Day 10 – What an Experience

Well sadly, today is the day that all of us head back to the airport and leave the beautiful city of London. I don’t know what to say besides that I had a wonderful time here and wouldn’t change anything. From visiting all of the museums and going out to explore the city, this trip allowed myself to do everything I have ever wanted to do when I had the chance to visit London. When looking back on this trip, I can say that I am glad that I chose to participate in this opportunity months ago. After visiting all of the museums during this trip, I would have to say that visiting the Design Museum was my favorite. Being able to walk through and see designs from their beginning to their present look allowed me to better appreciate the dedication and change that designs have to go through to meet with current standards. While at the Design Museum, we had a thirty-minute design challenge that allowed us to all of us to come together and design a logo that represented family. This was an easy logo to design because the family that we had to represent was the family with one another. I believe I have been able to get closer to everyone on this trip and create better bonds that will last for a lifetime. When going to all of the museums and other fun activities that were planned for this trip, I don’t know how it would of been if any of the people that were on this trip had decided not to go to London. Everyone was a key factor in making this trip amazing and everyone was able to put in their own creative input.

Speaking about creative input, the Hackathon that we all participated in allowed all of us to put our design skills to the test. This allowed me to see why I chose this career path and how everyone I have been with on this trip is incredibly talented. The Hackathon allowed myself to see what I am able to do in a less than a forty-eight-hour period and see how I am able to work on a big project with a limited number of group members. The Hackathon has also allowed myself to create new connections with my group members that I can contact when having to do a project in the future. I believe that the Hackathon was a good way to end the week because it allowed all of us to just sit down and just focus on design work. After walking to every destination that was on our itinerary for the first five days, it felt nice to just sit in a nice air conditioned office space and create artwork for a product that needed to be made. Even though that the Hackathon wasn’t on our original itinerary, it was always on my bucket list. My roommate during the school semesters has been participating in Hackathon’s since he was a freshman and has always said that they are fun and exciting to participate in. After finally being in one of them, I can now say that I completely agree with him. The Hackathon wasn’t the only thing that I was able to check off my bucket list on this trip. Seeing the Broadway musical Wicked was something I have ALWAYS wanted to do and was successfully able to check off my bucket list. Being able to see the famous Broadway musical here in London is something I will be able to brag about to my friends for ages. This is something that I won’t be able to do in a very long time or even for the rest of my life. I am very thankful that I was given this opportunity and can’t thank Regina and Ingrid enough for being able to find time in our busy schedule to fit this show in. Being in love with theatre, it has always been my dream to see a famous Broadway musical. The show was amazing as I have always thought it would be and I am still singing the songs to myself to this day. Having these opportunities become available to you on a once in a lifetime trip only makes it more special.

Overall, I do not believe that I would of been able to gain these wonderful experiences if I have had gone to another college. This London trip has been everything I could have asked for and more. Being able to have both constructed time for activities in the morning and early afternoon and free time in the late afternoon allowed for all of us to follow a consistent schedule. This would allow us to understand how each of our days would be planned out and how all of us would be able to plan our free time when it was available. I believe that this was the perfect combination for this study abroad trip because it allowed for people to go out to visit the parts of the city that we wouldn’t be able to cover on the itinerary as well as allow for people to not to become tired with constant mandatory trips every hour of the day for the full nine days. We could either go back to the hotel after our mandatory morning trips and relax or we could go straight to our next destination afterwards, which I found to be the perfect combination for all of us. I would like to say thank you to the UMass Lowell for creating this study abroad opportunity for students just like myself to participate in. I would also like to thank the two professors that came on this trip; Regina Milan & Ingrid Hess. Without you two, this trip wouldn’t have been as awesome as it was. Both of you were able to use your amazing personalities and found a way to make this trip exciting for all of the students. I would like to thank my parents who have shown their support for me and my passion for art. Without them, I don’t know where I would be today. I would also like to thank my friends and classmates who were on this trip. If it weren’t for all of you, I wouldn’t have had the awesome experience I had here in London. You guys rock! This trip was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to tell everyone about my trip. Once again, thank you UMass Lowell. I owe you one.

