Day 3: Lost and Found

This day began relatively early (although not with a 4am wake up like the following morning… yikes!!) with a bus tour of London, including many sights we'd seen before, many new ones and such things like the outside of Westminister Abbey. This was continued with an hour to watch the Queen and other royals parade with the military down the Mall toward their Trouping the Colour ceremony (it was the Queen's Official Birthday). We saw people such as Prince William and Camilla; Prince Andrew and his daughters; and the Queen and Prince Edward.

The tour concluded at Harrods where we wandered around for a few minutes before attempting to take the tube to Madam Tussauds. Here's where I say attempted, because I had my bag caught in the train doors on my way in and my mom didn't get on the train car. Suffice to say I couldn't find my mother for a seriously long period of time (she ended up going to Madame Tussauds, while I gave up on finding her in the line and went exploring). We eventually reunited at the hotel quite a while later.

While my mom was waiting in line/exploring Madame Tussauds (which while she didn't enjoy it alone, I may want to visit it some day, with friends [not alone]), I wandered… from Southbank on foot I found a great market (which I wasn't in the mood to eat from, but I enjoyed exploring), the Globe (which I still want to see a show at but didn't), some cool looking museums which I wanted to visit but didn't) and ended up crossing the Millenium Bridge toward St. Pauls and took the Tube back to the hotel… where I fortunately found Mom… who had somehow made it back (yay!).

From there we took a confusing journey by Tube back to St. Pauls (various tube lines were closed due to construction or whatever that day) and looked around the Cathedral for a while before finding a sushi shop (with conveyer belts!!) and then heading to Southbank via the Millenium Bridge.

I dragged my mom around the Tate Modern. Her feet hurt but I was SO enjoying myself. Gosh how I appreciate Barb Churchill (one of my fave profs) for teaching me about some of this stuff before I actually got to see it… Italian Futurism especially! And Cubism… and other great stuff! And how about my Non-Fiction profs for showing me so many great altered books so I could get an appreciation for them in the museum and… GOSH I loved that!!

We walked about some more to find London Bridge (which we saw from afar) and then we returned to the hotel… (en route we found some fish & chips… which was mediocre). The next morning would be an early one… so while it was a full and amazing day we did end it before long.

General comments about London:
-I want to see more shows in London in the future!
-I want to see the British Museum and many other museums
-I would enjoy seeing Madame Tussauds with friends
-I want to see a show at the Globe
-Seeing the Tate Modern again would be cool
-I do want to eat a bit more English food…
-And yes, there remains SO MUCH more to see!
-But I loved the London Underground system.

8 Habits of Ali Kira

Hobbit Maiden tagged me so I guess I ought to participate! 🙂

The rules: Each player lists 8 facts or habits about themselves; the rules of the game are to be posted first; at the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people.

1) I tend to use the expression 'no worries' a whole lot.
2) I also tend to overuse the expression 'no problem'.
3) As much as I'm pretty good at accomplishing things, I can be INCREDIBLY lazy.
4) I tend to be very rule-bound. This can be a disadvantage at times.
5) I love to travel. Here's where I've been!
6) I multitask far too much during the course of a regular day…
7) I tend to clean in cleaning sprees.
8) I can be very nitpicky about details.

I don't think these folks have been tagged already: oneswordsworn, 1istener, heakeli_ana, katzztak, kelessa, mostlycrazy, toomuchpete, verlaine

Day 2: London, England the Introduction!

So I left off mentioning transfers from the airport to the hotel. Well… the shuttle bus did indeed take us to our hotel… and did it by the most round about method possible, seemingly going in circles and circles and circles. Fortunately ours was one of the earlier hotel stops on the trip (3rd or 4th?) and we got off, checked in and found excellent accommodations.

Our next step was finding the nearest Underground or Tube station (go straight down the road, follow it and you'll be there), and getting to the Tkts booth at Leichester Square. We acquired half price tickets to Cabaret (tenth row floor) and then found some excellent (and relatively inexpensive) eats at Wagamamma. I wish we had Wagamammas in Canada! The Japanese inspired dishes were completely out of the ordinary with good sized portions and great atmosphere. Totally a college/university student place!

