Mon Sep 02 2002 19:34:
Wahoo! several days into my livivng in London adventures, and I am still loving it!! Last night me and my roommates cooked dinner (lasgne and garlic bread and salad, yum!) and our friends Rob and Tom came over with dessert (cheesecake!!!) and we had such a fun night! I love living in London!!! Kathy is sitting here next to me, and told me to write that. "yay me"- Kathy.
here are some quotes for you:
"I'm not cynical, I'm realistic. There's a difference."- Kathy. "I'm actually optimistic"- Kathy.
"Oh, Rachel, I'm so glad we're roommates, give me a hug!!"- Kathy. "Me too! We're so alike! It's like we're the same person!!"- Rachel
"Oh, they're kissing!! I wanna kiss!" -Rachel. "Did I just say that outloud?"- Rachel.
"There are two thing you need to know about English history: Henry the VII had six wives, and we always beat the French."- Our tour guide.
Last night I woke up to go to the bathroom and Kathy woke up too and was waiting outside the door, which "gave me a fright". After she went in the bathroom I went back to bed but realized I needed a kleenex, so went back and waited by teh bathroom door, which startled Kathy when she came out! This was really funny when it happened....
LONG AWAITED EUROPEAN ADVENTURES:(this is a long one, go get a cup of *insert favourite beverage here* and sit down!)
PARIS: We had the most incredible luck!!! I think it was karma making up for all of the rotten luck I had when travelling during the program, but this one week was seriously the most amazing of my entire life!! Sometimes I would just sit back and think, how did this happen? For starters, the fact that I was able to actually get all of my stuff safely in storge in London and survive the ordeal is a miricle in itself, and it happened to Kristi, too! whats more, is we both made it to the airport and onto our flight in time! Wednesday night was bittersweet, because I was missing the farewell party and I had to say goodbye to all of my Sussex friends whom I had come to know and love over the previuos two months. However, getting into Paris was exilerating, and even though Kristi and I had no idea where our hotel was and therfore had to pay an extremely large cab fare form teh gare du nord, we were really happy to be there so it didnt matter. our hotel was in a nice area but not exactly centrally located. we tried to find a bite to eat after checking in at 12:30 am, but that wasn't really working so we went back to our room and made a meal of the rice cakes and granola bars and V8 we had brought along, and watched a Barbara Streisand movie in which she pretends to be a guy so she can study (I think?) and ends up marrying a girl... for the rest of the trip, and random moments, Kristi and I both were prone to breaking out into "Papa, can you hear me? I have a voice now!". We had the most amazing day in Paris ever!! In the morning, over breakfast, we met two guys from Irvine, they're everywhere! Fisrt, we went to Saint Denis basilique because Kriti's lab guy had written a novel about it and told here about it, so she wanted to see it. It was really pretty, but of course there just happened to be a group of sans papiers demostrating outside. luckily, it was a friendly, upbeat riot. Then, we walked down the Champs Elysees, which is as beuatiful and charming as ever. It sounds crazy, but Kristi and I noth had forgotten how much we love Paris! Its totally a there in the moment atmosphere thing! We ate in a croque monsieurs in a cute sidewalk cafe, then walked down to L'Arc de Triomphe, and back down the otherside. Kristi bought a Yannick CD in the Virgin Megastore where, years ago I purchased my Pink Martini CD, and this brought back many memories of French class. After the Champs Elysees we saw the ferris wheel in the Jardin de Tuleries, so we headed there. Stoped for yummy chocolate Berthillon glace and again for crepes avec fraise.. yum!! the ferris wheel was great fun, and awesome views! after the ferris wheel, we walked to the Pont Neuf metro, I saw Samaritine and we went inside and took a picture of a harry potter made of lego. This is when things got crazy. We go off at adiffernt metro stop that we thought ould be closer to our hotel, but it really wasnt. we had to ask for directions and ended up taking a bus. By this time we were seriuosly behind schedule, we showed up a gare du nord with 3 minutes to spare before our 1022 train to Munich, and that was a miracle! then, the guy at the information booth informed us that the Munich trains leave from gare d'est, a five minute walk. But, luckily there was a mistake in the timetable I had, and the munich train actually left at 1058, so things worked out perfectly. What are the chances of that happening? God is on our side.
