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My New Normal

by Marley Ghizzone

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In a normal week in the summer, if I looked back at what I did, it would consist of late night TV binges, long hours of working with kids at a pool, and junk food.

This week has been quite different. I have jammed my week full of “doing things.” I can now brag of being cultured. In all seriousness though, I had a wonderful week and a myriad of experiences.

I had tea at Westminster Abbey. I’ve walked around Kensington Gardens and went on a palace tour. I took dramatic pictures on The London Eye and prayed I’d be present for an elaborate engagement (to my dismay, I was not.) I’ve had many, many adventures on the Underground, learning to navigate and read a map was a horrible but rewarding experience.

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I walked around Oxford Street and visited Primark. For those who don’t know, Primark is a gigantic department store that sells clothes for absurdly low prices. It was very disturbing. If you desperately need clothes, that’s the place for you because of the prices. However, I wish you luck as you shall be taking your life into your own hands the moment you walk through the door.

 

On Wednesday, I ate at Jamie Oliver’s Diner in Piccadilly Circus. Then  I walked around SoHo where all the clubs are located. After that I watched street performers who were situated outside of The Criterion, where we went to see The 39 Steps. I got a picture with one of the guys playing guitar and made a new friend. She is from Japan, studying in Sweden, and vacationing in England for the week.

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A big part of British culture is the pub. I have gone to a pub almost every night to eat and it is spectacular. They all have the same laid back atmosphere which I love, and sell fish and chips, which I have eaten in excess.                                  

Yesterday I had the opportunity to walk around Stonehenge. It was almost a two hour drive but it was worth it. Our tour guide took us through this grassy field with buttercup flowers and baby daisies. We had to walk carefully so as to avoid cow pies and keep a wary eye on the cows that stood just feet from our path. Finally we were all standing in a group around a burial mound and we hear nothing. It was something I have never encountered. The air was crisp and all around was the sound of nature. It was weird and different. I loved it.

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I took a selfie with Stonehenge and boarded the bus again to travel to Salisbury. There we had lunch and took a tour of the Salisbury Cathedral. All I can say about that cathedral is that it is majestic. It is immense and striking. I ended my day at My Old Dutch Pancake House, where I ate a cinnamon apple pancake larger than my face. Eating it bordered on a religious awakening.

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The most important thing I did this week, was see Her Majesty, The Queen. It was an unbelievable experience. My friends and I were wandering around near Big Ben and decided to walk over to Buckingham Palace and take pictures by the gates. As we were walking over we glanced at the flag and saw that The Queen is home, *gasp!* When we finally got near the Palace there was a small commotion at the gate and police officers were clearing people from the opening. A few minutes later a bunch of cars streamed through and one held The Queen. That was probably my favorite moment of the week.

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Right now I am sitting in Green Park, listening to “The Front Bottoms,” and writing this article. It is a beautiful day and I am so ecstatic for this wonderful opportunity. I can’t wait for the upcoming week and the adventures that lie ahead.

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