Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Longest weekend EVER

In my head the idea of leaving London at 10pm, arriving in Paris at 6:30AM, spending the whole day seeing the sights, leaving that same night at from Paris and arriving in London at sounded like a FANTASTIC cheap and fast idea...boy, oh boy, was I wrong...

The plan sounded so good to me because I planned on sleeping at night on the bus. It would have been fine and dandy except we were woken up ever two hours. The first time was a passport check...then we had to get off the bus and load a ferry...two hours later we had to get back on the bus...then two hours later get off in Paris. Sure, you can have two hour naps in between all that - but that didn't happen.

We got off in Paris and must have looked dead. Paris was a blur...I'd seen everything before so I just wanted to show the major sights to Karly and Chris as fast as possible. It was hot and I was tired. The 12 hour day in Paris somehow went by (we had to stop and see a movie because we needed to stop and get off our feet) and at 10pm we found ourselves back on the same bus we got off of earlier that morning.

The drive back to the UK was a little better sleep wise because I was so exhausted. Once we got back to London though, an hour earlier than we were supposed to, we had to wait another 5 hours for the bus to take us down to Bournemouth. I slept on that ride too.

Basically I'm tired of two things right now - Paris and busses. Surprisingly enough, I'm not tired of Chris. In the past 2 weeks I can only think of two arguments we've had. One was yesterday in the metro...we were yelling about who knew which stop was for the Louvre (I, of course, was right..).

Whew. It's been quite a journey. After I finish this update I'm going to take a much needed shower and then study for my exam on Thursday. The packing will commence either later tonight or tomorrow....

Oh yeah, the morning Chris and I were leaving Venice there was a song playing on an Italian MTV station and it hit me - hard. These are the lyrics and if you have a chance, try to listen to the song. It may not mean anything to you, but it means so much to me.

It's interesting though, when he sings "you" in the song I think of about 10 different people, there isn't just one person that springs to mind. It's everyone back home, my friends, my mom and dad, to some people I haven't seen in years...

......Four days......

"Home" - Michael Buble

Another summer day
Is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I've been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
I'm fine baby, how are you?
Well I would send them but I know that it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I've got to go home

Let me go home
I'm just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I'm living someone else's life
It's like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I'm surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I've had my run
Baby, I'm done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all right
I'll be home tonight
I'm coming back home

Saturday, May 28, 2005

my feet hurt

London. Chris and I have been walking around this rather expensive city for the past two days and I have once again fallen in love with the place. There's just this great vibe I get from it. People are out walking around everywhere...it's a great atmosphere. Yesterday it was hotter than I was comfortable with, but I still managed to enjoy myself. I liked walking around Leiscter (spelled wrong) Square and the parks. I love how people just congregate outside of the pub until closing time. I love the way my knee is sore from walking around so much...with that said...I have to go and enjoy my last night in London. Tomorrow night Chris, Karly and I hop on a bus to Paris...I'll let you know how that goes.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

a year ago today

May 27, 2004 was the day I had my knee surgery. It was the beginning of a very LONG and hard summer. Actually, last summer was not a good summer for me..everything seemed to go wrong. But, after 12 months of practically walking on egg shells, I'm feeling very confident in my knee. I no longer have to worry about randomly falling down or not being able to stand up because it hurts so much. All of those physical therapy sessions and nights of sleeping on the pull-out bed were actually worth something. I would write more about how happy I am that now, a year later my knee feels fantastic, but I need my sleep. Chris and I are going to London tomorrow afternoon for the weekend (and then Paris on Monday) and neither of us are packed at all... and i'm exhausted at the moment. I'll write more when I can.

on two hands

10 days. I leave in a week and a half. It's SO strange how I have such a mixed feeling about going home. Don't get me wrong, I want to go home so bad I can't sit still half the time...but then there's this other side of me who has LOVED the independence I've had out here. I've loved doing things on my own (like cooking and traveling). Actually I think I've really enjoyed the fact that I did something I set out to do and I had my adventure. It wasn't someone elses trip...it was mine. I don't want that to end! I don't want to go home and get stuck in a rut, I've had too much of a good time out here.

I also don't want to say bye to my new friends out here. I'm SO tired of saying bye to people!!! Tonight I'm going to a going away party where I will have to say bye to the people who've been closest to me this year. It will be a nice night - no boys (because frankly, all the guys I've met out here have been nothing but arrogant and trouble - 90% of them have been like this...) - but it will be with my girls!

