Machu Pichu

Sunday 3/15/09 Machu Pichu

This day started out early. I had an alarms set for 3am and Madison had one for 1:20am. Early, looking back now that’s an ungodly time to get up. But that was OK. Because we were going to one of the world wonders: Machu Pichu.

To catch an early morning train up the mountain, the group was asked to meet that the mercado at 4:30am. My 3am alarm made more sense than Madison’s 1:20.

As soon as the bus started moving Madison fell right back to sleep. I stayed up for a bit watching the city lights pass by. I did doze off but when I woke back up the sun rise looked pink through the fogged up window. Priceless.

The train we were taking up the mountain served a boxed breakfast on the way up and a dinner on the way down. I passed on the breakfast. The ride took a couple hours, give or take.

Buses race back and forth on that skinny road

Buses race back and forth on that skinny road

From the buses we had to make our way through a market to get to the buses that would take us up the rest of the way. These buses would go racing back and forth up the mountain. When two of them would meet on the road you could have stuck your hand out the window and high-fived the other bus. And I thought the drivers in Cuzco were crazy!

You would think that when you get to a world wonder there would be a grand sense of Ahh. When we got to the top and off that crazy bus, I didn’t get that sense right away. Why would there be Ahh if the first thing to see is a restaurant? And pay phones, a jewlery bathroom and a spot with lockers? A let down… just a little.

Our group was given their tickets and we proceeded to a house on the path where we had to sign a visitors book and have our passports looked at. When everyone was through, we were on our way to the hidden ruins.

I say hidden because at the time of the Spanish invaders, it couldn’t bee seen. And when it was found again in the 1900’s trees and vegetation had totally taken over the place.

This place was huge! It had been estimated that 600-1000 people lived in the “fortified” city at one time. when it was abandoned 80% of the bodies found were women. That brings up questions like: Why were there more women than men?

At the time there were three theories given to the group. The first was that this city had been a home to virgin women of the Sun. Another suggested that them men had left to go fight the invaders. A third theory about aliens was tossed in for giggles.

When Mauch Pichu was found again, people found mummified bodies and thought that the Spanish had been there. The skeletons showed that the poeple hadn’t gotten enough calcium in life. There were skulls that had holes and cracked jaw bones. It was also found that many of the women had syphilis.

The first things we saw were the houses of the nobility. Some suggest that Machu Pichu wasn’t a completed city when it was abandoned. The reason for this is because of the open quarry right behind the houses of the nobility.

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From there we saw the religious square. Here the buildings were in the shape of a cross. I should clarify which type of cross it was. When most people think cross they think of the christian interpretation. Here is was more along the lines of a plus sign.

Next was the industrial houses. When the city was re-found they found tools, including a stone abacus.

You could take a thousand picture of Machu Pichu, but they will never do it the justice it deserves. You really have to go there to get the full feel of the place.

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After the main tour the group split in two. One half would follow a guide to the sun temple while the other would explore the city further on their own. Madison and I chose the sun temple.The trip from the city up to the temple takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

At first I regretted going to the temple. Don’t get me wrong. It was fun and hard, but I was slow. So I didn’t get to hear all the cool facts… Even if I didn’t get great pictures of Machu Pichu and learn cool things, I at least go braggin’ rights. I climbed 2,000ish steps, in the rain almost by myself.

When we got down  from the temple it was time for lunch. The group was to eat at a place Toto’s House, which was back in the market. Another crazy bus ride separated us from the food.

I can’t remember what I had for lunch. I do remember that there were four men singing for the guests as they ate. As we were leaving I bought a CD from them.

After  Lunch we were given our train tickets for the ride home. The whole group didn’t make it on the first train. One adult and half the group, myself included, would be taking the later train. This was a good and bad thing. Good because it would give us more time to look around, Bad because it gave us time to look around and shop.

I ended up finishing my shoping for gifts in this market- although I did wonder about getting something for the grandparents. Little cousins and immediate family members are easy, even friends are easier to shop for than grandparents at times. I was a Peruvian shop-o-hollic.

As we were shopping and it was starting to get dark a rumor started floating around that the chaperon for the second train had left on the first one leaving us remaining students high and dry.  Naturally those of us left behind had minor freak-outs. Thankfully this rumor had no truth to it. The sigh of relief was audible.  I’m pretty sure if he had left on the other train he would have gotten some choice words from us students next time we saw him.

