Home again

July 27th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

The final days in England were spent attempting to find some sort of night life. Thursday night proved to be fruitless and we picked up food at one of the few shops that were still open, and walked around what is a very large outdoor mall place in Swindon. It was a shame to see so much closed so early though. I guess it’s just different there than it is here in the states.

Friday night was better. We were able to hit up this bar place much earlier in the night. The food was actually really good though, as all pub food goes, it was a little expensive. I had a couple of pints of Strongbow and the people watching commenced. I often forget how fun it is to go out in those kinds of social settings and just observe. The two of us sat against the wall, away from most people, and just watched. Occasionally people noticed we were American when we were talking, but generally we were unnoticed by most everyone else. And so I had another Strongbow and we commenced in our observations of the terrible choices in fashion made by men, women, but mostly by boys and girls.

Saturday was meant to be the last and final day to get to do all of those touristy things before heading home. Stonehenge was first on the list of things to do. Next was London for the remainder of the sightseeing there. Stonehenge was cool. I was saddened by the fact that it was all roped off and you can’t actually go up and touch the rocks. Much of the reason behind all of this is explained in the audio tour you get when you pay your admission price. We were nearly finished. we were about to finish snagging the last of our photos before heading back to the car. Just when we got to the heel stone, I noticed some clouds and said, “It’s going to rain again.” Oh, it didn’t just rain. It poured. Like buckets. It was torrential. There is only one way in, and one way out… and it’s the same place. Halfway down the walkway to get out, all traffic stopped. The people under the little tunnel stayed there. Leaving the rest of us to stand there, getting soaked and wet.

I can handle a little bit of rain. But at this point, I was soaked to skin. Yes, my underwear was soaked. My sweatshirt weighed something close to 15 pounds with all of the additional water. It was so bad that I couldn’t pack it to bring it home. This also meant that there was no way we could reasonably dry off enough to get to London. We headed back to the hotel to change clothes and he took me to Fairford. It was a very cute little town that is exactly what you imagine British towns to look like. I grabbed a pizza, he got some fish and chips and back to the hotel we went for some lounging… and packing. Sadly, the packing was only done by me.

Seeing as this was a business trip for him my getting to go was just a ‘bonus’. Travelling alone isn’t nearly as fun as travelling period. And really, this particular flight was going to suck more than the first because going into Heathrow we flew business class. Extra leg room. Free food and drinks. More space. I was coming home economy and the flight was overbooked (joy :|)

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have problems travelling alone. It’s not a fear of flying, or sitting next to strangers that I have problems with. But being on a plane for that many hours it’s nice to have something (or someone) that’s familiar. It just would have been nice.

This was a good trip. This was a life altering trip. From here on out, we’ll see how things go… and exactly how the cards fall. For now I’m rather enjoying the bliss.

Things I want to bring home from the UK

July 23rd, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

Here is the current and most up-to-date list of things I want to bring home from the U.K. They are in no particular order (except that I’m trying to remember them as they happened).

  1. One of the taxi cab cars. They are the only one’s shaped that way and they are way cute (and totally British!!)
  2. One of the brick and white buildings from St. James Park.
  3. The bedding out of the hotel room (it’s poofy and luxurious!)
  4. One of the adorable hoppity hop rabbits from around the hotel grounds (there are a bunch of them).
  5. The teeny tiny old school Mini that was WAY too cute for words.

I know there were other things, but at this point I’ve forgotten. I’ll recruit help in remembering and ammend the list when I can.

Day 3 of the Adventure

July 22nd, 2009 | Tags: , ,

Arriving in London at 7am meant that there was a really opportune time to try to go to the city and see some of the sights. I didn’t sleep much on the plane which meant that I was running on fumes by the time we landed. I figured it would be fun to take the train and go see some sights. And so, we did.

Once in the city we began walking around. Found a cute little cafe where we shared a plate of fish and chips (this was a HUGE serving of food) and we wandered around Trafalgar Square and into St. James park. We almost went up in the London Eye after crossing the Thames, but by that point the waiting in line would have surely meant me falling over and sleeping wherever I was.

We grabbed the train back to the airport and drove the long haul out to our hotel, just outside of Cirencester. It was a painful drive and really we probably should have pulled over and slept. *shrug* ah well.

