Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Month: December, 2015

Home for the Holidays

IMG_2071 IMG_2073 IMG_2074 IMG_2127 IMG_2136 IMG_2144 IMG_2146 IMG_2170 IMG_2189

“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays. Cause no matter how far away you roam…”

This song, this SILLY song that I’ve known and quite frankly not cared at all about my entire life… this year, it means so much to me. England is a great adventure. This ENTIRE year has been a giant adventure. And I love it all, I really do. But there’s something about home. My energy flows. 

I drove down to the beach by myself with my camera the day after I landed in the states. I needed to drink in the sun and the ocean and all of my other favorite things that I had left behind for so many months. It was cold. A year ago, I might have thought it was a bit bland. But that day, everything was shimmering. 

“When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze, for the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home.”

Peterhouse College

IMG_1228IMG_1253IMG_1244IMG_1227IMG_1267Peterhouse College is the oldest college at the University of Cambridge; it was founded in 1284 (yes, TWELVE), and it certainly looks the part. Candlelight, spiral staircases, hidden studies, torches, even a dark bell tower. I felt like Harry Potter, feasting in the Great Hall. “Magical” really is the only word to describe it. 

(Excuse the quality of the photographs. I didn’t want to lug my nice camera to the Christmas banquet, and the dim lighting made it hard to capture much via iPhone. But I did my best!).

Christmastime in London


Christmastime in London is stunning. The entire city, aglow. I had obviously heard much about it before I arrived, and of course, it’s quick and easy to search for photographs online, but to be here and to experience it in person… that is special. Every street, every corner is decked in the most beautiful flights. Mince pies and mulled wine. The coziness of a fire in a pub, wrapped in plaid blankets. I wish it would last all winter. What will the dark nights will be like, sans the lights?

Tower of London

IMG_1605 IMG_1610 IMG_1629 IMG_1631 IMG_1646 IMG_1652 IMG_1664

My best friend was in town on business for a few days; it wasn’t the first time he had traveled to London, but still, neither of us had yet visited the Tower of London. It was a bit tricky meeting up at first without being able to use cellphones to communicate (his is American), but when we eventually found each other outside the ticket booth, it was so HAPPY. Living in Europe is an incredible experience and opportunity, but I fully admit that sometimes, I *really* miss my friends. Being together, even if just for one day, was the highlight of my month. 

Also, Tower of London: must-do. I can’t believe it took me this long to get out there, and I’m so glad my friend finally pushed us there. The history is just SO fascinating. And, oh!, those crown jewels. But forget the crown – there is the most enormous punch bowl I’ve ever seen, big enough to hold over 400 bottles of wine and, of course, gold-plated. Nothing less for the Queen.

I love this little castle in the city. And of course, I love my friends. 


IMG_1468IMG_1422IMG_1451 IMG_1432 IMG_1455 IMG_1462 IMG_1470

It was a dreary day in Cambridge, aka, the perfect day to get lost in the Fitzwilliam Museum. The best way that I can describe it is as a “miniature British Museum” – full of ancient artifacts, art, curiosities. My favorite was the stunning red portrait room that we visited at the end; there were portraits from all periods, from Henry VIII (founder of King’s College) to George Bernard Shaw (one of the founders of LSE). And of course, I am in love with the little antiques store across the street – *technically* not a part of the museum, but I couldn’t resist sharing. Isn’t it adorable? Our adventure concluded with afternoon tea, completed by three tiers of scones, clotted cream, and finger sandwiches.

A very British day, indeed. 

A Day at the Museum


A spontaneous trip to one of my favorite museums in all of the world, The British Museum. My three-hour dissertation workshop ended early, and since I was already in the city, I decided, “why not?” The museum is only a ten minute walk from my campus, and best of all, it’s free. I wandered in and wandered around – for hours. It’s so easy to get lost, to lose yourself in that place. 

I love being so close every day, knowing that it’s always there, waiting for me. That I can always pop back and pick up where I left off. 

%d bloggers like this: