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European Adventures

5 Dec

So much has happened since I last blogged! I guess the main headliner would be that Kendyl, Derek, and I went to Europe. I cannot explain what an amazing trip it was. It’s going to be hard to condense everything we did/saw/ate in 10 days into one blog post. But I’ll attempt it.

Friday we left KC. Cathy picked us up at the airport the next day and we rode the TUBE back to Cathy’s school where we hung out for a little bit before we could check into our hostel. Later we dropped off our bags at the hostel and took a tiny tour of the city. We walked past Buckingham Palace, met Ben, saw the London Eye, and tried to meet up with Becky. That night we went out with Cathy and her friends. We danced, we laughed, and we had a good time. When the night was over, Kendyl, Derek and I walked back to the hostel because the tube was closed and the bus we needed to catch was not running. That whole process took probably an hour.

Combined with loss of sleep/clubbing/walking across town/jet lag, the next day (Sunday) I didn’t get out of bed until 1130. We met up with Becky and her friends and saw the Tower of London and walked across Tower Bridge. Then we had our first fish and chips meal in London at a pub near Tower Bridge. I ordered a Guinness because I wanted the full British experience. LOL. It was all very delicious. Later that evening, we got tickets for the London Eye, walked across Millennium Bridge and went out with Cathy and her friends to the Met. Cathy, Kendyl, and I all had strawberry Pimms. It was very delicious and it made me feel ever so British to be drinking Pimms.

Monday we had tickets booked for a morning trip to see Stonehenge! It’s about 2 hours outside of London so we got to sleep on the bus, which was nice. Even though it was a very cold, windy, and cloudy day, stones were very majestic! We got back into town later that afternoon and met up with Cathy and walked over to King’s Cross to take pictures at Platform 9 ¾. They have people who work the area, and I’d just like to say I would really like to have their jobs. Anyway, Cathy had plans with Becky for the night so Kendyl, Derek and I just walked around the area of our hostel and shopped for souvenirs/ourselves and had another meal of fish and chips at The Rocket. I LOVE FISH AND CHIPS.

Tuesday morning we got up early and walked to the British Museum before we met up with Cathy for HOGWARTS (aka The Harry Potter Studio tour)! The museum is HUGE and I wish we could’ve had more time there because it had some really interesting artifacts. We only had enough time to see about one floor of the museum which was mainly things like Ancient Egypt and Roman Empire and Ancient Greek, etc.

The journey to Hogwarts was kind of long. We took the tube to Euston Station where we caught a train to Watford Junction. From the train, we had to ride a shuttle bus to the actual studio. We retrieved our pre-booked tickets and then we were able to enter Hogwarts. From the Great Hall, to riding broomsticks, to butter beer and the magical Hogwarts Castel and the wands at the end, it was kind of emotional kind of day. If I had to describe that day in one word, it would have to be MAGICAL (as cliché as that sounds)!! We ate dinner at Pizza Express and then we went out to The Met again. Strawberry Pimms were ordered again, of course.

Wednesday morning we went back to the British Museum because we realized we didn’t see the Rosetta stone! Then we walked around town for some souvenir shopping, ate some of Ben’s Cookies then met up with Cathy since we had plans to take a picture at Abbey Road, LIKE THE BEATLES. They have photographers that take pictures for you once traffic slows. We let them use Kendyl’s camera, so we’ll have to wait until she uploads that to see how it turned out! After that we met up with Becky and her friends at Big Ben to get more pictures, and saw Westminster Abbey. Then we walked to Hyde Park where there’s a Christmas Market and where we had booked tickets to ice skate. I’ve only ice skated one other time like 3 years ago. I was super nervous, but after a while I think I started to get the hang of it, even though I fell multiple times. I’m still hurting from it actually. But it was so fun, and I’m definitely up to do it again! After that we went to see Harrod’s and felt like peasants just walking through the store. Then we took the bus to Chinatown and had some Chinese for our last night in London.

The next morning we rode the Chunnel to PARIS! We got there around 9, purchased Metro tickets and eventually found our hostel. We dropped off our luggage and headed for the Eiffel Tower, which we climbed up to the 2nd floor, 600+ steps! It was a pretty view though. We also walked past Napoleon’s Tomb, but didn’t realize it until after we were there. After the Eiffel Tower we decided to head back since it was getting kind of late and we were hungry. My thanksgiving meal consisted of a Baggett and a coffee nut cake from a nearby bakery. It was delicious.