The train ride and walk home were uneventful.


As an adult I wouldn’t mind going back to Machu Pichu and taking a slower look at things. If this post has put the travel bug in your brain below are some of the sites I’ve been looking at to plan my return trip.


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Books as food: Midnight Pearls

Nothing beats a classic fairy tale, except maybe a new spin on the old tale. Midnight Pearls is just that. Written by Debbie Viguie, the story follows a 17-year-old girl named Pearl on her search for who she is and where she belongs.

Ever since my grandmother took me to see The Little Mermaid in its return to theaters (1997), I loved the idea of mermaids swimming under the waves. So when I run a cross a story that reignites the childhood wonder I have to devour the story and share my excitement.

Midnight Pearls blends elements from the original story of a mermaid that falls in love with a Prince with a flopping of positions and still happy endings for all.


Pearl is a foster child a fisherman pulled from the sea during a violent storm. She lives with the fisherman and his wife for thirteen years. During that time she secretly becomes friends with the kingdom’s Prince.

Things get complicated when the blacksmith asks to take her as his wife. Saying she doesn’t love the man she tells her woes to her friend the prince. In return he tells her that his father wishes him to marry and that he would find  a way out of both their situations.

His solution. Take her out on a boat, try to be romantic until the boat springs a leak and they both must swim for shore.

This is where we start to see elements of The Little Mermaid  surfacing. Below the waves as Pearl and the Prince are in the boat a brother and sister mermaid are watching. The brother spots Pearl and insists that she is a childhood friend that had gone missing thirteen years ago.

The sister has eyes only for the prince. So when their escape from the sinking boat fails and the prince is in need of rescuing, the sister saves him. She even gives him a kiss before escaping back to the ocean.

When the prince comes to, he says that he will marry the girl who saved him. He thought the sister and Pearl were one in the same.

If you want to know how this case of mistaken identity plays out, pick up a copy of Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie.

The book has 198 pages and has a middle school reading level. This can be a great one day read of children at heart or a good bedtime story for little ones.


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Project final write up

Ashley’s Final Project Write Up

My Project Proposal

In my Project Proposal, I said that I would use my existing blog for this class to journal about my EuroSpring experience. I had planned to post once a day about what happened the day’s events along with links to outside sources as needed and pictures. Each post was planned to be no shorter than 700 words

What I actually did

For the first week or so I followed my plan of posting everyday and having links and pictures for each day. The posts follow a similar format:

  1. wake-up
  2. events after the last night’s post
  3. breakfast
  4. classes
  5. day’s adventures
  6. Preview of the next day or Closing thoughts
  7. In case you missed the Links

With some snarky comments thrown in here and there

Week one dealt with getting to Oxford, the trip to Bath and the first trip into London
Week two had the musical Wicked and the Travel Break with Cork, Blarney, Glendlough, The Wicklow Mountains and Dublin
Week three was the last day of the travel break, second day in London, Avebursy, Stonehenge, Sailsburg Cathedral, Stratford on Avon, Westminster Abby and 221b Baker Street.
Week four was the starting of the end, Portsmouth and the flight home
Week five was post trip thoughts

After the Studio Tours and looking at how other people had theirs set up, I tried to make it easier for my readers to get to posts easier. I created a EuroSpring 2014 page on my blog with links to all the posts in order of weeks.

When I used links they usually to outside sources to give the reader more information about a person or place. Example if this would be:

Other times I linked to funny videos that I shared with my roommate that night or something useful to the reader. Examples of this would be:

  • 3/26 Tuesdays Adventure I link to the youtube videos “After Ever After” and “The Movie Villain Medley” by Paint, “John Williams is the Man,” and “The Star wars I used to know.”
  • 3/26 Tuesdays Adventure I make reference to a manga that features the Shabti I saw in the Ashmolean that day. I linked to a place readers could go to read the mentioned manga.
  • 3/19 All I want to do is eat, sleep and brush my teeth I linked to an international currency rate checker.

Finally I linked to all GIFs that I borrowed from other sources

Deviance from the plan

• On more than a couple posts, like during the travel break to Ireland, I didn’t have links or pictures.
• My posts ranged in word count from 650ish to1500ish in length.
• I didn’t post everyday as we got closer to the end of the trip. There are a couple two-for-ones and one three-for-one. Almost everyday is accounted for in one way or another at least.

