Finding Beauty Within

Raise your hand if the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “beautiful” is a big city. I’m guessing your hand isn’t raised. Not many people consider a big bustling city to be beautiful. However, there are things that make each city beautiful; you just have to find them. The beauty lies within.

Let’s first talk about the literal side of things. What inspired this blog post is Queen Mary’s Gardens in Regent’s Park. Regent’s Park is a huge park in the middle of the big city of London (it’s where I went paddle boating on my birthday). I’ve always thought it was beautiful but Sunday I went to Queen Mary’s Gardens, which makes up the inner circle of the garden. It was the most perfect day outside, 65 degrees and sunny (not a cloud in the sky), which is very uncharacteristic of London at this time. The gardens have every type of rose imaginable, all with the most unique names, from Razzle Dazzle to Remember Me; Sexy Rexy to Lovely Lady.

 

Lost in the roses

 

In the center section, there is a large grassy area surrounding by the roses where families, couples and friends laid out enjoying the sunshine. As we walked around the outer part of it, there were paths that branched off to other areas. One area reminded me of Alice in Wonderland because it had large maze like hedges, spiral trees and crazy types of plants. Another area was a labyrinth of more roses! There was also a pond with weeping willows and a water fall leading into it. It was so gorgeous and everyone seemed so happy. Seeing all this beauty and happiness made me feel like my life was perfect and I didn’t have a care in the world. It’s nice to just pause and admire life sometimes. Some people talk about experiencing bliss and I finally feel like I’ve found it on this trip. It’s not something you can go looking for, it just happens. You’re just walking around and then suddenly you just get this swelling feeling and you feel as though you just want to scream with joy because you’re overflowing with happiness. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this feeling since I’ve been here and I’m sure it won’t be the last. As a matter of fact, it happened again a few days later.

 

The Pond in Queen Mary's Garden. Pictures just don't do it justice...

 

Example two: crossing the Jubilee Bridge. Sounds like an odd place to suddenly be filled with bliss but let me set up the scene for you. The Jubilee Bridge crosses over the Thames River. It’s 7pm (which means its dark) on a chilly fall night. Notes of a jazz song float down the bridge to greet me, courtesy of a sax player  playing romantic songs for the couples on the bridge. As I walk across the bridge, I look to my left and see the skyline of modern London. The twinkling lights reflected on the Thames while the breeze blew in the scent of the ocean. I then look to my right to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. It was such a beautiful contrast to have this city that’s so modern on one side of me and then a gorgeous historical part of it on my other side. I closed my eyes and breathed in the cool air and the scent of the ocean, absorbed the sounds of the jazz music, opened my eyes and felt totally at peace with the world. It was that same feeling of bliss, but in addition to screaming with happiness, I wanted to cry at how beautiful life can be sometimes.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me to capture that moment, but I plan on going back to do so.

On another note, I am leaving at 4am (in 6 hours) to fly to Rome! I am spending my fall break traveling through Italy for 10 days. I’ll be starting in Rome and then going to Florence and Venice. I’ve wanted to go to Italy for basically my whole life and am so excited I’m finally going! I’m sure I’ll have many more bliss moments (and lots of pictures) to share with you! Ciao!

This is long overdue….

Since Ruth yelled at me for not updating in a while (but then kept me from doing so with an hour long skype conversation- but it’s ok because I’m so glad I got to talk to you!) I figured I should probably stop being lazy and fill you all in. (This whole never having homework thing is bad for my motivation.)

I think I last left you with the Natural History Museum. Since then I have been to Buckingham Palace, the London Zoo, the Tate Modern, East End gallery openings, seen Hamlet at the National Theatre, and celebrated my birthday!

Buckingham Palace was stunning of course. The inside was fit for a queen (haha get it, my attempt at a pun), with elaborate decorated ceilings and walls, ornate furniture and gorgeous paintings. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so unfortunately you’ll just have to believe me when I assure you it was amazing. After the tour I had profiteroles at the cafe on the terrace behind the palace and then walked through the scenic gardens. It was so crazy to see this huge garden with a lake just in the middle of bustling London.

 

In front of Buckingham!

