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Spring Break

Hello again!  As we’re moving back into the swing of school, you’re probably wishing you were still in the vacation spot you spent spring break in.  Or at home, sitting on the couch and eating too many Girl Scout cookies.  Either way, I understand how you feel.  I think I need another whole week of break to get caught up on all the things I didn’t do during vacation.  Oh well; only six more weeks to go!

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my adventures with you today.  But then I began editing pictures and thinking of what to say, and three hours later I am STILL editing pictures and no closer to accomplishing my to-do-list for the weekend!  Note to self:  don’t edit so many pictures in one sitting.  I have decided to give you an overview of my trip, with some photos and travel tips, and leave it at that for this week.  I will likely be posting a lot about Europe; I have so many stories and so much history to tell!

To begin…I took the trip with a group of teachers and students from Fontbonne.  The trip was put together by a travel company called EF (Education First) College Study Tours.  For the price I paid, the trip included transportation everywhere (by plane, charter bus, ferry, and London’s underground trains), hotels (nice ones, not hostels or cheap places), two meals a day, entrance fees to museums, castles, cathedrals and other historical sights, two city tour guides, and a tour guide who stayed with us the entire trip.  The trip seemed expensive, but I think it was very well priced for everything that was included.  Our tour guides were very knowledgeable and explained to us a great amount of history concerning the locations we visited.  I would definitely recommend taking a trip like this, especially as a first excursion out of the country.  It was well planned with much guidance, but also gave us some free time to see places we wanted to visit.  And our tour guides only lost us a few times, so they proved to be very capable.

A few travel tips you should be aware of:

In Ireland and the UK, nearly everyone speaks English.  However, since we speak American, you should be aware that some phrases/words/gestures do not mean the same there as they do at home.  For example, displaying the number two with your fingers is an expletive that Europeans would consider to be offensive.  If you’re going to be traveling to a different country, I suggest you research a little about their sayings before you go.

In Europe, everything is expensive.  EVERYTHING.  Our dollar only equals about .70 cents in euros and .50 cents in pounds sterling (used in the United Kingdom—England, Scotland, and Wales).  But a meal that costs ten of our dollars still costs ten dollars there, which could be 15-20 dollars in European dollars.  So bring lots of money.  Also, if you take one of the EF tours, you might be offered extra experiences that are not included in the sum you paid for the trip, so you will need funds for those if you want to participate.  We were offered rides in a jaunty (a horse-drawn buggy in Ireland), a show put on by a man’s sheepherding dogs, and tickets to see the play Spamalot in London.  And you will probably want to buy souvenirs for every single person you’ve ever met before.  So, like I said, lots of money.

Make sure you have a converter AND adaptor with you that works for the countries you will be visiting.  One of the girls in my group only bought an adaptor, which makes our plugs fit into the European sockets in the wall, and had to borrow our converters.  The electricity in other countries uses different wattages, from what I understand, than we do, so you must have a converter to change the energy into a suitable kind for your own appliances.

This post is getting long, so I’ll throw in a few quick pictures and let you go for today.

The Irish countryside. I promise these are real places!

A beach in Ireland. Very rocky, not sandy.

Same beach, but so pretty it needs an extra picture!

A street corner in Wales. Yes, it is as beautiful as it looks.

A view of Llangollen, the Welsh town we stayed in for a night.

The iconic red telephone booths in England!

I hear the next spring break trip is to Spain and Portugal, with an optional excursion to Morocco.  It sounds absolutely wonderful, so you should all sign up!

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Britney

Spring Break

by Britney on March 31, 2014

in College Life

My spring break didn’t go as planned. I actually enjoyed my time. Though I didn’t spend a lot of time with my family at home, I enjoyed my time with my external (outside) family. The first day of break I stayed on campus and worked to make extra money and went home on Thursday night. On Thursday I went to the grocery store with my mom and then saw my neice and nephew. On Friday I went over to my aunt’s house to do her hair and see my beautiful baby cousin named Shiloh. I enjoyed my time with her. Later on that day my big cousin let me drive her car back to my house. On Saturday I got to see a play at my church that my little brothers, cousins, and sister were in. It was very well done and put together nicely. My weekend ended with me going to church then coming back to Fontbonne.

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Below are some of my favorite pictures from my Special Topics theatre course focused on the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. This was definitely a trip to remember!


Stopping to take a lunch break at an Amish buffet with one of my roommates, Angela, while on the road to Kentucky. It surely is windy in Indiana!


The outside of the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where we saw five plays and attended a few workshops in just over a day’s time.


Taking a riverside walk in between shows. (And nope, that’s not the Mississippi – it’s the Ohio.)


