Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And So It Goes...

Well, I've been home for nearly a month now. At first I was very busy, and then just very lazy, so there was no final entry. Now there is, yay!

I am home. It was a wonderful trip and I am lucky to have had the experience. I hope I can return to Europe, someday...

I miss Boston a lot. Only another week or so until I'm back in the LB and loving the city. I can't wait.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and thanks to those of you who actually commented. It really meant a lot.

It's good to be home <3

Monday, December 10, 2007

Last Day in Amsterdam...

So, today was my third and final trip to Amsterdam. I went with Kate and Shawna, two girls who are in my circle of friends but who I've never hung out with without a ton of other people. It was nice to spend time with them and bond a little since we weren't as close. We definately had a lot of fun.

It started with lunch at my favorite favorite favorite sandwich shop that me and Aaron discovered when he visited called Soup Kitchen. The Healthy Herbie sandwich and Cream of Spinach with Pesto soup were amazing as always. To think I will never taste them again is saddening. I hope I can find a good equivilant in the US, perhaps Panera will adopt the Spinach soup...

I bought lots of souvenirs for family and such. It was fun, I think I found some good ones. Amsterdam is a really good walking city. And really pretty. Canals everywhere, even the red light district looks gorgeous in the day, with the swans swimming through the middle. We were going to wait until dark and walk the red light district again, but it was only dusk by the time we were tired and out of money. So we headed back.

It was a fun day with new friends. Definately a successful trip :)

I came back, however, to CRAZY luggage regulations. Aparently the flight we take to London, where we're supposed to bring allll our stuff to since we're leaving for home from there, has different weight regulations than we had on Northwest coming here. Just going Netherlands to London. The weight restrictions are so different that technically we'd have to get rid of half our stuff to be able to get over to London without spending about $200.

So. The parents have begun calling I hear. This will be an interesting last day tomorrow...

Love and miss everyone! FOUR DAYS!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I am officially done with papers, done with studying, DONE WITH FINALS!!!

It is SUCH a relief! I am so happy. Now I can finally finally finally relax! I did most of my packing last night, so I don't have too much to do. Tomorrow I go to Amsterdam to finish up my shopping for people. It's nice to just enjoy the last few days!

And, neither of my finals were hard :) My papers were tough, and I had to kind of pull stuff out of the air to get to the ridiculous length requirements... I think I did okay though.

So happy to be done with work. 5 Days until I'm home!!! Who misses me? hehe...

Miss you all, SEE YOU SO SOON!!!


Friday, December 7, 2007

One Week!

Exactly one week until I'm home!

That is, if I survive finals... arg.

Wish me luck! See you all so soon!


Monday, December 3, 2007


First of all, Happy Birthday to my Mom! Since I was a complete idiot and forgot on the day it actually occurred, let the whole internet be aware, November 29 my mom turned... 29! Hehe. She's been 29 for a while now, but shh I didn't say that. Anyway, anyone who knows her email send birthday wishes of epic proportions to make up for my stupidity. Or leave comments here if you don't know her email.

So. Greece.

For one thing, Agean airlines has the best airline food ever. Also, it's the first cheap airline that actually served us food we didn't have to pay for.

Greece was gorgeous and amazing and a perfect way to end the semester. Jill, Heather, Meredith, John, Jenna, Devon and I went. It was a pretty good group to travel with. It was t-shirt weather, sadly not beach weather, but still wonderful and sunny. We only really had one day to roam around since we left on a Friday instead of Thursday night, but it was worth it. We went to the Acropolis, the Theater of Dionicis, and a bunch of surrounding ruins. It was sunny and beautiful the entire time we were there. We ate at a Greek restaurant where everyone had Gyros and I had a Greek Salad. We wandered through some marketplaces that sold mostly antiques and such. There was not a souvinir place to be found. I was afraid I'd leave Greece without my shotglass souvinir, which I get in every country I visit and have accumulated quite a collection so far.