Day 9 – Last Day for Tourist Adventures

Sadly, the day has come and this is our last full day in London before we head out to the airport tomorrow to go back to the United States. It’s a bitter sweet moment, because I would love to stay here for longer. Only having nine days to do all of the adventures we have done is possible, but if we had more time I believe we would of been able to visit more destinations. Also, since being here I have adapted to the culture here in London and believe I have started to fit in with the locals. Before having to think about the disappointing fact that I have to leave tomorrow, I was able to use my time wisely and enjoy my last day here in London. My day started off with going out for breakfast around the corner from the hotel, since my roommate and I caught up on some sleep and just missed the breakfast provided by the hotel. Once we finished, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the two most important destinations on our trip; Buckingham Palace & The London Eye.

Buckingham Palace was just a few Tube stops away, which wasn’t that bad. When walking around Buckingham palace, it was nice to see the building and how amazing it looked. The statue in front of the building was also beautiful and worth all of the pictures I took. The Buckingham Palace was a short trip, since there wasn’t that much to see because we weren’t allowed into the building. When myself and the group I was with were finished taking pictures, it was time to walk to the London Eye. When walking to the London Eye, we had to walk through a park, where we saw many types of birds such as Pelicans, Pigeons, Ducks, Geese, and Swans. I was amazed at how many birds we saw on such a short trip! After walking through the little park, we were able to find the London Eye and started making our way over the bridge to get in line. Once we had crossed the bridge, we made our way down to get to the gate to get in line. We had bought our ticked before hand so we wouldn’t have to have the hassle of purchasing them on the spot. The line was short, so it didn’t take long for the three of us in the group who had purchased tickets to get right on. The whole London Eye experience took about 25-30 minutes, where we were able to see many beautiful skylines and lots of perfect picture opportunities. I believe that the London Eye was a great experience and I am happy that I chose to partake in this activity since I probably will never have this opportunity again. After the London Eye made its 360-degree loop, it was time to get off and head back to the hotel. It was great to experience these last two things that were on my bucket list for this trip. I now believe I have done mostly everything I have ever wanted to do if I had ever traveled to London, and I can’t thank UML enough for giving me this great opportunity.

Once getting back, my roommate and I started to relax before we had to head to a group dinner at Mattarello to think about all of the great times we had and new friends we made on this trip. To thank Regina & Ingrid for all that they did for us on this trip, we presented them each a present that we thought would mean the most to them. When looking back on this trip, I would say that everything was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything that happened. Having Regina & Ingrid on this trip made this trip a lot better because all of us have had them as professors for so long before this trip. For one last hooray, 95% of us in the group decided to go to a club to finish this trip out with a bang. It was a lot of fun and I’m happy that we were all able to go out together as a group and celebrate the time we had here in London. It ended the night off perfectly and will be able to leave a nice lasting memory when thinking back on this trip. For today, I would give it a 11/10, which would bring the total trip score to 93/90.

Day 8 – Hackathon Day 2

Look at this…we’re back at the same place that we were at yesterday. Back at the Hackathon at Big Radical! Today, we were going to design our project and make it come alive! When coming together in our groups though, four of my partners were there….but three were missing from yesterday. It wouldn’t have been bad if they told us if they weren’t going to be there, but they didn’t tell us and they had all been working together about the story of our project. Even though they weren’t there…we gained someone very important! Our team gained INGRID HESS! Once Ingrid joined our team, it was time to start rolling. After many hours of work, and a exercise that killed my legs and made the whole Hackathon crawl on the floor, our project was complete. I was very proud of how our project and presentation came out and thankful that I was able to survive the two days. Everyone had to present a five-minute presentation about our project and tell the three judges what it does and what it would do to to help people better understand depression. It was great to experience these presentations because it allowed myself to gain experience for when I have to give more presentations in the future.

After all of our presentations, the judges went and decided who would be the winner. After they left, it was time to relax and wait till they came back. When they gave out the awards, it was fun to see who received awards for their hard work. Even though my team did not win and I didn’t receive a singular award, I had a lot event at this event. Once the awards were over, groups took pictures together and we all set our separate ways. After getting back to the hotel, it was time to relax after working for two days straight. It was nice to be able to cool down and not have to think about anything. When looking back at this event, I can say it was a great experience and I’m really happy that we were able to participate. I was able to create some form of branding in an app for our group before I scrapped the idea. I will continue this app design for my portfolio and will try to work on it for the rest of the summer. I would give today a 10/10, which gives the trip an 82/80 so far. I’m really disappointed that this trip is almost over. I have enjoyed everything that we have done so far on this trip and I wouldn’t change anything I have done on this trip. I’m hoping tomorrow goes by slow as it is my last day before having to take a seven-hour plane ride back to Boston. I am going to miss London.