My new favorite restaurant, the Down One Bourbon Bar. It has a 1920s theme combined with British elements.


Taking a selfie with a virus model at the Kentucky Science Center. Hey, I’m a biology major – what do you expect?!


Once a Cards fan, always a Cards fan. Taking a picture with Cardinal legend Lou Brock right after receiving my Louisville Slugger Museum bat, thereby ending the factory tour.

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Out of the four spring breaks I’ve had while in college, I’d have to say that spring break 2014 is, by far, my most memorable. Yes, last year’s spring break was pretty memorable; after all, it was when I took the GRE for the first time (yippee) and when I started my internship at my lab. However, this year’s spring break included an unforgettable trip to Louisville, Kentucky, with my Special Topics course that centered on the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre.

The trip was everything I had expected and more. I roomed with Angela and LaToya, two graduate theatre students, and we had a blast. On the drive there, Angela and I stopped for lunch at a yummy Evansville, Indiana, Amish buffet, where I had the most delicious whipped peanut butter pie. (Yes, I’ll totally agree, it sounds pretty gross, especially since I don’t like peanut butter. But, luckily, it was amazing and left me wanting more!) Once in Kentucky, we were able to see five plays. I loved two of the plays (“Brownsville Song” and “Partners”), liked two other plays (“Steel Hammer” and “The Grown-Up”), and only really didn’t understand the concept of some parts of the last play (“Remix 38”). In addition to the plays, we were able to attend some special workshops for college students, so a group of four of us went to workshops about all of the work put into each annual Humana Festival and about how you can incorporate everyday experiences into theatre and vice-versa. We also went to some great local eateries while in town, my favorite of which was Down One Bourbon Bar, which seamlessly combined the 1920s flair of “The Great Gatsby” with the elegance of Britain.

On Sunday, we didn’t have any plays to see, so Angela and I went to the Kentucky Science Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum. The Science Center was definitely the edgiest science museum I’ve ever been in, and it had a whole floor focused on human health and anatomy, which I adore. There was even this computerized game that allowed visitors to “be” a macrophage, T-cell, or B-cell and “kill” bacteria in manners relative to how their chosen cells worked. (For example, a macrophage could “eat” bacteria all by itself, but a T-cell could only kill bacteria that had been tagged by B-cells, just like in real life.) As you can see, I really enjoyed the Science Center.

Our trip ended after a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum, where we purchased our own personalized mini bats and took a tour of the factory, where retail, minor league, and major league bats are created. Though we weren’t allowed to take a picture due to our presence in the factory, Angela and I were super excited because we had the opportunity to hold a bat that belonged to Cardinal Baseball’s Matt Holliday.

All in all, this trip was awesome. I really would like to go back to the Humana Festival and Louisville again. Maybe next year…

Want to see pictures of my trip? Just click here

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Spring Break Shenanigans

by Sarah March 28, 2014

At the beginning of March I found myself counting down the days until Spring Break!  Not too uncommon for a college student to do so being as the weeks leading up are usually filled with midterms, tests, quizzes, and projects.  But this was my first Spring Break as a college student so it was way [...]

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I Want It All, and I Want It Now

by Marielle March 25, 2014

Holy cats, spring break is over already. Or was it winter break? With the weather being as unpredictable as it is, sometimes it’s hard to tell. Regardless, I’m sure the rest of the school year will fly by.  But wait! It’s not over quite yet. We haven’t had the Environmental Fair yet. I write about [...]

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Concert Countdowns

by Carlyn March 25, 2014

I admit, I am absolutely obsessed with pop culture, especially musicians. I enjoy listening to live music, especially if the singer is considered a celebrity. I have major fan-girl moments where I scream so loud my eyes water and jump so much my ankles hurt. Over spring break, I saw Demi Lovato in concert at [...]

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Spring Break!!!

by Lizzie March 21, 2014

Happy Spring Break, everyone!! I’m jealous of people who get to travel during breaks. For me, I usually have to work! But this time, I’m planning to work more on my art projects and getting some “homework” done. Totally better than working! If I could travel, where would I go? To be honest, I’m not [...]

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Spring Break

by Deanna March 21, 2014

Spring break is always much anticipated and much appreciated when it comes. Although I have no plans to travel, but I wish I did, I plan to make this Spring Break eventful and productive! Mine got started a couple days early thanks to my teachers cancelling classes and so far I have stayed busy with [...]

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Spring Break!

by Britney March 14, 2014

Unfortunately for Spring Break I will still be on campus and working at my lovely daycare all week long. On Friday the 14th I will be at my favorite cousin’s house probably shopping and going out to eat with her. Then on Monday I’ll be back at the dorms going to work and making money. [...]

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