Archive | July, 2011

Travel Journal-UK and Ireland

25 Jul

I just found the coolest thing I have from my trip to the U.K. and Ireland. No, it is not the 5 pound bag of pound and pence pieces I never got around to exchanging. Nor is it my sweet Morrison Clan scarf, or the shorts I bought at New Look in Edinburgh. Most surprisingly, it is also not my pictures, although those are treasures worth more than gold…What I found was my travel journal, with daily musings about what I saw and did. There are street names, shops and details I would normally have forgotten without it. It is just a small, beat-up, cheap memo book with a frayed cover. It looks inconspicuous, but it is far from that; it contains word-for-word proof of the most amazing experience I have been a part of thus far. Following are my travel diary contents, enjoy : )

Be patient, as I am going to type literally everything as it is written, word-for-word

Jack the Ripper Tour @ 7 pm on 6/17/2010, phone #079 4685 4571

Take Earl’s Court to Hyde Park Corner, then walk down Piccadilly Arcade to Park Ln. to S. Audley St. to South St. to Kai Mayfair at the junction of Whitechapel High St. and Commercial Rd. in front of Habib Bank AG Zurich.

Not surprisingly, we never found our destination, but that was just fine with us as Whitechapel is not a friendly place after dark. It really is no wonder this area of London was Jack’s playground. After meandering through tiny, garbage lined streets, with creepy places for creepy people to hide, it was back on the tube to Earl’s Court and to a nice Portuguese restaurant called, Nando’s. 

From Heathrow to Paddington Station: Heathrow Connect, reference #133278AB6A

From Paddington to Earl’s Court: the tube Pretty much we had no idea in advance how to take the tube, but after a few tries, we made it in the right direction and found our destination : )

My Place Hotel 1-3 Trebovir Road, London SW5 9LS. Booking #14860540534, Saturday, June 19th

Depart 9:21 London Paddington, arrive 10:19 Oxford train, First Great Western

Pick up car at 12:00 PM!

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater- July 5th @7:30 PM, tickets I49 and I50, show credit card to get tix

Ok, the next bit is a tad smeared and some of it is personal information, so, on to my first entry:

6/15-

Sitting at the airport in Reno with 40 more mins to go before we board the place to San Fran. I am a little nervous because the plane is a jet, not a plane according to Frank (not his real name) and it is a bit smaller than a “plane”. I hate flying!

SO EXCITED! We are on the plane to London! We are pretty sure we just flew over Newfoundland or Iceland! This plane is awesome! Can you tell I was excited?? You get your own screen and you can watch tons of diff movies or XM radio. There is also a map of the flight path. SO COOL!

There was no night! (the whole flight)

6/17-

So, here we are in London at our hotel, My Place Hotel. This must be what they call a true “English” hotel. None of the furniture matches, the bed is lumpy and strange and the toilet is retarded! But, the sheets are clean, the towels were folded very sweetly and they have a folder that looks very fancy that offers stationary, laundry service and room service.

It is 5 AM. We tried very hard to stay awake yesterday, but we were completely out of it! When we got in we got a bit lost on the tube, but what a surprise! When you ask someone it really helps! We got off at the station Earl’s Court, stood around like lost kittens for a bit, then realized our hotel was literally around the corner. They let us check in early, we had some culture shock when we saw the shabby carpet, sloped walls and weird loo you will notice, I use British words a lot, like I was super cool, or something…, but promptly fell asleep for an hour. Then up, showers (which were interesting) then off to explore our neighborhood. We ate fish and chips and potato wedges at the Kings Head. We also had cider and I got pissed on ONE! I had a bit of trouble walking after! We explored some more, went to Boots, Marks & Spencer and Odd Bins! All 3 stores Becky goes to in Sophie Kinsella’s books! We bought Boots brand toothpaste and then some water and chocolate buttons at Marks & Spencer. Then we came home, watched some crazy British TV and fell asleep at 7PM! Jet lag!

It’s 10 o’clock and we have just walked from our hotel to Hyde Park. It took about 30 mins. We saw so many cool shops along the way. We walked past Harrod’s but couldn’t go in, because they weren’t open yet. Same with Top Shop. Right now we are in this cute cafe called, Patchi. We just ate a tomato & cheese twist croissant. REALLY good! We are waiting for the free 2 1/2 hour walking tour that will take us to all the best spots in London, ie: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, etc! Very excited, especially that it is free!

