Category Archives: conferences

Vancouver BC & the Gothic Conference

“Every [living] scholar you have ever studied, is probably in this room,” a favorite professor stated at the first event of the International Gothic Association (IGA) Conference. And, with a few exceptions — he was right.

This post is a little late, (and I promise that a recap of New Orleans will be posted soon) but in August of this year, I had the pleasure of speaking at the IGA biannual Conference in Vancouver BC, Canada. The trip started great, as we located the conference hotel with relative ease and proceeded to check in the night before events were to begin, giving a touch of time to recover from the long drive.

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The first day was wonderful as I spent the afternoon both visiting with friends and making new ones. There was also a meet and greet that night which featured an impressive gathering of Gothic lovers from students to writers to professors who came together to celebrate their mutual love of dark landscapes, creatures and literature.

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The conference itself was an exciting array of papers, covering topics from the oldest of gothic myth of the victorian era to the most modern of supernatural portrayals ranging from the the supernatural television shows Vampire Diaries and True Blood, to the 2014 release, Prince Lestat to (my personal favorite) Key the Steampunk Vampire Girl, the most current of which was released only a few months ago. It also covered zombies, ghosts, victorian literature and all manner of Gothic tales.

I loved getting to meet everyone and stood in awe as a few of those whose work I have studied, quoted and (though I’ll never admit it) worshiped walked by with kind hellos, willing to indulge endless questions pertaining to student’s favorite themes and topics.

My own paper came on the final day of the conference, at a panel hosted at 8 o’clock that morning. Given the early morning status, I was slightly worried that few people would show. However, to my surprise and delight, almost the entire ballroom was filled with interested people. I had never presented a paper to a crowd quite so large before and was a touch nervous walking up to the podium, however after a few moments of speaking, my nerves had (mostly) vanished and I was able to deliver the speech, which seemed well-received by the listeners. A wonderful introduction to the IGA conference overall, as this was the first time I had ever had the pleasure of attending.

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Vancouver was a fun city to visit, though I must admit it is often difficult to truly explore in the middle of a long conference. However we did get to visit some great restaurants, a lovely park and a few other places as we went through town. The greatest night that we had to explore, was the last night of the conference, when we took a river boat tour which doubled as the official dinner for the conference.

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It was a fun boat with live music and beautiful settings against the background of the Vancouver sunset. The food was surprisingly good (some conference dinners leave a touch to be wanting) and a good time was had by all.

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Overall, it was a great experience and I am very much looking forward to attending this wonderful event in the future.

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London, Oxford & the Monster Conference

In July of this year, I attended the 13th annual conference on Monsters and the Monstrous held at Mansfield College, the University of Oxford.

To begin the trip, flew first into London, where I spent the first two days exploring one of my favorite cities in all of Europe. Though I have been to many countries and had many wondrous adventures, there is likely no place on Earth has has even held my heart so captivated as England. Such a blend of culture and history. Modern and ancient. The land of Shakespeare, Tolkien, Harry Potter, Kings and Queens…

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With my grandmother at Hampton Court.

I started the trip by taking a trip to Hampton Court Palace, the court of King Henry VIII, among others.

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The palace was massive, elaborate and beautiful. Featuring massive paintings, large bedrooms, dazzling staircases.

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Despite having lived in England for several years, I had never been to the palace before, so I was very excited to get to explore. I was also joined there by my friend and writing partner, Jonny,

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Who assisted me in the very important mission of finding the centre of the Hampton Court Maze. Here we are, after surprisingly only one wrong  turn!

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We had an wonderful time!

I also spent an evening at the Queen’s Theatre, where I saw Les Miserables.

It was an emotionally moving masterpiece.Everything from the music, to the voices, to the theatre itself were exquisite. It is definitely up there with the best I have ever seen. (Though I must add here, that Phantom of the Opera is and probably always will be my favorite.)

Then I was off to Oxford.

