We’re soooarin, flyyyyin…

Hello wonderful people, and a warm welcome back to my blog! I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks since I’ve written my last blog post, it feels like so much longer! I’ve been getting up to plenty as per usual. Whether it be studying, completing my mid terms (I’m getting 100% in exams so far, not too shabby really…) or travelling around, there’s been no rest for the wicked! So much so, at the start of last week I felt super ill which was horrific. It was a classic case of ‘Fresher’s Flu’ which turns out, is able to ship its way over from the UK to the US for free!

Talking of shipping, I’ve been very fortunate as of late, as my wonderful friends and family from back home have been sending me letters and gifts. It’s so lovely to receive mail in the post and keep in contact with all my gorgeous friends from home. Thanks to my Nan, I now have enough tea for a good few months, what a lass. But, that’s not the only tea I have! I received a present from my grand-big (sorority chat) which was PG Tips (Americans, imagine getting Starbucks coffee granules instead of Walmart coffee), a blanket scarf, a candle and an initial mug! It was so thoughtful that I nearly cried when it was given to me. Speaking of my sorority, I’ve yet to find out who my ‘big’ is, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. My big stuck this on my apartment door recently, and it’s taken pride and joy on my bedroom wall. If my big/grand-big or even more of the family read this, I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE!

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I struck GOLD getting the best big ever.

One of my pals that I’ve made over here turned 21 recently, she went to Vegas for her birthday which is so exciting (24 weeks and 3 days until mine as I publish this, not that I’m counting)  and I can’t wait to go to Las Vegas for my birthday! It seems like a rite of passage to gamble in ‘Viva Las Vegas’ once you become the legal age for alcohol and gambling. For now, I went bowling with some of my friends and as you can see, the birthday girl won…

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Look how well I was doing!?
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Unbelievable form, 10/10.

However, one of the main things that happened over the last couple of weeks and indeed my time in the USA so far was my trip to Albuquerque! My friend Sarah and I were adamant that we wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too far (it took us 6 hours on a coach, this is nothing for the US) and experience a new culture/type of city. Albuquerque was beautiful and wonderful and I stayed in an Airbnb for the first time, which was surprisingly okay. I’m staying in an Airbnb for Thanksgiving in LA with my English pals so I can’t wait to do more exploring, but for now, I’ll be content with knowing I’ve been to New Mexico!

Albuquerque is rife with a variety of cultures, yes it’s known as a drug cartel haven and to be honest, you can kind of feel that as you walk around the streets. Obviously, they’re not targeting a young, white, foreign female however the adverts all around SCREAM “Better Call Saul!”. It’s no surprise that Albuquerque threw up the inspiration for the hit show Breaking Bad, so much so, scenes were actually filmed in Old Town. Yet, whilst Old Town felt commercialised in parts, we were fortunate enough to see the traditional side of the state.

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A marachi band posed for me.
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Beautiful Snapchat filter with an old man talking.

Like I said, the influence of Breaking Bad in Old Town is massive. Bizarre really, when it glamourises the drug industry and replica cases of ‘Walter White’ style behaviour have been common-place throughout the US and the UK. However, I couldn’t help myself but buy some blue crystal meth (don’t worry guys, it’s candy…) in a sweet shop, giggle at the T-shirts and ponder over this missing poster.

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Breaking Bad was the first programme I watched when my family got Netflix.

Obviously, I needed to get food during my day, so Sarah and I got a delicious frito “pie”. I use pie in inverted commas, as there was NOTHING to suggest a pie-like quality. It consisted of a chilli/mince style meat with pinto beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and lots of deliciousness. It was honestly so spicy (but not as spicy as my chilli fudge) but extremely tasty, and a delightful NM delicacy! Sarah and I then got a crazy amount of froyo with unlimited toppings and my eyes were bigger than my mouth.

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Frito Pies were delicious.

After our trip to Albuquerque, we headed to the International Balloon Festival. This is a yearly festival, in which the mass ascension of balloons draws in crowds from across the world. Sarah and I were so excited to see some balloons… or so we thought! UNFORTUNATELY the huge storm coming across from west of Albuquerque as well as the high winds meant that we didn’t see any balloons. GUTTED. However, there were plenty of stands at the festival, and as you’ll see in the cover photo, the fireworks were incredible. It wasn’t a totally wasted trip.

Before we arrived, we had to take a school bus as part of the park and ride system and I got V excited cause maybe Zac Efron rode on this bus for the filming of HSM? Love you Zac x

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AlbuBUsque.

Sarah and I got to see lots of cool things. We got a free T-shirt from Corvette, official photos from NASA for free, finally got to play Cornhole (toss a beanbag into a hole, I nailed it second time) and get an official dog tag from the US army. Hopefully Cameron Macintosh will call me soon so I can be in Miss Saigon?! One of the cute parts of the day was seeing the horses that make up part of the police force and they were honestly adorable.

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The horse is cuter than me.

In the US, it gets dark VERY quickly, so Sarah and I very quickly cuddled up to watch the firework display. This goes for all of my NAU pals, but I couldn’t have imagined meeting a lovelier group of people. Obviously, moving far away from home is a tough feat for anyone, but being able to have people who are going through exactly the same thing and get you is just wonderful. LOVE YOU GUYS ❤

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Waiting for the fireworks!

So yeah, I had a FAB time in Albuquerque even if by the end of the journey back, the Greyhound had zapped everything out of my soul. There were people on my bus from Michigan to California which honestly sounds horrific. Whilst the weather caused initial issues to our time at the festival, it was definitely a fab time in a new state and I’m so excited to do even more exploring of this incredible country.

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Sarah and I with the Isotopes mascot. GO ISOTOPES. Yes, that is a quote from the Simpsons.

If I was to sum up the last two weeks, I’d probably say this one as I have maaaajorly binge listened to it. It may be old but I bloody love Sean Paul even though most of his songs sound the same. Can’t help but have a boogie to him.

Enjoy,

Sophie x

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