The GoGlobal Blog

Tag: London

Crepes, Crepes, and more Crepes, please!

Crepes, Crepes, and more Crepes, please!

Sorry that is has been so long! February was a very busy month. SO MUCH TRAVELING!!

In the beginning of February I went to Paris!! It was an amazing trip because not only did I get to visit the City of Lights, but also I got to see my cousin and friend Mia. My cousin Bridget is studying in London for the semester and then Mia is in Paris. It was once in a lifetime experience to go and meet up with some of my best friends in such a beautiful city.

I arrived in Paris on Thursday night and stayed until Sunday morning. Bridget and I stayed together in the hostel because Mia is doing a home stay. On Thursday night we all met up to get dinner and catch up on our time abroad. We ended with our first night together by seeing the Eiffel Tower at night. It was the perfect way to end our first night together!

On Friday morning we got up early and walked around the city. Mia lives right near the Eiffel Tower so we walked from that area all the way to the Lourve. What was great about our trip was that Bridget and I had already been there when we were young with our grandparents, so we didn’t have to do any of the touristy stuff. We just roamed the streets of Paris, which was absolutely perfect. I had my first crepe and french macaroon there, AMAZING. I would go back solely to eat the macaroons.

We were tourists one day and went out to see the Palace of Versailles. I had never seen pictures of the Versailles, and I’m glad I didn’t; the pictures would not do it justice. It such a grand and beautiful place to go, and I would recommend anyone traveling to Paris to see it. The rooms were all extravagant and a bit ostentatious. My favorite (along with everyone else who goes to Versailles) was the Hall of Mirrors. I took a few mirror pictures, and I am not ashamed of it. After Versailles we went back to Paris, to again wander around Paris.

By far one of my favorite experiences I have had thus far in my time abroad. I still can’t believe that I got to see my closest friends in Paris! It was unreal to all be in Europe together and then being able to meet up.

Until next time….



Bonjour- From Across the Pond!

Bonjour- From Across the Pond!


Wow! This has been the most incredible week thus far! I will focus on my weekend in Paris, as that has been my favorite part of this week! I apologize for how long this post will be, as I can’t help but describe every detail of my trip… the main point of this post is if given a chance, you must go to Paris, the most romantic city in the world!

Friday morning we had to get up at 5am in order to make the charter bus at 6:05am. After finally getting on the bus, it finally hit us that we (Kathryn, Carmen, and I) were going to Paris! We expected to sleep on the bus for the entire 6-8 hour journey to Paris, however we hardly slept at all! We drove to Dover, where we got off the bus and went through French customs (which really just consisted of a frenchman talking french, then asking where we were going, and then stamping our passport). We then got on the ferry, which was nothing like a ferry I’ve ever been on- it was more like being on a cruise where there were restaurants, bars, and even stores that had beauty products. It took about an hour and a half to get into France. Once we arrived, we got back on the bus and drove for about another hour and a half where we then took a lunch break and went to “Quick”- a burger place that had a “Dark Vador Burger” and a “Jedi Burger.” Of course we had to try them! It was very strange ordering in French, as I spoke no French, Carmen only knew Spanish, and Kathryn knew some French. Luckily, Kathryn got us through!

After eating we got back on the bus and drove another hour and a half until Paris was finally before our eyes! It was breathtaking! The moment we saw the Eiffel Tower I knew I was going to love Paris!

We went on a boat tour on the river and saw various historical sights and then we went on bus tour around Paris. It was marvelous! We then had free time where we grabbed crepes for dinner at a crep restaurant across from our hotel. I had a nutella crepe with bananas!

After dinner we decided to go on an adventure and look around Paris. Our tour guide told us we should go near Notre Dame to a popular student area where they have different pubs and shops. It was supposed to be a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Apparently we took the wrong turn because after 30 minutes or so, Notre Dame was no where in sight. We got out our map like classic tourists and just stood there trying to figure out where we were. I was a little hesitant to ask for directions because I had heard French people tend to dislike Americans and won’t try to help you if you ask for directions. However, that was not the case at all, in fact throughout the trip, every person we asked was very helpful and did their best to help us. It was funny because we would ask for directions in choppy french, and then many times the person we asked would just respond in english like they knew we spoke english!

