Sunday, May 22, 2011

I survived the rapture!

And if you're reading this, my guess is you did too!

In 5 days I will be leaving London and returning to the United States. I am so excited to get home. A year is a very long time. In the meantime, though, I have 5 days to finish studying, take my London in Literature exam, and pack everything up into 2 suitcases and a carry-on, and make sure that neither suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds. I'll also be donating everything that doesn't fit into the suitcases or that I don't want to keep.

It's been a very long year and I'm so excited to get back to the United States (and especially to my beloved New Orleans!). I am now able to read Chaucer in the original middle English and analyze it, although I'm not sure why you'd ever want to do that. I also know my way around a pretty good portion of London and apparently look British enough for people to stop me and ask for directions All.The.Time. Seriously, when Jerome visited, he said it was like I had "tour guide" written on my forehead. I got to travel and see Copenhagen, Prague, Paris (twice!), Edinburgh, and Berlin. Oh, and I can communicate with Parisians in French!

Not much left to do here. I'll be eating last meals at a couple of my favorite places and on Thursday, I'm picking up some macarons from La Duree for my flight back to Chicago. Yes, I'm going to eat macarons on my flight. It's an 8 hour flight, I deserve some awesome sugary-ness :).

If anything particularly interesting happens, I'll update, but as of now, you can consider this my last post on the blog. 5 days until Chicago and 24 days until I head to NOLA! 

Princess Emily <3

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Halfway There

I am officially halfway done with my exams. Exactly two weeks until my last exam, 15 days until I leave for Chicago, and 34 days until I'm back in New Orleans (and staying there for the foreseeable future!). Today was the 6-hour Chaucer exam. Yes, you heard that right. 6. Hours. Long. On the plus side, though, if you had told me a year ago that I would be able to analyze Chaucer in the original middle English, I never would have believed you. Granted, I still couldn't tell you WHY I would ever want to be able to do that, but that's not really the point now, is it?

So, here is just a sample of what I spent the last 6 hours doing. I kept the camera pretty far away since I wasn't sure if I'm allowed to put the exam online yet.

Just two exams left. I have Modern English Language in the morning, which means that as soon as I am done taking a break/eating dinner, I need to get back to studying. Hopefully, my brain will have resumed functioning by that point. And then, I have two weeks until my last exam, London in Literature. For now, though, I am going to wander around online and not think for a little bit :)

In other news, I finally managed to go on a Jack the Ripper tour last weekend! I've been attempting to go on one all year, and things kept getting in the way, but I finally made it happen. And it was pretty awesome. It was so cool to be in the same places where all of it happened. Yes, I know that's a little morbid, but I can't help being fascinated by it.

Alright, my brief period of functioning has just ended. I cannot think of anything else to write, so I'm just going to stop here. Have a great afternoon/night/whatever time of day it is where you are when you're reading this. I'm going to go read about pretty dresses and makeup and anything that doesn't require brainpower.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some good news!

First up, I am now a member not only of the class of 2012, but also of the class of 2013! I have been accepted to the 4+1 Masters program in English at the best university ever, my beloved Tulane :) It's a little crazy to think about, as I don't feel like I'm old enough to be getting an M.A., but I'm so excited and I get to spend another year studying literature at Tulane, and graduate two years in a row lol.

In other news, I finished my first final exam here in the UK. One thing that is annoying is that you can't just leave when you're finished, the way you do in the United States. Instead, they make you stay for the entire three hour exam period, and then collect all the exams exactly at one and THEN you can leave. I've always been really fast as taking exams, and so it's really annoying to me to sit there and wait for the exam period to actually end before I can go. Oh well, there's only a few more. Chaucer is going to be death, though, seeing as they're doing it the same way and that's a 6 hour exam.