Yesterday (Tuesday) we attempted to trek to Cardiff. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had an actual map versus the really terrible Google maps directions. Which were accurate, but didn’t give nearly enough information to make driving around Cardiff possible. We were looking for this Doctor Who thing, and we definitely didn’t make it in time for the last showing so instead we hit up the Odeon movie theater to see Harry Potter.

Things I’ve noticed so far:

  1. People are SO polite here. It’s almost shocking how polite they are. It also makes me realize how much American are just douche bags. *shrug*
  2. Drivers are considerate. Good grief even when there was an accident and traffic it took a small fraction of the time it would take if it happened on ANY highway/freeway in the states.
  3. There are an obscene amount of different languages and accents everywhere you go. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just such a contrast. When we went down to breakfast yesterday there was this girl who was Polish in descent, but was raised in Greece (and was in the UK for work). Definitely cool.
  4. The food, while it tastes good, is cooked in SO much fat and oil that I can literally hear my heart scream out to me to stop. And they LOVE meat flavored everything. Nothing like a bag of “Lays” Smoked Bacon flavored chips.
  5. There is no night life outside of London. Everything closes far too early for my tastes (though I’m sure it’s just because of the lingering jet lag). This is something that is easy to overcome.
  6. The weather. It’s definitely a HUGE change from the 2-week long 100+ degree days that I’m glad to be missing out on (at least half of it!). It rains randomly, and at times there is no sun. This is one of my concerns with moving to Seattle without actually experiencing it. So far it doesn’t bother me too much. I like the cool weather a lot. There are no air conditioners. <3
  7. The toilets don’t fill with nearly enough water for me to feel comfortable. Heh.

I could see myself living here. I absolutely love it. Every time someone talks I want to hug them. We saw a Dalek cake at the Tesco last night (Tesco is like a Wal-Mart) and I wanted it. Had no desire to eat it. Just wanted the Dalek cake. Totally adore all of the Doctor Who stuff around.

Overall this has been a really amazing trip and it’s fairly early on day three. Still a few more days to go and hopefully some more sight seeing. For now, I sleep.

Here’s to adventure… in 2 days time.

July 17th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

This is the reason why I said yes. This is the reason why no matter what… I won’t be bitter about life because I regret a missed opportunity.

Reservations and life

July 9th, 2009 | Tags: ,

For months I’ve been fighting an internal battle with myself, life choices, and opportunity. Finishing school places a seal upon life and forced me to face an undeniable truth… I have to go out and make that degree pay for itself. Getting my degree when I did means that I’m avoiding a sinking ship of rising tuition costs and less money available to help pay for everything. I’m also stuck with the realization that the economy is a tight environment for jobs and the competition will be fierce. Over saturated with too many people, and jobs that exist not being available until the state passes a budget. It’s a never ending, and terrifying, reality.

Then life seems to be taking it’s toll on me as well. Failed relationship after failed relationship, all with the hope that things will be good this time. This will be one to keep. For months I’ve been reeling with emotions that seem to be beyond my scope of understanding. All that education, all that psychological learning, and I can’t make sense of myself.

Am I walking down a familiar path for that exact reason, it’s familiar? Will there always be lingering doubt? Will I continue to question myself and others out of jaded fear and resentment for all of my life’s failures? For every step forward in the right direction will I find myself looking over my shoulder wondering today if things could have been better if I had chosen a different path back yesterday.

Questions with no answers. Certainly no one I know can do the answering. The hardest thing for me is grasping and understanding which emotions are the real ones. There’s a fear inside that makes me question myself, my motivations, and invariably my choices.

No one is perfect, and I am definitely not exempt from this rule. Would making a choice that I’ve made before (only to see it destroy me and try to take me down) again be the right one? Am I foolish for hoping for something better this time? Or am I setting myself up for a landmine of destruction. Familiar destruction. I’ve been here before. I’ve been strong all this time and adamant about my choices, and for the first time I’m admiting, aloud, that I’m faltering. I just don’t know how to cross that line. It’s like being in an alternate reality where just enough is familiar to not send you screaming, but it’s different enough to be awkward.