Ingrid working on illustrations to be photographed for our presentation.

Day 7 – Hackathon Day 1

Well, let me just say that today is something I can also check off my bucket list. Today was the first day of the Hackathon! I was concerned on how this day would turn out, but I can say it was better than I expected. I have never been or participated in a Hackathon before, even though UMass Lowell hosts one every year. When going into the Hackathon, they provided free breakfast and lunch. I thought this was very generous of them and made me able to get through the day knowing I would be getting free food. At the beginning, we were separated into groups where we would all have to come up with an idea that would help people understand and try to react faster to their friends if they are starting to show signs of having depression. I thought this was an interesting and complicated project, but I was up for the challenge. My group was group #2 (Team Blue) and we were a group of 8 who had to solve this problem and come up with a solution. After gathering into teams, each member of the team was set off to a room to learn a little bit about depression, things that could either better understand the symptoms of having depression, or things that could help create a device or application that could help the user understand potential symptoms. Once we finished, all of the teams came together again and started to share the information that they have learned. This was a great way to help better understand the goal that we needed to reach with the product we would be creating. After that, we all started to bring in ideas on a product that would work the best. Brainstorming started to occur and ideas were thrown out one by one.

By the end of the first day, we had a working idea and would be able to work on it at home. Overall, I believe that today was a very successful day and that my expectations for this event were exceeded. I’m excited for what tomorrow will bring us as we will be working more on our final product and presenting them to the rest of the groups. This whole event is a great learning experience and I’m really excited that I am able to be apart of it. After experiencing what a Hackathon is really about, it has made me consider wanting to participate in another Hackathon back in the states. I would say that today’s experience has allowed me to gain some insight on how to work with a large group and work together on a tight schedule to meet a critical deadline. I will be able to take all of the skills I have learned just on day one and be able to apply them to my future work and work environment. I would give today a 10/10 since I was able to gain important life and work skills. That would make the trip a total of 72/70 so far. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will hold! I’m excited to see what the other groups at the Hackathon will be presenting.

The table my group worked at today

The wall of post-it notes my group wrote out from the information we learned from our split lessons at the beginning of the Hackathon.

Day 6 – The Garden from Heaven

When starting today’s day, it went off a little differently than usual. We all were gathered into the conference room that the hotel and were able to gain a conference call with one of the people that work with the Hackathon that we will doing for the next two days. After this meeting, I have become even more excited about this event and can’t wait to see what will come of it. After getting the details about what the Hackathon will bring us, it was time to relax a little bit before our journey for the day. Once we got our things together, it was time to head to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Gardens. I wasn’t sure on what to expect from this trip because I had never heard of this place before, but once I had arrived I could understand why this place is very popular. We were able to get to the gardens from the Underground, which had a stop that was a short walk from the gardens. Once scanning our tickets, we started to walk toward the beginning of the garden and found a giant greenhouse that was the home to many plants. It was really hot in the greenhouse where it fogged up my camera lens. There were two floors to this greenhouse, which I thought was amazing since I have never seen a two floor greenhouse before. Actually, the size of this greenhouse was the size of a two story house. Once leaving the greenhouse, is when I saw the craziest view I have ever seen in my life. I saw wide open grass that stretched for miles and seemed like it would never end. A large rose garden on either end of this never ending field. It was a beautiful view and a view that I probably will not be able to see again for a long time. After seeing this amazing view of the land, we went onto find a gallery inside the garden. I wasn’t expecting to see a gallery, but I was happy that I would be able to see what was inside.


