Checking Prague Off My List

Dear Cody,

Obviously it has been a while since I posted, and a while since I’ve been back, but I felt this needed to be completed. I will continue now from where I began. Last you heard from me was when Mommy came to visit. That next weekend, Allyson and I went to Prague.

Prague is one of those places I didn’t really think I’d find time to go to. It was on my list but not at the top. With our time abroad winding down, we felt that we needed to go on one last big adventure of a trip. But where to go? We looked into going to Switzerland (which would have been amazing as well), but ultimately the answer was Prague. Allyson’s friend was studying abroad there so once we arrived, there would be no cost for housing. We were decided, and a little excited. ūüėČ

We took trains and more trains and then a plane, but we made it. Met up with her friend and we were off! Prague was honestly the first place that I felt intense culture shock. Everywhere I had been I had already been so far. The UK, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany. Dublin was the only new new place but even there, they still spoke English (for the most part). Prague was different entirely. They spoke Czech and the alphabet was, well a different language. Not only was the culture so different, but it was so breathtakingly beautiful, that I really felt like I had stepped back in time, or better yet, into a fairy tale. The old buildings, the cobble stone streets, the pristine landscape, everything was enchanting. That really is the best word to describe it. Possibly the best part of this trip was Allyson’s friend and our official tour guide. He took a class on Czech and Czech history, so he knew all the stories behind the places. It was a walking history textbook but a bit more exciting!

I really can’t even begin to explain how amazing Prague was, but thinking back to it, all that runs through me head is “we need to go back”. You and I will have to go back, because I know you would have loved it just as much.

Wish you were here,

KayleeDSC_0006 DSC_0010 DSC_0012 DSC_0015 DSC_0065 DSC_0067 DSC_0078 DSC_0083 DSC_0089 DSC_0090 DSC_0103 DSC_0124 DSC_0125 DSC_0126 DSC_0136 DSC_0144 DSC_0145 DSC_0169 DSC_0222

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A Visit From Home

Dear Team Tipsy, 

This one is dedicated to you since I kidnapped my mom for the week! On that note, my mommy came to visit!! I picked her up at Heathrow airport in London and, go figure, she cried‚Ķ. It’s strange to think that this has been the longest I’ve gone being away from home. I miss my family and friends (and In n Out) but I’ve been staying so busy that I hadn’t really realised that it had been so long. Having her here was amazing even if I had to be studying and writing papers for a good chunk of the time. The trip began with Afternoon Tea at Tiny Tim’s Tearoom in Canterbury. Tiny Tim’s is located in the most haunted building in Canterbury, which you don’t realise until you go to the toilet and see the plaque telling you to watch out for the local ghosts. It is an amazing tearoom though, and we ventured to try the crumpets. They were‚Ķ interesting, kind of a pancake mixed with an English muffin with an egg on top (they don’t actually have English muffins here). Yeah we were a bit confused but it was still good and the tea was of course lovely.

After tea, we set off to find the Inn where she was staying. She was look enthralled looking at everything and “taking it all in” that she kept tripping on the cobblestone (this happened the entire trip). The Miller’s Arms Inn was great and quaint, perfect for her!

The next day, despite the rain, we went on a trip to Dover. This is a town famous for the Dover White Cliffs, Dover Castle, and the view of France. Well, since it was raining, we couldn’t see across the channel. We did see the cliffs which were pretty impressive, but when we began our hike up the hill to the castle, we read a sign that it was closed during weekdays. We strolled the premises and made friends with some guard sheep, but didn’t have much else to do. Before heading back to canterbury, we had tea at a little place called Dickens Inn. We had a lot of tea on this trip.

