Posts Tagged ‘2009’

Ringing in 2010, London-style!

I must say, there’s no better way to welcome in a new year than with people you love! Despite having been a bit under the weather, I think not going out would have been a pretty ominous way to start the new year. With all the milestones that marked my 2009, I have a feeling that 2010 will be even bigger yet. Getting my Masters, finding my life’s path (at least temporarily), figuring out where I’m going to live… This year will probably be the most influential in guiding my life (no pressure, right?) In any case, I decided to spend my last day of 2009 and first few hours of 2010 with friends in London — I can’t imagine a better way.

My flatmate, Lindsay; her friend, Cole, and I headed to Primrose Hill for lunch. Despite having lived in London for nearly four months, I still hadn’t really ventured out into the outskirts of the city (outside the central area) so it was a fun experience. After lunch, we headed to the actual hill to take in the views:

Cole, Lindsay & I at Primrose Hill!

Pretty sweet views.

Lunch was my good-bye time with Lindsay & Cole — they are spending their first few days of 2010 gallivanting around Turkey! Can’t say I’m not a little jealous. If I didn’t have papers to write and studying to do, another trip might be in order for me!

London provides a lot, in terms of entertainment, for ringing in the New Year. Our original plan was to hang out in Trafalgar Square (which is semi-analogous with Times Square in New York), but we decided to take in the views of the fireworks from the North bank of the river. There were thousands of people that had the same idea — the place was seriously packed, but the 7-1/2 minute firework show was pretty fantastic. The London Eye is gorgeous at night! I was mesmerized (as Wen can attest to), and the coordination of the London Eye’s changing colors with the fireworks provided a pretty awesome show.

And who better to celebrate with than fellow LSE kiddos?

Flatmates: Keti & I!

Wen & Alex!

Immediately following the fireworks show, it started snowing! It definitely made for a pretty magical New Year. Also, as a side note — kudos to the city of London for providing free public transportation last night. Definitely a responsible move by the city.

I’m still working on my New Year’s Resolution (I tend to be against them), but I’m leaning towards being the best version of myself. In every way. Physically — working out more and taking care of myself; academically — working hard and putting forth the best work that I can on each and every occasion; and personally — creating bonds, building more friendships and taking advantage of opportunities to socialize and grow as a person.

It’s actually a pretty lofty resolution, but I think it’s doable since it’s all under my control! Here’s to Day 1!

What did you guys do to ring in the New Year? Any resolutions?

Lots of love,


Saying Goodbye to 2009.

It’s 930A, I’m up and feeling much better than I have been the last few days. Sniffles are gone and congestion has nearly disappeared! Thank God for lots of water, soup and Bendadryl to help me sleep about 18 hours yesterday. I’ve been holed up for a few days but I woke up this morning to the realization that today marks the last day of 2009. Crazy, really. Where has this year gone?! Despite the fact that time has flown by, a lot has happened this year for me; lots of big changes that have had a big impact on my life. Time for me to reminisce a bit and welcome in 2010!

Dad & I took our first international trip together in February. We visited England to look at possible grad schools… that was only 10 months ago? Wow. I’m already through 3 months of grad school!

I don’t know if I secretly thought/hoped that my grandparents would live forever, but my grandpa passed away in March and it was the first time I had to say goodbye to someone with whom I was extremely close. It was also the first family death I had to deal with in my adult life, and it marked the first eulogy I ever delivered. Even though I know he’s not alive anymore, I often still feel like he’s here, which makes living life much easier.

Got my acceptance to LSE in April (I applied quite late)! I actually recall the moment of my acceptance with 100% clarity. I think it’s like the JFK assassination moment that everyone from that generation talks about — you know exactly what you were doing and exactly where you were. I was so elated when I got the letter, definitely changed the course of my life. Here I am now, half way through taught courses with amazing new friends and loads of fun travel stories. I can’t imagine having been anywhere else!

Ahhh… graduation from undergrad was a very bitter-sweet moment for me. It was great to be able to say goodbye to my undergrad and know that I had the opportunity to pursue my Masters in London in the fall, but it was sad graduating and not having my grandpa there for the first time. Nevertheless, definitely a milestone!

