Miley makes out with a sledgehammer in her "Wrecking Ball" music vid.
What do you think of it?
Because, what else could she do wrong?
Well, I know the last time I updated was about two weeks ago. But hey, that’s just Europe.
My last week in Rome was jam packed with bus rides, company visits, and experiencing the night life in Rome.
The company visits were fun; with the wine company and the cheese company being the only ones that stuck for the whole week. With the very poor help of our ‘translator’ we tried our best to learn about the industries, but even the teachers were fed up with the poor job he did. At the winery, we got to sample different whites and reds that were special to the area and they cooked us a traditional Italian meal that was some of the best food from the trip. After watching some of the free wine catch up with some of the students, we finally left, much to the dismay of my free entertainment. We then went to the Tivoli Gardens around the outskirts of Rome and the views were beautiful, both over the Roman area and inside the actual gardens. But, my allergies thought otherwise and wanted to make sure I struggled to enjoy any of it.
The rest of the trip just lumped together with being shuffled off places and going to explore the city each night. Rome was definitely a place I would visit again, with all the old stuff and fun people.
After struggling to take the 6:30 AM final on our last day, I returned back to London a day before Abbie flew in. I was invited to a BBQ for one of my coworkers birthday that night, so I was able to see all the cool cats I worked with one more time. I somehow was the only intern there, I must’ve done something right. Too bad that isn’t translating to jobs over here just yet, but I can only hope.
Abbie finally flew in on Sunday, and to make sure she got adjusted to the time, I shuffled her around for a little before allowing her to nap for a little. After the nap, I brought her to my favorite area along the Victoria Embankment along the Thames with all the little shops and great views of London. To make she adapted to the culture quickly we went to a seafood restaurant so she could try true fish and chips. However, for some reason, the seafood restaurant was all out of fish and chips. So London did not start off on the right foot for her. After dinner, we went to the London Eye and flew through the time and got some good views of London during the evening. After the half hour wheel ride around, we walked around to the Westminster Abbey area and looked at old buildings before realizing how tired we were and went back to go sleep.
Tuesday was one of my mostestestest favorite days whilst in London. We got to go to the Warner Brothers Studio to see where they filmed all the Harry Potter movies. They had all the scenes and props laid out, and it took about 3 hours to walk through the whole thing. One of the top highlights was finally being able to try ‘butterbeer’. It tasted like cream soda with a caramel foam topping on it; it was delicious. After reluctantly leaving, we got back home realizing we had not eaten since breakfast and quickly found a pub to go eat at. This was then followed up by walking around Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park where Abbie got side tracked multiple times by playing with ducks and their ducklings. Tiring ourselves out once again, we fell asleep to weird BBC game shows.
Our last full day in London was spent on one of the double decker tour bust trips. We got to see a lot of main things quickly and stopped at important places like Buckingham Palace. We then walked around Covent Garden area, and then went to go see LION KING!! I am pretty sure this was Abbie’s highlight of the trip, even though we were surrounded by school kids that wouldn’t shut up. They also really tried to set the scene by making it hot as Africa inside the theatre.
This lead onto our final day of leaving London, and going to Paris on Wednesday. We took the chunnel (the train that goes beneath the English Channel) and it only took us two and a half hours. After getting settled into the hotel we walked down the street to the Louvre and the Jardin des Tuileries for some night viewing of art and couples openly making out in parks. This was too much culture for the day, and we decided to soak up more culture the next day.
On Thursday we went to Versailles, and it would have been super simple if they had not been doing construction on some of the lines of the metro and we have to figure out how to jump onto a bus to get to another station to then get on the metro out to the Chateau. We first went into the gardens behind the chateau and walked around enjoying the sites. We also found out they opened up Marie Antoinette’s summer home, so we hustled on over there to see her ‘humble’ abode. Before it started to get too hot, we went to stand in line for the Chateau. It went by pretty quickly, and next thing we knew we were enjoying the views of wealth that would make Warren Buffet look poor. The house was amazing, and stunning to think that some people just casually lived there for a bit. We then headed back into Paris to go on a dinner cruise along the Seine River. The meal was super good, and the views even better. We even got to see the Eiffel Tower light up right next to us. Full and tired from walking around, we decided to try to get some sleep before the next busy day.
