Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back in the USA

Well, it finally happened. The time has come and gone and I now find myself back in the USA. It was so strange. It still is strange. I didn't think I was going to have such a hard time leaving London, but turns out I cried for hours. So much that I gave myself a migraine from crying, only to make it worse because then I was crying about that too. But somehow Lauren and I pulled ourselves together enough to pack all of our belongings and catch our flight.

I'm still going through tons of pictures that I've taken from the past week or so, so there will be a post or two with those as soon as I get my computer back online.

Anyway, back to MN today. Still not sure how that's going to work since as far as I know I still don't have a car.... Hmmmm. Looks like my parents and my brother are going to have to drive me to work!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Only days away

I'll be back in the states this Wednesday. Back to MN on Friday. Holy crap. I really don't know where all the time has gone. I'm ready to go home, but I'm not ready to leave London. Ugh, I just don't know what to do.

No time to worry about it now though, lots to do and see and clean and pack before then. If I am a crazy mess of panic and emotions I do apologize.  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovison 2010

For all of you non-European people like me, you more than likely have no idea what Eurovison is. Pretty much, it's crazy. Each country selects a singer or band to represent them, and then it's a free-for-all karaoke competition. Apparently it is a massive thing here. There were house parties, full bars, and even block parties based entirely around watching the finals. Whichever country wins hosts the event the following year. This year, the finals were hosted in Oslo Norway.

This year, the winner was... (drum roll).... GERMANY!

In second place, Turkey; and in third place, Romania.

Here is this year's winner...

Friday, May 28, 2010


I am finally done with my Spring '10 semester!! Exams were... well, awful. Oh well, I'm done!! Now, to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and party it up for 3 days. Then my summer class starts. Lame sauce.  But for now I'm off to the park, the pub, and to begin my prolonged good-bye with the city I have grown to call home. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just a quick update on life here in London...
  • The airways were closed and reopened yet again thanks to that crazy Icelandic volcano. 
  • No one that I know of (including myself) have been terribly affected or deported yet with the conservative government.
  • Lauren and I enjoyed a great free meal from of London Met. 
  • I went up to Bicester this past weekend to see my family friends one last time this year. Enjoyed the summer weather and good food!
  • TODAY IS LAUREN'S 21st BIRTHDAY! Party tonight, and probably all weekend long :)
I think that's all for now.... more to come soon though I'm sure. Lots of pictures to take before heading back to the states. 

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010


    Lauren and I went to check these guys out last night at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, and the show was amazing! If you've never heard of Foals, check them out! This clip is from the show we were at.

    Elections and Politics, Part 3

    aka; WTF just happened?

    Right so last I updated on this we had a hung parliament and Gordon Brown (labor party) was still the Prime Minister. This essentially meant we still had a leader, but no government. Today however, Gordon Brown resigned (leaving us without a leader OR a government (technically giving the power to the Queen), and about fifteen minutes later (ok I exaggerate, still under 2 hours later...)  it was announced that David Cameron (conservative) had accepted the position as PM from the Queen with the intent to from a 'full and proper' coalition with the liberal democrats. Ummmmm, wait.... what?! Suddenly US government and politics doesn't seem so far out there. To change PMs at the drop of a hat, or to have a system that even allows for such things as a hung parliament, I guess I just don't understand. (Not that I ever did to begin with, but really.) Apparently Nick Clegg (lib dem) will now sit as the deputy PM as "Mr Cameron said he and the Lib Dem leader were both prepared to put aside their party differences and "work hard for the common good and for the national interest". "I believe that is the best way to get the strong Government that we need, the decisive Government that we need today," he said." I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this pans out.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    ISH May Ball

    The ISH May Ball for Mind was this past Friday night, and I would have to say it was a complete success! The evening was filled with friends, champagne, music, and dancing. They even had a belly dancer, a chocolate fountain (which I literally had to pry myself away from), an auction for the aid of Mind, an awards ceremony for the ISH residents, Matt Horne DJ'ing, and Starman performing throughout the night.    
    It was so much fun to get everyone together and all dressed up! There were a few proper socialites there as well, since it was a charity event, and even they seemed to be having a good time, regardless of if they were just watching all of us students making fools of ourselves. 
    Believe it or not, I even wore a dress that night! (That is how classy we were. Look, I've even got a glass of wine! Wow.) Anyway, it was a night I'm sure we will not soon forget, though I think some of us can't even begin to remember it...  :)

    One Month

    One month. One. Month. Lauren and I will be on a plane back to America in one month. I don't even know what to say. Our time here has flown by so fast... I just don't know where its gone!

