Today was move in day and I’m already in love with this city. Our flat is located in Ealing, basically a suburb of central London, about 40 minutes away from downtown. I’m not sure how I feel about the distance from the city but I think it will be ok. In Minnesota, all my classes were in St. Paul so I think I can manage this commute! Tonight is pretty low key, the girls and I are going to drink a little wine and talk about places we want to visit this semester! Tomorrow we have orientation at the CAPA center bright and early so it will be my first time figuring out the tube (aka London’s subway system). I’m so happy to be here finally! Below are some photos of our flat.
Posts Tagged ‘UK’
Happy New Year everyone! This year, I’m trying to strive NOT to make any resolutions because I can never stick to them. Instead, all I want for this year is to continue to grow in my career path, graduate from college, and stay healthy. I’ve got some great ideas for where I want to be career wise, and today I have an interview with a company whom I absolutely adore. The Gap.
I had applied for The Gap while still in London along with several other job applications, hoping I would hear a call back from someone (but specifically hoping I’d hear from The Gap). I love how classic they are, and they remind me of a more affordable Ralph Lauren. I’m excited for this interview, as I already had a phone interview last week which I thought went well, and after taking a class on interviews, and having an amazing internship in London this past semester, I feel like I am ready for today.
I told myself that I wanted to turn this blog into a fashion blog so in honor of my interview with The Gap tonight, I am posting this great mood board of menswear at The Gap. Why menswear you may ask? Well…I have discovered my passion for menswear, and that is where I want to be in the fashion industry. I have found my niche, and can’t wait to see where it will take me!
I have been back in the states for a week now, and I am still adjusting to my life stateside. At first things were more difficult than they currently are, but I am slowly getting used to my lifestyle back in the states. The first night I arrived home, I was super tired from traveling for 18 hours straight, and was hit with “reverse culture shock.” Everything I had once known, was somehow different to me. I hadn’t seen the cities in months, and it was like a whole new world. I had gotten so accustomed to the gorgeous, architectural buildings in London and all over Europe, and then I came back to the states and everything just seemed…blah.
It also took me some time to see things in dollars instead of pounds, and I still find myself looking at a clothing item, or something at the grocery store and seeing/saying pounds instead of dollars. My sleep schedule is all messed up as well, but that is what comes with the jet lag and trying to adjust to a completely new routine and schedule. I remember my first night home you’d think I would be so tired and want to sleep, but I ended up staying awake until 5 am, and then being wide awake again around 7:30. It is not abnormal for me to fall asleep around 7 pm now a days, and until I can get my sleep schedule on a more normal path, it will be like this for awhile. My body wants to stay on London time!
I am looking forward to the future and what lies ahead, and am already making big goals for myself. This coming Saturday I am helping host a NYE party at my place, and already have plans to meet up with friends before the big day to catch up and shop since I haven’t seen some of these people in months. This blog was meant to be all about London and my travels, but I figured since I am back in the cities and trying to find my niche in the fashion world, I would take a stab at making this a fashion blog come January 1st, 2012. My goal is to blog about styles I saw on the streets, in stores, particular window displays that caught my eye, and to take lots of photos to post. I will also try and put together a mood board every month to blog and post about. Wishing you all luck with your future endeavors! Here’s to the year 2012.
My parents raised me on golf. I can remember when I was a little girl, running around the golf course doing cartwheels, and perfecting my putt. I also remember when I went to the driving range, and a news reporter took my picture and dubbed me, “Tigress Woods.” The PGA Tour was considered a normal family activity, and so going to St. Andrews today to visit the Old Course was a given.
Today was devoted to visiting the town of St. Andrews, and along the way our bus took a few pit stops at some quaint little towns. The first stop, was to take pictures of the fourth oldest railway bridge, right on the coast. It was pouring rain, but luckily I brought my umbrella! Once we got our pictures, we hopped back on the bus and went to our next stop in a town called Anstruther. It is a harbor town, and had gorgeous views of the North Sea, and even though it was super cold out, it was nice to walk around and see how different towns are here in the UK compared to back in the states. We got to spend a good 40 minutes in this town before we got on the bus to go to our true destination for the day: St. Andrews.
St. Andrews is known for three things. Religion, education, and most importantly…GOLF. Our tour guide dropped us off at the Old Course, which is one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, and every golfer’s dream course to visit. My parents and I spent a good hour running around the course, getting our picture taken at the famous bridge near the 16th hole, and yes…my dad and I even kissed the ground of the Old Course. I could taste the salt from the sea for a few hours afterwards. This course is known for its wicked bunkers, crazy rough, and gusts of wind that come off from the water which make it a challenging golf course.
