Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bakers Dozen of Accomplishments

Don't worry, this isn't soppy...that emotional post is yet to come. Here is a top 13 list of the things I gained from studying abroad and top 25 photographs.

1. Being semi-ambidextrous while eating.
          Though nowhere near the skill and surgical precision of the French

2. Reading seven novels
          My favorite was Dracula- especially when it was talking about Budapest  while I was there and then London while I was in that city

3. Saying "cheers" in 6 languages and cuss words in 5.
          Putain is my all time fave...

4. Expanding my gastronomical curriculum vitae
          I liked fish for the first time in my life!

5. Sharing American desserts with other cultures
          Oreoballs, rice krispy treats, puppy chow...

6. For once in my life knowing (and liking) popular songs
    and dancing in public
          I blame/applaud Darren and Gemma for this

7. Being in Europe, with Europeans, for the Euros and Eurovision; being in London during Wimbledon; seeing Olympic stuff right before the Olympic games; being in France for the Tour de France.

8. 20+ trains, dozens of taxis, and hundreds of buses- finally conquering the non-personal car world
          Of note: learning all the bus numbers and times

9. Having an enormous postcard and shot glass collection
          Cheap souvenirs that every city has...

10. Two bike tours
          Including the 34 kilometers through the southern Czech forests

11. Thirteen flights and not missing one

12. Visiting twelve different countries
          The passport stamps are the coolest part

13. All the potlucks, Tuesday night Mozart clubs, Wednesday night Spekis (okay not all of those are good memories), Thursday night pub quiz (which we won several times), my neighbor in 229, the wonderful lake, public transportation, my tattooed friend, going to my European parents'- the Hassenfelders- house for home cooked food, last three weeks of travel and seeing everyones families and elementary schools, my Belgrade husband, partying with my adopted parents Mike and Jolyne in our European tour, the Tasmanian, getting trans-Atlantic mail (Aunt Dianna, Rick, M&J, all the newspaper clippings from Grandma), my Gemmagirl, my ever so sympathetic German teacher... all the amazing people I met and wonderful places I visited.


Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

 l'hôtel Dieu avec le Rhône

Hospital where Thibault was born in Lyon, France

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Sveti Sava in Belgrade, Serbia

Exhibition Pavilion
Zagreb, Croatia

Tscheppaschlucht Canyon, Austria

Danube River
Belgrade, Serbia

Klikov, Czech Republic

Krumpendorf, Austria

Prague, Czech Republic

San Marcos Piazza
Venice, Italy

Public Library
Prague, Czech Republic

Munich, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Olympic 1972
Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

Budapest, Hungary

Atop Castle Hill
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lovers locks
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Ljubljana Castle

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mind the Gap

London is an awesome city with lots to do and see. The stereotype I had in mind was that Londoners are not the friendliest folk, but I came away with a great view of every one I encountered. The restaurant staff, people on the streets, whoever-- I was pleasantly surprised to find them all helpful and cheerful. From Big Ben to Westminster Abbey to London Bridge, everything was just as I imagined.

The highlight of my time in England was seeing The Taming of the Shrew in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. I was in the production in 8th grade and I remembered some of the lines! The weather was extraordinary in the open air theater and the cast was amazing.

Camden Market


This is exactly what I pictured for a London home



Going down the stairs in the subway... sometimes there were cases and cases of stairs going up and down and all around. They were pretty crazy

Harrods...The most famous shopping location that I had never heard of.


Buckingham Palace

We saw the changing of the guards and the signing of the papers!

Our hostel was an experience, but it served its purpose and was reasonably priced (and had a bar downstairs). Twelve people in this room-bunks three high!

We conquered the tube system and minded the gap plenty.
(Every time the tube stops it says "Please mind the gap" about six times)


We went on a great free walking tour on the fourth of July. I loved the irony of seeing the house of the  "man who lost America" on our Independence day, visiting our mother country.

Trafalgar Square



Painting Princess Beatrices door...


Some famous nose... There are a lot of different ideas of what it stands for and no one nose who put it up!


Horse Guards Parade
This is the site of the beach volleyball for the Olympics. They only had 2 weeks to construct the Olympic courts inside of it!

Big Ben is the bell inside the tower, connected to Westminster Abbey
The bell was damaged a long time time ago, so it clangs with a unique twang



I mailed my parents a postcard at this box sitting between the field where soccer was invented and Westminster Abbey.

Luckily London Bridge did not fall down while we were on it.

Hogwarts platform 9 3/4


I absolutely adore the Olympics, so I hit up every Olympic store and made some drastic efforts to see as much Olympic related stuff as possible.

I absolutely adore London. I loved that it was English speaking, yet so culturally different. There is an unbelievable amount of history and tradition in such a small area and public transportation is great. Unfortunately it is really expensive! Like really really expensive.

Awesome pumpkin tortellini from an outdoor market.

A British pie. It was pretty bland, but the concept is nice