a day in LDN

My mom and I finished our trip with a day in London. Since our flights home were out of London we decided to put a day in between flights (we flew from Barcelona back to London, with a day before our flight home). Yes, a little unorthodox, but I’m so glad we did.

The day started with a walk along the south bank (my fav thing to do in LDN) to borough market for some yummy treats. We sampled the most amazing scotch eggs, sweet potatoes fries, smoothies, brownies and cookies the size of our faces (yes, again).

From there we headed, via the tube, to Regent’s park. There are so many parks in the city and I had yet to visit Regent’s. I think what sets Regent’s park apart is the beautiful rose garden.

Never in my life have a seen roses so big and so perfect. And in so many colors! It was amazing to walk around and see all the different types, each as beautiful as the next.

After stopping to smell the roses, literally, we headed towards Notting Hill area. I’ve yet to see it and I’m obsessed with the movie. But, we never made it because we decided to make a stop at Kensington palace instead.

Boy did we have a field day…we decided to view the exhibits because the palace has a lot of outfits wore by the queen, her sister and princess Diana on display. But also got to visit the quarters of the various monarchs that resided there…that’s where the fun started…

To be honest the whole time my mom and I were like 2 snickering school girls making immature jokes throughout. We couldn’t stop laughing and now we swear the monarchs spirits are haunting us.

Anyways, after we had our fun we headed towards Knightsbridge to do some shopping. We finished our day with dinner at Harrods overlooking the Egyptian escalator. It was pretty cool.

A bittersweet moment to know that the next day we’d be heading home and leaving a place I’ve come to love so much. But I know it won’t be long before I’m in London again!

^our yummy scotch eggs & sweet potatoe fries



cheers.

~meesh


^one of the things that had my mom and I laughing about at Kensington palace 🙂

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post update

So I know what you are thinking… Where are all my travel posts? …Well my intentions were to blog about my travels while I was abroad. I even brought my computer with me and managed to get my London post up while there. But, I underestimated the amount of time that I would actually be spending exploring different cities each day.

Now that I am state side I will be starting to post about my travels within the next few days. I’ll also be posting some other travel tips and tricks plus I have some hopefully exciting news to share with you all.

So stay tuned because the travel posts I promised are coming!

Here’s a little sneak peak…

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cheers.

~meesh

london

For this trip I started in London…well actually I started in Chicago and flew into London. I was quite nervous as I have never traveled internationally on on my own and had never flown into Heathrow.

Surprisingly the flight was better than I thought it would be. It was an overnight flight and even though I didn’t really sleep it went by fast. Somehow managed to find my friends at our hostel in bumble fu*k London and started out to see the city.

What I found most interesting was that in the same way returning home after studying abroad felt like I’d never left, that’s how it felt being in London again, like I’d never left. So this time was a little different…rather than having to worry about seeing everything in the city, I just got to enjoy being in the city.

And, I got to show my friends around town and changed some negative opinions of the city into positive ones.

This time instead of photographing the sites, which you can see here and here. I focused more the urban aspects like street art and the animals. It’s definitely a different take, but I didn’t want to do something expected this time…enjoy!

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The people and birds as one…

This bird has some major rbf…we must be kindred spirits

I call this one “urban bird”

Take note of the adorable puppy by the flowers ^^
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Sand art in London, who would have thought?!

cheers.

~meesh

post grad travel

Ok so as promised I have some exciting news to share today! Although I have know for a little while I’ve been so busy with gradation that I haven’t had time to share the news. So here goes….someway somehow I am going back to Europe for a few weeks this summer!

If you would have told me I’d be going back to Europe after graduation in the fall I would have laughed in your face. But, after hearing of all my friends travel plans I started to feel a little FOMO so I had to make it work and I did.

So what does this mean for you? Some more travel posts yaya!

It’s been a while but I’m excited that I’ll get to share my travels with you all once again. On tap for this trip is a little bit of England and a little bit of Spain. And, becasue there will be no studying involved I’ll be sharing a whole lot more, from food to fashion, things to do and pictures…lots of pictures!

So cheers, becasue takeoff is only a few days away!

