Lovely London

I'm spending the semester at Regent's American College London. This is my documentation of the mundane and magnificent.

Running

by skylarhaubert

What a night. I let my friends talk me into going out on a Tuesday night. Tuesday nights are half off drinks at the Sports Cafe. Not gonna lie – it was a ton of fun. But:

1) We thought the cover charge started at 10 so we literally sprinted to the bar from the tube station in order to get there on time. Only to find out that you get in free until 11. Cool.

2) I decided to wear heels. My first mistake.

3) I have class at 9am so I wanted to leave before everyone else. This means walking home from Picadilly all by myself because the tubes are closed and I can’t figure out the buses. 

So I start walking home. For some dumb reason, I took the long way. (Pictured below)

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is 2.24 miles in these shoes:

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Feel my pain? Not only did I walk home…I ran all the way down Baker Street because I was freezing and, not to mention, about to pee my freaking pants. Yes, I ran. In those shoes. 

After I had already ran today for exercise, ran to the bar, and danced all night.

Did I mention I have class at 9am tomorrow? It’s currently 2:30am.

Goodnight.

P.S. Truly, it was fun. I’m basically only complaining because I’m an idiot and it’ll be a good story to tell. Lesson learned: heels are not our friends. 

 

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Homesick to the max

by skylarhaubert

I have literally been homesick this past week. I know I should be living the rest of my days in London to the fullest but, honestly, I’ve had a hard time getting out of bed. As if being without family on Easter wasn’t hard enough, I am now without family while they are grieving the loss of our Uncle Bob who passed in a farming accident last night. The sun is shining and it’s gorgeous outside but I want nothing more than to be with my family. Please pray especially for my cousins Courtney, Afton, BJ, and Derek who have lost their father. I cannot even begin to imagine that sort of loss. I love you guys.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still loving London. But I’ve hit the point where I’m ready to be home. I miss my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins; I miss my cat, my bed, my town and my boyfriend who I have yet to see in person. It’s tough right now but I know I’m never going to have this moment back. Home will always be there but this time, this day, right here, right now, is something that I will never get back. That message goes for everyone. Live for the moment you’re in – not for the past or for the future. Enjoy the now. That is one thing that losing someone always reminds us of: life is short. I don’t mean to sound cliche, it’s just the truth.

My mantra lately has been “YOU ARE HERE.” While traveling, I feel as though I’m constantly frantically scanning maps looking for those three comforting words that make me feel not so lost. It is a reminder that I tell myself daily. “You are here. You are living your dream of being in the city and being able to travel; to meet people, to see new things, to try new foods. You are who you are right at this moment and you will never be the same.” That is the sweetness of life. It comes and goes in ebbs and flows and we will never get this back.

The Boyfriend

by skylarhaubert

Before I blog about Ireland (which is becoming extremely belated), I should probably bring up what most of you are curious about. How in the world did I end up with a boyfriend from Elk Mound when I’m all the way in London? Beats me!

Actually, I do know how it happened – It’s called God’s great plan. 

If you remember back to my Scotland post, I wrote about meeting a kid named TJ from Eau Claire. It was a random coincidence – meeting him in the streets of Edinburgh while watching a magic show. No, TJ is not my boyfriend  – that would be too easy! God is way cooler than that and threw something at me that was totally unexpected.

I added this TJ kid on Facebook and it just so happened that we had quite a few mutual friends. I commented on something of his and a mutual friend saw this post and wrote, “Skylar, how do you know TJ?” This person started creepin on my FB page and ran across my blog. After reading it, he felt compelled to pray for me and so he innocently sent me a message telling me that I’d be in his prayers. How sweet, right?! Neither of us realized how God would build this friendship.

So this guy’s name is Matt. He went to Elk Mound and was a senior when I was a freshman. We never talked in high school and really didn’t know anything about each other. But we’ve just been Facebook friends all these years and now this mutual friendship with a kid I met in Scotland sparked a relationship that neither of us saw coming! 

Now, I promised myself I wouldn’t let this post get too mushy. So I won’t even bother telling you all how wonderful and perfect Matt is. But I can tell you this – he had the guts to look up Lloyd’s phone number and call him to ask permission to date me. If you don’t approve of a kid like that, I don’t even know what to say to you. (Grandma, if you’re reading this, I promise you’ll love him!) 