What went well and what was a struggle

Starting out the blogging went really well. My posts were in the 1000 word range and they had links and pictures. I had a routine that worked for getting material posted. This high point eventually turned into the low point when I started running out of new experience to write about. My routine was interrupted during the travel break and it was hard to get back on track. Other inturruptions to my routine were field trips that would keep me away from Wycliffe and my computer. On nights like those the posts would be lacking in the links and pictures or they would be very short.

I did notice that my number of viewers has drastically gone up since I started writing about the EuroSpring trip. Before I left I only had viewers in the United States. Now as of 5/8/14 I’ve had views in 16 different countries:

Country Views
United States 833
Guam 25
United Kingdom 16
Australia 3
Norway 3
Philippines 2
Spain 2
Korea, Republic of 2
Singapore 1
Italy 1
Mexico 1
Thailand 1
Germany 1
Taiwan 1
Netherlands 1
Portugal 1

Will I continue and What It meant to me

I do intend to continue the use of Surviving Freetime my way. But I think I’ll drop down to a post or two a week, everyday posting took a lot of time and energy.

This project gave me a new found respect for those who do blog for a living. Up until now I thought that those who blogged didn’t have to work very hard to create their posts. I was dead wrong. Even though I had it easier than most of my classmates, where I didn’t have to research my topic, each post did take time and thought on how best to present what I had to say.

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Weblog and wiki project review week 5

Things to consider

Q. How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments?

A.  I don’t think i did so well this week. I only posted two times… not good.

Q. What gave you trouble? How did you work your way through that? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn? What else did you learn?

A. what’s been giving me trouble for the past week or so, is the fact that the trip is over and I don’t know what to write about next. For the project for class I assume that I need to stay with the trip topic. I’ve done one on packing and post trip let down, but there isn’t much else I can do.

Not doing too well on working thought it. I still enjoy doing the posts, when I have something to write on.

Q. What would you do differently? What questions do you have?

A. Doing things differently would basically mean finding something trip related and writing about it. getting going again would be the something different.

Questions I have: Is my grade going to be ok with all of this lack of posting?



My Posts for this review

4/25 Post trip:what I packed, forgot and didn’t need

4/22 Post trip letdown and frustration

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A tour through the studios

This week instead of reviewing out own work, the students of the Weblogs and Wikis class have been asked to look at the projects of our classmates. I’ve had the pleasure of looking at:


Brad Tramel Notes


    1. Plans to do one indi game a week
    2.  two of the games some experiance, one extensively, the other two no experience
    3. long-form and fragmented communication of experience: before (context), during (experience), and after (critique)
    4. post 3 times a week Monday: first impressions of the game and research about the game’s context: inspirations, creator(s), development process, etc.Wednesday: extended analysis about at least three noteworthy              aspects of the game: game’s narrative, mechanics, and artFriday: full critical review. Effectively and uniquely communicate        about indie games in a blog, through linking and commenting
    5. have a Blog roll with blogs of similar voices
    6. 3500 words/week w/2 or 3 snapshots


    1. Keeps with his planned posting schedule pretty closely, even if the days aren’t spot on
    2. Hard to get around site. how do I get to older week reviews of games? There isn’t a distinct archive to flip back to.
    3. visual look easy to read.
    4. Liked the use screen shots on Monument Valley: A Photo Journal. Althought  they personally all looked the same and the exact lay out was jumpy. Is there a way to smooth them out?
    5. Explanation of game clear. Have other people done reviews of this game? Their thoughts? Stats from indi game rankers?
    6. Not as many words as contracted for. approx. 1500/3500
    7. well written, not sure if I’d play the game thought


Claire Tsuji notes


    1. Will go to three places to eat a week
    2. Restaurant review format with her personal experience included
    3. Executive description: presentation of food, taste, service, and over all experience of the restaurant
    4. Include pictures of the food/beverage/desserts
    5. Evaluate customer treatment, ambiance
    6. Links to restaurant pages, other reviews of places, articles about openings/ place history
    7. 500 words per post


    1. easy to read with same format throughout the post
    2. Nice to read about some of the places I frequent
    3. Pictures are well places and add good content
    4. Links to interesting places ie: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/29-ways-to-be-the-worst-person-at-starbucks on march 28th
    5. Believe able writing. states what she thinks of the place and backs it up with reasons for her thinking
    6. Meets contracted word amount.
    7. Enjoyable to read, Might check a few of her reviews out for myself.