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It was my first time there as well, and I was very excited to not only see the numerous buildings which compose the university, but also to arrive there as a conference presenter. The conference, run by inter-disciplinary.net is a gathering of scholars from beginning post-graduates to full-fledged professors from multiple fields of study who gather to discuss topics they love – in this case, monsters.

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My paper was titled:

The Child Who Kills: An examination of the Dionysian Child through John Linqvist’s Let the Right One In

Though it also focused on several other novels featuring child vampires, including Becket’s Key the Steampunk Vampire series (with illustrations by Raven Quinn, Trisha Baker’s Crimson series and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

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I was very excited to not only be presenting it at Oxford but also among such a distinguished group of my peers. The paper went very well and lead to much discussion and debate.

I also managed to see a few sites in Oxford. I was very excited to grab a drink at the Eagle and Child pub,

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A place where both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis once met.

They were members of the same writers group known as the Inklings.

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I also visited the University of Oxford Christchurch campus where I saw one of the famous dining halls, which was one of the influences for the hall featured in Harry Potter.

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And the library where I saw a journal written in Mary Shelley’s own handwriting.

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Truly amazing!

After Oxford, I returned to London again for another full day before leaving. I spent most of the afternoon at The Globe Theatre. The Globe, which features Shakespeare’s plays, was built to be a replica of the original theatre which existed in Shakespeare’s lifetime.

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People who attend performance there have a choice between being seated or standing beside the stage during the performance. It is a token to Elizabethan theater (1500 & 1600s) where the cheap ‘seats’ were actually simply standing and people paid extra to actually sit during a performance. I opted for a seat myself and watched the play from the upper levels. I saw Richard II, and it was very well done.

After that, it was time to say goodbye to England. Though I am certain it is a place I will return to in the future.

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Germany, Romania & the Dracula Workshop

Last week, I attended the International Conference Beliefs and Behaviors in Education and Culture in where I was a presenter in the workshop titled: Where’s the Place of Dracula: (De)constructing Stereotypes in the Study of the Mythical Space in Literature and the Arts.

The conference was held at the West University of Timișoara, Romania. Everything from the actual conference to the tour of the Romanian countryside was absolutely amazing! And what better place to hold a Dracula conference than in Romania, where Stoker set his famous novel.

However before I went to Romania, I first decided to spend a few days in Munich, Germany, a country I had always wanted to visit. After landing in the city, my first full day was spent exploring downtown. Sights included: Marienplatz, which is a plaza showing several beautiful examples of Gothic architecture. It was referred to by one local I spoke with as the ‘Heart of Prague’ and a glance at the magnificent structure which forms the center of he Plaza, I could easily see why it would be referred to in such a way.

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We also went to the Residenz Munchen. composed of a series of elaborate buildings consisting of the households of important figures, elaborate artwork, to an opera house which was by far, my favorite of the buildings I was fortunate enough to view.

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And of course, and perhaps most importantly, the Hard Rock Cafe! (I am an avid pin and shot glass collector)

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We met my friend, Hans, for lunch. He is photographer, fellow writer and Dracula scholar, author of several Dracula research books including the Dracula Bram Stoker Travel Guide, a project he is working on with fellow author, Dacre Stoker.

We also went to Nymphenburg Palace, which was nothing short of breathtaking from the elaborate rooms (which reminded me a lot of the Strahov Monastery in Prague):

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Outside photograph of Nymphenburg Palace

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Inside photograph of Nymphenburg Palace

To the garden which featured statues of the Greek Gods. It was a special site for me, as a lover of classical Greek and Roman history and literature.

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Altogether, we spent three wonderful days in Munich before heading back to the airport for a thankfully much shorter flight, to Timisoara, Romania. The conference organizers were kind of enough to arrange transportation, so all of the conference attendees had rides awaiting them to their respective hotels, which was very much appreciated.