The tour was really interesting, but so tiring! We went by all the major sights and walked at least 4 miles! My feet, legs and bum again are SO SORE! We went to a pub called The Verve for lunch with the group. It was so good, I had fish and chips and a cider. However, Frank, and 3 other people never got their food! We headed back to the hotel and took an hour nap. We got up and took the tube to Whitechapel for Jack the Ripper tour. We came up from the underground and all we saw was trash. We never found the tour and maybe it is a good thing, we didn’t exactly want to be in that neighborhood at night! We rode back and went to dinner at Nando’s, a Portuguese restaurant. It was SO GOOD! Oh and every single restaurant we have gone to had ketchup and mayo! My mom will be amazed! Tomorrow we are going to the Museum of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We are also going to explore “The City”, which is one of the oldest parts of the city. We bought a day pass for the tube and it was way cheaper than what we paid for two rides today! Well, you live and learn! Oh and we can take the double decker buses on it!

Oh, and so I don’t forget, St. James’ Palace was so much cooler than Buckingham, it was built in the 1500’s! Westminster Abbey and Big Ben were the coolest! When I saw those, I knew I was in London!

6/18-

It didn’t get dark last night until like 10:30 PM! Too weird! This morning I had a hot crossed bun! Hot cross bun! How sweet is that? Today we are going to the Museum of London! I can’t wait!

The museum was really cool! Lot’s of interesting exhibits and I got tons of pics! We took the tube to Maida Vale after; where Becky lives! We stopped at The Queen’s Arms, a very British pub for lunch. Frank had sausage and mash and I had a cheese and tomato baguette with chips. Cheese and tomato is huge here, I have noticed. Also, they brought out ketchup and mayo! Again!

6/19-

OH GOOD LORD! Driving is SCARY here! It’s not even the fact that you are on the wrong side of the road, it is the round-abouts and the traffic signs that might as well be in Chinese. We got the car in Oxford and promptly got lost. We stopped at a swank golf course and asked two jolly men at the bar where to go. They were very cute and nice and said they get lost people all the time. We got on the right motorway but missed the exit to Coventry, so we got off towards Birmingham. We ate at a really cute pub/restaurant in the village of Bickenhill , outside Solihull. Then, we went into Birmingham and got a room at the Bridge House. It is very comfortable. I only hit two curbs, so that’s good!

Shrewsbury, Gaerwen, Holyhead no idea what these mean, except that you get the ferry to Dublin in Holyhead…

6/20-

Today we took the train into Coventry-very simple and no fuss. Driving would have been no bueno! We headed straight to the Coventry Cathedral. It was incredibly impressive and so sad. What was even sadder was the fact that people leave their cigarette butts and trash in there. So sad that people don’t have respect these days. Right now we are in a pub called The Earl of Mercia. We are getting burgers and beer and cider. They have beans and mash on the menu! Haha! Next on the agenda- the Lady Godiva statue!

Confirmation # for B&B: 14981309181 pretty sure this is for the B&B in Llandudno

6/21-

Here we are in Llandudno, Wales. It is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! We are right by the coast. We are going to write something in the sand for Paola. Today we went to the Conwy Castle! It was unfreakingbelievable! I finally got to see a castle! My writing may start to decline, as we are sitting in this adorable pub and I am drinking a cider! So tasty! We are really upset we stayed in Birmingham two nights (it was a bit of a shithole) and not another night here. The B&B we are staying at is so nice! It is called the Gwynfa House (I will check to see if my spelling is correct it was not). Tomorrow we will have breakfast at the B&B and then off to Holyhead to Dublin! I just ate my chips with a fork like a real English person!

6/22-

Today we are going to Ireland. We drove from the B&B (where we had a beautiful breakfast) to Gaerwen. Gaerwen is about 15 miles from Holyhead. We got a ride from the Enterprise people straight to the ferry port! For free! It was great! Right now we are sitting in a bus to get to the actual ferry. We had to check our bigger bags. Very interesting process! Brandon called a bit ago and said he went to Budget to get the car! Oh boy! I told him to blame it on the jet lag! I just pray that when he finds Enterprise, he doesn’t wreck the car!