What we did in Canterbury: explored, the Cathedral, ruins, shopping, and eating. With our time in Canterbury, we mostly walked around so she could “take it all in”. As I’ve mentioned in the past, its the cutest little English Village there is. Walking through is like time traveling or entering a fairy tale. The building are almost all old, leaning, and filled to the brim with character. Almost every ally way you can see the Cathedral rising above the other buildings. When we did make it to the Cathedral, it was breathtaking: the hight of the ceiling, the details, the history. Everything about it makes you feel holy. Stepping outside into the courtyard, and you instantly feel like you’re in Hogwarts, which is kinds cool I guess‚Ķ. Also in Canterbury is the remains of the old Roman city wall from, well, forever ago. We walked on top of these to get to the Norman Castle remains. Since it was later (everything here closes at 4 or 5, and it’s dark at 4 now) the garden was closed, but it was still awesome to see close up. On the note of food and drink (I’m legal here!!) we tried all the local delicacies. The Old Butter market Pub right next to the cathedral is said to have tunnels underneath to help the bishops escape from the cathedral in desperate times. It also had some great fish n’ chips. (On a side note: “chips” are what we call “french fries”, and our “chips” are called “crisps” by the British) We also had the best ever fish n’ chips at The City Fish Bar. My mom would like to add that she had more fish n’ chips here than she will probably have for another year. WE ventured to try pasties at the West Cornwall Pasty Co. which were pretty darn delicious. Alright so I think you get the point, we ate a lot of food!

Now for London!! My mom continued her “taking it all in” as we arrived in London and took a stroll through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace to St James’s Park. We hoped on the tube (of which she is now a “pro”) to Covent Garden. Since they don’t have Thanksgiving here, Christmas decorations are in full swing! Covent Garden has lights all over the surrounding streets, giant ornaments hanging from the ceiling, a XXL Christmas tree, and a lit up rain deer statue. If that’s not enough to get you in the Christmas Spirits, try some of there festive mulled wine or hot apple cider. Basically, it’s a winter wonderland! There, we met up with Kayla for some dinner! As my mom would say, “How lovely!”

We began the next day with breakfast in Hyde Park, watching the swans (and less desirable birds) on the Serpentine. We strolled right on over to Harrods. There, we browsed, shopped, and got lost. When it came time time to head off to get our tattoos, we couldn’t seem to find the way out! If you’ve been in Harrods, then you’ll understand, but after some directions from a clerk, we headed off to get our tattoos! The area of the tattoo parlour was super trendy. Sparing you the details of the tattoo, we went to a local pub afterwards for some lunch and drinks. Making the difficult decision to site see rather than shop at the Doctor Who Store, we made our way back to the centre of london! We took pictures with the phone boxes and Big Ben in the background. We walked around Westminster Abbey. We walked back through all the parks, past Buckingham Palace once again. It was as soon as we entered Hyde Park, that the rain began. Thinking that it would pass soon (like fools) we continued on. By the time we reached our hotel room, on the opposite side of the park, we were walking in puddles in our boots, soaking from head to toe. We literally had to peel our clothes off and change. As tired and drained as we were, we had a show to go to! Les Miserables was waiting for us! Arriving by there, looking for dinner, we quickly realised we had little time and every place was packed. We ate some sandwiches standing up and headed into the theatre. Wow. WOW!!! It was the most amazing experience of my live! The singing and acting was so on point I cried. Now happy and amazed, we headed back to prepare for our full Sunday.

Our day in Windsor! We began with a tour of Windsor Castle which was, like everything else here, amazing! It had a touch of everything. There were rooms you could see old fashion knights in, rooms you saw kings and queens living in, rooms you saw balls taking place in, and rooms that could have been from Downton Abbey. The whole castle is beautiful with its interior and exterior. The views from every room were just breathtaking and “fit for a queen”. The town itself was cute as could be! We took a tour, on a double decker bus, of the area, which included Eton. We learned about Eton college, where the princes went to school! We even got to see one of the young students! (note: here college is equivalent to high school, university or “uni” is our college) Once again, it felt like time traveling to see it all. Exhausted, we hoped on the train back to London. For dinner, we made our way into the heart of London for the ever popular, Byron Burger! Yummm! Last but certainly not least, we concluded our London visit with a trip to see the Tower of London (with all the red poppies) and the Tower Bridge, because really what would a trip to London be without those? Or a trip to England for that matter!

Even after all this, my mom’s trip just touched the surface of everything England has to offer! There is so much to see and do! I am so glad, however, that we got the time we did! Now I put this on you, Team Tipsy, when my mom misses me, remind her that I will be home for Christmas!