My first exam was Modern Period I, which meant I got to write all on authors I'm obsessed with: Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I wrote about forms of pleasure in Wilde's work, complex interrelations of everyday life for Woolf, and the way that narrators perform character analysis in Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I'm pretty happy with my essays, but I have no idea how hard they grade here, so we'll see. I can only hope for the best. But I've already been accepted to grad school, so my future plans are set anyway, which is awesome :)

Next exam is on Thursday, and it's the evil 6-hour Chaucer exam. Then on Friday, I have Modern English Language, and then a two week break to study for my last exam, London in Literature on the 26th.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Future Trip

"I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I woudl lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life." --Basil Hallward (The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde)

Oscar Wilde is always good for a little inspiration :) Someday, I want to follow Basil's advice, and take a trip without telling anyone where I'm going (of course, I'll tell someone where I am, just for safety reasons, but other than that, it'll be a secret). That would be such an interesting sensation to be somewhere, and yet no one else knows where you are.

I have a few places on my list (all US locations), but revealing those would ruin the whole fun, wouldn't it? And so I'll return to studying. It's Virginia Woolf today, and I've become slightly obsessed with her since getting here, so a whole day devoted to her is pretty exciting :) But before I go, I'll just leave you with a travel-themed poster that I've fallen in love with recently. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

All the World's a Stage

Yes, I am going to title my post about the Globe Theater with a cheesy line from Shakespeare :) It's my blog and I can do what I want.

The Globe Theater is one of the few things in London that I actually like. Considering the fact that the last time I was there, I got heat stroke and stubbornly refused to leave (much to my parents' chagrin), you wouldn't think that was the case. But it's just so much fun and manages to blur that line between being touristy and being an actual piece of British history and culture. Because I saw Antony and Cleopatra (a tragedy) last time, I decided that this time, I would see a comedy. Thus, All's Well that Ends Well! I have never read it, and so I really didn't know what it was going to be about, but it was really good! Although, it was a bit more serious than I was expecting.

I was a groundling, which meant that instead of having a seat, I was standing in the yard. Really, it's the only way to see a play at the Globe :) I was right up against the stage until intermission, when I decided to go stand in the sun and warm up during the second half. Skirts kept brushing against my hands and I had to lean back a couple of times to avoid being hit by the sword scabbards. It was awesome!

No more talking, I promise. Here are a couple pictures I took!

I hope everyone's had a great weekend, and is enjoying May Day!
All my love,

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Berlin has officially made its way onto the list of places I need to go back to. I. Love. Berlin. I really don't think I can emphasize this enough. It was sunny and warm, and the city just has its own personality. So often when you visit a city, it's cool but looking back, it could really be any city around the world. Not Berlin. When you are there, you are constantly aware that you are in Berlin, because it has such a unique, all-encompassing culture and style. Plus, there's just so much to see! I need to go back and see all the museums on Museum Island, go into Parliament, see the concentration camp, and check out some of the more...unique museums, the Currywurst Museum for example (currywurst is a Berlin speciality; basically, it's sausage in a ketchup/curry sauce).

I went to Berlin over Easter weekend, which meant that for a good portion of my trip, I was following lent rules, which included the fact that I had given up meat. I do not, repeat DO NOT recommend attempting to be vegetarian in Berlin. Basically every specialty is meat based, and when the food smells and looks as good as it does, it's painful to not be able to have it. Fortunately, they're also really good at making soft-serve ice cream :)

The first day I got there, I went on an alternative city tour, where we saw tons of street art (aka graffiti). We also learned about squats and about the techno music in Berlin. It was a great tour and it was really neat to hear the stories behind the art that basically takes over the entire city.

The next day, I visited Potsdamer Platz, went to the Panorama for a great view of the entire city, Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate, and Tiergarten. It sounds like a lot, but they're all really close to each other, so it was reasonable to see all of them. Pariser Platz was soooo touristy, but it was really funny with star wars characters, and actors dressed as soldiers (and a gorilla at one point). I also got my "passport" stamped by a border guard.

