Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ireland!

Hello all!

This past weekend in Ireland was wonderful and full of adventure! We left on a bus to the London Stansted airport at 4:30am on Saturday and got there at around 7:30 (our flight was really cheap because the airport was so far away! Haha). We flew with ryanair, which is known for good deals. However, they try to sell you things the whole flight, which is a little annoying! But the flight was only about an hour so it was fine.

 Amanda and I never even went to bed before leaving because we were working on our long essay draft proposals that were due Monday morning, and since we knew we wouldn't have access to computers, we had to submit them before we left. So obviously, when we arrived in Dublin around noon on Saturday, we got to our hostel and slept for five hours haha! After that, we went out to a pub in the city centre and spent a few hours there. We had dinner (I had a sandwich with a fried egg on it! Weird but good!) and of course I had to try a guinness! It wasn't the best, but I'm sure it's an acquired taste :)


We got to hear some live traditional Irish music after dinner at the pub! It was so fun! The pub was packed and all of the people were so nice!

On Sunday, we slept in and went to go on our free walking tour! We had gone on a free three hour walking tour in Scotland and the same company does free walking tours across Europe! So we found out where it left from in Dublin and went on it! It's of course awesome that it's free, but also a great way to get the history of a place and understand the significance of different things around the city.

The city didn't have as much "amazing" architecture as Edinburgh, but the history of Ireland kind of explains that. Still pretty!



This is the Dublin Castle. Most of it was burned down, but the part that is left is pretty! :) 

I was shocked to hear the history of Ireland with Britain. I knew it was bad and a little hostile still to this day, but I didn't know why and I learned so much on the tour! Britain invaded Ireland centuries ago! FINALLY in the 1920's after a rising up of the Irish, the British called for a truce (although later on there was a civil war). Today, Northern Ireland is its own country and is a part of the United Kingdom, while Ireland (The Republic of Ireland) is not connected to the UK in any way, and is a member of the European Union, using euros for their money (whereas Northern Ireland is not a member of the EU and uses the pound for their money.) I guess there is still a lot of tension, as the catholics in Northern Ireland want to separate from the UK, but the protestants want to remain a part of the UK. So interesting!! And of course we were told more about the potato famine of the 1800's that killed millions of people. Ireland has seen so much suffering and it just made me have an even deeper appreciation for them and their culture! Another thing that I thought was so cool was how they're trying to implement the Gaelic language. The Gaelic language is the original language spoken by the Irish but it had declined so much in use and what not so the people are making a great effort to use it! It was on ALL the signs everywhere above English, and I believe they're teaching it in schools so that the future generations will be able to speak it as well! I love it! I'm thinking I need to learn some British history because after having been to both Scotland and Ireland and hearing about how horrible England was to them, I'm a little biased haha!



Pretty Dublin Gardens


                                     The Temple Bar is a whole area of pubs/things to do! U2 started
                                      in the area actually! And Bono owns quite a few places here!


The River Liffey! So pretty!

On Sunday night, we went on a pub crawl tour, which probably was the most fun ever haha! It consisted of an Irish guy leading a group of us to five different pubs that Irish people go to and lastly a club. It was through the same company who had done the free walking tour earlier that day. There were people from Canada, Australia, Spain, and AMERICA on our pub crawl! I tried a few different drinks, which is fun because I've never been into the "bar" scene at home, but pubs are so fun! I tried a strawberry beer at one of the pubs, and it was amazing!! It was so fun to interact with different people (and we of course met some Irish friends along the way, as well as some French people!) We were laughing hysterically with the Americans! They were two guys from North Carolina and they have the traditional American humor that we'd been missing (think "Hangover" or "Anchorman" humor, two of my favorite movies haha!) Many people in our program at Oxford have a very subtle/nerdy kind of humor, which makes sense and is fine, but these American guys reminded us of what normal/non-academic people laugh at haha! We were loving it! The Canadian girls weren't the nicest haha one of them kept complaining about how annoying it is that people always think they're from America and said ew. If you know my American pride, you know I don't handle people trashing America very well because it gets SO old and annoying! They also were pretty promiscuous (one of the girls went home with a French guy she had just met that night...) and they were shocked when they found out we were virgins haha! You would've thought I told her I didn't know who Brad Pitt was haha! She was so shocked! And even more shocked to hear that I was engaged. She asked me how I knew I could marry someone if I hadn't slept with them...wow. Honestly. Society is disgusting lol! Sex is not a prerequisite silly Canadian girl! Waiting will make it blessed and that much better! So that was weird haha but a cool testimony experience because she asked why we were, and I explained it was because we were Christians! Who knows, maybe she'll wonder about the weird freaky virgin Americans sometime in the near future and open a Bible sometime soon :) Haha I also got to speak spanish with the spaniards, which was awesome! I'm not the best spanish speaker because they never really put enough emphasis on practicing speaking in spanish classes, but I tried and they appreciated it...and were laughing haha! It was also funny to hear the spanish "lisp". I forgot that spanish in Spain uses the lisp so it took me a second to understand some of what they were saying haha! Overall, it was such a fun night and I'm so glad we went!!


