I'm happy to tell you that I'm back in the UK and well after a truly excellent summer in America. Currently I'm sat in the kitchen of my sister Imogen's new Uni house in Southampton before moving into my halls of residence tomorrow morning.
But how did I get to this position? What has happened between now and when I left Chicago?
Just before noon on Sunday 14th September, my Uncle John took me to the Greyhound bus station in the centre of Chicago where we parted ways and I went to board my bus to Washington DC. Now before we could leave the 'Windy City', there were problems with the transmission on the first bus so we had to wait another hour for a new one which also didn't work then a little after that we finally had a functioning bus. 2 hours after we were supposed to have left. Once we were on the road things were going ok until we got to Toledo, OH when a drunk guy wandered onto the bus, unchecked for a ticket by the driver, and proceeded to try and smoke on the bus-breaking the law. The drunkard was escorted off the bus at our next stop and we continued onward to Cleveland, Ohio where we had to wait for 2 hours while the bus was given maintenance work. It was midnight by the time we arrived in Cleveland and by this point I became very restless, uncomfortable and anxious due to the unsettled nature of the journey so far which felt like absolute hell at the time. Back on the road at 2AM for another 2 hour stint to Pittsburgh, PA ,where the bus stopped for another hour, then we drove on through the Appalachian mountains into Maryland (we passed within 10 miles of camp at one point actually!) then onto Baltimore before arriving in DC just after 12PM. Over 24 hours since I'd left Chicago. I was so relieved to be off that bus after what was a long, tiring and hellish journey which I regard as probably one of my worst experiences all summer.
Not long after arriving in DC, I checked into my hostel to dump my bags and freshen up as well as have a quick nap before heading out for my evening activity. On my previous visit to DC, me and my camp friends had seen pretty much everything there was to see however there was one more thing left on my list. That evening I went out for a walk around the various memorials and monuments on the national mall. I started around 7PM so I could take in the sunset over the city before going on to see everything all lit up. Under the lights, all the monuments and memorials seemed that bit more impressive and I really enjoyed reading the various quotes written around them especially the Franklin D Roosevelt (my favourite US President) and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. I ended the night with a meal in the Hard Rock Café for one last burger before leaving the US. I still felt a bit ill from the bus ride but nonetheless it was a great way to spend my final night in the country.
|Thomas Jefferson Memorial|
|View over the Tidal Basin|
|Back at Lincoln|
Gap Year = over
|Bye bye DC! Bye Bye America!|
So now I'm in Southampton on the eve of starting University life. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this moment. Ok, at least a year! I've always thought that University is an environment that I would thrive in so I guess now we'll see if that's the case.
Freshers 2014-Let's Do This!
|Voila! My finished collage, should make for an excellent decoration for my wall in my new student room|