Wish you were here,

Kaylee

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Guard sheep of Dover Castle

Guard sheep of Dover Castle

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What would Big Ben be without a red double-decker

What would Big Ben be without a red double-decker

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London's calling

London’s calling

The view from St. James Park

The view from St. James Park

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She got her picture with the guard

She got her picture with the guard

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Making a Splash in Bath

Dear Cody, 

Okay so it’s been a while since I’ve written, but I finally found the time to write about a weekend adventure in Bath, England! Whitley and I did this little trip on our own, but it was a blast! We left very very early Saturday morning for the train station in Canterbury. After realising that taxis and buses don’t run that early (6:30am) we began our little walk. We made it there with plenty of time and it only rained on us off and on lightly. The train ride to London was easy; it’s only an hour and we slept most of the way. We brought some reading for school but were so tired that it seemed like gibberish. Once in London, we hoped on the tube to a different train station and then onto another train to Bath Spa. A slightly longer trip, we functioned just enough to get a little work done. Before we knew it, we made it to BATH!

The first stop was our hostel, where we dropped off our backpacks and books and went off to explore. Bath is adorable! Little tea shops, cafes, and anything imaginable! All the store fronts are as cute as can be! I didn’t know where to look because everything made me go “Awww”. Eventually we made it to our designation, the Jane Austen Museum. All the workers were dressing in era clothing and had names from her books. I was in heaven. Jane Austen herself lived in Bath for a time and two of her novels took place here. We finished off the tour with having tea in the Jane Austen Regency Tea Room. My apple tea and scone tasted like fall, which was scrumptious. After discovering that Jane had lived in bath, and that one of her houses was just up the street, we set out on a mission to find them! The first house was similar to the house that the Jane Austen Museum was in. We took our pictures and set out to find her nicer house! Four Sydney Place! On that trek, we made our way past so many shops that we just had to stop at, that it took us forever to make a ten minute walk. Eventually we arrived! The house has a view of this lovely park and is very grand! At the museum I had bought an Christmas ornament that is a doll Jane Austen and we amused ourselves by talking pictures of the doll walking out of the front door. We are mature‚Ķ I swear.

Tired from a day of traveling and walking, we set off back to the hostel to check in and rest. We ended up falling asleep and woke up just in time for all the food places to stop serving food. We were hungry though, and determined. Somehow we managed, returned to our hostel and planned for the next day.

The next morning, we rose early so we could beat the crowd to the Roman Baths. Trying to find a place to have breakfast before 9 was a struggle. We finally located a cute little cafe right next to the baths. The door was open, so we walked in. Thankfully they were open! We had tea and scones for breakfast, because that seems to be the only thing we eat‚Ķ. From the window on the second floor, we had a beautiful view of the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. What a wonderful start to the morning! We then crossed the little square to the Baths. After purchasing our tickets, we began the audio tour (I think I’m an expert on audio tours now‚Ķ not that theres much to know). The baths were breathtaking. There really isn’t much more than that. It is amazing that the Romans had such ingenuity and creativity. They even figured out heated floors for crying out loud! They had that system down! The Roman Baths were amazing, and all I wanted to do was jump in! You could see the steam rising from the water and we were busy freezing our butts off in the cold. Never the less, at the end, they give you the opportunity to drink some of the water from the hot spring, since it is said to have medicinal properties. After watching a young boys comical face after he drank some and exclaim “It tastes like dirt!” we just had to try some. Not so much because we were dying to taste it or that we believed it was magic, but because it was nice and warm, and we were freezing. Whitely and I think it tastes like the tap water here, not too bad, but not good by far. It warmed us up though! Warm (at least warmer), we set off on the next adventure.

We were determined to try one of the “Famous Bath Buns” so off we headed to Sally Lunns Buns, but there was a line, and we were on a time crunch. We found another cute place and wandered inside. When they asked four our orders, we took some tea and asked for the buns. Me, not really knowing what to expect, asked “Do they come with anything, like jam or cream?” The waitress answered simply, but not without slight perplexity, “No? Um they come with butter!” At that we awaited to see what exactly a bun was. We were not disappointed! They were light and fluffy with a light coat of sugar and bits of dried fruit on top. Delicious!!

