Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Road trip..? Yes please.

Hey hey everyone! So it gets dark so EARLY here. And its only November! Boo. I googled "lack of vitamin D" and with a nice scroll down the page and not clicking on the articles I have learned a thing or two:
  1. Lack of vitamin D "leads to chubbier kids".
  2. Osteoporosis is commonly caused by lack of vitamin D
  3. Apparently its "linked to pain"?
  4. Lack of vitamin D could spell heart trouble (gasp!)
  5. Studies have show that by the end of the winter 50% of Britons are deficient in vitiman D
Haha. Man. I love google. Its just so comforting. Anywayyyy moving on to bigger and better things here....

So this weekend me and my dear flatmates embarked on a road trip! We took a nice excursion up into the famous Scottish Highlands. It was so fun! I love road trips to begin with, but this one was just a little different than the usual St. George or Cali trip.

With Sylvia as our driver we rented a car and left rainy Glasgow at 8 in the morning on Saturday. Syliva was a pro! She picked up the left side driving and shifting in no time.

And with only a small detour (aka getting lost..) we finally got out of Glasgow and on the beautiful banks of Loch Lomond. Is the biggest loch in Scotland I think. It was the first loch Ive seen since being here to and they are just stunning! With the vibrant fall colors and low clouds everywhere it was perfect.

Our directions for the trip
A wee bridge over loch lomond

Loch Lomond

 After crusin next to loch lomond for quite some time we got to the real highlands!!

Everything we saw was simply breathtaking! And it was the perfect day to, everywhere we went it WASNT raining! Unheard of in the highlands haha I did not open my trustee umbrella once! After traveling for a couple hours we took a stop for lunch in Fort Williams, home of the largest mountain in Great Britain, Ben Nevis. However.... I dont think I saw it. None of the "mountains" looked that big, so maybe its farther out than where we were.

From here we went east towards Inverness and the oh so famous Loch Ness. And on the way we took a dandy little stop at a castle on the shore of loch ness!

However only Paula went into the castle.. The rest of us just took pictures from afar :) Then we had a nice little driving lesson while Paula was exploring! Good and patient Sylvia was such a good instructor, she put up with all of us wanting to try. Haha after a half hour of jerky driving and endless stalling we continued driving farther up loch ness. By the way... it was FREEZING. If i cant complain about rain, i will complain about the temperature haha. We got to the touristy part of the loch and of course we had to do a little Nessie shopping! I was kinda suprised there wasnt more tourist sites along the loch to be honest. But it was really nice to see the nature untouched beauty!

After this little stop we drove on to Inverness, the "capital" of the highlands. We drove down this little scenic route which was gorgeous! All the fall colors were amazing, its just not something you can capture with a camera. This little road we took was great though, it ended up turning into a little single track road!

After this nice drive we finally got to a place where we could go down to the Loch! So we got out and explored the rocky shore and played around for a while. And I think we saw a glimpse of dear Nessie :)

Yes thats right! Ive submersed my hand in loch ness! The water was frigid! Paula was the only smart one who had her rain boots on so she could actually stand in the water haha. Despite my not-so-great photography skills, this place was so picturesque! I cant even compare it to anything I've ever seen, it was just amazing. After this we went back into Inverness to walk around for a bit before the sun when down. Inverness was really neat, quite small, but it had some pretty sweet buildings.

Since the sun sets so early there wasn't much to see after it got dark so we decided to just head straight back to Glasgow. Poor Sylvia... by this time she has been driving for about 8 hours and we had a good 2 and a half hour journey back. Haha but we only got lost once or twice... or three times.. We were very thankful for the round abouts. It is so nice to be able to circle around those as long as you want when your trying to figure where your going! I think we went around one four times haha. Good times. Luckily we had two iphones with maps to help us. However by the time we got back one was dead and mine had about 7 percent left. Close call. No worries though! We finally got back to wonderful Europcar with a full tank of gas and all of us intact emotionally and physically.

And 13 hours later, here is proof that we all survived the road trip! What a great crew if i do say so myself! All in all it was a flawless trip and seeing the highlands was simply amazing! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh the joy Novemeber 1st brings me!

Sue me, but I really hate blogging. It is sooo not my thing.

Well its been over 6 weeks, I think its about time I introduce you all to my wonderful flatmates! Haha i really like living with all international students. Its amazing how different and similar things are other countries and cultures. Living with different nationalities has definitely opened up my eyes to how big the world really is. I feel so privileged to experience these things firsthand and I couldn't ask for a better mix of people to live with.