 

Since I love animals, we couldn’t pass up going to the London Zoo. It’s a huge zoo with such a large variety of animals. They even had an aquarium within the zoo. In addition to the main animals, they also had a petting area where I frolicked with sheep and took silly pictures with a llama. If you know me well, you know that I love otters and much to my delight the zoo had about 10 adorable otters. They were all burrowing together and rolling around and being silly. And what do I love just as much as otters? Meerkats, which the zoo had plenty of, and much to my delight there were 3 fuzzy little baby meerkats! I’ve never seen babies before so of course I spent a good 15 minutes squealing and trying to convince myself not to jump in the exhibit and steal one.

 

Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

 

As part of my art class, we visit museums so we went to the Tate Modern Wednesday. The museum is right on the river and we had the first beautiful day in a while for it. The weather has been perfect this weekend: sunny and 65 degrees. The museum was pretty awesome. We saw paintings by Monet, Warhol, Picasso, and Dali, in addition to some crazy modern art (kitchen appliances, huge woven carpet pieces, a giant 3 way plug). While I enjoyed the museum, I kept finding myself staring out the window wishing I could be outside running around in the sunshine (little did I know this wish would be taken literally when I had to run down the river path to get to Hamlet in time…) After grabbing dinner at Tortilla, an amazing burrito place only in Mexico, Cali and London, (it’s the new Moe’s), we wandered into a boutique where I found the most amazing dress. I didn’t want to try it on because I knew I would have to buy it but of course I fell prey to temptation. After realizing it was my birthday in 2 days and I didn’t have anything suitable as a birthday dress, I knew I had to buy it. Love at first try on.

At this point we realized we only had 20 minutes to book it down the Thames path to the National Theatre. Sarah thought we would be fine walking at a normal pace, but oh no, after checking our progress on a map, we had practically gone nowhere after a 10 minute walk. And there were 7 minutes til curtain. Cool. We were those Americans running along the Thames screaming “3 minutes! 2 minutes! 1 MINUTE!” (Our theatre teacher had strictly warned us not to be late because in England they shut you out if you’re late to a play). We flew through the front doors and asked the first employee we could find where our theatre was (there are multiple ones in the National Theatre). After a sassy response “You know they’re starting now” (Nooo, we are just sweaty and out of breath for funsies), we managed to slide into our seats right as the lights went down. Our teacher had failed to inform us that this version of Hamlet was a modern one, so I was a bit confused when the guards in the first scene came out with machine guns. At first I didn’t like the modernization of it. It was weird to see men in business suits speaking Shakespearean English, but as the play went on, it grew on me. It was done really well and even though it was 3 and half hours long, I never lost interest. The one thing I didn’t like was the look of the actor portraying Hamlet. He looked too old and had a bald spot and receding hairline. Not what I think of when I picture Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark. He was a good actor though, so I’ll give him that.

Thursday after class, Sarah and I did some shopping on Oxford Circus (shoes, shoes, and more shoes) before we had to meet our art teacher for our event that evening. As part of class, our teacher wanted to take us to some galleries in the East end of London. The East End was quite an experience. It was very artsy and definitely a different feel than the posh area we’re in. The first thursday of every month, there is an event on Vyner Street where the galleries all open and tons of people come to drink and look at art. One of the galleries had free wine while most others had 1 pound beer. And this was part of class, baha. Most of the galleries were very strange modern art and some made me very uncomfortable (ex: Ninja Turtle Sex Museum) but there were a couple that were neat. It was definitely an interesting experience. After the galleries, we headed home to go to O’Neills, the pub with live music that we go to every Thursday. When it turned midnight, my roommate Amanda screamed to everyone in the bar that it was my birthday, resulting in me being thrown up in the air by a Spanish man and his friend, Alejandro (who told Sarah he inspired the Lady Gaga song….)

Friday, since it was my birthday, we went paddle boating on the lake in Regent’s Park because we had another perfect day! It was so pretty because the lake is lined with willow trees and filled with swans and we also saw the cutest couple row boating. The man was in a suit rowing the while the girl read the newspaper. Want to be them.

 

On the lake! Isn't Regent's Park beautiful?

 

That night I wore my new dress and went to Fabric, the biggest club in London. It was so much fun! There were 3 different dance halls and it was all crazy Euro techno music. At one point, I was pulled up on stage by a pack of shirtless boys to dance, which was hilarious. I danced til I could no longer stand in my treacherous heels. Totally satisfying birthday weekend.

