Friday, March 18, 2011

Visited Santander for a few days, but it was sadly cold and rainy so we didn´t experience the lovely Atlantic Ocean side of Spain.  It was still picturesque, just wish it had been warm and sunny like Alicante!

We landed in Madrid bright and early yesterday.  WHAT AN AMAZING CITY.  A very close second to Rome, I´d say.  It has these amazing plazas with great restaurants, architecture and amazing parks everywhere!  The city is just very people friendly and still manages to be clean even though its' population is massive.  very impressive.

Expect a LOAD of pictures from Madrid.  The place is just perfect for photography.  Saw a lovely castle today, the famous Prado museum, the large Park (there are so many around, it's crazy), botanical garden, etc!  I'm going a bit picture crazy.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Landed in Alicante yesterday, bright and early.. after a very eventful journey.  We had to leave Oxford at 1am to catch the bus to the airport because it was the only one that got us there before our flight.  However, we had about 4 hours to kill in the airport, which proved difficult since the chairs were possibly the most awkward things to try to sleep in, ever.  We made it through, hopped on the plane and had a lovely flight sandiwiching a very old man who was going on a bowling expedition with about 38 other seniors.  Sabrina and I were easily the youngest on that plane by decades.  Anyway, the landing to Alicante was one of the most beautiful I´ve ever experienced: we flew over some mountains full of tiny villages and then into the mediterranean sea, where we had to circle back and land on the coast of the city.  It was breathtaking.

Our first day we basically spent time at the beach and marina and met up with my Ohio friend Sarah.  She showed us a lot of the town, which is quite different than expected.  It´s small and pretty busy, not as much ancient architecture as other cities but still a quaint area.  Today we met her host mother, Marga, who cooked us the best chicken paella.  She then fed us strawberries doused in whip cream (she added more and more to mine.. AKA, I ate a mountain of whipped cream and very few strawberries)... followed by two shots of after-lunch grape based liquer.  Good times!

We´re heading out to Santander mid-day tomorrow to meet with Sabrina´s friend from home and also our American friend from Oxford, Sheldon.  It´s Sheldon´s birthday today, so we´re taking him out on the town tomorrow, big time.  Poor kid!

Off for more yummy Spanish foooooooood!

beach & the med sea!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

in the meantime, for your entertainment!

The last day of Hilary term consisted of a HARRY POTTER themed pub crawl.  Here are pictures for your entertainment.

left to right:  angry slytherin, winky the house elf, hannah the mandrake root and moaning myrtle
just some friendly dragons
free house-elves!
Magical creatures!
we found crookshanks!

and the traveling begins again!

Well, Hilary term has come to a close (seriously, where does time go?!) and this the time for traveling  begins again!  I'm going to travel with many different people this time, so it'll be quite a different experience but a fantastic one nonetheless!  Here's an outline of my plans:

March 13, fly to Alicante, Spain to visit my very good friend from Ohio who is studying abroad there.  I'm traveling with Sabrina, a good friend from Oxford who is also American.  On March 15, we fly to Santander, Spain to see one of Sabrina's friends and our fellow Oxford American Sheldon meets up with us.   On March 17, we fly to Madrid and meet up with Isabela, my first-year roommate at Bryn Mawr.  We stay in Madrid for 4 days then head up to Paris, where Isabela is studying abroad and where I also have many friends.  On March 24, we fly back to Oxford/London and then head into London for the famous Oxford v. Cambridge boat race!  There will be a huge number of us staying at Eddie's house for the race so it's bound to bring up some funny stories.  On March 28, a group of about 11 of us fly to Berlin for four days and then to Amsterdam, returning back to London on April 4th.  Not sure where I will be April 4 - 10, but I hope to be visiting Keir in Bath as well as a few other Oxford friends.  On April 10, mom and aunt Di come into town and we begin our whirlwind journey to Oxford, around England, Dublin, Edinburgh and London.  I then have some free time that may or may not include pre-training with my boatclub and then we're all the way back to term!

I really can't imagine only spending one more term here.  I'm going to be making the most of it, that's for sure.

Look for updates and pictures from my travels!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Torpids pictures, here we come!

Men's 2nd boat did the best out of all of the St. Anne's boats, bumping everyday and thus winning blades with their names on it!  Very prestigious.  They bumped up a whole division, as well.  Congrats to them!

My boat, men's 1st, bumped twice but the excitement certainly occurred on the last day... when I was sent for a swim without intention!  We had JUST bumped and the boat in front of us wouldn't get out of the way/crashed, and so we were blocking part of the river.  A boat didn't see that we had stopped and came straight at us.  One of their oars/blades hit me square in the back and sent me into the river.  What a shock - so cold!  I then had to walk back 20+min to our boathouse, sopping wet, and my crew had to row home with only 7 rowers since my stroke seat had to take over as cox.  It was SO funny.  The whole race got called because of that, but we still got our bump, so overall it was a success!  That's one for the memory books.

Here are some pictures!

Men's 2nd right before the race that got them blades!
Eddie, Sheldon & I

Men's 1st, my boat!

M2 after they won blades!

Women's 1st

After I got tossed from the boat...

after falling in the river!

M1 love!

M1 a bit more classy

M2 classy

one of the giant bruises from my catapult from the boat..

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The countdown to Torpids...

24 hours until St. Anne's Men's 1st boat takes to the water to show some domination at Torpids!  For all of you reading this who have no idea what a traditional Oxford-style bumps race is, I've provided some very interesting (and somewhat hilarious) clips of the pros and cons of this race.

We race every single day from tomorrow until Saturday, only once.  The race course varies because as soon as you bump another boat, you've succeeded in your goal and you can stop racing and move to the side.  So, we can end up racing only a few meters or we can end up racing the entire 1.4k race.  Crossing our fingers for some quick bumps on Wednesday and Thursday, as we have some much slower boats in front of us.  We're slated to be in the top 2 boats of our division and probably one of the top 5 boats on the entire river, so we're really psyched to show it at Torpids!  Anne's hasn't been this good in over 40 years, so here we come!  We also have the potential to win blades (yes, literally, giant oars) if we bump every day.  Hopefully I'll get to ship one back to the states!

So, without further ado, here are some videos:

Wadham bumping

What NOT to do... (foul language!)

Another view of the above video.. ouch!