Tuesday, 25 October 2011

week 4

Tuesday- Was ultra lame and after classes worked on my theater paper with kel. Such a great academic choice, considering today, Wednesday, was a super low key night in terms of going out. Everyone has a ton of work do this week and is studying hard for the upcoming tests. boo. Zack, Kelly, Jon and I continued planning fall break and currently have houses in both Paris and Amsterdam. winning. Highlight of the night was definitely skyping with dozer. twinny sisters 4L. miss you girl. It was really nice to hear about all the happenings on campus and with the team. She reports that the fris team is looking to be in tip top shape this year.

Wednesday- To say that this day was dedicated to homework would be the understatement of the year. Besides quick skypes with em and rory g I am fairly certain that I did nothing but work for the better part of 8 hours. I'm patting myself on the back for this one. go self. #soacademic.

Thursday- class. saw much ado about nothing at the globe. standing for three hours was less than ideal, but the play itself was fabulous. It kept me laughing the whole time and helped me to forget about the cramps in my legs. Afterwards, kelly, mitch, mac and i decided to go out except somewhere in the rush to get going mac got lost. classic. we knocked on his door and called him but he didn't answer. he claims we left him, but we all know what really happened: boy was definitely sleeping. We headed to oneils sans mac and met with our less than sober friends. it was awesome. after several renditions of sex on fire headed back with a very dynamic crew. the dynamic was hysterical. 

Friday- Bike ride through hyde park with kelly, zack, jon, collin, and danny. It was the best. The sun was shining the entire day and we rode by the lake for probably an hour. It was gorgeous. thank you for not raining london. We rode to the other side, eventually arriving at primark, the london equivalent of a tj max? Everything in there is super cheap and stylish, but there is quite possibly a thousand million people in this one store. I bought some tights and a few more shirts to be ultra eruo and was planning on wearing them out but I felt ultra sick by the time we got back. Instead I sent the night comatose in my bed and watched the season premier of  grey's anatomy. get ready for another roaring season team. the reviews are great. 

Saturday- Still feeling a little under the weather, i woke up at 9 am to head to the local london zoo. It was well worth it. The majority of the cages are open area and you can walk through them right next to the animals. In the money enclosure I honestly could have touched them, but i kind of chickened out. weak sauce I know. If youre coming to london and have even the most remote liking for animals I strongly suggest a trip to the zoo. I loved it. Afterwards, i countined to rest and did a bit of homework. talk about the life of the party. 

sunday- homework

monday-got an A on the first physio test! yayyy yayyy

tuesday: today I took my first physics test. I studied a lot for it and I think I did really well. At night we went to see The Tempest at the Haymarket theater. The opening scene was awesome. It was so realistic that I felt like I was on an actual boat. After this however, the play fell flat. It was simply too long and drawn out allowing audiences to grow bored in between scenes. Im still glad I saw the production thought because the main character was depicted by Ralph Fiennes, aka Voldemort ladies and gentlemen. The entire time I kept picturing voldy in terms of his harry potter life. For example, when he held up this staff signifying his denunciation on magic, I immediately pictured the final scene of hp 7 part 1 when he holds up the elder wand and the huge lightning bolt goes up. haha 

wednesday: psych paper finished. woot woot then out to dinner for sean's birthday. We went to this really nice seafood restaurant massimo's. It was so so so good. For appetizers we got grilled octopus, kalamari and crab salad. Entrees: seabass & prawns, fettuccine & scallops, lamb, and noki. It was phenomenal. The company was great. holla at my seven. We walked to wallabout for the foam party, but never made it in because the cover was pretty steep. I didn't really feel like going out anyway so keltay and I came back, drank some wine and ate e riley's delicious chocolate cake. We also recorded videos for vicks to show the fris team. They're pretty funny if I do say so myself. Overall, great night. 