 

Sarah and I (wearing my perfect birthday dress)

 

 

And the back of the dress...my favorite part!

 

Another random one…

It gets dark at like 7pm here. And apparently continues to get earlier as the winter goes on…

Despite the early darkness and overcast days, for whatever reason my freckles have been explosive here. You’d think I’d spent a week at the beach or something.

There are so. many. stairs. in this town. They really like spiral staircases here too. I’m going to have the best legs and buns of steel after this trip.

Couples here are way more affectionate than Americans. They obviously don’t have problems with PDA here…And I’m not talking about in clubs or bars, I’m talking about just every day anywhere in the city.

Mom and Dad, you’re going to need to buy me all new shoes when I get home. City walking and cobblestones and whatnot have destroyed all of my shoes.

London actually does Mexican food well.

Torture, Towers, and Turrets

So this weekend I fit in a few more tourist attractions. London has so many things to see that it’s almost overwhelming!

On Friday, I went to the Tower of London with some of my friends. While looking at the brochure we discovered that admission to the tower also covers three different guided tours. However, as we soon found out, the “guided tours” were just sitting in a chapel with a “yeoman” telling us about the history. Fail. We decided that it would  be more fun to walk around and just see the things ourselves. One cool thing we did learn from the first tour was that Anne Boleyn was buried in the chapel we were sitting in. The Tower of London should really be called the Towers of London because there are multiple towers. My favorite was the tower with the crown jewels in it. You have to stand on a conveyer belt to move past them so unfortunately I couldn’t stand and marvel at them for hours. They were breathtakingly gorgeous. I picked out the crown I want when I marry a British royal. It was so crazy to look at them and know that these huge oversized gems were actually real. The largest diamond in the world is actually in one of the scepters, so that was awesome to see. Unfortunately though we couldn’t take pictures. After the jewels we went in some more towers, shot a bow, jousted, saw the largest and the smallest armor ever made, where Sir Walter Ralegh stayed, the execution block and torture devices. Overall it was pretty interesting, but I thought there was going to be more creepy than it was. Whenever I’ve heard about the Tower of London it was about all the horrible torture and executions they did there but there were only 3 torture devices and they were the typical devices – the stretcher, the scavengers daughter (compressor) and shackles. I was expecting to see crazy ones like the coffin of nails. During the summer, one of the radio stations in Hickory was doing a special on torture devices used in London so I was gearing myself to see all of those but there weren’t any. I remember on the show they talked about how one of the kings had a favorite method of torture for prisoners: he would put them in a box and fill the box with hot coals, but had holes put in the box so he could hear their screams. Morbid I know, but that’s what I was expecting to see.

The Scavenger's Daughter

After the tower, we ate lunch at a pub on the river, where I had fish and chips, of course. That night, Elon parents who live around the corner from us hosted a party for us students and Elon alumni in London. We had some wonderful food (lamb, duck, shrimp, mini cheeseburgers, fish and chips and many desserts) and got to mingle with the alumni who were all really nice. The Dean of Admissions of Elon flew out to visit so we got to talk to him too. We even skyped with Leo Lambert!! For those of you who don’t know the great Leo, he’s the president of Elon and we all love him. After the party, I just hung out and watch the Lizzie McGuire movie with some friends. Don’t judge, I love that movie and it got me even more excited to go to Rome!

Saturday morning I got up really early to go to Windsor Castle. We had an absolutely beautiful day- low 60s and completely sunny, such a rarity for England at this time.

Check out that gorgeous sky

Windsor Castle is actually the largest castle still in use today. It’s also the Queen’s favorite castle, and I can see why. It had beautiful gardens and the inside was so ornate and elegant.

Gorgeous garden and fall leaves

Lovely garden and fall leaves

On display there was Queen Mary’s dollhouse, which is a huge dollhouse that was built for her and each room in it was designed by a famous London designer. Everything in the dollhouse is real too, like the plates are actually made of silver. It was awesome. After the castle we explored the town of Windsor, which was a cute little town. I had my first cup of English tea and scones with clotted cream. Clotted cream sounds like such a gross thing but it was actually amazing. I felt so British!

Sunday I needed to catch up on my sleep so I didn’t do any touristy things…

Today (Monday), Clinton and I went to the Museum of Natural History. We saw dinosaurs (including an animatronic T-Rex), lots of different animals (we had fun imitating the animals for pictures) gems, minerals, and many other things.

