things i miss about london
...tax already added into the listed price

things i don't miss about london
...17% value added tax

returning to the states via starbucks and subway
I got into Chicago around 10:00 Sunday night. Our Air India flight was delayed two hours!!!! At least no strike. I stayed the night with my aunt and uncle outside the city and went in to work with Eddie. He works at an ad agency and it was really cool to see the gorgeous Macs they have to play around on. I spent the day walking up and down Michigan Avenue, treating myself to meals from two American institutions: the aforementioned Starbucks and Subway. Reverse culture shock has snuck up on me a couple of times. I'm still calling dollars pounds and every once in a while, I think I see a Marks and Spencers or Top Shop and get all excited.

london calling
While I'm glad to be back with my family and have some down time to simply sleep and do nothing, I'm missing London like crazy. I have nearly 20 rolls of film that I want to share with everyone, but somehow it's just not the same to show photos to my friends and family. They can't look and them and respond, 'Oh! that was that time when.../that was the guy who.../that's the place where...' I can't put my finger on what it is about London that I miss the most; maybe I need some more time here in the States to figure that out. I do know that the semester was simply fabulous. My new friends are wonderful. The sights were gorgeous. And the memories are perfect.


things i'm going to miss about london
...flat one dance parties.

the end draws nigh
I feel like I should have some eloquent passage about the fabulous experience of being an American student living in London. I ought to reflect on all that I have learned, all that I will take home with me. I should recount how much my outlook on life and the world has changed and how I have morphed into an explorer of many nations and an aficionado of countless cultures. Instead, I feel like I've barely had a glimpse of what this Earth holds. I have changed in my level of confidence and charged up desire to travel, but otherwise I will return home still unsure of my outlook on the War and still set in the American mind-set of bigger, bigger, bigger.

this is just the beginning
I'm hooked. This semester has sparked in me a need to travel. Yesterday, Megan, Ellen, Mary Pat, Seth and I went to the Natural History Museum. Outside they had a display, called something like Earth from Above, which had photographs looking down on spots all over the globe. There were dozens upon dozens of photos and the only one of a place I had been was an aerial shot of Venice. I haven't been to Morocco, to Iceland, to Ecuador. And it's not just exploring the world that I want to do. All the weekend trips I have done have opened to me a craving to explore where I am, wherever I am. I have been to the capitals of five different countries (the U.K., Ireland, France, Italy and Greece) and I've never set foot in Washington DC. I've seen the Vatican and the David and have never seen the Statue of Liberty or the Grand Canyon. Even in Missouri I haven't explored where I could. I've scarcely seen any of St. Louis and I'd love to visit the Ozarks again. This semester has taught me how to travel cheaply and I intend to continue that when I return.

my last day in london
I'm not too sure what to do with my final 24 hours. I have hit all the spots that I really wanted to see but I definitely do not want to sit in my flat, cooped up with packed suitcases and 18 rolls of film. I'm mostly packed. Tonight will be the intense cleaning of the flat (and probably the discovery of a whole suitcase's worth of more items to tote home) and tomorrow will be the carry-on packing. As of now, I haven't even expanded my bags to their full packing potential so it looks like I might be able to make it home with the same number of bags with which I arrived. (Thanks to a stuffed duffel bag of clothes, etc. that my family took with them when they left, of course.)

where to find me
Sunday evening, granted that Air India is not striking, I will fly eight hours across the Pond on the most uncomfortable, curry-filled flight. I will return to Manhattan on Monday evening...unless I can get to KCI on an earlier stand-by. I'll be at home until Friday, May 2, when I go to Columbia for a few days. Ellen's 21st is that day so we're going to go out in Columbia together for the first time. I'll be in Columbia until Tuesday morning. It'll be great to see my friends again. My sister graduates from high school on May 18. I'm super-excited to spend time with my grandparents and cousins. It'll be the first time in my memory to see both sets of grandparents together. I love being with both of them so it'll be an extra blessing to enjoy all four of them at once!

a bit of bryson
Here are some Bill Bryson excerpts I deem appropriate to end my entry:

Do you have any idea, other than in a vague theoretical sense, just how desperately crowded Britain is? Did you know, for instance, that to achieve the same density of population in America you would have to uproot the entire populations of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado and Texas and pack them all into Iowa?

