Elon Study Abroad

Ode to Primark

Oh Primark, how I love thee. Today, Christina and I met up at 10am to go into Dundee to go shopping at Primark. It was a very successful (maybe too successful) shopping trip and I will be uploading my Primark Haul video tomorrow.

And, yes, I'm willing to take a 40 minute bus ride to go shopping at Primark. It's 100% worth it.

This playsuit is one of my favorite things I (now) own 
Primark, I love you, but what on earth are these?
After shopping around quite a bit, we decided to stop for a quick lunch at McDonald's. Upon risk of sounding very American and very unhealthy, I miss McDonald's french fries. A lot.


I had Tanya Burr on my mind since I spent several hours yesterday watching her videos, so I decided that it was worth popping into the Superdrug in the mall to see if they carried her products. (The one in St Andrews sadly does not.) I was so elated to find them! I ended up buying three of her lip glosses, because they were on a 3 for 2 deal.


They had Zoe's stuff too! 
I "Love Tanya"...okay, I know. That joke was terrible.
My friend Ali just got back from a two-week geoscience field trip so when she offered to cook dinner for us tonight, Christina and I jumped at the chance to see her. She made us an amazing lemon honey chicken with green beans and sweet potato mash...even I, who am notoriously picky about chicken, went back for seconds!


Once again, I'm exhausted, so I'm going to call it an early night so I can get up early tomorrow morning and accomplish lots of things. (I'm also just excited to go to bed because I'm wearing one of my new pairs of pajama shorts!) xx
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What Even is Cricket

This morning, I actually got up at a semi-decent-ish hour to go meet up with Emily and Natalie to watch a bit of Christina's cricket game. We ended up not staying long as there was no one to sit, it was cold, and we had no clue what was going on. But we tried!


After hanging out in my room for a bit to warm back up, I headed into town where I claimed a table at the Union Cafe and worked on things for a few hours. I watched some YouTube videos, got some reading done, and edited a video that I put up earlier.

a sunday afternoon treat
I got back to my room around 8pm and have just been chilling and watching YouTube videos since then. I've been feeling a bit poorly since this afternoon so I just made some tomato soup for dinner. It was quite nice to be able to take the night off from doing anything productive.

Tomorrow, I'm getting up early to go to Dundee with Christina and tomorrow also starts my week of daily vlogs! xx

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Best of Italy

14 cities 10 days 2 backpacks: Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Sienna, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padua, Venice, Montepulciano, Rome

After reading this list of cities, you must be thinking that we were crazy. You’d probably be right, but we still had a blast. Check out our pics below:

Our first day started bright and early in Rome. We joined our first 3-day Carrani coach tour. First stop: Naples. This is the Castel Nuovo. Here you can clearly see a bomb that hit the castle during WWII. the triumphal arch on the castle The main square: Piazza del Plebiscito. The tour guide told us that there is a 40% unemployment rate in Naples and it is infamous for having a lot of pick pocketers. Matt and I didn't mind that we only stopped here for a 45 minute walking tour. IMG_4486_2_2 Galleria Umberto IMG_4490 We stopped at a cameo factory and got to watch the local artist as he sculpted another piece by hand. IMG_4494_2_2 Pompeii: the ancient Roman city destroyed und buried under layers of ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD You can see the different types of materials they used to construct their cities. IMG_4496 IMG_6720 a room at a brothel our guide compared these paintings above the doorways to a "menu" Our tour guide often pointed out the many brothels in the city. Some were clearly marked with this symbol so there wasn't any confusion on what you were walking into. IMG_4499_2_2 IMG_6739 preserved clay pots IMG_6742 IMG_6743 You can see this man was trying to cover his mouth to prevent suffocation. a typical home of a wealthy family. The basin in the middle collected rain water from a skylight above. the courtyard inside the home frescos on the wall the sauna IMG_6753 IMG_6752 You could only ride your chariots in the direction the horse was facing so it was an ancient "one way street" sign. IMG_6759 IMG_4504 IMG_6760 You can see Mount Vesuvius in the background here. Naples and Pompeii are on opposite sides of the volcano. IMG_6762 IMG_6769 From Pompeii to Sorrento!  We couldn't get enough of the view. Sorrento and Venice were our two favorite cities. IMG_6788 IMG_6790 IMG_4522 IMG_4524_2_2 We were staying in Sorrento on Easter weekend. This Black Processional takes place every year on Good Friday in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. Hundreds of men wear these black robes with pointed hoods and parade around the historic center.  Some carried lanterns or symbols of the cruxifixction, others spread incense, some sang Italian prayers.