Being a bear, obviously.

It was a really nice museum, and just like all museums in London it was free! The museum building is gorgeous too, it kind of looks like a cathedral.

Inside the main hall of the museum

Now another long week begins….wait not really because class still isn’t real life! I’m hoping we finish watching Shakespeare in Love in class tomorrow….

A Wonderful Weekend in Germany

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Germany for a few days. I had been to Germany before about 6 years ago and loved it so of course I was super excited to visit again. Our longtime family friends, the Fischers (Harald, Inga and their daughters Sophie, Clara and Lea), were kind enough to let me, Sarah and Clinton stay with them for the weekend.

Our flight was at 8:40am Friday morning. Which means I woke up at 5am because I had booked a taxi for us at 6:15am (look at me being all responsible and waking up early). We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, so I bought a latte to become fully conscious. After boarding our flight, Sarah and I high-fived and congratulated ourselves on successfully booking and boarding our first flight without any help from our parents. Neither of us had gone through this process totally alone before (booking the tickets, arranging transportation to the airport, printing boarding passes, making sure we got there on time, having all the correct papers for customs) and it felt good to know that we were being “real adults” in the real world. We flew Swiss, which we quickly learned is the best airline ever. On the short 1 hour flight, they gave us warm croissants, Swiss chocolate and drinks (compare to: the miniscule bag of pretzels I got on a 4 hour flight to California). They also gave the children free puzzles and Rubik’s cubes. We had a layover in Zurich, where I continued to say Switzerland (Swveetzerland) in a Swiss accent, much to the annoyance of Sarah (and probably the Swiss people who heard me). After another short 30 minute flight (and more chocolate!) we landed in Nuremburg where Sophie picked us up. The last time I had seen Sophie was 6 years ago so it was great to see her again. We were best friends when we were little but I’d only seen her twice since they left to go back to Germany. Every time we see each other though it feels like we’ve never been apart.

Sophie drove us home where we were greeted with hugs and kisses from the rest of the family. After settling in and eating some delicious German cake, we went to explore Coburg, the town the Fischers live by. I had been there before but it was so weird to see a place I had been to so long ago and thought I’d never see again. After sightseeing and doing a little shopping, we headed home and ate a wonderful homemade dinner of beef Goulash.

View from a hill in Coburg

Sophie wanted us to experience German nightlife so she had planned to take us out that night. German nightlife is quite different than London nightlife. In London, the last call for bars is around 2 or 3am so people go out earlier, normally around 10pm. The Germans however, like to go out late. The last call for bars is at 5am, so people don’t go out until about midnight. Some guys that Sophie knew came over to hang out with us before we went out and they were hilarious (they were all our age). One guy wanted us to call him Doug because he was obsessed with “The King of Queens” and constantly thought we were talking about him every time we spoke English. They spoke English fairly well but wanted us to communicate with them in German. Obviously this did not happen. We only learned how to say cheers (“prost”). They were also interested to know what other languages we knew, so about 5 different languages were spoken between us.

Sophie called a cab to pick us at 11:45 to take us to the first club in Coburg we were going to go. Unfortunately, Doug and the other boys didn’t come with us because they didn’t want to pay to go out, at which point me and Doug sang “Money Money Money” by Abba together (totally normal). The first bar we went to was a swanky, contemporary bar where we met some other guys Sophie knew through her boyfriend. Sophie’s boyfriend is 25 so these guys were older than Doug and his friends. Vitamir is a lawyer, Christopher is a Ralph Lauren model (I kid you not, he told me to google him) and I don’t think I ever found out what Benedict did. They knew English really well and wanted to communicate with us fully in English, which was definitely good. They were very nice and funny guys, and also total gentlemen! This was quite a nice change compared to most of the American boys I’ve met….chivalry does still exist! You just have to go to Europe!

After the bar, we went across the street to an underground club where we met up with even more of Sophie’s friends (she is quite the popular girl). It looked like you were descending into a castle’s dungeon to get to the club. They were playing crazy techno German music so we wasted no time hitting the dance floor. The way people dance in Germany is also different than the dancing you see in American clubs. It’s more about actually dancing than just disgustingly grinding, so it was a lot more fun. After dancing with the model for a while (of course) he said in his cute little German accent “I would love to have girlfriend like you”, at which point I had to break the news to him that I was only in Germany for 3 days. This made him very sad but he told me everything would be ok when we got married. To this I just had to laugh and keep dancing to distract him from any future marriage proposals. All of us were having so much fun that we didn’t even realize it was 4am when we finally decided to leave!

