Monday, August 27, 2012

And Here We Go Again

    My life has clearly not been as exciting since being back from Europe. I took a break from blogging because I felt there wasn't anything to actually blog about after I had blogged about castles and cathedrals for so long. But I am glad to say I am back. Today was the first day of my junior year of college. Uh what? Is this real life? I am an upperclassman in college. I am pretty sure I was just a junior in high school. Not college. I am here though, going to BYU trucking a long. I can definitely tell that I have done all this before. I scrounged up a notebook this morning, looked at the building my classes were in right before I left, then accidently left the paper at home, didn't care because I would figure it out, I went to work (at 5:30am!), visited the temple, saw probably a billion people I knew on campus, did a few things for my major all before class even started. Now I am home for about an hour before I go out to FHE. What a day it has been and it is not even dark out!
    Well, anyways, enough of my first day of school. I know you all have been dying to know what I have been up in the past couple weeks even though it doesn't take place in Great Britain. Here is a little random recap:

 Portland. Vintage shopping. Voodoo doughnuts. 
 Nike Employee Store. A version of Heaven.
Bow and arrows with Kelsey. 
 A wedding.
A new Awful Waffle.  
 Starting my new job at the Law Library. 
 Costco trips.
 New cars and apartment complex with my cousin.
Pool parties in mansions. 
Getting my fish, Josh, back. 

Boating with some new and old friends.
Infamous first day of school picture. (After the long day might I add.)

Bring it on junior year!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Made It

Traveling is rough:
11:30pm Scottish time- go to bed.
3:30am- wake up.
4:30am- load bus.
5:00am- arrive at the airport in Glasgow and say goodbyes
6:00am- wait in line to check in for flight.
find out flight is delayed.
find out the plane hasn't even left the States.
find out our flight will be five hours late for leaving.
Around 7:00am to 1:30pm- wander around Glasgow airport.
sleep on a bench.
get some food with the voucher they gave us.
people watch.
1:45pm-board plane.
2:15pm- plane leaves.
watch The Lucky One.
watch The Avengers.
watch 30 Rock.
watch Hunger Games.
4:30pm Newark time- arrive.
4:30 to 6:00pm- go through customs.
welcomed into the US.
go through security.
leave phone at security,
run through the airport to get phone.
call my mom (phone works now!)
get parfait. 
6:10pm- board plane.
6:45pm- plane leaves.
listen to music.
9:45pm Portland time- plane arrives. 
jet way malfunctions and we are stuck a foot away.
get that fixed.
leave plane.
greeted by parents.
get luggage.
say goodbye to my traveling buddy, Mckenna.
10:30pm- leave airport.
11:00pm- arrive home.

Over 24 hours of traveling and hundreds of miles. I am home. 
From Scotland to Portland.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


    Not much to report for today. Which I knew would happen. I mean, we leave tomorrow. (I can’t believe we leave tomorrow.) And so we went to church, drove around Scotland’s countryside, visited Loch Lomond and checked into our hotel in Glasgow.  Packing was a high priority of the day. Most important Tetris game of my life. (Why did I buy some much!?) Kind of stressful because we have no scale, so who knows what my luggage weighs… I guess we will see tomorrow. (TOMORROW! I leave tomorrow. I think I am in denial.) 
    I know it is cliché but the only way to describe it is bittersweet. I have made friendships and memories that I know will last a life time. The big things like the castles, cathedrals and museums were important and really changed my perspective on the world. That aside, I don’t want to forget the little things. Card games like Moa, where Anne got a dozen or more penalty cards for “spreading germs”, randomly dancing in nearly every country we went to, hardcore parkour down the streets or England, watching Olympics, Dr. Eddington’s jokes over the microphone on the bus, Dr. Dewey always running everywhere, 360 degree photoshoots with Anne, buying so much chocolate and other crazy things we did. The trip really has changed me. Not in a way that those around me may notice, but I have seen a difference. My whole world has opened up. I know myself better, I know the world better, I think I understand life just a little bit more. Let’s just say, no one will understand all I have seen and done, and that is just fine. I realized this trip was about myself. I mean, when am I ever going to have a time like this again in my life? It has been so great. Survive and thrive is what Anne and I always said. It was tough, worth it, hard, awesome, crazy, and the best journey ever. 
 This is Caleb. He is my professors son and he is awesome.