    So what will I be doing for this last month you ask? Well, aside from scrambling to finish the paper I have due tomorrow, 3 finals, and starting (yes, starting) my online summer class, I'm thinking it will go something like this...

    Lauren and I will sleep in, spend as much time with our friends as possible, grab a few bottles of wine our cameras and wonder the streets of London drunkenly crying about leaving enjoying every last minute that we have here. Sounds like a good plan to me.

    Except, that is, the whole leaving in one month part of it...

    Elections and Politics, Part 2

    The elections have come and gone, and what dose the UK have to show for it? Well, nothing really. After the election results were in and tallied, we found out it was ended in a hung Parliament. What is a hung Parliament? Good question. A hung Parliament is when no single party hold the majority of seats. Read a more in depth definition here. The conservatives won the most seats in the general election, however, there is now a battle to see which leader can form a new government. Technically speaking, Gordon Brown will remain as PM for now, but Conservative leader David Cameron now has the right to seek to govern. In other words, I have no idea what is really going on and I don't think they really do either. At this point, looks like we will just have to wait and see. To read more about this, click here!  

    Thursday, May 6, 2010


    I have officially decided that buses make me sick. This seems strange to me because there is nothing else I can think of that does this. Planes, trains, boats, cars, even thrill rides are completely fine. (Does it go fast, up, down, sideways, upside down and spin? Awesome, lets go.) But for some reason, as soon as I get on a bus, I feel ill. I found this out the hard way on a 12 hour bus tour of the Scottish Highlands with my mother about a month ago, but I figured it was just the length of the trip or the dodgy roads. Yet now even when I'm on the 205 for that hour to and from class, it's simply torture. Ugh, I'd rather take the tube at rush hour any day. I suppose I've only about a week left that I need to take the bus, so I shouldn't complain. Besides, its a good excuse to never take Megabus ever again...   Looks like my car is coming with me to Milwaukee! ;)

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Elections and Politics

    It's election year here in the UK, but things seem strangely calm and quite here about it compared to the US... There are the political commercials, public awareness ads to register to vote, and (for the first time ever in the UK) televised debates. But there are no yard signs, no banners, no buttons or stickers. It's kinda nice actually, if you lived under a rock you might not even notice that the elections were going on.
    Now, I will be the first to admit that I know very little about politics, economics, or foreign policies for the US (though I would venture to say that I know a great deal more than Sarah Palin....); however when it comes to UK politics, I know next to nothing. Assuming the majority of my readers are American, I will venture to say that most of you don't know much about the upcoming elections here either. So here is a very brief overview of what is happening.
    Like the US, the UK has a party system. There are 3 main parties; Labor, Conservative, and the Liberal Democrats. Each party has one leader, respectively; Gordon Brown (the current Prime Minister), David Cameron, and Nick Clegg. There are other parties involved, however they do not currently seem to have enough support or seats in the House of Commons to warrant much talk of them here in such a short overview. There are 650 MP (Members of Parliament) seats in the House of Commons, all of which are up for election on May 6th.
    This is about where my knowledge of this issue ends (I told you it would be brief), though as election day draws closer I hope to learn about more about each party and what they represent.I will update you with the results on the 6th!

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    ISH Football Match

    Saturday was the annual International Students House football match between the two houses, MTH and GPS. MTH dominated the pitch, and we came away with a 2-1 victory. Lauren, myself, and a few dedicated others took our place on the sidelines to cheer our team on.
    We were obviously very supportive, as you can see here.Cheering for our team was quickly replaced by drinking, lighting the grass on fire, and laughing to the boys on the next pitch over changing in the middle of the park. 
    Still, our boys played a great game keeping the ISH title with MTH for the 5th year in a row.  As distracted as we may have been, we did our best to cheer them on. Congrats guys!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    On your mark, get set, PANIC!