We woke up the next morning to go to the very top Eiffel Tower. But, that was almost ruined the hordes or gypsies running around the base trying to get everyone to sign some papers. When it was finally our turn to go to the top, we took the two elevators all the way. This was a great time to face my fears of super tall things. The views were worth the wait, and anxiety. We then worked our way down to the second floor to get more views before finally heading down to the bottom. Wondering what to do next, we headed over to Museé D’Orsay to see the largest impressionism collection in the world. They had great paintings by Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. Being in the AC the whole time we were in the there, we also got to miss the hottest part of the day before we decided to go to Champs-Élysées for some fashion forward shopping. We also got to see the Arc de Triomphe at the end, and it was impressive at how large it was. The Tour De France was also ending the next day on the boulevard and we got to see some of the preparations that were being made for the 100 year anniversary of this race.
Our last day in Paris, we started off by going to finally see Notre Dame and get a true French meal that included eating crepes. After that, we decided to visit Montmarte and Basilique du Sacré-Cœur on top of the hill. The old church was beautiful, and almost as cool as seeing Notre Dame and the Vatican on this trip. We then did some souvenir shopping around the small shops and found some cool little things everywhere we went. We decided to walk a good chunk of the way back to fully experience Paris for the last time before leaving.
If I knew the struggles that we would be encountering at the French airport, I would have thought to stay their longer so my last experience would not have been so negative. Their airport was the most agonizing, unorganized place that it tried really hard to ruin France for me. Abbie and I finally got through and were able to finally fly out back the Patriot Land.
This is really my last blog post about Europe and I know I don’t have a lot of pictures up yet, but I will be working on that while I am also applying for jobs. America has just been one giant reality check since coming back, and I kind of want to disappear to the land of really old stuff; Europe.
The lack of blog posts recently is directly correlated to how busy I have been in Rome with friends and classes and how poor the Internet is at the hotel.
Classes this week were the only things that made this week slow at all. We did so much since this past week of not updating, that it’s hard to type after three straight days of 5 hours of sleep. But, why not give it an attempt.
Classes this week were long, drawn out and basically told us the same thing for 6 hours a day. The real fun happened after class. On Monday, the whole class went to the coliseum and the forum and walked around for 5 hours before going out to dinner as a group. This meant that Marquette bought the group wine, which I think may be counter productive to the early class schedule? However, the other cool thing we got to do was go to the Vatican to go inside and snap some pictures. These two things were the capstone to the during the day weeks.
A little over zealous about finishing classes on Friday, two of my roommates and another guy walked around for about five hours and seeing the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, all the designer shops, and the Pantheon. This knocked us out and caused us to go to bed early because we wanted to see more during the weekend.
We had these last two weekend days off, and we made the most of them. Saturday we went to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine chapel, and the only downside was limited pictures to take because everything was so beautiful the Italians want it for themselves. However, once I have stable wifi, I will upload the pictures.
Then today we had the coolest thing happen. Somehow we were able to procure tickets to go to Sunday mass at the Vatican being celebrated by the Pontifex himself. Some of our class members and I got there at 6:30 to wait in line for an hour and the wait inside for two hours before he ‘graced’ us with his presence. I <3 Papa Francesco. The mass was huge and like a typical catholic mass, but unlike others, I was shoved and pushed by nuns at every turn. We had seats along the aisle which meant that we got to see him as he passed to go to the altar. When he was closed I got shoved by the nuns to move. Almost to prove they are more holy for wanting to be closer and won’t take no for an answer. The irony was palpable. Other than that, it sucked up the majority of the day before we decided to go to the catacombs, or get lost, but whatever. After finally get there we stumbled onto a tour group and followed them and some some neat things. But after this weekend I am gassed and we have to be up by 7:00 tomorrow for the almalfi coast, which is worth it
I shall try to updated more with this week hopefully slowing down.
Somehow my 5 weeks of work already ended, too bad working at home never went this quickly. But the trip sure drew out the day.
After getting to the airport early,
I got a delayed flight. Figuring that wasn’t bad, the flight made good time and upon landing we were told a doctor had to come aboard to help a passenger and we couldn’t leave until she was fine. Watching the people around me get antsy was sure entertaining. Dodging this fiasco, I went to go claim my luggage, the belt stopped working and it took an extra 20 minutes for them to figure that problem out. So, the hour and ten minute cushion I had before everyone got there quickly evaporated. By the time I sat down and checked Facebook, the whole group was there.