At one point we lost Devon. Jill, Heather, Jenna, Devon and I were searching for souvinir shops and ended up on this street lined with clothing shops. Jenna dashes into H&M to see if they have a jacket she wants, and we all follow her. But Devon was taking a picture and didn't see where we went. So when we leave H&M we wait outside for her, but she never shows up. Jill goes in and searches the entire four floor store but does not find her. We walk up and down the street looking for her, and she's not there. We're freaking out just a little and eventually go back to the hostel and there she is. After she lost us she just took the metro back. I get freaked out when stuff like this happens because I expect the worst, I forget that a lot of people here have really good travel smarts and are able to keep a level head and find their way back themself. I wish I was like that, but unfortunately I tend to flip out and I can't go anywhere alone. Which is sad, because I am really upset I missed out on Berlin and would love to spend the one day/night we have free going there, but I am the only one with an active Eurail left and it's too expensive for most people to buy a ticket. So I'd have to go by myself. But I'm too scared. Anyway.

That night a few people went on a Pub Crawl, which I really wanted to do, but I got a massive migrane and had to stay in. Pub Crawls are fun, Aaron and I went on one in Amsterdam. You pay a certain fee that lets you into 5 clubs for free with a free drink at each and free shots at the door. But my head was seriously in pain for a good part of the second half of the day. I lay down and tried to nap it out, but it didn't work. Also, no one had brought any sort of tylenol substance. So I didn't go on the pub crawl. Meredith was also sick though, so I had someone to talk to at least while I had a pillow wrapped around my face as to not let any light touch my head and make it hurt even worse. Everyone came into the room at about 4, when we had to wake up at 5:30, completely under the influence of Greece's famous Ouza shots that were 50 cents each and aparently potent as hell. I'm a bit sorry I missed out on that. Jill was still loopy when we got to the airport at 7, it was funny.

At the airport I finally found a store that had the tiniest souvinir section ever. Athens aparently is not fond of souvinirs. I almost bought some Ouza for my Greek relatives (since aparently Ouza is a traditional Greek liquor) but it was in a 200 mL bottle and you can only have containers of 100 mL on the plane. Oh well. I got them another little gift instead. I still need to get them another something, maybe another little gift for my brother, and something for my stepdad. I keep seeing things for my mom and getting them, but he's very hard to shop for. I think I am going to Amsterdam one more time before I leave, and possibly the Brussels Christmas Market. That is, if I get all my mountains of work done before then. Which looks nearly impossible as of right now with a total of 30 or more pages left to write. Uuuugh. But worse comes to worst I'll shop in London, since we go there for two days before leaving for the U.S, it'll just be a bit expensive there. Any ideas on what to get for the remaining family members?

The trip is almost complete and I can't wait to be home. It seems like I'm the minority that actually is homesick. No one else wants to leave. I'd love to return someday, but right now it's just time to be home. I miss you all lots. Lots of love.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's that time of the semester again...

time to choose classes! And, of course, everyone's laptop suddenly decides to stop loading the Emerson Courses List. Which means the computer lab today was PACKED. Thankfully I had already written down the codes for the classes I wanted, so it wasn't a huge deal. However, a couple of classes I really wanted to take were full, so my dear friend Jenn went to the webpage and IMed me the codes for a couple classes.

I'm still considering a Marketing minor, or perhaps a Journalism one, but I like my schedule as it is right now and since you only need 4 classes for the minor I could start next fall working towards it. We'll see. You can declare a minor at any time too, so I don't have to do it by the end of the Spring semester like I have to declare Writing Literature and Publishing as my official major. I'm also wondering if I want to declare a BFA instead of a BA, but I'm not entirely sure what that entails other than a better degree. If it's a lot more work then I should probably stay away seeing as how I stress out over schoolwork enough as it is.

Anyway. My schedule as of right now is:

Monday: American Literature 10-11:15
Tuesday: Magazine Writing 2-3:45, Advanced Creative Writing 4-5:45
Wednesday: American Literature 10-11:15
Thursday: Magazine Writing 2-3:45, Advanced Creative Writing 4-5:45
Friday: American Literature 10-11:15, Psychology of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity 12-3:45

The psychology one takes out my psych gen ed and my us diversity gen ed so now the only gen ed I have left is Science I believe. More room on my schedule to later take a marketing or journalism class! Also, if Copyediting clears up (it's full as of now) then I'm snatching it up, so that might mess with the schedule a bit.