Next on our itinerary was a trip to Stonehenge! We stopped off at a little vegetarian cafe to pick up some sandwiches to go (take-away) and then went to where the bus was meeting! The sandwiches took so long that we just made it to the meeting place on time! We made it never the less! Needless to say, we fell asleep on the trip to stonehenge too, which made to hour trip go by very fast! Before we knew it, we were there! The first thing we did was check the gift shop for mittens or gloves. They didn’t have any besides some kid gloves that wouldn’t have done much, so we set off to the shuttles that take you to Stonehenge, cold hands and all. Stonehenge isa bit like time traveling. You see these massive stone structures and know that people, forever ago, had the ability to make it. They transported those huge stones from great distances, sculpted them with intelligence, and formed this monument! People from all over England, Wales, and Scotland had a part in making this. To me, that is unbelievable! Not only that, but you see Stonehenge all the time in pictures, books, or even movies, but nothing at all compares to seeing it in person. It ¬†may just be a pile of rocks, but it has been there for a thousand years and is still standing. Those people left a mark on the world that people still flock to so many years in the future. Stonehenge and the history behind it is inspiring as well as breathtaking. It was a highlight of the trip! After our two hours were up, we made our way back to the bus, postcards in hand, and once again fell asleep on the journey back to Bath.

Having arrived back in Bath, our primary focus became finding dinner. It was only 6pm, but everything closes so early here! We finally found a pub/ restaurant where we ordered some soups/stew and cider. Yumm and warm! For dessert we had some Chi tea (I’m obsessed). Looking for something to do for the ¬†night, we went to see The Maze Runner at a local movie theatre. Although there are universities in Bath, it doesn’t seem much like a college town. At the pub, we were defiantly the youngest ones. With that, we settled on a night in (well sort of in) with a movie! We got a little lost on the way to the theatre but made it just in time! After the movie, we turned in early since we had an early train in the morning. Overall, the weekend had been amazing, full of history and adventures and tea! How lovely is Bath!

Wish you were here,

Kaylee

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Brighton My Day

Dear Donica,

What a day-cation! Since neither Whitley nor I had class on Wednesday, we went on a little day trip to the coastal town of Brighton. For some strange reason, Brighton reminded me of you. It was like being thrown back in time and being timeless all at once. Walking out of the train station was like walking into Disneyland, some how just not real. On our short stroll to the beach and pier, we passed several pastry shops and cafes that we couldn’t resist photographing. Once we arrived at the shore, not so much a beach, the sea breeze struck us! Oh how we felt like we were back in California. There were some major differences of course. Instead of the sand I love playing in, there were pebbles, and by pebbles I mean huge rocks that are just smooth. It was rather hard to imagine people strolling the beach barefoot during the summer, or children playing with the stones. ¬†They must have had their fun on the Brighton Pier, which stretched far into the water and was covered with an arcade, carnival rides, restaurants, and little shops. If the town itself didn’t take you back in time, the pier had to. Everything has the feeling that it could have been there since the early 1900’s. I felt like the servants from Downton Abbey would be playing the carnival games for the one they are keen on, or soldiers from the War doing the same. The pier is ageless.

Now we were rather lucky. It had rained while we were on the train but as soon as we were off, it cleared up rather beautifully as we strolled the beach and pier. Upon completion of these, it began to pour, not just pour, but POUR. I finally understand why umbrellas break. While mine did not, it was only because the wind prevented me from even using it. We took shelter in a museum that was free. It was interesting to say the least. The first bit was furniture, but not fascinatingly antique, more retro‚Ķ not quite my style. Eventually it turned into items from Brighton’s past. Adds from the early 1900’s, news about the war, former arcade games from the pier. Having exhausted the museum, we headed back into the weather. It was a tab better, mostly off and on. When the sun shines here, you are hot, but when it ¬†isn’t directly on you, you are very cold. We moved on to find one of the adorable cafes. In the process, we found a bookstore. Oh no, not one of the bookstores you’d find by us. No it was multiple floors with tall ceilings. You needed to use a ladder to get to the top shelves. All the books were rare and old! Probably older than the US. Those were of course, out of my price range, but down the beautiful iron work stair case, was the general collection. Don’t get me wrong, there were still old books. There were books about everything! Anything you desire!! I got a series of three books of poetry by Chaucer from 1903‚Ķ I forgot how difficult he was to read. Whitley got a copy of “David Copperfield” that was a teaching edition for a Primary School. Not to mention that the storekeeper was exactly what you’d picture. He was an old man with wiry grey hair, round glasses, and a tweed suit. His British accent obviously helped the feeling that we was a scholarly old man. This little bookstore was our heaven.

