Hello readers! Welcome back to another weekly update brought to you by yours truly. This week has been very productive and busy for me. To start the week off, I knew I wanted to go somewhere this past weekend, so I needed to get some school work DONE. I thankfully finished my Digital Business and Marketing group project and my Sport and Community Assessment 1 paper. I now just need to finish, or more importantly start my Managing and Developing Talent paper due in a couple of weeks. Don't worry though, that is my focus for this week, since we are meeting with our professor to get our paper topics approved. I'm not too worried about it since it's more of a reflection piece on my own style of learning. I just need to finish it before I leave for Amsterdam the 19th. I will NOT be working on/ worrying about school while hanging with Marta (my friend visiting from Iowa State University)!
On Saturday I traveled solo to Aberdeen, a city bordering the North Sea. To start my little adventure, I had to wake up at 2:30am, since my bus from Glasgow to Aberdeen left at 3:45am. I set so many alarms between 2:30a and 3:00a, scared I was going to sleep through my alarm! Don't worry, I woke up just fine (well, for as fine as you can at 2:30 in the morning). I had everything gathered for my day and I was walking out my dorm door at about 3:20a. The bus station is only like a 5 minute walk away, so I had plenty of time. Okay friends so funny story time! Caledonian Court, the student residence building where I live, has a brick wall surrounding the premises with only two gates that go in and out. I thought, "well, it's a Friday night/Saturday morning, so they won't shut those because of all the students who go out to party and whatnot." WRONG. I was walking to the usual gate I go in and out of, and it was shut! I kid you not, my heart dropped. I immediately went to the less common gate and saw it was also shut. The second gate was specifically for cars, with an automated arm device looking thing attached to the gate to open and close on its own. You might be asking, "why is that important?" Well, ya girl literally had to climb on that device to get to the top of the gate, then proceed to jump over onto the street. The height from the top of the fence to the ground was a little further than I anticipated, so I literally fell straight on my butt when I jumped over. My butt was soaked, since Scotland can't go a day without rain. I was so embarrassed because there were people still outside (because why can't people go to bed at a decent time?) and I pretty sure there was another way to get in and out, but I was not in the mood or mental state to really think that through. But I was out, so I proceeded to go to the bus station and make it to Aberdeen on time.
I arrived in Aberdeen at about 6:45am, so I had a lot of time to kill before my surfing lesson at 9am. The Union Station is located right next to their mall, so I ate my breakfast bar in there before heading to the beach. It was about a twenty minute walk to the beach where my surfing lesson was at, so I took my time and enjoyed the buildings and views along the way. The buildings were a light grey color, but very clean looking. The city of Aberdeen reminded me a lot of home because of the friendly atmosphere, stores and small town vibes. By stores, I mean they are bigger than stores in Glasgow and also not as expensive. Their mall specifically reminded me of the Coralridge Mall in Coralville, Iowa. Walking around aimlessly I never once felt uncomfortable or unsafe (granted I didn't walk around ALL of Aberdeen). I'm digressing--anyways, I arrived at the beach a couple hours before my lesson! The beach was absolutely beautiful and I had the chance to see the sunrise. One of my favorite things about beaches are the dogs! So many people go for a walk with their dogs along the beach, so I was able to grab a front row seat and just people/dog observe. Knowing I was going to be in Aberdeen way before my surfing lesson, I brought a book to read with me. I grabbed a comfortable spot on the beach and read for a while. Before I knew it, it was time for my surfing lesson!
I was in a group session taught by Campbell through Surf Scotland. I was the first one to show, since I had been at the beach for a while. My instructor was very friendly and recommended some spots to visit before leaving. After everyone arrived, we all geared up with wetsuits, booties, and gloves which were specifically for the water--so we weren't just wearing normal boots and gloves in freezing water, I feel like it's important to make that distinction. I have surfed before while I was in California, but I never did a lesson for it. I always just grabbed a board and tried to do it myself. I really enjoyed this surfing lesson because I learned how to actually surf properly. Unfortunately, I have some bad habits from my short time surfing while I was in California, so I spent most of my time undoing those. The weather did not cooperate very well with us either. It was very windy, but that is not good when you're trying to surf. The wind on land does not bring good waves to surf on. We were lucky to catch a couple good waves before our session ended. It was a lot more chill though than California, meaning that the waves weren't smashing me into the ocean floor every time I got twenty feet out. I was able to focus on my skills instead of worrying about the wave completely demolishing me. California was rough HAHA, but still hasn't persuaded me not to surf.
After my surfing lesson, I was told by one of the girls in my group surfing lesson to check out the old town of Aberdeen, which was right next to the beach. I headed that way, after capturing some more pictures of the beach. If I could spend the entire day on the beach, I totally would--hence why I want to live somewhere coastal. Anyways, I made my way through old Aberdeen, which was very cute with a very homey vibe. There's lots of little gardens in alleyways and lots of people hang drying their clothes--it just reminds me of the olden days haha! I walked along the harbor back to the city center. I saw lots of buildings including St. Thomas Cathedral, some other random church (it was boarded up), the Tolbooth Museum, the Kirk of St. Nicholas Uniting, Mercat Cross, Marischal College, and more! In front of Marischal College is a statue of Robert the Bruce, the King of Scotland from 1306-1329. My mom tells me he's my so many greats grandfather too. I don't know how true that is, but I've been going with it. Surfing made me super exhausted, so I decided to go see a movie to kill some time before my bus (I was so done walking around).
Let me tell you, movies in Aberdeen are WAY cheaper than movies in Glasgow. I decided to the Lego Movie 2, since I had already seen Captain Marvel and no other movie worked well with the time I had. Maybe it was because I was tired and falling asleep, but the Lego Movie 2 was not good. I thought since I enjoyed Lego Batman, that I would like the Lego Movie 2, but I did not think it was funny. I thought it was confusing and very childish (but it is a kids movie, so I can't blame them for making it super cheesy). Would definitely not recommend this movie if you are older than ten years old. After the movie, I went back to the Union Station Mall and ate at a Mexican restaurant, which was over priced for the amount of food I got, but whatever. I also tried a chocolate churro milkshake...would also not recommend. I don't really know what I was thinking in the first place since I'm not the biggest fan of churros, but it tasted like fried food in a cup. Let me just save you your money--don't waste it on a churro milkshake. My bus left at 6:45pm from Aberdeen to Glasgow. The bus ride went pretty fast (partly because I was asleep half the time). All I did when I got back to my room was shower, brush my teeth, then I was dead asleep until about 10am this morning. I have yet to leave my room and it is 3:15pm. I have been productive though--I've eaten lunch, listened to a sermon via YouTube, vacuumed, made my bed, cleaned my desk, edited pictures, and now finished my blog post! That's a win for me!
Overall, Aberdeen was very beautiful and exactly the little adventure I needed! Honestly, I wish I would have chosen a university to study at in Aberdeen, just so I could go to the beach everyday--but I'm sure I would be way less focused on school if I did so. I could definitely see myself living in Aberdeen, just because of the homey vibe and access to the North Sea. I probably won't be able to return during my semester here, but will more than likely keep it in mind during future endeavors! Who knows where God's plan will lead me?
This weekend Rachel and I are planning on going to the Isle of Arran on a day trip with the same company as our Harry Potter Bridge and Glencoe tour! Until then, enjoy these pictures of Aberdeen!