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cheers.

~meesh

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a mix of emotions & a lot of thank you’s

I’m finally taking some time to sit down and reflect on my time abroad. It’s crazy, I’ve only been home for just over a month and yet Leeds and my time there feels like it’s a world away.

I guess I start right off the bat with I miss Leeds. I miss the culture, I miss my group of friends, I miss my flat mates, I miss being apart of something different. I miss being a plane or train ride away from the rest of Europe. I miss not being able to explore something new  or a new place everyday. It’s really hard, there are so many things that I associate with my time there. I’ve been pretty close to tears a couple of times thinking about how much fun we all had and knowing that it will never be like that again. To know I never be able to travel Europe for a whole month straight. And, to know that my Monday nights will never live up to Monday night Quids In….. it hurts my heart. But, I know that I will always have the memories, and the pictures to remember my time by.

I wish I could just hop on a plane a go back. And I guess that’s a pretty good indicator of what my time there meant to me. I’m about to get pretty deep here, by my standards, so get ready.

Before I went abroad I was a pretty closed off person. There were some things that happened in my early years of college (I’m so old :() that turned me off to a lot of the typical college things. I didn’t really go out much and when I did I would always find a nice corner to stand in, so I never really enjoyed it. It doesn’t help that I have like zero FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) so I never really felt like I was missing out. And honestly I have to give a huge shout out to all my friends at U of I for putting up with my ridiculousness, because my independence sometimes makes me a real brat.

Ok enough back story. I don’t know if deciding to go abroad and actually going abroad was a huge step outside my comfort zone because I’m a pretty independent really independent person and once I decided to go that was it. I don’t really know who or what to credit for getting me to really open up and just say yes to things. I think it might have been because I truly wanted to make the most of my experience, so that I could look back and be like ‘damn, I had a really good time,’ which I did, lol.

It seemed that in me going to study abroad in Leeds the stars aligned. I’m so glad I said yes to everything I did, even though I might be broke for having doing so. And writing this now I’m finding it very hard to put into words what my study abroad experience meant to me. I truly ‘yoloed it.’

I guess what I really just want to say is thank you….

To my U of I gals, thank you for teaching me to yes to things. For sometimes pushing me a little too far outside my comfort zone because you knew it was good for me. For always picking on me because I can’t even speak American English correctly. For making me laugh uncontrollably for 5 minutes over nothing in particular. For putting up with my crazy person like tendencies. For making me re-learn how to enjoy a night out. And, for being the 3 best people to travel Europe with for 5 months. You 3 are irreplaceable.

To my flatmate Chase, thank you for defining what it is to just rally and yolo it. For making Monday Night Quids In a regular thing. For taking in all the neighborhood cats and giving them your own names. Salem <3. For somehow always getting free shots at Pryzm because the promoter knows you. For always being up for anything. For always putting up with me, lol. You will forever be my Quids In partner in crime. Maybe one day they will want us to be the special guests. Oh, and thanks for living in Wisconsin so I only have to travel an hour to visit.

To the Brits, thank you for putting up with me and all my craziness. For still wanting to hang out with me even after you realized I might be legit crazy. For some of the best nights out and pre’s I’ve ever had. And, for teaching me, kind of, how to play Rugby.

To my stateside friends, thank you for putting up with the crazy time difference. For dealing with my spotty wifi. For still wanting to be my friend after not hearing from me for days at a time. For still being my friend now that I’m home….

To my sister, thank you for inspiring me to go. For only being a little mad I didn’t choose to study in Italy. For giving me guidance all through college. For being extremely tough loving. For wanting to plan a trip back sometime soon. And, for being a pretty great older sister overall despite your flaws. I’m still my favorite sister, lol.

To my family, thank you for still remembering me after being away for 5 months. For all your kind words and advice. For sending cards and always thinking of me. For following along with my travels by reading my blog. And, for being my family. But, not for everyone having birthdays in the spring so that I had to miss every single one of them, not cool.

