Sunday, December 4, 2011


Okay, so I realize it's been FOREVER since I've blogged.  However, I feel like being in England is justification enough to begin again.  In order to catch everyone up on what has happened over the past several months, the next few blogs were email updates I sent out to family and friends.

From an Email I wrote while in Oxford 2 September, 2011

So, in case you didn't know... I'm in England! :)

I'm having so much fun and doing SO many cool things!  With everything we've been doing it feels as if I've been here for months instead of weeks.  The abroad group is already getting along great.  I pretty much am in love with all of them :)

Entrance to our Hostel in Keswick
 I really should be packing right now because it is our last day at Wadham College in Oxford, but instead I'm procrastinating as usual.  I have become attached to my little single here.  All the colleges in the Oxford system are single dorms, no doubles, triples, or quad's like at most other North American colleges.
     Each dorm room has their own sink!  And a maid that comes by each morning to tuck the sheets in your bed and vacuum, tidy up a bit and re-fill your tea, sugar and creams that are a staple in every dorm.  Each room also has its own fridge and boiling water pot.  I feel like I'm in a hotel!... with a few minor differences. 
Catlerigg Stone Circle
While in Keswick we hiked the lake district, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I actually enjoyed hiking for once, since it was at a nice pace, and was a gorgeous day.  Plus I was in England, so that might have effected my attitude, a little...  We went to Castlerigg stone circle, which is older then Stonehenge.  On the way there were sheep, and blackberries that we could pick and eat.  Keswick is such a cute and tiny little town.  On the way to our next destination we stopped at Vindolanda, the sight of Hadrian's wall.  

From my blog entry:
It feels like we have accomplished bucket loads after being in England only four days!  The abroad group left the little town of Keswick today to move to York.  But before we settled in York, we stopped at the historic archeological sight of Vindolanda, which is at Hadrian’s Wall.  Vindolanda, by the way, is the coolest, most magical and fairytale-esque name ever!
We arrived in Vindolanda at Hadrian’s Wall with just enough time to cram in some lunch before our 2pm tour.  This was where the Roman general Hadrian had built a wall to keep the Scots out.  You can kind of think of it as England’s version of The Great Wall of China, only nowhere near as magnanimous.

This sight was GORGEOUS, and especially exciting to lay our eyes upon.  The old stone buildings of a Roman Town have been gone for centuries and buried under the dirt and soil.  What remained of the structures, and some artifacts, including writing tablets, had been nicely preserved from water damage because of the way the Romans built their walls.  The first writing from a woman in the western world was documented here at the sight of Hadrian’s Wall!
A fun little fact we learned was that the headquarters of the Roman camp were in a building called the Principia (in Latin pronounced either “prin-kip-ia” or “prin-chip-ia”). It was cool to find that it had the same spelling as our darling college!  As we learned about how the city would have run when it was thriving, we also found out that it would take an estimated one to two hundred years to completely uncover a sight such as this.  Sheesh, can you imagine?!  We are all having a jolly good time, loving England and our abroad group.  We cannot wait for what adventures will come next!  As they say in York, Cheers!
York Minster
Our York adventure began with a few days of on and off rain.  We were finally experiencing typical English weather, and I was not all too thrilled about it.  Luckily that was the most rain we ever had to deal with.  I guess the American weather followed us for the majority of our adventures.  York was a very cute town, bigger then Keswick, with a bustle of city life, but small enough that I never really felt lost.  One of the days we got a tour of York Minster.  That same day my Cameron and Rachel along with talking Dalton and Dana into it went along with our professor to 'Appy Feey' where we got fish pedicures... that's right, little fishies were eating off the dead skin.  It was the weirdest and best experience I had involving my feet.  

Fish Pedicures
After spending the first week in hostels living in a dorm with bunk beds and 4-8 girls per room, we were all super happy to be at Wadham this week.  We did enjoy our adventures in Keswick and York, they were both beautiful and quaint little towns, but some of us had already begun to get under each other skin a little bit... especially when there are 8 women sharing 1 bathroom.... yeah, the boys had it a little better off then we did because there are only 6 out of the 22 students on the abroad. 
Tomorrow will be a long day because we are off to LONDON!!!  WOHOO!!!  So many people are really excited to go there, but I've been happy living in the moments and enjoying each little town and place we stay at :).  

There have been LOTS of pictures posted on facebook if you want to take a look.  There are going to be SO many England albums I'm kind of scared that fb just might blow up with Englishness (yes that's a word).  I'm about to die of Englishness, and not in the Shakespearean way of dying, but the real way.  I have been drinking SO much tea that I might burst and die a very happy person.  

Having High Tea
We all went to Isis Ceramics yesterday to have "High Tea".  High tea, as opposed to light tea, has tea and scones just like light tea but also adds the little finger sandwiches, cakes, biscuits (what we call cookies), fresh fruit, and lots of other goodies.  I stuffed myself with cucumber, egg salad, and smoked salmon sandwiches while drinking about 5 cups of tea, 2 scones with clotted cream and jam, fresh strawberries, and cupcakes.  All of the china we were being served from and drinking from was hand made and painted there.  It was the most beautiful and truly English experience I have had thus far.  
We've also visited palaces, museums, ancient archaeological sights and today one of the libraries used in the filming of Harry Potter, that's right, you can all die of jealousy because my life is complete :P

Once I've settled in London for a bit I'll shoot another emial update.  I should probably get back to packing.... I'd like to get some sleep before I have to be up and at breakfast by 8 tomorrow... up at 8 am... everyday of the abroad.... EVERYDAY, no weekends... everyday.... 8 am... Are you getting the feeling I might be a little bit annoyed?!  Well as much as not having a day in to sleep sucks, I'm still in England!!  All of the sleep deprivation can prove diverting because I tend to be my loopiest when tired.  And when I'm loopy, funny things happen :D Either that or normal things happen, I'm just WAY more entertained by them!

Lots of love to you all and I hope you are enjoying your time doing what you are doing wherever you are!

<3 always,