The next morning, Saturday, we went to the Veste Coburg, which is the castle in Coburg.

View of the Veste Coburg from the hike up to it

The hike to the castle had an excruciating amount of stairs but the view from the top made it all worth it. We toured the inside of the castle too and saw some neat artifacts.

Sophie, Sarah, Inga and I at the top of the Castle!

After the castle tour, we ate at an authentic German restaurant in Coburg. I had sauerbraten, which is definitely my new favorite food. It’s like pot roast but the sauce is such a unique sauce. I can’t describe the taste but it almost had a hint of gingerbread in it. It was served with 2 potato dumplings, also called “dunking balls”. So yummy. That night we just watched a movie and went to bed early for our full day of Oktoberfest on Sunday!

Sunday morning we woke up super early to catch the 8am train to Munich. It was kind of a long train ride so I curled up “like a homeless person” in the words of Sarah, to sleep on the way there. When we arrived in Munich we stepped out of the train station to find a Lederhosen and Dirndl outlet. Sophie had been wanting a Dirndl to wear to Oktoberfest because everyone wears traditional German outfits there so we had to go try some on. Of course we found really cute ones and couldn’t resist buying them (how many people can say they have a traditional German beer maid outfit actually from Germany?).

Us in our dirndls! Don't we look cute? Also notice the random man who stuck his head in the picture

Now that we had the appropriate outfits, we were ready to go! Oktoberfest is actually a huge fair that families go to, not just a load of drunken Germans (you find those in the beer halls). There are tons of rides, food and carnival games. Of course we had to have a beer at Oktoberfest (the thought of this made me cringe, I’m not a fan of beer) but to my surprise it actually was pretty good; I mean Germany is known for their beer, they can’t disappoint. After this we decided to go on a roller coaster. You would think a fair would just have small coasters, but we’re talking Six Flag status roller coasters here. Being thrill seekers, we chose the largest one to ride. It was called the Olympian Looper because it had five loops that resembled the olympic rings. It. Was. Awesome. We were all crying laughing from how fun it was (and of course doing the totally logical thing, I screamed the whole time despite my current laryngitis…).

The awesome roller coaster

After the coaster, we met up with yet another one of Sophie’s friends who was in one of the beer halls, Hofbrau. I don’t even know how to describe the beer halls. Just think of beer maids running around with their arms full of 1 liter beer mugs to hundreds of drunk Germans singing, dancing on tables, hugging and kissing everyone and just being ridiculous. Everyone is in such a good mood so you can’t be anything but happy at Oktoberfest. It was so much fun and I wish I could have spent more than just one day there.

Just a small sample of the ridiculousness in Hofbrau tent

On Monday, the girls had school and Inga had work so Harald took us to Bamberg, a historical city on the way to the airport to do some more sightseeing. The city is modeled after Rome so it has churches on seven hills.

View of Bamberg and the Cathedral we visited

We climbed 9 flights of spiral stairs to a tower overlooking the city, went in a Gothic Cathedral and then had cake in a gorgeous rose garden behind a palace. Just a normal day in Germany.

My favorite rose in the rose garden

After our afternoon in Bamberg, Harald dropped us off at the airport and we had to say goodbye 😦

In one of my previous blog posts I mentioned that I had a separate flight home than Sarah and Clinton. I was a bit worried about this because it flew into an airport I’d never been to and I didn’t know how to get home. But luckily, I sat next to this Swiss guy who lives in London part time and he was kind enough to take me from the airport, through customs, on the DLR train and then all the way to my tube station. What a kind man! He also spoke perfect English and German. This weekend has made me realize that Europeans are so much more intelligent than us. Almost every person can speak 2 languages well enough to communicate. Even Lea, who is 12 years old is fluent in both English and German. I feel embarrassed to admit I can barely say 2 sentences in Spanish…

Anyway, I apologize this post is so long, there was just so much I wanted to talk about! There’s even more but I had to cut it down a bit so I wouldn’t lose your attention.

