it’s all ending…

1 Jun

Well, the countdown has begun.

Scratch that, it’s almost OVER!

I am leaving London in less than 36 hours. (insert whimpering here)

After 61 days in this awe-inspiring city, I can honestly say that I may have found yet another* home away from home.
*(Aside from the Pita Pit on Court St. in Athens and our lake house, that is.)

In 9 weeks I did so much of just about, well, everything.
*I got to see Shakespeare’s birthplace, watch Keira Knightley sign autographs, and successfully (almost) teach a viking how to dougie in Scotland.

*I ate a hamburger on Fleet Street, pork dumplings in Soho, and crepes atop Primrose Hill.

*I watched the Kate & Will get hitched with over 80,000 dressed-up, gleeful Brits in Hyde Park.

*I crossed the River Arno via gondola in Venice and caught a glimpse of Vinny & Mike from ‘The Jersey Shore’ in Florence.

*I spent $-this much in Zara, $$-this much in Topshop, and $$$-this much in Camden Market. (can’t tell, won’t tell…slightly ashamed)

One of my favorite things about London is how easy it is to take a few wrong turns … and end up somewhere else. But here’s the catch; wherever you end up is equally just as wonderful as the destination you intended.

Example A: I planned on spending the majority of my free afternoon wandering around The British Museum, but that venture took up less time than I expected. (in short, I saw the mummies & called it a day). I then decided that I was thirsty and booked it to the first café I saw… a small café that also functions as a camera shop. Two older men at the table next to me were discussing a recent trip to India as a lady browsed some antique cameras in the corner. Ella Fitzgerald played in the background and the barista brought over my green tea with a complimentary chocolate chip scone. Sorta beats Alden Library.

My second-favorite thing about London would have to be the constant presence of Jude Law look-a-likes strolling around in stylishly tailored suits during their lunch breaks, (…don’t get me STARTED on the accent), but that’s another story. (Seriously, ON EVERY CORNER…k, I’m done.)

But the most valuable thing that London had to offer me was not a plethora of department stores nor attractive members of the opposite sex; it is a simple yet essential lesson which I hope to keep with me for the rest of my life.

the idea that you can make a home anywhere you go.

“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it- memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.”

— Tad Williams

Although being away from my family, friends and my beloved Athens for a good chunk of time wasn’t easy, I did it. I didn’t realize how much I needed to go on this trip until I got here; a step away from the day-to-day flow of my everyday routine was necessary. Scary at first, but most definitely necessary.

I met some great people along the way, too.





Before this starts feeling like a Hallmark card, I just want to thank my Mom & Dad for sending me off on this fantastic journey. Don’t worry, I will always call 507 Malvern Road my true home.

I know it will all feel like one big cloudy memory (NOT a drinking reference) in time, but for the next day and a half I’m still very much here; a part of this wonderful city.

Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don’t really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone

New names and numbers that I don’t know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We’re young enough to say

Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life
–One Republic “Good Life”

xx.
Maddie

the food post.

25 May

hi.

so for all the Sherlock Holmes’s out there, this post is going to be all about food.

-what im making in my flat
-what im ordering in cafés and restaurants
– and what im shamelessly spreading atop raisin scones.

let the drooling begin!

We’ll start with traditional English food. The Brits aren’t necessarily known for their cuisine, yet looking at America, I doubt the hamburger sits too high on the scale of culinary genius, either. Some of the most common dishes enjoyed by our friends across the pond include:

the classic: fish 'n chips with mashed peas (and a beer...)


meat pie! it's so Sweeney Todd-tastic! (sorry for that one)


sweet bread pudding topped with homemade custard. ''diet? what diet?''

Next I’ll let you into the wonderful world of my kitchen pantry.

Wait. Did I say wonderful? I meant sad. And let’s change ‘pantry’ to ‘cabinet.’

This, my friends, is what I have to work with:

jealous much? ...nope, didn't think so.


Give me some peanut butter, a box of cereal, pita bread, mixed nuts, granola and Tabasco sauce, and I’m all set! (read: “I’m hungry.”) Most of my dinners consist of soup. I can tell you everything you need to know about Heinz’s Spicy Carrot & Lentil or Campbell’s Low-fat Minestrone. I usually add some hot sauce for an extra kick (and, well, because I love hot sauce), and throw a piece of pita bread in the toaster to go along with it.

bon appetite!