At some points, we marched with the crowd behind the procession and sometimes stopped to watch them go by. Even though we were only there as tourists, we could tell that this ceremony was  held in high reverence by the people of Sorrento. carrying Christ's body spreading incense IMG_6796 IMG_4543 Mount Vesuvius again Sorrento's marina IMG_6800 IMG_4548 We took the ferry across the island of Capri giving us a good view of Sorrento from the water. harbor in Capri IMG_6831 IMG_6833 IMG_6837 As soon as we stepped off the ferry in Capri, we took a small boat to the blue grotto. There we stepped off the boat into a small row boat. The opening to the grotto was only a square meter. We had to lie on the bottom of the boat or else we would hit our heads on the rocky entrance above. Using the steel chain, our rower pulls us through into the grotto. so beautiful and such an amazing experience! Because the walls of the grotto never reach the bottom, then natural sunlight shines through the water illuminating the grotto. The rowers would break out into verses of "Volare," their Italian voices booming around the cave. We could even see jellyfish bobbing in the water around our boat. IMG_4561 IMG_6851 IMG_4563_2_2 Anacapri overlooking Capri's hillside IMG_4573 IMG_6861 The Bell Tower of Capri Church in La Piazzetta Back in Sorrento One last sunrise view over the city On Easter Sunday, we decided to take a drive along the windy Amalfi coast. Since none of the public transit was running on the holiday, we rented a Bambino with our New Zealander friend from the tour. Positano IMG_6881 the town of Amalfi IMG_6889 IMG_6891 We drove all the way to Ravello and stopped for a quick pizza. IMG_4590 IMG_6902 The views along the coast were amazing and thankfully the rain held out until the drive back.
We met up with our tour again and took the coach back to Rome for the night. We took a late night stroll around Rome.  Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore IMG_4594 one of the fountains on the four corners IMG_6926 Piazza del Repubblica Fontana delle Naiadi The next morning we woke up early to leave for our next 5-day "Fantastica Fantasia" tour through Carrani tours. We shared a coach bus with 52 other tourists and our bubbly Dutch guide Mirjam.  First stop: Assisi, home to Saint Francis of Assisi. St. Francis founded Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208. This is the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi. IMG_6952 In addition to having a rich religious history, Assisi also was a very quaint and and charming city with cobblestones, narrow passages, and flowers blooming in every windowsill. IMG_4634 IMG_6971 IMG_4638_2_2 IMG_4643_2_2 Next Stop: Sienna Matt is walking on an ancient foot therapy path. You would walk on the rocks to massage your feet and then step in the basin beside it to soothe them. proof of how quickly Matt eats his ice cream the duomo IMG_4660 IMG_4664_2_2 Ponte Vecchio a replica of Michelangelo's David IMG_4703 IMG_7012 Matt accidentally stole a spoon from the restaurant we ate at... IMG_7015 IMG_7022 Florence's Duomo We climbed to the top of the bell tower next to the cathedral for a fantastic view of Florence's skyline. IMG_4732 IMG_4731 IMG_7035 We also climbed to the top of the cupola right after (another 450 steps). (that is the bell tower we went up) IMG_4744_2_2 IMG_7041 leather and gold are trademark goods of Florence on the Ponte Vecchio Ponte Vecchio IMG_4754_2 IMG_4756_2 Basilica of Santa Croce Day trip to Pisa! This is the field of miracles with the the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the Duomo, and the Leaning Tower. the Baptistry Inside the baptistry, we heard a beautiful echo demonstration showing off the acoustics. When you get baptized here, you would enter on the left side (the side of death) and leave on the right after your baptism. You can see the red column on the far right of the second level. If you look at that column, you will stay happy in love or if you are not yet in love, you will find someone the next day! Inside the Duomo IMG_7056 IMG_7060 IMG_7061 Leaning Tower IMG_4783_2 IMG_4786_2 IMG_4815_3 IMG_4806_3 IMG_4797_3 IMG_4811_3 The next day we stopped in Bologna for some gelato and pizza. The tower on the left is leaning towards the other on the right so it is called the kissing tower. Prato della Valle: Padua has the largest square in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Basilica of Saint Anthony: Here you could see his teeth, jaw, and tongue. IMG_4826_2 Venice by night IMG_4837_2 IMG_4841_2 the sighing bridge IMG_4851_3 St. Mark's Square IMG_4855_3 IMG_4859_2 glass blowing demonstration IMG_4863_2 The Gondola ride!! so wonderful! We had an accordion player and singer serenading us in our gondola with classic Italian songs like "Volare" and "Ciao Venezia." We glided through the smaller canals, under the bridges, and out to the Grand Canal. IMG_4869_3 IMG_4870_3 IMG_4872_2 IMG_4874_2 IMG_4875_3 IMG_4899_2 IMG_4881_2 Rialto Bridge IMG_7092 IMG_4887_2 IMG_4893_2 IMG_4890_2 IMG_4898_2 Tuscany We had a glass of Nobile Montepulciano, the wine made in the local vineyards. IMG_4913_2 IMG_4916_2 IMG_4920_2 IMG_4923_2 IMG_4925_2 IMG_4927_2 IMG_4938_2 St. Peter's Basilica IMG_4942_2 Spanish steps IMG_4947_2 Piazza del Popolo IMG_4955_2 IMG_4956_2 ceiling on the hallway from the Papal apartments IMG_4960_2 IMG_4962_2 School of Athens by Raphael St. Peter's square inside St. Peter's IMG_4973_2 IMG_4974_2 IMG_4975_2 IMG_4976_2 preparing for the ceremony to bring in the new holy year the pope's office is in the building behind the columns St. Peter's square Castel Sant'Angelo Piazza Navona Pantheon Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II IMG_4999_2 Roman Forum IMG_5008_2 IMG_5009_2 Coloseum IMG_5027_2 The Trevi fountain is unfortunately under construction now so there wasn't any water in it and we couldn't make a wish. A walkway was constructed though where you could get a little closer to the fountain than usual. IMG_5045_2 IMG_5034_2 Coloseum


