Sunday, July 27, 2014

London, England {Part 3}

Day 5 - 09.08.14
The Original Bus Tour was the next thing on our agenda. Not worth £24. You listen to headphones that barely work and skip around here and there. It's a pretty drive around, but would be much better with an actual person giving the tour. What I would pay money for again is the Thames River boat tour that was included with the ticket. The live tour guide was hilarious and you get a different perspective of the city.

We got our first glimpse of rain that day, forcing me to buy an umbrella that saved me the rest of the trip! We had lunch - sandwiches and coffee - at Fernandez & Wells, a cute cafe that reminded of Portland.

By far, my favorite moment of this trip was Westminster Abbey (Founded in 960!). We made it to a Sunday Evensong service after lunch. It's hard for me to describe my experience because it was so emotional. Walking into the building brought me chills and tears. I was in complete amazement of the sight and history of it.  I was just so thankful and blessed to be standing there. I thought about how many influential people have walked through the church (Isaac Newton was buried there amongst many others), and I felt so small and humbled.  I ended up crying through the whole service - just overwhelmed by the experience. Everything clicked into place after that. I realized how much there is to see in the world, and places like London and Paris weren't just points on a map. They are really there, only a 10 hour flight away. I may sound a little naive or ridiculous (sorry about that), but honestly, before that moment it never really occurred to me how much is out there. I'm young and who knows what God has in store for me, but my eyes and heart have been opened up to traveling and there is no quenching that thirst.

"Travel...the best way to be lost and found all at the same time." 
- Brenna Smith 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

London, England {Part 2}

Day 4 - 09.07.13
The day began with my first museum trip to the National Gallery right in Trafalgar Square. I didn't know what to expect because I had not experienced or appreciated art before (besides photography). I honestly wasn't too excited to go, I would rather be sightseeing while the weather was nice. Luckily, the people I was traveling with LOVE art (& that's an understatement). By the end of the trip - and 5 museums later - I fell in love with art myself. At the National Gallery we took an hour tour where the lady did a wonderful job explaining all the art pieces (highly recommend it). You can tell she was knowledgable and loved her job. & it was free! You don't have to pay in a lot of the museums in London (just donate what you can). 

As you step outside the museum, you are engulfed into the crowds: tourists take up every inch of Trafalgar Square & street artists, entertainers, and performers are seen in every direction. 

People would place coins on the flag of the country they are from. We put some on Ukraine and Russia because they didn't have many (U.S. definitely had the most). 

Can you spot me above? (hint: I'm the only one posing for the camera)

After a quick lunch, we rushed to make it to an evensong service at St. Paul's Cathedral. It was stunning inside, but no photography was allowed. I sneakily tried to take some pictures on my phone, so they are not the best quality (gotta work on that skill for trips in the future). The grand-ness and gold, mosaic detail was truly breathtaking.

The sun was setting and we just decided to wander around. We crossed the Waterloo Bridge and ended up in Jubilee Square - a waterfront walk where you can ride the London Eye. We decided not to because the line was enormous, and it was quite expensive. The area was filled with people eating dinner at restaurants, carnival rides, and more street performers. We ended our walk at the Big Ben and buildings of Parliament. 

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."
Susan Sontag 


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Day

Who doesn't love a good sunny spring day. They are rare in Oregon, but when the sunshine comes out everything comes to life. This was a couple of fridays ago, a few beautiful ladies & I got tickets for a Mindy Gledhill concert in St. Helens. But we decided to make an entire day out of it and get lunch, explore Portland, drive to the show, roam around the tiny town, and of course snap some photos. 

My simple & spring-y outfit:
- UO sweater & socks
- Joe's pants
- Dolce Vita shoes

All of these beauties have gone through more life than I have, and are each an inspiration to me. Wives, mothers, sisters, & friends. I look up to them & love having girl dates with them - until next time. 