Sometimes I kick it up a notch and heat up some roasted vegetable couscous & dip celery in tsatsiki dip. “oh you fancy, huh?!” Let’s be honest, the people who know me were probably fearing for my well-being on this trip. I can’t cook to save my soul. I can prepare two things quite well: a bowl of Special K cereal and an egg white omelette. Like Carrie Bradshaw, I too will most likely one day store sweaters in my stove.

please take note of the napkin.

But eating soup and glorified rice has hardly gotten my spirits down. Why? BECAUSE I’M LIVING IN LONDON ! When I get the late-night munchies about 3 or 4 hours after enjoying my glamorous bowl of leek and potato soup, I can walk up the street and get a slice of pizza in Soho or some chicken curry & Thai noodles from Camden market:

artichoke, olive, and mozzarella pizza. thin crust, please.


so worth the indigestion problems likely to follow

At the risk of damaging my dignity, I must confess that my snack of choice/biggest food vice here in London has been McDonalds McFlurries. 3 words: Cadburry Creme Eggs. That’s right- IN. THE. MCFLURRY. Completely addictive. The nice McDonalds people serve them in mini-sized cups (bless their souls) so I don’t feel TOO guilty obsessing over them. Still in the process of researching how much money it would cost to Fed-Ex them weekly to Ohio. TBA.

Now, I could go on and on about the mouth-watering edible delights I witnessed in Italy two weeks ago, but out of consideration for everyone’s feelings, (you’d get too jealous), and for my own self-control this evening, (it would give me the munchies), I will instead redirect you to check out my post about pasta land.

Almost done, you can start taking care of that saliva foaming in the corners of your mouth.

No blog about British chow can be complete without some attention paid to one of the most long-lasting English traditions…

TEA TIME!!

It happens every afternoon between 2 and 5, and takes place in just about any sidewalk café or proper English home. I’ve been fortunate enough to go out and enjoy a genuine “Creme Tea” with a real Brit, and let me just say that it beats grabbing an afternoon Snicker’s bar from the nearest vending machine in Baker Center.

Creme Tea consists of 2 scones, various jams, butter, a pot of tea, (either Earl Grey, Green, or Breakfast Blend) and, the best part, clotted cream.

Just as the name would suggest, clotted cream is NOT HEALTHY for you. Key words: “clotted” and “cream.” Need I say more?

…but it’s sooooooo good. Better than butter. Approaching the yummyness-level of Nutella. You split the scone in half, spread on the jam, and finally apply (apply? more like DUMP) the clotted cream on top. Then you take the stairs instead of the escalator all day.

so good your thighs will forgive you. (maybe)

If the above photo doesn’t seem like your cup of tea (pun INtended), don’t worry, you can still attend tea-time. Just order one of these instead:

a fruit tart


a vanilla custard pastry


..or a cupcake!

Needless to say London has been good to me. Not so good for my summer time, bikini-clad body but that’s another story.

I’ve been slacking a bit ( OK, a lot) on the British terminology, so here’s one to leave you with: (as mentioned above)

Clotted cream – This cream looks a bit scary at first. It is yellow and crusty on top. It is thicker than single cream or double cream and totally delicious. It is served in blobs with cakes or spread on scones. You can ask Grandma if you can spread some on her buns quite safely! (Avoid this in America, of course).

Cheers!

eating Italy.

16 May

Cheers!

…err, I mean Ciao!

I spent the long weekend in Italy. And let me tell you, it was a goooooood weekend. Because I did so much, (and no one really wants to take the time to read a 67-page blog post), I’m going to sum up the past four days with pictures and highlights.
{P.S. You can click on the pictures to see them full-size.}

First thing’s first: getting there.

For anyone who read my Scotland post, you may remember that we had some issues traveling to the land of kilts and sheep. While that didn’t happen on this voyage, we did have a little problema at London Stansted Airport.

Five of us girls decided to share a suitcase, but we kinda skipped over the part about a checked bag not being allowed to weigh over 15 kilograms. Oopsie. We had 10 minutes to dig through our suitcase and pile on as many layers as we could to get the weight down. Not a big deal, right? The ‘layering look’ is always in.
WRONG.

Of COURSE I decided to bring my uber-awkward, spur-of-the-moment-purchase-at-the-SalvationArmy-zebra shirt. The girls MADE me put it on, claiming it was way heavier than any of the tank-tops we had packed. And then they made me put on my khaki-colored rain trench from H & M. Safari Maddie was all ready for her flight to Italy.