And lastly…

To my parents, thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. For supporting me all along the way. For letting me go all the way to England for 5 months. For always being a text away even at 2 or 3am. For putting up with the time difference. For giving me no boundaries in terms of where I could go. For not saying no. For loosing up on the reins and giving me the chance to be free. For coming to visit me. For loving me unconditionally. And, for being the best parents out there. I will never be able to say thank you enough for this opportunity you gave to me. You truly have given me the world for that, I am forever grateful and indebted to you.

And, I know I’ve only just scratched the surface of all the thank you’s I have but I can’t go on forever.

Study abroad was the best decision I’ve ever made. I learned and re-learned a lot of things. I’ve made some incredible friendships and a hell of a lot of memories I’ll never forget. I have a whole difference perspective and outlook on life. And most importantly I know now just how powerful and rewarding it is to say yes.

Cheers.

~meesh

touring with the fam

A couple of weeks ago my family was able to come a visit me. After a having a proper cry upon seeing them for the first time in months I was excited to show them around my stomping grounds. We had a pretty jam packed schedule so like Italy, I’ll just summarize each place.

PARIS

We started with a weekend in Paris and boy what a weekend it was. We enjoyed crepes next to the Eiffel Tower and even got to go to the top, took a boat cruise along the river Seine, went inside the Notre Dame and just enjoyed the life in city. Were we shocked at how full of life the city was after dark, people grabbing dinner around 10pm and just casually out strolling the streets. If only we could take a weekend getaway to Paris whenever we wanted…


            

   LONDON

Our first day in London happen to be VE Day (Victory Europe) so after I showed the fam around Oxford and Piccadilly Circus, China Town, Covent Garden, Trafalgar and Leicester Square we headed towards parliament and ran right into the parade. And we stay to watch because we were stuck and were told the Queen would be coming round and duh, we wanted to see her. She didn’t end up coming :(, but we got to see lots of cute Veterans, which I enjoyed. Other than that we pretty much hit all the major stuff, Big Ben, the Eye, Tower of London, Westminster, Harrods, Hyde Park….the list goes on and on. But instead of going to see a show at Piccadilly we decided to do a Jack the Ripper Tour instead…and it was well worth it. Our guide Barney, a Beefeater, was engaging and knowledgeable and it was nice intimate group. I think my family would agree with me when I say that was one of our favorite things we did in London. If you ever go to London I’ll gladly give you the info for the tour.


                           STRATFORD UPON AVON

Stratford was a typical quaint English village and happens to also be the home of Shakespeare. We got to tour his house and gardens and it’s crazy how well preserved his house is today. They also gave us free scones and sparkling wine, so that obviously made the experience better. I think we all enjoyed the visit and it was really the first time my family got to see a true English town.


       BATH

Bath blew me away with it’s beauty. I almost wish I had considered studying abroad in Bath becasue it really was that beautiful. All the buildings are made with stone from bath and it’s set on a hill so the views are incredible. While there we got to tour the Roman Baths and enjoy some true Cornish Pasties. I think we all wished we got to spend a bit more time there and agreed we would when we come back.


            

STONEHENGE

Stonehenge was interesting. To be honest it was kind of creepy. They are just the big and tall stones set up in a specific way but no one really knows why…and then in all the land surrounding the stones there are these human burial grounds that form little hills, so you basically know you are surrounded by dead people. I’m really glad I got to experience it and looking back I still don’t really know how I feel about it.


         EDINBURGH

I might dare to say that I liked Scotland better than Ireland…Edinburgh was so beautiful, the views were incredible from every angle. We got to check out Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Crown Jewels, walk the royal mile and taste about every free sample of whiskey there was. We also took a hike up a cliff, but didn’t got too far as we weren’t properly equipped and we are old and out of shape. It’d seemed there were bagpipes being played everywhere and I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely day in Scotland with my family.


                

SCARBOROUGH

Scarborough is on the East coast of the country and it’s a place that definitely comes to life in the summer. With it’s long stretch of beach, and arcades full of carnival games it is pretty much a child’s paradise. Nonetheless it was still lovely to walk along the beach and enjoy the seaside smell. It was quite refreshing actually. It was the perfect way to spend our second to last mornign together.


