Friday, February 26, 2016

Work and a Festival

Hey everyone,

It’s been a busy few weeks but I just wanted to fill you all in on what I have been up to. It’s seems like it was not to long ago since I got here in September, and then at the end of next month it’s the Easter break. So time here is starting to dwindle but I am taking every opportunity to enjoy the remaining time that I have here in the UK. And yes, I do plan on doing some more traveling before I leave Europe and that’s one of things that I will be doing during Easter break, but I can talk about that later.

So over the past few weeks lectures have started, and our Enactus project Recreo has started to take off. So needless to say that things here are moving fast, and they have me working hard. I have some great lectures here, one of which is an American. I enjoy his class, because he gives that very American style of teaching that I am use to back home in the states. It makes me feel at home.

Then there is our Encatus project Recreo. I am really happy to be starting to get our project off the ground here. Although we’ve hit a few bumps in the road here and there we’ve managed to get over those and continue to steam ahead on the project. Our project looks like it will be apart of our regional presentation for the Enactus southwest Regionals. I’m also on that presentation team so I also have to work on our presentation and how we would like to present it. So like I said before I have been crazy busy.

Even though I’ve been really busy writing papers, doing course work, and anything that has to do with Enactus I have still managed to find some time to enjoy my time here. So last week my University had a Beer Festival, that they called it Beauty and the Yeast, but besides the odd name the beers were great. The section of brews ranged from the very mainstream names that most people here know, but there was also a list of local brewed cask beers.

So I took the time right after one of my lectures to drink some beer at the festival. The SU was packed already and the festival had started about an hour before, but luckily none of the cask beers were sold out yet. So I made my way over the cask brew area as Irish and German drinking songs were being blasted through speakers throughout the SU. The best beer that I tried there was Summerskills Devon Dew, but a bit of advice for all the soon to be travelers who read this if you're in England go to a local beer festival and try some of the local brews.

During the festival, the sun was making what seemed to a rare appearance that week so everyone was taking their beers outside and soaking in the sun well enjoying a great brew. I followed suit and went on top of the SU and enjoyed the weather. It wasn’t long for the sun so after trying some more local brews I called it a day and headed home.

So things here are going well busy, but well. I hope there will be some more festivals I get to experience before I head off in July. But every minute here isn’t getting wasted whether it is for course work or enjoying a local event everything is going extremely well. I hope you all are having just as good of a time in your own lives wherever you are in the world. I will be writing again soon, but until then have fun and enjoy life.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Merseyside Weekend

Hey everyone,

So something I did during my last month off from Uni was do a bit of traveling. I did my first real solo trip here (as in traveling the country outside of the southwest), so the family was as bit on edge. I think the reason for that would be they just worry a bit too much about me, but that is what family is for. But I had been planning this weekend for a while, and got a great hotel so it was set, and I was off to Liverpool.

So on the 23rd of January I made my way by train up to Liverpool. I will say that if there is any PSU students looking to make this journey from Plymouth to Liverpool be ready to spend most of your day on a train. I started early in the morning, and I was one of the first people on the train up. Once we set off it wasn't until one one or two thirty in the afternoon till I got off in Birmingham. Quick side note: I did see the Cadbury factory when I was there, and it was cool. But after getting my connecting train and another hour train journey I was finally in Liverpool. It has the feeling of Boston, they were both once hardworking cities, and have made the transition to a more modern city.

It was only a short walk from the train station to the hotel which made things easy to get around. Granted it was really easy to navigate the city once you were out of the train station. Since it was the weekend the city was filled with people, and it was nice to see the atmosphere of the city. I had to walk all the way down to the area around the Albert Dock and the Echo Area to get to my Jury's Inn (Thanks for the hotel Mom!), and for someone who just got here was a stunning area. After checking-in and going around the city, and to find some food.

After a quick stop at a burrito place which wasn't even close to the mexican we are use to back home, I continued to explore the city. I managed to run into Eleanor Rigby on the street...well her statue at least. After being converted into a Beatles fan in high school Eleanor Rigby is one of my favorite Beatles songs, so it was an honor to finally meet her. But the best was still yet to come, as I found myself on Mathew Street. I was overwhelmed with the amount of beatles themed clubs there were, but I did get to see the world famous Cavern Club. On the way back to the hotel I could tell the city still relayed on the tourism from the Beatles, but I needed to get back to get some sleep so I was up early so I wouldn't miss the real reason I came here.

The reason that I came here was to see Tim Howard and Everton take on the Swans of Swansea City. I got up to the Goodison Park early because I wanted to go to see Stanley Park. I was always told that Stanley Park separated Everton's and their crosstown, or in this case cross park rivals Liverpool. It made me realize that this city is crazy about its football (soccer for those Americans reading this).

After seeing the park, I got an Everton scarf and made my way around to get my tickets. Everyone that I talked to asked me where I was from and the second I said the US they asked me, "You came all the way here to see the team play?" Granted they weren't wrong I nodded and told them I did. I got a quick meal after getting the tickets and then I went into the ground.

I was one of the first if not the first to get my seat at the park, and to be honest I wanted to be. I was sitting in a cathedral of football a sport I have fallen in love with, and I was about to see the highest quality of football I had seen yet, as well as finally see Tim Howard play. Soon after the Park filled up and the players and the players came out. Ninety minutes, and three goals later it was Swansea that came away with all three points. I walked out of the park with the pissed off Everton Supporters, with a smile on my face after seeing that match, as well as seeing a young man with Cerebral palsy score at the half and seeing the whole park cheer for the young man. He eventually won goal of the month, and I'll leave a link to the article at the bottom if you want to read about it. But after getting another quick bite I went back to the hotel to get some rest before my early train home.