Friday we got our day started pretty early since we had so much to see. We first walked down the Latin Quarter, then walked past the Sorbonne. From there we walked to Notre Dame, then had Nutella Crepes from a café not too far away. They were SO GOOD. SO GOOOOOD. We stopped at ate them on a bench on a bridge over the Seine. The next stop was the Louvre. We saw Mona and Venus de Milo and a lot of other artworks. After that we walked down Champs Elysees where all the fancy shops are. On our way there, we walked through a Christmas Market and surprisingly ran into Becky and her friends! Anyway, Kendyl and I got Macaroons from Laduree. I got 4 small ones (salted carmel, coffee, lemon, and passion fruit)! They were suppes taste! We then walked down to see the Arc de Triomphe. It was pretty misty/rainy/cold at this point. But we continued on our journey and walked to the Eiffel Tower to get some more pictures of it all pretty and lit up. We turned in kind of early again since we had to leave early to catch the train to Brugge.

At the train station, Kendyl was the only one who was able to print her ticket off. Meanwhile, Derek and I apparently didn’t even have reservations for a train ticket and 103 euros later, we boarded a different train and met Kendyl at our hostel. There was a free walking tour so we jumped on that opportunity and saw the beauty that is Brugge. Christmas Markets seem to be the thing in Europe because there was on right in the center of town here too. After the tour, we ate some Belgian fries from a stand in the square, then we went to the brewery tour of the only brewery left in town. Of course we got free brews afterwards. We went back to the hostel, met our British roommates, and went back out to find some things to eat and just to explore the city.

The next day we rented bikes and biked the perimeter of the city. This included me running over a lady and her dog, well kind of. But mainly I was just happy I’ve improved at bike riding! At about 3.5 hours of bike riding, my body was not happy and I just kept falling of my bike, thankfully it was time to return the bikes. I wish my camera didn’t run out of batteries the night before because there were so many picture opportunities that I missed. After that, we saw the blood of Christ and we kind of just shopped for souvenirs for the rest of the day. Towards the end of the night we stopped at a waffle place where we all got ice cream and waffles. It was seriously the most delicious waffle I have ever tasted. We sat there for quite some time since we were all so tired from walking around. We turned in kind of early since we had to be up early again to catch a train to Brussels, then catch the EuroStar to London. No travel problems this time though.

Once in London, I got Silver Linings Playbook to read on the plane ride back, and we all got some last minute souvenirs, then sat in Russell Square Park and watched the pigeons before we were set to meet up with Cathy at 1230 at Baker Street Station so we could go to the airport together. Since we got to the station a bit early I bought us all Ham and Mature Cheddar croissants from Treats at the tube station since I was the only one who had pounds left. Also of note, I DID NOT see Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne at all while in Londey Lond. 😦

We got to the airport pretty early, checked in our bags, and said goodbye. Saying goodbye was hard. But wombs will be reunited soon enough! 😉 We boarded our flight and we took off probably about 15 minutes late, meaning we got to ORD 15 minutes late. We had to go through customs, grab our bags off the carousel, then recheck them in and go through security again. Since the security line was what seemed to be like a million people long, and only having one line open, it took us almost an hour to get through and long story short, we missed our flight to MCI. The next direct flight out would be at 720am but we’d have to be waitlisted. So we booked a flight out to ATL where we’d catch a different flight to KC. The latter is what we ended up having to do. So we spent the night on the very uncomfortable floor of O’Hare.

We landed back home at around 130 but didn’t leave until after 2 since Kendyl and I still had to find our bags. My stepmom picked us all up and dropped us all off and I could not have been more happy to finally be home after that travel nightmare. That night, I went with Gentry, Lea, and Kendyl to see Catching Fire and unwillingly fell asleep due to lack of sleep the night before. I knew if I couldn’t stay up for that, there was no way I was going to stay up for the 2 hour drive back to Columbia. So I decided to stay home and sleep and wake up early to drive back in time to go to my last 8 am lecture.

Yesterday I also worked at HV for 7 hours and it was probably a bad idea since I still hadn’t fully recovered from jet lag/exhaustion yet. After work I basically passed out until this morning. It was nice. Today I had my last class of the semester. How weird. Now I just have finals and work left. I’m still in shock at how fast this semester has gone by! And also, 20 days until Christmas. WHAT?!

Peace out, girl scouts!
-Megan

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TWO DAYS, PEOPLE. TWO DAYS.

20 Nov

TWO DAYS!! I’M SO EXCITED!! I’m excited to see double decker buses, hear actual British accents in their environment, eat fish&chips, go to Hogwarts, ride the tube, be reunited with Cathy, and for everything else!! If I see any famous British celebrities, I will probably die of happiness. But hopefully I get a picture with them first.

