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The US Meets the UK

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Home again [Jun. 23rd, 2006|11:45 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[Current Location |USA]
[mood |contentbittersweet]
[music |Keane - Atlantic]

It's been a while since my last post, and I'm back in the USA now!

I spent my last weekend abroad taking a ferry (an AMAZING ferry with restaurants and cinemas) across the North Sea to Holland... where my bag was promptly stolen. My bag contained my passports, my wallet (which thankfully held almost no cash, but did contain my debit card, King's ID, room key, etc.), my British cell phone, my digital camera, my London A-Z (yes, that actually does upset me), my Nine West purse, some makeup, and some clothes (including my favorite pair of jeans and sandals). I was not happy. at. all. However, I am thankful that I uploaded almost all of my photos to my laptop/online, and I'm also thankful that I didn't bother stopping by an ATM before getting on the ferry! The items I was most upset about losing were my passports (partly because this happened 2 or 3 days before my flight home, and partly because my old passport contained all of my stamps from my Europe trip in 2001) and my digital camera - obviously I won't be posting any pictures from my Holland trip!
I went to a police station on the outskirts of Amsterdam and filed a report with them. I have a copy of the report, although it's entirely in Dutch. The police gave me a form that allowed me to travel back to England without a passport. From there, I went straight to the US Embassy in London and managed to get an emergency passport in about an hour and a half. My passport was reported as stolen and blocked, my debit card was cancelled, and my phone only had a couple of pounds worth of prepay credit on it, so I'm not too concerned about that. I just hope that whoever stole my bag is dumb enough to try using my passport.

The whole stolen bag debacle took up the majority of my last few days in London, and the rest of my time was spent packing, so I'm afraid I don't have too much else to tell! I flew out of Heathrow to Boston on the 13th, spent a few days on Nantucket, and did some house hunting with my parents before heading back to PA on the night of the 17th. Since then, I've mainly been helping to clean up the house and box things up in preparation for selling our PA house and moving up to Cape Cod toward the end of the summer.

I don't have plans to live in England again anytime soon - for now, I'm transferring to Penn State, finishing school, and getting settled with my career - but if I do return (I should say when I return... I can't imagine that I'd go the rest of my life without living abroad again) I'll certainly let you all know about it. This spring, I learned a lot about myself and about other people. I learned how healthcare in the UK works and made it through 5 hospital visits. And I learned how to get by when your most important items are stolen! I have more confidence in myself at this point, now that I know that I can handle myself in emergency situations better than I thought. Despite the ups and downs, I really loved living abroad.

Thank you to everyone for following along with my two semesters of adventures in the UK, and thanks for the comments! I hope you all enjoyed reading my journal as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Bye for now...
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Photos, Fire Brigades, Flight Details [Jun. 6th, 2006|07:45 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[music |U2 - One]

I just uploaded a few new photo albums - click here to go to my photo site. The albums are more or less in chronological order. Just added: Canterbury, Day in "The City" of London, Globe Theatre, 10 Mile Battersea Walk, Thames River Walks, Around the Flat, and Random London Photos.

On Friday, Richard and I decided to walk to Battersea Power Station, have a picnic at Battersea Park, and then walk back - about 10 miles total. I had never walked out to that area of the city, and it was kind of nice to leave central London behind... it was like taking a day trip without actually leaving the city. Once you get beyond what one of my orientation leaders called "Fairytale London" and you can't see the big London landmarks anymore, it really does feel like you're in a different city. You can see some pictures from the walk in the album "10 Mile Battersea Walk" on my photo site.

In other news... The fire alarms in my apartment building go off pretty frequently. They're tested once a week, and then they sometimes go off randomly. The other day, the alarms went off..... because of an actual fire! Go figure. From what I could tell, the ceiling of the common room somehow caught on fire, so the fire brigade had to come hose it down.