       YORK

York is your typical medieval English town. The city walls are almost still fully in tact and the shambles are so picturesque. We got to enjoy a proper high tea at Betty’s, the best in Yorkshire, and then enjoyed walking down all the pedestrian streets looking through the windows into the cute little shops. It was also race day in York so while relaxing for a bit before out tour we encountered many people in really good ‘moods’ and all had a laugh at that.


                 Writing this post makes me miss my time with my family but it’s a good thing I return home in about 2 days.

Cheers.

~meesh

P.S. I’ve got about 3 more travel posts to go

i was lost until i found you

#sorrynotsorry, I would have liked to have the second half of my London Weekend post up yesterday, but I’ve been busy writing 3 papers that I’ve had to get done before I leave for Ireland tomorrow….no worries M & D the essays are done, finally.

Like I said, I had wished I joined in on the demonstration but I had places to be and needed to find my lost mates. I followed the advice of Suz and crossed the Westminster bridge, headed towards the eye. As I was walking down the steps leading up to the eye I see my friends casually eating ice cream. Tg, we were finally reunited. Though, it might not have been for that long it was a relief to finally see some familiar faces.

IMG_4769Photos: the eye

From there we prepared for our sunset ride on the eye. And I was absolutely beyond excited, as it might have been the thing I was looking most forward to doing over the weekend. We got in line with the group and boy was that our downfall….since there were about 40 of us, they decided to cram up all into one pod thingy, or whatever they are called. So of course all 40 of us are trying to get pictures in the same spot. It was uncomfortable and super annoying as some people just resfused to move. How rude. They really should have split us up.

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Huge. Disappointment. Don’t get me wrong riding the eye was great, the views are unbeatable, but the set up, not so much. Regardless I still took about 1000 photos on the ride and I can’t wait to hopefully (fingers crossed) ride it again when my fam bam comes in a few weeks. Maybe the second time round will be better than the first, lolol.

After our spin was over we headed to get some food…and I don’t want to talk about it.

IMG_4737 IMG_4729 IMG_4727 IMG_4726 IMG_4724Photos: more on the eye, and riverside

So, that brings to me Sunday. We headed over to the Tower of London, which was a short walk from the hotel. This would be the one good thing about the hotels location but, it was pretty much sh*t in terms of getting to everything else in the city. Not that I don’t like taking the tube, in fact I really like taking the tube…it was just so far east of EVERYTHING. And it was in some sketchy alley….just no.

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Anyways we headed inside and honestly I did’t really know what I expected because I had never really heard of it before this weekend. Once inside I was pleasantly surprised, it was like it’s own little village. I enjoyed spending the morning walking around and stalking the Beef-Eaters (to get pics). The Tower is also where the crown jewels are held so that was a must see…and let me tell you. These things were f***ing incredible. Seriously, unlike anything I have ever seen before. Sorry no pics were allowed inside or else I would have taken countless.

IMG_4664 IMG_4681 IMG_4684 IMG_4692 IMG_4675 IMG_4689 IMG_4665 IMG_4686 IMG_4646 IMG_4654Photos: in and around the tower of london, last one is a Beef-Eater…

But, seriously if you are ever in London, go to the the and see the crown jewels, you will not be disappointed. I promise you. These things were just on a whole different level.

IMG_4663Photo: the entrance, because I couldn’t take photos inside, I at least wanted a photo to acknowledge the fact that I saw them

After that we headed over to Old Spitalfield’s Market, a Sunday Market in east London. It was fun to walk around and see all the vendors and buy a few sweet treats too. By then our feet were absolutely killing us so we hopped on the tube, made a quick stop at Piccadilly for some souvenirs and then headed to the station to relax before our train.

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And, it felt so good to be back in Leeds and my own bed on Sunday night. London was incredible, it never ceases to amaze me and I can’t wait to go back. I still have a list of things I’ve yet to do. I know London will always be calling my name.

And now, I’m off to Ireland. I hope I get to pet a sheep!

Enjoy.

~meesh

P.S. Sorry the rest of the photos aren’t up on flickr yet, I have been having some problems with uploading them lately….