This past weekend was a hit and miss. I was very excited to hang out with my friends before we leave the states, and for the most part it was great and I had a great time! But every party has a pooper, and we didn’t realize it until after it was over. I have never been more grateful for my friends that are always there for me (even when some are not physically near me!). Special shout out to 2 specific bros. I’m so sorry for putting you guys in that situation. I cannot imagine how horrific those hours must have been. :/

I spent the next few days going through phases of frustration, disappointment, depression, denial, and rage. Sunday night, with some convincing from Emily, I spent 2 hours writing letter calling him out before bed. Monday I went through a spell of complete rage and had to get out of Columbia. I sped down to Jeff City with the windows down and Lorde’s album blaring through the stereo. It was a nice day so I decided to walk around the area for a bit. When I got back, I spent another 2ish hours revising the letter. Then I spent an hour trying to convince myself that the best thing to do was to push send. Eventually I did. It felt so good to tell someone how I really felt instead of bottling it up and letting it eventually eat me alive, which is what I normally do. Please just be honest and don’t be a total douche, that’s all I ask. I feel like I’m doing better now, but still a little hurt.

Sunday was the last time I got to work in the deli at HV. The reason I got to work there in the first place was because they were in the process of getting a new manager (who makes the schedule for the department) so the HR manager was in charge of scheduling. She also makes the cashier/courtesy schedules too, so she was able to get me in on a few shifts. But since they have a manager now, I probably won’t be scheduled anymore. Anyway, I used the slicer so many times, and all by myself! I’m pretty much a pro now. Also I got to work with Goron. His family is from Serbia (meaning he’s a fan of Djokovic, better than Nadal I say) but pretty sure he’s 100% American. He reminds me of Nathan from the marina. Their personalities are the same, meaning they both like beer, like to party, are semi-racist/sexist, and always make fun of me for being Asian/short/”sucking at my job”/etc., and he’s a pretty funny guy. I’m going to miss the deli.

Today I worked at HV again. The worst part of today was having to get carts… IN THE RAIN. Plus it was freezing and I could see my breath. It was not cool. Also the dining room was short of bussers, so I spent 2 hours bussing tables. That was interesting. And I ate lunch with my cousin, J, since we both happened to take our breaks at the same time. It was nice to catch up, even though it was a bit querd. LOL. I work again tomorrow, but I’m not sure if I would have time to blog since we’re going home after I get off work, thus me blogging today. Then Friday, we’ll be going to the airport… TO GO TO LONDON. WHAT!!?!! Can’t believe pretty much here! Dang… that means I have to pack.

Peace out, girl scouts.
-Megan

PS. Sorry for this extremely long post. I guess I had more to say than I thought! Props if you made it to the end! 🙂

Mid-European-adventure crisis

11 Oct

Hey everyone. This week and next week are sure to be busy with a lot of assignments and stuff like that because Fall Break is quickly approaching (one week!?!? Ahhhh!). Not only do I need to finish things for next week, but I’d also like to at least start on things that are due the week after fall break (meanest teacher move ever) so I don’t have to do them all as soon as I get back.

I guess that means I have to suck it up and get stuff done? Even if it means that I can hardly do anything fun? This is like the worst conundrum of my life. I’m in LONDON yet I can’t go out and enjoy it every second because I actually have real homework. You’d think it wouldn’t be that bad since I’m only taking 12 hours but somehow it’s worse than last semester when I took 17 and was working 20-25 hours a week. Actually, I know exactly why it’s worse.

In Springfield I have no qualms about sitting home and doing homework at night, actually I love it when I can do that because it means that I have the night off from work and don’t have some other event or meeting I need to go to. Here, it’s completely the opposite. I never have work or meetings to go to, but I’M IN LONDON. I don’t want to go to the library for 8 hours and write a paper. Besides, even if I did, someone would drag me to a bar or something eventually (I would go willingly). That doesn’t happen at home (still illegal at home). There’s a lot of peer pressure here. I don’t use that as an excuse. I am perfectly capable of saying no when I really need to, but a lot of times I don’t really need to, so I don’t.

So, I don’t know the answer to this predicament.  It’s all about finding the balance I guess, but that’s actually really difficult.

Last night I stayed in, did some homework, ate a candy bar from the vending machine (holla) and tonight I’m going to a club with Hanna, Megan, and Madi. Don’t know if I’m going to drink though. Public service announcement: please eat more than a piece of salami and a slice of cheese during the day before you decide to drink a third of a bottle of rum. You might just get the worst hangover ever. I would trust this advice if I were you.

Time is going so fast. Tomorrow it’s been exactly 2 months since I left home. Next week being fall break is kind of giving me a mid-life crisis only “mid-European adventure” crisis instead. I’m super excited to see some new places though and just travel around through four different countries for 10 days! When we get back, it will be November already. Three weeks until my trip to Prague, and then one week until YOU GUYS ARE HERE!! Then 10 days of fun fun fun and then finals and then… goodbye London, hello Germany, goodbye Germany, hello USA… Nooooo it can’t be

I hope you guys are having a good week, special S/O to Meiguan, wish I could give you a hug and I know your future is going to be great! Well I would do the same for all of you actually 🙂

Cathy

Wednesday (technically Thursday)

20 Dec

Well this is my obligatory Wednesday post for the week, although it will probably be my last one until school starts again in like 5 weeks (woohoo).

