Saturday, January 28, 2012

London Thangs


Since my last post, I have done some local exploring! I ventured to Hyde Park (conveniently located behind my building) with some friends to see the Peter Pan statue! Hyde Park is HUGE. Like- Beyonce's booty huge. I saw lots of runners and people with babies and SO MANY DOGS! Seeing all the puppies made me want to adopt one just so I could take it to the park...sadly, Katie and Woody would not be amused if I showed up at JFK in May with a giant Bernese Mountain dog named -- enough of the day dreaming, it's making the reality that I don't have a dog more painful--.

One day little day


Aside from all the adorable pooches, the park is full of beautiful monuments and fountains. When first entering the park from Gloucester Road, a slight hilled path leads you to a shallow pond opposite from Kensington Palace (which is under renovations at the moment otherwise I would have taken an inappropriate amount of pictures). This pond is swarming with birds. I hate birds. There are swans and geese and ducks and pigeons and they all make me want to run away crying. But beyond the pond are countless paths that lead all over the eastern side of the park. We walked along the Princess Diana Memorial Walk and ended up getting lost in our search for Peter Pan...a few times- BUT we finally found the statue and took the quintessential picture and strolled past the Italian Fountains and made our way back out of the park by passing the Prince Albert Memorial.
I call this one "creeper man with gross things that fly"

After exploring the park, I of course went shopping! High Street Kensington is home to shops on shops on shops on shops. I made an appearance in Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Zara, TK Maxx (like the American TJ's) before dinner! Harrod's is of course the numero uno attraction of High Street but it got dark and a little too chilly for me to continue spending ungodly amounts of money so I headed back to my dorm to get ready and go out for the night with my friends!


lovely day at the park!

all it takes is some faith, trust, and pixie dust!

Stay tuned peeps- because next weekend I'm going to Amsterdam! More fun stories to come soon!

you know you love me
xoxo ginger girl

Monday, January 23, 2012

Boats, Classes and Plays, Oh My.

     I've been in London for almost a whole week! Oy (with-the-poodles-already) I can't believe it! So many fun things have been going on since the last time I posted- I saw Wicked in Central London and it was MAGICAL! I was a little disappointed that the actress playing Glinda the good witch wasn't as Kristen Chenoweth-y as I had hoped, but the cast was amazing and Mom, I cried a little during Defying Gravity and Kelley Anne, there were no JoBros in sight. I took my first tube ride to get to the play and I was pleasantly surprised to find the London Underground to be be so much cleaner and easier than the Manhattan Subway System. And also, for you HP fans (I'm looking at you Meaghan, Jessie, and Katie) I was in the station where Harry works his babe-magnet charm and then Dumbledore awkwardly interrupts with his creepy dead hand thing- in Half Blood Prince. I know you know which part I'm talking about. No shame.

   Aside from the play, one of the other Orientation activities offered through Richmond was a Booze Cruise Boat Party, where there were bartenders available to fulfill each guest's only every need. The boat  went up and down the River Thames, Thames River, The Thames, "Tha Rivah"; for about 4 hours until we docked back again at the pier. During the cruise I took a loads of pictures- now go click open that new tab button and stalk me on Facebook like a normal person. I got to meet a lot of new people that night and I also learned I don't really do well on boats, or dancing while on boats, or dancing while texting while being on a boat. #whitegirlproblems

   Now that classes have officially started, I'm learning to manage my time better and to avoid taking frequent cat naps during the day. My first class at Richmond was supposed to be this morning...but luckily I checked my email last night to see that it was cancelled because the professor was "occupying Canada" So I won't get to physically BE in that class until next Monday but my other classes are so far very interesting and are much smaller than I am used to. At URI, my usual class is 30-60 students depending on the lecture hall but here at Richmond, I only counted 11 people in my first class! The professor knew me by name and hair color (because I was the only gingy kid #typical) before I'd even sat down! This will be interesting...