When going into the gallery, I could see that there was nothing but botanical art. This was very fascinating to me because I haven’t seen too much of this type of art and it fascinates me on how detailed all of the paintings had come out. When looking at all of these botanical art pieces, all I could think about was my professor’s pieces of botanical art that she had brought on this trip. Before this trip, I had no idea on how talented she was on painting life-like images of plants. Once I was done walking through the gallery, it was time to get a lesson on how to draw botanical art from non other than my professor Regina Milan, who is a fantastic botanical artist. She taught us the key things about how to draw plant life. She told us things such as how in a gallery show, there are 4 judges, where two are artists and two botanists. This allows for a judgment on the artistic evaluation of the pieces as well as a judgment on the accuracy of the piece. This all new information that I believe I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom. So far, this trip has exceeded my expectation. With the trip not over yet, I was excited for what else was to come. After ending our little lesson, our professors told us we were free to roam the rest of the garden. After hearing this, I was exited to see what else was on this large block of land. When roaming the garden, I was able to see things such as roses, bamboo, fallen trees, and a bridge over a river that was within the garden. This river had lots of geese and ducks in it, which allowed for many picture opportunities. After being able to walk through most of the exhibit, it was time to head over to the store and get some lunch before heading over to the next stop on the agenda; the Transportation Museum. Once finishing lunch, myself and two other classmates within our group headed over to the Transportation Museum.

It was an enjoyable trip over to the Transportation Museum because we were able to visit some small shops around the museum before heading inside. Once we finished looking around the shops, we went to the gift shop of the James Bond museum that was right next to the Transportation Museum. Once we got to the James Bond exhibit, we left our friend to visit the exhibit while me and my other friend went onto the Transportation Museum. After we all made it to the Museum, It was time to see what they had to offer. Once we all were ready to head into the museum, we noticed that there was a fee to enter (£15 per student). We didn’t know that there was a fee for museum, as we thought it would be free. We all decided to save our money and not go into the museum, even though it probably would of been enjoyable. But its crunch time to save the rest of our pounds for the remainder of the trip. Even though we didn’t go into the museum, we did get some cool merchandise that would allow us to show our London Underground Pride. After collecting our newly bought gifts, it was time to head back to the hotel and call it a day. When looking back at how this day had went, I would say that this was a very successful day. Since I was able to experience many wonderful views, I will be able to look back on this day and say how great this trip has been. It’s something that I believe I probably will never be able to experience again (unless I come back to London of course). Being able to not only see all of the sights today, also being able to learn a new art form and how it is created is just the icing on the cake. I would say that being able to learn about botanical art while being at this fabulous garden made my experience a lot better and more memorable. I would give this day a 10/10 with a total score of 62/60 so far.

Day 5 – More Museums

Today began just like every day has with breakfast down on the ground floor of the hotel. After getting breakfast, it was time to take the London Underground to our destination for today; the Victoria & Albert Museum. The walk wasn’t that far from the station and when we got inside, we headed to the exhibition that was planned for us for the day, which was Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. This exhibition shows the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées, and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition. There were two floors to this exhibition, which allowed for it to be less crowded on the ground level. On the second level, videos were shown of the artists that had made the pieces that were being displayed, allowing for the viewer to get a deeper explanation and see the artists thought process. Once finishing the exhibition, we were allowed to walk through the rest of the museum, where they had more clothing, historical artifacts, and lots of jewelry. It was incredible to see all of the history that was displayed at this museum. I was really fascinated by seeing all of the incredible history that I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom. After walking through the museum, it was time to head over to the Natural History Museum that was right around the corner. We were to expect that this museum was an example of bad wayfinding and our expectations were met.


When first walking into the museum, a pamphlet with a map of the museum is given to you. When you look at the map however, it’s not what you’d expect. When looking at the map, there are a couple of things that are off. First, there is no 2nd floor put onto the map, even though there are 2 floors in the building. Second, they had used the same icon for multiple places (such as the gift shop logo for not only the gift shop, but the dino store as well). Finally, half of the icons that were provided were not used on the map itself. This was a surprise to me since I would expect that a museum like this would have a better wayfinding system. Also, when trying to find the exit, there were signs pointing everywhere which made trying to find the exit a lot harder than it should of been. Only when we asked a worker at the museum is when we were able to find the exit. After finally leaving the museum, it was decided that the little group that I was in would head over to the Tower of London. Before that though, we went to Wagamama and it was delicious!