Monday, we went on another free tour (one we got through our hostel) that was all day and went into the mountains and the countryside. It was so beautiful and I'm so glad we got to see Ireland outside of Dublin :)



The Upper Lake at Glendalough with Sarah!


It was so beautiful! It actually made me feel like I was in Montana! The United States is probably the coolest place to travel because you can see so many different landscapes and beautiful things! I had to remind myself here that I wasn't in the States haha!


Neat Celtic crosses in a graveyard


Wicklow Mountains I believe haha in the distance you can see Wales! My posture looks horrible because I was so cold haha!


Our funny little tour bus!


Our final stop on the bus tour was in a little town called Kilkenny! Here is the Kilkenny Castle!



Sarah & Amanda!


It was so beautiful! We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant because it sounded so good and we hadn't had any in months haha! I was really thankful for the free tour to see the beautiful countryside and hear neat stories from our tour guide! We left Dublin at around 8pm and got back to London at around 11:30, and then had to wait for the bus and got back to Oxford at 4am! Haha late night! But such a successful trip :) I had so much fun and hope to go back someday! The Irish people are AMAZING! The nicest and most friendly I've come across (veryyy different from the Brits haha) and the best accents!

We leave for Paris in 3 days...we are crazy haha but I love it! In the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my nephew! He's due any day now and I can't wait to get the news that he's here! :) Also, we're done with tutorials next week, which is crazy! Then it's midterm break in Rome! How is it March on Friday already?! Ahhh! Life is so amazing! I am so incredibly blessed and thankful! Miss and love you! Have a great week!

Love,

Kaylee



Friday, February 22, 2013

Kaylee and the Case of the Earwax

Last Thursday, as I might have mentioned in a past blog post, I started to feel like I was getting a cold. No one likes to be sick, and with all the traveling I have coming up, I was hoping it would run its course quickly. Unfortunately, it was not a fun cold and I have some funny stories to tell about that took place due to my little cold.

Monday night, I was up for about an hour due to a horrible earache. I was on the verge of tears and just felt so helpless. I then became really concerned because I knew I would be flying on Saturday morning and thought it might be an earache (when my mom flew with a bad cold/ear pain a few years ago, her eardrum burst and she still doesn't have complete hearing in that ear, hence my heightened fear). So I tried to call a doctor on Tuesday but was told I couldn't get in until the following Wednesday, which obviously irritated me haha! So I said no thanks and hoped things would get better. 

Well, I didn't have any ear pain following that one night, but my ear was still clogged. I didn't know what it was, but I couldn't hear and I was beginning to freak out. So, desperately, I begged Amanda and Sarah to come to the A&E with me (the ER). It didn't take much begging because we're always up for adventure/another story to tell haha so we left our house at around 11pm and walked about 12 minutes to the hospital. We waited for three hours until I was seen...I was told that my ear was backed up with WAX (so he couldn't even see if there was fluid behind it) but that the hospital couldn't do anything to get it out. I just started laughing. Of course. That would happen. I still don't understand why a hospital couldn't handle earwax. But, if one thing came from that experience, it was that I wrote my whole paper while waiting to be seen! It was productive, but still annoying.

So, I left the A&E feeling hopeless, like I'd never hear out of my right ear again. The next morning, I called the doctor again because I had found out earlier in the day that the doctor's office keeps a few morning slots open. So, I went to bed at 4am after getting back from the hospital and woke up at 8am to call the doctor, who then told me I'd have to pay 50 pounds to be seen (which is about $90), so being me and having been through my night, I laughed and said no thanks, again.

My mom sent me a link to a home remedy the following day, which involved olive oil and a pumping a syringe of water. I tried that twice, thanks to Sarah, but it didn't work. I went to bed on Thursday night, knowing I'd still get on the plane Saturday morning regardless, but not knowing the fate of my ear. But today, every thing changed!