So first we have Tereza! A proud citizen of the Czech Republic!

And here we have Paula! My north american sister from Burlington Canada!

Next up is Samaa from.. well... Holland and Germany and Iran I think..

And heres the beautiful Italian Sylvia

And last but not least is Lyn from Malaysia - (in the white shirt)

So yes! These are my wonderful flatmates! Like I said I couldn't ask for better roomies, they are so great! We have good times together that is for sure :)

Now just a little update with whats going on here -
  • Ive officially done my laundry ONCE since Ive been here. Hehehe. Now some of you might be a little repulsed by this. However.. can I just say that I feel very accomplished! A lot of you mocked me for the amount of clothing I hauled over here, but obviously it was a good idea. Considering doing my laundry costs about 10 pounds, I feel like I am being very economically efficient!
  • The great Bedbug Scare of October is finally over. We had a couple sketchy weeks of the possibility of having bedbugs, but finally last week our flat passed the investigation and we are bedbug free :) -seriously though, this freaked me out. I felt so violated every time I crawled into bed, wondering if I was sharing my bed with unwanted creatures.. Ewww. 
  • Finally I am no longer sick! I am pleased to announce I am back to good health :)
  • I ran for one hour the other day, I am so pleased with myself! I hate running and never thought I would do that for my choice of exercise in a million years. Despite the degree of hatred I have towards running, I feel so accomplished when I get done! 
  • I'm starting to unconsciously incorporate British slang into my vocabulary! Ross will be so proud. The other day on a day trip to Lanark (absolutely beautiful if i do say so) we had just finished lunch and I stood up and said "I wonder where a bin is". Ya. YA. It happened. And I was completely taken by surprise.. Who knows what else I'll be saying by the time I leave?? 
  • Ive taken up Ultimate Frisbee! I had my first training session last week. INTENSE. I was so bad, the person I was guarding on the other team was telling me what to do and where to run to... Hopefully I pick it up sooner or later. 
  • I bought T-Swifts new album this week and I cant stop listening to it. I love it so much! 
Halloween has came and gone once again, and I can officially listen Christmas music now!!!! Woohoo :) November 1st is always a good day for me. I know this just about disgusts some people, but I love Christmas time and the music that goes with it. Its funny though, since it is still so green here I feel weird listening to Christmas music during the day. So I wait til it is dark outside then I listen. It gets dark so early here, usually around 4:45 and it is dark. Its rather depressing! But at the same time its kinda cool haha. Interesting little tid bit - Glasgow the same distance from the north pole as Anchorage Alaska! Haha its a little bit warmer here though thankfully :)

Well that's all for now my friends! Don't judge me for my blogging frequency :)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello from Glasgow!

Well well well....

I think the fact that this is my first post since I've created this blog is pretty good proof that I am not good at this whole blogging thing. To be honest I dont know why I thought having a blog would improve my documenting skills.. However! I decided that I no longer have a choice in the matter, I WILL be blogging at least once a week now my dear friends! Kinda like when your mom would make you sit down and practice the piano, I am making myself sit down and write about whats going on here in the great city of Glasgow!

Man oh man.. I dont even know where to begin!! I have officially been gone from the great US of A for a month, and in Glasgow for three weeks! After a week of touring England we arrived in Glasgow, and moved me and my two humongous suitcases (weighing 63 and 67 lbs thank you very much) into my flat at the University of Strathclyde. Six of us live here at dear Birkbeck Court! My flatmates are a lot of fun, we all get along great. Tezera is from the Czech Republic, Paula is from Canada, Samaa is from Holland, Lyn is from Malaysia, and Sylvia is from Italy. It's a great mix if I do say so myself! Basically all of Birkbeck Court is international students, so I am meeting lots and lots of international people. My room is tiny!! But its not bad, I've managed to shove my clothes around so they all fit haha. We have a kitchen/living room area and one shower "cubical" , one toilet, and three sinks. Surprisingly its not bad! The stove in the kitchen is so cute haha. Its about half the size of the ones I'm used to back home! Luckily I dont cook extravagant things much so its not much of a problem for me haha. My Italian flatmate Sylvia doesnt like it very much though, she is a big cook and likes to have the space she needs! Seriously, she cooks the best stuff. I love it because she lets me sample!

