Sunday, September 7, 2008

A long, long way from Miami to L.A.

Heeeeelllllooooooo!!!!


I am sorry for my very long absence from the blog! It is kinda sad, but I have a hard time posting now, because my life isn't nearly as exciting. But the last few days I have felt SO much more alive and happy than I have in a while! I am doing school, and teaching 14 piano students, and I am SO busy, but nothing exciting is happening.


However, I did figure out that I have more friends at ASU than I thought I had! which is kind of a happy thing! Go figure, I have friends to sit, and walk with all the sudden, and I really like it! I have a new phone now, and I would love for people to call me, as I feel like a complete social hermit, and several of my friends proved it to me last night, and it is SO true!


I have a new goal though, I was driving to my family reunion (that's where the mud pictures below , are from) and I passed by these Cliff dwellings, and I wanted to stop and see them SO bad. I am going to go to the cliff dwelling this weekend or nest, anyone coming?


Kara



Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Love This BLOG!

Hello! I am in such a Wonderful mood right now. I officially have ONE week until I go home, and though I am completely heartbroken to leave my friends, and the beautiful country, and the wonderful adventure this has been, (oh, and the 65 degree weather!) I can't WAIT to get home! I am completely ecstatic because my mom is coming to see me, and we are going to spend the afternoon in London!


As I am sitting my room this evening, completely suffering because of hayfever, dieing to see my mom, relieved that I am almost done, happy to be going home, and thinking about my friends....something occurred to me.......I love this blog! Seriously? I don't know how it occurred to me, but it did! I am always thinking about this blog.... "ooo, I should put that on there" or "oh! I hope they read my blog!" This may be hard to believe, because I hardly ever update it, and because of the ever present spelling and grammatical mistakes, but it is true!


(Be ready for one cheesy moment! Just for you! )


So this is a thank you to you, dear reader. Thank you, for coming on this adventure with me, and thank you for your support, and your comments, and thank you for most of all, for being interested in me enough, to read the blog!


It is my intention, to keep the blog once I am home. Life will still be an adventure for me, I am sure of it. Whose life really isn't an adventure?


So, now that I am almost done, I feel that it would be appropriate to list some of the things I have learned here. First of all, though we may be across different cultures and believes, we are always more similar than we are different, sometimes, it just take a bit to find the similarities! Second, humility is strength, especially when it seems to be a weakness. Third, though Europe seems daunting, if you stick to crowded, well lit areas, you are always bound to find someone who will help, and they will probably speak English too :D Fourth, scary things, are fun....in the end, (this probably doesn't include traumatic things). Fifth, and the last, for now, because I could go on for quite a while....Facebook, isn't such a bad thing after all, right now I count it as a blessing, because I will be able to keep in touch with my friends here in England in the future years :D


For those of you in England, thanks for your friendship, thanks for sharing your country with me! and for those of you in America? see you soon!


Kara

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Land of the Little People!

For Erin, Lisa, and I, London and Paris were not enough! Along with cities such as Warwick, Worcester, Preston, Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birth/death place), and Cadbury World, we adventured to Ireland! My flatmates Olivia and Catherine came with us, and the five of us had an absolute blast!

Olivia's family is from Cork, and on the advise of friends we decided to not see Dublin and head towards Cork. we also wanted to see some of the beach, and so we spent a day in a little town called Kinsale. Kinsale was by far our favorite, and most of us agree that we wish we had spent a little more time there. The city is made of little winding streets with the cutest shops and pubs. We got to see some very beautiful scenery of the seaside, where old forts still stand, against the natural Greens and Blues of Kinsale.


It was fun traveling in such a large group. We had lots of fun times, and there was always something random happening, like trying to fit in the baskets that were underneath our beds in our hostel in Cork. :D

I think I do want to come back to Ireland someday, but like Italy, I would rather visit the small, quiet towns, rather than the big noisy ones :) Maybe we were lucky, but I really believe the Irish seaside to be some of the best!


Kara

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Tale of Two Cities!

My friends Erin and Lisa came to see me here in England!!!! We have done so many things this last two weeks. London, Paris, Church History sights, the Temple, Ireland, Warwick, and Stratford-Upon-Avon! and I have written a thing about it up here! Ah! I suppose there is nothing better, than to start at the beginning.

London and Paris!


We left for Paris on the train (that goes underneath the Channel) at 5:25 AM! Really the only reason we did London, was because we had to stay the night there. Though, we enjoyed the day, seeing the main sights of London, such as the London Bridge (which actually is NOT the pretty one, that is the "Tower Bridge") and Wicked! We left for the train station at 4:20 AM! it was the most Insane weekend, because we got no sleep, then crashed and got like 14 hours of sleep, and then got no sleep, and then crashed again, when we got home!