One paper down, one more to go for this week. I'm contemplating taking my laptop to Greece though, so I can work on my other million and a half papers I have to do before the end of the week. Let's see... what's left... a short story, two revised short stories, an 8 page paper on the effects of tourism on a culture, a collage and accompanying paper on how Europeans view Americans, and an 8 (?) page paper on an ethical subject of my choosing (Animal Rights). Oh God I have lots of work to do... Plus two finals to study for. Uuuuugh.

That is all. It is dinnertime.

<3 and miss you all, only 16 more days!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Travel Break, Take 2.

Okay, so, as you could probably tell by my last post, I was very moved by Prague. It was a really gorgeous city with a lot of history, it was interesting since before this trip I didn't even know where Prague was let alone anything about it, so everything was unexpected. Of course, the concentration camp at Terezin was just amazing. There wasn't a single dry eye by the end of the day. I had always wanted to visit a concentration camp since that whole aspect of the war is facinating to me (though of course also horrific), and I'd still like to visit one of the bigger ones someday, it was really a moving experience.

The exchange rate was in our favor for once. About 20 Crowns to the dollar. I think that with the way things were priced 20 dollars for us would be about 300 Crowns or so for them. So, most of the souvinirs I bought for people are from Prague. Haha. It was nice though, to have a little extra spending money.

On our way to meet our tour group, Shaunagh, Heather, Jill and I decided to take the Metro since we were running late. We bought our tickets, passed by these weird yellow things that we didnt know what they were, and went to wait for the train. Suddenly, a Metro Police guy comes out and asks for our tickets. We give him our tickets. He tells us they need to be validated. Aparently, that's what the yellow machines are. Another Metro Police appears, and takes our passports. Then we follow them back up to the ticket machines, and validate the tickets. Then we're fined 500 Crowns. Even though we explained to them that we didn't know, and that we actually BOUGHT the tickets and paid for them and everything. I wonder if it was because we're American that they didn't let it slide... Weird. So we all lost 20 bucks. We had to stop Shaunagh from attacking the guys, she was so pissed that they didn't just give us a warning. It was annoying, but an interesting story I guess.

We also went to the Mucha Museum. Again, something I knew nothing about, but the artist featured there was awesome. He made all of these prints of beautiful women with flowers and stars and planets... he was one of the major poster makers for Sarah Burnhardt, that's how he's most famous. I ended up buying a poster of his Roses picture (how it's going to make it home to America in one piece I have no idea...), four cards featuring his "Stars" series, and some postcards that show the different times of day (Morning, Noon, Night). I plan on decorating my room with them when I return.

And, as Chester pointed out, Saturday night it was mandatory for all castle students to go to the club. I forget what it was actually called, there's speculation that it was called "Roxy" but it was a five story dance club that aparently is one of the bigger clubs in central Europe. It was a lot of fun. Lots of dancing. I had to figure out how to make my "travel clothes" work for "club attire." I had a semi-decent long shirt and leggings I had been using to keep warm under my pants (PRAGUE WAS FREEZING) and I borrowed someone's black flats and I looked at least a tiny bit club-worthy. Everyone else was doing the same fashion improvisation. The friend Jill and I made in Dublin, Sam, met us in Prague and came with us to the club too. Now he has lots of new American friends, haha. It was nice to see him again, and helpful since a lot of people there spoke German so he could translate for us a little.

We also saw a multitude of churches, and took a tour through the Jewish Quarter with all the old Synagogs... I definately spelled that wrong... it was interesting but by that point we were all exhausted. The last night nearly all the castle kids crammed into one of the apartments (they housed us in these wicked cool apartments for the week) and had a potluck thanksgiving dinner. It was a lot of fun, and super cheesy since we went in a circle and said what we were thankful for. It was a nice thanksgiving, even though it was five days before the real thanksgiving.

The night we were let go for our Independent Travel Break Jill, Heather and I hopped on a sleeper train to Florence. I enjoy sleeper trains, they remind me of camping in a weird way. The beds are small and not very comfortable, and you can wake up in the middle of the night when the train stops and almost throws you out of your bed. But it's fun. However, when I woke up I was sick. I had a sore throat that only got worse as the day went on (we had to take a six hour train after we woke up from the sleeper one). When we got to Florence we ate dinner and went right to bed. The next morning I couldn't even talk and now I had a cough. So I stayed in bed all day. And the next. I saw none of Florence besides the train station and the hostel. Which is sad because I really wanted to see the statue of David. And Jill and Heather said the markets had lots of cool stuff, where they got lots of gifts for people back home. I missed out on good shopping. Sad. The second day we were there our friends Morgan and Whitney arrived. We had made plans to stay at the same hostels, so we were together the rest of the trip.

