Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Real Thanksgiving in Bicester

Since Thanksgiving is not celebrated in England (go figure...) Lauren and I were left wondering what in the world we were going to do for this American holiday. We saw that they were a few pubs around that offered Thanksgiving dinners, but they didn't look nearly as your typical home cooked meal.
BUT thanks to my aunt introducing us to a friend of her's from Egypt who is now stationed here in England, we were invited up to Bicester for a real, home cooked, Minnesota family Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! The family we were with were very nice, funny, and made us feel right at home. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and even green bean casserole for dinner, and pumpkin AND apple pie for dessert! It couldn't have been better. Not only did they offer us all this, they were even able to find us a few American grocery items that we have been missing! American Dr.Peper, chewy chips-ahoy, pop tarts, and cinnamon toast crunch! What we would have done without these things for a full year, I do not know :)
Thanksgiving was a great success, and I am very thankful for our new friends that welcomed us into their home for the holidays. Hopefully we will be back to see them again soon!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Birthday in Croydon

It was our friend (UK) Laurens birthday on Monday so (US) Lauren and I hopped on a train Saturday night and went to party it up in Croydon! We had been warned about Croydon, apparently it is not exactly the nicest area of South London. But upon arrival we deemed it no worse than North Ave in Milwaukee and went to meet the birthday girl at the pubs. Ironically enough I picked a seat next to (UK) Katie just to make everyone a bit more confused than they had to be in our collectively drunken state.
After pub hopping until 1am, our group was down to only 5, Nicola ((UK) Lauren's sister), (UK) Lauren, (US) Lauren, (UK) Katie, and myself. Go figure. We all crashed at (UK) Lauren's that night and woke up the next afternoon and had a nice breakfast of tea and toast. We were then kindly given a ride back to the train station to head back into London.
Overall consensus is that Croydon is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be, and the birthday party was a success. Happy Birthday Lauren!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

That's Just Our Luck

I know it's been ages, but here is a brief update of what has been going on since I last wrote.
We have seen 3 plays: War Horse, Inherit the Wind, and Annie Get Your Gun. War Horse was.... different. Inherit the Wind was very good, and even had Kevin Spacey in it. Annie Get Your Gun was ok, nothing spectacular.
I got terribly sick, and spent 5 days in bed. I went to the doctor, and while it wasn't confirmed, everyone is guessing I had H1N1, the dreaded swine flu. I am finally almost fully recovered and find it quite funny that I may have had the 'pig flu'.
Today my debt card was eaten by an ATM machine so I've had a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do about that.
But aside from all this, everything is still going well. Classes are just chugging right along, and winter break is coming up faster than we can plan our trip! I can't wait!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!
It is Guy Fawkes night tonight in London. I am listening to and watching fireworks outside our window, and later on we are off to try to find a bonfire! From what I have heard and read the bonfires and effigy burnings are not as popular in central London now but if we happen to stumble upon one we may just have to try to partake in the events :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Ummmm... Wait, let me check... Yep it is November 3rd. NOVEMBER people! But regardless, Lauren and I attended the Oxford Street Christmas Lighting ceremony tonight. Quite an event here! They had The Saturdays, Taio Cruz, Peter Andre, Jim Carrey, Andrea Bocelli.... it was just crazy! The bands played first, then they had the Lord Mayor of London on for a chat, then Jim Carrey came out to switch on the lights. After the lights were on all the groups from Oxford Circus (where we were) to Regents Street and St. Paul's Cathedral sang O' Come All Ye Faithful and Silent Night together for the Guinness World Records Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long. After all that was said and done, everyone dispersed in the night to begin their Christmas shopping. Talk about early! Even we don't go too crazy till Black Friday ;)