Loch Lomond.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Scottish Ending

   The Fringe. I must be honest. I had not heard of this festival before coming on this study abroad. But apparently it is a pretty big deal. But let me explain what it entails to those of you who might not know! It is a four week long festival that happens every year in Edinburgh. It mainly happens along the Royal Mile with the Edinburgh castle at the end. There are many street performers out and then there are also shows going on in different venues. There is music, theatrics, comedies and pretty much anything you would want for entertainment. Some are free, some cost money it is just a big party. There is definitely always something to do and see. I honestly love street performers. I just love to be outside watching people make others laugh and smile and whatever. It is great. And can you believe it? The sun was shining! This is rare for Scotland and even rarer for the Fringe Festival. I was very thankful for it. So that is how I spent most of my day in Edinburgh. It was a great way to see the city.

   We ended the night with a bang. Quite literally with fireworks at the end. We went to the Military Tattoo. Okay, I must admit, this is another big deal which I had not known much about beforehand. This is a show that happens in Edinburgh on the weekends during the Fringe. The Edinburgh castle is the backdrop to the entire show. Let’s just say the beginning was the most Scottish thing I will ever see if my life. A hundred or more bagpipers come out to start the show. Kilts and all. It was awesome. I don’t even know how to describe what the entire Tattoo captures. Basically, it is a show that celebrates military from around the world in a military marching band type style. It was incredible. There were cool graphics that would be displayed on the castle. There was traditional Scottish music as well as the United States Navy performed a superhero type theme. Today was kind of our last real day during our study abroad and it was fun to go out with fireworks and Scottish music and a huge performance. And I am once again please to report that it did not rain, which is a definite plus because it is outside in grand stands. After the performance, Meg, Anne and I skipped, ran and laughed our way through the Royal Mile.

 Edinburgh is pretty cute. We did a little shopping before the Fringe.
 Olympics every day all day!
 Princes Garden.
 The Fringe and street performers are great.
 This is where J.K Rowling started writing Harry Potter!

Military Tattoo!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Beginning of the End

  We are now in Edinburgh. We are staying in a hostel on the Royal Mile. Which, will be pretty sweet but I won't have any wifi there so I am writing this from a Starbucks right outside of the Fringe Festival. Not too much to report for today. We are going to have a banquet to celebrate all our adventures. I am really looking forward to being with everyone. That and the food. It is weird that the trip is nearly over. We have been talking about this end of the trip banquet for what seems like forever and now it is happening tonight. Edinburgh is really the last big place we are going to for our trip. Crazy to think I'll ba back in America soon. It really is a bitersweet thing.

Pictures will have to be posted later. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Secret to Happiness

Okay, here is the recipe:
    Start off your day at a battlefield. Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to exactly be a battlefield but something epic, historic and a little frightening. But if you do decide to go to a battlefield make it Culloden. With your friends, pick different sides of the battle and do a reenactment. Prance through the fields and enjoy the view of Scotland. Now, make sure to take fun pictures of random things on the way to a mountain. Yup, a mountain. Specifically Caringorm Mountain. Just because it is kinda great. Next, climb and hike up the mountain. Make sure you enjoy the view on the way up. Take too many pictures of the same view, just because you can and it is beautiful. Scotland is breathtaking with wild beauty. Soak it all in. It is so untouched and mysterious.
    After taking your time on the mountain (which to remind you, is in the middle of nowhere, in Scotland) get some white hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream. Make sure it is in a cute little town and you are surrounded by your friends. Make your way to a farm now. Watch a demonstration of sheep dog training. This is a really impressive part of the day. The dogs and shepherd are incredible. Sit in awe while you watch the shepherd calls the dogs to go right, left, and around again with different whistles. Proceed this show by petting and feeding baby lambs. You may even get the chance to pick up a puppy or two. End your day by eating warm soup outside with your friends.
   But really, today was a great great day. Scotland is gorgeous. Simple as that. The hike we went on was spectacular. The pictures do no justice. We were surrounded by nothing but nature and the sounds of a quite stream. You could see everything around you for miles. Also, how can you be sad when holding a puppy? Or feeding a baby lamb at that! Such a perfect Scottish day. 
 The battlefield.
 On the way to the mountain.
The mountain.
The farm.