Brighton, Kensington, Ireland

Hi all,

Skipping past the whole “it has been two weeks apology,” let’s just get right to the nitty gritty of things. This is my last week in London. My last 4 days actually. Although, after my program ends I will be traveling to Italy with my parents, and I look forward to updating you on those adventures, this is basically it. I have absolutely no idea where four months have gone, and I’m sad that this experience is quickly coming to a close. However, I will talk more about all that sad stuff in my final post, for now lets review what I’ve been doing this lovely April.

Last off I left you with news of sunshine and flowers and spring. I’m extremely happy to say that this weather has, for the most part, stayed around. This means I’ve tried to be spending lots of time outside. Even though final papers and assessments have been looming dark overhead, they’ve been a lot easier to get through while laying in Hyde Park. Although a couple of weekends ago we did a lot more sunbathing than studying, the 77 degree day was definitely not wasted. With barely a cloud in the sky, a couple of us actually got sunburnt, but it was most definitely worth it!

Let’s start off at the beginning of the month, however. On April 1, us Madison students got to go on a trip to Brighton. If you, like me, ever live in the world of YouTube, you’ll know that this town is the home of Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella). While I (unfortunately) didn’t get to meet her, actually being in the town that I saw in her vlogs was incredible. We even got donuts from her favorite donut shop, and they were absolutely amazing. Now, I don’t know if it was the gorgeous weather, the fact I was on the beach, or that I was celebrating my acceptance into Madison’s School of Education, but Brighton was probably my favorite trip of my study abroad experience. And yes folks, you did just read that right, I am now officially an Elementary Education major, specialized mathematics content focused minor. It was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders when I got the acceptance email. After all, I had applied to the program in January before I arrived in England. Anyway, back to Brighton. So, to celebrate this major life event, we took a nap on the Brighton Pier, basking in the sunlight. While this might not have been the smartest thing to do, I don’t regret it one bit. From there, we searched for the elusive colorful beach huts that we found after a 25 minute walk, and after that we had dinner on the beach while watching the sunset. It was a picture perfect day, and I definitely will be making a trip back the next time I’m in England.

Featured in this picture are my friends Brooke and Claire, who also were accepted to their top choice for the School of Ed, YAY US!

After arriving home late from Brighton, the next day I slept in. Only to be awoken by some exciting news. After researching for quite a bit, and because my friend and I are more obsessed with the Royal Family than most of the UK, we discovered that HRH Kate was going to be attending the premier of a new West End show. Naturally, we had to see her with our own two eyes, because sometimes she looks too perfect to be real, and we just had to make sure for ourselves that she isn’t some sort of hologram. So, that Wednesday, we made our way down to the premiere of a show we weren’t seeing, and stood across the street with others waiting to catch a glimpse of her. And while I didn’t exactly meet her, I can say that she is just as stunning in person, and that this is probably the closest to a celebrity that I’ll ever get. Also, take a look at this picture, I’m right beside Kate’s left elbow!

Fast forward a few days, and not only had I seen HRH Kate in person, but I was standing in her home. That sounds really creepy, and unfortunately I wasn’t invited over for tea either, but Kensington Palace is open to tours. Also, they currently have a Princess Diana exhibit with some of her popular dresses. The palace was stunning, but it makes me wonder if the area of the house that Will and Kate live in is… well a bit more modern. Regardless, I’m glad I finally got to visit, and let me tell you, my neighbors have a bomb backyard.

After that very exciting week, a week of studying and homework followed. Since the semester is rounding up, I had a lot of assignments to finish. But I have officially finished my last one, meaning NO MORE HOMEWORK… until I’m back in Madison this fall! So, that brings me to this past weekend, which was also Easter weekend. This means we had both Friday and Monday off, giving us a long weekend.

I had made a slightly impromptu decision to join my friends Brooke and Nicole on their trip to Ireland. It was probably the best decision I have made all trip. We arrived late on a Friday, and then we got Subway – and I had ranch for the first time all semester. (I might have actually teared up a bit). Then Saturday it was an early wakeup call as we had a bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher. While the bus ride was a bit long, even though we made plenty of stops along the way, the view was worth it. I honestly could see myself living in Ireland sometimes. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and “Emerald Isle” is almost an understatement about the amount of green we saw that weekend. Then on Sunday (Yes, Easter Sunday), we spent most of our day at the Guinness Storehouse. What better way is there to celebrate in Ireland?  After that, we went on to grab some souvenirs, and then sadly had to catch a flight home. Ireland was absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to go back as I feel like there is so much left to see and do!

This brings me to where I am right now. Last night my friends and I went and saw Mamma Mia, which will be the last show I see in London. It was so much fun, and there was a big dance/sing along at the end, which was amazing. But, at this exact moment, I’m here sitting in my kitchen, before my internship, after just having to go out and buy another suitcase. (yes, really, I bought a lot of stuff!) I can’t believe that I only have a short amount of time left, and I’m truly not ready to say goodbye to London. Although, I am extremely excited to see my mom (and dad) in just a few days, and my dog after our tour of Italy. I wish I could take like a two week break at home, and then come back to London, almost like I never left. But let’s not dwell on the sadness too much yet, after all I have a few weeks before I head home for good.

Thanks for being patient with me, while waiting for another post. Signing off from London, for what could be the last time…