It was an early day the next day I checked out and I headed to the train station to catch my train. Well waiting for my train I meet a couple from from Leominster, Ma and we started chatting. My favorite part of that conversation was when the woman looked at me and said, "you're the first person we have understood all week!" They got off the train quite a few stations before me and then it was just me on a journey back home to Plymouth. It was late when I got home and right when I was home I passed out. Needless to say it was a great weekend in Liverpool.

So in the future there will be some European city posts when I travel later this year so keep an eye out for those. But I hope your enjoying your week and remember tomorrow is Friday then the weekend, so enjoy the day. Have a great one!


George wins goal of the Month:


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Being a Tour Guide and Adventuring Around England

Hey everyone,

So it's taken me a bit longer on writing this post because I wasn't sure how I would be going around writing it, but I think I have figured out how I want to write this, well I think. But I'm still playing a bit of catch up from the holiday season for writing in the blog, but I'm back at it now.

So after Mama Liz and Ed left London on New Year's Day me and Haley were left to adventure on our own before we had to get our train down to Plymouth later that day. We made our way around the city and over to Paddington Station. After dropping some bags off at the Left Luggage booth we explored the area, which there wasn't much. We ended up seeing 221b Baker street, and great Beatles store, but the best thing we saw or I saw was a Dunkin Donuts, which I haven't seen since I left. We then made our way down to Plymouth after a bit of a wait in Paddington. After spending the money that I did it was nice to just be able to know I was headed back to Plymouth where things were a lot cheaper.

So the next morning after a bit of a pause with not having anything to do but be a tour guide for Haley, we headed out to see what Plymouth had to offer us that day. It was great to see the city through Haley's eyes because she had the same reactions to when I saw the city for the first time. One of the first things that we had to do was head to see the Mayflower steps it, Haley made sure of it. Then we made our way around the rest of the Barbican. After we headed to the Co-op to get some food for dinner and when Haley saw some the brands I think I saw her mouth the words "Why don't we have this in the States?"

 The next day we ended up taking another large walk around the city and this time it was sunny which felt like a first, due to all the cloudy weather. We took quite a bit of a walk and headed over to Royal William Yard where we got dinner and called it a day.

The next day was a rather low key day we started late and then we went to the National Aquarium. I was surprised at how large the place was, but still not as big as the Boston Aquarium in my book. But we walked around for a bit then went and got some local seafood right next to the Aquarium. I got mussels and Haley got fish tacos which she told me I need to go back and get, cause they were so good. We then made it to the hotel and called it a night in preparation for our trip to Bath the next day.      
We awoke early the next morning to catch our train to Bath, to see the Roman Baths. I had gone to Bath before the holidays, but wanted to save the Roman Baths for when Haley made it over here. So it was a nice simple train journey to Bath Spa and then we went exploring around the city. After getting some awesome bagels for Breakfast/Lunch we ended up in one of the many parks in Bath enjoying the views of the River Avon, that flows through the city. We then finally got into the Roman Baths, which really took me back thinking that there was a civilization here thousands of years before I was even born, and I think it took Haley back too, although she became a tour guide for me showing off all the Latin she learned in high school or what she remembers. After that we got dinner and we made our way back to the train station and got the train home.

The next day was the in between day where we found ourselves having a bit of R&R between all of our traveling and seeing what's going on around the city to just take a day for ourselves. It was nice we got some food and beer at a local pub and just kept it a nice low key day, for tomorrow we were going to see Stonehenge.

After getting up extremely early we caught our train to Salisbury. I booked first class tickets, (cheaper than normal tickets and we have no idea why) and we got everything complementary on all the trains to Salisbury. Once we arrived we found our bus which took us from the station around the medieval city of Salisbury, which along the way we found out the Magna Carta was in Salisbury Cathedral. After a short ride on the bus we found ourselves on a windy hilltop getting our audio tour guides, and it was off to see one of the wonders of the world. For the first 10 minutes I kept finding myself thinking that I was actually seeing something with my own two eyes, that some people only see in textbooks. But it eventually rubbed off and I enjoyed the moment that was filled with a lot of wind and large stones.
After seeing Stonehenge we then found our way back to Salisbury and then to the cathedral. The cathedral was beautiful, but it was the Magna Carta which I was most intrigued about. Being I want to go to law school after I get back to the states, it was a moment that I won't forget seeing the document that basically started my future profession. After seeing so much history for the day Myself, and Haley got a nice Italian dinner in town and got back to our train. We ended up making it back to Plymouth in one piece all nice and happy in first class.

But just as it seemed that Haley was here she was gone as we headed back to London to get her on her flight home the next day. We stayed the night before her flight in London, and although it was raining it was a nice night. We took the tubes into Heathrow and after about an hour or two wait we had to say our goodbyes, or as I like to say it see yah laters. It was a bittersweet moment as we both didn't want to leave each other, but we knew we had to. Although with her time here I will never forget some of the things I got to experience with her. Haley, I know you read every single post so thank you for coming here and being my travel buddy, my partner in crime, but most importantly my best friend, and I look forward to traveling more with you when I'm home.

So now some housekeeping. I know this post was a bit behind as well as I have been a bit behind the eight ball as it has been said recently. But I have a few more posts that I will be posting through the next week to two weeks so keep your eyes peeled for those. Other than that have fun in the snow back home in New England!