For the Quirky and Inquisitive

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Preseli Venture Weekend in Wales (Oct. 18-20)

This has probably been one of the best weekends ever spent!  Preseli Venture Weekend in Pembrokeshire, Northern Wales was two days full of adrenaline pumping activities including Sea Kayaking, Nature Hiking, and the best of all….Coasteering!

I heard right from the start that if there was any weekend activity to sign up for at Richmond, this was the one.  It of course proved to be true.  Preseli Venture caters towards those who like a bit of rough, over the edge living. The nature hike consists of a 7 mile walk along the coast of Northern Wales with stunning views that make you literally want to stay forever.  Sea Kayaking includes riding waves over coastal rocks and learning different moves in the kayak.  And last but not least, Coasteering involves jumping of rock formations, climbing up rock formations, exploring caves, and learning to move with the waves.  A very on the go weekend I must say.

However, along with the wicked activities they provide, they also have a five star eco lodge that serves as accommodations.  They cook you home style meals serving you at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The design and set up takes you back to those good old days of being in camp where you were always on the go during the day, while having time at night to chill and talk about all the activities.  

Being a bit adventurous myself, this weekend was ideal!!  I was sad to leave so soon and wished to have spent more time on each activity.  Knowing that I would love, and did love this adventurous weekend gives me insight that this may just be my little niche that I’ve been looking for. Everyone seems to have something that they care about and are passionate about.  This type of thing may be mine.  I wouldn’t mind volunteering on weekends outside my day job to take people on little adventurous activities like Coasteering, Rock Climbing, or Sea Kayaking.  Sounds like a sweet life to me!

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Edinburgh Trip (Oct. 11-13th)

Where do I even begin?

Deciding to spend a weekend in Edinburgh has been one of my best decisions.  It had everything that I love in my life.  Old city with great history, check.  Small cafes with good food, check.  Some very stylish pubs/clubs, check.  Great hiking destinations and ocean views, check.  And last but not least, a wondrous city with a small town vibe and a  walking distance to everything!

I first arrived in Edinburgh with a small group of about 12 students on Friday.  We stayed in Smart City hostel which provided us with breakfast in the morning and ate dinner that night at a Italian restaurant.  This is were I tried the famous IRN BRU (the official drink of Scotland that outsells Coca Cola) which had the taste of a very sweet bubble gum flavored soda.  After dinner we stopped in at a local pub and each tried some whiskey. I must say that the descriptions were very vibrant.  We then ended our first night with the Dark Side Tour were we learned about Vampires, curses, famous murders, cannibals, and fairy creatures.

We started Saturday morning with a walking tour of the city.  On this tour we learned about the Mercat Cross were thieves served time by getting nailed through the ear to the cross and stood there for 24 hours enduring ridicule and thrown objects.  We also learned how the phrase “Shit face drunk” came about as well as the story of Maggie Dick and Deacon Brodie. (Inspiration for Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde)  After the tour I tried the traditional dish of Scotland known as Haggis for lunch, and then headed out to climb Arthur’s Seat.  Arthur’s Seat I can in no way describe in words.  It’s a 250 meter hike up a dormant volcano with post card views of the city and North Sea. (My favorite part of the trip) We ended Saturday night with a dessert and hot chocolate stop at The Elephant House, and then partook on a pub crawl.  My favorite stop included Vodka Revolution and Frankenstein’s Pub. (Great music and handsome Scottish men)

Sunday went by too quickly.  We spent most our time touring the Edinburgh castle.  Its mostly a military and war museum, but you get to see the crown of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny as well.  After the castle visit we ate lunch at Maggie Dick’s pub and finished our time with very brisk shopping.

Overall the trip was perfect, but I felt a bit sad and depressed when my visit came to an end.  I know for sure that Edinburgh is place I will see again, and by far is my favorite city. 

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London (Sept. 23-29)

September has finally come to an end and I’m not to sure how I feel about it.  On one hand it feels like I have been here forever, but then again I can’t believe September is over and it’s already October! 

Classes are now under way with due dates for projects lurking around the corner.

Lets see:  

  1. I’ve got my Wizard of Oz poster & DVD cover due on Monday.  
  2. Three developed pictures of Kings Cross due.  
  3. My personal web site due date is coming up soon as well. 

However, I’m glad I have all these projects.  It keeps me busy through out the days which makes time fly by so quickly here.

