5 days till England!!! #england #uk #birmingham

5 days till England!!! #england #uk #birmingham

Less than a week until I head back to England! #london #england #uk

Less than a week until I head back to England! #london #england #uk

One. Week. #england #flowers #garden

One. Week. #england #flowers #garden

Leaving in 8 days!!!! #england #uk

Leaving in 8 days!!!! #england #uk

9 more days till #england

9 more days till #england

Leaving for the quirky streets of #london in ten days! #england #uk

Leaving for the quirky streets of #london in ten days! #england #uk

11 days till England, squeeeee!!!! #england #uk

11 days till England, squeeeee!!!! #england #uk

Fair warning, world: I leave for England in 12 days and I’m already sick with excitement. #england #london #uk

Fair warning, world: I leave for England in 12 days and I’m already sick with excitement. #england #london #uk

I thought Whitby would be a good post on/around Halloween, but I really just felt like writing about it today. So I did.

I’ve always loved the book  Dracula, and I can still remember reading it for the first time, curled up on a stormy winter night by the fireplace: perfect conditions for reading a scary story! When I first visited Whitby, the conditions were equally appropriate–threatening clouds filled the sky and the chilly air was eerily still except when interrupted by dramatic spurts of harsh wind. I was in the town that inspired one of the greatest vampire stories ever written, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the events of the book unfolding in this very place. 

Love, Elizabeth

I thought Whitby would be a good post on/around Halloween, but I really just felt like writing about it today. So I did.

I’ve always loved the book  Dracula, and I can still remember reading it for the first time, curled up on a stormy winter night by the fireplace: perfect conditions for reading a scary story! When I first visited Whitby, the conditions were equally appropriate–threatening clouds filled the sky and the chilly air was eerily still except when interrupted by dramatic spurts of harsh wind. I was in the town that inspired one of the greatest vampire stories ever written, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the events of the book unfolding in this very place. 

Love, Elizabeth

I’m having a really tough week trying to sort out all of my paperwork from my year abroad (and also trying to fix the ceiling leak that destroyed my laptop and flooded my kitchen!), and at times it feels like I would have been better off if I had never gone over to England. No sooner do I think that, though, than I think of all the amazing times I had in Europe, and I know that no matter how hard the aftermath of my year abroad is, I don’t regret it at all.

As I wrote this post, I recalled many of the incredible times I had in Birmingham. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to call this place home.

When I look back at Birmingham–at those moments I really felt at home–I think of the cozy mornings I spent sipping tea at my favorite coffee shop. I smile at the thought of all the hours I spent in the Waterstone’s bookshop. And of course, even now that I’ve been back in the US for three months, not a day goes by that I don’t recall all of the wonderful times I had in Birmingham with my amazing friends.

Love, Elizabeth

I’m watching Hamlet and thinking of all the amazing times that I had in Shakespeare’s hometown this year. #england (Taken with Instagram)

I’m watching Hamlet and thinking of all the amazing times that I had in Shakespeare’s hometown this year. #england (Taken with Instagram)

Look right before you cross the road in England.

Look right before you cross the road in England.

English Rain: Close-up

Will and I stayed up all night so that we could head out to the lake at 4:30 this morning to catch the sunrise. It ended up being extremely overcast and rainy, but that didn’t stop us from discovering the hidden potential of my cheap camera. (The moody $70 camera I bought right before I left for England is being held together by tape at this point in the year, but it’s still done fairly well so far.) It took both of us, very steady hands, and an extra flashlight, but we managed to capture what I think are some pretty cool photos of the raindrop formations on the plants.

Love, Elizabeth

What the hail, England?

English weather is pretty mild. The summers aren’t too hot and the winters aren’t too cold (we only had one day of snow this year). Even though it’s cloudy a lot of the time, it hasn’t really rained too much—and when it does rain, it isn’t anything like the torrential downpour that I’m used to during an Ohio spring or that I encountered in many other countries during my Eurotrip. And I haven’t experienced a thunderstorm since I arrived.

Weather here does have a tendency to change pretty rapidly from a mild sunny day to a mild cloudy day and then back again, but nothing prepared me for yesterday’s swift transition from sunny when I woke up, cloudy when I left my flat an hour later, rainy as I walked to breakfast with friends, sunny again as I left breakfast and walked around the corner to meet another friend for a coffee, and then HAIL two minutes later when my friend arrived at the cafe. While we talked, the sun came out for a few minutes before it started to rain again, and then we waited for the rain to stop before leaving. As I walked home, the sun was again covered by clouds, this time more ominous than ever, and I was caught in an intense hailstorm complete with the first thunder I’ve heard since being here.

While everyone was running for cover, I continued walking, taking photos of the weather anomaly on my way. By the time I got home, the sun was shining and most of the sky was blue, except for the cloud right above me that was still spitting pellets of hail. It was the craziest weather we’ve had all year, and I loved it!

Love, Elizabeth