After our food break, it was time to head into the Tower of London. It was decided that we would go with the guided tour, which allowed us to learn about the history of the property. I believe this was the right decision because it allowed us to gain information that we probably didn’t know about before. After receiving the guided tour, it was time to adventure off into the the rest of the tower. When looking around, I thought it was amazing on how long this iconic landmark has been standing. The most fascinating thing about walking through the Tower of London was being able to see the Crown Jewels. Being able to see so much history in one small space was amazing. Also, all of the jewelry that was on display was jaw dropping. All of the gold and silver that was on display made me think about the rich history that was right in front of me. This made me appreciate my time being here and lucky enough to be able to see all of this. I would give today an 10/10 rating which comes down to a 52/50 so far.

Day 4 – A Wicked Design Museum

The day started with going to the Design Museum, where all of us were able to see wonderful pieces of design that were on display. From seeing old Macintosh’s to seeing the very first pride flag, all of the pieces that were shown at the exhibit were beyond amazing. Also, our group did a little 30-minute design challenge while in the museum, which I thought was a clever and fun activity. Being able to walk through this gallery has allowed me to see pieces of history that I thought I would never be able to see in my lifetime. I believe that this was one of my favorite museums that we have visited on our trip so far! After our time was up at the Design Museum, it was time to enjoy a little bit of London. It was decided by some of us that it would be a good idea to check out St. Paul’s Cathedral, since we’ve heard there was a fantastic view from the top. So, the group of us that wanted to go the Cathedral took the London Underground train to our destination.


Once we got there, we started looking around inside the cathedral before ascending the long awaiting staircase. When walking up the staircase to the whispering gallery, it took about 10-15 minutes (But felt like 30 minutes). Once at the gallery, we tried to see if it would actually work….and it did! We all thought it was great that it was able to work! Once we were rested, we went on to finish the rest of the journey up the staircase. Once we finished the 10-minute climb from the gallery to the top, it felt amazing to finally feel the breeze from the outside. Once we got to the top, it was time to look out and see the beautiful view that was in front of us. After walking around the top and seeing a beautiful view, we found that THERE WAS MORE STAIRS TO CLIME! This was a tough decision as we all were winded from the clime we had just endured. We decided that myself and another person from our group would make the extra clime. One we decided to make the clime, we climbed the extra stair case and find our way to the actual top of the cathedral where we were able to see the most beautiful view of London! We were able to see everything because it was such a clear day out. It was one of the best views of London I have ever seen on this trip. After we walked around the tight space we both decided to start heading back the staircase. The trip down was shorter than the trip up, which is great because my calves were killing me. After finally reaching the ground level of the cathedral, we all decided to check out the crypt. It was a great experience to walk through the crypt because it was an experience I never would have thought I would get the chance to do. After finishing out tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral, we all decided to head back to the hotel to get some rest before we all were planned to see the Broadway show Wicked.


When it was time, our group went off to the London Underground and caught the train to get to the closest stop to the theatre that was playing the show. Once we got there we were able to get our tickets and walk in and see if we wanted anything to eat or drink before the show started. Once everyone got to their seat, the performance began shortly after. Being a big fan of this show, I was blown away with the performance and it was everything i dreamed it would be. The performers were beyond perfect and the band was amazing. I now want to see it again because I can’t just see it just once. I am very thankful that I got this great opportunity and was able to check it off of my bucket list! When looking back at this day, I would give it a 12/10 because it was just that darn amazing. Giving the trip total a 42/40.

Day 3 – Can’t Touch This

Well todays adventure started with heading out into the adventurous city of London and walking to the London Underground. Today we had to go to another train stop because the one closest to our hotel was closed because of a mandatory power outage. Sadly, the only downside of walking to the other train stop was that it was raining with lots of wind behind it. This made me have to take out my umbrella and hope that it wouldn’t fly away. After we got into the train station, it was time to take it to the stop we needed so we could walk to the Wax Museum. After getting to our train station destination, we walked outside to see that it had started to ease up on the rain a little bit. When arriving at the Wax Museum we were greeted and climbed a big spiral staircase. When arriving to the correct floor, it was time to enter the museum. When entering, you could see that there were many famous wax figures with such celebrities as Kanye West, Morgan Freeman, and George Clooney. There were 2 doors in this area that connected to different rooms with wax figures. One room only had 3 figures, such as Charlie Chaplin while the other door was the starting point to where you would be able to find all of the other rooms available in the wax museum.

