jessicahollern

One of my favorite memories

Some of my favorite experiences have included getting
lost throughout London. You would be surprised by all the great things
you can find! I want to tell you guys about one event in particular.
It was the day that we all went to St Barts. I really loved going to
that hospital and seeing first hand their own version of a Cardiac
Intensive Care Unit. Before I went to the unit, Dan, Lili and Ellie
and I made plans to meet up at the Tate Modern. So this was the first
place I had gone to without Dan. On the unit I was surprised by the
arrangement of the patients. I had no idea that hospitals still kept
up to six patients in one room! After spending time with a great tour
guide, I was off on my own to find the Tate   Modern!…

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Last day!

January 22nd! So, this entire trip has been very special, but one of the best days I had on this trip was the last day! A little background, I am trying to apply to graduate schools and my favorites so far has been Duke. Well, early on during our trip to London I was fortunate enough to receive an offer for an interview! Laurissa Topelin received one as well! I thought this would be perfect since our trip was supposed to connect in Charlotte, North Carolina. I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could do an in person interview? However, the people at Duke sent me an email stating a phone interview would be better. Fast forward to January 22nd. I’m sitting in the Charlotte airport and I just happen to check my email on Corinne’s ipad and there was a new email from Duke! They wanted to know if I could meet for an in person interview the following morning January 23rd at 10 am. I was shocked. I pulled Dan aside and I told him we needed to talk. I knew this was going to cost us a lot of money but I felt that the benefits of doing an in person interview over a phone interview were substantial. So, we talked to people and google searched and what we discovered was that it would cost us a lot more then we had first imagined. Somewhere around $800 or so. As you can imagine, we had basically given up when all of a sudden a voice came over the loud speaker asking if anyone wanted to delay their flight to Columbus. We hurried up to the podium and I explained our situation. Without blinking this man from US airlines told us he was going to give us a hotel to sleep in for free, a free plane trip home and a flight to Raleigh and back for the interview! Never in my life had I felt so lucky! I immediately started to cry. I couldn’t believe what this man was offering! But it turned out perfectly and I ended up making the interview the next day at Duke. The interview went really well and hopefully I will hear from Duke soon! This trip gave me so many important memories, and even on the last day I was still being amazed. 

First thoughts

This trip has been amazing! As soon as I was on Vince’s coach and
looking at the amazing view I was hooked. I have seen some of the most
beautiful places and had some of the best experiences! I know at first
I wasn’t too excited for this trip, but now I realize how wrong I was.
I love this trip. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about
England! I will say one of the biggest surprises for me has been the
wi-fi. I didn’t bring a laptop and I don’t own an I phone, but from
what I’ve heard the wi-fi is awful! I thought that maybe it would be
better in London, but apparently not. How can one of the most popular
cities in the world not have wi-fi? Interesting. Well, now I’m
learning to type a paper on the President Hotel’s complimentary
computer. And by complimentary I mean 1 pound for 15 minutes. Another
part of the trip that I have enjoyed are the plays. My two favorites
have been the Merry Wives of Windsor and War Hourse. Tonight we just
got back from the Privates on Parade. Once again, like wi-fi, I was a
little disapointed. I thought the main idea of the play was good, but
it wasn’t very easy to follow. I was a little confused a couple times
about what was going on. I guess I had this idea that London was like
New York, but they are different. I have had such a great time on this
trip and one of the places that I absolutly loved was surprisingly the
Roman Bath. I don’t know what it was about that place but it was
really special to me. I could’ve spent all day there. I loved seeing a
place that is not only a natural wonder, but also a historical
monument!

Home

After two weeks of fun and excitement it was definitely a welcome sight to see Columbus again. This trip was a great experience and so much fun but by the end of the two weeks I was ready to come home. It was a fantastic learning experience, and a great way to see different customs and cultures from our own. My favorite sights would definitely have to be Stonehenge and the castles. I wish we could have gone into more of the castles but I guess that is just a downside to going during the non tourist season. Upside is there we did not have to deal with the large crowds. This trip was amazing and I hope someday to be able to go back to England and/or Paris and to be able to see even more of the country. But for now I just need to recover from the jet-lag in time for the spring semester to start.

England: first night out

After our first dinner as a group most people went to bed, but some of us decided to go to a pub for a real, English experience! Ellie, Dan, Jess, Emily and I went to the oldest pub in Stratford called the Garrick where apparently good old Billy Shakes used to hang around and get sloshed! As a theatre major, i  thought it was only fitting to pay homage to the man and have a few drinks in his old stomping grounds. It was a blast! Ultimately, we were all exhausted though and knew rest was necessary in order to have a productive day the next day, so we did leave at a decent hour and with very low blood alcohol levels 🙂 The walk home was BEAUTIFUL though! We walked through a beautifully misty fog on deserted brick roads with street lights twinkling all around us. While trying to get a picture of all of us (and, incidentally, failing) an adorable older married couple celebrating 42 years together named the Jeffersons offered to take our picture. They were HILARIOUS! (and also a bit drunk). That is the best part about traveling in different cultures- meeting local people and finding commonalities with them. It makes the world seem much smaller and highlights the fact that we are all united and the same. It also further submerges you into the culture, which is why one travels in the first place!

 

Lili

Internet was hard to come by in England and I did not want to waste precious sight seeing time on the internet, so i wrote in a journal and am now going to recap some moments of my trip!

England: Day 1

I am in both a constant state of shock/disbelief and ecstasy when i look around at the stunning English country side. Luckily, i got sleep on the plane and bus, so I was wide awake for the first day. We drove to Woodstock from Gatwick. There, we had tea and walked around the quaint streets, into cute shops and book stores, and to the gates of Blenheim palace. Oh, and before that we stopped at Winston Churchill’s grave in Bledon. After Woodstock, we drove on tiny, winding country roads through picturesque villages scattered about the Cottswolds. Most people were asleep, but it was a gorgeous day and i’m so glad i stayed awake to see the sights and listen to Vince (our hilarious bus driver) talk. Finally, we made it to Stratford upon Avon where a much needed shower, brushing of teeth, and nap took place. It had only been one day, but already i had packed in a week’s worth of memories!

 

Lili

Last Day in London

Our last day in London went by pretty quickly!  It was a slow start because we were up late from our long train ride back from Paris.  We took a tour of St. Paul’s cathedral, which was beautiful.  The architecture was a lot different from the other cathedrals we have seen so far and I enjoyed seeing it.  The tour was a little too long for me, but it was worth seeing. 

 

After the cathedral, we went to one of the things I was most excited for…the London Eye!  It was the perfect day with blue skies and hardly any clouds.  We weren’t all allowed to ride in the same bubble so we split up.  It was amazing to see London from so far up and we took some great pictures.  This was probably one of my favorite things we did in London. 

 

After the Eye, Mackenzie, Alexis and I went to Covent garden to eat lunch and shop.  We ate at a little café called Paul’s and had a sandwich and salad.  Then, Alexis went back to the hotel and Mackenzie and I shopped around for a while.  It was nice to have a large chunk of free time without feeling rushed to be somewhere.

 

After shopping we came back to the hotel for our last group dinner.  It was nice to talk about our favorite parts of the trip and what we are looking forward to the most at home.  I have enjoyed making memories with my friends and I have also made some amazing new friends!   

Christine

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Mackenzie and I at our last dinner!