The conference itself was filled with speakers on various subjects dealing with various issues concerning everything from the education system, to contemporary issues facing Romania and surrounding countries, to what I had been invited to speak on – Dracula. The key note speech on Stoker’s Dracula was given a Prof. of Gothic literature. The speech would begin the discussion for the workshop which took place the following day. The workshop itself was a wonderful gathering of vampire enthusiasts; from professors in the field to graduate students to a few select authors and independent researchers. Topics covered included, but were certainly not limited to: The possible location of Dracula’s Castle the impact of vampire texts upon actual locations; family dynamics in vampire film; to people who self-identify as ‘real’ vampires in one form or another. Each speaker was amazing and had something very unique to offer to the building group discussion and I was honored to be a part of it.

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Speakers of the Dracula Workshop – photo credit to: http://benecke.com/

The last day of the conference was a group tour into Transylvania where the highlight of the visit was a castle which serves as a possible contender for a might have inspired Bram Stoker when he sat down to write the story of the now famous Transylvanian count. It was an impression, imagination-inspiring place, to say the least.

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I absolutely loved getting to explore Corvin Castle, but to have the opportunity to do so alongside a group of people who love the vampire story as much as I, made it absolute magic!

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In front of Corvin’s Castle, Romania

To see more photographs, visit my Facebook page:

 https://www.facebook.com/klboneauthor

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Boston & American Literature Association Conference

I spent the weekend on a trip to Boston, where I was a speaker at the 26th annual American Literature Association Conference. It was my first time in the area, so I was excited both for the event and the trip itself.

I spoke on the panel titled: Nobody Understand Me:Evil Kids in Children’s Literature along with four other wonderful speakers, focusing on a variety of aspects, including both film and literature representations of the darker side of children.

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My specific paper was well-received and I really enjoyed the lively discussion which followed both during the Q & A and at the following lunch, where everyone gathered in a nearby park for sandwiches.

I also attended several additional panels, including speeches on the work of Octavia Butler (I’ve completed some work on her novel, The Fledgling), Ellen Glasgow (a ‘southern gothic’ author), the Victorian afterlives, and for fun, a panel on detective novels — among a few others.

I also walked around the Boston Library which was very impressive and located directly across the street from the conference location. I had a chance to speak with fellow authors and scholar on any and all aspects of our shared loved of literature.

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After the conference was over, I scheduled a few days to travel through New England. First, we went to Salem, Massachusetts  and explored the town. A few of the houses date back to the 16 and 1700s, which was really cool. My father, who made the trip with me, is a big American History fan so he was loving exploring the history of both Salem and the area surrounding it. We also saw a few things focusing on the witch trials and explored a bit of the history in that regard as well.

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Then, walking down the street famous for it’s witches, leave it to me to find…a vampire! So of course, I could not resist having my picture taken with him.

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Then dad and I decided to take as side-trip from Massachusetts to Maine in order to visit the Portland Lobster Company. It is a small building, super-crowded where people order their lobster and then wait a solid hour before being given a seat at a long wooden table outdoors in the dock.

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There were a ton of people, a live band, and a cool ocean breeze blowing across the water, disrupted by the occasion sound of boats passing by. Amazing food and we had a great time just sitting there listening to the music for several hours before beginning the journey back to Boston. My dad had always wanted to have Maine lobster in Maine, so it was a check off the bucket list.

 

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Our last day there, we visited a place I had always dreamed of seeing — Harvard University.

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That is me sitting on the steps of one of my dream schools. (Still waiting on that acceptance letter —beginning to think it got lost along with my acceptance to Hogwarts) The tour was student-lead and the guide was very knowledgeable, revealing different points of history along the tour, including the buildings where a few award winners and a President (or two) had stayed.

We also, of course, went to the Hard Rock Cafe. I am a big pin collector.

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Overall, it was a great trip and I enjoyed by the conference and getting to see a part of the country where I had never traveled before.

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Words on the Vine

Rusty Grape Book Signing – Dec. 13, 2014

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Saturday night was the first annual Words on the Vine book signing at Rusty Grape Vineyards in Battle Ground, WA! The night was a great success with good wine, good friends, and great readings provided by the attending authors. The authors were, from left to right:

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K.L Bone (me), Greg Wilkey, Sarah M. Cradit, Brandy L. Rivers and Alys B. Cohen.

