Archive for October, 2010


8 Months

Today marks the 8 month anniversary of my first date with a certain girl in my life. I love her so much and can’t wait until I can see her again. She is the most amazing person I have ever met and feel lucky every day that she picked me. These months have been best of my life and I owe them all to her.

I will never forget that night. A smoky bingo hall, confusedly stamping bingo cards and finally ice cream at that sketchy little Dairy Queen in Bryan. I love you Ana!

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Hi all,

I am really bad about this writing things when I say that I am going to write them thing.

London was an experience! I saw so many things in four days and while at times I felt nervous, lost and wet (it rained everyday), I loved it more than any city I have ever been to. It was vibrant, vivacious and full of so many people. From Asian tourists taking pictures of every nook and cranny to an old couple from South Wales coming to see a play on the West End, the people were fantastic and interesting. I feel that you could people watch in London for the majority of the day (taking breaks for food and the occasional pint of course) and never become bored.

The markets that I visited, Camden and Portobello were great as well. They seemed to be a mixture of kitsch tourist stores, vintage clothing outlets and flea market stalls, but each market had it’s own distinct style to it. Camden seemed to yell at you while Portobello purred. I enjoyed visiting both, but Portobello was my favorite. It had so many wonderful little stalls with the most random assortment of old (and new) goods.

My hostel was nice as well. It was an old Victorian house which had been refitted into a hostel about 10 years ago. It was cozy with wood floors and the unmistakable smell of an old house..sort of like an old library or second hand book shop. It was quite crowded, but it never caused a problem for when I was there (which wasn’t very often).

During the weekend, I hit all of the highlights like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square (missed the Tower of London) and also did some really fun things which I thought were personal highlights of the trip. I sort of fell into a ticket to see War Horse at the New National Theatre and it was one of the best plays I have ever seen. Tickets were expensive (especially as I was buying them so late) but the price was more than worth the show. It was original and spell bindingly good. If you ever have the chance to see it, I recommend it. I also went to the National Film Theatre and saw From Here to Eternity, an American film from the 1950’s starring Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra. It was a great film and also a very cool experience seeing an old film like that in a large movie theatre. One of the last things I did was visit the home of Arsenal FC, one of my favorite soccer teams. I went to Emirates Stadium, took pictures in front of it, checked out the museum and visited the team shop to pick up some arsenal gear. It was a massive stadium and was very exciting for me. haha After the stadium, I went to a local pub to see the Valiant men of Arsenal lose bravely to the evil, dirty players of Chelsea…or at least that’s how I saw it. Like most Aggies believe, I still think that Arsenal didn’t really lose the match, they just ran out of time to win.

The weather and the underground service did not realize I was coming to London so they were uncooperative. If only I would have let them know in advance, they would have gotten their act together! It rained for most of each day and night, occasionally brightening up which just reminded me to not take things for granted while traveling. The very smallest thing can make for a much more difficult day. Speaking of which, the underground line that I used to go from my hostel to the city centre was out of commission on Saturday for repairs and then on Monday there was a large strike by the workers which shut down about 70% of the lines. It all worked out fortunately and I feel like I now have a pretty good grip on the bus routes and tube routes in and around north London.

 

It’s raining outside right now and the leaves are all changing from the various shades of green that inhabit the trees during the summer to the reds, browns and yellows of fall foliage. It’s quite extraordinary to see so many colors everywhere.

In a few days, I leave for Edinburgh, Scotland to spend the weekend. I am looking forward to the trip and I think it will be a favorite city as well due to the pictures I have seen and what I have been told. I”m looking forward to the trip, but I have a new goal for this trip abroad. I am going to try and be as frugal as I can be and live like a true backpacker. London was expensive and I don’t plan on repeating the expenditures of that trip. Unfortunately, as a backpacking novice, I made some rookie mistakes.

 

Well, I better get back to work, I have an essay due in a couple days and need to get it written!

Cheers to everyone and thanks for reading (even if this entry was a massive tome of information!)

 

Charley

 

p.s. I also need to thank my cousin, Caitlin for helping me and giving me better travel advice and directions for London than any book from Frommers or Rick Steves! Thanks Caitlin!

London Calling

I’m sorry for the delay in posts, but right when I got back from London, I had to jump head first into work for school and a few other things which got in the way. I have finally uploaded all of my pictures and put descriptions for them, so if you would like to head on over to my flikr, you will be able to see the things I saw and thought worthy of picture.
I will be back tomorrow (I promise!) with a full recap of everything. In one week, I am off to Edinburgh, Scotland. I hope to be a bit better about updating this space in the future…starting tomorrow. haha
Cheers!
Charley

London Baby!

Okay everyone, another quick update to let you know that I am off to London for the weekend! Thanks to Caitlin’s help (who is a better tour guide than any travel book) I have my hostel booked (an 18th century Victorian home!) and a plan ready for the next few days. I will update more when I return!

Cheers!

p.s. Sarah, I will look for a sweet spot for you and Vic while I am there! You can book your hotel and everything next week!