I just decided I have way to many adventures to do them all in one sitting, so look forward to the train ride, Munich, and Nice later on!! Cheers!
Thu Sep 05 2002 15:08:
I'm on a short break from class right now, British History, what fun!!! I don't have Shakespeare until next week, but I'm really looking forward to it! So far all of my classes sound like fun, except perhaps the one I don't know what it is yet... Tomorrow I am planning on coming to the computer lab and typing up the rest of my week's adventures... I got pictures back yesterday, and that was really exciting!
"Does the "r" stand for Riverside?"- Marisa
Fri Sep 06 2002 18:12:
Wow! I have had such an adventurous day today! First, just as I was finally getting out the door, I was closing the window to leave, and I looked down onto the balcony type thing below and I see something that catches my eye- a picture! I'm looking at it and I realize its one of my pictures! Then I look at the rest of the balcony and I see all 4 of my rolls of recently developed pictures scattered all over!!! Alll 4!!!! They must have fallen out last night through my window- because I had them on the sill and I remember closing my window when I went to bed! Of course it has been rainy and windy all morning! So I flip out and run to get Kathy yelling "My pictures are everywhere!" The only way to get onto the balcony is to go through on of the flats on that level, but no one was home! So we are running down to go through the courtyard and see if we can somehow climb up (this is very urgent because it is still windy so the pictures are still blowing around everywhere and not only have my pictures fallen, but the negatives, too!!) and we see a mantinance guy coming in, so we beg him to let us onto the balcony, which he does even though its illegal, and I eventually collect all of my wet and dirty pictures. Then, Kathy and I head back up to our flat to drop of my renegade pictures and get our stuff to leave, and we seem to be having some trouble with our keys... we keep trying to get the lock to turn until we realize we don't actually have Kathy's keys, but someone else's similair keys that must have gotten left at our flat! After sitting on the ground laughing for 5 minutes we remember our friend the maintinance guy, and go off to find him so he can let us back into our flat! Ofcourse, he thinks we're the craziest people alive, but atleast we got back in! We finally made it to the center to buy our books and we ended up having a long and interesting conversation with the girl in charge!
So, back to my EUROPEAN ADVENTURES, hopefully I have enough time to actually do this, or atleast a good bit of it....
Kristi and I thought we were so lucky to get our own compartment on the train, but we later learn that that particulair car was actully going to Frankfurt, so we had to switch at 4 AM to get onto a Munich car, and that was not nearly as nice. But we made it to Munich alright, and after relatively little confusion made it to the hotel we wanted, which had vacacies for us! Yippe! I loved this hotel because it was only 50 euro a night for our private double room, right in the center of town and next to the train station, and teh staff was soo friendly and helpful. In fact, pretty much everyone in Munich was friendly and helpful! Later that day Kristi and I headed to the castle (whose name I can never either remember or pronounce) build by the "crazy" King Ludwig. I can still remember sitting in Mrs. Cribbs 10th grade English class, staring at the poster, and pretending I was there, so it was really exciting to actually be there! The castle was lovely, but I think the best part was the view (the Alps, yay!) And, being such a huge tourist attraction, there were
excessive amounts of tourists, especially the loudy screaming kid kind, which really starts to get on your nerves when you have spent the previous night trying to sleep on a train seat. It started to rain, too, which wasn't really that bad, but it might have been nice to explore some of the hiking trails around. We got to take the horse carriage down! I can't believe that I was going to Germany but I hadn't thought of Baravrian pretzels or German gummy bears... This afternoon was accompanied by much eating! We talked to some more guys from Irvine on the train ride back. By the time we were back at our hotel it was pretty late, so we made friends with our Canadien neighbors and then just went to bed.
The next day we got up early and set off for Dachau, so we had a pretty solemn morning. We spent several hours there, trying to do it justice- there was a lot to see. Its hard to really describe the feelings in a concentration camp memorial... but I think it was a good experience. We were planning on making it back in time for the 4:00 Mike's Bike Tour, but that didn't happen. So Krisit went back to the hotel to try to sort things out for the rest of her trip, and I went sightseeing! I wandered around Munich and got a little lost, just looking at the city. It really is a beautiful city!! I saw the big clock do its thing, climbed up to the top of St Peter's and saw an awesome view of the city! Then I went to get Kristi and we got dressed up and ate at this really cute authentic German restaurant where we had authentic German food (assisted by our friendly German eating neighbors) and our waiter was really cute and gave us free pretzels... yum!! Then we got gelatto ice cream for dessert and were eating it at the fountain where we met these 2 crazy Austrain guys, and we ended up going to a karoake bar in a really 'happenin' area, and that was really fun, so it was pretty late when we finally got back to our hotel, and we had a train at 7:30 the next day!