I've been back in Enland for only a day and I already miss Italy. On the plane ride back here I was trying to think of different ways that would bring me back to Italy next summer. Basically they all include me working about 40 hours a week without a break this whole year... Italy is THAT enchanting though...I might do it.

Last night Chris made me, Katie and Bertha dinner! It was SO good!!! He made chicken Parmasean (yes, i spelled that wrong...oh well). Hee hee I can't wait to get home and cook in a nice kitchen!

The last time I wrote I said we were going to the Cinque Terre. We ended up going there for an entire day; we had a blast. That place is amazing, it's SO pretty out there! We just wondered around and walked along the coast. We even made it back to Florence JUST in time for our free dinner at the hostel - perfect day, perfect timing.

The next day we caught our train to Venice. Venice...how do I want to describe it? Well, Venice isn't as I thought it would be. Just like Paris, I was expecting it to be some cheesy romantic city. I thought, before I got there, that I wouldn't want to wander the streets with my brother... Well as it turns out, Venice was just a tourist trap. It was beautiful and I will go back, don't get me wrong...but I think there are better hidden treasures around the country.

I am VERY glad I went there. Chris and I had enough time to check out two islands north of Venice called Muranno and Burrano..now those little towns were amazing! They were almost too perfect. Every street looked like it was the set for some movie, or like we were walking along the streets in Epcot in Disneyland. I say this because the crowds were very limited there and the colors of these buildings were amazing! Bright blue, green, red, pink, yellow, etc. homes all together. It was brilliant!!!

I took over 300 pictures in Italy!! I actually would have taken more, but my memory card got full...so my picture taking was limited towards the end. It's awesome to look back on them now. I can't wait to get back to Italy...can't wait!!!

I have my second exam this afternoon, it's over marketing...and I hope I do ok. I'm not too worried about it. I probably should be, but I'm not. Tomorrow afternoon Chris and I are going up to London for the weekend and then Paris on Monday. I'm looking forward to it...you know what I'm also looking forward to??? Packing everything up (some how) and getting on that plane the morning of Juen 4th!!!


Saturday, May 21, 2005

change o' plans

....change of plans, going to Cinque Terra tomorrow - I'm SO excited!!!! Florence was AMAZING today. SO much to tell..but there are people waiting for the internet and I need sleep because we're leaving early... more tales to come :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Rome part two

Good news...my cold is getting MUCH better. BUT, now whenever I cough my lower back hurts since I've been coughing so much. Oh well..at least I can somewhat breathe again!

Good news/bad news... my skin has FINALLY, after almost a year, seen some sun. BUT, I wasn't expecting for it to be sunny yesterday and I didn't prepare for it, so now I am sunburned. I'm hoping it'll turn into a tan soon, but it's pretty darn red right now, plus the fact that the rest of me is so pale and white doesn't help anything.

A bird pooped on me while I was standing outside of St. Peter's Basillica today. Apparently that means very good luck in Italy.

There was a metro/bus strike today and so Chris and I ended up taking a taxi back from the Vatican. Well, the traffic ended up being insane so we paid the driver and then started walking (we left our map in the hostel by the way) about 1 minute later I realized Chris was missing something. "Chris, where's your camera?" He didn't have to say anything, his look said it all...he started SPRINTING in the direction of the cab. I was shooting up prayers like nobody's business that somehow he'd find the taxi we were in.

About five minutes later I saw him walking towards me...with his camera in hand. Talk about a sigh of relief!

Lots of other things to talk about...but I'm too tired. We're leaving for Florence at 8:30 tomorrow morning so we're gonna have a chill night tonight...and hopefully find some good place for dinner tonight!!!


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rome update

I'm here in Rome, sitting in the lobby of our hostel waiting for Chris to finish writing an email. Just a few things....my small caugh turned into a full blown cold - NOT fun. I bought some Italian cough medicine and nose decongestant. Buying those two things was a trip though...you never realize how different cultures and languages are until you really need to get someone to understand you.

Today we got up at 8 (early enough to go searching for a pharmacia) and then joined up with a tour of the Eternal City at 10. We walked all around Rome for a good 5 hours, seeing everything. Chris continued to video tape everything so we should have some fun footage.

