Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Studying Abroad in London: Date Nights & Gift Giving

This past week was pretty chill with a few exciting events here and there. I had a lot of homework that I was starting on (and am still working on) but I mostly spent the week hanging out with Isaac and my other flatmates to get some quality time in before I leave in 9 days. Anyway, without further ado, let's go ahead and jump straight in!

December 2, 2019

Monday was a pretty chill day. The strikes were still going on so we slept in and just chilled for a bit since we didn't have lectures. I continued working on homework throughout the afternoon and then it was time for the flat Secret Santa!

I had been excited about Secret Santa for days since I'd gotten my gift all put together and wrapped and cute so when the time finally came for it I was pumped. We all gathered in the kitchen and did the system with one person opening at a time and then guessing who it is.

The funniest moments were when people were opening their gifts but the wrapping was completely extra, such as one of our friends who Isaac had. He wrapped their gift in approximately a million shopping bags and taped each individual one and so they had to open all of those to get to the gift. It was hilarious.

I also got an amazing Secret Santa present from one of my study abroad friends: a bookstore gift card! Obviously I love books and I've already spent it but I've been so excited since I opened the gift and saw that.

After Secret Santa ended, Isaac and I retreated back to my room to watch some more Psych and open our advent calendars! I'd never had an advent calendar before and I love it so much, especially because it means I get a daily dose of chocolate.

(Also, I thought I had pictures of that night but I apparently don't, which is very sad)

December 3, 2019

Tuesday was very chill. It was the last day of the strike so neither of us had lectures and were able to sleep in. Other than sleeping in, we didn't do much other than watch Psych and get lunch, though I did do some homework.

December 4, 2019

Wednesday morning I did have to wake up at a reasonable time so that I could go to a tutorial in place of class. It was my last scheduled event for that class, so once I turn in my creative portfolio on the 11th I'll officially be done with it!

After my tutorial I went to lunch before watching Psych most of the afternoon with Isaac. He had to go to work that evening so I made myself dinner and then headed to the library to work on homework for a few hours. 

December 5, 2019

Thursday was a big day for us, aka our day out in London. We--being me and Isaac--woke up at a reasonable time so that we could catch our train into Central London. Luckily, we didn't have to go far so I was able to avoid having to take dramamine. We arrived at the Victoria Palace Theatre a little bit early for Hamilton.

After I'd seen Hamilton the first time, we looked up tickets to see if there were any cheap ones left this semester so that Isaac could see it and we were lucky to find a pair for less than 40 pounds each. We were the very last row of the theatre where there was absolutely no leg room but I still enjoyed the show, though I wouldn't get those seats again. Last time I saw Hamilton, I was closer and in the Stalls so I was able to see emotions and characters easier, but this time, because we were so far back, I could see how all the dancing and choreographed bits worked as a whole, which was cool.

When Hamilton got out we hopped the tube over to Leicester Square to go to the Christmas Market there. Surprisingly, it was quite tiny, especially compared to the one in Edinburgh. However, we were then able to walk to the Trafalgar Square Christmas Market, too, so it was like a two-for-one.

We were quite lucky on timing because when we got to Trafalgar Square, they were actually doing the tree-lighting ceremony there. Apparently the tree in Trafalgar Square is the most famous tree in London and is actually a gift from Norway every year. A bunch of the officials and important people  from Norway were there to give speeches and help light the tree, so it was quite cool to see that since we weren't planning on going to it.

After that, we wandered over to Piccadilly Circus and found a restaurant to have dinner in. It was a steak restaurant and quite busy. I had a really nice meal, though I think Isaac and I both agreed the other steak place we'd gone to before was better.

When we left dinner, we wandered around a bit to some different souvenir  shops to find a very specific item. It took us going to SIX different souvenir shops before we finally found it, so that was definitely an interesting experience.

We then started walking towards Waterloo station. We took a new bridge over the Thames and ended up at another Christmas Market, which was cool. There was also a bookstore there so we browsed for a bit before going through the rest of the market and then hopping a train back to campus.

When we got back, we just hung out for a bit watching Psych before bed.

December 6, 2019

I missed my alarm on Friday and was almost late for class, but I was able to get ready in five minutes so I just barely made it. It was my last lecture of the semester, though, so I didn't want to miss it. Plus, our lecturer gave us chocolate and we did a little Gothic-themed quiz which was fun.

After class, Isaac and I went to lunch and then just chilled for a bit before he had to go to work. While he was gone, I worked on some homework and watched Netflix. He came back early and brought CHICKEN. I about died--it was the best chicken tenders I'd ever had--and I get so hungry whenever I think of them. We watched Psych while we ate and ended up going to bed pretty late.

December 7, 2019

We slept in again on Saturday before getting lunch and then Isaac had to go to work. I made myself dinner and hung out with my flatmates for a bit before I dived into a long night of homework. 

December 8, 2019

On Sunday, it was pretty much the same. We slept in, got food, and then went to the library where I worked on homework. When we got back, we stayed on brand and watched some more Psych to round out the week. 

Well there you have it! Another week in the books. The next week is not going to be very interesting  for most of the week since I'm just going to be cramming in homework and stuff so that I can enjoy my final week here. I can't believe it's the 10th right now and I got home in in just 9 days. I'm both excited and sad to be leaving. I obviously miss everyone back home and when I do go home I'll be able to see my family and books and have Christmas, but I'm going to miss my friends and London, but especially Isaac. Hopefully I can make the most of this last week and a half!

Thanks for reading!

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