...it occurred to me, not for the first time, what a remarkably cherishably small world Britain is. That is its glory, you see - that it manages at once to be intimate and small-scale and at the same time packed to bursting with incident and interest. I am constantly filled with admiration at this - at the way you can wander through a town like Oxford and in the space of a few moments pass the home of Christopher Wren, the buildings where Halley found his comet and Boyle his first law, the track where Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile, the meadow where Lewis Carroll strolled...Can there anywhere on Earth be, in such a modest span, a landscape more packed with centuries of busy, productive attainment?

to sum it up
...in the words of Bryson, of course:

The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view.
All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you. And then I turned from the gate and got in the car and knew without a doubt that I would be back.


things i'm going to miss about london
...not having to drive anywhere. A destination that has a twenty minute walk is nothing.

la rubia!
I am convinced that European men are the rudest, filthiest men in the world. (By Europe, I mean mainland Europe; the U.K. does not in the slightest think of themselves as European. They are British. And by European men, I do not mean Irish...they were great gentlemen.) But the Italians, the Greeks, the French, the Spanish, they all are awful! When Ellen and I arrived in Barcelona, we grabbed a bite for dinner and took it to the steps of some monument to eat. We sat there, unwashed, in our travelling clothes (i.e. jeans, t-shirt and sweater), our hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, with hardly any make-up on, and two guys came up to us and tried to get us to hang out with them the rest of the night. They were so forward! And they were about the third or fourth 'encounter' we'd had since stepping off the plane at 4:00. We got calls of 'la rubia' (the blonde) and 'mwah! mwah!' (who knows what that means) and the traditional matting call: the clicking tongue. I mean, really, do they think that's going to work?! Have they ever been successful with such lines? Ellen even had some bum crouch down and look up her skirt while she and Emily were sitting at a fountain. The nerve!

Here's to the good-mannered boys of America!

semana santa
Holy Week. It was really neat to spend Easter Sunday in Barcelona. We went to the most beautiful church I have been to all semester for Easter evening mass. Unfortunately, we had difficulty interpreting the sign and arrived in the middle of the priest's homily. Ellen, our resident Spanish-speaker could understand bits and pieces (Barcelona speaks Catalan Spanish, she knows Castillian) but all I picked up were 'Senor Jesu Christ,' 'resurexion,' and 'hallelujah.' I figured those were the all the words that were important for the day.

Happy Easter!

bareclona's catedral got it right
The Catedral was gorgeous. After a semester of visiting huge, ostentatious cathedrals with intricate gold details and humongous stained glass windows, it was refreshing to see a church that knew how to be beautiful but not gaudy. The parts of the church that were the most stunning were the crucifix at the front, the organ and the cloister. The crucifix had four angels attending Christ on the cross and a Jesus that wasn't smothered in gold or jewels. It was just plainly beautiful. The organ was elaborate but not showy and the music it played was gorgeous.
The cloister was my favourite part. Its centre was opened to the outdoors and had palm trees, foliage, a pond, and beautiful birds who (loudly) brought attention to the middle of the open room. There was no escaping the beauty within the cloister. You could admire the little chapels dedicated to various saints all you wanted, but as soon as you turned around, your attention was immediately swept away from the man-made chambers and statues, and toward the beauty of God's own chapel, nature. Barcelona's Catedral knows how to do it.

the sights
On Monday we went all over Barcelona. The first thing you notice upon arriving in the city is its love (read: obsession) with the famed architect Antoni Gaudi. He was born in Barcelona and most of his work was done in Barcelona. His trademark is putting a mosaic in his buildings. We walked around Gaudi's Sagrada Familia temple (Sacred Family) which has been under construction for more than 80 years (Gaudi presided over the first 40 years of its construction before his death). It was so strikingly different from all the other cathedrals we've been to; it was so very modern…nearly had an air of Candyland around it. It was really interesting, though, to see a cathedral under construction. It seems like most huge churches in Europe that attract visitors are centuries old: Notre Dame, the Vatican, Canterbury, Westminster, Sacre Coeur, and it was neat to think how Ellen, Emily and I were seeing a bit of history go up.
We saw more Gaudi in the Park Guell, the huge park that he designed. You might recognise the famous mosaic benches and lizard fountain. After lounging on the benches in the sun, (this time I had sunscreen!) we made our way to the Olympic Stadium. It was really neat to see all the work that went into a city that housed the Olympics. I think the metro system is the best we've been to in Europe.

