living vicariously

Right now, I’m procrastinating reading about Venezuela’s national oil company by keeping up with everyone who is using a blog to talk about their study abroad experiences. I don’t think anyone from TU is blogging about Aberdeen, but the girl from Tennessee is. Her pictures on Facebook and her blog are making me crazy…t’s weird to think I started school there 365 days ago.

My dot just arrived in Siena, Italy.

Another girl in EM is in Singapore.

A couple sisters are also in Ireland.

Pictures just make me excited to explore more of the world. I can’t wait to see these places for myself. As for the places I’ve been, it’s hard to not feel like that “place” is yours and nobody else’s. For example, I had a facebook friend that took a vacation to Korea. Why would he go to Korea? That’s MY place. You know?

I was not an annoying facebook overposter (I hope) when I was gone, but now I have to be careful of being the annoying home from abroad poster. (You HAVE to go here, and MUST do this!, When I was here, THIS happened!) It’s hard but honestly, they probably don’t care. This is their experience now, and you just gotta let them live their life…Good luck, little ones. 🙂



7QT16: Ketchup

This is the first time I’ve had QT out on a Friday in AWHILE, y’all. Here’s Jen’s. Enjoy some stories from the past two weeks:

1. My little family came for Homecoming last weekend! My mom and Mimi came and brought the little boys, who are not so little anymore…Look at how big NT is…!IMG_1086 IMG_1094We lost our game pretty badly…But this was a pretty happy part of the game:
IMG_1087I love that Kettle corn business.

2. I went to Houston with Ed for HAPL’s Executive Night last Thursday. The keynote speaker was none other than Mr. Ted Cruz. His opening line was: “I’ve been in Washington DC all week. It sure feels good to be back in America.” Oh, Texans.

3. I ended up sitting next to Brent Smolik, the CEO of EP Energy. I immediately regretted my glitter nail polish choice, but tried to own it.

4. We got to see some friends, and also got to skip class on Friday. Sometimes it sucks to be away from home, but I really couldn’t complain about some me time/sleep time. I had a big bed and cozy room to myself, and casually watched Cupcake Wars to wake up/until checkout. It was a wonderful morning. Our stay in Houston ended with a delicious lunch at a restaurant with no menus…
IMG_1080This baby was $32. Whoops.

5. I withdrew from Chemistry instead of taking my second exam on Monday. I feel pretty good about it, after having a bit of a cryfest in the library with J. I went through a “I feel like a failure and shouldn’t ever try to follow my dreams again” moment, but I think I’m doing okay. Mostly I’m okay because I don’t have any 9am class MWF anymore.

6. I stayed up until the end of time on Monday and Tuesday (as you saw from my procrastination blogging. Since Wednesday, it’s been all downhill. Relaxing.

7. Cat freaked me out about all the things I need to work on. BM stuff will go out this weekend, and I just pulled out the timeline checklist again. AHHHH. Also. I mixed up our caterer and met this guy at the bridal fair a few weeks ago that acted like he knew me and our emails. He apparently didn’t, as he operates out of a different city. Awwwkward.

TIL: Moving Back Home

Chipotle now serves margaritas. I approve.
It costs $21 to get a new driver’s license.
A cat can claw through jeans.
My 11 year-old brother is officially “taller than his college sister.”

Also, I under appreciated ice cold water wayy too much.
Driving really was as weird as I thought.
I keep trying to push the top of the toilet.
They readily accept my credit card.
I still get carded.

Foggy Day(s) in London Town

I am not super sure what to do with this 100% humidity action happening in London. Right now, I am sitting in the Dublin airport, preparing for my last two legs home.

We spent two awesome days in London – it was fun to be able be with Mama and Doug. The first day, we cruised around London on foot and got to go up in the London Eye. Mom didn’t have a great time up there…because there was a really loud family in there.

Tuesday we had a full day. We spent the entire morning at Harrod’s, walking around on all the levels…What a crazy place! Then we went to Westminster Abbey. That is probably one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. One, because I am a history nerd. I read all of  these growing up, and learned how all of these ladies were related. I was Elizabeth I for Halloween in the 5th grade… Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, although rivals, are buried across the hall from each other,  and Bloody Mary is buried underneath her sister, Elizabeth I. I stood on the graves of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Geoffrey Chaucer. This was truly history coming alive for me, more than any other place we’ve been, for some reason. I also was pleased to learn that this song I know of the Kings and Queens of England are in chronological order.

There was also such irony that day, in which the hourly prayer in the Abbey was for the tornado victims in Oklahoma.
You never thought you’d hear about Oklahoma in Westminster Abbey. Also, Sky news reported “from the US State of Oklahoma,” which I found entertaining.

We also fulfilled my life dream of taking a picture at Platform 9 ¾…Photo to follow.

Finally, we went to Victoria and saw Wicked last night! It was incredible. I’d never seen the show before, but have obviously heard a lot about it and know a lot of the music. They were all amazing performers, singers, and dancers. Plus, middle of the fifth row wasn’t too shabby either, for day-of seats!

On the way home now…For perspective, it’s 2:15 pm in Dublin right now, I woke up in London at 5:15 am,  and will be arriving home at 11 pm Colorado time, which is 5 am on Thursday in the UK…

I did PASS OUT on the Dublin flight though, so that was an extra hour there. The guys that sat next to me knew each other and yakked about work the whole time really loudly. And then there’s the standard RyanAir intercom rubbish. I’m surprised I slept at all. Sleeping on RyanAir is honestly the only way to go.

It’s starting to get real that I’m going home, but I think I’m finally ready.

what a week!

Justin stayed in Aberdeen through Thursday. We showed him our favorite places to hang out (my flat included), and went to Stonehaven and Duthie Park. Duthie Park has a lovely giant indoor garden, but it poured rain on our way there. But once we got there, we had a nice breakfast date with butteries and milk. The rain: this WOULD happen to me.

Thursday I had to say goodbye to him and I did a little trade at the airport: Mom and Doug were here!

Thursday night, we had a big meet and greet with RGU students, professors and the people we worked with at our placements.

Friday was our last day in Aberdeen, and we gave our final presentations to Ted and colleagues. Mom and Doug came over and helped me shove everything I owned into suitcases, and my room was effectively empty. I didn’t have much time to process leaving though, because Saturday morning I helped Chase finish packing and check out of his room. Then we ran to my flat to finish checking me out, and then I was told that we were about 10 minutes ahead of what he told me…

Everyone but Reidie boarded the train and we got down to Edinburgh. Thomas and Chase stayed in our little flat with us to make it easy. I walked in and was like, oh…we can all fit on this bed. We basically slept sideways on a futon, and added the coffee table at the end for foot room. Surprisingly, it was extremely comfortable, as long as you went to sleep first (snoring boys) and don’t end up with Chase’s feet on your head (Thomas).

We all took a train to St. Andrews on Saturday morning to attend Ted and Cathy’s wedding! They were married in the Scores Hotel, and Team America snapped this gem on the Swilcan Bridge in our traditional order:

The boys headed home super early the next morning, and Doug, Mom and I headed to London.

Yesterday we walked until our feet wanted to fall off!

It still hasn’t totally hit me that I said goodbye to Scotland. And even to the boys, who I probably won’t see this summer. This past week and a half feels so long, but also feels so short at the same time. I can’t believe I’m going home tomorrow.