A surprise birthday weekend for Tiff & our first family vacation in forever! We planned a surprise getaway to Carmel for Tiffany’s 19th Birthday this year, complete with handmade surprises and super-cute B&B. It was the first family vacation we’d been on in years (since Disneyland days) and it was the first time we got to bring nana along! So fun!

Saying goodbye to work after four years! It was quite difficult quitting a reliable job with a steady income to welcome a life of joblessness and full-time Masters work. I’m glad now that I had the wherewithal to actually leave, but it was a bit sad… four years of bonding and relationships and saying goodbye to the full-time job that allowed me to pay my way through undergrad.

One of the biggest things that happened this year? Moving to London! I really didn’t think I had it in me to leave my family, friends, relationships and the normalcy of California life  to move to a foreign country for (at least) a year. I’m happy to announce that I did manage to say my tearful goodbyes and settle in to London life. Quite happily, I might add. I already feel so much more fulfilled & so much more educated!


I didn’t even realize that I had experienced so many life-altering changes this year. How can a year go by so fast and still contain so many memories? I must admit, this blog has definitely come in handy! I had created it with the intention of keeping up with friends and family from afar, but I have found that it has become the best online journal imaginable. Now that I know there are people reading about my daily adventures and trips, I feel somewhat accountable to upload pictures and thoughts on a regular basis. Now, a year later, it’s fun going back and remembering the things that I would have otherwise forgotten!

Thank you to everyone who made my 2009 amazing.
Let’s get ready to take on 2010!

Now, I’m off to make breakfast and face the last day of 2009. Possibly hitting up Trafalgar Square tonight to ring in the New Year!

Love my fish.

Heaven&Hell Cruise! <3.


After last night’s adventures, I have resigned to being holed up in my room for the next few weeks handling an enormous amount of papers, readings, and presentations to be completed before the end of November. Since I’m now in my 5th hour of readings for today, I’ve decided to take a brief pause to post some pictures from last night! After uploading photos, I noticed (sadly) that I didn’t have nearly as many as I would have liked… a rare occurrence for someone who takes pictures like it’s going out of style.

Rita & Alex kept with the theme for the most part, going as angels, but I did meet up with the Blues Brothers (aka Ronan & Aidan):

Blues Brothers

and had a run in with Kim Jong-il (aka Wen Fa):

Wen as Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-il
Almost uncanny, right? For anyone who’s reading this and is super impressed with Wen’s locks of love: the hair cut is courtesy of one Ronan Conlan, hair designer extraordinaire! For a small fee, he can make you, too, look like “one of the most mysterious leaders in the world” (CNN).

The boat cruise was super fun, too, and lasted way longer than I had anticipated (left at 7.45 and docked at 11.30P). We got a little bit of sight-seeing in and enjoyed copious amounts of cider (speaking for myself, of course).

Tower Bridge


London Eye

All in all, it was a fun way to spend Halloween and has definitely inspired some desire to host regular costume/themed parties! Dressing up is always way too much fun <3.

Side note: for anyone considering a boat cruise — definitely a cool way to do some sight-seeing. Highly recommended.

Hope everyone else’s Halloween was a blast,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

LSE Ranked #1!

Pulled a fun tid-bit off of the LSE website and thought I’d share:

LSE in University League Tables

Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings 2009 Published

“LSE is ranked as the top specialist social science university in the world in the latest  Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings published on 8 October 2009. This new classification differentiates between generalist universities and more focused or specialist institutions. It responds in part to concerns that the excellence of specialised universities such as LSE is not properly recognised in the THE-QS main table of all top world universities.”

Pretty bad ass!

LSE BeaverI actually do have other thoughts to share today, but I’m forcing myself to study instead of blog… I’ll catch up with you kiddos later <3.

Signature Stamp - Shannon

The Sky is Falling — Santa Barbara is a no-go!

Seriously. Does anyone else think that the world is coming to an end?