 We've gone exploring a little around London and seen some pretty cool things! While in Picadilly Circus, my flatmates and I stumble upon London's China town! It was very different from NYC though... no one tried to sell me a Rolex, and no one took me up the street, around the corner, up 5 flights of stairs, into a Korean sweatshop to look at some fake Chanel and Gucci. It was refreshing. Naturally as tourists, we chose the only non-asian restaurant in the area and sat down at an Irish pub for dinner. I don't know if it is our group or just everyone else's inability to serve us... we struggled once again with ordering food- because we have yet to be served by an English person...everyone is Russian, Spanish or Yugoslavian. I just want a waiter to say "here ya go love" or "cheeyuhs ladies" is that too much to ask?

There's a dinner tonight that is being held by the mayor of Kensington. I know right... I don't know the MAYOR. But as international students we are invited to eat and drink at this party tonight and that means free food so that means I'm so there. 

Kensington Square

RBKC- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

a view of High Street Kensington... THERE'S A GAP. 

Kensington Square Park...NO DOGS. 

What I have claimed as my future home in Kensington Square

Thursday, January 19, 2012

London Calling

Hello from London!
I’m finally here! Sorry it’s taken me a few days to post again, between the jet lag and all the activities I haven’t had time to blog! BLOGGERS GOTTA BLOG  YA’LL. So I’ll give you all a general idea of what I’ve been up two the past few days-
Katie, The Woodman and I left for JFK around noon on Monday and after going through check-in, grabbing some lunch and a tearful goodbye, I headed through security and was off to London! The flight exceeded my expectations. I got an aisle seat SCORE, and no one was sitting next to me, so I got to watch about 12 episodes of the office and play trivia on my personal screen without shame. I tried sleeping but I was too excited and the Legally Blonde Soundtrack was playing on my iPod so I couldn’t doze off! Virgin Atlantic is BALLER SHOES guys, seriously fly with them if you ever can- so nice, so accommodating, and endless Office episodes at your fingertips.
After landing in Heathrow, most of our group gathered in the arrival area and we waited THREE HOURS for a girl who never showed up...or we just left her snooze you lose. Anyway, we got on a coach bus and headed to Kensington, the Royal borough where Princess Diana grew up. This place is amazing- our dorm is on Queens Gate Terrace, next door to the French Ambassador (JUST LIKE PASSPORT TO PARIS) in a multi-million dollar neighborhood! We’re broke, American, college students...and we casually live in this high class, British area. 
My building on Queens Gate Terrace

London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament!


Around the corner from the dorm is Imperial College, where there is a pub open to Richmond Students as well! The pub is full of very friendly locals and other study abroad students- but holy crap is it expensive to get drinks. Most pubs around here close at midnight so that’s definitely different from American bars that stay open until way later. We’ve all been pretty sleep-deprived and it’s definitely taken a toll on our ability to function but soon enough we will be on regular London hours!
The weather here has been...interesting. The first day was bitter cold and felt just like Connecticut in January, but yesterday was sunny, then rainy and now today it’s rainy/sunny/warm/kinda cold/I feel like I’m going through menopause. Yesterday we took a bus tour of central London and got to see the sights! I took some pictures of Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey  and Buckingham Palace- we drove by Trafalgar square (p.s. Dad- that IS how you spell it), Tower Bridge and the Tower of London but we were running behind schedule and weren’t able to get off the bus for a Kodak moment. My flatmates and I have already decided we must go back to all of these sights soon and take pictures like quintessential American tourists. 
I have a go-phone now and can text and call internationally, BUT it’s pretty pricy so unless you have something REALLY important to tell me...just tweet at me or send me a Facebook message because what has two thumbs and a limited cash flow?… THIS CHICK. 
Toodles until my next post!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Naturally during my last day in America, I am doing classic white girl american things... getting a mani pedi, watching the Kardashians and spelling color without a U. I have packed both, yes BOTH of my suitcases and thanks to the ever-so-fabulous Miss Jordyn Good and family, I can fit a small child in one of them but I decided to put clothes and shoes in it instead. My nerves are starting to get the best of me as my departure comes closer and closer and I'm starting to realize the things I will miss while I'm away. I'm obviously going to miss Pretty Little Liars with Devon my parents and Lewis' first season playing college lacrosse and all of my friends at URI, but everyone is wishing me well and I know I will have the time of my life.

