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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Turning 23

Last Friday, I turned twenty three years old and later today (as it's already after midnight as I'm posting this) I will leave the United States for another country. My birthday has always neatly lined up with each school year and thus I know that my year of being twenty three years old will always be 'the year I spent in London.' 

On my birthday, I went out to dinner with my aunt and uncle and family at my favorite restaurant and then the following Sunday we had lunch with my nana, cousins, and their children who are toddlers. There is nothing like being with children to make you realize how old you are (except maybe having a sibling eight years younger than you are). 

pre-birthday dinner family photo
Twenty two was a roller coaster of a year without a doubt. My sister was hospitalized for months before she had a life-saving surgery, I finished my thesis, and I graduated from university magna cum laude. I grew closer to friends than I've ever been to anyone before, had my heart broken a few times, and had friendships fall apart. I discovered new loves (Great Comet), revisited old ones (here's looking at you, Alistair Brammer), and made perhaps the boldest and bravest decision I've ever made: to go to grad school in London. 

It's hard to say what twenty three will hold yet. I will spend most of it in London, aside from visits home and visits to Vienna to see my best friend Lucy who I will finally be reunited with. I will certainly see a lot of museums and musicals, hopefully I will make many new friends, and who knows -- maybe I'll even go on my first real date. I'll get my Master's degree and by the end of it hopefully be on my way to a career in a field that I'm passionate about. Here's to 22, one of the most difficult, rewarding, and emotional years of my life, and here's to 23 being even better. xx

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday from me, for the last time in the United States for several months! Anyone else super excited about autumn not just for the changing leaves and dropping temperature, but for the seemingly endless casting announcements?

Get In, Loser: In honor of the release of some of the promotional materials for the Mean Girls musical this week, I had to share this Buzzfeed quiz which tells you which high school movie character you are because I got Regina George! (A little worried about that answer actually...)

Reunited: I woke up Wednesday morning to an exciting casting announcement: two of my favorite West End Miss Saigon actors reunited in The Woman in White in London! I've wanted to see Chris Peluso in something since he replaced Alistair in Miss Saigon and I still regret that I never got to see Carolyn Maitland as Ellen when she understudied the role. I'll definitely be buying tickets to this Andrew Lloyd Webber show that I'm actually not familiar with, as it also stars Anna O'Byrne.

Superstars: Speaking of Miss Saigon, they released a music video of Rachelle Ann Go and Eva Noblezada singing a reimagined "Movie in My Mind" and it's absolutely stunning.

Losing a Legend: This week Peter Hall who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company amongst other contributions to British theatre passed away at the age of 86. This article from the NY Times elaborates on how much the London theatre industry owes to him.

One Last Look: I know it seems like all I care about is Great Comet (sometimes it feels like that), but I couldn't resist sharing Lucas Steele's heartbreaking video he made in honor of the show's closing. His haunting stripped-down cover of "Goodbye My Gypsy Lovers" paired with footage of the theatre being broken down brought me to tears.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

24 Hours in Boston

Last week, I made a last-minute trip up to New England to visit my best friend Andrew before I leave for London. I'd never been anywhere up north other than New York City before, so I was so excited to see his hometown in Connecticut. We also decided to go up to Boston for about 24 hours to explore some sights and see my other best friend Alex who goes to school there.

We managed to pack a lot of sightseeing into two half days (they also made the mistake of letting me loose in the Harvard bookstore, so I came back with two new books and a 2018 calendar), so I wanted to share some of my favorite places with you!

Duck Tours
Andrew suggested that we do a 'Duck Tour' so that I could see a lot of the historic sites of Boston all at once. I loved seeing historic graveyards and learning more about the city itself (did you know most of Boston is on artificial land?) and I was so shocked that we actually went through the intersection where the Boston Massacre happened.

The 'Duck Tours' happen on replica vehicles like the duck ones used in WWII that are part-car, part-boat. After about an hour touring around on land, you spend about twenty minutes boating about in the Charles River. Our lovely tour guide asked if anyone wanted to drive the boat and Andrew volunteered me so...I drove the boat for about three minutes! She actually let me do some steering and to be honest, I felt pretty cool. I highly recommend it whether you're in Boston alone, with friends, or with family.



Harvard University 
Harvard is one of those institutions that lives in the American conscious like nothing else -- perhaps partially because of its presence in films. I constantly wanted to say "What? Like it's hard?" like Elle Woods. I also kept thinking about the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald had attended the school (even if he didn't do too well). It's quite fun to walk around and see all the (historic!) buildings and their main bookstore is absolutely glorious.