I set the alarm on my cell phone for 5:30 to give me plenty of time to take a shower in the morning, which I had already done when I looked at my watch and realized that my cell phone was still on England time, so I had 45 min to wake up Kristi, pack, and make it to the station (thank goodness it was right across the street!) Amazingly enough, though, we made it!! And then we got to spend the next 14 hours with veyry loud Italian people. I would have considered it a very sucessful day of scenery and sleeping if we had been about to get our own compartment, or atleast share with someone a little more considerate. Instead, I had a little brat sitting across from me kicking my shins for 5 hours straight. So, after 14 hours, its understandable that we were not in our best decision making state, so our choice of hostel makes a little more sense then it would under better circumstances. What's so funny is that, the next day we found the cutest, cleanest, most centrally located hotel in Nice, and we ended up paying less for our room than we had paid the night before for a smelly shared room atleast 2 miles from the center of town! But Kristi and I decided to just forget about our temporary lack of judment and enjoy our last 2 days together.. in Nice!! This is where our luck turned, because we had teh most wonderful day, shopping, sitting on the beach, wandering around in Vieux Nice. Then we put on our dresses and ate dinner and a cute red and white checkered place by a fountain we had found earlier that day, and dessert was across the street at a gellato place with about 500 flavours! It was soo good! Kristi and I both had sorbet and we could really tell it was made from real fruit! Very impressive. It was Monday night, so there wasn't much going on, we found a student place where a small band was playing live, but it was really mellow and we were falling alseep, so we left to wander the streets for a while. There were lots of restaurants and shops open until 12 or 1(very unusual in Europe!), so we still had plenty to do.
In the morning we woke up and went shopping! Then we bought sandwiches and ate on the beach, swam, laid, fell asleep, and decided next time we came to Nice we would go parasailing. After the beach we went back to the hotel and I got my stuff and we walked to the train station, shopping along the way. Saying goodbye was sad, but its wasn't really goodbye since Kristi is coming to see me in London, so we made it not too bad. It was mostly sad because my vacation was over and we had such an AMAZING time!! The train ride to Paris was a good time to gather my thoughts and enjoy the view- Provence is absolutley beautiful!! Just like you would picture it. I escaped my seat in the smoking car and found an empty seat next to a nice French guy from Paris who had done the same- its great that I can actually hold a coherent conversation in French!!
About Nice- I really think I may have found the most perfect place in the world!! Nice, I said to Kristi, is like California in Europe- the best of both worlds!! If I didn't feel this inexplicable tie to England, if my family didn't live in the States, I could happily spend the rest of my my life in Nice! It is so beautiful, so amazingly beautiful, that I don't have words to descibe it! I just kept wandering around, wondering, how does a place like this just HAPPEN?
Kristi and I have decided to open up a shop, in Nice or one of the smaller towns on the Cote D'Azur, called "Rachel and Kristin's favourite things" or <>, <> for short, where we sell things that are really cool loke clothes etc, stuff for houses, antique French tourism posters, and music. We even worked out a compilacted scheme on how we could get the business set up, the move on to become doctors and lawyers, but still have the shop run for a year at a time, by girls like us!
After getting to Paris, I had some adventures getting to the airport, lets just say that if there are 5 nice people in Paris, they all helped me that night. But I made it, and I met 2 British guys (both named Paul) on the train, and an Austrailan named Meagan at the airport,all on my flight, so I stayed up all night in Charles de Gualle chatting and playing cards, perfectly safe and sound. Even if I was a bit smelly, worn, and edgy (not to mention sunburnt, but that was a result of Nice) by the time I got to London.
"Are you a soprano or alto?"-Rachel "Oh, you used to play the violin?"-Kristi, "Your name in Ucla?"-Crazy Austrian Guy, "Do you ship?"-us "Yes"-them "Ok, we'll take it"-us "Take what?"-them "The whole thing"-us "The whole what?"-them "The whole store..."-us, "We saw the hills that were alive!"-Kristi.