I bought some special drops for unclogging ears from a pharmacy (that contained hydrogen peroxide), put the drops in my ear and waited. I could hear it bubbling so I knew something was happening! I pumped some water into my ear with the syringe and it came out!!! It was a glorious feeling! After lots of hard work, frustration, and prayers, my ear is clear! I can hear, there's no pressure in my ear which means no infection, and I'm confident to get on my plane in 6 hours!

Funny little story but it about sums up my week haha! Anyways, I'm getting ready to board a 3 hour bus to the airport in an hour and then will board my plane to Dublin! I'm really excited to explore Ireland! I'll be getting back early Tuesday morning (4am) so then I'll be crashing but I'll try my best to blog with pictures that night! :) Have a great weekend!

Love,

Kaylee

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wedding Plans!

I skyped my dad and Ann for the first time since being here on Sunday! It was great to catch up and share stories! But as I was talking with them, questions about wedding plans came up, which reminded me that I'm getting married in 10 months and 9 days!!! Haha! I mean I'm able to talk to Josh throughout the day thanks to imessage on my ipod, and we're very good about skyping, but I've kind of put planning on the back burner because the wedding just feels so far away!

However, looking at a "timeline" for when the average person books things started to get me concerned. Apparently, I'm supposed to book a photographer, florist, DJ, and caterer by 9 months out. Maybe this sounds way too early to most people, but when you contact certain vendors to inquire about pricing and find out that a lot of them are already booked, you realize that some brides take such "deadlines" very seriously! Thus, I've gotten more into wedding planning and I'm having lots of fun :)

My mom and Jamie are being wonderful and addressing/sending out my save the dates sometime in the next two weeks. I've taken up my cousin (who is an awesome DJ!) on her offer to DJ our wedding, and I'm in the process of chatting with a photographer I really like about specific details. And most importantly (lets be real, food is priority), Josh has gotten in touch with Mainstreet Overeasy (the best breakfast you will over have), to try and see if they would consider catering a wedding (something they've never done before). I'm copying Aaron and Cassie's reception a little bit because like them, Josh and I love breakfast and even more than that, COFFEE! So I feel like stuff is coming together, even if I'm half a world away and not able to make any phone calls! I have wonderful and supportive family/friends who are so helpful and I am so very grateful for them! :)

In the meantime, I'll show you a few things I really like/imagine, but not too many details hehe:

Snow makes everything more beautiful!

Breakfast :)

:)


So pretty!

Love this!
Coffee/cocoa bar for ceremony :)
Of course Riley will need to dress up :)

I can't wait to see how it all comes together! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week Six

Hello lovely people!

(Classic London tourist photo hehe)

We are officially entering week 6 out of 8 weeks in the Oxford tutorial system. Wow. How crazy fast! I have written seven papers in five weeks and only have to write five more these last three weeks! The weeks go by so fast, probably because I sleep a lot haha! I love not having classes! My schedule is what works best for me, which usually means staying up late and sleeping in :) 

These next three weeks will go be even faster because of traveling! This next weekend, Amanda, Brittany, Sarah, and I will be heading to Dublin, Ireland. We bought roundtrip airplane tickets for about 35 pounds, can't really beat that! We will be there from Saturday-Monday. I'm really excited to see the city of Dublin, but also to see the countryside! That was one thing that we didn't get to see in Scotland, which is crazy because it's mostly countryside! So we're going on a day tour on Monday in Ireland to see where movies like "Braveheart" and "P.S. I Love You" were filmed (if you've seen either of those movies, you know the scenery is BEAUTIFUL!) so that's really exciting! The following weekend, from March 1st-3rd, we're going to PARIS! I am so thrilled! Not for another long bus ride...haha but it a little less time than the bus to Scotland and it's during the day, so that should help! That Friday is Sarah's 21st birthday, so you can bet we will be celebrating by sipping wine under the eiffel tower! Doesn't get much better than that :) We'll also be heading to Versailles while in Paris (somewhere I've wanted to go forever, King Louis and Marie Antoinette's palace!) and the Louvre to see Mona Lisa! How amazing! And the weekend after that is the official start of our mid-term break, which means Sarah and I will be in ROME! I think I'm most excited for this! I've always wanted to go to Italy, especially Rome! What an amazing city full of history and beauty! We'll be there from March 9th-13th! I can't wait to see it all!!! After mid-term break, we just have a British Landscape course where we go on field trips and only have to write two papers. We also have to write a longer research paper on the topic of our choice! I've decided to write my paper on how what is popular in children's books in a given time period reflects the society at that time (I'm specifically interested in our current culture's obsession with violence/darker concepts, but I'll be using past centuries to help my argument as well).

