Christmas Vacay, Finally!

After much hassling from my uncle, eager for updates even though now I’m home and he can see me whenever he wants, I figured I’d write a bit about the last few weeks! The final couple of weeks were moderately stressful, but not near as stressful as for the students studying abroad for only a semester! They had to fit in final papers and tests among class attendance, QMUL only does finals in the summer so all of the study abroad kids had special arrangements! I did have one exam, but two classes I have to wait until spring to re-learn everything and get tested on it! So for now I’m between semesters, with only one paper to write over break. 😦 but it could be worse! On to more exciting things after the jump….

The last weekend I was in England (6-8th) I went up to Worcester to visit Rose from Duluth. I took the bus, which I should have researched more before doing, but it was so cheap (and only an hour longer than the train) that I impulsively bought my ticket! First of all, I got motion sick for the first time in my life. Those coach buses ride really high up, and that combined with the small, twisty turny roads got me good! I arrived in Worcester, and immediately realized something was wrong. The only things in sight were the bus station and a big rugby stadium. I was told by a friend that the bus drops off like 5 minutes from the train station, but I couldn’t even see where that would be! After calling Rose, we figured out that we had the spot wrong after all and I had to take a cab into town. Apparently some buses from London do drop off in town, but mine didn’t for whatever reason. So, my super cheap option suddenly ended up costing almost as much as the train would have! 

I got there pretty late on Friday night so we just stopped for a snack and headed to bed. Saturday we went on a bus ride (no motion sickness) to Birmingham to the Christmas markets. There were so many stalls! and SO MANY people! I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done, though! I also ate a reindeer burger…after waiting in line for 20 minutes and ordering an angus beef burger (which they advertised they had) I was told that they were out and only had reindeer or kangaroo. Reindeer it was! It tasted mostly like beef but a bit chewier. That night we walked around Worcester a lot, enjoying the quaintness of the tiny city, and stopped for a pint in a hip bar. We grabbed some Chinese takeout after and headed back for another reasonably early night! The next day we charity shopped a bit and I hopped on the bus for another mildly sickening ride back into London. As fun as it was in Worcester, I was so relieved to get back to my room that night! I had a test that day and finished another paper that week and I was home free!

I picked up some cool jam and horseradish as presents from Borough market that last week, but to my extreme displeasure and surprise, apparently those aren’t allowed in carry-ons! No pastes, gels, etc. So my nice Christmas presents will go to some lucky TSA family members! I thought my checked bag would be overweight so I put them in the carry on, and after my checked bag weighed in underweight I totally forgot to move them! 😦 In my defense, I had to wake up at 5:15 and take the tube for over an hour to get to Heathrow, so already I was a pretty exhausted traveler. But, that was the only problem I ran into in my 22 hours of travel, so that I can live with! No delays, cancellations, etc. which is especially great considering I missed the big storm in New York by a matter of hours! By the time I finally deplaned in Hibbing (a mere 10 minute drive to my house) it was 8:25 local time–2:25 London time! 21 hours of being awake! As an extra welcome home from mother nature, it was a brittle -21 Fahrenheit when I got back to the home state, too! Saying I slept well that night is a vast understatement. Still a bit messed up with the time though, I’ve been waking up earlier and earlier since I got home, this morning at 7:30! At least I wake up well rested! Maybe I’ll post about the wonderful (somewhat warmer now) Christmas in the beautiful Minnesota, to show all you foreigners and warm weather residents what a real Christmas is all about! 🙂

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