Friday, September 30, 2011

Manchester United and walking tour

We started off the day with the included breakfast at the hotel. It was a very English meal: beans, eggs and toast were the main dishes. I really am happy with this and could easily get used to it! I’m not really a breakfast person anyway, but beans sound amazing in the morning. Hopefully it’s something that continues!

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY IN A COUPLE HOURS! I totally didn’t even realize it until this very moment!! So completely excited. I have never have a birthday take me unexpected like this before :D It’s just because I’ve been so busy and doing things, etc.

Anyway, we went to Manchester United’s stadium, which was super neat.

 Then we went on a walking tour of Manchester’s cotton history, as they are “Cottonopolis”.
Cotton factory

Textiling factory

Gorgeous library

Manchester's symbol is a bee, and this is their coat of arms

We ended the evening over dinner of curry.
To be honest, I really do not like how in Europe one has to call upon the waiters. I think what bothers me is in the instances such as tonight where we had to hassle the guys to get our check, then they forgot about us…so we waited probably around an extra forty-five minutes since Robin continued to talk during the pauses about different things about England, briefing us on stuff, etc.

Planning on going out for my birthday, at least a little bit…gotta get the internet to post this and then maybe buying a birthday Jaeger. Yay!

Okay, adios!


So today I ended up waking up and moving out of my hostel, onto the Holiday Inn Express for my Bridging Cultures Program. I then met up with Robin, Emma and Marcus at the Manchester Art Museum. There, I saw a lot of beautiful pieces of art work, statues and interesting exhibits revolving around the history of Manchester. Very fascinating!

Manchester has swagger!

We then went over to get cell phones for Emma and Marcus, walking though Piccadilly Gardens. Apparently everyone likes to come and sit on it when there’s sunshine—imagine that!
Excited Manchurians
 We then went to China Town for lunch. We went to an all you can eat buffet. The food was a lot like the Chinese food that we get in the states, although slightly different flavors. Funny, because they had sushi as well, while it is a Japanese dish. I ended up eating Sweet-and-Sour Pork, which had a slightly different sweetness to it; a spring roll that had seaweed in it; etc. It was interesting, too, because they had a constant loop of Britney Spears music videos playing, from all of her albums. Hmmm. Haha
China Town entrance
 We ventured on home, hung out in our rooms (Emma and I talked the whole time, after taking showers, of course), hung out with Marcus for a bit as well, then we went on over to a pub for dinner. I had earlier bought a card supporting a child charity cause which gave me a free shot with any drink there, so it was nice to use the card so soon! This was a Vodka bar, which was an interesting concept; so many different kinds of vodkas! I’d like to go to a bar like that again if possible, simply because I've never experienced anything like it.
Anyway, we got all dressed up for ROLLER DISCO! It’s not like I was prepared for something like this…
Why would I ever be prepared for something like that?
And they were closed. Who knows. Run down… :(
So we instead went to the club that I was actually at the previous night, and we all had a good time dancing there!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dancing and mall strolling

So I ended last night with some dancing. I really needed it, as I found out some disappointing news on Facebook (AKA boy that I really liked this summer is now in a relationship). ANYWAY! So I went dancing--and it was AWESOME! I loved it a lot. The thing about Europe is that everyone dances exactly how they feel; there is no holding back. In the states, my dancing doesn't really fit in with most people since there's almost always a layer of self-consciousness buzzing in everyone. However, in Europe I fit in perfectly because I don't care, they don't care and we all smile at each other and dance our hearts out.

Today I woke up and hung around the hostel until I went to meet Robin, my "Bridging Cultures Program" leader. Her and I hopped on a bus and we to a mall nearby, meeting some of the students who are studying at the University of Manchester. Manchester itself, as I've been told, has the largest student population of any European country, so that gives the city a great feel!

We ended up wandering the mall a little bit and then dropping on by an activities center, which included indoor skiing, indoor skydiving, sledding, golf, etc...

Indoor skiing!
 It was really fun to watch the skiing, and I was temped; however, it is extremely pricey, so I'll stick to waiting until getting home. I'd rather spend my money on traveling, anyway.