Anyway, we never did make it to the Notre Dame, but we walked around the river a little bit and managed to find a small restaurant on the river. We were all really tired so we ended up going to bed around 12a.

The next morning we had to wake up at 7a (you really don’t get any sleep while traveling, although I have no reason to complain), where we got a free complimentary breakfast (it was literally the best breakfast ever!). There was the usual eggs, sausage, cereal (although it was chocolate cereal), and then there was the amazing croissants, ham, cheese, and french bread! They also had a fancy coffee machine, fresh orange juice, and milk. “Wow” is all I can say!

After breakfast we were off to our busy day of seeing Butte Montmartre, a small, beautiful neighborhood right outside the old Paris walls where famous artists like Van Gough and Picasso once lived. It was very neat because there was an artists’ square where many different artists were painting and trying to sell their own art work. There was this one statue of a famous singer in France (whose name escapes me at the moment) but her life was very tragic- she had three husbands all of whom ended up committing suicide while being married to her- eventually leading to her committing suicide- anyway the reason I bring up this statue is supposedly it brings you good luck to rub her chest area- something that seemed totally bizarre! After walking around for a while and stopping to admire Van Gough’s old apartment (an older Japanese lady now owns it but only visits about once a year and leaves flowers in the windows to pay her respects to him) we got lost from the group! Kathryn, Carmen, and I were all freaking out because we couldn’t find our tour group anywhere. Eventually we did, but for about 15 minutes we were completely lost. It’s all part of the experience, right? 🙂

After the walking tour we went to Notre Dame, where the gothic architecture was just gorgeous. To my surprise, you were allowed to take pictures inside the beautiful cathedral, which in a way seemed to take away from the experience, but I’ll admit I did take some nonetheless. It was too beautiful not to!

After taking in the site of the gorgeous cathedral, my friend Carmen wanted to get a good picture of her jumping in front of Notre Dame so we kept taking pictures, but none of the shots captured her in the right moment. After about ten tries, we finally succeeded at getting a good jumping picture! We celebrated and a group of people started clapping because they were watching our many failed attempts at getting a good picture! It was so funny! We bowed and just laughed off the moment.

We then went to grab some lunch at a local cafe with a few people we met on the tour. I had the “madame,” a sandwich on french bread with cheese and ham. It was pretty delicious. After getting full on french bread, we decided to find Angelina’s, a restaurant that is supposedly known for having the best hot chocolate in the world. It just so happened it was fashion week in Paris and we just so happened to pass where fashion week was happening. There was something about just knowing famous people and designers were just a tent away just made our experience in Paris that much more exciting.

We passed a hotel where a lot of people were just standing around the front door. We couldn’t figure out what was going on so we asked why people they were waiting outside of the hotel… it turns out Jessica Alba, Kristen Stewart, and other famous people (there were about five) were staying in the hotel for fashion week. It also turned out Angelina’s was right next to this hotel! The line just to get into Angelina’s was about a 45 minute wait and yes, we waited over 45 minutes to get this hot chocolate. Let me tell you, it was worth every minute! The whipped creme was different than whipped creme in the U.S. as it wasn’t very sweet but it was somehow still very good. Everything about Saturday was just amazing!

We were pretty tired so once we got back to the hotel, we rested for a bit and then went on a pub crawl. In order to get to the pub crawl we had to take the Metropolis (Paris’ version of the L). Carmen got on the train and then the doors were closing so I decided to stick my arm in the door thinking it was like an elevator and would open. Much to my surprise the doors closed right on my arm without any warning and my arm was stuck! Luckily another person thought they could take on the doors as well and was literally stuck half on the train and half off. They opened the doors after about 20 seconds but those 20 seconds seemed like the longest 20 seconds ever!

On Sunday we woke up early to get breakfast (again, amazing!) and then we went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, besides some other breath- taking artwork. Our guide knew a “secret” way to get into the Louvre so we didn’t have to wait in line to see the museum. The museum was massive! Supposedly it would take someone 6 months to see every piece of artwork in the museum, and that’s only looking at each piece of art work for 15- 20 seconds!