a bit of Bryson
I'm reading a book by Bill Bryson called Notes From a Small Island. Bryson was an American who lived in Britain for 20 years and fell in love with it. He wrote the book before returning to the States with his family to 'give the kids the chance of experiencing life in another country and my wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week.' He has a knack for describing Britain in the best ways:

The countryside roundabout was gorgeous and extravagantly green. You could be excused for thinking that the principal industry of Britain is the manufacture of chlorophyll.

I have a small, tattered clipping that I sometimes carry with me and pull out for purposes of private amusement. It's a weather forecast from the Western Daily Mail and it says, in tot: 'Outlook: Dry and warm, but cooler with some rain.'
There you have in a single pithy sentence the English weather captured to perfection: dry but rainy with some warm/cool spells. The Western Daily Mail could run that forecast every day - for all I know, it may - and scarcely ever be wrong.


things i'll miss in london
...jogging past my London dream house (think the house in Disney's Aristocat's) on my way to a workout in Kensington Gardens.

na na na nanana
Hey Jude! I sang with Paul McCartney tonight...and about 10,000 other people. The concert was amazing. McCann and I walked a whole two blocks to the place where he was performing. Crazy! I walk that far from the parked car, after driving two hours if I see a concert while living in Manhattan or Columbia. Here's a little something that I learned tonight. One of my favourite Beatles songs, recently added to a long list in the past six months or so is 'Blackbird.' They wrote it in the '60s during the Civil Rights movement. Do you remember how I said a few months ago how British chaps sometimes refer to women as 'birds?' (like our 'chick') Well, that's what the song is about, a black bird....
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
hmmm...thanks, Paul for a wonderful evening.

I leave tomorrow for Barcelona and the beach! (My sunburn is mostly better, for all you concerned citizens out there.)


things i'll miss in london
-The man who plays guitar and covers Beatles songs whom I pass on the way to class every Monday and Tuesday.

oh bugger off
When my co-workers asked me how old I was on Tuesday and I told them 21, their collective response was, 'Bloody hell! You're so young!' Nobody in Englad does 'work experience' (internships) until after they graduate university. Many people are still doing work experience at age 23-25.

why this was the best birthday ever
-Mamu woke me up with a musical phone call!
-The weather was an amazing 70 degrees.
-My editor and deputy editor took me out for lunch and bought me flowers.
-Our final internship meetings with our supervisor were cancelled, meaning more time to cellebrate...or work on papers.
-The guitar man on the way to my final British Life and Culture class was playing 'Nowhere Man,' the first song I ever heard him play...and thus the last...fitting.
-My flatmates bought me flowers and a Harry Potter cake.
-I got cards and candy!
-Both Sarah and Pat phoned me.
-I celebrated in London!

slm in the wsj
Today is a big day for flatmate Sarah Lynn McCann. SHE IS PUBLISHED IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUORPE. impressive!

the letter h is pronounced: 'haych'


(That means 'thanks' in Brit slang) I think that my grandmother the 'weather-witch' made a special order for 70 degree London weather today. Thank you for all the emails and calls! Thanks especially to the all Alpha Chi girls for the wonderful card!


cheers to the chemist next to the ipc media tower!
Not only did I get aloe vera lotion, but it was free with a bottle of SPF 20 sun block. I'll come to the beach prepared this weekend!
nice is nice
…a bit too nice for the pale-skinned Erica. My weekend in Nice, France was everything it was supposed to be: full of eating crepes in cafes, sitting by the water, eating crepes on the beach, and shopping. Elizabeth and I went to Cannes on Friday and unfortunately the weather wasn’t the most agreeable. We did get to walk along the sandy beach a bit and see the place where the Internation Film Festival will be held in a month, before we were fortunate enough to be chased by a downpour into a cafĂ© that made the most fabulous crepe I think I have ever eaten. Apple/Caramel. Mmmmm.