thursday: pack, pack, clean, wake up at 3:45 for norway

friday, Saturday, sunday:  Upon arriving in the norwegian airport at approximately 8am, we boarded a bus to the city of Oslo. The ride itself was gorgeous as we took a road that wound around the edge of the Oslo fjord. Beautiful waters surround by mountains : ) The second we got into the city we sought out the DVT, the norwegian national park service, where through previous emails we had been told that we could book full service cabins in the wilderness. Upon entering the DVT we [Kelly, Vandy, Sean, Matt, Bif, and I] were under the impression that we would be picking up the key to our cabin and then setting out on our hike the next day. Oh how wrong we were. The cabins, which are normally all vacant, were booked within a 50 mile radius of the city due to the national vacation break. talk about a buzz kill. Given that our hostel was also booked for the next night due to said holiday, we were essentially homeless in norway. oops. The lady that was helping us either thought we were retarded or was simply talking pity on us because she told us about a store where we could rent tents. At this point we were all in. The only catch was that the store was across town and closed in 10 minutes. Talk about winning the luck lottery. Before we dashed out of the store she made us buy a wilderness map and a compass and I quote, "For you own safety, I cannot let you leave here without them." Dropped a causal $60. Stupid exchange rate. [Side note: Norway is quite possibly the most expensive country ever. For perspective, a hamburger at McDonald's costs $20. TWENTY people. Have these folks ever heard of the dollar menu?] After our purchase, she quickly hand drew us a map and sent us into the subway. haha Literally running through the underground we got on the train without tickets because none of us could figure out how to work the ticket machines that did not have a lick of English on them. #stowaways. We run off the train and arrive at the store only to be greeted by a locked door and black windows. Noooo. Half jokingly and half out of sheer desperation, Matt Peters and I continued to claw at the door. Just as we are about to give up and concede to sleeping in a park the following evening Bengt appears. What a guy. He reopened the store and despite rules that you must be under twenty years old and live in this remote area of Norway he gave us FREE tents. Honestly this was a miracle. We must have looked that pathetic. With renewed spirits and two new tents we finally headed over to check into our hostel. One stolen train ride and a 15 minute walk later we are there. Our fellow hostel residents are getting ready to go out so we decide to get some alc in bulk due to the hefty prices of the country. Don't be fooled people this is a nearly impossible task in Norway. After asking dozens of people, scavenging through every grocery store in our path, and walking for nearly 2.5 hours no alcohol has been found. fail. However, we did pick up 3 packs of rolls, a jar of pb and matches for our hiking venture. With 4 beers purchased from the hostel fridge at a price of 7 dollars each we retired to our room and proceeded to setup the tent as a trail run. See my facebook photos for the results. hilarity did ensure. The next morning we asked our hostel owner about the allusive alcohol store, thinking that an alc jacket may come in handy that evening as we slept sans sleeping bags in the wild. Little did we know Oslo has ONE liqueur store and it is only open weekdays 11- 3pm. Way to regulate norway. Here we acquire 7 bottles of champagne to celebrate our venture. With the bottles secured in our backpacks we gathered at the bus deport and requested some tickets to Skar, Norway, where the DVT had told us to depart from. Skar is so remote that the ticket man A) didn't know it existed and B) when shown it on a map insisted that no buses ran there. No worries peeps, upon a full scale computer search the bus was located. When we were dropped off we were greeted by endless trees and a wooden bench. Cheers to the wild. We hiked for 3 hours with beautiful views the entire time and eventually reached a secluded lake. While exploring around the lake Matt Peters found a pile of dry wood, a concept that none of us had even begun to think about. I see you fire. We kept hiking in search of a good spot and along the way found a fishing knife and an unopened beer. shotguns later? maybe. maybe. absolutely! We eventually found a clearing as it was getting dark and decided to make a base camp. Girls setup the tent. Yep, I did that people. Please, make fun of me for hating the wilderness now : ) Boys did the fire. The tent went up quickly and with ease, while the fire turned out to be a little more trying. In Norway there is a perpetual mist which in fire building terms translates into everything is wet always. As you can see this presented a unique challenge. After plowing through 3 oslo tour books we were one step away from burning my theology homework when the fire took off. Thank you God. We cooked some hotdogs, dug into the rolls and chomped on some pb as the sunset. Let me tell you without sun its about 30 degrees colder and pitch black. Were talking I can't see my hand in front of my face or even with the fire the tent 10 feet away black. We chatted fire side and roasted smores to occupy our time. At 1030 we broke out the champ in order to obtain some false sense of warmth and about 1230 the wood pile reached empty. Solution: wood runs via blackberry back light. joke life. At this point though it was impossible to see anything so Vandy resorted to climbing a tree to obtain some fresh branches. Even with this valiant effort it wasn't long until the fire was extinguished. At this point we retired to the tent for the night. Sleep was relatively easy until about 3am when the alc wore off and the deep cold set in. Even wearing two sweatshirts, mittens, two tshirts, jeans, leggings and three pairs of socks it was cold. We slept fleetingly, huddled together and still waking roughly every hour. Needless to say by sunrise we were ready to roll. We hiked out of the wild, coated in mud and looking rather rugged if I do say so myself and explored Oslo for the rest of the day (saw the changing of the guards). A heavy rain set in soon though, so we went to the airport early, bought 10 dollar hotdogs and waited for the plane. By the time we got to London we were all ready for a hot shower and a clean bed.  