It took a bit for everyone to collect their luggage and go out to the bus. It would have been shorter if the airlines put a girl’s luggage on the flight, instead of leaving it in Frankfurt for her. Airlines are super nice and understand when it comes to simple problems. However, after this we finally made our way to the hotel. The surrounding area feels a little ‘west Milwaukee’ but the rooms were nice. Problem though, there were three beds for four guys and we all don’t know each other very well. Asking for a room change with someone who doesn’t really do English wasn’t very fun, but I’m just a picky American. We then headed out to dinner where Marquette, or the tuition for the trip, paid for pizza and house wine for everyone. So there was upside to the day.
We start classes tomorrow without having a formal itinerary until the morning, so all we know is that we have to be in the room for lecture tomorrow at 9AM and that goes till 2PM. Then we get to go to the Forum and Coliseum, and then we have another group dinner in that area.
These next two weeks are going to fly by, and I can’t wait to return to London. But I can’t judge Italy that quickly, I guess.
What this really means, is that one three weeks I’ll have to face normal life, and probably hate it.
Well, at least Daniel Radcliffe has a good enough Irish accent for me to understand and be convinced. But at the same time, I’m just getting a hold of this whole ‘British accent and slang’ ordeal over here. Good thing I leave Sunday for Rome to pick up another dialect. Yay culture?
To the real point of this post. I decided on Sunday, super last minute, to see a play here. While the big names of Lion King and Spamalot were tempting, I decided to go to this play that opened up recently with Daniel Radcliffe starring in it. The play was ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ and it was a super dark comedy about, well, a cripple. Without trying to sound like I can provide in depth analysis, or that I’m some expert on plays, I thought it was great and the two and a half hours flew and next thing I know everyone’s clapping. Although doubtful, if anyone has a chance to see this play do it if you’re here. It’s worth the money.
This makes me happy that I also bought tickets for the ‘Lion King’ for when Abbie is here, because somehow she has been deprived of the majestic show of ‘Lion King’ on a stage. Now I sound like I’m cultured, or whatever.
As for this week, it will be hard to top it but another intern and I both end on Friday and we are going out for drinks as a company again and that was loads of fun last time and I won’t expect much else this time. Other than this, I have to start getting ready for Rome and those adventures with Marquette students now. It’ll be weird traveling with people around a foreign city again.
Hopefully something more interesting ends up happening this week so I have more reasons to update this blog!
The lack of posts lately is directly correlated to the work week being rather monotonous and not having a keyboard because that is still in Manchester.
For work, I was assigned a research job that required reading 80+ national newspapers for two companies. This was rather boring but it allowed me to catch up on some albums I meant to listen to. Also, the weather this week wasn’t great and really hampered with my ability to do anything. Everything worth visiting seems to close right after I get out of work and I used to just go for walks, but the combination of rain and blustery (thanks Winnie the Pooh) weather made it displeasing to walk around. And as I type this, it started to downpour outside again.
Poor weather aside, the week always picks up on the weekends. My Canadian coworker, Colin, showed me this Canadian bar that supposedly plays hockey games the day after, so I was ecstatic to be able to watch the Hawks game. However, when I went in on Thursday and today they told me that the recording failed. But, I at least knew the Blackhawks won the last two thanks to Facebook and accidental news updates from my phone. I am seriously contemplating staying up all night tomorrow to watch game 6, but don’t know if I can bring myself to do it. I’ll just have to buy the DVD to commemorate them winning the Stanley Cup.
But back to weekend follies. Friday, I went out with some coworkers again but the group was smaller because of previous engagements and some of them have to work at an event. So Colin and I went on a mini pub crawl where we met up with his sister. Which he probably regrets because we both discussed Game of Thrones for awhile, each with theories of what is going to happen next. Colin then came up with a better idea; go drink on the Thames. There is this spot next to Cleopatras Needle (an obelisk that sits on the river) that has a perfect spot for people to sit and drink while having the best view a “bar” can provide. We stared at the Eye, Big Ben, Parliament and the general area of downtown London. That’s when Richard and Emily both joined us and they brought free wine from the event! This night was perfect until I realized it was already 11:30 and that had to get back before the tube stops running. When I got back I passed out pretty quickly.