I've been trying to calculate the time change and how much of a zombie I will be for the first day or so... conclusion is that I will most likely fall asleep within 5 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. Hopefully I can keep my eyes open ( I mean that's what Diet Pepsi is for right?). Guaranteed I won't sleep tonight because I'll be so wired but then maybe I can pack and then re-pack my carry-on, which of course is just my backpack. But do you know how much stuff I have to put in this backpack? I have to fit my laptop, Kindle, departure folder and packets, camera, makeup bag, plugs, mittens, 12 vials of insulin, 5 backup insulin epipens AND my purse. I can't even fit my teddy bear (if you're laughing at the fact that I still have a teddy bear, you're insensitive and frankly we shouldn't be friends anymore) so now I have to cram him into the Good's loaner suitcase where he will definitely feel claustrophobic. Thanks, Toy Story for making me think that my stuffed animals come to life whenever I leave the room- now I'll be worried about Teddy riding in cargo while I watch 7 hours of Workaholics.

I should jus stop now before I embarrass myself ramble on any further. This time tomorrow I'll be saying Haster Laveester to Amurrica and TALLY HO  to England!

See you all in 4 months! Expect postcards with an excessive amount of stamps on them soon!

Thank You, Good Family for this DEISEL suticase!
England may not be ready for this... a lot of things probably aren't ready for this...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It all won't fit...

ONE WEEK PEOPLE. One week until I leave for London! I'm such a nerd for blogging about my pre-departure but who cares I'M GOING TO FREAKING LONDON.  Today I put out a majority of the clothes I plan on bringing and let's just say the pile takes up an entire twin I better , or not pack so much  find a suitcase the size of said bed. Everything is getting in order, I got my pre-departure packet in the mail the other day and stayed up until 3am reading over the incredibly detailed itinerary for orientation week. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pee my pants a little in excitement when reading the itinerary because about 3 pages in I saw the words "West End" and "Wicked". We have the option of seeing either Les Miserables or Wicked at the theater and because I have seen and listened to my dad sing the 24601 Jean Val Jean redemption song  the soundtrack from Les Mis to no end, I would really pass out from excitement love to see Wicked. Given that last time I saw it on Broadway with my gingerly friend, Kelley Anne, we were a bit distracted because we were casually climbing over the rows of people and gawking at  sitting behind the Jonas Brothers and trying to see how tight their pants were we were a bit star-shocked!

  That first week in London will mainly consist of me trying to keep up with the tight schedule. They have us taking a bus tour of the city, along with a Harry Potter Sights Tour and trip to Westminster Abbey. I'll have to keep my camera charged so I can take pictures of myself in front of tons of historical buildings and scenes so that you all can shamelessly stalk me on Facebook.

  This last week at home will consist of me trying to fit everything in my bags and mentally preparing for the massive amounts of crying that will happen at the airport before I head to my gate in JFK. Not sad crying, but excited/nervous/Woody-and-Katie-withdrawal tears. It'll be good thought. I have a casual THREE HOURS to sit at the gate and (naturally) meander around the terminal looking for gum, trashy magazines and randos sleeping in the oddly placed outlets near the restrooms (for real though, why don't those people just go sit in a chair at the gate and snooze, not need for crunchy travelers to spoon each other outside the ladies' room).

This is the part of my blog where I wish I could write a farewell or send off in a different language and sound way cooler and worldly, but in England they speak English so Au Revoir or something cool like that doesn't fit here.

So we'll do this the Amurrrrrican (and KAC) way- "BYEEEEEE" until my next post!