Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Pretty carousel 

Front of the Pier
When it comes to staying on top of my blog, I am negligent to say the least! But, I guess the statement better late than never applies here.  Last Saturday two of my friends and I took a trip down to the coast to visit Brighton.  We were super lucky in the fact that the sun came out and it was fairly warm!  The beach itself isn't like a sand beach, it was covered with pebbles/rocks and no one was swimming (it was too cold).  People were mostly kayaking/canoeing and later in the day we saw jet skies.  The pier was probably my favorite part though.  They had a whole bunch of restaurants and shops and at the end they had carnival rides.  I was tempted to go on a couple if it didn't cost 5 pounds to do so!  They also had lounge chairs to set up along the pier so we just sat in the sun for about 2 hours doing nothing (if you haven't realized this yet, sun is a commodity here in England)!  Before we left, we also ate dinner on the pier and I officially ordered my first fish and chips!  While the fish was excellent (especially for being fried) it was super super greasy!  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break!

Hi friends!
Sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up.  I have been one busy lady! (well, not since I have got back. My friends and I have been taken it easy these past couple days!) In this post I will go over a little of what I did over spring break and then I will put the pictures in another post.  So April 7th was the start of the coolest spring break ever!  We flew to the Greek Island, Zakynthos, that night and got a taxi to our hostel. We got to stay on the Island 2 days and that was not enough time!!! I loved the island because everyone is extremely friendly and we could rent a car and drive around the whole thing in just one day! Our hostel was also wonderful (Kavos Psarou, if you ever go to this island STAY HERE). The owners went out of their way to give us breakfast, lower our nightly rate, and set up a car rental. After our stay was over we took a ferry and bus to Athens, where we stayed for the next three days.  For people like me who really like Greek history, seeing all the ancient buildings was a dream come true.  However, three days was enough for Athens. Its dirty and less friendly but we still had a great time.

Next it was off to Roma! Our hostel there was literally two blocks away from the colosseum and it was culture week in Italy so all the public museums were free! There are also a lot of other cool ruins in the area which was so fun to see. The next day we went to the Vatican and guess who was giving mass that day?! The Pope! We also went in the vatican and saw the Sistine Chapel and tons of art.  Did I mention that while here our diet has consisted of pizza and gelato? The next day we did some shopping and I got the cutest pair of Italian leather pumps, so worth it! Florence was next for three days.  Here we saw the David up close.  We also toured a former Medici castle (they had a section on dress and I loved it!). By this time we were pretty worn out so we took a lot of naps here. The last day we spent in Pisa, and I wish we could have stayed longer.  There is really only the leaning tower here (which is pretty leany if I do say so myself) but the town is very charming and felt less touristy.  We left on the 19th and came back to some lovely Hatfield weather!

Monday, April 4, 2011

London, Oxford, and a little Harry Potter

This weekend was a busy one!  On Friday, my friends and I took a little trip into London for the first time in a month!  We have been so busy traveling to other countries that we haven't got the chance to go back until this weekend.  While I was there my fellow Theta, Madeline, was visiting from Italy! So, we went on this free tour (its called Sandeman's New Europe and you just tip at the end based on how good you think the tour guide did) and learned some history behind all the buildings we have been marveling at.  We also took her to Camden Market and introduced her to the best donuts in the world!  I think it is safe to say she would agree with that statement. :)
Madeline and I at Trafalgar Square in London
On Saturday, we took a trip to Oxford through the school for study abroad students.  Best part about Oxford is the fact the Harry Potter was filmed there!!!! The college buildings are super old which makes them perfect for certain scenes that involve the Hogwarts Castle.  After they took us around to see all the buildings that make up Oxford University (which are a lot by the way) they then took us to this really ritzy shopping center.  Why? I have no idea because there was not many things I could even think about buying.  However, I did fall in love with a store called Cath Kidston which I like to think is very similar to Vera Bradley (which I also love).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