In Paris, we went on a free walking tour, and learned a lot about Notre Dame, The Piazza D'Republic (it has a different name now, which I can't remember) and Eiffel Tower, the French statue of Liberty, and all those other important things you see when you go to Paris.
Check Spelling
My favorite things are the things I listed above. Did you know, that the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night? I mean it! there are all these little white lights that just SPARKLE! It is the most incredible thing.
video

It was really good to travel with friends that I knew really well. We laughed really hard all weekend, and the last two weeks have passed really fast because of that and all the sudden, I am coming home in two weeks today!
Today, we are going to find something new, though we havn't decided what yet, So I suppose the rest will just have to come up later, but be sure to check!
Kara

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lickey Hills with the Flatmates!



Hello!!! Today I am in such a good mood. I am coming home in two and a half weeks and nothing could be better for me.....anyway more about that later. Here is an update on my adventure!
In the end of May-ish, George, Olivia, and I went to the Lickey Hills to find the Bluebells! and we did! We spent the majority of the day walking there because, the train station was quite a way, but it was beautiful day, with good company, and fun people! I always go crazy about the English country-side, and besides people, it is probably the thing I am going to miss the most. It is so green! but as an Irish man told me once "It should be green, they wash it four times a day!"
There is one more photo that I have to add, and I hope that I won't get in too much trouble :D but near the end of the day, we were getting into a very random mood, I am sure it had something to do with the ice cream we were eating, and how tired we were BUT George, and Olivia, made some amazing attempts to fly! Here they are!
Some day, when I have photoshop, and I know how to work it, there wil be amazing photos.

I also got to go see Darcy's house! From Pride and Prejudice! (With Amanda, Sam, and Cally) It was a good afternoon out. It isn't nearly as big as it looks, still big....just not as big. THEN when we went home, we all had a BBQ, and those were some of the most amazing burgers that I have had in a long time.

Lastly (for this post of course) Erin, Kim and I had a fun Kite flying day. Honestly, the kites never worked, and we were all very bummed about it. I put pictures on here of the highest we ever got the kite, and yes....that is the highest that Kim ever managed, about a foot of the ground.

There is SO much more hopefully coming in the next few days. Luckily for me, my friends Erin and Lisa came to visit me here, and they have been keeping me very busy!

Kara

Friday, May 9, 2008

ITALY!!!!

This was by far, my biggest trip yet, I went to Italy for TWO weeks! It was absolutely fantastic! Pam, took me with her, I felt so lucky to be traveling with her, she planned the whole thing, and she speaks fluent Italian, and had many friends for us to visit, and stay with! The basic outline of the trip was....

Ragusa
Taormina
Naples
Pompeii
Rome
Florence
Venice
Brescia
Como
Switzerland
Milan




Ragusa! Pam served here on her mission. It is little really tiny little city, built in the hills of Sicily. It looked completely different than I thought Italy would look! I really fell in love with it. I am so determined to come back someday, I even got a card for a really pretty hotel there! You can sort of see the city behind our heads in the photo of me and Pam. I had massive allergy issues while I was there, but I was SO excited about being in a new place, that I just kept going and going along with Pam! Something else I really enjoyed seeing were these stairs I have heard Pam talk about for years! She used to tell us stories of needing to hike these stairs every day. There are SO many of them, they just keep going and going and going! Oh! and I got several Real Italian meals! that, was awesome! three cheers for good food!




We only briefly stopped in Taormina, and we only stayed the night in Naples (though we did take to morning to walk around and see it) so then on to Pompeii, an ancient Roman city, that has been preserved because of a massive Volcano eruption!!!! We got to see, perfect roads, mosaics, buildings, public toilets and much more! however, this definitely wasn't the end of the Roman ruins we saw while in Italy!




ROME! Is exactly what I thought Italy would look like, and SO different than Sicily, it is not hard to see why I was so surprised at what Sicily looked like! Rome, was beautiful, and I got to see things I have dreams for YEARS about seeing, but it was too chaotic for my taste! Here are photos of me at the Trevi Fountain, we are throwing our coins in, to insure our return to Rome again someday! Also, the Mouth of Truth from Roman Holiday! For those of you who havn't seen it, it is supposed to bite your hand off, if you are a liar! oops!

The COLOSSEUM!, I was So excited to see it, you can tell I am going a little crazy in the photo there I was absolutely ecstatic, that is, until we were told that we don't get the Student discount, because we aren't member of the EU!!! We were upset about that for a full 10 minuets!!!!
oh! and we almost got robbed in Rome! but that is a story to be told in person, so be sure to ask me about it ;)
:D we went to the top of that Dome, you see in the Basilica there, and it was SO packed at the top (I included a picture, that is the one with all the people in it), we couldn't move for almost 1/2 an hour! It was frustrating! but, obviously we made it down because then it was off to....