Steve Irwin's (RIP) long-lost 20-year-old daughter.

After arriving at the airport, we were greeted by Tina’s aunt and uncle. We jumped in their cars and headed off towards downtown Bologna.

view from a central tower. 499 steps. glutes workout anyone?

After a full day soaking up Bologna-ness, we got back in the car and headed to Argenta. Alberta and Marico (Tina’s aunt and uncle) were kind enough to have us as their guests for three nights in their house.

Did I say house? I meant Italian country-side villa.

complete with 3-car garage & a well in the courtyard.

…and then it was dinner.

REAL parmigiano. dear KRAFT cheese, you are no longer a part of my life.


made-from-scratch ricotta & mozzarella lasagna


pumpkin-filled ravioli with Tina's grandma's homemade meat sauce


fruit tart for dessert.

Everything we were fed was made by one of Tina’s relatives, and washed down with some of the best white wine I’ve ever tasted. Needless to say I slept like someone’s sedated narcolepsy-prone uncle after Thanksgiving dinner that night.

The next day Alberta and Marico piled us into the SUV (with our packed lunches-prosciutto and swiss on hard rolls) and carted us to Venice. It felt very similar to how being one of the kids on ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8‘ must feel, although Tina’s aunt has a much better hairstyle and, oh right-we’re not 4-year-old asian sextuplets. But you catch my drift.

Here is a little slice of my day in the “City of Bridges”:

dear Mr. gondola man, i love your nautical-striped shirt.


postcard-status


yellow? check. balcony? check. in italy? check. = i'm moving.


Venice is famous for its Carnevale festival... hence the creepy masks


who knew laundry could look this good?

The next day was Florence. It rained all morning on the way there (a 2-hour car ride) but the sun peeked out later in the day. My outfit consisted of a rain coat and waterproof Longchamp.

give me a pair of Nike's & I'd have looked like a professional streaker.

We saw Michelangelo’s ‘David,’ ate gelato (twice), and enjoyed the spectacular views over the River Arno.

oh, hello. welcome to my thighs. (#worthit)


a prime marriage-proposal spot if you ask me. preferably from a member of the Italian National Football team.

So how do you top off a perfect day spent in Florence? Why, you run into the male cast of The Jersey Shore on the way back to the car, of course.

oh look, it's Mike the 'Situation' trying on clothes. normal.


Not to worry, Ronnie, Vinny, and Pauly D. were all in tow. I’m hoping they didn’t catch a glimpse of us in our wet clothes and frizzy hair and think “GRENADES!” (And if they did, well, I’m going to make it into an MTV reality show episode. Joke’s on them.)

That evening we went to Nona’s* apartment and had more fresh pasta & chocolate pastries force-fed to us. Not. complaining. I swear when Alberta asked if I wanted more macaroni I said “Oh man, just one, okay?” But I watched as nearly a fourth of the bowl slid into my plate as she grinned and said “Oopsie!”

For me, this sums up the trip. I met some of the most compassionate, welcoming people and watched as they took me into their home and made me a part of their family for 3 days. It doesn’t matter that my skinny jeans feel a little tighter, or that I can no loner enjoy American ice cream (I’m a gelato-convert).

When Alberta hugged me goodbye she said “You have a home in Italy now.”

Needless to say this trip was well worth every strange look I received from zebra- enthusiasts and curious onlookers at the Bologna airport.

Ciao!

*grandmother in Italian

whirlwind weekend.

9 May

Ello dahlings.

Welp, one month down, less than one month to go! It’s a bit surreal to acknowledge that I have been living in London for five weeks. While my Tube-navigation skills have no doubt increased, I still feel like there’s so much more of this city I haven’t seen. My mission for the remainder of my time here is to see, hear, do, (and eat), everything I can!

This weekend I stayed in London after rearranging some travel plans. A nice, lazy three days is what I had in mind. Wrong.

I’ll start from the top:

Thursday night I ate at the ORIGINAL Hard Rock Café with Amibeth & her parents who are in town visiting for the week. Enjoying my greek salad amidst the various rock memorabilia was a nice change of pace– even if we DID sit under the Billy Idol guitar. (not a huge fan…no offense to my 80s- punk fan base.)