After the tour we went over St. Peter's Basillica to see about catching a tour tomorrow of something UNDER the basillica...but as it turns out, reservations had to be made at least a month in advance. We walked around a lot more, got some lunch, walked around, caught the metro and then walked back to the hostel....and here we are now.

Chris wants to go on a pub crawl tonight and since I'm not feeling my best (WHY'D I HAVE TO GET SICK NOW????) I'm gonna go up and take a nap before tonight. Sadly, I won't be drinking tonight. I don't want my immune system lower than it is right now...

....with that said...my little bed is calling my name....
till next time.รน

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Italy, baby!

Whoa. I leave tomorrow morning. EARLY tomorrow morning; the bus leaves at 7am, but luckily it's leaving from my university so all I have to do is walk to the bus stop - for one pound I can't complain! So why am I leaving so early? Where am I going??? Well, I"m going to Gatwick Airport in London to pick up my brother!!!! I'm SO excited to see Chris! Four hours after he gets in we're catching a plane to Rome!!

I'm very excited for him to see Italy. I hope he likes it, I'm sure he will...who doesn't like Italy? Lets see, after Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) then we're coming back to Bournemouth so I can take an exam and then we're leaving for London for the weekend with a day trip to Paris. Ha ha, like the way I say this all so non-chalantly?! Yeah, me too! After Paris it's back to Bournemouth for yet another exam. I'm assuming those last three days here I will be frantic to pack everything away and say bye to everyone.

Everything is happening so fast....CRAZY. I'll try to write while I'm gone. Eh, who am I kidding, I won't have time! You'll just have to wait for all the tales of the trip! Till next time...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

calming down

ok, I'm feeling better about what went on last night - I just had to write it down. If any of you know me, you know that I don't like political discussions - when have they EVER turned out good??? ...I just don't do well with them, mostly because I don't know enough about what's going on to form a solid opinion based on fact.

OH, the other thing that pissed me off about this guy was that he was trying to make me say that I hate the UK. Seriously, he kept pushing to know why I wanted to go home so bad and why his country hasn't been good enough. Seriously... I hadn't been that angered and annoyed by someone in such a long time. How come he couldn't have been this awesome guy instead?

Friday, May 13, 2005

So close...

When I first moved to the United Kingdom back in September I remember being terrified of speaking. I literally tried to not talk as much as I could, for fear that someone would start yelling and questioning me about everything America has done wrong in the world. I'm not exaggerating either. Since I came out just before the presidential election I got a mouthful from practically anyone who had more than 2 minutes to spare; that includes everyone from the taxi drivers to the workers at the store down the road. Anyway, to make this background history short, the election ended and people finally realized that there was more to me than the country where I came from.

...Move ahead to tonight, three weeks to the day when I leave England. I decided I didn't want to go out clubbing with some of my friends because basically the weather was really windy and gross and I didn't want to spend money. So, Katie invited me over later to watch a movie at her place. After the movie we heard people a few houses down having a party, we ended up going downstairs and some of the people, about 5 in total, came over.

One of them, Max (a cute guy, by the way), noticed my accent straight away. So there I was thinking my evening just took a turn for the bright side, when all of a sudden he starts asking me silly questions about my country, government and the stance we take in the world as America as a superpower. He said, "If it were up to you, would you have gone to Iraq? Not up to your government, but up to you - personally." So, I gave him my answer, "Yes." Just for the record, we had already been 'discussing' for about an hour on politics....and he had been drinking.

Of course I needed to follow up my answer with a reason, so I gave my reason. I told him that the people in Iraq, specifically the Shias who were oppressed by Saddam, were dyeing under him and living in fear. He retorted to that by saying that America shouldn't barge into countries unless the people of that country request help. My response was, if the people asked for help they would die, no question about it. So then he asked why didn't the United States didn't go into Iraq years ago; why did we let it get this far.

I was speechless for a good 5 seconds after that (this was a heated argument...sorry, 'discussion'...there was no time to actually breathe). When I could finally speak again I said something along the lines of, "So we're dammed if we do and we're damned if we don't. America didn't go into Rwanda to help with the genocide there and the world blamed us, so now when we go into Iraq to help the Shia people we get blamed for #1)being in there and helping now and #2) going in there too late. It's a catch 22 - we can't do anything right."