The night began at 5pm when everyone began to arrive and continued until almost 8. Once everyone was settled with wine and pizza, the actual reading began. For the first part of the signing, each of the featured authors read various chapters from their featured novels. It was great to be able to sit and listen to authors share both their work and their passion for writing with the gathered audience. Brandy started us off by graciously agreeing to speak first, followed by Alys and Sarah who all read from their paranormal romance/fantasy series.  Brandy has published multiple books in her Others of Edenton series and Sarah, who I met in New Orleans at the Anne Rice conference, writes a single series titled The House of Crimson and Clover.  Then Alys is working on a trilogy, the first book titled: Sacred Blood.

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There was a short break before my own reading where I read the first chapter of my newest book release, Black Rose, and my brother in his far more animated voice, agreed to step in and read a chapter from my YA series, Rise of the Temple Gods: Heir to Kale. This was followed by a reading from our out-of-town guest speaker, the wonderful Greg Wilkey, who treated listeners to a reading from his newest book release, Death Runs in the Family, the first book in his newest YA, Neither Nor Series.

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After the reading the panel participated in a Q & A, answering some interesting questions from the audience which ranged from our inspirations, to our writing methods, to specific questions about our individual texts. The group as a whole had some great answers and thoughts to share with listeners.

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After the Q & A the authors took some time to speak with fans both old and new, sign books, and to chat both amongst themselves and with others. A special shout out to Shane and Taletha – it was so great to meet you both! Also to Kate for making the drive up to the vineyard, I loved seeing you there!

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I was also surprised with a cake by a friend, Barbara, decorated with Black Roses in celebration of the release of my newest novel!

Kris Black Rose cake   Rusty Grape BR cake

I also owe a big thank you to Heather and Jeremy, the owners of the Rusty Grape Vineyard, for allowing us to use the venue for the event! I am so appreciative of your kindness and generosity. Also to Tracy for manning the sales table and helping to take care of book sales while the authors were busy talking.

Finally again, a thank you to the authors who came out to speak and to make the evening a success! Especially to my fellow author and friend, Greg, who flew in all the way from Tennessee to attend the event!

Kris and Greg Rustry Grape

Here are links to the websites of authors who attended:

Greg Wilkey, author of the Mortimer Drake vampire series – http://www.gregwilkey.com/

Sarah M. Cradit, author of The House of Crimson and Clover series – http://www.sarahmcradit.com

Alys B. Cohen, author of the Sacred Blood series – https://alysbcohen.wordpress.com/

Brandy L. Rivers, author of the Others of Edenton series – Http://brandylrivers.com

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Vampires, Witches, & the Undead Con

I spent Halloween weekend in New Orleans, LA at the Anne Rice Undead Conference and Vampire Lestat Ball. The trip began early on Wed. morning with an international flight that placed us getting in to New Orleans at 9pm that night. The trip really started the next morning when the rest of the group arrived. There were six of us going to the ball, and by the end of the first day we had adopted a seventh.

 

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Thursday morning we met up with friends who had decided to make the journey with us. After a delicious lunch of Po’ Boys at Acme’s, we caught up over drinks before retiring to get ready for the first official event of the Undead Conference: a Meet-and-Greet with international bestselling author, Anne Rice. Held at the lovely St. Alphonsus Church.

 

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The event was a gathering of fans, authors, and other artists who came together to share of their love of Gothic literature and to celebrate the release of Anne’s newest novel, Prince Lestat. Additionally, Anne’s son, Christopher Rice, had also released his newest novel titled The Vines. Guests were allowed, in groups of six at a time, to spend a few minutes taking photographs and visiting with Anne and Christopher.

 

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Additionally, attendees were free to walk around the beautiful building and visit with the other authors gathered in attendance. As a guest author, I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to meet with Ms. Rice, who was as gracious and kind as any author I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

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The next morning began with beignets and strawberry daiquiris at Café Beignet. I enjoyed spending the morning visiting with friends before heading back to the conference hotel. I shared a panel with five other equally amazing authors and artists.