With such high standards set Friday night, Saturday had a lot to compete with. I went to the Natural History Museum with two other co workers; Iona and Katy. My favorite thing about all the museums here is that they are free and only charge for special exhibits. This museum was awesome and might be even cooler than the one in Chicago, but they don’t have Sue they have Dippy. We wandered through the museum, and multiple school groups, and saw the majority before all of us were hungry and tired. We found this Lebanese restaurant that was delicious and probably the best food I have had in London so far. We split p after this and I went back and napped for almost three hours before deciding I should do something with my life. So I headed out to a Flemish restaurant for dinner that was perfectly suitable for sustenance for the night. I almost went to the cinema but the prices were too high so I went to see where Abbie and I are staying in a couple of weeks. It looks nice but the surrounding area was all shut down on a Saturday night around 8 so it didn’t offer much to stay occupied. So I headed back to Paddington. As I was passing by a bar I saw they had the Confederations Cup on, so I stopped in to get a couple of beers and watch some football. I found that this way is an easy way to make friends in the area, too bad there wasn’t much football earlier in my stay. I then headed back after and read myself asleep to the Game of Thrones.
Then today, I was up early for no reason so I got a good breakfast in before heading out to another museum. I went to Tate Britain which was the best art museum I have been to here yet. The way they structured it was they had the paintings they collected starting in the 1700s going up all the way up to the present day. They specialized in showing what present day life was like for the UK during this stretch. What really came of this, is that I don’t like modern art too much because it just seems like a bunch of pretentious try hards jockeying for some attention over how much they hate society. But, I digress. After spending a couple of hours in here I left and started to walk along the River Thames embankment before I realized that I was standing under Big Ben again just from the other side. I then walked along that area and went to one of my favorite parts; the Victoria Embankment. However, it was so crowded today that it took some of the fun out, so I counteracted that with getting some ice cream. I then walked to the Canadian bar to ask about the Hawks game only to be told that the recording didn’t go through. After leaving disappointed, I left to go back home all tired out from walking over 5 miles today. I napped again and then went out to dinner realizing that my only lunch was an ice cream cone. From there I went to go reading but the weather turned n me and I ended up in my dorm because everything, other than some restaurants, shuts down in Sundays past 5. So I am going to plan my final week in London before heading out to Rome a week from today where it is supposedly 20 degrees warmer. I am probably going to a play sometime this week, and it might be one with Daniel Radcliffe in it, so that should be exciting! I plan on living up this last week as much as London will allow it. I can’t believe I am already leaving.
This past weekend was something that I had been planning for a while, and it finally came. My two days in Manchester, but with a train schedule it was really only a day.
Friday night, I went out to a social with my co-workers to celebrate the hard work other people put in. So the atmosphere being jovial made time fly by before I realised that I had 20 minutes to catch the last tube back to my apartment, or I was facing an expensive cab ride back.
I finally reached my room half past midnight and then passed out to be rudely awakened by my alarm. After collecting my thoughts and realising I still needed to pack, I threw things together and went to grab breakfast. After that I got to my train and headed up to Manchester. The two hour train ride wasn’t bad, but the people sitting in front of me unwillingly caught me up with all their office gossip from the past 2 months. I was able to drown them out for the most part by reading more Game of Thrones.
After finally arriving in Manchester, I started walking to my hotel later realising that it was 2 miles away. About halfway there, I took a break to get lunch before heading back out. By the time I checked in, and got situated I had to walk to Old Trafford Stadium so I would be on time to the tour. Lucky me, a cab was outside and saved me another two mile walk. I ended up getting there early, snapped a couple of pictures, and went through their comprehensive museum before going on the tour. The stadium was awesome, the tour group sucked though. They were so many annoying people and the group was too large for getting anywhere effectively in good time. I got a bunch of good photos and headed off to the official store and got a couple of keepsakes from there and decided that I should head back. Not wanting to pay for a taxi again, I walked back to the hotel, again forgetting that it was two and a half miles away. It was a nice walk and by the time I got back I was tired from all the walking and lack of sleep the night before.
I went to go out to get dinner, but the whole city was closed down pretty much and nothing was open. I finally found a supermarket and to get some food and things and headed back. I ended up sitting in my hotel for the rest of the night relishing the chance to watch TV. I also took this opportunity to catch up on my sleep for the upcoming week.
Good news: finally had strong enough and consistent wifi to upload pictures on Facebook.
Other than that, I have nothing planned for this week other than finally doing laundry and seeing the Natural History Museum this weekend.