Once we were done dinking around the course, we went to the town center and walked around a bit in search of St. Andrews College, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met, and went to college. While searching for the college, we stumbled upon a broken down cathedral from hundreds of years ago, with a cemetery next to it that looked like it was a scene taken straight from the Harry Potter movies. The history in the UK and Europe is just ridiculous, and this was a prime example of how old these towns really are. We eventually found the college and took pictures before heading to lunch at Bella Italia. Our waitress was American from Pittsburgh, who is getting her PhD here at St. Andrews College (it is very expensive, and you have to be very bright to get in), and whom she met her fiance at. We chatted the entire time and got on quite well, and it was just so random how you can be in such a small town, and meet an American where you can chat about football, life back in the states, and life here in the UK. It was time for us to get back on the bus and make our way back to Edinburgh for the night, with one pit stop on the way home.
This morning I left London for good. Besides going back through via the airport, I won’t be able to walk around London until I return next. It still doesn’t feel real, and won’t feel real until I am back in the states. I feel as if I am in a dream, and I have yet to wake up from this awesome adventure. My parents and I got ready to go to the station, and made our way to King’s Cross about an hour before our train departed at 10:30 this morning.
We were traveling First Class, and damn, did it feel good. The seats were soooo comfortable, and the food was yummy. Bonus was the free wifi that we had in our coach. The scenery was gorgeous on our way up to Scotland, and my dad and I kept geeking out over the flocks of sheep we saw. Like I said before, my dad and I are kind of obsessed with sheep now. There was only a small delay on our way up, when a herd of cattle were crossing the train tracks, so we were going at a very slow speed and had to wait for them to pass. Only in Scotland would you have to wait for a herd of cattle to pass! We finally made it to Edinburgh around 15:30, and found our way to a cash machine so my parents could take out more cash, in which they encountered a problem…
My dad was trying to get money from the machine, and it said it was dispensing our money, but then just…STOPPED. It ate my dad’s debit card. There was nothing the bank could do, and all the told us was that we needed to call our bank in the states. Being that it is a Sunday, banks are closed back home, so all we had left was to leave them a message to get into contact with us ASAP. What a “welcome to Scotland!” After grabbing a taxi, (and learning that here, they call a cow a “coo” because it is easier to pronounce), we made our way to our hotel and dropped our luggage off before embarking on finding food, and visiting the Christmas market nearby. We ate at a restaurant called Whiski, and I had nooo idea Scotland was known for Whiskey. So naturally, my dad and I ordered Whiskey drinks, and we ate traditional UK food. It had started to rain, but we trekked on and went to the market. My dad and I found a great Whiskey shop, and I got some great ideas for gifts. We picked up a few souvenirs, walked the market, and are now back in our room watching the X Factor finale. Tomorrow, we head out to see St. Andrews and other attractions outside of Edinburgh, and I can’t wait!
So Saturday, my parents and I went on a day tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. I’ve been to Windsor Castle twice now, Stonehenge twice (both times this semester), and Bath three times now. I’m getting closer and closer to being able to give a tour of these places I know them so well!
The first stop was Windsor Castle, and it was like deja vu all over again. We arrived, and it was like I was brought back to 2003, when I first visited the castle. We were told that if the Union Jack was flying, then the Queen was not in, but if the official flag of hers was flying above on the Round Tower, it meant the Queen herself is in. It has been recorded many times that Windsor is the Queen’s favorite place of residence. And guess what? Her flag was flying, meaning when I visited, her royal majesty was somewhere in the castle. I was geeking out. The changing of the guards was also taking place that day, and it was overall a great tour of the castle.
Our next stop was Stonehenge, and I was very happy that at least this time it was not pouring rain, and only partly cloudy. It was however, windy as all get out, and freezinggggg, but we managed. There were sheepys out grazing, which is what I believe sparked my dad and I’s obsession with sheep…My dad, the official photographer of the trip got the pictures that he wanted, and we boarded the bus to get warm and wait for the rest of the group so we could depart and go to Bath.
Bath is hands down my favorite city outside of London. It is just very beautiful, and there’s an air to it that I can’t explain. There was an English Christmas market going on, but before we visited the market, we went to the Roman Baths. Since this was my third time at the Roman Baths, I just toured it really fast, and let my parents take their time since it was their first time in Bath. At the end of the tour you can drink the water, which has 43 minerals, and of course I made my parents try it. It is supposed to bring you good health, and it is warm water, with a metallic taste to it. Needless to say, it is disgusting, but I have had it all three times I’ve been to Bath, and next time I pay a visit, I plan on drinking it again. It’s tradition! The market was lovely, and my mom and I picked up a mini black cherry pie for dessert, and my dad enjoyed a cup of mulled wine. We also had a traditional cornish pasty for dinner, and then boarded the bus to make our way back to London. It was a very peaceful ride back into London, and there is just something about a bus that lulls me to sleep. I slept almost the whole way back, and before I knew it I was back in the city.