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

week 2 and 3

Tuesday- nothing major.

Wednesday- went to class. headed to the zoo bar and had a dance off with a pub crawling italian man. alex and mac got jealous and jumped in. obviously we won. such a great time.

Thursday- Watched multiple versions of macbeth in class. celebrated my survival by going to oneils. the team discovered the third floor and needless to say things got out of hand. LUP did it big. My genius self did not bring a coat because it was not raining when we left, but torrential downpour is the only term that can describe the walk home. Forced to seek shelter in Macdeux and order some late night nuggs only to have them spiked down by a drunk man. no worries everybody he got me some new ones. #winning

Friday- Crystal, kelly's best friend from home, comes to visit! We took her out to the Mulberry Bush, recommended by Cornelius himself. Had a really great time. It was ultra low key. Great spot to talk over casual drinks. 

Saturday- Went to Stratford today. aka birthplace of Shakespeare. We took a quick tour. Snapped several pictures of his birthplace and grave, which was inside the most beautiful church. see fb for some photos! I also saw my first play, macbeth, which in itself was great to see, but varied greatly from Shakespeare's original writing. Before the play ate some yummy bar food at the rose and cannon. It was super nice to have a burger.

sunday- Went shopping with Kelly and Crystal on Oxford and Regent streets. Picked up a cute flowy top and a neon green fanny pack. no biggie. On the way home we accidentally walked into the river thames festival, which was booming. We found a cute little stand and between the three of us acquired four dresses and two scarves. such a win. At night we watched a wonderful display of fireworks that extended all the way down the river. it was a blast! 

monday- classic school day.

tuesday- class. Then casually headed out to our tuesday night bar, sports cafe for some casual beer pong. life is good. After the main event died down we went to the zoo bar for some dancing. It was a blast.

wednesday- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST FRIENDS EVER, VICTORIA PRICE HADLOCK, SERG & MAC! For Mac's birthday we went out to baby oneils so the boys could continue to schmooze Grace the bartender, who is in love with them. It's honestly hysterical to watch. Headed home early, but it was fun to celebrate with the gang.

thursday- class. discussed macbeth performance. many problems and inconsistencies in the show such as the portrayal of the witches and the addition of the children. Had a meeting with the program directors, which was really nice because I felt that they actually got to know me. When I got home Sean took Mac and I to parliament. all I can say is absolutely gorgeous. It was filled with gothic aritecture and each room was adorned with beautiful painted tile floors and portraits. All the doors seem to be ancient Oak which really puts the place over the top. It's kind of nice to see everyone dressed fancily. Way too many suits. On the way home we passed the national aquarium and we instantly decided that at some point we are going.

friday- Have to go to class at 10. such a downer to wake up early on our day off. booo physics. After class i decided to be studious and hit up the library. Surprisingly, it was really nice. I really liked sitting by the window with the sun streaming in. I was actually super productive. At 4 Katie and I went on a Buckingham palace tour. FANTASTIC. Every room is inlayed with gold. gold couches, tables, chairs, tapestries. GOLD. everywhere. Everything is decorated with the most intricate materials. Seriously decorated to the nines. The state rooms have stunning views of the 30 acre park with beautiful lakes and rivers. It would be so fun to grow up there. You could run for hours and never see another person. jealous. Kate Middleton's dress was stunning. honestly a work of art. everything on it is symbolic. For example, the 6 different laces that were used to make it were hand cut, selecting only the desired parts. The pieces were then combined into one design and hand sewn into one intricate design. The pattern contains a rose for england, thistle for scotland, shamrock for ireland and dafodile for wales. Gorgeous. Each stich is 2 to 3mm apart. wow.  The flowers are also reflected in the cake. The earrings she wore are from her parents and are shaped like oak leaves. They have hanging acorns to represent the new Middleton coat of arms. stunning. I went out to dinner with the boys for fish and chips at superfish- suspect at first but actually turned out to be pretty great. Note to self: never eat a pickled onion ever again. thanks collin. We were hanging out when we got back but decided to make it an event around 12:30. Needless, to say things ended with multiple renditions of Britney Spears- Lucky, outfit changes and belly bumps. wayyyy to much fun. 

saturday- Went to portobellos market with katie, al, and maria. really fun. huge. had absolutely everything. got lots of yummy food. bbq burger followed up by a cream and chocolate filled donut, and ice cream over strawberries. delicious. : ) I got some walnuts at the fruit portion of the market for salad tonight and a new purse so i dont have to use kellys every five minutes. Made dinner with flakey and watched the game. walnut and pear salad with ravioli. yummm. During the course of the game danny knocked over an entire 3L of frosty's on wags head. HYSTERICAL to everyone else, but she was less than pleased.

sunday- Woke up early with the boys to see the changing of the guards. it was really fun to see, but super super packed. We then went to a really cool hat store. All their styles were organized by color so it looked like a rainbow. It was cool to see all the different things that people can do with hats. Scooped up some delicious wasabi on the way home and entered into study central.