Our waiter, Carlos- from Portugal, was kind enough to bring us a faux-birthday sundae. He probably figured we wanted all the food we could get, being American and all. Not complaining.

Friday night some of us went to The Royal Fauxhall Tavern, AKA, a very posh gay bar, for ’80s Soft Rock’ night. Let’s just say I about lost it (in a good way) by the time “Love is a Battlefield” came on. Two thumbs up.

our kind host(ess?)

Around 11:30 we switched it up, (I wasn’t having much luck getting any discounted/free drinks at the gay bar…) and headed to a club closer to our flat, in Soho.

i whip my hair back and forth, too.


The Brits, or at least the 20-something Brits, LOVE them some Sean Paul & Rihanna when it comes to dance music. I can’t complain, although I’m partial to Beyoncé and Jay-Z myself. At least my ears weren’t subject to any Miley Cyrus or even worse, the Bieber. One chorus of “One Less Lonely Girl” and there’d be one less American girl in that club…

Saturday meant walking to Camden to check out the famous market. I had seen most of the t-shirts and souvenirs items at other shops within the city, but there was an excellent display of candy and fudge at one table in particular. I didn’t purchase any myself, (no Cadburry Eggs…waah) and instead helped Max to “taste-test” his mystery bag of chocolates.

Later in the day I finally made it to Harrod’s. Think NYC’s Bergdorf Goodman or a fancier version of Saks. You have to be a hardcore shop-a-holic to frequent Harrod’s on a regular basis. That or have a really rich hubby.

shoes.


shoes.


...and more shoes.


(If you read my last post, you know that I have already filled my footwear quota for the rest of this trip; My wallet remained untouched inside my purse for the duration of the Harrod’s visit.)

Saturday evening we went to a blues bar, appropriately called “The Blues Kitchen.”

waiting outside for the show to start

..and after THAT, (I swear my days aren’t usually this jam-packed), it was time for the ICE BAR!!!

“Uhh what?” – you may be asking.

The London Ice Bar is literally just that- a bar made entirely out of ice, located in central London. Upon entering they give you a long, heavy blue cape (with detachable gloves !!!) and your free drink ticket. You have 40 minutes to frolic & be merry inside a giant igloo filled with drunk people.

Sunday morning I did two things that are very foreign to me:

1. i wore a romper.
2. i went to church at Westminster Abbey.

AND just in case you were wondering, I wore the romper TO church at Westminster Abbey. Classy.

just a tad bigger than Temple Israel.

It was a short & sweet service and the choir was amazing! Instead of taking the wine and bread, (…the awkward moment when you remember that you’re Jewish during communion at Westminster Abbey), the Pastor “blessed” me by putting his hands on my head and mumbling something in Latin. Hey thanks!

After leaving Westminster, (but not before sitting in the row of pews that I suspect Victoria Beckham sat in last week for the wedding), it was time for brunch at Brian’s flat ! This is the same Brian who took Amibeth & I out to lunch our first week here at St. Pancras.

champagne & olives in the garden

For desert we had sweet bread & butter pudding w/ homemade custard. Fare thee well, diet plan!

After dinner we went to a huge estate called “Osterly House” and walked around, err, walked off the fish pie and custard. It was like Stan Hywett on crack. And 150 years older.

Great ending to a great weekend.

… and for the next one, I’ll be in Italy.

Ciao ’til then!

if the shoe fits…

3 May

Hello friends. So remember back in my London bucket list when I said that I wanted to “shop. shop. buy things. & shop a lil’ more.” ? It’s the fifth bullet down, FYI. Well, I’ve accomplished that. And a little too well.

To finish the expression that is the title of this post, “If the shoe fits you should buy it.” Err, right. Well I’m proposing they change that little colloquialism to “If the shoe fits, DOUBLE-CHECK to make sure it fits and THEN buy it.” This is where I got into trouble today.

I needed to find a pair of brown sandals since I neglected to pack any & it would cost my mom a small fortune to ship a package of that size over here. Speaking of my mom, she should probably be advised to stop reading this post before I get any further. Sorry Mama G.

So after theater class, Amibeth (the roommate of all roommates) went with me to Covent Gardens in search of the sought-after brown sandal. I was leaning towards something woven and hopefully made of real leather, but the people who know me are well aware that when it comes to shopping, I can be rather hasty when I see something that I really want. Example A: Me buying shoes today.