6/23-

Last night we stayed in the Radisson. It was amazing and the bed was heaven. We ate at Kiely’s at Donnybrook for dinner and it was so good! Today we drove to Kilkenny and we are now in a pub/restaurant called Dempsey’s I recall this was where Brandon ate lamb stew and it was heaven : ). We are going to to visit the castle after lunch!!!

6/25-

Well, tonight will be our second night in a hostel. Last night we stayed in The Rainbow Hostel. Oh boy was that an experience. The bathrooms and showers were coed! I was peeing and two French guys came in to pee. That was waaaay too weird! Then, in the morning, Brandon and I were each in separate stalls in the shower room and some other random person was in the other. Then, Frank is helping me put my pants on (because all I had was a kitchen towel to dry off with) and some naked British guy came in and asked us if we saw his shower gel! It was so weird! This was in Dingle, which was breathtaking! Today we are in Galway. It is a pretty big city, lot’s of shopping! We are staying in the Kinlay Hostel and it is way different from the “free love” Rainbow Hostel. It has tons of rooms, huge meeting areas and our room is a 6 bed dorm en-suite. I will get back to you on how weird it will be to sleep in a room with 3 random people!

6/26-

Today we are in a hostel called the Newgrange Lodge outside of Drogheda. Today we went through Athenry. It was pretty cool, we saw the Athenry Castle, which is really a strong-hold home, not a castle that held a king. It was interesting, nonetheless. I recall that this night we went to an Italian restaurant, in all places, Ireland. It was some of the best Italian I have ever had, wish I would have written down the name of the place… Tomorrow we are going to see Newgrange and Knowth. I am pretty excited about that. Tomorrow is also Frank’s last day on his leg of the journey. He flies out of Dublin the 28th, Monday. Then, Brandon and I are back on the ferry to Wales, then on to Scotland.

19 pounds no idea…

St. Giles Cathedral, Royal Mile

6/29-

Right now we are in Scotland, Edinburgh to be exact. We are at Katy’s house. It is such a cute flat! Tonight we are going on a ghost tour! So excited! The drive to Scotland was not as long as I thought it would be. We passed…damn the page is ripped out. I probably was saying something about how different the landscape was. From green rolling hills to forests to the highlands.

The next page and a half are filled with directions. I think they are to the hotel we stayed in, in Inverness (Royal Highland Hotel, 1 Academy Street, Inverness IV1 1LG, UK +44 1463 231 926). There is a set of directions in my writing and then a set of directions in Brandon’s writing. Too funny. 

7/1-

Today we drove from Edinburgh to Loch Ness, or actually Inverness where our hotel is at. It took FOREVER! We got kinda crabby, well Brandon did. We are staying in the Royal Highland Hotel. Last night and the night before we stayed with Katy and Drew. It was so fun and they have the cutest flat! The first night we went to this awesome pub where they played a pub game, like a trivia game. It was so fun! The second night we went on a City of the Dead tour. It was incredibly interesting, but not scary! This was the night Brandon scratched his arm with the house key under his sweatshirt, so I wouldn’t see and then tried to fool me that he got attacked by a ghost! That day we walked the Royal Mile and the castle! Amazing! The night before we got to Edinburgh we stayed in Blackpool at a B&B called Northgrange (I think). We got there so late because we got lost so much. Then we get there and we have to cram in a pint-sized lift with all our luggage, but the lady was really awesome. We saw Loch Ness today, it was stunning! Tomorrow we are headed to Nottingham and will pretty much be driving all day. Ugh!

7/3-

Today we drove from Nottingham to Oxford. The drive was 2 hours about, not that bad. We are staying in a very British hotel tonight, it is really quite special. Brandon put the bathroom on my team and I put the whole of the hotel, minus the bathroom on his team. We need to stay close to the train station, so dodgy hotel it is. I can’t think of its name right now (The River Hotel). Today we toured the Oxford Castle, which was a prison, very interesting. We have spent about 2 hours searching for used book stores, which is tiring me! I never should have had the Magners at 1 PM! Bad choice! Oh and I really need to diet when I get home. Today I have had a doughnut, a quarter pounder, a Magnum ice cream bar, chips (or crisps) and a strawberry milkshake! Brandon says we will have diabetes any day now (his diet is as bad as mine). Tomorrow we catch the train into London, to our hotel, then to sight-see. I am already dreading dragging my bags around. They have grown in size and weight exponentially! Only 3 more nights!! : (

