I’m so sorry to have left you a blog short this past month, but the end of the month got super hectic and flew by. Anyway, it’s official. My time in London has come to a close… well actually I finished it a week and a half ago, and I return tomorrow for a day, but that is besides the point. Why don’t I start where I last left you. When I last posted I only had three days left in my program. They went by in a blur of goodbyes and packing. I wrapped up my internship, and had to say goodbye to the amazing people that I had met there. If any of you guys are reading this, I miss you, and I’ll keep in touch! Packing up my life of the last four months was difficult, and I could barely fit everything, even with my third suitcase. I swear I haven’t bought that much stuff since being here!!!! Anyway, with everything all packed up, I said my last goodbyes and made my way to the train station to meet my parents. Although my dad came and visited me a few times on my trip, I hadn’t seen my mom since we left. Our reunion was brief as we had to catch the train, but it was nice to finally give my mom a hug, and there were definitely a few tears. (Now the only family member left to see is my dog… only a few more days!)
So, I keep speaking of this train we had to catch. This is because we were headed up to Telford, so that we could spend a few more days with family. It was so nice to get to see everyone one last time, and we had some amazing food as well! For those of you, if any, reading this, thank you for everything. Seriously, I don’t have the words to say how lovely and helpful you all have been to me. I’m sad that we won’t see each other for a while now, but I PROMISE we will make it back sooner than last time. 11 years was much too long, and there is no way I will be able to stay away from London, or family, that long ever again.
After that amazing few days with family, my parents and I headed off on a new journey: Italy! I have been waiting for this for a while, and watched in envy as my friends went to Italy over spring break. Still, I am happy that I have been able to experience this with my parents. We started off in Rome, where we saw amazing sights such as the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and The Vatican, just to name a few. It is impossible to describe what it is like seeing these things in front of you, and not just on a movie screen… even if I was quoting The Lizzie McGuire movie everywhere we went. But hey, the sights you see in Rome, well, they are what dreams are made of 😉 . Since I can’t do justice describing these places, here are just a few pictures of our adventures!
After Rome, we traveled Florence on a high-speed train. While we have been in Florence, we have seen all of the popular sights, such as Michelangelo’s David, Pitti Palace, and the Uffizi gallery. Getting to see art pieces by the likes of Michelangelo, Rafael, and Leonardo da Vinci has been absolutely spectacular. It’s incredible the talent that was centered in this area, and we’re lucky that it has survived this long. Aside from being stationed in Florence, we have also taken a few day trips. One day we toured Sienna, San Gimignano, and Pisa, and even had lunch in a winery in Tuscany! These places are a maze of cobblestone alleyways and churches, but they’re all gorgeous in their own right… and of course I took the touristy picture holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The other day trip we took was to Cinque Terre. On the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, these five towns are home to pastel colored houses stacked on the cliffs, as well as amazing seafood! We were lucky enough to take the ferry around the towns, which was the best part of our day, and totally made up for the fact that we had to wait over an hour for a train back to the tour bus! The sights were incredible, and I got to check off “touch the Mediterranean” from my bucket list.
However, this picture just goes to prove that you can take the Badger out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Badger pride out of the girl! Other notable highlights of this trip include, but are not limited to, pizza, pasta, and gelato. The food is every bit as good as I imagined, and I’m not such Dominos, Olive Garden, or Cold Stone will ever compare to the meals I’ve had here.
While that was an extremely simplified and short description of this vacation (if I told everything, this post would take days to write), I suppose it brings us to where I am now. Sitting in my hotel bed, with my mess of a suitcase waiting to be packed, as we round up our Italian vacation. Tomorrow we head back to London, pick up my suitcases, have one more dinner with my cousins, and then, on Wednesday, I head home. While I’m sad that this chapter of my life is coming to a close, this has been one amazing adventure. Also, I would by lying to say that part of me wasn’t ready to be home. I wish that I could move London to Minnesota/Wisconsin, but since that is impossible, being home for a few weeks will at least cure my need for puppy cuddles that only my dog could provide. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be writing from the US, and I will probably be struggling to readjust to a life without the tube, and exciting national monuments right in my backyard. While it won’t be in London, I can’t wait for summer vacation and to catch up with my family and friends back home. Thanks to everyone who has been reading my posts, I’m glad I was able to bring you on this adventure of a lifetime with me.
Signing off from Europe for the last time.