A Weekend in York

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and for that I am sorry (this is mostly directed at my mom & Ginny..)

I have been busy these past few weeks. My first 3 papers were due (on the same day at the same time..) and I was working hard to get them done because I knew I was going to York for a weekend.

Like I said, I went to York last weekend! Our good family friends, the Rawsons, who used to live in Florida and now live in York, invited me to stay with them for a weekend. I had such a wonderful time – it was like going home for a weekend, which is something I had been missing a lot lately.

Simon, Elaine, and Emma (and Elaine’s Aunt June who was also visiting!) were the BEST hosts and I felt like I was with family the whole weekend 🙂

I took the train there – which was just around 2 1/2 hours long – and had beautiful views as we went further out of London.

I arrived on time, Elaine picked me up from the station, and we headed back to their house, which was beautiful! Elaine and my mom have very similar tastes in decor, so I really felt at home (warning: I going to say “it felt like I was at home” probably a dozen more times in this post!).

The Rawsons live in a tiny village just a few miles outside of the city of York. The countryside is beautiful, and it was nice to be near a city, but not be in a huge bustling city like London. We went into town and did some shopping and walking around, and went to dinner that night, and had such a great time.

Here is a picture of Elaine and I on the Shambles, one of the most famous streets in York.

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There was some sort of viking festival happening in town, and Emma and I wanted to take a picture with a guy who was dressed as a viking, but instead he started dressing us up as vikings and took a picture of us!

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The next day we did more of the touristy things in York – a bus tour that took us around the whole city – which is literally surrounded by a wall! Before we did the tour and museums, we stopped at Emma’s school, which is VERY old – founded in 627 A.D.

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Below are some pictures I took during the day as we walked around!

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The next day we went to the coast, specifically Whitby, which is a very cute town with a harbor on the beach. The harbor had a beautiful view of the ocean, and of Whitby Abbey, which is set up on a little cliff.

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Whitby is also widely known for being featured in the story of Dracula. There were several stores in town that sold gothic/vampire-like garb, and there is even a tour offered that surrounds the story of Dracula.

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Below are some pictures of the beach and harbor!

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It was SUCH a lovely weekend, and I am so thankful to the Rawsons for having me. Again, I truly felt like I was at home for the weekend, which I needed.

My sister arrives on Monday, so a lot more to be posting about soon!

Cheers,

Katie

A Day in Bath

Hello!

Sorry I haven’t posted lately! The “study” part of study abroad is catching up with me, and with 3 papers due (all on the same day, at the same time), I have been a little busy.

Although I have been focusing on school, I did have a fun break this past weekend when I went to Bath for a day!

It has been a bucket list item for me to visit Bath for quite some time now. I was suppose to go the last time I was in the UK (almost 6 years ago now!), but the bus that was suppose to pick up our group broke down, and we never had the chance to go. Also, Jane Austen is from there (enough said).

On Saturday morning, Kendal and I took a train from Waterloo Station, which was super convenient, to Bath Spa. We had to switch trains at Salisbury, which wasn’t an issue at all, and got to Bath by 10: 45 a.m. Our train home wasn’t leaving until 7:45 p.m., so we had plenty of time to explore the city.

The first thing we did was visit the Roman Baths, which were amazing to see and so historical!

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Because of a hot spring underneath the baths, the water is warm when you touch it, which is also pretty cool. In addition to the baths themselves, the museum also showcases artifacts from the Roman period.

The next order of business was to visit the Jane Austen Centre. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors ever (typical girl, I know), and visiting the Centre was magical. The people who work there are dressed in Austen-era costumes, and there is Mr. Darcy memorabilia EVERYWHERE. I was in heaven.

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I ❤ Mr. Darcy!!

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The Centre also had the cutest tea room, and Kendal and I decided to have some tea, as well as sandwiches and scones, instead of lunch. We each ordered the Jane Austen blend tea, which was so yummy (and I may have purchased in the gift shop…). A special thanks goes out to Kendal’s mama who treated us to tea! 🙂

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Next, we ventured to the Royal Crescent, a landmark in Bath. Basically, it’s a curved row of townhouses that were built in the late 1700s.  It has breathtaking views in the front, and is also featured in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so I fangirled pretty hard.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening exploring the city and grabbing dinner. Bath is so incredibly beautiful, and I want to go back again!