Sun Sep 08 2002 17:51:
Yesterday we went down to Greenwich and took pictures straddling the Prime Meridian line after eating a very filling authentic English meal of pies!! That was very fun. Here are some interesting quotes: "Oh, is that LONDON??"- Molina, "It's easier to be a father than it is to have a nice ass"- Sam, on David Beckham, "Is that Big Ben?"- Marisa, pointing to an old church.
Today we went to Hyde Park to meet Laura's authentic English cousin, and tonight we are going to clean, bake chocolate chip cookies, plan our trips, and read about The History of London. I have my European Union class for the first time tomorrow! And, hopefully, Kristi makes it to London today... We'll see!!
Tue Sep 10 2002 14:38:
Yay!! Kristi is here and safe. We are still trying to figure out what to do tomorrow. There is a service at St Paul's, which I think would be nice. Its very odd to be away from home at a time like this...
I went to Buckingham Palace yesterday, which was very impressive. I also read 30 pages in my HUGE History of London book... only 110 more to go before tomorrow!!
Tue Sep 10 2002 16:27:
I just spend £30 on books! two books, to be exact. And I still need another one... for that class!! Not to mention the two other clases I still have to go book shopping for. This city is too expensive!
Shakespeare has been postponed, so I am killing time before heading to the Globe.
Thu Sep 12 2002 15:14:
I just spend £30 on books!! two books.. and I still have more to buy.. for some reason I did not figure this into my budget. But I think I'll be ok, since most of the time I thought I was going to spend out doing fun things will actually be spend in my flat reading. yay.
Yesterday was quite adventurous. I saw many famous people and was homesick a lot. And I think I bought more books. More on that later.
Fri Sep 13 2002 16:01:
I forgot what I was going to say yesterday before I left in a hurry. It's very inconvienent to have your computer so far away! In fact, my computer is probably one of the things I miss the most!!
I was going to do some solitary exploring today, but instead Kathy and I are going shopping. I still need a really good day of doing nothing but reading all those really expensive books I bought. Soon... There is a festival along the Thames this weekend, that should be fun!
Sun Sep 15 2002 18:19:
Try as I might, I can't seem to get away from being a loud American... a perfect example is singing Britney Spears while walking back from the train station(from Brighton, which was fun, I had a Twix milkshake). Also, Malini and I picked up some 'beer' filled glasses we saw on a street corner because there is a serious lack of glasses in everyone's flats, but my roommates refused to allow them inside, even for the intetion of sterilizing, so they are both in Malini and Marisa's flat.
Mon Sep 16 2002 00:04 'Title'? What is this? :
Just got back from the International Festival on the Thames. To say one thing about the English, they can put on a good show. I was slightly worried when 20 minutes after they were supposed to have started we had seen nothing but boats slowly floating along the river spewing fire (which was quite impressive for the first 5 minutes, but after that it got old) and heard nothing but Jim, Kathy's English friend, descrbing people jumping around and waving sparklers in the air. We were begging to think that 'fireworks' might turn out to be one of those cultural differences, but we eventually got the show we came for, and it was very impressive!! And I finally got my fireworks fix which I have been missing since the 4th of July.
Also at the festival was lots of yummy food (Laura and I made friends with the doughnut man) and I bought a cute ring. I think my roommates have realized the value of taking glasses from street corners, so we have decided that next time we attend a large event we will bring along a large plastic lined tote for this purpose.
Earlier today I was complaining that my sister got her package but I haven't gotten mine yet, then someone pointed out that Utah is alot closer to California than London is, which is a very valid point. But I still want my package!
Everyone else is sticking around to watch Braveheart, but I haven't got the emotional energy for it, and I've got to go back and read about the European Union, anyhow, so lucky me!
Mon Sep 16 2002 00:45 Midnight Laments:
It's dark and scary out there, and the buses stop running regularily at 12, so I decided to wait out Barveheart and go back with the rest. In the meantime I am reading Malini's book, all about postwar european intergration. I've had two diet cokes today (which, btw, I am now addicted to) so I should be able to stay awake. Tomorrow I am going to finish A Midsummer Night's Dream, which shouldn't be too hard since I still have large chucks of it memorized.