 Craig Sorby notes








…Um, 2/3 is still passing right? Notes on Craig’s blog will be posted tomorrow.


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Flight, Home, Easter

Here we go that promised three for one. Been dragging my feet about writing this thing, maybe due to the length that it’s grown two or is it possible to have post trip depression? Either way, here it is; the events from leaving Oxford on good Friday to leaving my family for school on Easter Sunday. Enough dallying, let’s go already.

Good Friday

The morning of Good Friday found both Aimee and I anxious to be going home. Most of the Bemidji group had already left when we went down to breakfast at 7 am. The Moorhead group would be leaving Wycliffe at 8. I think the choice was eggs for breakfast, I had my last two pieces of Cadbery toast, applesauce and OJ. The girls that I had been going to London with were traveling on to Paris, but we did find two people who were going to be on our flight back to the states. There was another person who traveled with us to the airport but he was going to tour on the continent instead of coming home.

There was a delay with our flight, bumping us from 2:25 to 3:40. Oh well, it was just another hour waiting in the airport. Better there and bored than running late, be stressed and miss the flight. Even with this, the five of us still went to the airport at our original time. Dragging our suitcases the 3/4 miles from Wycliffe to the Bus station was the hardest, longest trek I’ve had to make. Knowing that would be my last time to walk those roads made it hard in the heart to leave. Tugging a suitcase the weighed 22.7 kg (50.0449 lbs, Can we say cutting it close?), a carry on which felt just as heavy and a backpack bursting at the seams made the physical journey hard. To wards the end I looked pretty funny lugging the stuff. I had one handle crooked in my arm and the other was pushed before me, I was hunched over and a little crooked. The little putsy trailer at the end of the train. Can’t tell you how bad I felt when one of the girls walking with us came back to help me the last couple of feet to the station. If she hadn’t, I would have missed the bus…

Not much to say about the airport itself, guess if you’ve seen one you seen them all. We dropped our one member off at terminal 5 so he could catch his flight, then waited in terminal 3 for ours. I read my book, Aimee worked on her journal, one member walked around the airport while our final member watched something on his tablet. Next thing we knew we were boarding the plane and in the air.

The flight lasted for 8 hours. We were given one full meal, a optional snack and a snack/ breakfast. I watched Frozen, read from my book, took a short nap, played solitaire and got the planes’ new high score (580 not to brag), watched Mary Poppins and tried to watch the Little Mermaid but got interrupted and didn’t want to start over from the beginning.

Landing and disembarking was the easy part. Not the customs was all the difficult, but let this be a warning to everyone, Stick to your custom card. At the beginning of international flights you are given a customs card to fill out. I filled mine out, disembarked and then gave it to the first checker. He looked at my passport and then my card. I swear he only gave my passport back to me. So after I grab my luggage and wait in another faster moving line to get out of the customs area, I get halted because I didn’t have my card and they weren’t going to let me pass until I found it.


Security at airport until you find your customs card

Security at airport until you find your customs card

Thankfully Aimee had just gotten her luggage so she was able to watch mine as I tried to get things figured out. In the long run I ended up filling out a second one, because they insisted I lost my card while I still believer the first guy didn’t give it back to me. After this little bump it was smooth sailing. A hint from one weary traveler to others, when you have the option to use a trolley, take it.

I saw my brother first, then my mom standing next to him. Tyler is a red head bean pole who usually has his arms crossed. Mom come to shoulders in height. I waved to then and pushed my cart a little faster. Not to say that I cried when I say them, but I did get a little teary eyed. I got a hug from both of them and then mom pointed to where my dad was with my sister. My whole family had come to pick me up. An added bonus: they even had a sign with my name on it.

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Before the two hour drive back home we stopped for a very late dinner at Perkins. Seeing how I had been few on the plane I split a quesadilla with mom. Oddly enough another Eurospring family had the same idea before going home. the guy who had watched something on his tablet in the airport was there with his mom and dad at the booth right behind us. I think it was either a sister and boyfriend or older brother joined them a little later. The traveler asked if I was ready to share the “British plague”  now that we were home. I just laughed.