7/6-

Well, here I am in Heathrow and it is a madhouse, there are so many people! We got here like 3 hours before our flight, so check-in and security were a breeze, but around the shops and food places it is craziness. Also, they don’t tell you your gate number until like 30 mins prior to boarding, so here we sit in all the craziness. I just want to get on the plane and get on with it. Brandon is soooooo grouchy, apparently he hates crowds. He is standing in line with a mean mug scowl, haha! He is so high strung, I thought I was bad! I am really sad to leave, but at the same time I am so done with living out of a suitcase and sleeping in strange beds. I am very excited to go home and share all my pictures and experiences with everyone!

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Moobs, Magnums and More…Not really…

25 Jul

I am quite ashamed with myself that I have not posted on my blog since…well, since, Moobs. I really need to focus on my writing and the other things I love. Boys and booze are really not all that matter in life…gosh, who would have thought? I have not been totally neglectful, as I have been thinking what new, fabulous things I could write about. There is a lot going on that I feel doesn’t belong in a public forum. There are far too many eyes and I have decided at lease some of my life should be kept private.

While discussing the topic of my next post with a friend, she suggested a blog post titled, “Moobs, Magnums and More” and I practically choked on my fat, juicy cheesebu…er, salad. The inside jokes and sexual innuendos…oh my. As much as I would simply love to write on this topic, I feel my mother would die on the spot while reading it and as I said before, some of my life should be kept private and special…

However, I am determined to somehow write a post with such a title without giving away too much, all the while being humorous and tasteful. I have always loved a challenge.

Thank you special friend for making me almost choke to death and for helping make my life more interesting.

Moobs

13 Jul

Manboobs.

Yes, moobs are man breasts and these are not your standard, run-of-the-mill pectoral muscles with smallish nipples…oh no. These are full on bigger than a B cup mounds of fat (because they can’t be made up of milk ducts, can they?) The unfortunate men who own these chest growths usually come in one size and that size is super. However, there are those freak occasions where the owner of said overly abundant bosom is actually closer to normal size. These are the men I feel the most sorry for. It is one thing to be rotund and proportionately large with breasts, but when the biggest thing on you is your set of boobs and you are a man, your life sucks.

What I don’t understand about moobs is what to do with them in bed. How do you handle them when they look and feel a lot like your own pair of teats? Do you place your hands on them and caress them? Do you steer clear of them as to not offend the owner? Would the owner even be offended or do they enjoy breast play as much as the next woman? Should you feel slightly bisexual if the feeling of a handful of boobs becomes a pleasant and lovely sensation to you?

Even more frightening, do these men need to wear bros (bras, but an ‘o’ has cleverly replaced the ‘a’ to indicate a more masculine meaning)? If they do not wear bras to defy gravity, do their breasts sag and sway like pieces of dead flesh as they age? Do they get liver spots and long, thick hairs on these leathery bags of old fat? Perhaps that last bit I don’t need an answer for…

Anyways, my point here is, I don’t get moobs. Where do they come from? Why do men grow breasts as large as pubescent girls? And lastly, is the sole purpose of moobs to create confusion in the bedroom and turn normally heterosexual women into bicurious, sexually confused messes? It really is a mystery…

So Full of Love

10 Jul

There is no way my life would be this amazing just a few short months ago. My past life was just waiting time. I was biding my time, waiting, because I knew something amazing was yet to happen. I was too scared to go out and claim what I really wanted, but it is finally time. The amazing part is here, but it is just starting, it is still early days.

Nothing compares to first-class friends and family. There is nothing I could do to repay all my loved ones right now that would even compare to what they have done for me. They have been there for me every single day, every single one of them. They have shown me how much I missed out on being in Elko, so far away, for way too long. They have shown me what it feels like again to have people care and enjoy your company. They have shown me what it feels like to really laugh…to really smile…to really cry…  They are love.

I have had the most amazing experiences this summer and they would never have happened had I never moved back home. I have laughed till I peed. I have cried till I couldn’t see. I have danced till I felt nothing but the weightless feeling of true happiness. The best part? The summer is just starting. The experiences are just beginning and they will only get better as I get stronger and more independent.