a stone’s throw across the med to africa
It amazes me to think that as we sat on the pebbly beach in Nice, the African coast was just across the sea. A few hundred kilometres, albeit, but I liked to pretend that it was just off in the distance, barely out of sight. We fell asleep on the beach and woke up quite pink. Now, I don’t mean to rip on any country observing the Sabbath, however, when not even the Pharmacies are open on a Sunday, I got a bit frustrated. And of course, no one in London carries Aloe Vera because no one in London gets enough sun to warrant the lathering of such a salve. Oh well, it’ll go away in a few days…just in time to get burned again in Barcelona over Easter. :)

i’m not going to get mushy, i’m not
In only two weeks, I will have left this wonderful city behind and will be back in good ol’ Manhappenin’, KS. I really am not ready to leave yet. I don’t know how I have spent nearly a full four months in London and still have a list a page long of things I want to do and sights I want to see.

. . . and the internship is really getting good
The people are fabulous, (They like me! They really like me!) and I feel like I’ve actually become part of the office culture. Last Tuesday, Karen, the new fashion editor, took me with her on a fashion shoot; she has also said that she’d call a skin care company and request some Aloe Vera to be sent in for me for free…if only she can find her diary (remember: appointment book and contact info) with the phone number. Sally, the art director, invited me to her birthday shin dig this Saturday, (I unfortunately had to reply, ‘Sorry, I’m going to be in Spain that day.’) and has said she’d like to take me out to lunch for my birthday and to chat about design stuff. Tomorrow, I’m spending my birthday lunch with Kate, the editor, chatting about the biz. I haven’t been able to get much design experience, which is unfotunate, but my experience here has been well, rewarded if simply because I am now certain that I want to work in the magazine industry. I love the office culture and pace, and I’m fascinated by the process of putting together a publication that has UK news stand sales of more than 55,000. I really couldn’t have asked for a better placement and I’m desperately hoping that my first ‘real world’ job will be anywhere near this.

many thanks
…Pat! For the sweets and birthday card!!!

my ‘diary’ for the next two weeks:
Monday (14): work, class, type final papers
Tuesday (15): (birthday) work, lunch with Kate, final BLC class, finish typing papers, try to squeeze in a small celebration
Wednesday (16): meet with the programme directors to discuss my internship, final excursion down the River Thames to Greenwich, celebrate my birthday in style
Thursday (17): final day at work, go out with office chums
Friday (18): squeeze in as much sightseeing as I can: possibly see Kensington Palace, Regent’s Park, John Wesley (started the Methodist denomination)’s house and museum, stop by the National Gallery again as well as the National Portrait Gallery, see Paul McCartney in concert…just two blocks from my flat!
Saturday (19)-Wednesday (23): fly out to Barcelona, spend more time on the beach (this time lathered in sun block)
Thursday (24): final meeting for journalism class, some more sightseeing around London, farewell party with programme
Friday (25): visit Kew Gardens and begin packing
Saturday (26): popping the zippers on my bags as I try to squeeze everything back in two bags and a carry-on
Sunday (27): fly home

-The most foreign I have felt since being in Europe was yesterday, attending a Russian Orthodox service in Nice. Not only was the language foreign, but the customs were, too. I’m really glad I went, though, because it was so neat to see how people can worship the same God as me in such a different way.
-You are not allowed to cross your legs in a Russion Orthodox church. Oops!
-The candy bar situation in the UK is mixed up…or maybe the US candybars are the ones to blame. The UK’s equivalent to the 3 Muskateers (which really does not taste the same) is called Milky Way. Their equivalent to the US’s Milky Way is a Mars Bar. All candy bars are putt out by the same company as the US candies. How odd. Still no Reeses PB Cups, however. They’re deprived, here, they are.
-A British accent on kids is still cute.
-Cuba is a popular vacation spot for Britons. According to my editor, it’s because the Americans haven’t swarmed the place. Brits apparently aren’t phased by a little thing called the Cuban Missile Crisis.