 

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Greg Wilkey, #TeamGregWilkey author of the Mortimer Drake YA vampire novels. http://www.gregwilkey.com/

Becket, Amazon Bestselling author of the Blood Vivicanti vampire series and Key the Steampunk Vampire, both YA series. http://www.becket.me/home.html

Raven Quinn, singer and artist, who did the illustrations for Becket’s Key novels. http://www.ravenquinn.net/

Sarah M. Cradit, author of the House of Crimson and Clover series. http://www.sarahmcradit.com/

C.M. Michaels, author of the Sisters in Blood series. http://www.cmmichaels.com/

 

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We had a wonderful session, answering questions about our specific work and the creative process in general. It was followed by a great book signing where the featured authors were given a chance to visit with conference attendees, sign some books, and speak with each other as well. Overall it was an amazing event!

After that, everyone returned to the hotel to prepare for the main event, the Vampire Lestat Coronation Ball! Held at the beautiful Republic, the event consisted of two levels, the general section downstairs with a dance-floor and the stage featuring multiple live bands throughout the night. The second section was the upstairs VIP, where authors such as myself had been invited to attend.

 

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My guests, friends, fellow authors and I spent the night talking, laughing, and dancing the night away. We were also given an opportunity to again meet with Ms. Rice and several other VIPs.

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On Saturday went spent the day exploring New Orleans, doing a little shopping and enjoying the sights of the city. Then that night we went to the Witches Ball, another swirling event of delicious food, intoxicating music and drinks, and visiting with friends.

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The event was actually in a more open area than the vampire ball, allowing attendees to wander around a beautiful garden in addition to exploring the rooms of The Elms Mansion. After leaving the ball at around 1pm, we met the newly crowned Prince Lestat and his coven at Café du Monde for coffee and beignets.

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Sunday was our final day. We spent the first part attending the official book signing for Anne and Christopher Rice, both of whom graciously spent the better part of the afternoon meeting with fans, signing their new novels, and taking photographs.

 

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Kris Anne Rice Book signing

 

Then, after the signing, I attended a cocktail party with other authors, which officially marked the closing of the 2014 Undead Conference.  It was great to have a last chance to see so many of the wonderful people I had met and to say our last goodbyes before the majority of us would depart New Orleans.

Overall, I had a fantastic time on the trip. I enjoyed both seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  It was also a wonderful opportunity to visit with fellow authors and fans of the genre. This was my second time attending the ball and I can easily say that it will not be my last!

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London & Cambridge

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I spent last week in the United Kingdom attending a conference titled – Great Writing: The International Creative Writing Conference. The paper I presented primarily covered the conflict between the creative writing and literature branches of English in academia.  It was followed by a ten-minute reading from my YA Fantasy novel, Rise of the Temple Gods: Heir to Kale. I enjoyed getting to spend time with fellow authors and learning about the many amazing and diverse views on the writing process! For more information on the paper I presented, please see my pervious blog entry titled: The Writer’s Journey- https://klbone.com/2014/05/06/the-writers-journey/

I also attended a meeting of the Watling Street Writers Group of St. Albans, which I used to attend while living in England. There were a bunch of new faces, though a few old ones as well. My best friend and writing partner, Jonny, also came up to London to see me. We spent the day at Kensington Palace. It was my first time there and the grounds were beautiful!

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We had a great time exploring the gardens before eventually walking over to Hyde Park and stopping by Hard Rock Café. For those who don’t know, London is home to the very first Hard Rock, which was founded in 1971. I collect Hard Rock pins and t-shirts. I had a good time walking through the parks and enjoying good company.

I also spent a few days in Cambridge. I had never been to the area before so I made a point to see lots of the tourist spots, including St. John’s College

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King’s College

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and a few others. I have a friend who is currently completing her Masters at Cambridge, so she kindly played tour guide for the visit. I thought Cambridge was beautiful and I could not help but stand in awe of the architecture and history portrayed within the walls of the university. I loved the visit and it was great to see my friends as well.

Overall, it was a great trip!

 

 

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