Since I have not really touched on the education system a lot yet, I thought I would dedicate this post to the University of Hertfordshire's education system!  This whole semester up until now I have felt like I really haven't been attending any form of schooling (although all my friends do, they are in different courses).  I am in the Health course and the Fashion course and since I am not in a design studio for fashion, I have yet to have any homework like I would typically receive in the States.  My grade for all three of my classes rests on a  paper for each of them and a test for only one.  So you can imagine the multitude of time I now have on a day to day basis.  I also only have class on Mondays from 9-4 and Wednesdays from 11-1 which leaves my schedule pretty open as well.  Not only that but this week is the second to last week I have classes!  Its crazy! I basically have the whole month of April off and then I have to stick around in May so that I can take one test that only last one hour.  I would like to add that not everyone has this easy schedule like I do but it is a nice break from last semester.  So since I have these papers due at the end of April, I thought I would get a head start so I don't have to worry about them when I am galavanting across Greece and Italy.  I have one done so far and the other two started and I am hoping I can get at least one more completely finished before I leave on April 7th (which I am currently counting down the days too :)).  I feel like I owe it to myself to be slightly productive since I don't have the "I am so swamped I couldn't find the time" excuse to procrastinate.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pretty Spanish Pictures!

Just a cool little sign in Puerta del Sol, but look how blue that sky is!

First experience with tapas, not too bad.

Hot chocolate and churros!  The hot chocolate is much thicker than
what we would consider hot chocolate but it makes it perfect for dipping
your churros into!

The Royal Palace, which is the largest palace in Western Europe
based on the number of rooms, which is 2,000.  I guess that means the King
can have a lot of guest over!

Templo de Debod, a gift from Egypt to Spain.  There were
parks surrounding it so we had a lovely picnic and then
headed over to take pictures of this.  I'm afraid this might be the
closest I ever get to Egypt.

Just some Madrid skyline.  It was so beautiful and sunny that day!
I am hoping I regained some color that I have lost while living in England.

Plaza Mayor!  Fun fact: this plaza has been home to numerous bullfights
and executions during the Spanish Inquisition and was built in the 1600s

Oldest restaurant in Europe. Seriously, they have the Guinness
certificate in the window and have been serving food since
the 1700s 

For some reason this picture is on its side buuttt this is the Almundena
Cathedral and on the other side of this is the palace!

All of the street signs had pictures of what they described, which
was very helpful for those of us with limited Spanish skills.

Venus and Mars in Museo del Prado.  They had tons
of sculptures and I wish we could have spent more time there.
They also had two time periods that were free of charge for everyone
which was really nice as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quiero España mucho

Hello friends!
I am back from a wonderful weekend in Spain! Well, actually I came back on Sunday but as the british say, "I can't be bothered" to post things in a timely manner!  Our trip took us to Madrid which is that capital city for those of you who didn't know.  My friends and I are getting quite good a navigating aeropuertos y trenes (this blog is going to be sprinkled with some Spanish words :)) so getting from one place to another is getting much smoother.  We had the good fortune to also get some amazing hostels for good prices in great locations, definite plus!  Since our flight came in at 11 am Thursday and we left early Sunday morning we had three full days to sight see.  The weather was also 60s the whole time which was a great break from England.  However, since I have been back it has been oddly sunny (must have brought the sun  back with me!) I am trying to upload pictures buuutttt it is not letting me so as soon as I can there will be pictures of my trip!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What a beautiful English day!

The pretty tree outside my window!
This post is simply dedicated to how happy I am that England is finally starting to warm up!  I didn't have classes today, but I did have errands to run which I was more than happy to do since it is not to windy, rainy, gloomy, etc.  The tree right outside my window is also blossoming and has the most beautiful pink flowers on it! I am hoping this weather will become an everyday thing because I am ready to see some sun on a regular basis.  That's all for today.  The count down to Espana es dos dias!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pictures! Finally!

Just a building in Sixmilebridge but that vine thing
is pretty cool!

The Hostel we stayed at in Sixmilebridge/Shannon.  It was named
the Jamaica Inn and had palm like trees as part of the landscaping haha!