The next day Lizzy showed up! We went to a traditional German market for lunch, followed by the DDR museum exhibiting life in socialist Germany. We ended the day with a trip to a carnival I had seen being set up outside the Brandenburg Gates and a walk through Tiergarten.

 Riding in a trabi, a typical East German car :)

 The last day was Easter, and also the day of our free tour! Along with seeing a ton of other things, we stopped by the Holocaust Memorial and got a chance to walk through it. The artist specifically refused to say what it was supposed to mean, so that the viewer could interpret it for themselves. In honor of that, I'm not going to say anything further about it, and just put up some photos.

We then went to mass at St. Hedwig's Cathedral. At about 45 minutes, it was definitely the quickest Easter mass I've been to. Those Germans are efficient! We then went to dinner, where I finally got my wienerschnitzel! I'm going to finish this post with a photo of the most amazing beer I've ever had, Berliner Weisse, which is light beer with raspberry syrup. Soooo good.
Now I just need to make some plans to get back there! First, though, study Oscar Wilde in preparation for my Modern Period I final on Friday. It's coming up fast!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's inspiring me today

Yes, this is a bit of an unusual post, but I just wanted to share a few of the things that I'm loving today (and that are distracting me from the mountains of papers I still need to study lol).

Ranunculus, my favorite flower
Paris Flower Market (I should have bought some, just 6 euros!)

Cutest postcard ever via Colette Paperie

Style inspiration for the summer via Anthropologie

The perfect summer necklace via tamar

And fantasizing about a trip to Jamaica where I could wear summer clothes :)
Warmth and beaches sound really nice right now.

Well, back to studying now! Have a lovely day everyone.
<3 Emily

Monday, April 18, 2011

Versailles {and my top 10 reasons to love Paris}

I spent the majority of last week in Paris with my mom and grandma. It was a great trip, but I'm not really going to do a recap of it here, as I've already written a post on a Paris trip and this would be extremely repetitive. I will, however, talk about one of the places I went on this trip that I didn't have time for over my birthday weekend.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, that place is the Chateau de Versailles, one of my favorite places in the entire world. I have now been there three times (maybe four) and each time, I fall in love with it a little bit more and discover something new. Those are the same hallways that Marie Antoinette walked, and the same gardens that she spent her time in. It's like stepping back in time to one of the most opulent, extravagant eras of French history. But to see the Place de la Concorde, the former location of the guillotine, the next day, brings me straight back down to earth, as a memory of the poverty that was just outside those gates and of the reign of terror that followed. But today is about the beauty that is the chateau! This is going to be a very picture heavy post, as I believe the pictures speak for themselves. So, enjoy the glory of Versailles :)

I also promised a list of my top 10 favorite things about Paris! Oh, how I love list-making.

1. Marie Antoinette: Seriously, you could just have a Marie Antoinette themed vacation (that’s not a bad idea, actually…), and as most of you know, I’m just slightly obsessed with her. So yeah, she gets the #1 spot on my list J
2. An authentic croque-monsieur: my favorite sandwich ever. Yes, it’s pretty much a glorified ham and cheese sandwich, but somehow the French manage to make it so much more than that.
3. The architecture: I don’t know how it works, but Paris manages to be breathtakingly beautiful even in bad weather. The roofs of Paris against an overcast sky, everything draped in a thousand shades of cozy gray…it’s just gorgeous.
4. Croissants and fresh bread: need I say more?
5. Joan of Arc: not only is she the coolest saint ever, leading an army and driving the British out of France at the age of 16, she also happens to be my confirmation saint, and I love seeing statues and paintings of her everywhere!
6. Macarons: The only reason they didn’t make it higher is because I can get Laduree in London, but still. I choose to believe they taste better in France lol.
7. Gardens: My free tour on Wednesday took us through the Tuileries, which used to be the site of a royal palace. Now, it’s a gorgeous garden. I love how well-designed and maintained French parks and gardens are. It just feels glamorous to sit in one.
8. Montmartre: Some of the best and most unique shops are out here, along with tons and tons of artists who will draw your portrait (sometimes for a very hefty cost). If you’re ever in Paris, definitely set aside a day to get out there and just spend a few hours wandering around.
9. Crepes: My advice, get a banana and caramel crepe from one of the vendors next to Notre Dame and eat it while walking around the square people-watching. Sooooo delicious and a great way to spend an afternoon.
10. Being able to use my French: Although I’ve stopped taking French classes, I still love the language. It makes me feel so accomplished and happy when I’m able to speak to people in French and carry on a conversation. I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but for a few days, it’s really fun!