Good Friday ended with me having been awake for over 24 hours and finally falling asleep in my own bed that felt like heaven compared to the rock I had been on for the past month.



Let me start talking about Saturday by saying that sleeping in ’till 11ish was wondrous! Dad had left for worship team practice before I woke up. I didn’t get to see him until later in the afternoon. The living room was a mess with my bags which we had unceremoniously dumped there the night before.  After a little breakfast I insisted that it was “Christmas”  and that I had to give everyone the gifts I had bought them. I put dad’s Mr. Perfect mug and London coaster next to his coffee pot so he wouldn’t miss them. Alicia looked at the shirt and dancing flower I gave her then handed them back to mom. Before she ran back to her movies I got the girls to pose win their apparel. I’m so happy I got the sizes right. British sizing is weird, sometimes its not big enough, others you are drowning in a size small. Later when dad saw the poster I had gotten Tyler he said it was perfect for him.

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Once the gift giving was over, mom took me to the doctor to see about the “British plague.” The only thing was I couldn’t call it a plague in front of the doctor. That could have been bad. The lady checked who checked me in thought I was 15-16. I’m 22 and you won’t find me complaining. Although, I’m sure my friends are going to hate me when I’m still getting carded and they’re not. The doctor gave me something for the congestion but nothing for the cough… what’s up with that? Mom and I wondered around Walmart as we waited for my medicine.

After all that fun, I started fully unpacking. Easier said then done. I also managed to lock my phone to the point of needing to connect it to my computer, but I tinkered with that after church on Sunday. Mainly Saturday was a day of rest, unpacking and time with family. My bed still felt like heaven on the second night.


Easter Sunday

The plan had been to go to the 7:30 service and despite waking up at 6:55 we made it! In our hour that is a feat worth being proud of. This was the second time that I heard the new preacher talk. Very energetic and passionate speaker who doesn’t stand behind a podium.

Dad played for three services and got home after noon. By that time the four of us had devoured a monkey bread and I had gotten my phone unlocked, with no lack of frustration and cursing. Mom kept telling me to take a break from that and finish packing to go back to Bemidji. kinda glad i didn’t listen.

Well Dad got home, we had a homemade Easter lunch, the five of us, I finished packing and made ready to go back to school. With my things in the car, dad filled up the tires as Tyler threw a snowball at me. His parting gift. Hugs all around and then I was gone.

When I got back to school I didn’t want to unpack all the way. I ended up crashing around 9pm. Justifiable when you’ve been on the go for the past three days.

In case you missed the Links:

London Heathrow Airport: http://www.heathrowairport.com/

Luggage restrictions:                                        http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/planning/carry-on-luggage-restrictions-00100000070337/

Frozen: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294629/

Solitaire: http://www.classicgamesandpuzzles.com/Solitaire.html

Mary Poppins: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058331/

Little Mermaid: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097757/

Gandalf GIF provided by:                                                   http://gif-central.blogspot.com/2012/12/you-shall-not-pass.html

Perkins Restaurant: http://www.perkinsrestaurants.com/

Mr. Perfect Mug:                                                         http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Men-Little-Miss-AMRM020/dp/B005RVUQS8

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a message but not a full entry

I know that I said that I wouldn’t do any more two for ones, but as it runs out you might get a three for one. Jet lag makes one tired and off for a day or two which seems to be the case here. This is just a fill in until I can get back on track. Just thought Id let you the readers know that I made it safely back to the states and am happy to be home.

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Weblog and wiki project review week 4

Things to consider

Q. How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments?

A. I feel like I’m slipping on the requirements. My amount of post was cut in half this week due to circumstances that are out of my control. They are getting longer but have less links and pictures to them. They are starting to sound like quick summaries of two day’s events

Q. What gave you trouble? How did you work your way through that? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn? What else did you learn?

A. Getting the “umph” to post everyday is giving me some trouble. I’ m working through this one post at a time. Cutting back on content which can be added later. Less enjoyment in the post now that I have to fight to write them. I learned how to copy a post and reuse its format. Didn’t learn much else this week


Q. What would you do differently? What questions do you have?

A. I would go slower when it comes to writing the posts to cut down on the grammatical errors.


Questions I have: Is post two for ones acceptable?