Florence, and Venice kinda seem really similar to me in my mind.... Though TOTALLY different, I loved both. Venice is for sure my favorite city on the main land. The city is totally pedestrianized, you aren't even allowed to have bikes there! but really, with the number of bridges you have to cross over to get anywhere any form of transportation except walking, isn't very practical! We did do a gondola ride, which cost almost 100 dollars! I found the city just as Romantic as it is made to seem in the movies :) I had no Idiea that it was as bautiful as it was though. I felt like there was something pretty to take a picture of around EVERY corner! I couldn't put the camera away, as a result, everywhere I went I was blatantly screaming "I am a tourist!!!" with how many pictures I took! Venice is a lot like a maze, because maps were almost useless, because it took you too long to figure out WHERE you were, before you could finally decide which way to go! Seriously? you could have some sort of MASSIVE hide and seek game there, it was fantastic! In this picture I am feeding the pigeons! How fun is that? I really got a kick out of that, and it was only a Euro!


Next was Bresica! Then Como, where George Clooney lives! and no, we didn't see him, but we heard about him, and saw picture of him everywhere! Como, was very relaxing, just what we needs after way too much walking, and stress in too little of a time..... Como, sits right on the edge of Lake Como, and everything about it, is idealistic.... we actually drove into Switzerland for an afternoon, to see one of Pam's Friends! I got to see the Alps! They are the BEST mountains I have seen, since the last time I was in Salt Lake!


It was then off to home! well, sort of... On the way back, I got to see both sides of the English Chanel from the Plane window, which probably shouldn't have made me as excited as it did.... :D, but oh well!
So, there is Italy in a nutshell! Isn't it obvious that there is so much more I haven't told? I wish I could add about 5 times the pictures as well!
Until next time!



Thursday, May 8, 2008

March and April......oops :D

Hi my many (or not so many) family, friends, and fans......

So here is the idea for today's post. It has been MUCH too long since I updated, and I personally feel that I have a very good excuse..... :D but I am going to write a sentence about everyplace I have gone to since Wales, and then add just a few pictures..... sorry for the lack in updates.

My friend took me to see the "Monkey Forest" a sort of smallish zoo, that focused on a certain breed of monkey. It was amazing, there were monkeys everywhere and they would come adn sit down next to you, or walk along the path with you!!!
I then went to London, for one day to see Wicked with my friend Pam again. Wicked was fantastic, and London was beautiful, I really do love that city, even through the grime.....

Belgium was my next stop, random I know...My friend Lizzie, offered to take us (me and Kim) with her, as her dad was driving there to do business. I loved it, we got to take a ferry across the Chanel, an experience I didn't think I would get!!! Beautiful city, My favorite was the battlegrounds we visited, Ypres, and Waterloo!!!!!

Then to York for Easter! Sam invited me there way back in the beginning.... It snowed on Easter day! we were all positive that Mother Nature forgot WHICH holiday it was! Mistook it for Christmas, oh well close enough :). York is beautiful, and I now know exactly why Sam is so in love with that city. With it's Roman walls, the Shambles, and the Minster.... I was very pleased with our visit.

After that, my very good friend Matt came to see me, and we went to Warwick Castle! I quite enjoyed that, but even more, I liked Warwick city center, very "traditional" English, It is kinda what you imagine England to be like, even when you know in the back of you head that it MUST be more modern......oh, I am probably being confusing now.....

Then Bath!!! I just finished reading Persuasion, and we stayed in the White Hart Inn, that is mentioned in that book! How COOL is that?!?!? Bath, was gorgeous! I love that little city, My favorite was one night, we went looking for a place to see the lights from above (Bath is in a valley of sorts) and we found this little staircase leading to the PERFECT viewing place, all the churches all lit up and all the twinkling light.... it was to die for... Oh, and we also say Stonehenge while in Bath! Cool!!!!

Then London again, to show it to Matt, we also went and saw Le Mis! awesome!

After all that, I finally went home to recover! hahaha, but only for 3 days, and I was off to London AGAIN! I spent a week there with Pam, and then she and I went to ITALY!!!!!

OK, this is already a ridiculously long post, and Italy deserves SO much more time! I just might need to come back!!! dare I say it? I promise that it will be up in the next few days! Please check again soon!

Until Next Time, and more detail then, I promise!

I love to hear from ANYONE! after all this craziness, my life has taken a somewhat boring spell, so I am all up for writing emails to people!