    Lauren and I have officially booked out flight back to the states on June 9th; we're leaving for real now! It still seems like we just arrived in London, time has gone by so fast! But now, now that we've been here since September we actually have things that we are leaving. Our new friends, ISH, the sights, the city, I can't believe that once we leave I don't know when I'll see them again. Ugh. Mental break down fast approaching? Probably. But, that doesn't mean that we can't or won't make the most of the rest of the time we have left. (In between school of course, since that is technically why we are here I guess...) Still there are plenty of fun things coming up to keep our minds off of school!

    Wednesday I will be attending a performance of Psy, check out the preview here. Looks like it's going to be amazing! May 7th ISH is hosting a Hollywood styled charity event called the May Ball in Aid of Mind. With DJs, dancing, and drinks, it is sure to be a great night for a great cause. May 10th Lauren and I are off to Camden to see Foals!!! Check out some of their music here. Then, as if that weren't enough, London Met decided to put on another night of free pizza and a trip on the London Eye for the international students on the 13th! Lots to do and see still, London is never boring!

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010


    Having problems pronouncing the name of the volcano? Check this out...

    Saturday, April 17, 2010


    • Easter was spent up in Bicester with the family friends! Very nice mass and dinner, and it's always nice to get away from the city for a bit.
    • School started again. Uggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.            To be read like this:

    •  A Volcano erupted in Iceland spewing up so much ash that flights coming into and leaving from nearly the whole UK have been canceled for days! Check out more info here.
    That's all for now, more to come!

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Mojito? What the hell is that?

    I forgot to tell you all about the very last conversation we had in Spain before getting on a bus to go to the airport!  We had about 45 minutes and the last of our Euros to kill before the bus left, so we decided to head out to one of the bars to get a mojito. Mojitos, I should mention, seemed to be the drink of choice in Barcelona. They had entire bars devoted to them. You would think, therefore, they would fairly easy to find even out by the bus station. Apparently we were wrong.

    Lauren: "Necesito dos mojitos por favor."

    Old lady: "Bocadillo?" (A sandwich.)

    Lauren: "No, no. Mojito."

    Old lady: "Si, bocadillo."

    Lauren: "No, mojito. Mo-hee-toe" Makes drinking motion.

    Old lady: "Ah! Patatas!" (Potatoes!)

    Lauren: "What? No!"

    Needless to say, we were doomed to leave Barcelona without our drinks. That would prove to be a terrible decision in and of itself after frustration and delays at the airport. But, we survived. I'm sure their mojitos would have been over priced and mediocre at best anyways.

    Barcelona, Spain

    So after an unbearable 9 hour over night bus ride from Madrid, we arrived in Barcelona exhausted around 9am. Unfortunately, we were unable to check into our hostel until 1, so I feel asleep on the couch in the common room of our hostel while Lauren figured out what we should do and see while we were there.
    We decided to spend the remaining hours of our first day there getting to know the area, which turned out to be be a good game plan. We were just a short walk away from the main street, loads of pubs, and the beach!! We stopped for lunch, having tortillas, calamari sandwiches, and sangria.  
    The rest of our days were filled with Antoni Gaudi, wonderful markets, long walks on the beach (lol, not really), and watching the Spanish football matches in British pubs. We spent a full day seeing La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. They were amazing. If and when they ever finsih La Sagrada Familia, it will be the most intricate and, true to its name, gaudy building ever. Definitely worth seeing.  
    Our last day in Barcelona we decided to relax and head down to the beach.While the weather had been warm and sunny for the majority of our trip, the water was still freezing, so no swimming for us. That didn't stop a few brave souls though, or the old guy walking along the shore in his Speedo. Ugh. 
    Overall our trip was great, and the only complaint we had was that our flight back to London was delayed. Aside from that Spain was great, hopefully someday we'll be able to go back!