Is class meeting again before the final presentation date?

What is expected for the presentation?


My Posts for this review

2/14 Beginnings of the end

4/12  A black bumble bee, a duck and three ships

4/10 More shopping… And a bit of wondering off

4/9  two for one, Tuesday and Wednesday 


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Beginnings of the end

I promise that this should be the last two for one… hopefully. But sadly yes, this starts the beginning of the end of Euorspring.

Man, that sloth got it right on the money with that. Yesterday was the last Sunday and my last trip into London. Today was the last Monday and last meeting of my Women novelist in the 19th century class. I’ll catch you up on yesterday and then tell you about today, sound ok?

OK, lets do this.

Sunday’s breakfast was a plain crescent, applesauce and OJ. the plan was for me to go with the four other girls to London, while Aimee had a day to herself. Because of the second wave of crud going around she had stayed out of the room so I could get some sleep until 2am. Thank you Aimee! Sleep does wonders when you’re not feeling good. So while I was gallivanting around London either alone or in the group, she caught up on sleep, went for a walk and started packing to go home.

My London goers had one Moorehead student go with us. He split from out group early on so he could catch up with an air-force buddy that’s stationed here in England. My group bought their tickets for the subway and that’s where I separated from them.

Yes, I wondered around London by myself for the greater part of the day. No, I wasn’t really scared for my well-being. As I told my mom later that night: “I felt safer on the streets of London than in the tunnels at school around midnight.”  And if any of my classmates are reading this you know how creepy those tunnels can be.

First on my solo adventure I went up to King’s Cross train station again. I had wanted to see the Harry Potter shop and maybe get my picture taken with that trolley if the line was short enough. As I’m finding out, Harry Potter is a big thing here. The line was just as long as the other day. No picture for me. And the shop was so packed it was hard to move around inside. I had thought about buying a mug, sweatshirt or even a scarf, but talked myself out of it. Nothing it that store showed a practical reason for buying it. Frugal Franny should have lived a little. Maybe. I’m kinda glad i didn’t buy anything there. I’m having a hard time getting what I have bought to fit into my suitcase.

Next on my list was the British museum to see the Beowulf Manuscript. What English major worth their ink wouldn’t go see it? A broke one to tell the truth… You had to pay to get into the Viking exhibition. And with only an hour to spare before meeting up with the group for our show I couldn’t really look around the place. If the Ashmolean takes two full days to see everything properly, the British Museum could take a full week. I spent my hour browsing through the central gift shop. I didn’t buy anything here either.

Before meeting my group, I was a little early for the rondevu time, I scouted out a souvenir shop and M&M world. I got through all four floors of the wonderful smelling place and had found a night-shirt that had the M&Ms in front of the British flag that i would purchase after the show. The group found me pretty easily and then we all went for lunch. They had found an Italian place they wanted to try out, so we went there. I wasn’t all that hungry and couldn’t pronounce half of the things on the menu. I got four pieces of garlic toast. One girl had noodles and the other three had pizzas.

After Lunch the group split up again. One girl to this random place that she’d bought a ticket for before lunch, two others to shop, and the Last girl and I went to Stomp. Let me say right now, If you get the chance to go you should really try to get there. These guys were amazing. Photography was prohibited even before the show stared, so you’ll have to just picture this place. We couldn’t have gotten better seats. We were on the second tier right in the middle and were almost level with the stage. Stomp featured a team of eight people, six boys and two girls. One guy was a little scarier than the others and another I couldn’t figure out why he was there or what his part in the show was. He looked too preppy and clean to be with the rest of the group; who looked like they just got done working jobs in construction. But when one number was done it all made sense as to why he was there. I’m going to say anymore on this. But if you go, and they do the same show I saw, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The show was awesome with stunts, percussion music, comedy and some audience participation. I almost hated it when it was over. We had about twenty minutes before we were to meet up with the group again at the Hard Rock cafe. I was able to swing into the M&M store and snag that nightshirt I had scouted earlier and finally got something for my sister at a tourist shop. I’ll post a picture of her with it later. Hope she likes it.