So basically it has been a crazy month of late night/early morning skype dates and a bunch of giddiness, topped with an overwhelming smile that seems incapable of leaving my face. 

That’s all, folks! 

Holland and Belgium

by skylarhaubert

I really got behind on this whole blogging thing but I’ve been a busy kid! I feel like spring break was the longest week of my life! In all honesty, I don’t even feel like blogging because I’m overwhelmed by how much I have to say! I’ll keep this one relatively short.

So not this past weekend, but the weekend before that, Abi and I set out for Holland with a busload of our classmates. We hit the road at 7am for a 12 hour bus ride (and a 2 hour ferry) to a little town in Holland called Monnickendam, just outside of Amsterdam.

Monnickendam is a cute little fishing town made of cobblestone and old brick houses. Abi and I spent some time exploring the streets and found an excellent place to stop for food. I had the most awesome tomato soup I’ve ever had.

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And then, just as we’re walking down the road heading back to our hotel, I had all my dreams come true. Not very many of you know this about me but I have an obsession with little things. I’m talking everything miniature – I love it! I spent my entire childhood building tiny intricate fairy houses. Well anyway, we found this store called Adventures in Miniatures where there is everything tiny you could ever think of! Tiny tables and chairs, tiny bathtubs, tiny clocks, tiny vacuums, tiny tools, tiny coffee pots, tiny beds, tiny fridges – I mean everything is smaller than an inch! Literally anything you can think of! I’m such a nerd. I won’t ramble about it any longer but it was freaking awesome!Image

 

Our whole group stayed in a little hotel on the marina. It was funny because it was a group of 80 college students and then a bunch of retired people…no one in between. So we chatted it up at the bar with a few old men. We met a man from Wales who thought it was “complete bullocks” that Americans can go to war at 18 but can’t have a drink until they are 21. They were very friendly and highly amusing. Being right outside of Amsterdam, they found it relevant to tell us lots of stories about growing up in the 70s 😉 I’m curious as to what they were doing there.

I wanted to stay in for the night so we could have a full day in Amsterdam the next day but I was convinced otherwise. A few friends and I caught a bus into the city center and went exploring. Amsterdam was an adventure, to say the least. I really like the city but more than a weekend of it would be too much to handle, I think. We spent all of Saturday in the city too. It was cold and rainy all weekend! Yuck! I don’t have much to say about Amsterdam except bikes on bikes on bikes. Man! Those bikers are vicious! Oh, and canals. Lots of canals. And weed; the city reeks of it. Anyway, it was a one time deal. I’m glad I went, just like Paris, I feel no need to go back.

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On Sunday we headed for home but made a pit stop in Brugge, Belgium for the afternoon. I think I’ve said probably 15 times this semester, “OH! I WANT TO LIVE HERE!” But it’s true! I could totally see myself living in Brugge. It’s so dang cute! Instead of taxis, they have horses and carriages to take you around town. No joke!

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The cobblestone streets weave are lined with lots of fun shops with food, antiques, and jewelry. We didn’t know what to do with four hours in Brugge so we figured we had better cross two things off our list – Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate. YUM!

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So basically, the weekend synopsis: long bus ride, old men, tiny things, bikes and bikes and more bikes, canals and more canals, waffles, and chocolate. Can it get any better than that?

Oh yes, it can! stay tuned for details on my week in Ireland!

Mom’s Visit

by skylarhaubert

(Sorry this one is out of order – it should be above “Holland and Belgium”)

After our visit to Holland and Belgium for the weekend, my mom flew into London! It was so good to see here! I picked her up at the airport and stood where all the taxi men stand holding up their signs – I made a sign for her that said “MOM.” Clever, I know.

Her first night here we went and saw Les Miserables and the Queen’s Theater! It was a wonderful production. I was really impressed with some of the visual choreography and the set – a little less impressed with the vocals. In my opinion, the movie is way better. But in retrospect, seeing the play actually gave me more appreciation for the film!

