Saturday, June 23, 2012


Well, I'm here! 

This first week has flown by and sometimes I still can't believe that I'm in England! Although today's excursion did help solidify reality. However, I'll break up this week into three postings: Manchester, The Dig, and Darling Little Lincoln. Just because a lot has happened this week!

The flight into Manchester was as smooth as I could have hoped for and my first hostel experience was actually quite enjoyable (minus the obnoxiously loud door). I arrived in Manchester on the morning of Saturday the 16th and spent that day and the next morning wondering around the town aimlessly, basically just wasting time until I was to take the train to Lincoln. Manchester was not my 'idea' city, but they did have some neat sites. First was Picadilly Gardens, which was cute and had some locally prepared foods for sale in a mini-farmers market type set up, but my favorite was the cathedral.

Side entrance to the Manchester Cathedral

View from the front of the cathedral

It was just so green! I'm really enjoying this damp weather; its only miserable when it's combined with a fierce wind. But in these areas, it's moist for so much of the year that it turns everything green, including parts of the buildings. 

The train from Manchester to Lincoln was fun! I was able to see the English suburbs and farmlands that I would have missed otherwise. It was a nice little peak into everyday life.


Old stone walls

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wait, it's Thursday?! I thought it was still 2011...

So the day has arrived. My list of last minute to-do items has been finished (pack the kitchen, sort through required documents, take the cans under the sink to recycling, sign my passport...). With everything laid out on my bed, I thought "Oh yah, no problem. This will all fit! It'll be a breeze!" 

Famous last words...

Miraculously, I was able to barely close the suitcase while only removing minimum items that I told myself I'd be OK without. 

I would have normally just gone with two suitcases (one check-in and one carry-on). However, I'll be traveling for a couple days before the school starts and four days after it ends, and who wants to lug around that much stuff from train to train? Even if I could manage to carry it all, it would not be pleasant. Therefore I am mentally preparing myself for the woman behind the check-in counter to say "Your bag is too heavy." 

I could always wear my hiking boots on the plane, put on a couple sweaters and carry the extra books in my backpack. I'll look like quite the goof, but it'll save me $70!

By 11AM tomorrow I'll be leaving on a jet plane, but I promise, I will be back again :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just a thought and inspiration...

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Golden Ticket

Today was bittersweet. I've spent the last few weeks putting together various documents in order to apply for my Italian student visa, some of which were not so easy! Everything finally came together literally hours before my appointment, and I was so excited and relieved to finally be at the Consulate on Wilshire Blvd that... I forgot to put quarters in the parking meter... ooops! The day I get my visa, I will also remember as the day I received my first ticket. Lovely.

I look at it this way: my visa and golden ticket into Italy only cost me $60!! What a deal! Wouldn't you agree?