Needless to say we hit rush hour and were a little late getting to Hard Rock. The two that were waiting were just about to leave when we got there. Thanks for waiting guys. We didn’t eat at the Hard Rock on account of how expensive it was. After jumping subway trains we got to the London eye. I had already been on it but the other three wanted to go. That would have been fine with me if they hadn’t ducked into the Golden Arches. I thought  they were just going to the bathroom because they had made no note about food to me. When 10 minutes turns to 30 I get a little ancy. I don’t like to sit still very long. In the last I’ve just left the group and went out on my own. For some reason  I kept turning back around to see if they were done doing their duty and had come out of there. Finally I decided to say “screw it,” buy dinner on my own and ditch them. As I enter the McDonald’s I see them  holding pop cups. they must have grabbed food and not told me. Does this seem rude to any one besides me? Anyway, I didn’t really give them a chance to explain themselves, i didn’t want to hear it, I just said that i was eating there , by myself, and then going back to Wycliffe. this was my final parting from the group.

Not going lie, I felt pretty pathetic sitting downstairs eating my burger and fries along. I’ve also eaten more McD’s here in England in the past four weeks than I have in a year back in the states. Something is wrong here. I didn’t even finish all my food, I just wasn’t hungry.

I got back to Wycliffe safe and sound, showed my finds to Aimee and alter to mom and dad when I facetimed them. With good intentions I had planned to post last night, but it got too late after talking with the family.


Which brings us to today. Last night Aimee and i were about even when it came to keeping each other awake. One time she woke me up snoring and I retaliated with a coughing attack. Breakfast was two pieces of Cadbury toast (because the first option was hard-boiled eggs), a bowl of applesauce and OJ. Right after breakfast I went back to lay down, thinking I could get a little more sleep before class. I got a little rest… between coughing. Getting sick and tired of being sick and tired here.

After today there are only three more lectures by Dr. Chapman. Today we talked about what the British Empire did beneath the Southern Cross. The southern cross is a constellation that can only be seen clearly south of the equator. What was done to discover Australia, New Zealand and later the Antarctica was covered. I’ll add the notes on this one later.

Lunch I forget what it was separated Dr. Chapman’s class from my last class with the 19th century women novelists. Before that started however, Aimee shared that we had another visitor to the room. Another bee. This time it was a normal carpenter bee, except he was the size of a quarter! what is it with Oxford and the really big bees? We couldn’t find the guy who helped us out last time. A classmate of our took care of it for us. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

The Women novelists class was covering Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Out of all the books we had to read for this class, I liked this one the most. Just like with Chapman, I’ll add my notes on this one later.

After class the plan had been to go to the Pitt rivers Museum. We caught up in a group going to Moo Moo’s for milkshakes instead. Aimee has been looking forward to going to this place for weeks, so the side trip was worth it. Moo Moo’s is this pink little hole in the wall in the covered market and they have more flavors for milkshakes and smoothies than should be legal. If you can stand waiting in line for a while as they make your order this place is a must check out at least once.

When we separated from this group Aimee and I went for a little shopping. Aimee bought a cute teapot and tea canister shaped like a big red bus. I found two little solar power dancing flowers and had to get one for my sister and one for me.

Not all the busy of a day, but hey, both of us are sick and trying to get well before flying home on Friday. On top of that, even though there is still I want to do, we’ve done a lot of stuff. A little rest I think is allowable. Even though it’s still early by my personal normal standards, I’m calling it a night. Links to interesting things, Pictures that I find relevant and other things that make these post unique will have to be added at a later time. This one needs sleep.

Night all.

P.S: I did start packing for the flight home. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure where everything if going to fit. It’s like Tetris.

Categories: EuroSpring 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More shopping… and a bit of wondering off

Not too bad of a day, if I do say so myself. I almost have something for everyone now after today’s trip. But I have to do this day in order, as I have all the others.

Breakfast this morning has become my favorite one while here. It was the crescent roll with chocolate in the middle, a bowl of applesauce and the glass of OJ that seems to be doing nothing against the cold that going around. Thankfully all I have to shop for it is a cough, but I’m pretty sure its asthma related.

In Dr. Chapman’s lectures today we first covered the foundation of the Salvation Army. The organization was started by William Booth and his wife Catherine. Both originally cam from decently well off families and deeply devout Christians. They started the first mission on the East end of London, the darkest of London in 1860. Their plan was a simple, Soup, Soap and Salvation. Feed those down and out, let them clean up and give them clothes in better condition, and finally teach them about the bible. I’ll add more of my notes later when i’m back in the states on this one.