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Madrid, Spain

    Alright alright I know I've been seriously slacking in getting this post up, but here it is finally!Spain was wonderful. The weather was great, the food was great, and the sights were wonderful.
    We spent our days wandering around the city, seeing the sites and taking everything in. Lauren speaks Spanish pretty well, so we were doing good getting around and ordering food and the likes. I just pretended to be mute. It works for me. 
    One of our coworkers from Milwaukee happened to be in Madrid at the same time, so one of our nights there we headed over to have drinks with her and her sister who is studying in Madrid for the year. It was great to see a familiar face again and catch up on all the work gossip since we've been gone.
    Since it has been awhile since we have gotten back, and I knew I would probably fail epically at getting this post up in a timely fashion, I took a few brief notes about Madrid so I would know what to blog about. Looking at those notes now, I think I may have been crazy. 
    The list goes something like this....
    • Hookers- there were tons of hookers in Madrid. It was bizarre.
    • Purple- Purple seems to be the new black this season. EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE. Purple. 
    • Back to the '90's- from mullets, rat-tails, and hammer pants, we were for sure in the 90's. 
    • TACO BELL- OMG there was a Taco Bell!! Highlight of the trip for sure. One of 2(?) in all of Europe. What did you do in Madrid? We got Taco Bell. YESSSSS.
    Post for Barcelona tomorrow hopefully!

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Family, Part 3; Paris

    Ah, Paris was amazing!!! The weather was perfect, the sights were amazing, and people were great! (Though, I would highly recommend learning at least some French before going to France. Might help.)
    For the short time we were there, we managed to see the a good portion of the sights; the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, and Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery. 
    Jake and I must have been delirious with exhaustion, because we decided it would be a good idea to go up the Eiffel Tower, taking the stairs... Totally worth the climb, but OMG that's a lot of stairs! At the Louvre we saw the Mona Lisa, and Winged Triumph, along with countless other priceless paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. Of course, I had to stop by the grave site of Jim Morrison while we were at Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery as well.
    We found some great food, fresh pastries and breads, great salads, and more wine than I have or will probably consume again in the next year and a half. Everything seemed to be just as it should be for a holiday in the city of lights. 
    We had to wake up early our last day there to catch the Eurostar back to London, then the family was off straight away to Heathrow to catch their flight back to MN. Our trip went by so fast, I can't believe they were here for nearly 2 weeks and that they are gone already! But, time is going by fast and every day I'm that much closer to having to go back to the states myself. Ugh! However, I am and will enjoy every minute that I have here, and I am so glad my family was able to share some in some of my overseas adventures! Love you guys!
    Quick Update part 2: Spain in two days! Holy Crap!

    Family, Part 2; London

    Well I finally got the family to London, and we are all having a blast! There is so much to do and see, I've been here for months and still haven't seen it all! But we are doing our best to cover as much ground as possible in the time that we have, so we are hitting it and hitting it hard.
    We were super lucky and had beautiful weather through out our travels and my family's visit, not only was it warm but it hardly rained at all. We managed to hit all of the main tourist attractions and sites with hardly a moment to spare.
    After nearly a full week of nonstop sightseeing, the fast pace of city life as a tourist was starting to catch up to us all. But, we weren't done yet! Off to Paris for 4 days and 3 nights! Next post coming soon! 

    Quick Update: Lauren and I just bought tickets to Spain! Spring break here we come!

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Family, Part 1; Edinburgh, take 2

    The family finally arrived to the UK safe and sound, and utterly tired. No time to sleep though, as soon as they got off the plane at Heathrow, I met them and we were off on another flight to Edinburgh! Had a nice quiet first night in Scotland, went out to one of the local pubs, got a pint (Jake's first legal drink!) and then back to the flat for some much needed rest. It was (and is!) so good to see them again!
    We somehow managed to get up and out the door on Monday, and went out to explore the castle, the Royal Mile, and Calton Hill. By the time we got through all the main sights we were starving and tired. We found a place to stop for some Italian food at Bella Italia, had a quick pint at a local pub, and went back to the flat for the night. 
    Then next day Dad and Jake were off to St. Andrews for a round of golf, and Mom and I took a day trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness. The Highlands were absolutlely beautiful, and we were able to go on a short boat cruise on the Loch Ness.         Our last day there, we were off and running straight away to the airport to catch our flight into London, but for having such little time in Scotland we were all able to see quite a bit of it.  We have been crazy busy here in London so far, and having lots of fun, hopefully I will have time to post before we leave for Paris, but if not don't worry, I will update as soon as I find time!