Monday, December 9, 2013

Santa, bye bye

That title is a baby Grinch reference because I LUV IT. And I almost went bye bye after I finished the Santa Run 6k (they lied it was a 6.79k) in my Santa suit that was too big and so hot. Buttttt it was really fun; definitely fits into my top five cool things I've done in London so far. And it was for a good cause so, yeah. Chill stuff man.

Santas on a Train (Snakes on a Plane..... ha. That was bad.)

Santa BYE BYE photo tumblr_inline_mfir3p408o1qgc1r4_zpse2ec7057.gif 

After I stopped thinking that I was gonna throw up after the run I was starving and Alex and I made our way over to Borough Market AKA a serious contender for my favorite place in London. Cause it's a market of just foooodddddddd. God it's so good. 

I got a burger before stopping at this stand, but I can't whole heartedly call it a burger.......................because it was made of vegetables. So I had that one, which was really good, and then this one too.....

Best burger of my life, even though I haven't had many: Winter Burger- I think it was pork meat for the actual heart of the beast. Then cheddar cheese, arugula, and cranberry sauce. SUP WINTER. Seriously, not a burger person, but it was truly wonderful. And the Boston sausage I just had to. Sounds like an innuendo. I'm sure somewhere it is.

We made our way home by walking along the South Bank, another of my favorites. We found out that a renovation is due for this space and the planners want to make this into retail shops. EW I don't particularly enjoy retail to begin with, and there's enough places to shop around London, and for these people to make money, and this place has been around for 40 years!!!!

"Long Live South Bank" is the organization so I got a t-shirt and signed some petitions.

Also, got my TK's picture in front of Big Ben but the one on my camera is slightly blurry so I might need another. Jeesh.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rows of Stone

Last week it started to hit me that the term is coming to an end. But we have a lot of work to do (sucks).

I did manage to make it to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to see some CAPA students perform A Winter's Tale- 'twas frigid; there isn't a roof...probably save a lot on heating.

I also tragically missed Thanksgiving. Technically CAPA threw us a dinner at a Holiday Inn but England doesn't really understand... B- for effort.

Thank GOD I went to see Meg this weekend. And bless her, she and her roommates made their own Thanksgiving and it was 7887465637769% better than Holiday Inn....... That was a first and last kind of experience.

She showed me around during Friday afternoon and the town is so pleasant and very different from London. And I had my first pint of Guinness at Tig Coili.

First Guinness

Galway Bay

Visiting Meg in Galway was my favorite trip (glad I saved it for last) and I needed to see her. Friday night was just magical. We went to four pubs, all walking distance, that was amazing, no tubes, no night buses. My favorite was The King's Head, tooooooo fun.

The King's Head

Saturday was Aran Islands day, WHERE WE ALMOST DIED. No, but we got really lost and thought we were going to miss the ferry back to Galway and started to freak out when we couldn't find the spot where we left our bikes, when we went on a slightly rocky (sarcasm) excursion from the path. Not our fault, there was at least 20 "rows of stone," as Meg put it, that looked exactly the same.

Around ish where we got lost

I would go back to Galway for this donut. And I need to bring Tara because she would eat five. Cooked right in front of me. Sugar and cinnamon. Oh my god, I couldn't talk to Meg for a good minute; I had to take it in. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Peppermint and Pipe Tobacco

The Weekend

A few of us hitch hiked with bearded & questionable men to Canterbury & Dover Castle & famous Dover White Cliffs. That's a lie, but we found this old royal post box down the road from Dover Castle with the initials of the queen's father, from when he was king (King George...from The King's Speech). It survived the war when so many of the others had not. There are ones all over London that say ER for Elizabeth Regina. This one means George Rex (Rex is Latin for King)- Yeah, Ms. Schneider; yeah, education!

(Not the whole castle...)

An adventure to one of the coolest movie houses today! The Parent Trap house in London. EXCEPT IT WAS BOARDED UP AND OVERTAKEN BY WEEDS! Oh I was so sad. Peppermint and pipe tobacco. Can I get that in a perfume?

I was actually really depressed after discovering the fate of the house and I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. And what do you know, it did cheer me up.

Christmas AND roller coasters?!?!??? Dreams!!!!


German Sweets! And Schneider, so why not.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Garbage Plates and Cliff Jumping

Karen and Linda have parted, oh a sad parting but the week was just lovely. Mother got her Dulux paint and Linda her orb charm, and nothin else matters.

London Beauties
Don't they fit right in?!?!! Well the day they flew away I tried to follow by train but ended up in Pembrokeshire, Wales with Preseli Venture. And ohhhhhh what a weekend it has been so far.

I find myself back in Wales, southern Wales this time, and I might say it's my favorite country of all in the UK. Stay tuned for pics that I have to get developed via my waterproof disposable, techy+old school was the only way to go.

Upon arrival, I look at an itinerary and see the names of the others on the trip and the program they're in, which is Syracuse University. Oh I'm from Rochester. Oh me too! (Who is this?) He is the cousin of Kaitlynn Zaffuto, aka my high school doubles partner!!! So we talk about garbage plates.

But. Saturday. Kayaking (not capsizing[!!!]) was spectacular- rushing through narrow rocky paths like you would see on a Wii Fit balance game. We drifted into caves and were surprised by massive waves.