We went out on Thanksgiving to an authentic Italian restaurant, so authentic that no one spoke English. I chose the option on the menu that said "Vegetariano" or something, and it ended up that it was an assortment of undercooked vegetables with grill marks and a hunk of melty cheese. The cheese was good, and I ate the zuccini, but my throat was still too sore to eat much. So I went back to the hostel for an early night and left my friends to the two pitchers of Thanksgiving wine.

The next morning we left for Rome. I was still sickly, but feeling a tiny bit better, more active at least. When we got to our hostel the owner could tell I was sick and asked if I needed a doctor. So he called an international healthcare line and found someone in the area who was covered by most American insurance companies, then called the doctor and made an appointment for me. I went, they told me I had a throat infection but not strep, I got medicine, then came back to the hostel and slept for the rest of the day. When I woke up, another hostel worker was making dinner for the entire hostel. He made this Indian dish with curried rice. Then the hostel owner, Lorenzo, arrived with bottles of wine for everyone and a jar of honey for me ("No wine for you, you're too sick. Honey is good for the throat!"). None of this cost extra, they just wanted to feed us. They were really the most considerate hostel we've been to. All of the other people who were staying at the hostel talked to them like friends and joked and such, it was a really cool atmosphere. They really went out of their way as much as they could.

After 24 hours of antibiotic I was feeling much better. So, for our final day in Rome, I pulled myself out of bed and went exploring. The warm weather was a nice change from the bitter cold of Prague... We started at Vatican City and saw the Sistine Chapel and all of the many twists and turns it takes to get there... you have to go through a million little chapels and buildings before you get to it. And you can't take pictures... though I took some anyway... It was cool though. Very vibrant. It kind of hurt to look at it after a while since you crane your neck so much. It's really amazing to see the detail though. Definately an experience. Then we went to Saint Peter's Basillica. We were waiting in line to go in when these trumpets went off and people started cheering... The Pope was there! We ran out into the audience and took pictures of him while he addressed the crowd in Italian that we obviously couldn't understand. Then he made a gesture as if blessing the audience, and went back inside. So, yeah, we SAW THE POPE. It was pretty cool. After that we returned to our place in line, and it started to pour. We got soaking wet and waited an hour just to go inside. It was a church. Lots of statues and religious stuff. Yep.

After that we went to the Spanish steps, where we got a cool view of Rome. Then we walked to the Pantheon, which was an ancient Roman building that is now a basillica. And finally, the Colloseum. It was huge, a lot bigger than I had imagined. Around it were other ancient ruins. It was so amazing to see pieces of rock that were older than our country. Buildings that have been standing for thousands of years. We didn't go inside the Colloseum since it was expensive and we heard it was boring-ish, but it was really cool to look at. That night we made pasta in the hostel and went to the Treve Fountain. That was one of the places I really wanted to go, since I'd read a Richard Scary story about it when I was little. I threw pennies into it and made wishes. I think you're only supposed to throw in three, but I threw in five... one for mom and Drew as requested as well. One means you'll return to Rome, two means you'll fall in love (in Rome or in general I don't know), and we all forget what three is. I was unaware of this and was just making random wishes. I would like to return to Rome again though, I feel like one day was just not enough.

Now I am back home at the castle after a very turbulence-filled flight. I have mountains of homework to do and am exhausted. And hungry. And three more hours until dinner. Arg. Only one more weekend travel left: Greece next weekend. Then finals, and then we're off to London for two days before flying home. I'm going to miss Europe a lot, but I'll be so happy to be home.

I miss everyone lots and lots. If any of you actually finished reading this beast let me know: Comments?

Oh and P.S. Rest in Peace my Hair Straightener :( My beloved CHI burnt out in Prague. I don't understand why, I just bought it this summer. Heather has the same kind and used it everywhere I used mine, so it couldn't have been the voltage or whatever... And I remember that I couldn't find the recipt after I bought it, so I doubt I can send it to the company to be fixed or whatever. So now I have to make sure I save an extra 100 to get a new one when I get home. Ugh. Not pleased.