Foggy Londontown

Hey all! I went to London last weekend with some friends and we fit as many touristy activities as we could in 3 days. I think we were pretty successful. We saw Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral,  Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, The London Eye, Hyde Park, Green Park and the markets in Brick Lane. Brick Lane was definitely my favorite. There are loads of coffee shops, music stores, vintage clothing and painfully trendy youth everywhere you look. We also saw an INCREDIBLE show called Cabaret Sauvignon by Barbershopera. They are these four vocal geniuses who sing hysterical, original songs with tons of audience participation and an occasional freestyle rap. It made me piddle with laughter and miss Cloud 9 a lot. Despite getting lost in the rain on the first night, staying in a pube-infested hostel with a surprise, random fourth roommate and missing our train stop on the way home, the trip was incredibly successful. AND I HAVE PICTURES TO PROVE IT:

Buckingham Palace:

Big Ben:

Trafalgar Square:

Befriending ducks in Green Park:

Stalking Barbershopera:

Also, I’m in the third week of my classes and I’m really enjoying them. I’m taking Native Americans, Cuban-America and Post-war Adolescence. It’s a little strange because I’m used to 300 person lectures and my largest class here is 20 people. It’s really intense, but it’s been nice to actually get to know my professors and share my opinions in class.

I’m in Norwich for this weekend, but next weekend is Barcelona and the weekend after I’m going to Dublin. I’m sure I’ll bombard you with photos and stories from those travels soon. I love you all and miss you terribly. I hunted down some Tapatio and have been drenching every meal in it. A spicy little taste of home. Please email or facebook me with updates on your lives! Love you!

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Finally Settled

Hey friends and fam! I’ve finally gotten somewhat settled in here. Sorry it’s taken me so long to post! Here’s a recap of my time so far: Saying goodbye at the airport was really hard and two infants and I cried for the majority of the plane ride. But, thanks to my Bonine I didn’t exorcist-style vomit on everyone. LHR was like a sauna and I felt like a zombie trying to navigate the airport in a puddle of my own sweat and luggage but I somehow got everything together, got a student visa and got on a taxi. Being in a car that drives on the left side of the road is so trippy! My taxi driver was a sweet old man who gave me a lot of tips about what to see in London. After waiting 6 hours to check into my room I finally got in and was welcomed by stray hairs and coins that had been sprinkled all over the bed and towel and a total absence of wifi. This first day was not the easiest. I showered in the communal shower (with heels on because I didn’t want to touch the floor and forgot my flip flops) and made a list of things I was proud I had done that day. Since then, things have gotten exponentially better. I had my Immersions Orientation in London where I met other UC students. We ate at fancy restaurants (paid for by the program, don’t worry), saw the Tower of London and a play. After a couple days of these events we all hopped on a train to get to UEA in Norwich. Norwich is definitely more my style. There is a thousand year old seven day outdoor market with fresh fruit and veg. There’s a long cobblestone street full of quirky cafes, music shops and vintage clothing. I found an organic, vegetarian market that is actually reasonably priced. The school itself is beautiful and full of wild bunnies and huge, flat fields of green grass. I’ve made some really great friends who seem to be on the same page as me. Most people here really, really like going out to the pub every night, whereas we like to adventure in the day and make communal dinners or watch a movie (am I old?). Yesterday a bunch of us went to Cromer, an adorable beach town on the coast. It was really refreshing to see the ocean. Here are some pics of my travels so far:

A view of London from my hostel window:

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My fellow UC students on a giant escalator going down to the tube in Liverpool:

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UC-ers at the Tower Bridge in London:

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A housing area at my school:

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Some of my friends on the pier in Cromer:

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Some old, borded up changing rooms on the beach in Cromer:

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A view of Cromer from the top of this colossal church tower that we climbed:

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I miss you all so much. This is going to be a great adventure and I’m excited to come home to such an awesome network of love and support. Skype me when you can: brit.pow. Thanks for reading, I love you!