Coffee Makes the World Go Round

It might not actually make the work go round, but coffee definitely helps me function everyday. Especially now that it’s that time of the year again–exams and the end of the semester madness.  Luckily for me, a new coffee shop opened this year (on the same block as my apartment) that serves “American sized” coffee. It’s a lifesaver. My week and a half of exams starts Monday, so going to be I’m holed up in my apartment and this coffee shop studying for the next while.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I like to think that they were thinking of the 10 Americans at the school and gave us our holiday off from classes (it’s a nice thought), but we probably just got lucky and didn’t have class. Regardless of the reason, I was very appreciative to have the day off to relax, eat, sleep, and celebrate Thanksgiving. 🙂

This year, the school schedule has been a lot more consistent and we got a whole week off for Fall Break (plus 2 weekends!). I decided to explore and go on a mini tour of the UK during break. But first, it was off to Paris to start the break off right with an amazing OneRepublic concert.

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Next stop, Milton Keynes to visit Anna’s brother Steve. We had fun hanging out, exploring his town, and day tripping it to Cambridge. After spending the weekend with Steve, we caught a train into London. My 24 hour trip to London last October had left me hungry for more, so I was super excited to get to see more of the city. London definitely did not disappoint. We had breakfast at an American diner (with real pancakes), went on a walking tour of the city (including some Harry Potter highlights: Knockturn Alley and the inspiration for Diagon Alley), followed by a lovely afternoon tea.

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The next morning, we headed to see Stonehenge. We had booked a half day trip with a tour company and it was nice to have all of travels taken care of for the morning. Stonehenge is an incredible site and I’m so glad that we took the time to visit.

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Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to London the next morning, but not before visiting Kings Cross station and getting my picture taken at platform 9 3/4. Next stop: Liverpool. I have to admit, I planned my time in Liverpool horribly. It was supposed to be a quick stop on my way to Edinburgh and a way for me to see some of northern England, but the stop was a little quicker than I intended. I arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon, but by the time I checked into my hostel, it was already 3:30. Most of the museums and tourist attractions closed at 5pm and didn’t open the next day until 10am and my train the next day was leaving at 10am… Nevertheless, I made the most out of my short time in Liverpool, complete with a nighttime Ferris wheel ride. 🙂

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My final stop on my mini UK tour was Edinburgh, Scotland. I had a blast exploring the city (and awesome weather, it only rained once). I took a walking tour, visited the castle, had breakfast at the Elephant House (the birthplace of Harry Potter), and explored many of the bookshops and coffee shops around town. Edinburgh was a great place to spend Halloween. To celebrate, I went on a ghost tour and joined the crowd for the Samhuinn Fire Festival. Edinburgh is definitely somewhere I could see myself living and I can’t wait to go back one day. 🙂

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I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’m going to hit the books again, but the end is in site–only 18 more days until I’m home for Christmas break! 🙂