After dinner, we semi-randomly explored the area, including Picadilly Circus, King James Park, The Mall, and many other areas within walking distance before heading into see Cabaret.

Cabaret was fantastic! The theatre itself was tiny compared to what I'm used to, but intimate and beautiful. The curtains were lush, the seats were beautiful, the architecture marvelous. Our seats were fabulous although I doubt that there'd be a bad seat in the house. And the show… the actors did such an excellent job, as did the musicians and singers (many did several of these roles). It was incredibly emotionally charged, fun and uplifting at times, saddening and horrifying at others… and well worth seeing if you haven't already.

After the show, we scurried back to our hotel via the Underground. En route we walked through Soho and Chinatown, where the night was just getting started.

ABCs of Me quiz from Melanie

– Available: yes… of course that depends on who's asking!
– Age: 24
– Annoyance: When people don't pay attention to the rules. It's one thing to break them knowingly, but quite another to not know that they're there!
– Actor: Topher Grace

– Beer: Well the beer steins in Switzerland were entertaining… as was the bottle in Paris… but I don't drink it.
– Birthplace: BC
– Best Friends: I have a few people I'd consider close.
– Body Part on opposite sex: uh… arms?
– Best feeling in the world: to feel loved.
– Big words: can be useful
– Blind or Deaf: blind
– Best weather: warm but not too hot!
– Been in Love: sure.
– Been on stage: yes
– Believe in yourself: yes
– Believe in life on other planets: perhaps
– Believe in miracles: how does one define a miracle?
– Believe in Magic: depends on what one considers magic to be.
– Believe in God: unknown
– Believe in Satan: not particularly.
– Believe in Santa: sure.
– Believe in Ghosts/spirits: not particularly
– Believe in Evolution: yes

– Car: the vehicles in Europe were cool.
– Candy: is good in small quantities
– Colour: red
– Cried in school: on quite a few occasions
– Chocolate/Vanilla: vanilla
– Chinese/Mexican: no preference. When it comes to food, if it doesn't have cilantro that would help… and lack of food poisoning… 🙂
– Cake or pie: toss up. Depends on what kind!
– Country to visit: Gosh… them all!

– Day or Night: night
– Dream vehicle: anything I don't have to drive! 🙂 Flying dragon, or other mythical beast please?
– Danced: as often as possible!
– Dance in the rain: probably… but I ought to do this for real and well!
– Do the splits: nope!!

– Eggs: cooked.
– Eyes: mine are brown
– Everyone has: to breathe
– Ever failed a class: unless you consider Sea Cadets stuff…. no
– First crush: Peter
– Full name: If you don't know it by now, you probably needn't or should ask.
– First thoughts waking up: what time is it?
– Food: of the edible and non-cilantro contaminated variety!

– Greatest Fear: being alone forever
– Giver or taker: mix of both I hope.
– Goals: are diverse and many
– Gum: I don't chew gum
– Get along with your parents?: yes.
– Good luck charm: *shrugs* can't I be my own good luck charm?
Girls/guys: what do you prefer:
Eye colour: I tend to like the lighter colours like blue, green, grey etc.
Hair Colour: lighter than mine
Short/Long: depends on the guy
Height: taller than me
Clothing Style: presentable 🙂
Characteristics: great personality, some shared interests, ability to hold up his end of a conversation with me!

– Hair Colour: brown
– Height: 5'3
– Happy: often
– Holiday: Winter holiday season
– How do you want to die: after having lived a full and happy life.
– Health freak?: not particularly.

– Ice Cream: gelato from Europe!
– Instrument: I played percussion instruments. But I'd love to play some of the crazy Blue Man Group Instruments (that would be fun!), or learn something crazy like the instruments played during the Swiss Cultural show in Lucerne

– Jewellery: I really want to go to Venice now and purchase some Murano Glass… or be rich enough to get some of the great gold from Florence… but yeah I wear jewelery.
– Job: I work in Customer Service

– Kids: yes. I want a family of my own.
– karate: I don't do any martial arts anymore.
– Keep a journal?: I try to write daily in some form or another.