We went back to our hotel and called it a night, since the next morning we had to catch a train to go to Scotland.
I can’t believe I’m DONE with class for the semester! All my final papers have been turned in, and my one real exam was taken yesterday. Oh, and did I mention my PARENTS are in London?! I’m still getting used to them being on my stomping grounds. I didn’t blog yesterday, so I will fill you in on my day yesterday.
I woke up getting an e-mail from a fashion company back home for an internship I applied for, and they want to interview me when I get back to the states, so that was the perfect way to start off my day! Then, I went to my bus/adv final, and felt really good about it when I turned in my final paper and exam, and was free to dink around London for about 6 hours before my LTI class. My flatmate Katie and I visited the German Christmas Market that is right along the Thames, and ate lunch at Giraffe. She had to get back to class, so I went off to Sloane Square to visit the Saatchi Gallery. After taking bus/adv here, I HAD to visit the Saatchi Gallery. It was amazing. Like no other gallery I have visited before. If there’s one thing living in London has given me, it’s a greater appreciation for fine art, and frankly, “odd” art. Which is what the Saatchi brothers had collected over time. I walked around the Chelsea area, because it is definitely a fashion person’s paradise, and headed back to CAPA to hang out in the lounge before class.
In my LTI class, we were a very tight knit group of students, and bonded with our professor like no other. We talked about what we would miss the most about London, what is the first thing we’re going to do when we get back to the states, and just general memories from being here. Before we left, our professor John told us he had a going away gift for all of us. We weren’t expecting anything, so when he told us we all went “Awwwwww.” His wife is a poet, and recently published her first children’s poetry book, and it did so well it’s going on its 2nd edition. He told us he wanted something that we could always remember him by, and it is just the cutest little book! Once we said our goodbyes, that’s when it really hit me-I’m leaving London on Saturday (although I will be back at night, only to leave Sunday for Scotland), and I am trying to soak it all in while I can. After class was let out, 2 of my flatmates and I went to Picadilly for dinner at a pub we went to way back in September, and then called it a night.
Today, I had two final papers to turn in, and was free to go by 11:15. I checked my e-mail to see if there were any updates from my parents that they may had sent me the night before, and I received a notice from my flatmate Katie’s mom telling me she was admitted to hospital. Naturally, I started freaking out, and I gathered everything I needed to get for her, and found out how to get to the hospital she was taken to. Side Note: Katie is doing just fine; just a little scared being in a foreign country and this being her first time in a hospital as a patient. The hospital was a bit of a ways away, and when I surprised her, she was so happy to see a familiar place. Hospitals give me the heeby jeebies, as the last time I was in one was for my sister. I chatted with her for as long as I could to keep her spirits up, but I was already running late in meeting my parents. So I had to say my goodbyes, and was off on the bus, to the tube station, to find my parents at there hotel. I couldn’t get ahold of them via mobile, so I prayed that they would be in there room when I got to the hotel. As I was approaching, I saw my mom on the computer in the lobby, and my dad at reception. I literally ran into the hotel, ran to my dad, and gave him the world’s biggest hug. I was SO happy to see them.
Once I told them why I was running behind, we went up to their room where we caught up, and went on a bus tour since they don’t have much time in London, and want to see everything they possibly can. I talked about each of the places they were seeing, and then we got off right by the Thames so I could show them the German market. My dad loves to walk around, so he was happy to get off the bus and move around. They absolutely loved the market, and are still getting over the shell shock of how expensive everything is here. It started to rain pretty hard, so we had to make a quick decision on where to eat, and where do they pick? GIRAFFE! I couldn’t help but laugh. After dinner the rain had stopped, and my parents were exhausted from traveling all day and most of yesterday, so I went to the tube, while they headed back to their hotel and I will be seeing them tomorrow afternoon. They’re going to the Tower of London, and seeing as I’ve been there twice now, I didn’t really want to go a third time. That, and i have lots of little tasks left here at the flat to take care of. I still can’t believe my parents are in London…
The gift from our LTI professor
Do you ever have one of those mornings where your body just won’t let you sleep in? Yeah…it was one of those mornings for me. I was all excited that I actually got to sleep in, and didn’t even set my alarm. And then my body woke me up bright and early. So, since I was up and could not fall asleep, I went for a run around the park, and found a new running trail that is right alongside the golf course. Needless to say, I had a great run, with beautiful views of the course. Once I got back from my run my flatmate Katie was up, and after showering and catching up with her briefly, I was out the door and on my way to Tesco to get groceries. I came back with plenty of food to keep me stocked until my parents arrive on Thursday (so excited!), and then settled in to make lunch and watch a movie before heading out for the day.