Just chilling out with Oscar and Eduard Wilde in Galway
We stumbled upon this cathedral as we were walking around
and the ceiling was absolutely beautiful!

There were so many people busking on the market street!
This guy was pretty good, and it turned out a pretty cool picture too.

One of the many coffees I had on this trip.  I am usually not the biggest
coffee fan but it is starting to grow on me!

We found real live Gypsies!  So naturally I had
to take a photo :)
Had to stop and take a picture of these little guys!
Here is the first pub we went to in Galway for lunch, the King's Head.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March in Ireland!

Hello Americans!

Last weekend my friends and I took a little trip to see our neighbor, Ireland!  It was a blast and all of us plan to go back if there is time (and money) left at the end of our trip!  I would post pictures up with this, however, for some reason they are not loading so maybe I can get some up here later.  We stayed in the Galway and Shannon area (which is on the opposite side of Ireland from Dublin) and I am really glad we did.  Galway is two hours from the airport so we took a coach through the country-side which was pretty neat.  The weather was also gorgeous which was a nice change from England.  This upcoming weekend, we are going to Madrid which should be a blast!  I will have to keep trying to post the pictures of Ireland, its easier to say what we did if there is a picture that goes along with it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My package has finally arrived!!!!

After waiting a whole entire month, I finally received my package from home!  You can bet I was one excited lady when I got home with it.  If it wasn't for my roommate being asleep I might have came in my room singing for joy, no lie.  My parents filled it with all sorts of goodies like two huge bags of candyopolis gummies and movies and my boots and many other things.  It has been a good day already and it is only 1 pm!  Tomorrow will be pretty awesome too, since I am flying out to Ireland for the weekend!

Hooray for things from home!
Sooooo many stamps! haha

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just another day.......in London!

Hello friends!
Back from another day trip to London.  This time we went to the Tate Modern Museum which is right along the Thames River.  One really cool exhibit was of thousands of hand-made porcelain  sunflower seeds made by a Chinese artist I believe.  They also had a lot of paintings from Picasso and Monet which were super cool to see in picture.  If you are ever in London I would recommend taking some time to stop by Tate Modern.  Right next to the museum was the Millennium Bridge (aka bridge in the beginning of HP and the Half Blood Prince!  I am loving seeing all the things in the Harry Potter movies! ha) So of course we went and took pictures on the bridge.  After that we headed down the Thames a little further to the Borough Market, which was cool in itself.  By the time we got there most of the shops were closed (everything closes early here, like nothing but pubs and restaurants are open past 6) but they had fresh fish and bread so my friends and I plan to go back when everything is in full swing!  To finish of the night we ate at GBK or Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which I would recommend to anyone who comes to London.  That's all for now, I am on my way to Ireland this upcoming week so look for some pictures!!!!
Sunflower seeds exhibit at the Tate Modern Museum

Picture of People looking at a picture of people looking at a picture ha

Me on the Millennium Bridge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Camden and the London Eye!

I just got back from another little day trip to London and I am so excited I cannot wait one more minute to talk about it!  If I wasn't in love with London before today, I am officially now.  To start off our day, we went down to Camden Street to see all of the markets.  SOOOOOOO COOOOOLLLL!!!!!!  There were soo many cute little vendors and I got a little experience with bartering for prices on clothing and such.  Not only were there clothing vendors but so many food vendors.  You walk through the market and it smells so good.  My friends and I made two trips to a little donut stand that made the donuts right in front of you!  We also tried crepes, I shared a nutella and strawberry one (amazing combination and I am not the biggest fan of nutella) and I also tried a little bit of lemon and sugar which was tasty as well.  I promise to take more pictures of it when it is not so cold out.  After we had our fill of that for the day we headed over to the London Eye.  The best time to go is at night because the city looks pretty neat all lit up.

Hooray for the London Eye!
Bridget, Kristin, and Myself on our way up to the top of the London Eye
Pretty London lights
The little bubble thing that we rode to the top of the eye in

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Beautiful Town of St. Albans!

