Tag Archives: #TBT

#TBT: Memories of London | BEDA Day 7

Around this time four years ago, I was gallivanting around London as one of the many study abroad students who arrive in the country each year. Studying abroad was always part of my undergrad plan, but I wasn’t sure where (or when) I would go. In the end I went with what now seems like the safest option in retrospect. I didn’t have to learn a new language, I was familiar with the culture, and the time difference wasn’t as bad as somewhere like Australia. The safe option turned out to be the best choice, though.

My 11 weeks in London were some of the best of my life. I know how typical that sounds: “I studied abroad and it changed my life! OMG I’m so CuLtUrEd!!!” Seriously, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There were challenges along the way – I did get homesick and the classes were difficult. I came home feeling much more independent, though, and ultimately felt really comfortable in the city. Plus, I had the best group of flatmates around.

In honor of #tbt, here are a some of my favorite memories of my time abroad, in the form of crappy photos pulled off of Facebook.

stonehenge london study abroad

My parents did a bit of traveling of their own while I was abroad. They met up with me in London for Mother’s Day weekend before heading off on a two week tour of Ireland. While they were in town, we decided to take a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge, because you can’t go to Southern England without visiting Bath and Stonehenge. My folks don’t do anything half-assed, so we booked a tour that allowed us to get up close and personal with the stones after the park had closed to the public. This is definitely the way to go if you can swing it. Of course you can’t actually touch the stones, getting so close to something so ancient is really freaking cool. Also there are lots of sheep.
elephant house edinburgh london study abroadI so wish you could actually see out the window in this photo. One weekend in April, a couple of us took an overnight Megabus (not recommended) to Edinburgh to see what Scotland had to offer. We arrived around 7am, before most shops and cafes in Old Town opened. After some frustrated wandering, we found The Elephant House, empty and just opening for the day. I believe Jo Rowling herself was shining her light on me at that moment because a) I was starving and exhausted and b) as the “birthplace of Harry Potter,” The Elephant House is almost always packed. We got an amazing seat with a view of Edinburgh Castle and stuffed our faces with eggs. As you can tell from the above photo, I was very content.

franz ferdinand limerick london study abroad

Sometimes your favorite band announces that their first set of shows in a few years will take place in Ireland. While you’re studying in London. And your friend (also a huge fan) is living in Glasgow. You have to go, right? Right. That’s exactly what I did. I spent a total of 48 hours in Ireland, 4 of which were spent on buses between Dublin and Limerick, the site of the concert. It was so worth it, though. Dolan’s Warehouse is a much smaller venue than the ones Franz Ferdinand typically plays in the states, and we ended up standing just a few rows from the front. The new songs, which eventually made up their 2013 album “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action,” sounded great. I saw them again when they headlined the Field Day festival in London a few weeks later, which means I’ve officially seen them play in three different countries. Does that make me a groupie? Who knows.

climbing lion trafalgar square london study abroad

Everyone has to climb a lion in Trafalgar Square when they come to London. It’s a rite of passage, apparently. On my last night in London, a friend of mine invited me to help him shoot something for his webseries in the wee hours of the morning. We ended up staying up all night and found ourselves in Frafalgar Square at 4am. It was far from deserted, but as I was flying home in about 8 hours, I figured now was my chance to ride one of these majestic iron creatures. With a little help from my friends, I conquered the beast. Later, we watched the sun rise along the Thames, perfectly lighting up Parliament. Somehow I still made my flight.
I’m ready to go back to London right about now. If anyone has a job for me over there, or a couple thousand dollars lying around, hit me up.

#TBT | Great Costumes of Halloweens Past

For some reason, I’ve always been inherently against buying my Halloween costume out of a bag. Don’t get me wrong – I love going to the Halloween store for inspiration. I just can’t seem to justify spending $60+ on a slutty witch costume that will probably have to be altered (petite sizes don’t exist at Halloween Adventure) and will ultimately wind up in the trash. I’d much rather tailor my costume to my own taste. I have my mom to thank for this attitude.

My mom made all my Halloween costumes up until about second grade. Of course I wanted to be a princess/queen/some member of the royal family every year, and mom used her amazing sewing skills to put these dresses together. My favorite was a shiny black renaissance-style dress I wore for Halloween in Kindergarten. The dress made a comeback at some Alice in Wonderland-themed school event when my mom added some strategic red felt to make me the Queen of Hearts. I really don’t give her enough credit for those dresses. 

Someday I’ll actually learn how to sew. For now, I can just arrange clothes into some semblance of a costume. Here are some of my Halloween costume highlights of the last few years.

Jazzercise Instructor (2007)

jazzercise

I may have retired from competitive swimming two years earlier, but I broke out one of my old practice suits for this costume my sophomore year of high school. I’m pretty sure this was entirely a “shop your closet” look – old swimsuit, old ballet tights and leg warmers, old sweatshirt cut into a crewneck. It was probably also one of my warmer Halloween looks. Work those layers, kids.

“Wonder Woman” (2009)

wonder woman

 

This was part of my first (and only) ever group costume my senior year of high school. My school held a costume parade every year specifically for the seniors, and group costumes were more or less required. My friends and I were “generic American Apparel superheroes,” but clearly I modeled my costume off of Wonder Woman. I mean, look at those hotpants. I spent way too much money on this costume.

Flo from Progressive (2010)

Progressive

 

I used my newly-short hair as a jumping off point for my first Halloween costume of college. Pro-tip, Amazon has a plethora of Progressive aprons. With the awkward white pants and polo shirt, this definitely made me the least sexy attendee of the crappy Halloween frat party I attended. At least I was warm.

Original Mouseketeer (2013)

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What do you do with a pair of personalized mouse ears and a 50s haircut? Join the Mouseketeers, of course! The real tragedy of this costume is that no one really saw it. As I was in the midst of a show, I didn’t really get to go hard that Halloween. However, I insisted on wearing my costume to class all day. Because I could.

Velma Dinkley (2014)

velma

Photo Credit: Amanda McLoughlin

I went with another hair-friendly costume for my first Halloween in New York. Since I didn’t have any concrete plans leading up to the 31st, I didn’t want to spend too much energy on a costume. Still, I scoured Amazon/Ebay for the perfect sweater, glasses, and socks and came up with this. And people actually recognized me! Jinkies!

This year I’m getting a little crafty with my costume. No spoilers here, but it does involve a flower crown. Tune in this weekend to see the full look.

Of course, I want to hear about your favorite costumes of Halloweens past. Share your memories in the comments!