This past week, my body gave into the cold :( Haha living in a house with 35 people, where many have been coughing and what not for weeks, I knew it would hit me eventually, and unfortunately it started Thursday. Today it's really bad, I woke up because my throat hurt so bad and my nose was so stuffed I couldn't breathe haha! Ick! Unfortunately, my brain doesn't really want to think but I have to write two papers this week so it needs to step it up! Thankfully, I read most of Hamlet on Friday so I only have a bit more to get through and then I'll try to write most of my paper tonight! I'm really impressed with my time management here, despite sleeping in a lot haha!

Yesterday, Amanda, Sarah, and I headed into London for a few hours with one goal in mind--CHIPOTLE! And we accomplished that goal :) It wasn't exactly the same, but very close and we were so desperate for Mexican food we didn't care haha! After that, we went to the British Museum and walked around Oxford Street. London is beautiful, but I can't stand all of the smoking. You honestly would think they didn't get the memo that smoking leads to cancer or other serious health issues because I couldn't escape the smoke-filled air! Which also made my cough worse so made me crabbier haha! But it was cool to see!

(Oxford Street in London, equivalent to Hollywood Blvd. in LA, 5th Avenue in New York, Magnificent Mile in Chicago, etc. haha)

So this week will just be writing and coughing! Haha I miss all of my friends and family, but I am so extremely content here! It's crazy to look back at my post about having a hard time adjusting because I feel so happy and accepting of everything now! I've accepted the different culture and can appreciate England for England! I'm so blessed and thankful for this amazing opportunity! I will cherish the memories I'm making here forever :) Now off to trying to finish Hamlet! Have a great Sunday!

Love,
Kaylee


Monday, February 11, 2013

Coffee on a Snowy Morning

I love coffee. I love snow. So my day is already made :) It hasn't snowed here in Oxford for a while, so I'm really enjoying looking out my window and seeing the white every where. That's something I usually miss about Minnesota when I'm in California. Although I appreciate the sun and warmth in California, only getting three weeks of the most beautiful season (despite it being freezing haha) is really sad for me! So I'm appreciating having this winter season this year :)

When I look out the window, I feel like I'm living in the movie "The Holiday" with Jude Law and Cameron Diaz (I still want to go visit the cute little town that movie was filmed in!) because of the little lane and my wonderful house! It's all so great and I still don't feel like I actually live here, even though it's been more than a month haha! Crazy!

This past weekend was great! On Friday, Amanda and I went out dancing. First off, it's important that I note before we decided to go to a club, we were told that the clubs in Oxford aren't sketchy and gross like in America. And this was definitely an accurate statement! We were never creepily approached by sketchy men, which was great! Haha! The club had different levels and played great music (mostly American, gotcha England!) and we just had fun dancing and being young women in England! I too often sit at home because I'm a homebody and would rather curl up on the couch with a book or watch a movie, but I'm 21 and I'm in England! So I'm making myself do things I might not usually do! We didn't get home until 3am (I've never done anything like that so I was feeling proud haha!) and slept until 1pm the next day.

On Saturday, Amanda, Sarah, and I decided to have an emotional day and so we watched three movies: Braveheart, Pearl Harbor, and Schindler's List. I have no idea what we were thinking haha! I hadn't seen the first two, but I really liked them! I had learned a little bit about Scottish history on our walking tour in Scotland, but it was so crazy to see it depicted in a movie and really realize how bad the  conflict between England and Scotland was. I cried...a lot! Pearl Harbor had me sobbing though! Not because of the love triangle, but because of the long attack scene. Of course I knew the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but to see it depicted, to see all of those innocent people, military members, people on the island, killed by an attack that had been in the works for months...wow. At first, I became really really mad. And then, I couldn't stop crying. I was crying so hard it was hard to breathe!! It felt like 9/11 to me, despite me not being alive when it happened. I mean wasn't it just as bad? A meticulously planned attack on our country? On innocent people? To watch the planes continue to attack, dropping bomb after bomb? Killing thousands of people? It just gave me an even deeper appreciation for our military. I guess ever since Aaron enlisted (and after he married Cassie, another active member of the military) I've been very very sensitive. I'm sure I would've felt the same regardless if I had family members serving in the military, but imagining someone I loved being attacked...wow. The angry thoughts that ran through my mind while watching what seemed like a forever long depiction of the attack surprised me greatly. I finally understood why there was so much racism after the attack, why so many Americans were afraid and angry. I'm not justifying the internment camps and horrible treatment of the Japanese after the attack, but I'm finally understanding why the fear was so great that it would lead Americans to think of such a thing--similar to how many Americans felt after 9/11, and even still feel. Fear can do so much to people.