Originally, I was going to come back to the USA on June 28th, but now I'll be flying into Boston on the 13th, spending a few days on Nantucket with my mom, and then coming back to PA on the 17th or 18th. See you soon!
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Sisters! [Jun. 2nd, 2006|10:11 pm]
The US Meets the UK
Elizabeth came to visit me from May 23-31! Since she had already been to London and done the touristy stuff before, we skipped all of that and did some other things:

-We went on the London Eye
-We took a bus up to Hampstead and gorged on crepes in the rain
-Elizabeth got DRENCHED by a movie-style tidal wave caused by a passing bus
-We braved the wind and rain to get to central London
-We went to the Gordon Museum, a creepy medical museum up the road from my apartment
-We met up with Savannah (!!) who was staying in London overnight before returning to the USA
-We went to Covent Garden and visited Whittard Tea... possibly our favorite store ever
-We walked - A LOT - past landmarks like St. Paul's and Trafalgar Square, and through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
-We had afternoon tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace - how posh
-We cooked (?!)

Click here to see our photos!
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Random Updates [May. 14th, 2006|07:20 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |KEANE]

There's an ice cream truck that drives behind my apartment building every day, and I finally figured out what song it plays. This truck doesn't play "The Entertainer" or the usual obnoxious ice cream truck tunes... it plays Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never."


Almost all of my flatmates are leaving within a week... and I'll probably be the only one left in the hallway by the end of the month. I don't know how I feel about that. At least Tyler is sticking around until the end of June...


A chef at Selfridges (I was there the other day) has created the world's most expensive sandwich....

Time to go... I may end up with another editing job within the next couple of days. One of Richard's friends is submitting a 23-page report that reportedly has horrific grammar and sentence structure. Seeing as I edited a 600-page novel a month ago, I think this will be an easy job, especially since it pays (woooo).... more later
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Hannavas! [May. 12th, 2006|10:33 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[music |Appleseed Cast - Sunset Drama King]

Savannah came up from Florence to visit this week!



Click here for photos of us and the places we went
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This city's made us crazy and we must get out [May. 12th, 2006|04:29 pm]
The US Meets the UK
I spent last weekend in Dorset...



Click here to see pictures
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Finito! [May. 3rd, 2006|06:02 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[mood |relievedrelieved]

I finally finished all of my essays and submitted all 40-50 pages of them on Tuesday - which means I am finished for the semester!

The essays ended up being a lot more difficult than I expected. I put a lot of independent thought into my work - something really exciting but also terrifying when you come from American schools that penalize you for using the first-person in your essays. I also switched my spell-checker over to British spellings, which means that my writing includes the words 'analyse' and 'colourful'. :-)
My essay on Milton required me to read through Paradise Lost far more than I would have liked, but that was balanced out by an essay on the portrayal of women in Australian literature and films, which "required" me to repeatedly watch The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. 

I'll try to update more often over the next two months, since I'll actually have some interesting things to post. I'm probably going down to Dorset this weekend (I miss the ocean!). Savannah is coming up from Florence to visit me from the 8th until the 11th or 12th, and Elizabeth is coming from the 23rd to the 31st (during which we'll hopefully get down to Italy to see Savannah). I'm going to the legendary Vertigo 42 at some point as well, so I should have plenty of pictures and stories to post soon!
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If LJ posts were snack foods, this one would be trail mix. [Apr. 27th, 2006|10:04 pm]
The US Meets the UK
[Current Location |Computer lab - My laptop is boycotting Livejournal.]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Damien Rice]


I'll be back in the U. S. of A. two months from tomorrow. You know you miss me.
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Everyone loves random updates! [Apr. 18th, 2006|12:51 am]
The US Meets the UK
It's been two weeks since my last update, so I figure it's about time that I shared all of the fascinating things I've been up to.
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Medical Issues [Apr. 4th, 2006|08:50 pm]
The US Meets the UK
It seems that my immune system really misses America.

My strange corneal problem has healed, and my eye is fine. But now, after visiting 2 hospitals, 2 nurse practitioners, 2 GPs, and 2 dermatologists, it's official: I have shingles. In my case, it was triggered by stress and is affecting my left arm.

As a result, aside from getting my essays done, I'm just going to have to relax for a few weeks until I've recovered. That means no traveling and a limited amount of running around London. So, as a disclaimer, this journal will probably be pretty boring for the next few weeks.

At the end of the April / beginning of May, I'll probably be heading down to Italy and possibly Switzerland, so check back for more posts and pictures then!
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