We did have to move on however much we didn’t want to. Not that what came next was awful exactly. We were debating between two cafes and chose the lovely little Ella. There we sat for hours having tea and cake! We ordered some toasties take-away! We sauntered over to the other adorable cafe (because, you know, there were just so many of them) and ordered some French macaroons also for take-away. We ate really well on the train needless to say.

I’ll spare you the details of our two hour delayed train that was then canceled, and leave you¬†by saying, you always Brighton my day!

Wish you were here,

Kaylee

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Edinbur-OH!

Dear Mommy,

I find it amazing that this past weekend Kayla and I went to Edinburgh together. I really cannot believe that we have been friends for more than 15 years and how we went from Lee and La, and everyone asking us if we were sisters, to traveling to a foreign country together while studying abroad at the same time. Aside from the incredibility of the situation, we had an amazing time!

Edinburgh was more than I expected it to be! While it was cold and rainy the night we got there and the entire next day, we managed. We froze, but we managed. Nothing a cute wool, tartan scarf can’t fix! Even before the train ride there we decided we had packed too much, but too little to late, and we boarded the train from Kings Cross. Four hours of bottled excitement later, we were in Edinburgh, a dark, rainy, and freezing Edinburgh. Managing to carry our bags and an umbrella at the same time, we set out for our hostel. The thing was, there was a tall bridge right above our heads that we thought we had to be on. After a few glitches, we realised, the maps are not 3-D and don’t tell you when its a bridge and not a street, or maybe they do. We couldn’t figure that out. Anyways‚Ķ. after walking through a sketchy ally way with millions of stairs, we reached our hostel! Woooo! High Street Hostel was cute as could be complete with a suit of armour! After checking in, defrosting our feet, and getting settled, we set off to a pub to have some much loved cider ūüėČ and plan our Saturday. The pub, suggested by Kayla’s friend was a short walk from the hostel and looked awesome! When we got inside and got our cider, we looked around to notice, we were the only girls there. It was sports night and rugby was playing on a huge screen. The situation didn’t get much better but we did plan our trip!

The next morning we got up early and went on our way to The Elephant House, were J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. That place was the best breakfast of my life. I got a traditional Scottish breakfast (minus the haggis) and a peppermint mocha that was like heaven in a cup. The view of Edinburgh Castle wasn’t bad either‚Ķ We took elephant short bread cookies to go! Continuing to Grassmarket street, probably my favourite place EVER, we visited a couple cute boutiques, bought a macaroon, and visited a vintage/thrift shop. On the street there were also booths selling cute little things. Its at one of them that Kayla and I got our Scottish souvenirs, tartan wool scarves. Next, we set out toward Edinburgh Castle. The Castle is amazing but different. There is something about how it is situated on the rocks that really just looks natural and imposing. After walking around the outside for a bit and taking pictures, headed to Princes Street. Popping in at the National Gallery (which is free) to warm ourselves, we realised how much we love art! It was just amazing! Princes Street was breath-taking as well, the rolling hills with medieval buildings and ancient bridges all around it. This is where we chose to eat our cookies, and they were delicious! Next came Carlton Hill which was beautiful! The hill with all the monuments was a trek to get to but, as it had stopped raining, was so worth it! The view of Edinburgh and the water was simply gorgeous! We finished off the day with some Scottish cider (whiskey cask flavoured) and Brave on Kayla’s phone.