But coasteering. I know a few people who would LOVE this (ye u kno who u r). I wasn't sure of the actual definition of "coasteering" but that's okay because I lived the coasteering life for three hours and I know now. Imagine: BAM, hey suctioned wet suit, are you too tight? No you're just right but oh you are uncomfortable at first. But then I warm up to you on the van ride to the coast and we are friends because the first time I jump off the costal cliffs and come face to face with the frigid water you protect me and give me... warmth...? Yeah, thank the lord for that wet suit, doin it's job like a bamf, or a really solid wetsuit. Weird how it works, really. So jumpin off cliffs, now we're swimming in caves, scraping our hands against the lifeless looking creatures who look like shells stuck to the  large rocks in the water and on the coast, and it is better than any dream.

But wait (infomercial reference), if this place could get any better it would be an afterlife paradise. Because the dessert for the night is blackberry and black currant cobbler with hot custard. I want to live here and be fed. The food was nothing less than incredible, just like the day's activities.

The next day is Sunday (echo Sunday.....). Football Sundays, I miss that NFL theme song. The morning consists of a supa kool hike on the coast, this time in the more grassy and sheepy land.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Today is a chill day. Why? Because after a cool week of cool things, Karen and Linda have arrived. Big news- watch out for their world take-over. I'll have to edit in a picture post publication to enhance the effect.

The O2, ATP Barclays World Tour Finals

Federer v. Djokovic- sayWHAAA

I sat in the O2 stadium, much like Madison Square as it hosts music, sports, and comedians, and watched these unbelievable players and observed the differences between them. And they did what they did best- along with showing how much of an a-hole Djokovic is. Clearly, not a huge fan of the gluten-free man (who's not even allergic to gluten...), but he was on point with his game (credit...) and he was the victor of the match.
Sadly, I missed my love Rafa, by mere hours as he illustrated his talents and strengths during the afternoon session. But I had to pick up a Spanish flag to remind myself of my allegiance.
Wednesday November 6
Vaudeville Theatre
Fellow flatmate Sally, aka goddess, suggested a few plays to attend and we decided on 'The Ladykillers.'
Delightful little play, and very comical.
A true delight though occurred on our alternate route home from the play. An alternate route means Christmas, in this case, and how lovely.

Friday November 8
I get a call from Aunt Linda at 7:30am and she's within distance at Heathrow and awaits Karen as her flight is delayed. Let the good times (with Karinda) roll!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Replacement Postcard

The chilliest of all chill weeks ever is coming to an end. We've covered much of the UK: Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, Kendal, Liverpool, and Bethesda/Bangor/Gerlan....we really don't know exactly where we are right now...somewhere in the hills of northern Wales; there are sheep outside the door. 

I've been sending postcards to myself because I have lots of actually because I thought postcards would be a good alternative option to writing in a journal for this week's trip. But I can't buy any postcards around here for today and yesterday, so this is my replacement for those days.

October 29
Kendal, England

In Kendal, Kendall (ha) and I rode horses in magically beautiful green fields. I have to edit some better pictures in later because I took most of them on my camera where you can see my horse, baby Tom!!!!! Tom is no baby, actually. He was huge and Kendall said I was the one who looked like a baby on top of him. He was 18 hands tall...that's their hands. 

My boy, Tom! 18 hands tall

A HUGE thanks to Anna and her husband @ Hipshow Riding Stables for such great hospitality and adventure. 

October 30

Hello, Liverpool. We get to our hostel at night and are greeted with a, "Sorry for the room screw up, you're staying with 8 other dudes tonight." That's not really what she said but that is what happened. And this one Polish guy (age 28) who was on his third month in this place, was the most fickle person I have ever met:~ "I can't stand the Spanish people in this hostel, they only speak Spanish and nobody can understand them. But I really want to make it to Barcelona..." Me: You do realize that's where Spanish people come from don't you, Spain?

In the morning we parted ways with the Polish man and the hostel, thankfully, and set off in our magical mystery bus, Beatles time. 

We also went to the childhood homes of George, Ringo, Paul, and John. Lastly the tour closed at the Cavern Club, where they played together well over 100 times and the atmosphere in there is still hoppin, featuring live music every day. The band playing had the stereotypical Liverpool accent, even while singing. 

Phew October 30-31 and right now November 1 (novemba!?!?)
Bethesda, Wales

Bob and Karen, our lovely hosts (not my mother-Karen and grandpa/uncle-Bob), have welcomed us into their wonderfully remote bunkhouse just off of their house in these sheep-filled hills of northern Wales. When we arrived late into the evening, Bob gleefully handed over some tea, milk, biscuits, and kit kats. The kit kats, just magical; They have to be different or I'm highly dillusional because they are without a doubt the best kit kats I have ever had in my entire life. 

As lovely as Bob and Karen are, and as clean and tidy as the bathrooms and showed are, we don't get sheets or pillows or blankets here and had to bring our own. And ohhh was that first night frigid. In the morning I told Kendall not to be surprised if I climbed into bed with her to cuddle, she agreed. We started pouring water over the little heater to make it steam and create more heat. 

Wasn't kidding about sheep outside the door. 

Finally, what we've been waiting for: Ziplining on the longest zipline in Europe. 

The line goes directly over the quarry (the water) and it was so blue and amazing. All the wires were secure and very safe...don't get flustered mother... I didn't catch any flesh eating disease like the girl in South America, poor thing.