here! It is actually remarkable in that so many people are completely dependent on it and it can basically get you anywhere you want to go! You just have to get used to the hundreds of people swarming in at the same time as you and you'll be set.. Unless of course you hop on the wrong tube, miss your stop, get off at the wrong stop, get stuck underground, encounter delays... you know the kind of stuff that obviously never happens to me. (nahhht)

I am living in a home stay with my friend Maryn... here's a picture of our first night out in London!
We're living with an awesome family! Our host mom is in charge of a study abroad program for Rochester and our host dad is a SICK musician (i felt so silly coming in with my guitar the first day and then later finding out that hes basically john mayer. We have a nice host sister who just finished up school and is living at home, she has brother is an actor and lives in Beverly Hills (wooo Cali). Our host parents are originally from South Africa and have plenty of interesting stories to share with us! We also lucked out we get great food for our family meals on Wednesday and Sunday nights! I know that some other students aren't nearly as excited about family dinners as we are!

Speaking of STUDENTS!

St. Lawrence owns part of a building that's about a thirty minute commute from our homestay, which is where we take our classes. It's on Gower Street where there are plenty of University of London buildings, libraries, and the Student Union. I am taking British Politics, Britain in the 20th Century, Theatre in London, and Encountering London. I love both my politics and 20th century classes- our professors are so smart and really easy to listen to! I've never really been a huge fan of history or politics but there is just so much to learn! One of the coolest things about being in London is that you can leave the classroom, hop on the (dreaded) tube, and go see what you were learning about in class in less than an hour! We got to visit Parliament and sit in a meeting with the House of Commons and hear different parties debate on whether or not the UK should be a part of the European Union- pretty cool stuff! We've also visited The British Museum, The Museum of London, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace where we saw the changing of the horse guards, and so much more! (wow now i really wish I started this blog earlier!)
Here's a picture of my friend Sara and I at the changing of the Guards... haha
My theatre class is also pretty cool! We go to a play every Monday night.. so far we've seen Black Watch, Hamlet (a three hour and a half production...eeeek), A Flea in her Ear (a hysterical french comedy), Clybourne Park (my favorite so far! SOO good), and Vernon God Little (the lead role came in and spoke to our class today.. pretty cool!) These plays are all around London in these amazing theaters, I definitely look forward to Monday nights!

The whole St. Lawrence group (21 of us) got to go on a weekend trip to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Bath, which was SOO much fun!

Stonehenge is unreal- it really does look like a couple tall rocks in the middle of no where- but when you hear about the amount of time and hard work that was put forth in creating stonehenge it boggles your mind! I just can't believe how people in 2500 BC transported (via hand made rafts), aligned and sculpted these enormous stones into a circle that matches up perfectly with the suns rotation- creating a calendar! LIKE WHATTT?!?! Stonehenge is said to have been used as a burial ground since its earliest beginnings, and in the mile radius surrounding the stones are mounds where significant members of society were buried! Anyways here are some pictures...
some of the girls!
not so pretty of me.. but SOOO cool!
After we got to look around Stonehenge for a while we headed to Salisbury where we ate lunch and took a tour of the Salisbury Cathedral which was beautiful! I don't have any pictures of it right now tho (whoops!)

MY FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP was Bath- it was absolutely breathtaking! Such a fun city with a small(ish) town feel, green parks, so much history, awesome architecture, ah I just loved it! The first night we went to a pub to watch a rugby match between Bath and ________ (whoops i forget)... anyways once the match was over they started  karaoke, OBVIOUSLY i was all over that... and i may or may not have confused the pub for the tic toc....

we'll make this one a little smaller ;)
after a fun night out on the town we went on a tour of bath and got to explore the Roman Baths which was insane.... I didn't get to try the water because the line was ridiculous when we went through but some of my classmates told me it tasted like metal- but I guess it's worth it if the water actually does have healing powers! haha
me, alix, melissa, caroline and maryn at the Roman Baths
me and maryn!
Well, I should probably start doing some homework now :) even though this is sooo much more fun! I'll publish a post about my weekend in Scotland later this week (it was so fun!)

I miss and love you guys!

ps. gung ho to all my girls <3