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That was the only super-exciting adventure I have been up to lately! I have really been enjoying traveling in the UK, and excited to do some more next week 😉

Soon, I will have a special visitor (SHOUT OUT TO LEN) and we will be having some more adventures of our own – to a magical world, and somewhere OUTSIDE of the UK (purposefully vague description), so you will have to wait and see!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Katie

Borough Market, Cardiff, & Tea at The Orangery

Hello, everyone!

WOW! I am officially entering my 5th week here in London, and like I have said every week, it is going by SO FAST. I am trying to do as much as possible because before I know it, I will be heading home. So, here is what I have been up to the past week!

On Friday (31/1/14 – I GOT THE YEAR RIGHT THIS TIME!), Ragini, Kendal, and I went to Borough Market, which is a HUGE food market that is walking distance from my flat. Any type of food or drink you can imagine is sold there, and it is super fun to just walk around and see what is offered (plus, they give out free samples, HOLLA for bein’ free).

Here are some pictures of the market and some of the stands:

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I also got a cookie the size of my head, which was delicious, and also really big (I have a rather large head..)

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For lunch we got pies from the Pieminister stand, which were delicious as well. We weren’t too surprised because they are apparently award-winning! I got the free-ranger pie, which had chicken, vegetables, and cheese in it.

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Friday night was pretty mellow because we were getting ready for Saturday because we went to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales!

I had been to Cardiff before (6 years ago now!) and I remembered going to the castle and walking around a bit, but to be honest I really didn’t remember how awesome and beautiful the city is!

We (Ragini, Kendal, Lisa, and I) took a Megabus there (my first time taking one..who knew they had Megabus in the UK!). I had heard some “horror” stories about Megabus – the one in the U.S. at least. I was slightly wary, but honestly, the bus ride was so cheap (£7 each way!) that I didn’t care. The bus wasn’t bad at all anyways. It was super comfortable, and the ride was only 3 hours. We also unknowingly booked on Megabus Gold, which is an “all first-class” bus, which didn’t hurt either.

The bus left Victoria Coach Station at 7:30 a.m. and we arrived in Cardiff by 10:40 a.m. Our bus home wasn’t leaving until 18:30 (6:30 p.m. 🙂 ) so we had plenty of time to explore the city.

The first thing we did was go to Cardiff Castle, which I had been to before. It is so historic, let alone beautiful, and was so fun (and a little frightening – very steep steps..) to see and take some really cool pictures.

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Inside of of the rooms of the castle…

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The view from the top of the city centre. You can see Millennium Stadium, where there are sporting events. There was actually a rugby game happening the day we were there!

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After exploring the castle, we got some lunch, and then decided to walk down to the waterfront, which was also beautiful (and provided some more picture opportunities!).

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Ragini and I being silly 😀

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We then went back to the city centre, got some warm drinks and hung out until our bus ride home. We were exhausted by the time we got back on the bus, but we had a blast. It was a nice change to get out of London for just a day!

Sunday, I met up with Maddie, Mallory, and Edward to go to tea at The Orangery, which is a restaurant within Kensington Gardens and right next to Kensington Palace a.k.a. one of the Royal Residences.

I LOVE tea, so I was so excited to have REAL tea in London, and was even further excited to be going to The Orangery for English Afternoon Tea. I got the Palace Breakfast tea, which was so so good, and with our tea, we were served sandwiches, scones (THE BEST SCONES EVER) with jelly and clotted cream, and some pastries and deserts. All were so delicious, and I want to go back.. like 10 more times.

The front of The Orangery.

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Our tea!!

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Afterwards, we walked around the gardens, which are always beautiful, but were especially beautiful that day because it was sunny with a 0% chance of rain.

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That is all for now. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Cheers,

Katie