Over the weekend I checked out the Notting Hill Arts Club, which actually turned out to be loads of fun.  Can’t beat cheap drinks, beats to dance to, and good friends. I also spent Saturday in Brighton, an English sea side city.  The highlights were the pier and the shopping district, and of course the ocean!!  Brighton is actually located in an area known as the Downs.  It’s made up of rolling hills with large chalk figures drawn in and the Seven Sister Cliffs. Overall it was a great weekend, and a good way to end my first month :)

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Paris Weekend (Sept. 20-22)

"Paris Holds the Key to Your Heart"

I had this phrase stuck in my head the entire weekend I was in Paris.  First of let me say that Paris has a much different vibe then London, and most people I interacted with were very nice despite the modern stereotypes about the french.  During our boat cruise on Friday night we got a glimpse of what the younger crowd does for enjoyment on their weekend nights.  Many were hanging out by the river in groups either talking or all sharing a bottle of wine.  Some even decided to take a dip in the river.  

Saturday started out with a bus tour of the city and then a trip to The Louvre were I got to lay my own eyes on the iconic Mona Lisa, as well as the the Code of Hammurabi and Aphrodite.  The Museum has about 50,000 works of art if you include the reserves and takes more then two days to see everything.  After The Louvre we traveled around the city via Metro and ended our night with a fancy dinner at a french restaurant were I tried Duck Fragua!  

Sunday morning we booked it to Chateau de Versailles.  It is a very crowded place on the weekends, but we persevered and got to see the Hall of Mirrors! (Worth It)  After Versailles we tried to make it the Catacombs but the wait was too long and we were turned away.  From there we spent the rest of our time walking the city, admiring the fabulous Cathedral of Notre Dame, and finishing with some amazing gelato.  


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London ‘13 (Sept. 9-15)

My first week of classes have finished up and I must say that I am really excited about Web Design.  It’s got the creative side as well as the problem solving while coding.  My Photography class should be pretty fun as well.  Learning how to process film and develop your own pictures might end up being rewarding. 

Over the weekend I took a trip to the British Museum and was amazed by seeing pieces of art that I have actually read and wrote about in my Art History classes.  It really is different when you see these objects in real life and not just on a page.

I also had the pleasure of visiting Stonehenge and the beautiful city of Bath.  Stonehenge was great!  The weather was a bit chilly and windy, but I loved walking around these giant stones in amazement at the formation they have been erected in.  No one really knows why they were built, it is still very much a mystery.  All I know is that this World Heritage site might be the oldest structure I ever lay eyes on. (Around 3,000 B.C)

Bath was also wonderful.  We made a trip through the Roman Bath Museum were you can actually see and walk around the Roman Baths.  The rest of the museum was bit overcrowded for me, so I saw what I wanted to and made my way out.  After that I went on a short walking tour to see the sight of the city.  The stones that all the houses are made of gives Bath a different feel compared to other cities.  It is also spread out over hills that give you amazing views.

Finally, my last favorite part of my trip was the coach ride.  We got to drive through the English country side and see marvelous hills, as well as views that really could take your breath away.  

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London ‘13

The first week of classes are finally over, and my weekend officially starts on a Thursday night….Woot Woot!

So far classes seem to be decent.  The homework and project assignments seem reasonable as long as I stay on top of deadlines and do not…I repeat DO NOT….procrastinate.  Out of all my classes I am least passionate about Modern Drama due to the fact that it’s just covering an art elective I need to graduate.  My Photography: Theory & Practice class will be a learning experience, and I’m most looking forward to Web Design.  The assignments all seem very cool, and we seem to have a lot of creative freedom as well.  My big worry is Communication: Image.  For some reason I feel a bit behind in that class or at least should know more about the software and current trendy designers.

Other than that, I ended my class filled schedule with a night out with my girls at Imperial College Pub.  We were later joined by some of our fellow AIFS gents, and had a great night conversing to one another as well as sneaking in a game of ‘Never Have I Ever.’


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London ‘13 (Sept. 2-8)

So my first week since arriving in London has finally come to an end.  It was your basic orientation week with lots tours taking you in and around London.  Kensington seems to be a great neighborhood and ever since the Jack the Ripper Tour in East London, I love it even more.  I’m not afraid I’ll get pick pocketed and feel confident to walk around by myself…especially at night.

 I have been missing my family and the conveniences’ of home more than usual.  I guess I just wish I could share all the sights I’ve seen with them, and of course have them here with me.  The girls I hangout with are wonderful and I can relate to them on many things.  Hopefully spending time with them will make the home sickness die down.  

The school food is not the best and I’m trying to change my eating routine to just a large breakfast and dinner, since that is what our meal plan allows.  I usually have a snack in between and on the weekends have to fend for myself.  Classes have started and hopefully juggling class work and travel will not be too difficult.

Well…off to bed,                                                                                         Cheers