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Relaxation

Today was the most glorious day. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn't have a crushing amount of work so I spent most of the day relaxing (okay, I admit, at one point I caved and did one of my readings even though I'd said I was going to take the entire day off).

This morning, I didn't actually get out of bed until 11am...at which point I brushed my teeth, made some tea and a sandwich, grabbed my computer with Thursday night's episode of Reign, and got back into bed. I did accomplish some things I'd been meaning to do today (catching up on TV, watching a movie I've been wanting to see, and clearing out some of the photos on my phone so that it has more storage space, filming a video). It was so nice to actually relax for once.

This evening, I met up with my JSA friends to get Indian food for dinner. One of the restaurants in town has a fantastic student take-away meal deal where you get a starter, a main course, rice, naan, and a poppadom for just seven pounds. We took it back to one of my friend's flat to eat and ended up talking for hours. Christina and I didn't get back to our hall until midnight!

Potato fritters
Afgani curry chicken
Strangely, despite the fact that I relaxed today I'm super sleepy. Plus I need my sleep because tomorrow, I'm going to see my first cricket game! xx


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Relaxation

Today was the most glorious day. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn't have a crushing amount of work so I spent most of the day relaxing (okay, I admit, at one point I caved and did one of my readings even though I'd said I was going to take the entire day off).

This morning, I didn't actually get out of bed until 11am...at which point I brushed my teeth, made some tea and a sandwich, grabbed my computer with Thursday night's episode of Reign, and got back into bed. I did accomplish some things I'd been meaning to do today (catching up on TV, watching a movie I've been wanting to see, and clearing out some of the photos on my phone so that it has more storage space, filming a video). It was so nice to actually relax for once.