This past Saturday, my friends and I took a small little weekend trip back to St. Albans.  This time we agreed to avoid the shops (because seriously, I could spend my life savings at H&M and River Island... check them out if you get the chance) and tour the beautiful St. Albans Cathedral and Abbey.  You wouldn't think that for such a smallish town there would be a massive cathedral but this thing is huge!  Construction on the Cathedral itself started in 1077 and you can see it along the walls where the building materials have changed.

This is a side view of the cathedral as we were walking towards it.
P.S. Look at the huge whomping willow..Harry Potter is everywhere
in this country!

A close up of the mixed materials used to build the exterior

Right as you walk in the front door

A mural on the wall of the whole process of building the Cathedral.
 After we were through with our tour, we went to the most delicious Italian place called Zizzi.  The food was insanely good and I cannot wait to try the food when I am actually in Italy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicago! in London!

Last night I had the amazing opportunity to see Chicago on stage in London!  I have actually never seen the musical before or even the movie so I had no idea what to expect.  I loved it!  All the actors were great and the theater was an experience all in itself.  It was quite old and had the typical red velvet chairs, gold paint, etc.  Last night was also my first experience on the train and using the tubes (subways) in the city.  Our first stop was Kings Cross station and what did you know....
We stumbled upon platform 9 3/4! Soooo cool!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lessons Learned!

This post is all about what I have learned so far while at the University, or the Uni as most of the British call it.
1. Hertfordshire is really disorganized compared to KSU.  You are expected to stay on top of things yourself and when you get here it feels like you have all this stuff to do that should have already been done.  It does get better though!
2. European debit cards have micro chips in them.  In saying that, some places won't take your swiped card (at the movie theater (aka cinema) and at the grocery store).  Last night I forgot to bring cash and without my friends (who had cash) I would have been denied a movie ticket and the candy I bought for it
3. There is not a whole lot to do in Hatfield itself.  The school here is good, which is why students come, but without the mall and the theater there is nothing really to do.  I regret not bringing movies with me (because of course, their dvds don't work in our computers) and none of our movie watching sites work here :(.  Oh well, I will survive.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

London Town!

Since I have been here, all I have heard my British roommates talk about is how much they love London.  After today, I can see where they are coming from!  All of the internationally students had the opportunity to take a trip to London today and it was super fun.  We saw Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, etc etc etc.  Needless to say, I got my exercise today.  My favorite part was Piccadilly Circus.  Its filled with tons of really cool shops, even though some of them sell things worth more than my house (okay, maybe only a few things were worth that much but we did walk past Mikimoto, Dolce and Gabbana, and we walked into DKNY just to see all of the pretty things).  It was super cold today too, so for a while we sat and sipped coffee at Costa.  Its like a Starbucks but way cooler and they had delicious cupcakes!  My friends and I are already planning our next trip back because there is no such thing as seeing London in one day.  In other news, it has been an interesting change going from a country that has more restrictions on drinking to one that does not.  I haven't seen a lot of liquor stores, which is probably because you could get all the alcohol you ever wanted at the grocery store.  Everybody always has at least one bottle of something in their cart and our student union has a little shop that sells food, candy, and any sort of alcohol you would want.  The food has also been an adjustment.  For those of you who know me, I am not a fan of mayo.  Well guess what....they put mayo on everything!  This has made me venture out quite a bit and try all of the mayo-less things.  Hopefully, I will find some things I really like so I don't have to keep guessing on food.  Thats all for now, I start school tomorrow (bleh) so hopefully the enrollment process goes smoothly!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Here at last!

Hello Americans!  I am officially here in the UK!  These past few days have been quite interesting to say the least.  After being picked up at the airport, we were taken to get our rooms.  But since none of the Americans had received their housing contracts, we had to walk across campus by ourselves to go find the office to get the contracts and then pay our bill.  Then, when I went to pay my bill my card didn't work! So I spent the night in emergency accommodation (ha) and a half inflated air mattress.  Positive about all of this? I met another American from Cali, who had met some other girls the day before and we all became fast friends!  Well, that is all for now.  Get ready for some good blogging coming up... I have an adventure planned for Sunday!