Monday- had my first physio test today. I think it went really well so obviously we needed to celebrate with drinks at ye old Cheshire cheese, the oldest pub in london. It is really cool because it is entirely underground and extends deep into the earth. it was awesome : )

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

attempt to catch up number two

Sunday, August 27- casual touring around london and prep for school.... this was a long time ago and I kind of forgot what actually happened.... my b, but that night was the first official mass followed by a pub dinner at the Knights Templar. It was awesome and believe me when I say people actually devoured it. Were talking knife stabbing, not cutting. Hilarious.

Monday, August 29- Thusday, September 1- The first week of classes. Monday I had physio. Not a bad start to the week considering its my only class and it starts at 2:15. Going to be a little tough though. So many processes and proteins, but interesting none the less. Our teacher is really nice and really British so I'll survive. Tuesday I have theo and physics. Our theo teacher is actually crazy. He has a tendency to state deeply into your eyes from 10 inches away. Slightly awkward. Its kind of like hes searching your soul for some hidden answer, but to all students its more of a staring contest challenging him to look away first. Needless to say, its an experience. He's very passionate about the topic so at least it will be interesting. The physics prof is a baller. He rolled into class about 10 minutes late rocking a rugby polo and claiming his real job got in the way. He is so chill. It will be an awesome class, mostly math based which is ideal for me. Another quality day. Wednesday is psych. Easily my favorite class. Something about the subject just always captures my attention, not to mention that the professors always seem to be real people with real stories and things that are relate-able. boom. After class Erik and I set out to play some frisbee in the park, but got distracted by a casual Buckingham palace down the street and set off to investigate. It was awesome. Golden gates, armed guards, the whole nine yards. EPIC. Thursday I went in for round two of theo and basically tried to supress laughs as I attempting to absorb anything that was being said. It was a fail. Kelly, Zack, and I then got some delicious sami's from a local shop. We ate them on the steps of the National Gallery while listening to live tunes like it aint no thing. When we were done we played fris in St. James park until class. BEST BREAK EVER. Theater class is going to be really fun. Were already seeing a play this weekend and cannot wait until we start acting. woot woot.

Thursday, September 1 nighttime- Last week we discovered this awesome pub, o'neils that has a live band and drink specials every Thursday so naturally this caught like wildfire and the entire London program showed up here. After a few hours of drinks and dancing our celebration was cut short due to a casual stabbing outside. WHAT. We all had to leave and there were about 10 po pos waiting outside... slightly intimidating. However, this did not stop the party. We hit up Club One and made it rain. The light up dance floor and light shows really added to the atmosphere. A good time was had by all. Also decided to be fancy and wear heels out this night.... NEVER AGAIN. EVER. wayyy to painful.

Friday, September 2- woke up and went for a run around St. James Lake which is discreetly located in front of Buckingham Palace. The place was beautiful and booming. There were peeps everywhere feeding the birds, sitting in the sun, or just people watching. It was nice to see so many people outside. When I got back the fris crew set out and explored several vintage shops which were prime. Zack cooked some jumbalya and rosemary potatoes for dinner. This served as the first actual meal we've had since arriving. Props to him. We rallied after dinner and headed out to the local planet hollywood, indulged in a group "big boy", and in the process acquired the world's largest marg glass. #winning. We then descended upon "The avenue" with a bunch of people. It was very fun for the first hour, but as the girl to boy ratio slipped to 1: 25 million things got a little dicey. Aka an immediate evacuation was needed wrapping up the evening nicely.

Saturday, September 3- Stonehenge and Bath.
We embarked from Conway Hall at approximately 8:30 prompting everyone to fall asleep on the bus instantaneously. When we woke up we were surrounded by the English countryside with not a house or building as far as the eye could see. There were plentiful sheep and grass mound graves though. Our guide says there were about 500 graves in all. nbd. Stonehenge was fun for the first 20 minutes, but once you've seen it there's nothing much to do. This obviously led to a series of weird pictures... totally natural of course. [insert picture here] Bath was next on the list. It was totally awesome. The pools here are filled by the only hot water springs in England and are absolutely beautiful. The fact that they were hidden underground for hundreds of years blows my mind. We checked out the Georgian architecture as well in The Circus and just frolicked in the trees. When we got home it was time for the ND game. We had to stream it on the computer because the sports bar wasn't  ready for us : ( This resulted in power moves for the entire program and I think it's safe to say that about half the program went down during the rain delay. In retrospect this was probably wise because in typical Notre Dame fashion they blew the game. 

