“A Return to Normalcy”

I don’t actually have any concept of ‘normalcy’ in my life, but it seemed like a good enough blog title so there you have it.

I have just returned from a nearly two week trip to Guam. The island was lush and beautiful – plus I had the benefit of visiting family members as well as getting a tropical holiday. Two for one! It was absolutely wonderful getting to know the nephews I’ve really only ever spoken with via phone calls and Skype. They are fun and bright and exuberant and adorable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with them. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephews will be coming to visit us in Virginia for the Christmas holiday, and I cannot wait to show the nephews around my turf.

So, Guam! I could write plenty about it, but here are some pictures since they sum up the beauty better than I ever could:

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Simply gorgeous. My flights to and from Guam were atrocious (mainly because of issues with United Airlines then an illness that I thought was a cold but turned out to be bronchitis well on its way to pneumonia). United will be getting a nice, long e-mail from me about their horrific service and all of the issues I encountered trying to make it through this trip without getting stranded somewhere. I very rarely complain about airline service since I expect it to be poor, but my experiences this time were really abysmal.

But anyway! I am now back in Virginia, moved into a new apartment, and ready to start the first classes of the last half of my MLIS degree – which includes an internship.. I have continued to receive Advance Reader Copies of books, as well as winning a few in contests. I owe several books some reviews (mostly because the books were fantastic and deserve more traffic, even if it is just from my silly little blog). Look forward to future reviews of The Dog Lived (and So Will I) by Teresa Rhynes, Help for the Haunted by John Searles, and Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh.

Tonight, though, I am just going to say that I hope everyone has had a fantastic summer! Mine has been pretty remarkable, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.

New Year’s Resolution: Blog More

I started this blog back in August 2012 with every intention of becoming one of those prolific bloggers. Of course, like so many things in my life, it quickly moved to the back burner. It’s a new year, so here I am making the promise to try to blog more.

Since my last blog, I finished my first semester of grad school, Romney lost the Presidential race, I had an amazing holiday in the UK, and I started my second semester of grad school. The school probably isn’t that interesting to anyone but me and I’ve spent enough time pointing and laughing at Romney, so here is a brief summary (with pictures!) of the fabulous vacation.

I started off in London.

London

London is the best city in the world. I went to museums, saw plays, took tours, ate great food, and spent hours just wandering aimlessly around the city I love so dearly. Also, this happened:

Fry

Yes, I met Stephen Fry, one of Britain’s national treasures. I now like to pretend that he and I are best friends.

I took two day trips. As much as I love London, it was great to go out and see other places. On my next trip (which will, if everything goes to plan, happen in mid-2014) I will probably spend a good deal of time outside of London.

My first day trip was to Cardiff, Wales.

Cardiff

It was very chilly, windy, rainy, and beautiful. I spent the entire time soaking wet and barely noticed because I was enjoying the sights. I got to see a good portion of the city, including attending the Doctor Who Experience to amp up my geek cred.

DoctorWho

The other day trip was to Edinburgh, Scotland. I had been there once before, but I only stayed in the city long enough to take a train to Stirling. This time I spent the whole day in the city.

Edinburgh

It is really one of the most stunning places I have ever been to. I cannot get over the gorgeous architecture. There were several times I just stopped and spent several minutes admiring the winding and climbing streets. Or maybe I stopped because my lazy, out-of-shape self was winded from the hills. Either way, beautiful! Also beautiful was the hot chocolate I got at their Christmas fair.

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Cadbury’s hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a Cadbury Flake bar. It was sinfully good.

Speaking of food, that was one of the best parts of the trip. Meat pies with mash or thick, greasy chips, hot tea, mince pies, chocolate. I spent most of the time drooling over the amazing food. I also took pictures of some of the delicious food.

Food (1)

Food (3)

Food (2)

It was incredibly bittersweet to have to return to the US and my real life, but I attempted to bring back a sizable chunk of Britain with me:

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(The most important part, of course – the chocolate!)

Anyway, as everyone who has interacted with me in the past few weeks knows, I had the most amazing time. I was euphorically happy during the whole trip and I am ready to go back.

Happy 2013, everyone! This is the beginning of what I plan on making a blogging-filled year.