Currently (8:06) on the bus to Brussels. This morning went pretty smoothly, no problems finding the bus–and vice versa. We left when scheduled, so I think I can say we are getting better at this traveling thing. I think I may be one of the few still awake on the bus (other than the bus driver and his co-pilot–wait. Co-pilot looks to be snoozing also. I’m just assuming he is a co-driver. I can’t say for sure). The bus is very large, much larger than I expected. Every person is able to get two seats! It’s nice to be able to get comfortable; this is definitely where being short comes in handy.
It seems like there is some type of illness that is being passed around here. Nothing too terrible, but general stuffed/runny noses and coughing. I may have caught a mini version, but I didn’t get any of the fatigue that some of the other students had/have. Jeff told us that the second week of a large travel expedition, such as this one, usually is the hardest. By this time the adrenaline of being in a new place has lessened a bit, and the amount of travel begins to affect the body more. Something like that. Hopefully by Sunday or Monday everyone feels better, or at least close to feeling 100%.
This drive is really pretty; we are passing a wind farm now. The rising sun and morning mist is really a sight. I think if it was a midday trip it wouldn’t be as nice, a lot of the built structures have been very reminiscent of what I’d see driving to Columbus or Chicago, except for all the French, obviously.
Quick update about 10 hours later (21:27)
Brussels is beautiful, except for the most modern area (where their agriculture building is and many of the government buildings around there). Also, their waffles are super delicious (I got one with whipped cream, strawberries and drizzled chocolate. Uh-maze-zing.) and I scored some free samples of chocolate and got an awesome handpicked bag of dark chocolate truffles and pralines, and went to the beer store to get a lambic and a Belgian blond. In a small way, Brussels reminds me of Queens in New York, but a lot prettier. I still haven’t been able to pinpoint how exactly, but it was definitely more of the less-expensive area that reminded me of Queens, not the central part of the city. I believe we (a medium sized group of us) are going to try and find somewhere to dance (a Bal-Musette?) near the apartment-hotel tonight, mostly for fun, partially because its part of an assignment. Tomorrow I have plans to be running around Paris sketching, market shopping (probably more viewing than shopping), and maybe gargoyle kissing (also part of before mentioned assignment). Somewhere beyond the Notre Dame is an art suppLy store that I need to find, and at 7 I’m going on a night bike ride tour (with two others) that ends on a boat with wine! The bikes will stay on shore 😉
Still sniffling a bit, but other than that my enthusiasm/excitement level is pretty high–maybe even higher than the roof of this bus.
Signing off, again,
Our first full day in Paris our walking tour consisted of visiting St. Denis, Notre Dame de Paris, Saint Chapelle, studio and a needed laundry night. At said laundry place now with Luke, Megan and Katie. The guy working here practically walked us through it, although it was after my load had been placed that I realized that there were directions in English right on the machine we used to pay.
The only disappointment of the day was that I lost my wide angle lens sometime in the afternoon. Most of the time my items find their way back, but unfortunately I do not believe that to be the case this time. I admit that this is not the worst thing to lose, not like my passport or wallet, but still. We were given about two hours after our trip to Notre Dame to get lunch and do whatever before meeting back up to continue our itinerary for the day, and I think it was within the last 30 minutes or so that I lost it. I thought it was a good idea to loop the magnetic holder around the metal part of my belt, but it must have fallen off/I must have brushed it off one of the times I sat down/got up.
On the bright side, this will probably encourage me to draw bit more in order to get the “wide angle” effect that the lens would’ve gotten. In addition to that, I still have my other two lenses.
The Story Thus Far
- Sir John Soane’s Museum
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- Bedford Park
- Emery Walker House
- Red House
- Harry Potter Walking Tour
- London Bike Tour through the Royal Gardens
- Buckingham Palace
Travel to Oxford/Oxford
- Blenheim Palace
- Oxford Museum
- Sheldonian Theater
Travel to Glasgow/Glasgow
- Wrightwick Hall
- Blackwell House
- Hunterian Museum
- Hill House
- Glasgow School of Art
- House for an Art Lover
Quite a list, right? The House for an Art Lover is today, and many of us will be going back to the Hunterian Museum to catch the Mackintosh exhibition we missed yesterday. I promise I’ll be writing more than a list in the future, and adding photos, but I figured that some update is better than no update. Trying to go through photos as we go; I’m getting up to speed somewhat. Tonight we leave for Dublin, so I’ll save some of that time to work on studio stuff as well as catching up on other things.
It’s 18:23 and I’m just now getting a bit tired, so, I’m going to consider myself well on my way to conquering jet-lag. Europe uses military time instead of whatever the US uses and so I’m trying to adapt to it (by changing my phone/ipad) so to minimize any sort of time miscommunication. Subtracting two hours isn’t that difficult (my shortcut to get US time, it’s sort of like subtracting 12, but I just ignore the 1. Doesn’t work as well when it hits 20:00 I suppose).
Military time is more efficient though, I gotta say. With no “am” or “pm” there is little excuse for error, unless you give, or are given the wrong number.
Traveling is exciting, and stressful. More specifically, traveling by plane is stressful, except for a few parts–mainly the takeoff, landing and what goes on (or doesn’t) in between. Being able to fall asleep on planes is a good talent to have; I’m happy to say that it’s been a lifelong cultivation of mine–I get a lot of practice in cars. Currently finishing up this post
By the end of this trip I think I should be able to say which sort of transportation I prefer the most (when it comes to longer distances). Train, buses and planes, oh my!
How it felt saying bye to my parents:
Its more or less hit me that I’m pretty much on my own now. Okay, not really on my own, but more so than I think I have ever been. It’s a little nerve-wracking, moving to a new state. Chicago is great though; I don’t think I could’ve moved to a better city for my first time away from home (first time for this length of time, anyways). I don’t think I could stress how helpful my parents were during the move also; I felt very lucky, and I know that next time should I work somewhere even further away I’ll know what to do. Or at least have more of an idea than this time. The more I learn about my neighborhood, the more happy I am. Logan Square definitely has its charm–even with all this rain.
Grocery shopping for one is interesting. On my own, I’m not exactly sure how much I eat. Logan Square has a great farmers market really near my apartment which apparently is every Sunday, so that is exciting! I bought kale, apples, blueberries, a purple pepper, tomatoes, fresh motz, a TON of basil (for $1!), a cucumber and… arugula. I think I spelt that correctly. Oh, I’m excited for the bruschetta I’m going to make this week. Or caprese salad.
Fresh vegetables are very important to me, and it feels good to support the community in this way. I also went to the nearby supermarket to check it out and it’s definitely different than what I am used to back in Cincinnati, but not particularly in a bad way. Just different. I got more pantry staple items there, like seasonings and such. Cooking in my studio apartment will be interesting, however, since the stove already heats up my room to where I’m sweating just by being here. I forsee lots of salads.
My parents and I also went downtown together as sort of a “dry run” to find my work place. We went last night, before dinner. This also was great, since, now I know I work right next to the new Target downtown, which is AWESOME. Never an excuse to run out of something like, oh. Tampons. I actually need to get something to clean the floor of my apartment, like swiffer wet pads or something. That’ll be Tuesday if I don’t go tomorrow.
Now it’s 10 at night, and I’m not quite tired, but after I finish changing my mailing address, I’ll probably go to sleep soon after. I have a nicely empty day tomorrow (work starts on Tuesday!) so I’ll probably go downtown if it’s not raining, or just hole up in that coffee shop I went to earlier today.
I should really get a “to explore/visit” list going. I have four months here, and I really want to make it as awesome as possible! To anyone who may be reading this, where should I go?