When going through the second door, there were multiple exhibits that caught my attention. These exhibits include Sports, Royals, Spirit of London Ride, Marvel Movie Experience, and Star Wars. Being able to to look through all of these exhibits really allowed myself to see many of the worlds famous people up close. The details that were on the many wax figures at the museum was remarkable and I was very impressed with the workmanship behind them. The the Marvel Movie Experience also caught my eye because it wasn’t until during the movie I realized that the movie was in 4D, which made my experience and happiness for this exhibit increase. After viewing the many wonderful exhibits at the Wax Museum, it was time to enjoy a little lunch break before heading over to the British Museum. During this break, myself and many others from the group decided to jump onto the London Underground so we could get ourselves to the British Museum. After finding our way through the London Underground, we were able to find the stop we needed to walk to the museum. While on the way we found this little shop that we were able to buy lunch from and found a little area to relax in to eat our lunch. After finishing our lunch, we continued out journey to the British Museum. Fast forward and we finally reached the British Museum. While looking at the museum from the outside, you can see how large the museum really is. I never would have imagined how large this museum would have been. When I first walked into the museum, after passing the Rosetta Stone, I was shocked in how large of an open area the corridor on the ground floor was. This was the first of many times walking through the British Museum that I was in shock.

While walking through the museum, it was fascinating to see all of the wonderful art that was being put on display. Surprisingly, I actually found some pieces that were shown in my Art History classes over the course of my career here at UMass Lowell. I found that surprising because I never would have thought I would be able to see those certain pieces with my own two eyes. From walking through Ancient Egypt to seeing all of the many pieces of Ancient Roman architecture, this museum had all of the most incredible pieces that I could of possibly imagined. After walking through most of the museum and trying to contain all of the wonderful artifacts that were being put on display, it was time to go the exhibit that brought the whole group to this museum in the first place; The American Dream pop to the present.

When I first stepped foot into this exhibit, I was instantly blown away with the amount of famous works that they had displayed on their wall. One of the pieces I was blown away to see on my first couple of steps into the exhibit was the F-111 by James Rosenquist. I learned about this painting in my Contemporary Art class the previous semester, and being able to see it up close and personal, rather than just from an image is remarkable and really makes me feel special and that I had made the right decision to come on this trip to see all of these fabulous pieces of art. There were many times throughout this exhibit that I experienced such as I did with the F-111 painting, and I couldn’t be happier. Being able to walk through the history of pop art culture in america is an incredible experience and the way that the museum put the exhibition together really blew my mind. Sadly though, the exhibition had a No Photography rule, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the many famous pieces of art that were displayed in this exhibit, but I will have the memories of walking though and experiencing all of the famous pieces of pap art first and and seeing them all with my own eyes. After leaving the exhibit and passing through the gift shop, it was time to hop back onto the London Underground train and head back to our hotel. It was good timing too since most of us were getting tired from walking all around the museum. Once we got back to the hotel, we all went our separate ways and called it a day. This day was one of those days where I was able to see and experience many famous artworks that I probably will not ever see again with my own eyes. This day has been such a great experience for me and a day at the museum that I truly will never forget for the rest of my life. I would rate today a 10/10, which would round the total score for this trip so far to a 30/30.

Day 2 – Double-Decker Hopping

Well here is the second blog of this wonderful London trip. When the day started, the group went down in the lobby of the hotel to grab the complimentary breakfast that the hotel provided. After breakfast, we walked to the London Underground where we all got our Oyster Cards that allow us to enter the underground (it’s basically the same as a Charlie Card). After hoping on and off of the subway, it was time to go on our adventure for the day; which was to enjoy a nice Double-Decker bus tour.

This was not any normal Double-Decker bus tour, but it was a tour that allowed for you to hop off of the bus at any bus stop location on the buss’ trip and go look at the sights. Once you decided you were done looking around the area, you could go back to any of the bus stops provided and hop right back on! The ticket that was purchased at the beginning of the tour was also good for 24 hours! Once all of us got onto the bus, we went on a fabulous tour around London, where we were able to see historical locations such as Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, and Big Ben. This was a great experience for myself because i have only been able to see these landmarks in photos. Being able to see them in real life and in front of me really allowed me to take them in and realize how awesome each of them really are. After a while, the whole group got off at the bus stop near the London Eye. Once we were off the bus we were all headed to a boat tour. Once on the boat we were given a showing of all of the buildings that were hugging each side of the river. At the end of the tour, we were able to see Tower Bridge, which is one of the most famous bridges in London. I thought this was awesome because I have only seen this bridge on TV (Such as the Olympics) and in pictures. After we got off the boat we decided to go back to the hotel to grab our coats since it was going to rain later in the day.