Life is sweet

Ok it’s official, I’m never moving back to the United States.

If you know me, you know I have a major sweet tooth and much to my delight, English candy does more than just satisfy it.

Let’s be honest, the sweets here are just so much more awesome. In addition to having amazing candy of their own, they take American sweets and make them ten times better. Ex: Kit Kat Senses – Kit Kat’s filled with hazelnut praline creme.

Rewind like 6 years to my first experience of English candy: The Aero Bar. My friend from England had gone for a visit and brought some of these bars back. It was love at first bite. The bars are made by Nestle and have air bubbles in them so they’re very light. My favorite are the chocolate and mint ones. Of course I couldn’t find these bars in the US but was delighted to find them in Canada on our family vacation a couple years later, but haven’t had them since. I think you can guess what the first candy I bought here was.

The first time I approached a candy aisle here I literally was a kid in a candy shop. Thanks to Easter and Cadbury Creme Eggs, I love Cadbury chocolate which happens to be the major chocolate here (not Hershey’s). After having a couple weeks to try a good amount of different types, I’m here to tell you about my favorites (in no particular order).

Rowntree’s Randoms

I kid you not when I say these are the best gummies in the world. There is a large section of my suitcase being devoted to bringing these home in mass quantities. They literally are the most random shapes you could ever imagine (umbrellas, socks, alligators, ice cream cones, etc) and they have the best flavor. There are some that are just fruity, then some that are fruity with a marshmallowy bottom, and some that are kind of all marshmallowy (I don’t know how to describe these haha).

Aero Bar

I already described this above.

Kit Kat Senses.

Also above.

Cadbury Nibbles

These are little disks of chocolate that come either in milk, white, or dark chocolate or filled with caramel. The caramel are my favorite.

Starburst Choozers

These are like Gushers but they’re Starbursts filled with that gooey stuff. They have cool flavors like blueberry filled with lemon and mango filled with cherry.

Cadbury Twisted

A Cadbury Egg but in a cool twisty bar form. So basically more enjoyment for a longer time.

Now candy isn’t the only sweet thing here that I’ve fallen in love with.

*This deserves a drumroll*

CADBURY CRUNCHIE BLAST!!!!

The. Best. Ice. Cream. Bar. I. Have. Ever. Had.

The bars are honeycomb flavored ice cream covered in Cadbury chocolate that has popping candy in it (like Pop Rocks). You’re probably thinking this sounds weird, maybe disgusting. Don’t worry though, it’s normal to have these feelings at first. I did too. But then I took a bite. It’s a little piece of heaven.

Even our American fast food restaurants that they have here have cooler things. I haven’t had tried any of them yet but we’ve seen the menus/advertisements and it’s totally not fair. KFC has these awesome ice cream things called Krushems that look like Blizzards or McFlurrys and Burger King has ridiculously yummy sounding flavors of milkshakes. Will update on you when I try these.

Aaaaaand I made the best discovery the other day. There is a Krispy Kreme right around the corner from my school. Hollah!! I can officially move here now and not regret leaving any of my favorite eateries behind! And of course, they had better flavors here in addition to the originals. I had a Caramel Dreamcake donut, which is an amazing caramel filled, chocolate iced donut (they might have these in the states but in my 19 years of Krispy Kreme I have never seen them). Also on the menu: butterscotch fudge and coffee cream. Mmm

Update: just had the Butterscotch Fudge! It was like the chocolate ice creme filled donuts but the creme was butterscotch flavored. And there were pieces of caramel fudge on top. So yummy!

I hope I’ve made your mouth water at some point during this post and I promise I will continue to update you on my new sweet discoveries!

Random thoughts that didn’t individually warrant a whole post

We’ve figured out how people grocery shop in big cities!! They bring little suitcases so they can roll them home instead of lugging tons of grocery bags.

English people have weird flavors of chips. Prawn cocktail, bacon, roast chicken, and beef, to name a few.

I can’t find Ranch dressing in any of the grocery stores.

Laundry detergent is very strong scented here.

On a different note, the other day a couple was placing bets on whether I was British or American. This made me happy to know that it’s not glaringly obvious I’m American.

We went to the Portobello Film Festival tonight and let’s just say I could have found better things to do with my time. It was cool to go to a film festival but they were showing student films tonight and all I’m going to say about that is we are getting a really good education at Elon.

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