I wish I could say the conversation ended there, but it didn't. It of course went on to other segues such as Weapons of Mass Destruction and Oil. Towards the end of this lovely debate he brought up the Bush and Kerry race (it was inevitable), when I said I voted for Bush and gave my reasons for wanting him as my president instead of Kerry he said if he was an American he wouldn't have voted at all. My response? "Well you're not an American and if everyone were as apathetic as you and didn't vote for someone what would be the point of living in a democracy?" He dismissed my response and went back to the Iraq war. That's when I said I was finished with the conversation and started to walk out.

That's when he called me an 'Arrogant American.' Of course I acted like I didn't care and just let that comment role off my back, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. It's just such a shame that people have to have this view of America, and even more so, it's a shame that I had to talk to this guy three weeks before I go home. So long to finding my 'prince charming'.

I'm going to let this go and go to sleep now; I know there's a saying about not letting the sun go down on anger, or something like that...so I needed to get this off my chest, and I can type much faster than I can write.

If you've read this far, please feel free to comment. It's late. I need sleep. 21 days.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Evil Six Letter Word

I wrote a few posts back about my dad going through several tests to find out what's wrong with him. Well, after waiting for months and months and going through test after test, we now finally have some answers. We found out on Cinco de Mayo (05/05/05) that he has cancer.

Cancer. My dad has cancer. I have to keep telling myself that over and over again because honestly, it doesn't seep possible. Maybe I'm in denial, I'm not sure but what I do know is that I HATE the word cancer. I hate it with every fiber in my body. Not only does it eat you up physically, but those evil six letters can make your mind go crazy with thoughts.

Non hodgkins Lymphoma(good website by the way) is the type of cancer he has, and according to the doctor (and my brother), it's "one of the best types of cancers a person can get." Chris is going to have to explain that one to me, because right now I'm not sold on that idea. From what my mom told me, lymphoma non hodgkins is very treatable and curable, which is why it's a 'good one to get.'

My dad starts chemotherapy next week. Chemo makes you nauseous, weak, and in most cases patients will lose their hair. I was reading online and sometimes hair loss begins 1-2 days after they start chemo which means there is a huge possibility when I get home my dad will look very different to me.

My friends out here are being more supportive than I ever could have imagined, and I know I have a huge support system waiting for me when I get home. Speaking of home, I don't think June 4th can come soon enough - It's time to go home. I have done EVERYTHING I wanted to do out here. I made friends in other countries and visited them, I traveled until I literally ran out of money, I studied at a high rated university and I made lasting friendships.

Since leaving home in September I've also come to appreciate things so much more. I know how important my family is to me and how much I take them for granted, but it's because of them that I've been able to do and see so much in my life. My friends (new and old) mean more to me than they ever have - if that's even possible. It's hard leaving home (even for college, let alone leaving the country), no knowing if your friendships can sustain the distance, but my friends have proved that nothing can keep us apart; my friends are without a doubt an extention of my family. There are about a dozen other things I appreciate more since moving to England, but I don't need to bore you with them.

I'm sure I'll be writing about this as I understand more of what's going on. I've been busy scribbling away in my own journal, but since it's hard for me to talk about this with people outloud I decided this would be a better way of communication for me.

Please keep my dad and my family in your prayers, this is a really difficult time right now for all of us and any extra support will be appreciated more than you know.

*** Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9

*** For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

*** The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalms 34:18

Tuesday, May 3, 2005


I woke up too early today. I didn't have to be at my TV class till' 10, and I got in at 9...silly, silly me. Oh well, it gave me some time to do some more surfing online...and I found a pretty funny site. Seriously - I've just been laughing out loud.

'Busted Tees' - there are some ridiculously funny shirts on there. There are two I will be buying when I get home. The first one is this one about New Mexico. I'm getting that simply for the fact that it's about New Mexico and I want to represent. The second one is about England...or is it Greece??? Either way I was laughing so hard people started looking at me, and then I had to show them. The good thing about that was, they found it funny too. SWEET - British people finding something I like funny, just one more reason why I want that shirt!!!

So I've kinda been bragging about the weather being so amazing over here lately. I should have knocked on a huge tree or something because today is crap weather right now. CRAP. I woke up to the wind and rain pounding my window. I still despise the wind because it makes my knee hurt...and when it hurts I don't want to go run (I've been running lately).

Ok. class is starting...

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