– Longest Car Ride: no idea: let's just say there's been some long ones!
– Letter: I try to keep writing.
– Laughed so hard you cried: rarely.

1. Slept in a bed beside you? well… my mom slept in a separate bed right beside my bed while in European hotels… 🙂
2. Saw you cry? it's been a while.
3. Went to the movies with you? I went alone last time… and can't remember with whom I went the time previous to that.
4. You went to the mall with? An actual mall in North America, Jackie. The shopping centres in Lucerne, my mom!
5. You went to dinner with? Nicole, Brad and Kim
6. You talked to on the phone? Nicole
7. Made you laugh? Brad I think.

– Milk flavour: skim! or chocolate I guess.
– Movie: too many good choices!
– Marriage? I'd like to eventually have that in my life provided I meet someone like-minded in that respect.
– McD's or BK: neither.

– Number of Siblings: 2
– Number of Piercings: 0
– Number: 14

– Overused Phrases: no worries
– One wish: to have my dreams come true! 🙂
– One phobia: n/a

– Place you'd like to live: Canada
– Perfect Pizza: well I rather liked the Italian ones! 🙂 I rather like interesting veggies on my pizza as well.
– Pepsi/Coke: Orangina is good! 😉

– Quail: huh?

– Reason to cry: unhappy
– Reality T.V.: Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance
– Radio Station: CKUA, Espace Musique or
– Roll your tongue in a circle? sure.

– Song: Bonfire by Lamb
– Shoe size: 7.5 or 8.5 womens
– Salad Dressing: I rather like balsamic… or oil and vinegar… or… well ranch works too.
– Sushi: YUM!
– Skipped school: never without a good reason.
– Slept outside: sure
– Seen a dead body?: not that I distinctly recall.
– Smoked?: never
– Skinny dipped?: nope
– Shower Daily?: at least every other day.
– Sing well? nope.
– Swear?: VERY rarely.
– Stuffed Animals?: Of course. My newest acquisition is the accordion playing marmot from Switzerland.
– Single/Group dates: both are good. I don't date often enough.
– Strawberries/Blueberries: strawberries
– Scientists need to invent: the time travelling necklace that Hermione wears in the third Harry Potter book.

– Time for bed: usually sometime between 10pm and 1am… but lately I've been going to bed remarkably early due to jet lag.
– Thunderstorms: just don't golf or go swimming/boating in one! I enjoy them otherwise.
– TV: Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, CSI etc.
– Touch your tongue to your nose?: no

– Unpredictable: sometimes

– Vegetable you hate: cilantro! 😉
– Vegetable you love: spinach, broccoli, artichoke, baby corn etc.
– Vacation spot: The whole wide world!

– Weakness: many
– Which one of your friends acts the most like you: beats me.
– Who makes you laugh the most: gosh… I also don't know.
– Wanted to be a model?: I did take a modeling course when I was 12… but no not really.
– Where do we go when we die: depends.
– Worst weather: severe/extreme weather.

-X-Rays: I've had a few.

-Year it is now: 2007
-Yellow: bright

– Zoo animal: Elephant
– Zodiac sign: Leo

Day 1: I promised people more detailed recaps from the Europe trip… so here goes!

So on June 13th, I took the LRT and met my Dad for the drive home to my parents' place. I spent an excellent night there, going over with my mom on what to pack/not pack… and relax somewhat. Some people may have noticed that I was online that day and even part of the next day even though I had told them that I probably wouldn't be.

I showed my mom some of the Vegas trip pictures, plus a load of older ones (all posted on Facebook if anyone was interested). Dad also saw some of the older ones. It was relatively relaxing, and I did get a good night's sleep, although I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep again.

The flight was scheduled for around 8pm that night. A Red Eye. So we made it to the airport 3hrs or so ahead of our flight (as requested) and wandered around the airport for quite some time. It had been a while since I'd taken a flight out of Edmonton that didn't go directly to the USA, so I marvelled a bit over the selection of shops and whatnot available outside of the USA only area!