Oh, and just because I don’t like following directions, even my own, here’s one more.

11. The fact that about half my list is made up of food: How did one country get such a monopoly on good food? That’s just not fair. It was so sad to go back to London food.

Paris, I miss you already. Just one more photo for good measure. See my facebook page for more Paris goodness!

Je vous aime,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's so quiet...

Here in the UK, we are on break until May. Yes, in the middle of the school year, British students get an entire month of to study for finals. And then they get a month and a half to take their finals. And they complain that they just don't have enough time to study. I try to put things in perspective for them when I can, telling them about the fact that at Tulane, our study break is two days over the weekend, and we then have 8 days in which to take 4-6 finals. They usually come back with "but our exams are 3 hours", to which I reply "ours are 4 hours" and smile. At that point, they have no response and, hopefully, realize how generous (if a little absurd) their study time is.

So, because we're on break, most of the UK kids have gone home, which means that my dorm is suddenly very, very empty. It's kind of weird how quiet it is. I actually like it, since there's no one running up and down the halls screaming at 3 in the morning, but it's a little strange to be able to walk through an entire dorm and not see another person. Breakfast and dinner are really quiet and empty now, too, and will get even more so once the affiliates start traveling. Basically, the point of this post is that it is just really, really quiet around here. Not going to lie, it's a little creepy.

In other news, only 10 days left until I go to Paris to see my mom and grandma! We'll also be celebrating Mothers Day while I'm there. In the UK, Mothers Day is on April 3, but in the US it's on May 5. So, since I won't see my mom for either one, we're moving it! Mother's Day will now be taking place on April 8. I am so excited for this trip to Paris, and especially to see Versailles! It's my favorite place in Paris, and one of my favorite places in the world.

That's all for now. I need to get back to studying. Love and miss you all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I miss Jerome!!

The best brother in the ENTIRE WORLD came to visit me last week and I miss him already :( We had a great week and got to see Edinburgh, which is an amazing city and I highly recommend it to anyone who's planning on going to Europe.

Day 1 of Jerome's visit (which was technically day 2, but he got in so late on Saturday that I'm not counting it as a day).
We went to go see The Tower of London, which is one of my favorite places in London. It's got such a huge, colorful history, and the tour guides are always really passionate about the subject, and really funny. Our guide had such a dry, British sense of humor. It was seriously amazing. We also got to see the crown jewels, which are stunningly beautiful (sorry for the lack of photos, but cameras aren't allowed into the building). I do have a picture, though, of Jerome and I front of the Tower!

That night, we went for pizza at my favorite pizza place in London, which is conveniently located a few blocks from my dorm :) It's really awesome, so Mom and Grandma, if you're reading this, just letting you know that at some point, we need to eat at Italiano Coffee Company, or ICCOs, for short.

Day 2:
On Monday, I had class in the morning, so Jerome got to sleep in a bit. We then packed and headed out to Gatwick Airport to fly to Edinburgh. It was a short flight, and, as promised, it was really easy to find our way out to the hostel. I have been fortunate enough to have yet to stay in a bad hostel. The one in Copenhagen was very cute and quaint, the one in Prague was large and, as I was the only person in a 6-person room and the architecture was very ornate, it felt pretty glamorous. This hostel was really artsy and colorful. It was definitely designed for young backpackers. Here's a photo of my favorite mural and one of the stairwells.