So school has been in for about two weeks! It is so different here! At first it was very stressful for me. The system is a lot more laid back compared to USU. But it has begun to work out and I think I will enjoy all my classes. I can only take three classes a semester though, so I have a lot of free time! I got to lectures on Tuesday and Thursday, then I have three tutorials(smaller version of the class to go over class material) every two weeks. I'm taking Intermediate Microeconomics, Work and Organizational Psychology, and Management of Business Processes. So far so good! I really enjoy my Econ class, the professor explains things very well. However he stutters. As if understanding his accent wasn't enough of a struggle for me, he had to go and add a stutter in!! Haha it should be interesting. The style of learning is different here, they dont have require a lot of course work or assessments. Basically the focus is on the final exam which in some cases is 80 percent of your grade. Talk about stressful!!! Lets pray I dont botch the final, else I will be coming back in August to resit the exam!

I am truly loving it here in Scotland! It is absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen so many shades of green in my life haha. Honestly, I just cant soak up enough of the beautiful scenery! The people here in Glasgow are extremely nice as well. I wasn't really expecting strangers to be so helpful, so this was a nice surprise. Ive had to ask many a stranger directions and every single time they have been so willing to point me in the right direction. Haha which is good, assuming I can understand the accent! Me and my flatmate Paula went on a journey to find a Tesco Extra(basically a super store - non existent in the city) about a week ago, and we asked five different people for directions, and we could only understand three of them. I'm starting to understand the accent a little more these days! Woohoo! Its funny, sometimes I have to seriously concentrate on what people are saying else I wont comprehend what they are saying. I find myself just nodding and then walking away thinking "what in the world did they just say to me..?". I feel bad for my roommates who are learning english - I dont know how they are surviving. I'm a fluent english speaker and I still dont understand haha.

So besides my flatmates I hang out with people from the church lot! I really like church here, its different with it being so much smaller. But in a way it makes it more special that way. The church members here are so incredibly nice! They have been so great to me. Ross has showed me around the city which was super helpful at first. I didn't have a clue where anything was or how to get around the city at all! Because of the church I felt like I had friends right from the get go, I am so grateful for that. My first couple days here I felt so lonely, it was actually really hard for me. I wasn't expecting it to be so hard to go from being surround by people who care about you and what happens in your life to nothing! Having the church is a huge blessing, not only for because people welcome you without question, but also its so nice to be around people who have the same standards.

I feel like I am kinda topic jumping like crazy here, but I just have so much to say!! Ya for those of you who dont know who Ross is let me explain.. He served in the same mission as Tyler and he saw my picture and wrote me a letter back when I was still in high school. He told me he was from Scotland so I actually wrote him back and we began writing every so often. Long story short he lives in Dumbarton which is right outside of Glasgow, and he got home from his mission the first week in September - the same week I flew to London. He goes to the University of Glasgow which is in the west side of Glasgow, and he is studying languages! So yes its kinda crazy how it worked out, but I'm not complaining, it was great to have a personal tour guide haha. Thanks Ross!

So my flatmate Paula is really into traveling as well, so we are going to plan a trip! I'm so excited, we can get really cheap flights here so it wont even be expensive. Its nice though, she always wants to go explore places so I have someone to travel with! We took the train to this cute little town, Ayr, on the west coast of Scotland last weekend. It was such a cute place. We got to wander around the niffty streets and take pictures of the ornate buildings. We also went down to the beach and there was a big open park and a little amusement park right on the beach. It was so nice to see the ocean, and luckily it was raining! People were para-sailing in the ocean, it was cool! Haha and of course my camera dies a few pictures into the trip, so I wasn't able to capture how pretty it was. There was a cute little fish and chips shop on the coast, so we went there and got food. I have yet to get fish and chips haha. I'm nervous it wont be good!! Maybe next time I go to the coast I will get them though. Haha and dont worry I shall document it!

This weekend there was a Scotland YSA trip down to the Preston temple. There are five stakes in Scotland, so there was about 70 people that went. It was so much fun! We left Glasgow friday night, got to the accommodation at the temple about 11. Then Saturday was spent at the temple. I just did baptisms, but it was nice, Ross was able to baptize me and I had about five names. The temple was very peaceful as usual, and it was beautiful inside. After the temple a bunch of us went to a pub to eat lunch, then that night we went to Blackpool. It was so cool!! Haha it was actually a pretty cheesy place, but it was fun to walk around on the coast. Basically this city just has a bunch of amusement parks on the piers, so we walked along that with all the lights at night and it was cool. We went to a karaoke bar, which was hilarious. Oh the characters you find at these bars hahaha. There was a "hen" night going on and the ladies were just going crazy. A hen night is just a bachelorette party but they all dress up and go wild! We got kicked out though cause we weren't drinking anything. But it was still a good time! This morning we had a good sacrament and testimony meeting then headed back up to Glasgow. It was really enjoyable, and a great time to get to know people.

