Windsor Castle in the Fall

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There’s nothing like spending the day in Windsor to freshen up your perspective on life. That’s where I found myself last Saturday with my intern group: the magical grounds surrounding Windsor Castle.

We started out by taking an express train from Paddington station—it was around 30 minutes before we were in Windsor which was quite fast!

We had a lovely tour guide who took us around the grounds and told us the history behind parts of the Castle’s exterior and interior.

You aren’t allowed taking pictures inside, but there were beautiful paintings lining the walls and in some rooms, the entire ceiling was a painting.

It reminded me of when I went to Buckingham Palace, and funnily enough, both then and during Windsor Castle were exhibits of the Queen’s wardrobe. It was neat! The dresses were different during both exhibitions.

Afterward, we checked out the areas around Windsor Castle. We went to Eaton College, saw some swans, had some ice cream and then made our way back to London.

The calmer atmosphere compared to Zone 1 in London was a joy to experience. Have any of you been to Windsor? What did you think? I’d love to hear!

More photos:

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Gargoyle attached to Eton College

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The oldest building left standing in Windsor

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The raised flag means the Queen is in!

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Windsor Library

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The London Eye in Pictures

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I’ve been a bit sick recently, but that hasn’t stopped me from taking part in more touristy attractions during my stay here in London!

I had the opportunity to go on The London Eye this past Sunday and am really glad I got to experience the ride.

You start out in a large capsule that can fit up to 28 people. There is a bench in the middle for seating, as well as tablet guides explaining different parts of the view.

One rotation takes around 30 minutes which goes by quite quickly when you’re trying to capture the best images!

I was lucky enough to go with my friend’s mom who is staying here temporarily for work, which was a great feeling to spend time with someone from my hometown.

I hope to experience other exciting attractions—there’s always something incredible to do here.

Have you ever been on The London Eye? Are there any other noteworthy sights that must be seen, in your opinion? Please let me know!

More photos:

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To Making New Friends | London 2016

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My view from the Shard, London

I surprised myself over the past few days by putting in the extra effort to meet new people. I already have one group of interns here to hang out with, but I’ve always been the person with multiple friend groups—so it’s been hard over the past week and a half to adjust!

I had my first ‘couch surfing experience’ on Sunday. This is quite the cool app; it isn’t limited to people who are looking for a place to stay. The ‘events’ section allows you to see what’s going on near you, organized by other couchsurfers.

This is a place full of people who want to meet other travellers, or locals, and try new experiences! I went for a 8k run through Hyde park (my first time being there) with a super friendly guy who had been in London for six years already.

It’s a fresh perspective to hear stories from a local. We had a great time, I pet some swans—and got a bit of exercise in too!

On a different note, I also met up with a new group of girls the next evening. One girl coincidentally moved here the same day as me, is from Ottawa (like me) and is getting into a similar field that I want to pursue.

And this connection all began through me reading her blog a few months ago! So she organized a group hangout, with other new girls, and we met up in person for the first time at the Aqua Shard (the 32nd floor of the Shard).

After some photography sessions, we moved onward to another (less expensive) restaurant for fish and chips!

What a great past few days it’s been. I hope to be as busy as possible for the next little while! I’m always happiest with an full schedule.

Anyone else love meeting new people, but find it challenging to get things started? I’d love to hear! 

Volunteering

It’s funny how fast time flies by. I haven’t done too much this summer since I’ve been trying to figure out what my plans are for this year. I decided to work as close to full-time as I can get from my retail job to save money for possibly going to London next September for an internship abroad. On Wednesday I also had a few meetings with volunteering opportunities, and now I am officially doing three regularly and one on an event basis. One of the meetings I had was a legit interview, which was a bit nerve-wracking since I haven’t had one of those since 2012 for the retail job.

I got the position, which is mainly being responsible for posting social media updates one day a week on campus about upcoming events. There’s a lot I need to learn first though, since I am pretty new with the whole Twitter thing. So I’ve been practicing with my own personal account but am having a hard time gaining followers. I’m also not too sure what to post, but I might just treat it like Facebook for now and see what happens. Hopefully I don’t manage to screw up my University’s account, there are a few thousand followers so my grammar and punctuation must be carefully edited.

I’m also responsible for fundraising for an animal shelter, which again, is a lot to prepare. We don’t plan on having an auction until November, but I need to start calling stores and businesses to see if any are willing to donate a small amount worth of products. In exchange, we provide some local promotion on our social media pages (the animal shelter’s, not my personal ones). I’ve never made cold calls before, so there’s that to look forward to. I’m hoping to start an online fundraiser as well, just to add to that since I have no idea how successful I will be at these calls.

I also volunteered to help out twice a week at this other organization which hosts events for local artists and musicians, which requires more work with social media. This one is really fun, and the atmosphere is extremely chill. I was able to be myself right away which is rare for me, considering my introverted nature. I’m usually more of a silent observer for a while, but here I felt quite excited from the start. It helps that everyone there is close to my age. I’m hoping that I will be able to keep volunteering there every once in a while, even after the events are done for September.

Lastly, there’s this event-by-event opportunity with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, requiring volunteer work with set up and support for members participating in events to raise awareness for Cancer. This one isn’t as tied in to social media as the others, but I really just liked the idea of helping out for such a cause. Now that I’m not in school, I really think I need to get more involved with the community. It’s crazy though. You’d think that since I am now out of school I would have more free time on my hands, but now I work 5 days a week and volunteer on my days off. I feel happier now, though.