January 4th, 2017 in 2016 Fall, Wales | No Comments by
Have you ever gone to school on Thanksgiving? Up until today, I hadn’t. The UK doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, remember? So last Thursday was a normal school day, filled with professors, reading assignments, lectures, and a full on American Thanksgiving feast.
Yes, that’s right–my flat celebrated Thanksgiving! We had turkey, stuffing (oh my gosh, so much stuffing), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, rolls, corn–we went all out. For dessert, we even had apple crisp and pecan pie! We made hand-turkeys, listened to Christmas music, and shared lots of laughs. In case you missed the stellar video we all made, please watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKONuW0-eI
After my Thanksgiving in the UK, I got on a plane to Amsterdam for my US squad weekend with Emily, Bailey, Sara, and Jessica. We went all over the city on a canal tour, saw the Anne Frank Museum and House, pet lots of rescued cats on a cat boat, went ice skating in front of the Rijksmuseum, and took tons of photos in front of the famous “I amsterdam” letters and, of course, the big yellow clog. We ate giant Dutch pancakes, blue-colored cheese that tasted like lavender, and stroopwafels–all delicious!
The weekend with them made me realize just how much I’ve missed seeing each of their faces every day like I have for the past two years at school. Lately, I’ve been missing a lot of things, actually. Mostly, it’s just been little everyday things that I took for granted before moving to a different country–97 cent Suave shampoo and conditioner, Wendy’s junior cheesburgers, dryer sheets, etc. It would seem silly to me if I were the one reading this, but, as I write it, it makes perfect sense. These things used to be constants in my life, and I never thought a time would come when I wouldn’t have the option to have them. It’s made life a bit more interesting. Trying to find a deoderant that wasn’t spray-on, or a box of Kraft mac and cheese to make for dinner, while trying to keep the “trolley” (shopping cart) under control–all of the wheels move, not just the ones in the front, so they can be kind of hard to steer–has been quite an experience, I’ll admit.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy trying new things and being in a new place–I absolutely love it! All I mean to say is it has made me a bit more thankful for the things I used to take for granted. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on some of these “delicacies,” but also know that when the time comes for me to leave in just a few short weeks, I will be missing the things I’ve come to see as normal here. I’m already dreading the goodbyes I’ll have to say in 12 days…
In other news, CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!
Want to know more about me? More about my adventure? More in general? Check out my travel blog “Casey in Cardiff” by clicking here or typing the following into your browser: www.caseyincardiff.weebly.com.
November 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Scotland | No Comments by
This past weekend, I traveled to Amsterdam with Norah, one of my IFSA-Butler friends. On Friday, we started at the Anne Frank Huis. We waited in line for almost two hours but it was undoubtedly worth it. I felt that the museum was presented so well. Otto Frank insisted that the rooms be unfurnished, leaving only items authentic to the Frank family and their helpers to be showcased. There was a reverent atmosphere, especially in the annex of the top floor of the house.
Following the Anne Frank Huis, we walked down Prinsengracht, a scenic street along a canal towards our hostel. After checking in, we had dinner at an Indonesian restaurant and splurged on a
Rijsttafel, a rice table of appetizer-size portions of meats, seafood, vegetables, egg rolls, satays, nuts, and fruits. Amsterdam is known for its Indonesian food due to colonisation, and it did not disappoint. Following dinner, we walked through the Red Light District, the hub of legal prostitution in Amsterdam. It was a surreal, thought-provoking experience that led to good ideas and conversation.
On Saturday, Norah and I started the day with an hour-long canal ride through the city. We learned about the city and saw some of the historical sites. Next, we went to the Van Gogh Museum, my favorite part of the weekend. I loved this museum so much because it displayed Van Gogh’s pieces in chronological fashion. I absorbed his evolution as a painter and as a human. There is a room devoted to letters Van Gogh wrote to his friends and family. I watched Van Gogh dive into the world of modern art and eventually into his manic last stage as a painter. He painted 70 paintings in the final three months of his life. These paintings, showcased on the final floor of the gallery were the most poignant to me. I felt connected to his story and found them to be beautiful. I have seen individual Van Gogh works, but it was especially meaningful to see over 200 consecutively.
The rest of the weekend was spent walking around the city in different restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops! It was a much-needed break from the emotional stress of the United States election and a weekend well spent with a good friend.
April 13th, 2016 in 2016 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland | No Comments by
It’s crazy to think I that it’s already week 11 here at the University of Limerick, I have less than five weeks in Ireland . The last few weeks have been filled with fun and excitement, though. Recently I’ve done a lot of touring throughout Ireland, took a trip to Amsterdam, Netherlands and made some other great memories in and around Limerick. Read More »
January 17th, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by
The journey has begun!
We left from Indianapolis this morning and flew on our first flight to Detroit. It was a quick ride, only 45 minutes. Now we have a 3 1/2 hour layover and are grabbing lunch. The excitement is building!
Packing was a little crazy, but I managed to fit everything I needed. Wanted…not so much…but I’m really glad I was able to fit the important things. It only took me a day, which was surprising. But we kept buying the little things I needed right up until we left. Finding room to stuff them in my suitcase was interesting! But they both made weight and I was able to carry everything myself.
My mom is flying over with me to stay a couple of days. We are arriving early in Leeds, then traveling later to London so I can be there for orientation. That is where my mom will fly out and head back home. Our flight in takes us to Amsterdam, where we have another 3 hour layover. We will arrive there at 12:00 am our time, but 6:00 am their time. At least we won’t have a problem catching some zzzz’s in the airport. We will probably be wiped out by then after our 8 hour flight.
I’m really excited to actually be there! And to have my mom with me. We are best friends, and I’m really grateful that she gets to experience part of this with me. Leaving home was kind of hard, but knowing that when I come back, I get to spend the whole summer with them has made it easier. And Skype is a great way to stay connected!
Now we just have to stay occupied for another hour and a half…I think I might sneak in a cat nap. :0)