Well my friends this is an extremely long post and if you survived I am thoroughly impressed!! I hope it didn't bore you to much, I just needed to get you all caught up to the present! I will be keeping you posted more frequently though, so hopefully the next one will be a wee bit better... but until then love you all!! Xoxo :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Anti-Blogger goes Blogger

Yes my friends, it has happened. I honestly thought this day would never come. Ok well lets be real for a second, I at least didn't think it would be so soon. I had -until now- pictured this moment to be about six years from now when I'm married and presumably strapped down with children thus creating a bloggable life. However something has gone wrong. The little voice in my head is saying "Chelsea why.. WHY are you doing this to yourself?? How could you stoop so low?!" Cause I know I'd like to say I am still part of the anti-blogging community. But the mere fact that you are reading this now is a little red flag alerting you that something has changed besides the fact that I am still 19, single, and childless. All traits which I deem unbloggable. So how the crap did I end up creating a online ranting site to either A)attempt to entertain others peeps who may or may not care about my life B)entertain me while at work or C)psychologically make me feel better by ranting about the random quirks of life? Wellllll no need to worry, you're not alone. I've been wondering that too.

And I think I've narrowed it down to a few reasons.
1 - Peer pressure
2 - Stupidity (this can be combined with previous if you so desire)
3 - A lifelong bad habit of NOT keeping a journal

So here I am at a lovely family dinner last week and the topic of Scotland comes up. Which is totally fine, I thoroughly enjoy talking about it! It's nice tell people about what I'm doing, and see if they have any advice for me. Well of course my Aunt, bless her, keeps saying she is thrilled for me and can't wait to hear all about on facebook, and to make sure I take plenty of pictures. Then something bad happens. Something really bad happens. I say to my Aunt:

"Ya I've been thinking of making a blog"

SAY WHAT. I will tell you straight up that I had not been thinking about making a blog for Scotland. I don't know where those fateful words came from. Possibly my subconscious was pondering all the blogs I've been looking at lately while at work, and thought "Mmmm yes I'm a bloody genius, a blog would be a great idea for Scotland". I just don't know. Maybe it was inception. Maybe Leo got to me and an idea was planted into me. Whatever the case, my Aunt picked up on that faster than you could say chimichanga. It soon became a lost cause to try and take back the statement. The topic of conversation quickly went to what a great idea that would be, and how they would love to read about it. My sensitive side was being sucked in while my better half was giving logically reasons why I would not do it. I'm starting to feel what I like to call "chelsea being stupid and not thinking clearly" creeping over me and I am being suckered in, cause if you know me at all, it takes about .5 seconds to convince me of things. Yaaaa no good. Then my beautiful mother chimes in with "You could use it as a journal. I'd be a nice way to keep track of all the things you do over there! Think of all the pictures and stories you could have in one neat compiled place!"

Shoot... Now THAT gets me thinking. I start to reflect on my poor journal-making skills. Well... poor is a bit of an understatement.. I could count on one hand and maybe two fingers how many journal entries I have made since I turned eight. Two when I was eight and got my first journal. One when I'm in maybe fifth grade. One from Jr High. One in high school. And the others are just random experiences I've had spread out throughout my life. And every one of those entries (besides the first couple) always say something along the lines of, "I know I'm so bad at writing in this stupid thing, but I promise I'm going to try and be better." ...then three years later, "Why do I suck so bad at writing in this??" Its a vicious cycle. And its rather pathetic. So I got thinking, and I don't want Scotland to be like that. I want to remember everything I do over there, which for me is seriously impossible unless I document it somehow. I also want to be able to share my experiences with my beloved friends, cause heaven knows I might just die without them for five months.

So consequently here we are! I went against my better judgment and created one, even though I have no special talent or particular love of writing. Call me crazy, call me a hypocrite, call me whatever you want, but I look forward to posting my stories on here, and I hope you enjoy them.
P.S. You can thank my aunt and mom and possibly Leo for this blog :)