Our last day there began early once again. Sunday morning we rose, ate, and checked out. We headed straight for Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s Summer Residence. We decided to go inside this one, and it was worth it! The court yard was spectacular with intricate ironwork. The inside decor was “fit for a queen”, and the ruined abbey outside was something from a fairy tale. Overall, this was a favourite! From there we trekked up to the top of Arthur’s Seat, which was difficult to say the least. We were both sick and not feeling well, and the wind was freezing and much stronger than either of us were used to. I had to take several breaks to breathe, and Kayla wanted to keep going since she was freezing. By the time we made it to the top (the views were simply earth shattering) the wind was so strong it blew rocks in our faces and eyes and we were so fearful of being blown over, that we didn’t want to move. Needless to say, we didn’t last long at the top and soon we were descending. At the bottom, back at the palace, we met my friend and fellow Alpha Phi, Ayushi, who is studying abroad in Edinburgh. She took us to a pub with traditional Scottish food. Here, I ate a haggis burger‚Ķ It was good! While I didn’t want to dwell on what haggis consists of, it was flavourful and yummy. After the late lunch, we headed back to Grassmarket Street for our last few hours in Scotland. We browsed some more and added up at “Milk Bar”. They had scrumptious looking chocolates, tempting ice cream, and a hot chocolate float (ice cream in hot chocolate). We settled for some tea though. Two teapots of flavourful tea and two lavender white chocolates later, we made our way back to the hostel to grab our luggage and leave the wonderful city.

I’ll spare you the details of our journey back, but overall, I think I fell in love with this small city. Walking around you feel like you are in Harry Potter. While I haven’t even read the books (shame on me), I just was in awe of this little world. It really seems like a different world than the one we live in.

Wish you were here,

Kaylee 

We made it to Scotland! - High Street Hostel

We made it to Scotland! – High Street Hostel

The Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote HP

The Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote HP

A cup of heaven (peppermint mocha) at the Elephant House

A cup of heaven (peppermint mocha) at the Elephant House

Victoria Street - Grassmarket Street

Victoria Street – Grassmarket Street

Kilts Kilts everywhere!

Kilts Kilts everywhere!

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Princes Street

Princes Street

Our Elephant House elephant shortbread cookies!

Our Elephant House elephant shortbread cookies!

Princes Street

Princes Street

Carlton Hill

Carlton Hill

View from Carlton hill - Look! Blue Sky!

View from Carlton hill – Look! Blue Sky!

Our Scottish night - Scottish cider (whiskey cask flavour) while watching Brave

Our Scottish night – Scottish cider (whiskey cask flavour) while watching Brave

I could be a royal guard. Right?

I could be a royal guard. Right?

Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace

That door

That door

The ruined Abbey

The ruined Abbey

A view from the bottom of Arthur's Seat

A view from the bottom of Arthur’s Seat

The Palace

The Palace

The Royal Mile with my royal sister!

The Royal Mile with my royal sister!

We had the time of our lives!

We had the time of our lives!

What do you mean I’m not a Princess?

Dear Mommy,

This Past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to “the loveliest castle in the world” with other international students at the University of Kent. If you don’t know (which I didn’t) the loveliest castle in the world is Leeds Castle which is located near Maidstone, Kent. On approach, you’d be amazed. The gardens and parks surrounding¬†the castle are phenomenal. They stretch as far as you can see with little lakes and rivers breaking up the rolling green hills. Looking out over the vast parks reminded me of what I expected Mr Darcy’s Pemberly to look like from Pride and Prejudice. Beautiful old trees shade corners of the lakes and provide what I would call “a perfect reading spot.” To top it all off, what would a castle be without a moat? The answer is, the Tower of London, but we won’t go there. Surrounding this beautiful castle with its amazing architecture is a deep moat with a draw bridge that leads into the little shopping centre.

After a long, but beautiful wait, we went on our tour through the castle itself. The palace was decorated for autumn, with fruit and flower displays or orange and red in each room and hallway. Looking through the rooms and reading the histories of them is amazing. While the castle itself is a bit newer, many of the rooms where restored to their most famous state. As an example of this, the room in which Catharine of Aragon, King Henry VIII’s first wife slept as well as her bedroom (which is not the room in which you sleep‚Ķ because that makes sense) were restored to show what they would have looked like back then. My favourite room was the library. I felt like I was stepping back in time, into the ages of books, hundred of books. They covered the walls, only giving way to a grand fireplace and portrait. I could imagine myself sitting on one of the many luxurious chairs at the window, reading a novel until the sun disappeared. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Another fun fact i think you’ll enjoy, like our favourite TV show, Downton Abbey, Leeds Castle was used as a hospital during the war. Just thought that was interesting.