Sky diving: the last dive. All the other dives had an instructor with a student, showing them the ropes. It was very fun to watch, although it made a few of us lightheaded
 The other students then left, so Robin and I went back into the mall for a bathroom break as well as to pick up some dinner. It was a beautiful mall, and funnily enough, the food court was modeled after a cruise ship!
I will admit, the cruise-like atmosphere made me miss cruises. However, nothing could beat the experience I'm getting right now!
 They also had a section that was super fancy, which kind of reminded me of Vegas
Example #1

They still had TGI Fridays, however
 Robin and I then grabbed some dinner, myself eating my inaugural fish and chips. It was delicious! Although, I would not have minded if I had more mayo for it. I am definitely appreciating being back in a country where it is acceptable to eat everything with mayonnaise on it :)

We then hopping back on the bus and I made my way back to the hostel. I had a quick Skype chat with my mom, which worked out nicely as I got to see her pickled peaches straight from the hot water pot! It was around 9PM. I then went out to a club with a guy who works at the hostel (originally from Vancouver, BC) and two other guys who are studying at Uni of Manchester (from Italy and Germany). We went out to a very awesome dance club, and got in for free with some coupons. It was absolutely amazing. The music selection was perfect, the dancing got hot and it was really fun dancing with the guys! The DJ started the night with some excellent music that I didn't know, but all very dancable songs. Then, as the night progressed he threw in some more American songs, including "Stacy's Mom" (bringin back 7th grade, baby...!), some Kings of Leon, Katy Perry (could have done without, but still singable), etc. There honestly wasn't a single song that I wished would have ended sooner--everything was wonderful! Then, as I was getting tired, they played "Song 2" by Blur, so I told Ben, the Canadian, that we could go right after it. We danced hardcore, then started to leave. At that moment they segwayed into the song "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand, which is a personal favorite. Couldn't leave. Song then blends into "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. DEFINITELY couldn't leave! Danced and sang. Surely, this was the last song. WRONG. Stomp stomp clap, stomp stomp clap...WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU! Really DJ? You put on Queen when I'm really trying to leave? Of course I can't go now! I sort of started giving up on my attempt to leave, especially when the song "Little Lion Man" by Mumford and Songs started right after. However, we made our exit during it, and got to hear the end as we grabbed some water for the walk back.

Anyway, it was altogether absolutely lovely. My theory is that if you go out dancing, your jet lag will be killed almost instantly. Not only are you getting the physical exercise, but it also helps you to stay awake until the time that you should begin sleeping.

Keep this in mind.

Loves! <3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pictures from my rambling today!:

Piccadilly Gardens 

Piccadilly Gardens

Royal Exchange Theater -- hopefully will be going back there when it's fully open! Such an incredible structure!

Royal Exchange Theater

Town --  I think that what struck me the most about this was how one would be in the middle of a  modernized city, and yet there were these beautiful old buildings! Something that one doesn't ever see in the United States 

I just really liked this building...

...and also this building, too. I like the positioning of the sign in general!

Anyway, that was my random tour of city central! I really enjoyed getting to walk around and get a feel for the city. Of course there were many other beautiful areas, but I didn't take a picture of every one of them. 

Flights and settling in

Hello all!

Lynette here, writing in the hostel in Manchester, UK.

My flights were broken up nearly in half: SEA to NY, then NY to Manchester. The first flight was fortunately spent sitting next to an attractive young army student who was very easy to talk to, who conveniently was my age. I really enjoyed the time I spent next to him and wish that I would have asked if we could be Facebook friends, as I feel like he wanted to. Oh well. Almost twenty minutes straight of turbulence, which was making me sick to the stomach, but everything ended up okay. I then had a four hour layover, so I spent a bit of it getting my nails done, as they were looking atrocious (as well as it being a productive time waster). I also ended up talking to Scotters on the phone, as well as Amelia. My second flight I ended up watching movies the entire time (the system was way better than normal, as well).

I had a pleasant taxi ride to my hostel and no complications anywhere with either baggage, customs or anything else that could have come up. Well, unless you count the fact that my plane's power went out right before we almost took off! The airport lost power so all the planes did as well, presumably for security reasons.

I am planning on seeing the city right after starting this blog. I guess I'll just start new blogs each time I've done something productive, rather than adding to old ones.

Anyway, off to "ramble" the city! I will hopefully end up taking some pictures today and posting them later on tonight