What's in my head

This is the home of your average girl in her early 30s making her way in the big city...Not really. I have thoughts. Now I have somewhere to put them.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pumpkin time

It's been about 15 years since I carved a pumpkin and it was just as gross as I remember. Carly loves Halloween (there's a giant inflatable pumpkin in her front yard to prove it) so when she invited me over to carve pumpkin I thought it'd be fun (plus, there'd be treats...).

You can tell I'm not the Queen of Halloween. Look how tiny my pumpkin is. That big one was just one of C's three. Plus she has three different kinds of candy separated into bowls, all ready for the little ghosts and goblins to come knockin'. The kids in her neighbourhood are lucky.

Pumpkin guts are just as icky as I remembered, but we got 'em all out. On the advice of Shannon I decided to cut out the bottom instead of the top. It worked well, especially since it had be transported.

Once I had a hollow pumpkin I had to figure out what to do with it and I hadn't come prepared. Using the designs Shannon had brought I decided to be non-traditional and go with a bat instead of a face.

Carly did a barfing face for one of her's. I didn't get to see the final product so I demand a photo from tomorrow night. (This was not the barfing one).

My final product will be revealed tomorrow.

London...through pictures

A collection of miscellaneous photos from London (well, the death sign is from a park in Bath). The escalator is at the Russell Square tube station on the Piccadilly line, the deepest of all the London tube lines. It's like three regular escalators.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

London Day 3

Monday, Oct. 17

This was our last day in London so I was going to make the most of it...well, after sleeping in a bit (...if you think 7:30 a.m. is sleeping in).

The first stop was beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral. (I went in briefly, but wasn't interested in paying the admission charge to walk around a church. For an hour. I waited for Sarah and Adam outside, giving me my only chance to soak up London life).

Then the three of us went to the Tower of London for a look at The Crown Jewels (they looked fake to me, but maybe that's just because I've never seen a real jewel the size of a GOLF BALL). Famous Tower prisoners included Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More and Lady Jane Grey.

The Tower is also famous for its ravens. When the ravens leave the Tower of London, so the saying goes, the Tower will fall down. (I don't think there is any worry of this because I believe I heard the seven ravens in residence can't fly).

Next I was on my own for a visit of Tower Bridge, which many people (including myself) mistakenly think is London Bridge.

I enjoyed it, despite the foggy London views. (That's an aerial view of the Tower of London).
I'd been told a place not to miss when in London is the Tate Modern gallery so before meeting back up with Sarah and Adam I went in for a quick peak (seriously I had about 20 minutes for it and it really deserved more). I do remember seeing a Pollock, Picasso and Warhol, as well as this temporary installation (it was the only thing we were allowed to photograph. It looks like a bunch of big sugar cubes to me...except they're plastic (I touched some of 'em).

I forgot to mention as I walked briskly to the gallery, I was able to grab a look at (and a few photos of) the Globe Theatre.
Leaving the Tate Modern, I ran across the Millenium Bridge to get to the tube station to meet S&A at Westminster Abbey (I was already late as I was running across the Thames).

I was able to grab photos of most of the tourist must haves in Parliament Square, but time was limited so I wasn't able to take everything in (my own fault for having such a long list of places to visit/see with only eight hours to do it). Here is part of the Houses of Parliament. (Yeah, now it's nice outside. Where was that sky when I was at Tower Bridge...?) .

If you look closely at Big Ben it is already 3:11 p.m. and I still had Harrods, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus to see before being back at the hotel by 6 p.m. to get ready to go to the theatre.

I caught a glimpse of the London Eye.

And took a walk by the Prime Minister's house gate.

After Harrods (where Christmas had already exploded on the fifth(?) floor), I went to visit the Queen. She was home too (the flag was up). There were some guys with machine guys though and I was running late so I decided I'd try her next time I was in town...

On the way back to the hotel, I had to stop at Piccadilly Circus. So we did.

We got back to the hotel, grabbed some souvenirs since we were leaving in 13 hours, ate a quick meal and got ready to go to the West End. We saw Blood Brothers, which I'd never heard of. We had great seats and it was excellent.

Can you believe I did all that in 13 hours? It's good I have the pictures...I don't remember a lot of it. Two days in London (three in England) is not nearly enough (I wish I'd gone a day before the tour started...). I guess I'll have to go back one day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

London Day 2

Sunday, Oct. 16

We were up bright and early for our English country breakfast (beans anyone?) before heading off to Stonehenge.

It was very nice and full of tourists just like me playing ring-around-the-rocks (I learned today that not too long ago you used to be able to touch 'em, but not anymore. Now people are kept about 15 feet away through the use of a very thin rope...maybe it's magical). I apparently found this mysterious location hilarious.

After buying a delicious warm apple scone (I *almost* got cheese, so glad I didn't) it was back on the bus for a drive through the beautiful English countryside.

I attempted to capture the narrowness of the English roads with a photo, but it fails to illustrate what it is like to drive on narrow, winding, hilly roads in a big bus. We saw sheep, maybe I'll show them to you some time later.

And where were we going on our big bus on the little roads? To the beautiful spa town of Bath.

That's the Avon River and this is the Bath Abbey.

In Bath I skipped lunch (so very unlike me) to buy chocolate (so like me) before visiting the Roman Baths

The water was warm and apparently you're not supposed to touch it...I did. There is photographic proof. Just not here.