Aimee had left five minutes into the first lecture and didn’t make it to the second. The rampaging sold has hit her pretty bad. So to help her out, I recorded Dr. Chapman’s lectures. i hope he won’t be too mad… it was for a good cause. The second lecture was about Britain’s relationship, or “love affair” with India. On this one too I’ll add my notes at a later time, just know for now that the relationship between the two countries has almost always been a content one.

Lunch today was slices of ham(?) with parsnips, potatoes and squash. For dessert there was a lemon cream pie thing that tasted really good. As I was eating it I couldn’t stop myself of thinking of a private joke about “Crusty Pudding.” After lunch Aimee and I walked to a chemist to get her something for her ear. The woman behind the counter gave her a decongestant and olive oil ear drops. We headed back to Wycliffe to administer the ear drops. We ended up staying in our room for an hour or so. After a while I decided that I wan’t going to waste my day because Aimee wasn’t feeling so good. As I was getting ready to go, Aimee roused herself and said that she’d go with, sick or not.

First we headed off to the Westgate Mall, where we had been a few days ago. Aimee stayed in Primark, but I got board of the shop and wondered off. I toddled off to a store called Verb, which is still in the mall area. Verb is a mix of Deb and Ragstock in terms of fashion. There I found a strapless shirt that can be uncinched into a dress that comes to mid thigh. Once that was in the bag, I went back to see if I could find Aimee. No luck. So, I went into Pound Land, their equivalent of a dollar store. There I bought a paper lantern and two bundles of blue bags.

Why the bags you ask?

I am going to cut them into strip to make plan and use it for my crafts. As I was leaving the mall a window display caught my eye and I had to pop inside. Here I bought the perfect thing for my dad. Sorry dad, not going to tell you what it is here. You’ll just have to wait until I get home, or talk real nice to mom, she knows what it is.

Before heading back to Wycliffe, I wanted to try my hand at finding the Alice in Wonderland shop again. I had tried yesterday,but couldn’t find it. well, today I did. As it turns out if i had toddled a little farther and hadn’t turned left yesterday, I would have found the shop. Here I bought a copy of Alice in Wonder Land which also had Through the Looking Glass in the same cover. i also bought a quote mug. Its the cat’s line about being mad.

Alice_speaks_to_Cheshire_Cat“We’re all mad here. I’m Mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” Said Alice

“You must be” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

With my purchases in hand I went back to Wycliffe to drop off my stuff. I had enough time before dinner, so I went out again to see if I could find the Oxford Yarn Shop. I found it, floor to ceiling full yarn. I was so over whelmed by the sheer amount, that I didn’t buy anything. I did however ask the lady behind the counter if she knew where I could get a drop spindle. She directed me to the website for the Oxford Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I thanked her and went back home.

When I got there this time Aimee was back. She showed me the scores she made shopping. Dinner tonight was a steak and mushroom hotdish (pie). My plate got loaded with green beans ‘cuz I opted out of the broccoli and cauliflower. There was some of lunch’s dessert left over, so I helped myself to another of those.

I got to talk with my family twice today. The first time I had mom all to myself, and the second was with my brother. I like talking with them. In seven days I’ll see them in person. Not sure I’m ready to go back yet though… tomorrow is up in the air as to what I’ll do. Check again tomorrow to see what I found. Night all.

In case you missed the Links:

Alice and cat picture provided by:  http://www.wpclipart.com/fictional_characters/childrens_books/Alice_in_Wonderland/Alice_speaks_to_Cheshire_Cat.png.html

Salvation Army:                        http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/history-of-the-salvation-army

William and Catherine Booth:                                     https://salvos.org.au/about-us/our-history/william-and-catherine-booth.php

Primark: https://www.primark.com/en/whats-new

Deb: http://www.debshops.com/

Ragstock: http://ragstock.com/

Poundland: http://www.poundland.co.uk/

Oxford Yarn Shop: http://www.oxfordyarnstore.co.uk/

Oxford guild of Weavers, Spinners and dyers:  http://www.oxfordwsd.org.uk/

Categories: EuroSpring 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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