New England Aquarium 
I'd heard about the Boston Aquarium before from my friend Kendal who loves it and I wasn't disappointed! I'm not typically one for aquariums, but the Boston one has tons and tons of penguins and sea lions in addition to loads of fish, turtles, and other sea animals. I appreciated their focus on preservation of the oceans and education about the animals.


Quincy Market
Head to Quincy Market for a bustling building full of delicious food choices. I had to get some famous New England clam chowder (in a bread bowl!) while in Boston which we took to eat outside and it was so delicious. I wish I could have another bowl right now...



Mike's Pastry
Mike's boasts that it's "Home of the Cannoli" and I understand why. I had never been to an Italian bakery before, but I knew I had to get a cannoli while in the North End which is Boston's Italian neighborhood. My friend Julie told me I had to go to Mike's and when we stepped in the door, we knew we'd gone to the right place because it was packed. I didn't even know that flavored cannoli's existed, but I had delicious mint and hazelnut ones. I somehow forgot to even take a photo in my glee!

Have you been to Boston before? If so, leave me your suggestions in the comments because I'm positive I will be returning in the next few years. x

Monday, September 4, 2017

September Goals

I wanted to share an update on my August goals with you all as well as creating some for September. August was a productive month for me and I'm happy to report that I made progress on every one of my goals!

Goal Update - August Goals


(1) Upload four videos to my YouTube channel. I achieved this goal! I uploaded two sit-down chatty vlogs and the last two Disney vlogs. I also pre-filmed two different videos to post in September, so I'm quite pleased with my channel progress in August.

(2) Prepare for my move. In August, I did my visa application, finalized my housing, completed my registration, and bought my flights. I'm almost all set to head over on September 20! I even started making my packing list, which obviously I'll be working on a lot more in September.

(3) Clean my room. I made a lot of progress on this goal in August even though I'm not finished. Most impressively, I went through all of my books and rearranged my shelves! I also have been helping my little sister clean her room and we've made some significant progress in there.

(4) Keep working out. This month, I actually met with a trainer at my country club's gym and devised a workout routine which I've been going to the gym to do! I did it twice a week for the first three weeks of the month and although I didn't go in the last week of August, I did work out at home. I've actually fallen a bit in love with weight lifting (who could ever have guessed?).


September Goals

(1) Pack for the move. I've already begun a packing list for my move to London, but obviously packing is going to take up a lot of this month.

(2) Pre-write and pre-film some content for the end of September. I don't want my blog and channel to go silent during my move, but I know that I won't have time for making content for at least a week. Therefore, I really want to schedule some things to post ahead of time.

(3) Finish cleaning my room. This one is a bit of a roll-over goal from last month, but before I leave I need to tackle some of my things I never unpacked after I moved out from my college apartment and...the top of my closet.

(4) Launch my new study abroad blog! I've decided that I'll be keeping a more diary-like blog for my time in London like I did while at Sussex and at St Andrews as I've already had several family members and former professors tell me they'd like to read one. I started setting up a Wordpress blog for it because I thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some experience working on another blogging platform. I won't abandon this blog AT ALL and it will have plenty of London content, especially reviews. But I've already got the name and the URL for a travel diary type blog; I just need to fully launch it this month.

Let me know what your goals for the month are in the comments below or on Twitter! x

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Internet Finds

Happy September! It always feels a bit strange to me when the first day of a new month falls on a Friday. Anyone else feel like every month should start on a Monday or is that just me?

Top Five: In honor of Tom Hiddleston's upcoming run as Hamlet, this article looks back on five of his past theatre roles. I was lucky enough to see Coriolanus when it was streamed to American cinemas and it's still one of my top theatre experiences despite not being live. This made me so excited that I managed to snag tickets to see his Hamlet!

Goodbye My Gypsy Lovers: If you're also weepy this week because Great Comet is closing, this round-up of covers of "No One Else" won't help. But it's great if, like me, you want to wallow in your sadness that this brilliant unique show won't be on Broadway anymore.

Tea Party: This Buzzfeed quiz lets you plan a tea party and tells you which British actor will come to it. I'm quite pleased with my result of Sam Claflin.

Percy's Back: I was so sad when The Lightning Thief musical closed off-Broadway before I got to see it. But this past week, it was announced that it will tour the United States starting in fall 2018 and I couldn't be more excited as I was obsessed with Percy Jackson in middle school.

Journey to Backstage: I'm so thrilled that Anastasia's Christy Altomare is the newest Broadway.com vlogger. Her first two vlogs have been absolutely adorable; she's such a ray of sunshine!

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