Fri Sep 20 2002 15:07:
Guess who's going to Madrid!!!
Tonight my roommates are going to dinner at the Bush (band not US Pres) guitarist's house, so Marisa (who lost the coin toss) and I are bonding and eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese courtesy of her birthday care package. There was some discussion about which side of the penny was heads and which was tails, but I thought it should have been obvious.
Mommy and Leonard are really coming to see me, which is very exciting, although I am a little upset that Susanna refuses. Although, its probably just as well, because if she comes and manages to sneak Gretel with her, I'll have seen my family 3 weeks before I am due to come home, so I REALLY won't want to leave.
Now I think I'll go drop off my film and spend more money on books, except that I forgot my book list so maybe not. But my eyes are starting to strain because I forgot my glasses, so its time to go.
Sun Sep 22 2002 22:06 This weekend's adventures:
Yesterday I went on the tour group to Bath and Stonhenge, which were both a lot better seen in early fall as oppposed to freezing cold winter, but Stonehenge was still unimpressive. Bath was great, but despite my best intention's I didn't make it to the Jane Austen museum. Some day...
Last night we ordered yummy pizza and listened to hip hop and pretended we were back in 'Cali', which was great. Ate way too much!!!
Today after a very late start we went to Camden Market and I bought a pair of Doc Martens (brown ones, not the ones I have been looking for, but I am still determined). They are really cute, and Marisa bought a pair also, and we made friends with the guys in the Doc Martens stall after spending an hour there while they tried to find the mate to Maria's shoe. I really wish I was a size four. I also bought a fuzzy hat.
Tonight we are going to watch Bridget Jones' Diary and eat the yummy flammin hot cheetos that my mommy sent me in my care package! I still have lots of yucky reading to do for tommorrow and Tues, but tomorrow is also Princess Diana appreciation day, so we'll see.
Mon Sep 23 2002 19:44 On Break from EU Class:
Thats about all I have time for. We're learning about the Common Market and early European integration. It's all very exciting, but you might say I'm just a nerd.
Wed Sep 25 2002 13:22:
I have many complaints about the stupid program, and because of one of them I have no time to go into further details. I would just like everyone to know that we had Princess Diana apprciation day and went to Kensington Palace to see all her dresses, which was lovely. Also, the roommates and I had a private tour of Southwark, I didn't make it thru the performance of 12th Night, and I have been running around crazily recently and wish I didn't have this stupid class that I have to go to now!
Fri Sep 27 2002 13:23 Free Time, At Last!!!:
I am now going to spend as long as I want in the computer lab. Then I am going shopping. Hurahh!
Fri Sep 27 2002 14:36:
My friend Janet told me that if you cut hair with any scisorrs other than hair scsiorrs (I do not know how to spell that word!) ie the scisorrs on your swiss army pocket knife, you'll end up getting more spilt ends because the cut isnt presice enough. This actually makes since, and might explain why I have so many split ends, so now I am paranoid, and have only cute off one spilt end with my swiss army knife scisors since them. Must go get hair cut!!
I just finished Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason. I think that Bridget Jones is every woman! If anyone has not read the books, I urge you to do do at once! you will be glad you did! Everyone was making fun of me yesterday because I refused to put the book down and at random moments would burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter. Of course, everyone one who had read the book said "dont worry, I understand" and wanted to know what part I was at. I couldn't sleep until Bridget and Mark Darcy were happily back together! *sigh* Mark Darcy. What a perfect ending! Now, it is absolutey necessary that 1) Bridget Jones #3 is written and published and 2) The Edge of Reason is made into a movie!
Laura, Marisa, Rob, and Tom are off to Scotland, so the rest of us are going to hang about London and maybe go on an exciting day trip. I have big plans for this weekend, inlcuding: all of my reading for next week, sorting thru the big pile of stuff (mostly clothes) on my floor, joining the gym, getting my deposit back from the bastards at Safestore, planning stuff for Mom and Leonard's trip, finding a place for Mom and Leonard to stay, planning my trip to Madrid, sending out postcards, going shopping, brainstorming for the book(s) I am going to write, and just in general figure out what I am doing. Oh yeah, and get my hair cut. Maybe I will buy a pair of hair cutting scisors so I can engage in my compulsive habit with out worry. I wonder if they sell them at Boots?
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.