Because on Friday, I leave for Germany!!! Hip hip hooray! So then 1/3 of our chrisman2college crew will be in the lovely continent of Europe.

So what have I been doing this week in preparation? Monday my mom gave me my credit card for the first time and I went on a shopping spree for myself. Tuesday I dyed part of my hair purple, because you know what, I’m 20 and  #YOLO. Today I went shopping for craft supplies to make Christmas gifts for Moritz and his sister, and this evening I made said gifts. And painted my toenails.  And dyed some more of my hair. (#YOLO)

But guess what one thing I haven’t been doing is? If you guessed packing, then you’d be correct. I never pack until the last possible minute. And my room is still in disarray from coming home from college, because I never unpack either. I haven’t even begun to sort through what’s clean, what’s dirty, what I need to take, etc… and I probably won’t until a few hours before I leave for the airport. Also this is probably the reason I always realize something I forgot when I get to the airport, like last time it was toothpaste in a 3 oz or less tube, so I had to buy some for like $7 at the airport gift shop so when I arrived in Germany 12 hours later my breath wouldn’t smell.

Ummm, in case you hadn’t heard, I got all A’s and a C+ this semester, making this my first “C” ever (or at least when it actually counts) since 6th grade when I got it in band for never turning in my practice records. Thank you, Calculus, for thwarting my opportunity for the Dean’s List this semester. I’m so excited to be done with math FOREVER though 🙂

Well, talk to you all in about 3 and 1/2 weeks and I’ll send you postcards, I think I have everyone’s address!

Cathy

Looking back, looking ahead

12 Dec

So today was the last day of the first semester of my second year of college. That’s a lot of ordinal adjectives. Also, I’m now in my final two days as a teenager, before I enter the abyss otherwise known as “the 20’s”. So I thought I’d just take some time to look back a little at both of these things.

This semester has been a really hard one for me – and I don’t mean that my classes have been hard. I didn’t necessarily like many of them considering that they were all basically Gen Eds, but if that was the extent of my problems this semester, then that probably would have been okay. As you guys know, on the first day of the semester I got some terrible news and things got off to a bad start for me, and it never really could come back up after that. Also, I guess I’ve begun to view the world in a different way than I ever have before, and while that itself isn’t bad, it can be unsettling and uncomfortable at times. But I also realize that this is a part of life that is important, because of course nobody sees everything the same way for their whole life.

Even though there were some bad days, there were also a lot of good things that happened too. I finally was able to find a job, and it’s one that I really enjoy and is easy to balance along with school. I volunteered at the animal shelter and the puppies, kittens, and three other volunteers named Lori, Chase, and Jason never failed to make me smile. I made some new friends and hung out with “old” ones more. I called my mom a lot when I had bad days, and that always helped. I feel like we got even closer this semester. I spent time with my family when I went home, and I went to a Sporting KC game with my dad. I feel like I’ve learned to appreciate people more and the time I have to spend with them.

As far as turning 20 is concerned, I have kind of mixed feelings about it! On one hand, I’m excited to leave behind the negative connotations that come with the title of “teenager”, because personally at age 19 and maybe 18 I never really identified with being a “teenager” anymore. I’m excited to start something new. On the other hand, I’m sad to leave behind the negative connotations that come with the title of “teenager”, because it represents new freedom, immaturity, teen pregnancy (jk), irresponsibility, being carefree, and it gives you an excuse for when you mess up. I’ve had a lot of really great experiences as a teenager, like my first trip to Europe, and some really bad experiences as a teenager. It’s weird to think that soon I will be moving into the next decade of my life (the one that precedes “the 30’s” – yikes) and that this age group is usually highlighted by real jobs, bills, marriage, and sometimes children. That is seriously disconcerting and also really freaky.

photocollage

Overall, I’m excited to be moving forward. I’m glad that The Semester From Hell is over, and I’m pretty indifferent about leaving my teenage years, but I like to see these endings as opportunities for fresh starts. I am determined to make the best of them and enjoy every moment. I hope you guys enjoyed my first philosophical post. I recommend that you go listen to some Of Monsters and Men because they are the soundtrack of my life right now, and I’m going to spend some time with my family before I leave for Germany in 9 days!

Cathy

P.S. I just convinced my mom to let me have a birthday party next week, you’re all invited (except I already know that Kendyl and Derek can’t come). But the rest of you have no excuse.

P.P.S. Sorry for ruining the title pattern of the weekdays, but I feel like it didn’t really fit with mine 😉

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