After that, Schindler's List topped off the night haha it was a tear-filled night. Schindler saved about a thousand lives because of his efforts. It was so hard to watch the horrible events take place. It is extremely hard to grasp how such an evil and hateful thing could've happened not too long ago. It sounds impossible. So evil. My heart still breaks when I think about the holocaust. Six. Million. People. Killed. And if that breaks my human heart, I can't even imagine how it breaks God's heart. How it makes Him grieve to see the world sometimes, so full of people who choose evil and sin over His love and goodness. I am thoroughly convinced that if we all chose God, this world would be such a better place! I want to see what that looks like! In every faucet of our lives: politics, education, at home, at work! Can you imagine what that would look like? That's what I want! That's what I want to thrive for!

On a lighter note, I got to skype with Josh yesterday for an hour! I am constantly reminded of what a blessing our relationship is! He is my best friend, and I was reminded of this as we were making each other laugh a lot. Even half a world away, he still knows how to make me smile :) After skype, I stayed up late with Amanda and Sarah to watch the mid-series premiere of the walking dead. Yes, I'm addicted to a zombie show. I never thought I'd say that! Haha but it's really great and we got to watch it as it streamed live from the east coast! Thank you technology!!

As for now, I better start reading! I only have one tutorial this week, so not too much to be done, but I want to get a start on my reading :) I shall update later on this week!

Love,
Kay

Monday, February 4, 2013

Scotland!

I'm sorry this post is so late! Life here is so busy and full that little things like blogging get put to the side usually. However, I want to tell you about my time in Edinburgh before the memories start to leave my mind.

We left on Friday (January 18th) at 9:45pm from the bus station in Oxford. The first bus was only about two hours to Milton Keynes where we caught our second bus. I guess before we booked the bus tickets, we thought, "Ten hour bus ride?! Who cares! It's Scotland!" Looking back, we were fools! Haha! That bus ride from Milton Keynes to Edinburgh (about 9 hours) was literally something that could be used in a comedy skit. First off, we couldn't get seats together because the bus was PACKED. We didn't have laptops or things to entertain us, so obviously this was disappointing. Secondly, everyone on that bus was sick. Every thirty seconds, there was a man who would cough and sneeze at the same time, making for some very loud and gross noises. Finally, it was hotter than a sauna! Every now and then I would doze off to sleep for a few minutes, and if it wasn't the coughing and sneezing that woke me up, it was the sweat dripping on my face or my lungs trying to get air. In the midst of these problems, it was snowing, the driver was going way too fast, and when a different driver was supposed to switch at around 3am, he was nowhere to be found. We waited thirty minutes and found out he was at the next exit. I slept for a total of thirty minutes.

When we arrived to Edinburgh at around 10am, you can imagine how happy we were to get onto land...happiness was quickly overtaken by crabbiness from lack of sleep and having to pay to use the bathroom to change and brush our teeth haha! However, when we walked out from the bus station, our crabbiness faded because we saw the beauty of Edinburgh (after we stopped at Starbucks though haha caffeine was necessary!) We didn't have anything planned at all (besides the Saturday night in our hostel) because we thought it would be easier to plan based on what interested us when we arrived. So we walked around, went up to the castle which was beautiful, walked in the city centre, and took in all the sights!

It was soooo beautiful! The sun was shining and we were happy to be enjoying the Scottish accents and culture. So much so, that we decided to partake in some Scottish rituals--like a traditional Scottish breakfast.