That night, we got drinks in the bar in the hostel. Yes, our hostel had a bar. It also had a small cinema, kitchen, board games, and an oversized chess set.

Day 3:
The morning of Day 3, we went to Edinburgh castle. We got there a little early, so we spent some time looking around a kilt store which had an exhibit on how kilts are made. After that, we made our way to the castle and looked all over it. It was a rainy day, so it wasn't as gorgeous as it could have been, but it was still really neat to see. There was a definite military focus, and we looked around a prisoner of war exhibit, but they also had the crown jewels of Scotland on exhibit, which of course I was all over. A few photos, of course :)

We spent a couple of hours there, and then made our way down to Grassmarket, where we got lunch at a pub. Jerome ordered haggis which he loved. I tried it too, although I couldn't order it myself since I gave up meat for lent, and it was actually pretty good! We also visited an illusion museum, which was really fun and crazy. Every floor blew my mind. Seriously, if you are going to Edinburgh, make sure to go to the Camera Obscura! That night, we went on a ghost tour. I've been on a lot of ghost tours, and I can honestly say this was among the best. They took us down into the vaults, which was pretty terrifying, but in a really good way. Mercat Tours come highly recommended (from me, anyway) :)

Day 3:
Sadly, this was our last day in Edinburgh. We started it with a free tour around the city. I love doing these tours. I took the one in Prague, now I've done the one in Edinburgh, and I will definitely be going on the tour in Berlin. Our guide walked us around, told us some stories and pointed out some really neat things, like the heart of Midlothian that has been put into the sidewalk in Old Town.

We then got lunch and headed back out to London. We got in pretty late, and went straight to bed so that I could get up early the next day and get to classes.

Day 4:
I had classes all day, so Jerome was on his own for the majority of the day. I drew him a map in the guide book and sent him to Westminster. I can't really speak for him, but he seemed to have a great time, and said he found somewhere pretty good for lunch. We met up at 4, once my classes were all over. Jerome got a chance to rest after his hours and hours of walking, and then we went to Chinatown for dinner. We spent the rest of the night just hanging out in my room, and packing Jerome up a bit so we had less to do the next morning.

The next morning, Jerome left London :( I didn't really do much that day, besides mailing in my application to the 4+1 Masters program in the Tulane English Department. Sunday, though, was my spa day. I got a massage and facial. I also got access to the steam room and sauna, which was wonderful. I really needed the heat. It made me a little bit less homesick. I also got a deal in the restaurant, and had one of the most delicious meals I've had in a long time. The first course was a salad with a red pepper dressing, candied walnuts, and cubes of deep-fried brie. The second course was fettucine and homemade pesto sauce. Soooooo good!

Alright, I'm rambling now, so I'm just going to end this now. I'll update again soon with how I've been spending my time off, as I'm now basically done with classes and don't have finals until May.

Emily <3

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My thoughts on Ash Wednesday

I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to post this, but I figure, it's my blog, I can post whatever I want, because I'm spoiled like that :)

I just want to preface this by saying, I am not a crazy religious fanatic :) I just happen to really like Ash Wednesday, because I'm weird like that.

In the Catholic church, yesterday was Ash Wednesday. It is the start of the Lenten season, which reminds us of Jesus's suffering for 40 days in the desert, and his crucifixion. It also happens to be one of my absolute favorite Catholic traditions. That may sound weird. It's a day to talk about suffering, and to get your forehead covered in ashes by overenthusiastic priests so that it takes forever to scrub them off. And that's all true, but there are a few things that I love about ash Wednesday.

1. I love the ashes. I don't like how difficult they are to get off, but I love the fact that it's an outward symbol of my faith. For everything that bothers me about the Catholic church (their views on homosexuality and abortion and the barring of women from the priesthood, for starters), I still tell people that I am Catholic and am proud to be a member of the church.