P.S. My Europe trip posts will still be posted as planned, stay tuned lovely followers. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

London, England {Part 1}

Day 3 - 09.06.13
I am so blessed to have spent my 18th birthday in such an incredible city. After feeling a little homesick and overwhelmed in the beginning of the day, I was able to take it all in. Seeing the Tower Bridge made it real and I thought, I'm in London, how awesome is that! 
I was able to find my favorite store in the enormous Westfield shopping center right by Olympic Park. Urban Outfitters was the first thing I saw when I walked in, it was meant to be. I got myself a blouse and skirt. The style was still urban but a bit more preppy than the UO back home. The evening ended with walking across the bridge and breathing the London evening air. It was almost a type of mental preparation for the next jam-packed 4 days we had planned in this city. 

Tower Bridge 

//Stay tuned for more photos of London//

"I want to travel across the world and breathe the air of new places"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dublin, Ireland

I realized that my computer holds several folders of photographs from the different trips I've taken in the last year. Europe in September, road trip in January, and just recently spring break in Cabo San Lucas. And I have also avoided blogging. I avoided looking at blogs all together because I felt guilty about abandoning mine. The excuse of, "I'm too busy because of school" is lame but true!
Well finally, I've begun sorting through my Europe trip photographs by creating a Shutterfly book, I can't wait to have everything organized and in one place. I felt it would be an appropriate time to blog once again. & why not start with the best two weeks of my life (thus far)

It was a spontaneous last-minute booking. Family friends had an extra spot and invited me to go with them to Europe. I had never traveled across the Atlantic before, so I couldn't pass up on the opportunity especially since it was the only vacation I would have because of my busy schedule. The trip consisted of four countries: Ireland, England, Belgium, and France. We stayed the longest in London & Paris so stay tuned for extra posts. But first: gorgeous, green Ireland.. 

Day 1 - 09.04.13
The bed-n-breakfast we stayed in was adorable (pictured below). The Aishling House was our home for two nights in Ireland. We had breakfast there both mornings that was prepared by the husband and wife who owned the b&b. I will always remember the home-made applesauce was one of the yummiest things I've ever tasted (secret ingredient: 7-up!) I'm still determined to make it myself one day.. 

After our arrival the first day, we decided to explore around the neighborhood we were staying in: Clantorf, which is about a 10 minute bus ride from Dublin. I fell in love immediately; it was the cutest thing. Each home had its own personality with the lawn decor and bright colored doors. It was a clean and well taken care of town. It was added to my list of "I'd love to live here" places. 

Day 2 - 09.05.13
We took a bus to the main city (the bus driver didn't even ask for a fare & let us ride for free) & went exploring. We started at Trinity College. David fit right in as a college student with his backpack (pictured below).

Recommended by a grocery store employee (who was the nicest lady I've ever met), Tayto chips are known in Ireland. They are pretty tasty actually, and are texturely different than the potato chips here in America. 

The little family pictured below at St. Stephen's Green are the people I traveled with: Tanya, Nick, & their son David. They are incredible people, and I couldn't be more thankful that they chose me to join them on their adventure.

Found this random little house in St. Stephen's Green, a gorgeous park in Dublin. We picnicked & did some people watching there.

We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral. My first cathedral & a good one too. We walked around, took some photos, and got to step into Irish history. 

We took a tour of Dublin Castle & got to know so much about Irish history that I had no previous knowledge of. It was fascinating. It was more of a palace than an old medieval castle, but that is because it was under British rule for most of the time. 
Pictured below is the statue of Lady Justice. Interestingly enough, she is breaking some of the characteristics that this statue is supposed to uphold. Look it up, it's worth the history lesson (:

We dined at Leo Burdock's & had traditional fish & chips. Yum!

My first ever Choral Evensong was at Christ Church Cathedral. It was an interesting experience, and I enjoyed it because it was like going back in time and participating in the culture & history. 
Fun fact, out of the 5 choirs I had the opportunity to listen to on my Europe trip, this was the only church that let females sing. All the others had little boys sing the soprano and alto notes. 

Dublin was a great start to the trip. It was a beautiful city & it made me fall in love, or at least begin to fall in love, with Europe. I cannot wait to return one day and explore even more of Ireland. 

& the grass is really greener there. 

"Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."
Ibn Battuta