^^Above, you can see this "traditional Scottish breakfast" that Sarah and I were brave enough to try. If you know me, you know I stick to what I like, so this was big for me haha! I didn't eat half the plate haha but I was glad I made myself try it! The thing that looks like a sausage patty is actually called "haggis." Haggis is like a lamb version of what we do with hot dogs...ew. At least hot dogs taste good! Haggis had a really different taste but it was mostly the texture that grossed me out (and thankfully I didn't know what it was until after I ate it). On the plate was also beans, tomato, and egg, "bacon" (more like canadian bacon), a potato scone, and toast. After trying everything on my plate, all I ate completely was the egg and toast. I was proud for trying it though :) After lunch, it was time to check into our hostel which was right in the center of all the action! I had booked the hostel through hostelworld.com. We got a private four-person room for 12.50 pounds per person, which is a very good deal! We took a four hour nap haha! We were so exhausted from our horrible bus ride earlier! When we got up at 6:30, we found a free ghost tour and decided to go on it. It was really cheesy and not too factual, but it was free and something to do. We laughed :) After the tour, we got dinner at pizza hut...that sounds bad. But trust me, after a month of living in the UK, you realize people definitely don't come here for the food. Yet, even the pizza was a little disappointing. We've discovered even the unhealthy food is made healthier haha! It was okay, just not your usual amazing pizza hut experience ha! So we headed back, got some cider and cake, and went to bed again. Or tried to sleep, as the alley our hostel was in was apparently a popular place for drunkards all night haha!

The following morning, we had a nice chat at starbucks before another free tour! However, this one was legit! The hostel manager had told us about a free three-hour walking tour. Because we had nothing else to do and free is always nice, we were up for it! We were so glad we did it afterwards! Our guide was wonderful and funny and we learned so much! We saw beautiful things and learned a lot about Scottish history. I loved soaking it in, one because I love history, and two because Jim is Scottish and has always talked about Scotland so it was neat to see it finally! One thing I am so in love with all over the UK is the architecture. It is just so beautiful. The streets, the high buildings, the colors--I just love it all!

^^Amanda, Sarah, Brittany and I
Beautiful!
National Museum of Scotland (Another free thing! Yay!)


                                                                         ^^Volcano

As our tour was ending, it started to rain (perfect timing!), and it was lunch time so we found our way to a cute little Italian cafe. I had some amazing bruschetta and a pesto panini sandwich. We were having a great time talking about the awesome tour we had just been on, when we overheard a conversation we wished we hadn't. At the table next to us, there was a woman and two men. They were literally right next to us and they were talking pretty loudly so we were able to make out what they were saying. One man, who had identified himself from being from Northern Ireland, made some comment about Americans being stupid and not knowing geography. He said something like, "Yes, when I tell them I'm from Northern Ireland, they probably think that's in France." The woman and other man laughed. It made me SO mad. They could hear us talking and ordering so they clearly knew we were from America. Also, their stereotype of Americans deepened the stereotype I had of Europeans not liking Americans. We were all ready to pick a fight haha! We are smart college students and to hear people, who didn't even know us, call us stupid, was so upsetting. If that wasn't bad enough, the woman, from Portugal, made a comment about sometimes "Americans can walk and chew at the same time." That was about the final straw for me. As if being called stupid wasn't enough, we were now being called fat and stupid. After the anger settled, the sadness hit. How sad, that people who didn't even know me (or I'm sure any Americans for that matter), were saying such hurtful things, knowing there were Americans sitting right next to them. How sad and judgmental. Of course there are stereotypes for all places, but I just was shocked at the audacity of these people to joke about people right next to them and to act like they were so much better than us. It then led me to think how sad that must make God! We're all created EQUAL! We all have talents and abilities that differ from each other, regardless of our origins! And here were people being so arrogant and prideful! Ick! Anyways, I let it go after a while, and tried to give it to God and pray for them (although my ego was not making it easy). 

We still were able to enjoy the rest of our visit. We walked to the volcano, but weren't able to walk the hour long trail to get the good view because it was getting too dark and my mom and dad's voice were ringing in my head haha! It was getting really cold and windy and we had about three hours to wait until our bus ride back so we waited in McDonald's for a few hours, playing "would you rather", bus edition. Literally, for hours, saying things like, "would you rather lose your pinky and or take the bus again?" haha! It was hysterical! Sadly, we usually picked anything but the bus. However, the bus was inevitable. It was a lot better on the way back, but still really hot. We got back to Oxford on Monday morning at around 9am. I got into bed and slept for 6 hours. It was wonderful.

Overall, the weekend was great! Edinburgh was so beautiful and I had lots of fun with my new friends! The day we got back, we booked our flight to Dublin, Ireland for a few weeks from now haha! I love that I've found awesome friends who love adventures!


Right now, I'm finishing reading Much Ado About Nothing for my Shakespeare tutorial this week. At the end of this week, we'll be halfway done with tutorials! How crazy is that?! Also, I cannot believe it's February! I'm loving my time here and each day I venture around, I have to remind myself that I'm living in this beautiful place! :) I'm soaking it all in because I know it will continue to go by fast. I miss all my friends and family so much! Can't wait to see you in two and a half months! :)

Love,

Kaylee