Last year if someone would have asked me if I was happy, I would have blindly said, “Why, of course I am happy!” But, it would have been a lie. If someone asked me today if I am happy, I would think a minute, and respond with the first true thing I have known and say, “Yes, yes. I am finally happy. Yes.”

Things I Learned Today

6 Jul

Smoked, raw salmon on a bed of rice is rather tasty.

The little black thingie on the side of my computer comes out and a little camera memory card goes in, interesting…

Texting, talking or even touching your cellphone while driving will result in a warning, then a 50 dollar ticket.

Monarch butterflies have several generations of families during one summer and the last generation is the strongest and live the longest.

Children will tell you if your hair looks “funky”, thank you ever so much…

The curry sauce at The Isles is good enough to drink, but I didn’t. OK, maybe I did…

Men in wigs, nylons, ten pounds of makeup, and a dress straight out of my grandma’s closet still look like men. Who are you fooling?

According to my two-year-old cousin I am a boy…again, thanks.

My friends and family are better than yours.

Reading aloud the BFG by Roald Dahl should only be attempted by people who can enunciate cleary, “globberfunker” sounds a lot like “globberfucker” and yes, eight-year-olds are pretty deft.

A Day Without My Cellphone

4 Jul

The first hour without my phone was sheer panic, gut wrenching, sweat-inducing, panic.

Hour two saw me in child’s pose with my thumb in my mouth, rocking back and forth to self-soothe.

Eventually, I took my thumb out of my mouth and realized I had actual responsibilities and better things to do. Not having my phone was scary, but I couldn’t cry in my diapers all day long.

The most prevalent fear I felt was not that I could not communicate with all of  my “man friends” (that sounds a lot worse than it really is) or my friends, it was actually that I had no idea what time it was. Yes, I was worried about the time…

A profound realization stopped me in my tracks while I was frantically searching for the old fashioned way to tell time, a watch. How could I be so attached to my phone and feel like I couldn’t live without it and all I was worried about was knowing whether it was a freckle past a hair or if I was really going to be late meeting a friend for tea? Surely not being able to contact all those men who make me feel so desirable was far worse than not being able to tell the time? Surely, not being able to have Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, Words With Friends, and all the other millions of things my phone does, at my very fingertips, was far worse than not knowing what time it was? Surely…

When I surrendered my phone over to the cruel friend who took pleasure in the pain not having my phone caused, I asked her, “OK, smartypants, how will I be able to wake up for my first day of work with no phone as my alarm clock?”
She responded by handing me her ginormous CD alarm clock and with a wicked grin, she said, “Here friend. Have a greeeeat night”.

I thought it would be awful to not have my phone and instead it was not…awful. It wasn’t glorious and I didn’t have a huge epiphany or anything, but I did learn that not having a cellphone makes me feel a little less stressed. From the moment I get up to the time I lay my head down at night I have people expecting answers from me. Whether it is a text message, a call, my go on Words With Friends, whatever, its almost a full time job to respond. Don’t get me wrong, I love communicating with so many people in so many different ways, but it can be taxing.

I don’t think I will ever be one of “those” people who don’t have a cellphone and don’t feel without at all (Mom…), but perhaps this little experience has allowed me to see that I will not simply keel over and die if I do not have my “lifeline” on me at all times.

Update

1 Jul

I know I have been really distant with my blog lately…meaning, I have not spent a lot of time writing and expressing much of anything that is really going on with my life (not counting all my pathetic, “I hate my life” posts. The posts you will never see me write again…) I hate that I seem to never have time or peace and quiet to write. I have been so busy with a whole lot of crazy lately. Not only have I been going out, literally, every night, I have been fitting in workouts at the gym, tea time, movies, crafting, and time with friends like there is no tomorrow. I have been going like a crazy person on speed. Along with the crazy things I fit into my days, I have started a very fulfilling (and well paid) job teaching math and reading to students in an enrichment program. It is super fun and rewarding and surprisingly has not yet cut into my fun time.

Seriously though, I need to slow down and actually sit at my computer for longer than five minutes. I promise I will post more and devote more of my time to my passion. I promise.

*muah*