This evening, I met up with my JSA friends to get Indian food for dinner. One of the restaurants in town has a fantastic student take-away meal deal where you get a starter, a main course, rice, naan, and a poppadom for just seven pounds. We took it back to one of my friend's flat to eat and ended up talking for hours. Christina and I didn't get back to our hall until midnight!

Potato fritters
Afgani curry chicken
Strangely, despite the fact that I relaxed today I'm super sleepy. Plus I need my sleep because tomorrow, I'm going to see my first cricket game! xx


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I’m Free!

Today, I finished editing and turned in my last essay! I decided to spend a very relaxing afternoon in town. After eating lunch at Pret, I went for a walk around one of the town's cutest bookshops, Toppings & Co. Then I decided that it was worth waiting in line to get Janetta's ice cream, a St Andrews classic. I took a walk around town while eating my mint chocolate chip and it was nothing less than magical.
my outfit today made me feel like taylor swift 
pret lunch



cathedral & janettas: classic st andrews 
Then I spent a couple of hours at the Union Cafe, drinking tea and messing around on my computer. It was so nice to actually just take some time to unwind.


After grocery shopping, watching some YouTube, eating dinner, and Skyping my family, I went out to the Union for a few drinks with Christina...and then we ended up in Dervish with pizza. Overall, an incredibly liberating and relaxing day that I hope is an indication of what this weekend will be like! x

Dervish pizza


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I’m Free!

Today, I finished editing and turned in my last essay! I decided to spend a very relaxing afternoon in town. After eating lunch at Pret, I went for a walk around one of the town's cutest bookshops, Toppings & Co. Then I decided that it was worth waiting in line to get Janetta's ice cream, a St Andrews classic. I took a walk around town while eating my mint chocolate chip and it was nothing less than magical.
my outfit today made me feel like taylor swift 
pret lunch



cathedral & janettas: classic st andrews 
Then I spent a couple of hours at the Union Cafe, drinking tea and messing around on my computer. It was so nice to actually just take some time to unwind.


After grocery shopping, watching some YouTube, eating dinner, and Skyping my family, I went out to the Union for a few drinks with Christina...and then we ended up in Dervish with pizza. Overall, an incredibly liberating and relaxing day that I hope is an indication of what this weekend will be like! x

Dervish pizza


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Blackhorn Picnic

Today was a busy day of classes, running errands, and writing my last essay! But what made it really lovely was that Lucy and I impromptu decided to have lunch together. We were texting about both wanting Blackhorn, so I said, "Get ready and meet me at Blackhorn in 20 minutes!" I'm never this spontaneous (such a Monica Geller), so this was really fun for me!

It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to sit on the St. Mary's Quad and have a little picnic. It was so lovely to catch up with her and spend some time outside!


Lucy has a ketchup problem
After classes, I decided to get some fish & chips on my way home for dinner. I swear, it gets yummier every time!  I finished my rough draft of my essay due tomorrow tonight. I've decided that it's much better to wake up in the morning and edit it so it's time to watch last weekend's episode of Once Upon a Time while I get ready for bed and then get some sleep. xx


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Blackhorn Picnic

Today was a busy day of classes, running errands, and writing my last essay! But what made it really lovely was that Lucy and I impromptu decided to have lunch together. We were texting about both wanting Blackhorn, so I said, "Get ready and meet me at Blackhorn in 20 minutes!" I'm never this spontaneous (such a Monica Geller), so this was really fun for me!

It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to sit on the St. Mary's Quad and have a little picnic. It was so lovely to catch up with her and spend some time outside!


Lucy has a ketchup problem
After classes, I decided to get some fish & chips on my way home for dinner. I swear, it gets yummier every time!  I finished my rough draft of my essay due tomorrow tonight. I've decided that it's much better to wake up in the morning and edit it so it's time to watch last weekend's episode of Once Upon a Time while I get ready for bed and then get some sleep. xx


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Fancy Food

Today I did a Skype interview, finished my research for my paper, did my paper outline, and...made this awesome dinner! A Mexican spicy vegan burger on a bed of spinach (that makes it sound fancy) with lemon juice drizzled over top. 

I felt very adult-y and productive! 


(All of this adultness is hiding the fact that I never left my dorm building today.)
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