It’s June 2nd and it’s raining in California! I have never seen such a thing! Now, normally I don’t think I would care all that much, but this weekend happens to be my birthday weekend that Mother Nature has decided to interfere with and I’m not too happy. I had taken Friday off so we could take a trip down to Carmel on Thursday night and then head down to Santa Barbara as our final weekend destination. With it being only three short days away, I could practically smell the salty beach air and feel the sand stuck underneath my bathing suit. Well, being that Santa Barbara’s forecast includes pleasant bouts of showers and a lack of sunshine, I figured that heading down there for the weekend might be a waste of time and money. Sadly, we have had to cancel this much anticipated getaway. While we were trying to figure out what to do instead, in a stroke of brilliance Chris perused tickets to the Lion King (which is currently playing in Sacramento) and found two tickets on the first tier for sale! So, as luck would have it, although our Santa Barbara getaway is being put on hold, we will be going to see the live performance of the Lion King, something I have been wanting to do for quite some time! I have heard amazing things about the Tony-award winning production and I’m hoping that it’s as amazing as we’re (I’m) anticipating! Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I don’t know that I was ready to jump into my bikini this weekend anyway. <3

I will keep you guys posted with full reviews of this, plus a review on our dinner location once we decide on that — input on dinner spots is welcome!

the lion king
For anyone interested in seeing The Lion King, it’s playing in Sactown through June 28th! You can get the seating chart for the Community Center Production (1301 L Street) here. For a schedule and ticket prices check this.

Hope everyone’s having a good (rainy) week so far! 

Bye-Bye Undergrad

Today is the last day of my undergraduate career. After studying incessantly for the last few weeks, I took a final last Wednesday, two on Monday and I’ll be completing my last one tonight (Consumer Behavior). It’s a bizarre feeling, really. I met with a degree evaluator and he has done me the courtesy of noting to confer my degree within the first few days post-graduation, so that LSE can obtain the relevant information and send me my visa letter so I can apply for a student visa in the UK (ahhh… the intricacies of studying overseas). Everything is finally falling into place and Saturday marks the official graduation ceremony at Arco Arena plus a small family get-together that my parents are hosting. Although I feel done and ready to go, I’m not particularly excited. In all honesty, if I had my way, I would not actually go to my graduation and just have a little reception/celebration. Sitting there for two-plus hours to be on stage for thirty seconds is a little much for me. My parents, however, do find value in the fact that I’m the first to graduate from college, and my grandma is ecstatic to be able to witness my graduation. I’m done! And on Saturday, I will be an official college graduate with the ability to put that on any work applications in the future. It’s nice to know that that will never be a hindrance again. Hallelujah <3.

For any other graduates out there, congratulations! It’s great to be done.
Now it’s time to go out and conquer the world.

Reminiscing on the fun of undergrad life:

Hil & I in Santa Cruz, 2008.

Hil & I in Santa Cruz, 2008.

Shannon & Lisa

Lisa & I at Tre with the C.G.'s


circa 2005

circa 2005


HLS Consulting at Kasbah

HLS Consulting at Kasbah


One of the first times Chris & I hung out! Summer 2006 <3.

One of the first times Chris & I hung out! Summer 2006 <3.

Oktoberfest 2009!


It is official! I have booked my plane ticket to Munich for Oktoberfest 2009! I will be going with a  group of new friends during the latter part of September (24-27th) to spend a few days in Germany before heading back to reality for the start of the school year! We’re staying at a cool little place called The Tent, which is literally a tent site to camp out on the cheap (around $10 a night!) Although there are some more sophisticated options, tents are pretty inexpensive and apparently there are loads of people to meet there! Considering everyone under the European sun will be in Munich during September/October, the prices are exorbitant anyway (hello, supply & demand!) so it seems like a good way to save some cash and spend it on more worthwhile items! Also, what does one wear to said event? I’m assuming it’ll still be warm outside in September? Maybe that’s too much of an assumption…

So pumped! Still have to book my flight to London in September.

Looks like I’ll be leaving the States on the 17th. Goodbye, Sunny California.

Also — still looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. If anyone has any ideas, drop me a line <3.