Once we grabbed our stuff, we headed back to one of the closest bus stops and got back on one of the busses. After getting on the bus, it was decided that we could now use the hopping on and off feature of this trip. Once we got to Leicester Square, it was decided that myself and a couple of others was to get off at this stop. Once getting off, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We went into the Shake Shack where we went to have a bite to eat. After eating, we starting to walking around Piccadilly Circus were we visited many stores such as the M&M’s World, Lego World, and The Nickelodeon store. Being able to visit all of the stores that we did allowed myself to see the different culture that was available in this city. Being able to see many of the beautiful things that London has to offer first hand has allowed myself to better appreciate the city. Instead of just researching about the city and what the city has to offer, being able to walk around and see what is available with your own eyes is quiet the experience and I cannot wait for what tomorrow will bring me. I would also say that this day was a 10/10 and would say that this trip has received a 20/20 so far.

Day 1 – Sleep is for the Weak

Well here I am, starting off my first blog post for the Study Abroad program in London. I am really excited to be here and allow for people to see what I have and will be doing over the course of the 10 Days. The day started off with arriving at Logan Airport around 7:30pm on June 3rd. The flight didn’t board until 10pm, which allowed for myself to become comfortable with knowing I wouldn’t have to rush through security and get to my flight. After boarding the flight, I was able to find my seat and recognize my surroundings. When looking at the TV on the back of the seat that was in front of me, I was able to figure out that I could not just watch some movies that were provided by British Airways, but I could also watch some episodes of TV shows that I enjoy, as well as retro games I could play such as Tetris and Pac-Man. Not allowing for the opportunity to slip, I tried my best to use all of the technology that was in front of me to enjoy the long flight that was ahead of me. My time on the flight included watching Beauty and the Beast (2017), catching up on the TV show Big Bang Theory, and trying to understand how to use the controller provided to play the retro video games.

After the almost 7-hour flight, it was now morning and my day has just now begun. After getting off the plane it was time to go to the UK boarder patrol. When arriving at the UK boarder patrol (coming off from a short tram ride) it was time to wait in line to get to the front. Well, this line wasn’t very friendly and we had to wait a while to get to the front. After weaving through the stanchions, we were finally able to get to the front. After this, the true exploration was about to begin. After everyone grabbed their luggage we went on to find the drivers who were supposed to drive us to the hotel we would be staying at. When Ingrid was able to locate the two drivers, we were finally on our way to see how the streets of London really looked with our own eyes. When getting on the road, it was crazy to experience how different people in the UK drive. With having the driver seat on the side where the passenger seat would be on a US vehicle to driving on the opposite side of the road, it was great to finally see how it all worked after only seeing it from movies or TV shows. The driver of the van that I was in was very professional and was able to take us on our own little tour of London while we were driving to the hotel. Even though he didn’t have to do this, I greatly appreciate it and believe it added a little bit to the trip as I was able to see so many wonderful things before we even got to the hotel!

After arriving to the hotel, we all signed into our rooms and my roommate and I started to unpack our luggage and become familiar with the room. When my unpacking was complete I was able to lay down and take a quick nap before the group dinner that was taking place at The Dickens Inn. After taking the short walk to The Dickens Inn, we were able to look at all of the fascinating typography that the restaurant had inside.  After eating a fantastic meal and having a group meeting, we all walked back to the hotel where we were able to see more examples of typography that we could use for our projects. This allowed us to take many pictures when walking back to the hotel. This is where the first day of my London experience would come to an end and I would be let free to do what I want before the next day would begin.  When looking at how my first day in London went, I would say it went great! Even though I have stayed up for 26 hours from the start of yesterday, I would say that the whole travel from Logan Airport to London and my first full day here has gone by fast. I’m just hoping that the rest of the trip doesn’t follow suit. I would rate the first day a 10/10.