Overall, the entire day was amazing, we even wandered through the maze. It wasn’t until we decided to try and find our way out that we made it to the centre of course. Thats how life goes I suppose. I know I’ve talked about a lot of different things that Leeds Castle reminds me of, but the most prominent is my purple princess room from when I was a child, the purple walls, princess wallpaper with princesses, castles, and unicorns. Okay so maybe there weren’t any unicorns here, but princess and queens walked these same halls and hills. I know life in castles weren’t exactly up to today’s standards, but I wouldn’t mind living there. I cannot wait to go to Highclare Castle with you!

Wish you were here,

Kaylee

Leeds Castle parks

Leeds Castle parks

What do you mean I'm not a princess>

What do you mean I’m not a princess>

One of the beautiful lakes surrounding Leeds Castle

One of the beautiful lakes surrounding Leeds Castle

One view of the Castle

One view of the Castle

I'm in heaven in this library

I’m in heaven in this library

The group..

The group..

My Own Canterbury Tales

Dear Mommy, 

I know its been over a week since I’ve posted to bare with me here. When I last posted I was in London and it was the day before orientation began. Orientation for my studying abroad program was fun and informative. I don’t know how people study abroad without that kind of help. They told us some key differences about England and the University¬†system. We got a walking tour around London which, while I had already explored, was amazing to get a local’s knowledge and perspective. They transported us to Canterbury and set us loose.

Moving in was a challenge. It was such a different experience than moving into UCI. When I moved in there, I had Cody helping me know everything and him, you, and Kim helping me carry things. Here, I was alone with two huge suitcases and lost. There were three of us from California in Eliot College (where I live) and after walking about 10 to 15 minutes we finally found it. They gave us our keys and we all went our separate directions. Some helpers showed me to my room (thank god!), but being the stubborn me that I am (wonder who I got that from) I wouldn’t let them help me with my luggage‚Ķ stupid me. Thankfully, there were no stairs and they it didn’t take long. Soon they were leaving me to my own devices. The room was a pleasant surprise, much bigger than I expected and with a beautiful view of a park. The drawback is that I have absolutely no cell service‚Ķ fixed later by wifi. At that point though, I had no way of communicating with Brittni or anyone. I felt so alone and lost. I unpacked a very little and set out to find people and bedding (kind of important). After leaving the building my service returned and Brittni and I set out on our mission for necessities, like bedding and food. After taking the bus to the Canterbury city centre, live changed. Canterbury is one of the most beautiful sights to see. Not only is the Cathedral more than amazing, every building looks like it belongs in a fairy tale or a move set. Dazed, hungry, and in a hurry, the stores began closing on us! We ended the night knowing that we had much more t get the next day. I was lacking a duvet, which meant I got to have a very cold night‚Ķ We busses back and unloaded our stuff back at our rooms. In agreement, we decided that we were too tired to much that night so we just checked out one of the dorm pubs‚Ķ Yes that is a thing. Most of the dorms have a bar in them. It wasn’t very alive and everyone was Freshers (1st years). After talking to a couple people and everyone mimicking our accents in a very annoying fashion, we went back.

The next few days followed in the same fashion, trips to the city centre for goods and attempting to find places to hang out. We’ve gotten really close to some of the people in our program and do a lot together. We’ve been geocaching around the campus which is amazing and really helps us explore more. Also, since this year is the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary, they built a ferris wheel! The Canterbury Eye and it’s right outside my window! This place is just amazing. I really can’t explain it without going on and on. I cannot wait for you to visit here! You’ll love it just as much as I do! I feel like I’m in a book (but more like a blog). I’ve been in Canterbury less than a week but there is so much to explore!

Wish you were here,

Kaylee

p.s. I found a tattoo place here in Canterbury…

Canterbury City Centre

Canterbury City Centre

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral Courtyard

Inside the Cathedral Courtyard

Canterbury Cathedral Courtyard

Canterbury Cathedral Courtyard

My new favourite place!

My new favourite place!

The beauty of the canals

The beauty of the canals

Such a historic city

Such a historic city

Canals

Canals

Another canal picture

Another canal picture

Look Mommy! I made friends!

Look Mommy! I made friends!

I want to live in this house

I want to live in this house