all the world's a stage
...and my credit card receipts show it!
Last week I spent nearly nine hours in various theatres. Quite appropriate, considering our lecture on Tuesday was about British theatre. (See, I'm doing homework over here!) Monday our journalism class was cancelled since Professor Stuart Loory was in Israel representing the U.S. at a journalism convention of some sort (the Missouri J-School power players, populartion: Stu). I took advantage of my extra evening by getting last minute tickets to see Mamma Mia!. So Much Fun. I was dancing in the aisle. Literally.
Wednesday, our excursion was to Warwick Castle and then on to Stratford-upon-Avon. We got to see the house where Shakespeare was born as well as Anne Hathaway's home. That night, I stayed in the town with about 45 other students and faculty to see the Royal Shakespeare Company's performance of Taming of the Shrew. I was a bit unsure about seeing the show, considering that my only real contact with the Shrew is via 10 Things I Hate About You's modern interpretation. I was afraid that since I hadn't studied the play before, I wouldn't understand the plot or the what exactly was going on, but the actors were fabulous and really played to the crowd, making the words obvious in their actions. It was my first live Shakespeare performance and it was simply amazing! (I don't count the high school English readings we did in class.) I loved it and would deffinitely see another Shakepeare comedy.
Thursday, Emily and I went to see Lion King. Amazing costumes. Really. I remember seeing Lion King the animated movie over and over as a kid and it gave me chills to see the opening scene with the African music, the rising sun, and the gigantic elephant costume/pupet walking down the aisle. Some of the dialogue was changed from the movie, but otherwise I had to watch myself to make sure I wasn't reciting the lines along with the actors.
I forgot to mention that while Sarah and Felicity were here, we went to see Ragtag. That was really neat. Very poignent for this time as the characters discuss (in stuggling American accents..hehehe) the good and the bad about America. It was so good. And the little boy in the show, named Edgar, had red hair and look just like the little neighbor boy back home who I babysit all the time, Sterling Edgar. Oh, Little Man.

isn't it so nice
Thursday I leave for a weekend holiday with Elizabeth in Nice, France. Beaches, croissants, Palm Sunday in a French cathedral. Such is life. I can't think about it or else I about pee my pants for excitement. I was talking with Dan last night online and I mentioned that all these weekend trips are going to condition me to travelling on the weekends. I'm not going to be able to sit still in Columbia for more than two weeks at a time!

*A British datebook/appointment calendar is called a 'diary'
*A sweater is called a 'jumper'
*Watching Briget Jones' Diary or Mary Poppins and playing 'catch all the British-isms you didn't know before this semester' is fun
*Lifts (elevators) don't have a button command to shut the door. It starts to shut when you press the floor that you want.
*Not all fraternity guys are alcoholic jerks. (I know that I'm a hypocrit, stereotyping frat boys whilst complaining when people stereotype sorority girls, but to tell you the truth, I hadn't gotten to really know very many fraternity guys before the ones in our programme. For the most part, the few I did spend time with really were alcoholic jerks.)
in memory of
David Bloom, an NBC correspondent and co-anchor of the Today Show's weekend edition.
Michael Kelly, Atlantic Monthly editor-at-large and Washington Post columnist.


night and day
Sarah and I set out for Dublin Thursday evening. We traveled by overnight coach and ferry which was an interesting experience. We got little sleep, of course, but we did meet some American boys who were also studying in London and taking a weekend trip to Dublin. The group of us hung out during our travel across land and sea. We fell asleep (kind of) to the blaring news bulletins of Sky News repeating the same information about the war while aboard the ferry. It was like a time warp because I went to sleep hearing the same bulletin to which I awoke...I have no clue how long I slept or even if I did.

out of control
The best story of the weekend had to come from the trip out there. It really has nothing to do with me or Sarah, but since we found it amusing, I figure you should get a laugh as well. We got on the coach (read: bus) at 6:30 with a drunken couple on our heels. I couldn't tell if they were Irish or English because the drunken slur overrode the accent. They were fighting and definitely reeked of alcohol as they sat only two seats behind Sarah and me. A bit later, the American chaps sat behind us and the drunk couple got up and moved a seat back so they wouldn't have to listed to 'those damned Yanks.' Classic.
As the coach made its way toward the port, the drunk man finished his (highly prohibited) bottle of Asda (Wal-Mart in the UK) vodka. We heard the lovely musical arrangement of the bottle rolling side to side in the aisle while the man was passed out, legs sprawled between seats. When we made a pit stop, the drunk tried to swipe a pack of beer from another passenger. The owner of the beer turned around and slugged the drunk. It was great...the drunk wasn't allowed back on the coach...but his fiancee was already on...and she stayed on without him.
The plot thickens. When we got back on the coach to leave the ferry the next morning, the fiancee, more drunk than when she got on the coach the first time, had found another man! He wasn't much of an improvement from the first. It certainly made for an amusing time, speculating about the mess that was this love triangle.