Kara

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh, Dang........

Hiya!

I feel like it has been SO long since I have updated, because I am feeling very behind on everything that I have done since Wales.... I just wanted to post a little thing as an overview of it all. After Wales, I went with Kim to the Monkey Forest, near Stoke-On-Trent, then I went to London and saw Wicked, and then to Belgium to buy the chocolate, and then York for Easter and the to Warwick Castle, and LASTLY Bath, with a Mountain Man (yeah go ask the priest at the Roman Baths) . In other words.... I am going crazy here, but having fun doing it. A freind of mine, asked me if I was really going to school here, and I am starting to wonder the same thing..... shoot :)

Kara

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Room!


I have had several requests to show an update on my room. I have been working very hard on it. I hated it so much when I first moved in, I had no choice except to improve it. There was a poster fair at Uni, and I have been collecting things from all my trips ever since. My mom also sent my some things to help me with my situation..... I have to admit that I really love my room now, and I am glad to spend my time here. I have also included pictures of the kitchen, and the view from my window! And for you connivance I put an older picture of my room, so you can better see what it is that I have done!




Wales!!!

It is amazing to me the amount of pictures I allow myself to take. I get my camera out for 2 seconds, and the next thing you know I have taken 20 pictures! I have finally taken the time to sort my pictures into neat little files that make it really easy to find anyone picture that I am looking for, but it also overwhelms me to think that someday someone might want to hear about my England trip, and I will have to pick out just a few to show them. In the 2 months that I have been here, I have already taken more than 1000 pictures!!

This last weekend I went to Wales! My Friend Lizzie took me home with here for "Mum's Day." I am not sure why, but Mother's day is cecelebrated much earlier here, than it is in the US. I have a really cute picture here of Lizzie, she and I got to know each other really well, and I am SO glad that I got the chance.

My favorite activities were, the castle, the Museum of Welsh Life, and the Sea. I have gotten a lot more patient with the blogger, if you can't tell that I have added loads more pictures to this post, for your enjoyment of course. Caerphilly Castle, is one of the biggest castles in Wales, and I feel that it is beautifully preserved (not that I am an expert.) A lot of the castle is closed off to tourists, but we did get the chance to wander up one tower, and around the gates, and into the Great Hall. I have a picture here, where I am proving that I am Royalty...... The fireplaces in every room were HUGE!!! I couldn't believe the size of it, Santa Clause wouldn't need any of his magic to fit his entire sleigh in those fireplaces (though maybe not the chimney). I also really liked the windy staircases, I could never walk up and down those in a gown, but then again, castles really weren't places for ladies were they?


Then we saw this giant outdoor museum called the “Museum of Welsh life.” It was beautiful, basically houses from all around the country were taken apart brick by brick, and then were rebuilt all near each other, and restored to their original state, and supplied with furniture from the time period. I thought it was SO amazing to see these house that were HUNDREDS of year old, and the contents to match. I could go on and on for every about the school house, and this one red house, and the toll house(you had to pay tolls to walk on the roads, I have me looking a the toll sign, in a picture here), and the blacksmith, and the tannery, and pottery, just everything. The whole place was HUGE! I will expand on two of the things though. First of all, they took a block of miners lodging, (a row of two room room houses all built next to each other) and decorated each to a different time period, so you could see what they looked like from the day it was built until what it looked like right before they moved the buildings to the museum. I have some great pictures, I liked seeing how the houses changed through time, because they cover quite a large gap of time, like 200 years!!! The first has no indoor plumbing, and a large fireplace, while the last has a TV, and a bathtub! Secondly, the Manor house! That was neat. The man who owned it donated it to the “Welsh People” and all the land around it, and that is was is now used for the Museum. It wasn’t as big as I always imagine manor houses, but it was beautiful, and exciting to see, and imagine!!! The photo through the archway, was Lizzie's mom being "creative." I thought it was a beautiful photo. I also have a picture of SOME of the gardens. The entire garden was absolutely HUGE! but this one part made me feel like I was walking through Pride and Prejudice, and Much Ado About Nothing, and Everafter, all at once.
Lastly, the Sea! I have never seen a greyer scene in my whole life! And I guess I should be careful how I say that, because I am sure that it sounds almost like an insult! But I really don't mean it that way, it just WAS grey! Everything was! the sky, the sea, the sand, It was amazing. Here in this photo, I am trying to be as grey as the scene, hence the sad look on my face :)


I am very grateful to Lizzie on this trip, she made sure that I got into some of my own photos sometimes, which was very nice, I seem to get so caught behind the camera sometimes.

So there is Wales in a nutshell! I hope it wasn't too overwhelming!