Written by: Hailie G.
I am ending my spring break with my last few hours in London and I feel like I have seen so much. I found myself a little emotional yesterday as I was sitting on the Tube waiting to go see my next major landmark and just thought, “All my life I have seen these places on TV, in textbooks, and in my dad’s art books, but now I am here.. seeing this with my own eyes.” Everything that was so far away is now right in front of me and tangible.
Two days ago I saw a Monet, Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Rafael painting in just one little museum in Scotland. First off… I was in Scotland, how did that happen? Secondly… I saw those paintings in person. They weren’t any famous ones like “Starry Night” or anything like that, but they were still done by these people. I will say that I don’t have any idols, but I still felt so honored to be inches away from such important pieces.
I also went to Loch Ness, and Nessy didn’t say hello to me, but a little curious piece of me hoped she would. My entire life my mom and dad have had me watching those pointless documentaries that just spike your interest without ever giving you a real modern sighting or any more information about the mystery. If I am going to be completely honest I didn’t even know that Loch Ness was in Scotland, but I saw the tour for it and my little girl excitement skyrocketed. Of course I suppressed it a little bit so that my roommate would not think me a fool, but I signed us up and I went there. I rode a silly boat through those mystical and gorgeous waters and became a part of those inconclusive documentaries.. and it was exhilarating.
Then London. Big Ben. Buckingham Palace. The globe theatre. The Queen’s walk. The London Eye. Tate Modern. A musical (Wicked). I just don’t know how I got here.
My immediate family has not traveled much, if any at all and now me.. a 20 year old college student is doing it. I have been in 5 different countries in the last 10 days. I have hardly a clue as to how this happened, but it did and I am so in awe. I feel so blessed to be achieving a life goal of mine. Many who know me know that my family didn’t have a lot of money to do much “extra” so I have learned to work for the things that I really want. What I really want is to show others that they can travel, go to school, and be successes if they believe and work hard (cliche I know, but I believe it to be true). I want the younger generation in my family to know that they can be whoever they want to be and that someone has already done it and will support them.
Anyway, I know I went on a rant, but I was thinking about that and wondering how I ended up where I am right now. So, I will quickly thank my mom and dad for showing me that even if they started picking vegetables in a field or working at McDonald’s they worked hard and climbed some ladders. I couldn’t ask for any better role models. Lalala emotions…
Back to my spring break. Where did I leave off? *scrolls up to check*. Ahh yes, London. My gosh, I had the best day in London! It was so diverse, and everyone spoke clear English! Ellen and I soaked that in while we could. But, we did not eat the English food. We took the opportunity to get some pho (my favorite), Indian food, and kfc (late night rush.. oops). Yeah, we definitely needed our fix of ethnic food after being in Italy for so long. After our stomachs and taste buds were satisfied we went on the London eye and got our first glimpse of Big Ben. He was beautiful. After that we took a stroll to go visit him, he was better looking up close. Surprising, huh?
We also saw the Buckingham palace, which was pretty overrated considering we couldn’t go inside. Then the Tate Modern. I saw “Water Lilies” in person, what?! It’s not just something out of a book?
In all seriousness, I couldn’t help but be that person who stands 2 inches from the paintings at an angle so I could see the paint strokes. It takes the image to a whole different level when I can imagine the artist placing the color THERE because they knew it was right. Ahh gives me chills imaging even the simplest stroke of a brush. Hmm what else..What a strange order I am putting this in.
Well, we started in Barcelona. *cough* what gorgeous people they have there ;). I do believe that I loved that city, even if I was just there for a day. I need to go back. Let me just say that Goudi is a genius. Segrada Familia has got to be my favorite church out of all of the ones I have seen in Europe so far. It is so bright and the stain glass windows are so vibrant and colorful. If I were Catholic I would go to THAT church. Unfortunately that is all I got to see aside from the market. That was a trip in itself. They had some of the best fresh fruit juices ever! I had only had juice like that in Nicaragua and it was nice to have of again. I am pleased to say that I had 2, 1 kiwi and 1 kiwi/coconut. My roommate had 3.. lol then she proceeded in mentioning them everyday for the next 8 days of our spring break. Anyway this is getting far too long, and it is 1 am here, so I shall leave you with this and tell you about all of the rest soon.