2. I like the sermons. Typically, the focus is not really on suffering. Rather, as the sermon was this year, the focus is on prayer, fasting, and alms-giving, particularly alms-giving. It is emphasized that nothing you do, none of your prayers or your fasting, means anything if you don't do some sort of charity. Religion means nothing if you don't give of what you have to those in need. And that's one of the things that makes me love religion. At its basis, Catholicism is about love, and about giving everything that you have to show that love to other people. And Ash Wednesday is a reminder of that responsibility and promise.

3. I like the history and the ritual. This shouldn't really come as much of a shock, but I love traditions. I like knowing that I'm a part of something that's been going on for generations. And so I love the ritual of Ash Wednesday- the fact that they have been doing this for over a thousand years, and have been using the same words (albeit in different languages). It's a reminder of the cyclic nature of time, and I find it very comforting and soothing. I like knowing that I can count on this happening every year, and can count on the reminder that "from dust you have come, to dust you shall return". The way I take it, it's a reminder that this is just life, don't take it too seriously :)

So, that's my unnecessarily long post on why Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite Catholic holidays. Oh, and what have I given up for lent? Once again, I have given up meat. I did this same thing last year. I'm really bad about remembering not to eat meat on Friday, so I figure that if I just give it up the whole time, I won't forget on Fridays! lol :) It works pretty well for me!


Done!...For now, anyway :)

I have finished my last paper for the term! I also had my last tutorial EVER. Yes, they grade papers really quickly around here. It's really nice to be able to get a grade within a matter of hours of turning a paper in, but at the same time, it's annoying to know that I work on a paper for days, and they take one hour to read it. Anyway, my final paper was on the use of plot in the works of Virginia Woolf and I finally got my A! An official, British A, not a grade that will be an A once it's translated. Basically, my tutor loved the paper. I won't go into the details of what I wrote, since I'm pretty sure that would bore you all to tears and I love you a little bit more than that :P.

So now, I'm basically done with all my work until I need to start studying for finals. And on that note, I have a tentative exam schedule. It's not finalized, so things could change, but the chances of anything changing are minimal. As it stands, Modern Period I is on May 6, Chaucer is on May 12, Modern English Language is on May 13, and my last exam, London in Literature is on....May 26. Just about 2 weeks after the rest of my exams. Seriously. It's a bit annoying, but what are you going to do? And considering that the last English exam overall is on June 3, it could have been worse. I'll still get out a week earlier than we were planning on.

What have I been doing recently? It's been a while since I last put up an entry, but to be honest, I haven't done a whole lot. This paper has pretty much consumed my life. But I did get to do something pretty awesome on Tuesday :) As some of you may know, Tuesday was International Women's Day (it was also Mardi Gras, but I'm not going to discuss my bitterness in that regard), which meant that it was also the day of Women for Women International's Join Me on the Bridge Campaign. The campaign basically involves people all over the world marching to various bridges chanting for equality, justice, and equal rights. The day ends up being about millions of people all over the world standing together for women's rights in every country. It was really incredible and inspiring, not to mention fun! We got our faces painted and got really soulful with one of the chants. I also found out about a new organization that I'd like to get involved with back in the United States (I'll explain in a minute). So, I think that's enough explanation. I'll just attach some photos!

Oh, and that's Annie Lennox in the last picture, just so you know :)

One last note of awesomeness, the most amazing brother in the entire world is coming to visit me (and go to Edinburgh) on Saturday! That's right, Jerome and I will be taking on Edinburgh next week! Be on the lookout for awesome photos. I can't even express how excited I am :)

Love y'all

P.S. New organization I've found: Some of you know that I'm really interested in the idea of midwifery. It ties into my interest, as a gender studies major, in motherhood and childbirth- hence why I'm combining my two majors into an honors thesis on the representation of motherhood in American southern literature. So, one of the groups that was marching in Join Me on the Bridge was The White Ribbon Alliance. They advocate safe motherhood around the world, and one of the things they focus on is increasing the number of midwives. They have a branch in the US and I'm really excited to find out what sorts of things they do over there :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

And now, my trip to Prague!