The flight itself was long, but pretty good. We were fed two meals (supper and breakfast) plus several beverage services and a snack. I didn't sleep terribly much, but watched the movie A Painted Veil, which was rather good, although it did take a while to get into. I'm imagining what was cut from the film to make it airplane ready. The other film, I didn't watch for the millionth time. I really should catch The Bourne Identity sometime… I've seen snippets in airplanes often enough now!

Anywho… we eventually got near London and hit turbulence. This doesn't usually bother me much, but mom gets motion sick easily so that wasn't terribly great for either of us (yes I didn't find it terribly pleasant either this time). We had to wait on the tarmac for what seemed like forever though before getting off the plane. When we finally got into Heathrow Airport and through the passport stamping part, and got our luggage we joined a huge line up bottlenecking the 'NOTHING TO DECLARE' area. Normally this would be the fast track out of this part of the airport but not this time. Instead, we were waiting for the employees to return to their posts following a FIRE ALARM. Yes. That was it. So everything was delayed but we eventually got out of there and found the correct desk at the airport for our transfer to the hotel.

And since I labeled this Day 1, I think I'll end here after the flight stuff and start the actual fun stuff summary later on… keeping details semi-palatable for people.

Join me for some Shakespeare?

It's the River City Shakespeare Festival coming up… and since I regrettably didn't see any Shakespeare in London (my mom's not big on Shakespeare), I just have to see some here in Edmonton!

And what better than to see it with friends? I'd like to go to the 8pm showings on July 5th and July 6th (July 5th = The Winter's Tale and July 6th = Two Gentlemen of Verona, a musical!!).

Is anyone interested in joining me? I'll probably go on my own anyway… but I'd much rather go with friends… or at least a friend.

I'm Paper!

You Are Paper

Crafty and creative, you are able to adapt freely to almost any situation.
People tend to underestimate you, unless they've truly seen what you are capable of.
Deep down, you're always scheming and thinking up new plans. Your mind is constantly active.
You are quite capable of anything you dream of. You can always figure out a way to get what you want.

You can wrap a rock person up in your sheet of trickery.

A scissor person can sneak up and cut you to pieces.

When you fight: No one can anticipate your next move

If someone makes you mad: You'll attack them mercilessly when they're unprepared

Jet lagged but home from Europe

Being jet lagged means that everything feels like it's taking far longer than it ought to. Still, I'm trying to catch up on everything now that I'm home. I'm nowhere near caught up on email and Facebook and internet… or reading or unpacking or anything… but I did open my mail (which is a start).

As for my trip: it was utterly amazing. Even with all the little adventurous downsides, it was so action packed and amazing! I'll likely write a few more highlights later when I'm not nearly so tired… and I'll put my photos up on Facebook too… but just the same it was one awesome trip and included such highlights as:
– Seeing Cabaret in London
– Seeing the Queen and Prince William and Camilla and Prince Andrew and his daughters etc.
– Wandering the Tate Modern
– Seeing a cabaret at the Nouvelle Eve in Paris
– Visiting the Louvre
– Going up to the top of a mountain in Switzerland… and yes seeing the wonderful cows with their bells… yay for Heidiland! 🙂
– Seeing a great Swiss culture show in Luzern/Lucerne
– Visiting the Vatican and seeing the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
– Seeing an actual archaeological site in the yard of a 300 year old farmhouse now surrounded by buildings… which was also the location of a great meal with Opera singing entertainment
– Walked down the Spanish Steps in Roma/Rome
– Visiting some awesome sights in Firenz/Florence including replicas of the Statue of David
And much much more! 🙂

I think I need to do more travelling in the future.

Heading off to Europe

I leave tomorrow and won't be back for just under two weeks. We'll see when I post again and whatnot.

In other news, if you have Facebook, I've put up a TONNE of old pictures. If you can tag any of them I'd be eternally grateful… I'm so horrible at it myself! They are some rather fun/interesting photos!
Thanks a tonne!

Matahari makes great food!

So it was a good day off of figuring out stuff for Europe and catching up with Kim. We ate some wonderful food at Matahari and played some awesome Bandu! I so totally will have to have a Bandu gathering sometime soon!! 🙂

What else did I learn today well apparently:
47%Mingle2Free Online Dating
And of course that a lot more people I know are on Facebook than I expected!