I found a pair that I liked, and although they were a little tight around the heel, decided to shell out the £50. (For the record, the next size up was too loose….here I go trying to validate my impulsiveness…or as I like to call it, spontaneity.)

Later that afternoon, Amibeth wanted to look for shoes for herself…and I decided to join her. I ended up finding a pair from Urban Outfitters that I loved even more than the ones I had bought earlier this morning. They were less expensive and fit better. (hoo-rah!) So I went ahead bought pair #2.

nice, right?

(At this point you probably know exactly what followed; I went back to the first store and was unable to return them, blah blah blah. All that they could do was let me switch them for another pair. It was if the cashier was saying “Aww, tooshoe-bad for you!)

Now here is the pivotal point in my footwear dilemma: Do I use my “store credit” and pick out a nice pair of rain boots or heels and then return the Urban Outfitters pair so that I’m not spending almost $150 US dollars on shoes? Or do I pick out something here, while also keeping the sandals from Urban, and as a result, starve to death for the rest of my trip? Decisions, decision.

…5 minutes later:

Annnnnnd the fashionista/borderline obsessive compulsive shopper in me chose to pick out a brand new pair with my store credit AND keep the UO sandals. What’s an extra £45 or so pounds when we’re talking about SHOES? Carrie Bradshaw taught me well.

Here are the grey suede flats I chose as my “consolation prize”:

i wore them out tonight in an attempt to crush the guilty voice inside my head.

{Just so we’re all on the same page, £45 pounds can buy you the following things:

*2-weeks worth of groceries
*my plane ticket to Cork, Ireland
*a balcony-level seat in one of the popular shows like Jersey Boys or War Horse
and, most importantly,

*a LIFETIME’s (or nearly 6-months, at the rate I eat them) worth of Cadburry Creme Eggs!!!!

All of these thoughts were crossing my mind as I paced home with my not one, but TWO shoe boxes. But then, as I admired the British fashionistas all around me on the tube and walking down my street, I
decided that I wouldn’t punish myself. After all, I am in London. London is expensive. Not to mention that having an excess of footwear is not something I would normally be griping about.

I made it home, unpacked my goodies, and realized I couldn’t part with either pair. It’s OK, though. When in London, do as the Londoners do:

#royal wedding madness

29 Apr

Seeing as this is a blog about someone studying abroad in London, and being that a very important event just took place in London, I feel it is both my moral and inescapable duty to include a post about The Royal Wedding.

Unless you’ve been camping out in a cave for the past few weeks, you know that Prince William married Catherine (Kate) Middleton this morning.

* I should note that during the 4.5 weeks since I’ve arrived in London, that is ALL the media has been covering. I’d go as far as to say that even cave-dwellers in the city probably knew what was going on. So for people complaining at home about all the media-given attention this has received, you ain’t seen nothin’!

So this morning I woke up, dealt with my scary out-all-night hair, threw on some jeans, grabbed a crumpit (no, really), and high-tailed it to Hyde Park. I had read that giant megatron screens were going to be set up there and at the much busier Trafalgar Square.

^no time for a hot tea…i was bookin’ it to get a good spot !

I could tell, even from 15 minutes away, that the place was going to be an absolute zoo. Throngs of people were weaving in and out of street vendors trying to sell last-minute souveneirs. I contemplated bringing the Kate Middleton mask that one of my roommates had bought the night before, but decided I’d probably see enough “fake-Kates” once I got to the park. *see picture at the bottom

This is what Hyde Park usually looks like:

And this is what it looked like today:

Yes, those girls have veils on.

I found a spot on the grass and just tried to take it all in. My first thoughts were “Hmm, maybe this is how it felt for all the people who gathered in D.C. for Obama’s inauguration!” True? Maybe. But minus all the Pimm’s liquor, British flags, and, as I predicted, Kate & William masks.

Once the screen’s starting showing footage of the procession of the wedding party, everyone around me sat down. I was shocked; just moments before I felt like I was at a very loud, crowded Beatles reunion concert. Now all of a sudden there was absolute silence as people gazed in admiration at the screens. That’s when it really hit me- the Brits truly do love the royal family, and all of the hoopla surrounding today wasn’t all that much out of proportion.