Katie and I both had the Sherlock Holmes Museum on our bucket list of things to do/see in London, and with only 6(!) days left in London, we knew today was one of our last chances since finals are this coming week. We were off to the famous Baker Street to visit the museum, and once we were inside, it was just a really cool house. I took so many pictures, because I have a sorority sister back home who is absolutely obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. Once we were done touring the museum, we popped into the gift shop and picked up some really great gifts for friends back home.
The great thing about London, is that there is always, ALWAYS something new to do each day. AND, everything is pretty close to one another depending on the tube lines that you are already near. Lucky for me, Abbey Road was only one tube stop away from the museum, and I am a Beatles fan. I grew up listening to the Beatles with my dad, so I knew I had to pay a visit to Abbey Road. Katie also loves the Beatles, so she had no objections. We arrived at the famous Abbey Road, and took pictures of the crossing that they were photographed at for an album cover, and everyone who is a Beatles fan can recognize this crossing. Abbey Road Studios is also right there, so we took pictures of that as well, and right along the studio is the graffiti wall of song lyrics from their albums, and names of all the people that have come and visited. Katie and I have a tradition of leaving our mark wherever we travel, so naturally, we wrote our names on the wall. I can’t wait to show my parents where I left my name when I take them there next week, and I plan on having them right there names as well.
The day was still young, so we went to Bond Street and walked around until we hit Marble Arch, but the crowds of people were beginning to be too much for us, and we decided to head home to our flat. I’ve got the flat to myself since Katie went to yet another play, Allie is two floors up working on term papers, and Diane has been MIA for the past 24 hours. So with my alone time I have been watching some movies, and applying for internships and jobs back in the cities. I am much appreciating the alone time, as you rarely get it here in London. I’m just hoping I can have a few more hours of peace and quiet before calling it a night.
Today was my last day with Esprit, and it was very bittersweet. It’s hard to believe that it is over, considering I still feel like it was only a few weeks ago that I started at my internship. I arrived a little late due to delayed trains, and immediately went to work on finishing my tasks for the term. Time flew by, and before I knew it, with 10 minutes to (officially) go before I was done, my supervisor Jean appears with a gift bag, and some of my co-workers are standing around with big smiles on their faces. They had a gift and card to present to me, and inside the card all my co-workers whom I worked closest with had signed it. I also got a box of deluxe chocolates which look absolutely scrumptious. I can’t wait to dig in! I was so surprised at the gift and card, especially after a rough Monday. It was all very bittersweet, and after finishing up my final task, I said my goodbyes to everyone. Jean told me that if I ever needed anything, to feel free to shoot her an e-mail. I will never forget the experience I got with Esprit, and I told myself I wouldn’t cry on my last day…but I did. It truly has been the internship of a lifetime, in a city that I am SO in love with. I slowly made my way home to my flat, and reminisced of all my memories with Esprit on the tube ride home.
It was just me at the flat when I got home around 2, so I made some lunch, and got straight to work on my term papers. I don’t know what got into me, but I had (and still have), this crazy motivation to write my term papers. I’ve knocked out 2 of them in just a few hours, and I have 2 more to go. One of them is a case study and is going to require a good few hours alone on research before I can start the paper, and my fourth paper is on Glastonbury Music Festival for my pop culture class that won’t be too bad to write. It was nice having the flat to myself for a few hours, but now two of my flatmates are back, and I no longer have the place to myself.
I love Wednesdays for two reasons. 1) Stylist magazine comes out and is FREE and 2) I have a 5 hour break in-between classes to spend exploring London. Today during my break, I went to my favorite “escape”, Covent Garden. I didn’t realize until this afternoon how much I do in London on a regular basis. I’m always on the go, and it was nice to just stay in one place for a few hours; especially one of my favorite spots in London.
I had some Christmas shopping to do, so I went to one of my favorite stores and bought some really great gifts for friends back home. I also made a stop at Apple Market, which in the winter turns into such a cute, festive, market. There is a HUGE Christmas tree, ornaments that are probably 6 feet in width hanging up all over the ceiling, and a giant astroturf reindeer. After spending some time at Covent Garden, I headed to South Ken to get away from the protests that were taking place nearby, and went to the Natural History Museum. There is a huge exhibit on dinosaurs right now, which made me think of my old roommate, and sorority sister Basalo. I took way too many pictures, and had a little too much fun for a 22 year old. My five hours soon came to an end, but overall it was a nice break from class and my internship.
In my LTI class today, we talked about the protests that were taking place here (1.5-2 mil ppl are protesting pension cuts), and then we had to form groups and draw pictures that described our experience here in London, but with no words. So we basically drew our adventures in Ealing since we spend so much time here it seems, and we’re just that tight of a group. Back at the flat my flatmate and I are enjoying some drinks, food, and jamming out to Jessie J.