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The next day I showed my mom around London a bit. I felt like we were really rushed and didn’t get a chance to see much. However, we were able to spend a lot of time talking and catching up over lunch. I showed her Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. (I have yet to see the changing of the guards! Maybe this weekend?)

That night me, mom, and Abi went to the Lumineers concert which was one of the highlights of my entire semester. We got there super early so we could be up front and center and we succeeded! I’d say we had a pretty good view…

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This definitely makes the list of one of top three concerts I’ve ever been to. They were so good live! When they sang “Ho Hey” they all came and sat at the very edge of the stage and sang it without microphones – it was a beautiful moment. I felt like they were just singing to me! Anyway, nothing can really describe this concert. You’d have to experience it yourselves. This might help:

And this isn’t the exact video of Ho Hey, but it sounded just like this with no mics and the whole audience singing:

Abi and I think we’re getting pretty good at this whole traveling thing so we didn’t find it necessary to pack for a week in Ireland until AFTER THE CONCERT! What were were thinking?! I think we got about 2 hours of sleep because we had to be at the airport at 8am the next day.

To be continued…

God is cool, guys!

by skylarhaubert

Okay, so a whole lot more than “cool” obviously. 

Over the past two weeks God has been answering some awesome prayers. I was feeling pretty lonely – in a spiritual sense – over here. I had been praying for Christian friends to talk to and, as always, God provided in a totally unexpected ways. 

I just want more of God all the time. I want to seek more, learn more, and feel more. I can’t get enough of Him. I’m falling more in love every day. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those of you who have been praying for me. You will all be blessed immensely, as I have been praying for you as well. 

Life is good. God is great.

Just a little update since I haven’t blogged in awhile: It was midterms week this week so Abi and I have been working our butts off. But it will all be worth it Friday when we make our way to Holland and Belgium! Then my mom is coming to London on Monday for two days and we’ll be off to Dublin. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all my adventures. After that we still have a few trips planned – time is running out! For a few weeks I’ll be staying put in London and getting visits from a friend studying in Spain and a friend studying in Ireland. Then Abi and I are going to Vienna, Austria and Barcelona, Spain in April. The last weekend, Aaron and friends will be making their way down from Scotland for a weekend. Exciting as always!

Here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks:Image

 

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Yes, I actually go to school here!

by skylarhaubert

Believe it or not, I’m actually doing homework. I know that London sounds like all fun and games; in Elena’s words: “I feel like all you do is travel and take pictures.” Well, yes, that is basically what I do. But this weekend is dedicated to midterms – paper writing, studying, portfolio making, presentation preparations, and more paper writing. Yikes! Other than a few poems for my creative writing class, I haven’t had any homework until now! What a way to be snapped back into reality. 

In more exciting news, after this week of midterms I’ll be headed off to Holland and Belgium for the weekend! Then my mom will be coming to London for a few days before we head off to Dublin for the majority of spring break. Hard work pays off 😉

I just can’t believe that it’s midterms already! Where does time go?! I’m not nearly ready to come home yet. I’m already planning my next big adventure after this one – you know me, always running after the next best thing. 

Although traveling is massacring every penny to my name, I am still having the time of my life. The weather in London is gorgeous! So sorry for all of you stuck in the snow. This week has been mostly 50’s and sunny. LOVE IT! Abi and I have both been on a running spree; how can we not be with this weather?! I’m so glad I live in a park. Maybe I’ve said this before, but the grass and the trees in Regent’s Park are my saving grace from this cement slab of a city. The park is about a 3.5 mile loop to run around, if you include Primrose Hill (which is a butt kicker!) Side note: there is absolutely not a thing in this world more motivating than two cute British boys catching up to you on your run to ask in a beautiful accent, “How’s your run going, my love?” 

Now I’m just blabbing. Can you tell I’m suppose to be writing a paper? I honestly can’t complain about homework though. My art history essay was a summarization of the impressionist paintings we’ve been studying in multiple galleries around London throughout the semester. My history paper is on prehistoric London – research entailed a trip to the London Museum to view the ‘London Before London’ exhibit. Tomorrow I’m going to the  Tower Bridge area with my camera to try capturing evidence of 15th century London for a presentation on Tuesday. But homework is homework…blah…and it happens to be calling my name right now. Later gators.