a sort of homecoming
We arrived in Dublin at 7 a.m. and arranged to meet the boys at 3 that afternoon to take a trip to the Guiness Storehouse. Our hostel refused to let us check in yet, so we locked up our bags and set off to explore Dublin. We actually accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Before meeting the boys, we visited and saw:
Christ Church Cathedral (where Handel's Messiah was performed for the first time)
Dublin Castle
A small Millennium park with sculptures
Trinity College (but completely forgot to find the book of Kells, the Gaelic translation of the Gospels...oops)
2 high class shopping centres
and strolled along Grafton Street

drowning man
When we met the boys to go to the Guinness Storehouse, one of them was missing. It seems that he had passed out after too many drinks...before 3 in the afternoon. Classy. Sarah and I headed to the factory ourselves. I had a full three sips of my half-pint of the 'black gold' and decided that the view of Dublin from atop the Gravity Bar was better than the beer.

That night (Friday) we met for a musical pub crawl at the Ha'penny Bridge in Temple Bar where we were accompanied by real Irish musicians in two pubs. They taught us the history about Irish music (it was originally made to accompany Irish dancing and only later became popular as a form of entertainment on its own) and explained the different types of music. It was really interesting. We learned the chorus of a song, a whole bunch of nonsense words I can't remember.

sunday bloody sunday
...or Saturday. The next morning we slept in but the day was still full of events. We stumbled upon a gallery featuring originals and prints by John Lennon. Sarah, the Beatles-phile, naturally freaked out. Continuing the art theme, we walked three blocks to the Irish National Gallery. To tell the truth, it was the least impressive of the galleries I have seen. Then we headed to see the General Post Office where the Easter Rising of 1917 was held. I wish I'd known a little more of Irish history to appreciate the building, but it looked nice to me. (My only real knowledge of Irish history comes from the U2 song that is the title of this paragraph.) We took in the beauty of St. Stephen's Green after that and then headed to dinner.

tryin' to throw your arms around the world
After dinner, Sarah called Robin, the brother of Gwen (a friend of Sarah’s from school). Robin is in his third year of college. In true gentleman's form, he bought Protz and me drinks at the first two pubs we visited. I have found two new drinks that satisfy me much more than Guinness: Malibu and Coke, and Baileys. We finished the night at a third pub before we had to head back to the hostel at 1 a.m. It was so great to actually spend time chilling and chatting with someone my own age from another country. Confined to the little American ghetto in which I live, inhabited mostly by fellow Missouri System students, it is nearly impossible to leave the States even though I am across the pond. We discussed enarly everything: the war, politics, our childhoods, a bit of religion, our prom (or 'debs' in Ireland) experiences, our desire to travel and our dreams for a family, the problems with America/Ireland. It was amasing to see how we'd each had so many different influences based on our cultures and yet we could share memories of clubs we set up as children and the frustrations of dealing with our first crushes. Sometimes it seems like we focus so much of our attention to looking at how different cultures are that we are blind to the similarities we share as humans. I'm so glad I was able to share thoughts and experiences with Robin and Sarah.

enough o' that.

...and my observations.
-Dublin is pronounced 'Dohb-lin'
-Ireland is pronounced 'Ahre-lan'
-Guinness owns the city. If a building is not claimed by a Guinness sign, then Heineken or Baileys Irish Cream has plastered their label on it.
-There are no leprechauns and no one but tourists say 'Top o' the mornin'

in god's country
We left the Republic of Ireland and returned to the UK on Sunday. The weather was gorgeous and I'm glad I was able to take in the Welsh counrtyside while the sun was shining clearly above. If you hadn't noticed, the headings to this post have been titles of U2 songs. Since U2 is from Ireland and simply one of the greatest contemporary bands, I thought it appropriate to weave them into my post. If you would like to hear more about our adventures, check out Sarah's blog. I'm not sure if you can get access to her pictures as well...they've been kind of finicky for me. I think that if you go to the very bottom of the page (hurry, before she posts again and that entry gets pushed into archives) you can find a link to her photo album that says 'CLICK HERE' and that should get you to the pics.