After arriving back in London we found out where to get some traditional English fish and chips and it was off to Shakespeare's Head (it says so on that tiny sign above my head).
The fish and chips wasn't that great, but my drink (WKD) tasted like blue freezie with vodka. Mmmmmmmmm. I had two (was tipsy)...was going to get another but my crew wanted to leave.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

London Day 1

I arrived in London at about 7:30 a.m. (felt like 2:30 a.m. to me), got my first stamp in my passport (yeah!) and rode the tube for the first time. (Please note these day one photos are not so great, but the picture show will get better).

Checked into the hotel, met my roommate (my trip was the Contiki European Getaway London and Paris extended) and then we were off. Walked to the National Gallery (in new sneakers that were so not broken in yet - very bad idea), which is where Trafalgar Square is.

In this free gallery I saw many paintings, including this one. (It is shown in both the beginning of Desperate Housewives and one of the first openings to Growing Pains).

Next it was on to the National Portrait Gallery (for about 25 minutes because there was a lot of London to see in a very little time). I don't know if I saw this, but I bought this Andy Warhol post card in the gift shop. It also came in red, blue and a few other colours.

Then it was on to my last stop of the afternoon, the British Museum. It is very big. This is not all of it.

Using my handy London Top 10 book I made sure to hit most of the highlights, including these two.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A taste

I am back. Here are some pretty pictures to look at while I get some sleep.

(Yes, I am going to bed. It may only be 8:11 p.m., but it feels like 2:11 a.m. to me).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

London blogging

I'm here.

The jet lag isn't too bad, but it's only 5:50 p.m. here. I went to the British Museum, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery today. My feet are KILLING me. I don't think it has quite sunk in yet that I'M IN LONDON. FINALLY.

Maybe I'll blog from Paris, maybe I won't.

But there will be pictures upon my return, oh so many pictures.

Friday, October 14, 2005

T - one hour!

I've never flown overseas or on an evening flight. But damn it sounds like it's gonna be swell. The experience of landing at what will feel like 2:30 a.m. to me in a place where I will not be able to sleep until 2 p.m. (unless I find a park bench that looks comfy, but I don't really want my first British experience to be me getting robbed. Besides the fact my only knowledge of London parks with benches comes from Notting Hill and I know I'm gonna be way too tired to heave my *hopefully* 20kg suitcase over an iron fence and to say, "whoopsy daisy"...but I digress) and am not recommended to sleep until regular bed time, which means that I'll have been up something like 34 hours in a row (I may be exaggerating...a tad. The time difference and flight time confuse me a little), is surely one that everyone must have. Non?

But I hope and pray (well, I would pray if I didn't believe that if there was a high power she might be a little more concerned with the starving children in Africa or world peace rather than whether or not I have major jet lag as I start my 10-day European holiday) that the excitement of landing in a new and exciting place will hop me up more than a six pack of Red Bulls. It worked when I went to New York City. Technically there wasn't a time zone change on that trip, but it did involve an overnight bus trip (yes, to save $125 I boarded a greyhound at midnight for an overnight journey to the Big Apple and I will NEVER do it again). A bus trip that involved about two hours of upright sleep between stops at the Fort Erie border (where I learned two white chicks travelling from Canada to the United States could basically smuggle in anything because they asked us like two questions and when we got in line behind the two young white men to have our bags x-rayed they gave us a wave that said to me, "Don't be silly, you don't have to wait in line. No, you gals can get right back on the bus. We trust you. You don't look like you'd be smuggling pot, crack, apples, peanut butter or socialist ideals into our fair nation. Come right in." I did bring three of those things across the border.), the Buffalo bus station where we switched buses, middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, a Burger King in nowhere interesting P.A. and possibly a stop in Jersey. The point is when we got to NYC at 10 a.m., despite walking the 20 blocks to our hostel in Chelsea (again I am cheap, but in my defense I was preparing to quit my job and yes that $5 for my share of the cab ride would have made a difference...this was back when the Cdn dollar was only worth $0.70 American), I was ready to go. I was able to walk at least another 65 blocks as we explored FAO Shwartz, Bloomingdales, Times Square and various other NYC tourist must sees. I didn't crash until 10:30 p.m. that night.

I guess that means I can make it...(hold on, I'm doing the math)...12 hours on a little sleep and a whole lot of excitement. That's get me to...7 p.m. Crap! Maybe I should take a cat nap after I check into my hotel...

Ok, I'm going to stop with the talking (writing) and make with the leaving now...(just as soon as I dry my hair and find the stupid little key to my useless little suitcase lock).

Thursday, October 13, 2005


There is no reason for posting these photos other than I was reading a blog of someone who didn't have a scanner so she took of a picture of a picture. Always the skeptic (as well as a hands-on learner), I needed to see if it worked. And...


Yes. That is me. In all my black-haired, square headed glory sitting on what appears to be a dog with very matted hair. My mom loved yellow...maybe that's why I dislike it so now? I don't think I was all that cute a baby, but look at me at 4-years-old. Oh so much cuter (albeit a little stunned looking).

Again with the yellow (notice the matching barrettes). I loved that shirt though, it had Winnie the Pooh buttons. The head also appears to have rounded out nicely by then.