It's Sunday evening, and I'm just in the library reading some articles on Lewis Carroll for class tomorrow. This weekend was relatively quiet, although yesterday was a full day trip to the Lake District. It's a beautiful area, famous in part because it inspired Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. We went on a long hike around Glassmere Lake, ending up in front of a famous gingerbread store "Sarah Nelsons" and took the 3 hour bus ride back. We got really lucky and had a gorgeous day with about two clouds in the sky. By the time we got back, we were exhausted and went out for about an hour before realizing we were all falling asleep standing up.

Today I went to Evensong services at York Minster. It's the only way to get into the cathedral for free, but it was a beautiful service and the building is just absolutely incredible! On tap for this week- rugby practice tomorrow (scary) and then a couple of us are going to Liverpool on Thursday, to make a little pilgrimage in order to pay homage to the home of Paul, John, Ringo and George.


This just in: I really am in love with the city of York. I know this because even though London is amazing, wonderful and gloriously overwhelming, I was genuinely excited to return to what I'm quickly considering home. However, an update on the places I've been to: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tate Modern Art Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge, Piccadilly Circus (easily the busiest place I've ever been at night,) Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace. That's not a full list but it's all I can think of right now. I wouldn't mind living in Kensington Palace, I'll tell you that much. There's a certain serenity about it and the surrounding park that's a pleasant surprise in the middle of the organized chaos that pervades the streets.

On another note, I don't much understand modern art. However, I saw a piece by Rothko- 9 magenta-y purple murals originally commissioned for the 4 Seasons that I stayed by for a very extended period of time. My favorite part about museums with stuff that I don't get is watching the other people look at art. When they stand back with their arms folded, all I can think about is if they don't get it either but are trying to look like they do. It'd be funny if modern art was actually a giant hoax making people think they're looking at something fantastic while the artists snicker in the back. Or maybe I'm just a philistine. Probably the latter!

I don't much like long posts, and this one exceeds my comfort levels; pictures to come later


I met the 23rd ranked pool player in Scotland, and his name was Douglas.

Okay, so these are some pictures from Edinburgh! The tall building is a monument of some kind; I'm embarrassed to say I don't know of what. But it was so pretty I wanted a lot of pictures of it! The picture with Miranda standing between two guards is a picture for Dad- it reminds me of Fellowship, on the River. If you don't know what scene I'm talking about, you're obviously not a LOTR fan. This was right outside Edinburgh Castle. The scene from the cannon is from inside Edinburgh Castle, this huge place. Scotland's Honours (the Royal Crown, Sceptre, etc) were hidden here, and it's been occupied for a verrryyy long time, like cavemen & druids, etc. Except no Druids, but Vikings. This last picture was outside the Writer's Museum- dedicated to Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. There were about 25 squares in the sidewalks with famous quotations by Scottish people. This one was my favorite.

The claim about the Douglas, I cannot verify 100%. We met him outside a fish & chips place at night, and began talking. He was about 65 years old and spends 850 quid on on pool cue. But if someone were to lie about their ranking, I doubt they would choose that number, and for that reason, I believe Douglas.


We went to Whitby & Scarborough last Thursday and I sat on the bench that inspired Dracula! Pictures to come soon, hopefully. Okay, it wasn't the actual bench, but it was the view that Bram Stoker saw as he imagined his book. Very exciting, and I thank the girls for letting me drag them all around Whitby on my search. This weekend, a couple of other Americans and I went to Edinburgh for a few days. We saw a bunch of castles, haggis, and other things very Scottish. I felt almost cliche walking around seeing as many kilts as I did, it was very cool though! Tomorrow classes start (finally) so I hope to get on a more regular schedule. Cheers!


A really cute church in Manchester, my room at school, and York Minster (the picture does it no justice at all) More pictures to come, believe you me- there are many more
So, I'm here! It's much more of a hassle accessing the blog than I thought it'd be, as there's no internet in my room (bummer). However, I can't complain about much. The trip over was fine, and Cassie and I got to get over jet lag while walking around Eccles & Manchester for a few days before getting to school. York is my new favorite city, and I finally got a chance to explore by myself today. I went into the Minster- the 2nd largest Gothic cathedral in England. First of all- I love cathedrals, and this one really took my breath away. Tomorrow we'll be taking a day trip to Whitby & Scarborough, two seaside towns; it should be fun. I'm off to take a nap... my hectic lifestyle is taking its toll!


we are savvy

By savvy, I mean both in the 'Jack Sparrow' way and the 'cassie and maggie are awesome' way. We made reservations last night for a hostel The Bird's Nest, in Deptford, London, apparently located in the old pirate district and so will be staying there for two nights before getting to York on the 16th. Now all I have to do is pack, maybe send in some renegade forms, and I think I'm set (Fingers crossed!) Safe travels to everyone on their respective trips!


I started this post on Thursday

If anyone would like to start placing bets about the details of the first time I get lost in a foreign country, I'll begin by saying that if I get lost and don't end up in a former Soviet bloc, surrounded by American expatriates a la Gary Shteyngart, I'll hang my head in shame.

On a more local note,

aren't they beautiful? Discounts are a relatively easy and often cheap way to make employees grateful, even if they generally look with contempt upon their workplace. I call them my travelling boots. Technically though, they're still in-the-box boots. Tomorrow will be a tramping day, to break them in.


Preparing For Take-off

Sitting around the kitchen table with Amy & Laurie, debating the various methods of communication while I'm across the pond, the notion of blogging came up. Obviously the neccessary action was to create one that very moment so here it is- this ambitious plan of keeping everybody up to date (and reassuring Mom that I'm still kicking) while I knock around Europe. Nothing too exciting to mention at this point, since I'm not actually over there yet, but this is the official first post, and therefore its now official that I'm going. Cheers to that!