After our visit to the Louvre, the reality of going back to London began to sink in. We left Paris around 1p and got to the British customs around 4p. Unfortunately we were stuck in traffic just to go through customs for about 3 hours. By the time we got through customs and finally on the ferry, we were starving so we got our first fish n’ chips! It was good, but one complaint I have is you have to pay for each ketchup pack you use… this is bad news for a ketchup addict like myself (haha)!

We arrived back in London safe and sound where it was nice to be home!

Since I am here to study, I guess I should mention I actually had my first paper due today (thursday) for my personality psychology class. The way to turn in papers is different from in the U.S. in that you don’t put your name on your paper, you have to print off a cover sheet that has your student id number on it, and you have to turn your paper in to the undergraduate office sometime before your class! The British are all about the anonymity!

Anyway, I am off to make some dinner! Tomorrow I actually leave for Edinburgh, Scotland!

Cheers! 🙂

P.S. The reason Paris is the most romantic city in the world in my opinion, is there is this bridge where couples go to leave a pad lock on the fence of the bridge and then they throw the key into the river to symbolize they will be together forever! Men if you’re a sap for romance, this would be the perfect place to take your lady!

Live from London it’s… Monday?

Live from London it’s… Monday?

Fact: I have been in London for a month. Fact: It is getting warmer and I am beginning to feel more and more like a local. Fact: I am starting to call London my home!

It seems like it has been ages since my last blog post because, well, it has! So much has happened within the past couple weeks that I don’t even know where to begin telling my adventures (I’ll attempt to do them justice!)!

In the past couple weeks I have been to both Portobello and Camden Markets, I have been to M&M’s World London, and I have finally attended my first play production here in London. All of which were amazing.

First let me tell you about the markets. They are crazy! We need some in Chicago! There are people everywhere trying to get the best bargains on all of the merchandise being sold at random booths. The owners of each booth are quite pushy, as every time you even eye one of the dresses (there are multiple dress booths, that all sell the same dresses) they come up to you and tell you you should take it for “only 15 pounds.” 15 pounds is equivalent to about $25… not exactly the best deal when the material is quite thin and the dresses are very small. My friend Kathryn was looking through the dresses at one booth and one of the owners came up to her and she promptly turned to me and said “watch how it’s done.” She bargained with him for 5 minutes and got him to give her two dresses for 22 pounds, a really good deal considering the dresses were marked as 15 pounds each!

M&M’s World London is perhaps one of my favorite places I’ve been to so far. I know it is very touristy, but after all, I am a tourist, just one who is staying for over 4 months! When you’re walking on the street you can smell the chocolate! It’s every chocoholic’s dream! When you walk in the store, you are instantly surrounded with various M&M merchandise, plus buckets upon buckets of colorful M&Ms. There were pretty many people in the store, but the store was so big, it had multiple levels and different “M&M rooms” like the green M&M was described as a “princess M&M” and thus they had girly things in the green M&M room. There was even a scale looking object that you would step on and it would tell you what M&M color you would be and why. The line was pretty long so I didn’t participate, but I would imagine I would be blue because after all, blue is the best M&M ;).

This past weekend, I saw my very first play production and I have to say it was pretty neat. I saw “She Stoops to Conquer” with Kathryn and my new roommate Sophie (yes, in these past two weeks I have gotten a roommate!). It must have been a popular play to see because it was completely sold out. We sat in the second row on the right hand side of the stage. We were so close to the stage! The acting was superb and the play was interesting (this means if you’re ever in London, you should see it :)).

I also went to the Museum of London with my history of Victorian London class. All of the artifacts were very interesting, especially the Victorian London part. Apparently people used to go on “Garden Walks” every sunday and they would dress up with crazy dresses and would wear unique hats, to say the least. After that a couple girls from my class and me went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which again was breathtaking. It was surreal to see St. Paul’s Cathedral surrounded by the Occupy London movement. There were so many tents surrounding the cathedral and there were also many policeman just watching the protestors. This Occupy movement made the Occupy Chicago movement look miniscule.

I’ll admit that for the first couple of weeks, I was feeling homesick, but now it seems my homesickness has disappeared. I still miss everyone from home, but I am starting to call London my home as well.

This coming weekend I am finally going to Paris with a couple friends! I’m sure it will be beautiful and a lot of fun! I’ll take numerous pictures and keep you updated on how it goes!

Cheers from London!