Sunday, September 4- spent the majority of the day reading everything in sight. Not by choice. did tentative planning and will be headed to Norway the end of september. get it yo.

Monday, September 5- Spent the morning doing real life things such as getting school supplies and groceries. did more homework. then class. After class I went to the Ghana- Brazil game. I thought i was going to die in the mob present outside of the stadium. The entire street was filled to bursting and I am not exaggerating when I say that the only way to move anywhere was to physically climb the person in front of you or aggressively push. both less than ideal. However, once we got in it was totally worth it. The game was a sell out and we sat directly behind the Ghana goal next to a full fledged band complete with trombone and snare. Ghana played the entire game a man down due to a red card and managed to hold the Brazilians to only one goal. Final score 1-0 Brazil. Ghana has found a new place in my heart. Really fun crowd. Champions league game here I come!         

Saturday, 3 September 2011

week one.

Alright, so I know that I have been less than active on this blog. Let's just face it. I'm not a writer and the fact that this blog even exists is a miracle in itself.

Here we go:
Friday, August 26- More unpacking and real life errands ie. the grocery store, hanger store, english version of CVS ect. during the day. We're still new to the city and we have no idea where to go so naturally the smart thing to do would be to head out the front door and walk until you see something cool. This is what we did. After walking in a circle more than once and at least an hours time our excited group of 10 tumbled down an alley spotting a bumpin club. We immediately got in line. We obviously looked oblivious or something because the bouncer came over and started chatting us up. We talked animatedly for about 5 minutes before he dropped the bomb, "You know this is a gay bar right?" Silence. We definitely did not. The other six guys we were with abandoned ship, but Kelly Tay, Zack, Jon, and I were going in. BEST DECISION EVER. The place was an old wine cellar completely made of bricks with many nooks and passageways. The main dance floor featured two pyramid like platforms, the top tier holding about 6 people. There were baloneys on every wall providing an excellent perch for people watching. We mingled with the locals, meeting a man whose ex was from Michigan, and even danced with what can only be described as an 80 year old Chinese man performing tribal ritual dances. hilarious. Lasers shot lights in many words and images on every wall while Spice World was played on all seven flat screens. Overall, it was such a win and so much fun.

Saturday, August 27- Saw the local tourists sights with my friends, Sarah and Claire. We went to Westminster Abbey, both buildings of Parliament, Big Ben, and of course took in all shopping experiences, even stopping to look at some Kate & Will paraphernalia. Will definitely be purchasing some of that before heading home. I took way to many pictures, which I promise will be posted soon! That night we went to Piccadilly Institute a 7 story club where each floor has a completely different atmosphere. For example, floor one is a relaxing cafe, two a 70s themed bar, blah blah blah floor four- ultimate rager. Were talking poles, stages, flashing lights... the works. Obviously, we spent the entire night here dancing to tunes such as Party in the USA and Bedrock. Such a blast. There were also many props amongst the party goers including but not limited to a pair of safety goggles. so fashionable.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

the forty- one hour day

The day began at 8:55am, five minutes before the alarm I had set myself, when momma h woke me up. Little did I know that I would be hurtin for those extra five minutes later on. After meeting up with keltay at the airport we hugged our moms goodbye and headed off for the adventure of a lifetime. We had a quick layover in chi city then saddled up for the nine hour hike to London, set to land at 6am London time. This presented a bit of an issue. As London is five hours ahead of the eastern time zone, we were in the air from 4pm to 1am EST. Normal hours for being awake. Between combating our circadian rhythms and the close corridors of the sardine packed plane sleep was impossible. When we landed we were greeted by our program director, Greg Kusich, and rectors Jamie and Claire. All are awesome. On the bus ride to the flats we traveled through Parliament square and caught a quick glance of Big Ben. My flat has 12 girls, but a great view of the London eye so its all worth it. We settled in quickly then headed off to orientation where we got our books, phones, and other essential gear. After that we were released upon London which included my first supermarket trip (harder than you think) and home ware purchases. That night we went to a pub, O'Neils that had a live band = AWESOME! we will definitely be returning and with that we slipped off to bed after almost two days.