Alright, so I'm going to attempt to get caught up on this blog, starting with my trip to Prague. First lesson learned, doors in Prague are difficult. I'm not sure why that is, but they don't like to open, or close, or lock, or be unlocked. It made for some entertaining moments over the four days that I was there.

I got in late at night on Saturday, and was immediately greeted by my shuttle driver and his wife (who were both crazy adorable, btw). He drove me out to my hostel, which was pretty incredible! There was a beautiful stone stairwell that I got to walk up everyday and the doors and ceilings were so ornate. I also ended up having an entire 6 person dorm room to myself most of the nights that I was there, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Basically, the lesson here is that if you ever go to Prague, stay at the River Bank Hostel!

I met up with Lizzy that night, and we hung out for a bit (after getting dinner at McDonald's. I know, but I hadn't eaten all day and it was the only thing that was open that late), and then I went back to my hostel and got some much-needed sleep. On Sunday, we went to the top of Petrin Hill to see the mini Eiffel Tower, and climbed about halfway up it to get some really cool photos of Prague.

We then wandered around Kampa island, which was an adorable little town with some great shops, before heading over to the Czech Museum of Music. At the museum, they had a special exhibit on the Beatles, which was really cool! Trust me, I'd show you pictures if they had let me take them. They had one display in there where you could experience "beatle-mania". You step into a small enclave surrounded by photos of screaming fans and after a second or two, the room erupts into shouts and screams. It was really cool, but terrifying if you weren't expecting it to happen! The rest of the museum was gorgeous, especially the sections of harps, harpsichords, and music boxes. Lizzy and I have decided that when we are eccentric billionaires, she will collect harpsichords, and I will collect harps, and we will start a band. So, be on the lookout in a couple of decades for a grammy-winning band called Harp(squared)sichord!

On Monday, I went to visit Prague Castle. It was freezing that day so that I could barely stand to be outside, and so I didn't end up spending as much time out there as I would have liked. I did get to see the changing of the guard, though, and wander around the palace and St. Vitus's Cathedral.

On Tuesday, I took a free walking tour of Prague. I kind of wish that I had done that first, since it gave me a lot of background that would have been nice to know, but oh well, lesson learned. We went through Old Town Square, into the Jewish Quarter (where there was a really strange but awesome statue of Franz Kafka), into St. Jacob's Church, which is one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen, and saw the theater where Don Giovanni premiered. It was really interesting and we saw a ton in under two hours! I've picked out a couple of pictures that I think point out the highlights of the tour, but there was so much to see that I could never cover it all.

Wednesday was a pretty low-key day. I went further down into the South of Prague to see the Cubist houses, a form of architecture unique to Prague. Although that was all I had planned on seeing that day, I did end up climbing the hill to Vysehrad, which is the location of another palace. I didn't go into the Palace, but I did wander around the cemetery before heading back to meet up with Lizzy for lunch (paninis from a French cafe) and then getting on the tram out to the airport.

Prague was really incredible (and budget friendly! Everything, even the hostel and airport shuttle, included, I spent under $200 for all four days), and if you're planning on being in Europe anytime soon, I highly recommend going! Oh, and thanks Lizzy for studying abroad there, because I never would have thought to go otherwise :)

In other news, I have finished my third essay, which was on the ways people coped with the London Blitz, and am about to start my final paper, which is on plot (or lack thereof) in the novels of Virginia Woolf. Once I'm done with this in two weeks, I have no more work until the end of April!!


P.S. Lizzy and I managed to find a Mexican restaurant in Prague, and so my craving for enchiladas has been satisfied :) They were quite delicious.