When the car carrying Kate and her father pulled up to Westminster Abbey and she stepped out, a deafening WAVE of screams, clapping and shouts broke out. (The group of 20-something guys next to me shared some brilliant comments that I probably shouldn’t post on here…) She did look absolutely stunning, and I was excited to see her wearing a lacy long-sleeved gown! {by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton- for any Threadies reading this ;)}

My other favorite moment watching the ceremony was when the Priest did the whole “Speak- now- or forever- hold- your- peace shpeel. The veiled-girls from the picture above starting shouting “OH MY GOD DON’T DO IT, DON’T DO IT! WILLIAM, MARRY ME!!!” I think your ship has sailed, girlfriend.

What if someone did actually protest though? Talk about uncomfortable silences. That awkward moment when someone openly interjects during the biggest wedding of the decade…

OK, OK wrapping it up…

After it was over, I made my way over to Green Park and had coffee, (–yes, i ruined the magical, British aura of the day by going to Starbucks), with some friends we’ve met here. By that point I had purchased one of the little Kate & Will flags and was walking around like a smiling idiot. One of them called the ceremony “a bit anti-climatic,” but he’s a boy so I let it fly. Let’s be honest, people. For me, it was pretty frickin’ sweet. My 7-year-old Disney-obsessed self would have been peeing her pants.

And although I’m now 20, I still got the chills.

Royal Wedding 2011- a success in my book.

Sleepless in Seattle, err Scotland.

24 Apr

I’m home! Well, sort of. “Home” being my flat in London after a weekend trip to Scotland. Even though walking through the front door of 3 Byng Place was not the same feeling as walking into the Sigma Kappa house at 22 North College St. or the Gaither house at 507 Malvern Rd, it was a much-awaited homecoming. Why? Keep reading.

**Before this turns into a debbie-downer fest, let me just say that Edinburgh, Scotland itself is simply gorgeous. I had a fantastic time with my girlfriends and loved every second of being in that city. Key word inside the city. Getting there and coming home, on the other hand, was no stroll in the park.

We traveled by train, and on our way there we endured a layover from 11 PM – 5AM. My bed for those six hours looked something like this…

not exactly a 4-star hotel

OK, I made it. (coughbarelycough). Fast forward to about noon the next day and I was in a much better place – physically AND mentally. Edinburgh is exactly the place where one would expect the first Harry Potter novel to be written. And guess what? It is.

The Elephant Cafe. AKA where all aspiring writers should buy coffee and find a table.


need i say more? "R.I.P. Dobby" scribbled on the stall

We ate breakfast this morning at The Elephant Cafe, where “The Sorcerer’s Stone” was written. I was kinda hoping Ms. Rowling would breeze in for a scone but I guess she was busy being the second richest lady in the world after Oprah, or something like that.

Later we visited Edinburgh castle where I opted to buy an ice cream cone and admire it from the outside rather than wait in the 2,371,623 person line to check out the inside. Priorities, people.

Skipping ahead again to about 10 PM : we’ve just arrived at the Newcastle Train Station which is right outside the Scottish border on the way back to London. It’s all downhill from here:

10:30 PM: Newcastle manager tells us we cannot stay overnight. This is a problem seeing as how we planned on waiting for our 7:25 AM train the next morning in the station.

10:45 PM: Walk across the street to a hotel and ask if we can stay in a conference room until our departure the next morning. We are told “No.”

10:46 PM: I ponder which option would be worse: 1.) Calling my mother 2.) Finding a cheapo nightclub to sit in for eight hours 3.) Jumping off the Newcastle bridge

10:50 PM: Find a nearby hostel with the help of a friendly and slightly inebriated hotel bellhop.

11:15-7:00 AM: Book beds in the hostel. We share a room with two Hispanic girls and an Asian guy who, at 3:30 AM, decided it’d be totally cool to just flip on the ceiling light so that he can read his book. Totally not cool, dude. This is when I begin to realize I am a huge hypocrite for having the words “Asi es la vida” tattooed on my wrist. adhering to the mantra “Such is life” is much easier said than done.

7:25 AM: Amibeth gets her strawberry Frappuccino. Train arrives at station. We rejoice. We’re back in the game.

We arrived back at London’s King’s Cross (HOLLERR;; Harry Potter reference #2!) and walk, zombie-like, the remaining mile back to the flat.

So that was my weekend. Looking back, all of its ups and downs made a pretty decent experience as a whole. How many other people can say that they spent the early hours of their Easter Sunday sitting in an European hostel lounge watching Enrique Iglesias music videos? Not many.

Happy Easter. :)

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