Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This was the first full day hanging out with Tony. Yesterday I met him at the airport and it was so cool to see him again! It took a while to realize that he was really here and not just my imagination! We didn't do much yesterday since he had jet lag. Today we went downtown and walked around Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace (all the touristy stuff). We stopped for some coffee and bought some groceries and made chicken souvlaki and Greek salad.


Monday, June 26, 2006

3 Months

Today, it's been exactly 3 months today that I left Victoria. The novelty still hasn't warn off that I'm living in London. I definitely feel at home and know my way around in some areas but it is so big and I haven't seen or done it all that's for sure!

I finally get to pickup my boyfriend Tony from the airport today too!!! I'm so excited!! Three months is a long time to be apart. We did it really well though and we feel even closer now then when I left. I think it's because you have to find ways to communicate and stay connected all the time or else it can just fade out. And it takes a lot more effort than if you were face to face with the person. If any of you experience a long distance relationship, I have some good tips for you! Anyways, only a few hours left till I see him!! I'll have to leave and take a short train trip to Gatwick soon.

What else? I finished my last day of work on Saturday. It was a long 14 hour day, so I'm glad it's over! No more work for me till September! (might as well take a break and have a lazy summer while I still can, I won't be able to do this very often!) I also bought a return ticket from Greece back to London since I was having some issues having bought a one-way ticket to Greece with no proof I was going to leave the country. So I'll leave for Greece with Tones on July 2 and I leave Greece on Aug 19. Hopefully it'll give me enough time to find a place to live in London by Sept 1.

I think that’s all the news for now!


Friday, June 23, 2006

Hen Night

I had yesterday off and had my last Greek lesson. I said bye to my tutor Maria, she'll be in Athens all summer and is leaving in a few days. I really like her, she's very nice and easy to get along with.

It was also Helle's Hen Night (or bachelorette party). We all planned to meet at a Mexican restaurant called Chiquito right in Leicester Square. As I was arriving, there was another movie premiere happening for "Over the Hedge," the animated kids movie. I heard a bunch of cheers and went to take a look and Bruce Willis got out of a car so I grabbed a quick shot of him! So random! I didn't stay to watch anymore but I'm glad I got the shot, he is a cool guy!

When I got to Chiquito I didn't know who I should be meeting since I don't know Helle's friends. I just waited at the bar till Helle and her friend Georgina arrived. Soon more girls arrived and we had a few drinks and ordered a bunch of food! It was quite good! After dinner we headed for Zoo Bar for some dancing. Helle had a list of silly things she had to do like: get stranger's phone numbers or blow someone a kiss, it was pretty funny! She also had a sash on with "Bride to Be" down the front and flashing red lights.

Me, Helle, Oda, Natalia, Melanie, Georgina

I said goodbye and headed home on the bus. Luckily it wasn't too late because I have two long days of work next. But they are my last two days of work until September!!! Yay!!!


Monday, June 19, 2006

Let's see....

What have I been up to? On Thursday I was invited out to see the Mary Poppins musical by Charity, a girl I had met at bible study earlier in the week from San Francisco. It was really well done and the set changes were pretty elaborate. That's the first theatre play that I've seen here, I don't know why I haven’t gone before because there are sooo many to choose from. I think I'll go more once I get back from the summer and the bad weather starts again. Below is the Prince Edward Theatre.

On Friday and Saturday I worked double shifts and it was quite busy! I did about 25 hours of work in 2 days, so I had no time for anything else! Below is the beer garden outside of the pub. I was pretty much out there all day on Saturday taking orders for a BBQ which we do when the weather is nice.

On Sunday I went to Hillsong and did some errands and just wanted to veg since the days before were exhausting. That's one thing about work that I don't like. When I have a day off, I just want to do nothing and relax because I'm tired. There are so many things to do here though, that it feels like a waste; oh well! I have a little less than 2 years left, plenty of time to see and do a bunch! In the evening I ate sushi, watched part of the Korea vs France game, and rented a movie called "Match Point". It was pretty good with a crazy ending.

Today I went to Starbucks and studied Greek for over an hour. Bought some veggies and made an awesome Greek salad (one of my favs!) I then locked myself out of the flat for the second time! lol! So off to Gareth's work I went to get his set of keys. Now I'm back and going to make tea, eat my salad, and watch Casanova (I feel like watching a light hearted comedy, especially because it's set in Venice!) The next two days I'm working double shifts again: woo hoo! Thursday I have off and am going to my first "hen night" (UK version of a bachelorette party) for Helle who’s getting married in August and moving to Hong Kong. Then 2 more days of work and I'm free after Saturday! Tony arrives a week from today and I'm so excited to see him!!!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spa Day

Yesterday was a great day! When I first moved here I bought this voucher for a few beauty treatments at 2 places. I don’t usually treat myself like that (it’s more of a luxury I just don’t bother with). But I bought it anyways just because at the time I was all new to London and thought “why not! I’m a big city girl now, I should try out this pampering thing”. The voucher included a hair cut, style, and deep conditioning (usually costing 60 pounds) at Jordan Burr and a facial and massage at Sharmi Joseph (usually costing a little over 100 pounds!). I can also go back for a second visit to both for different treatments but I don’t have much time left here before I leave for Greece (maybe when I come back). It also includes a day at “The Studio” where you go to get professional photos done and they’ll give you champagne, do your makeup, give you a facial and manicure. I haven’t booked that yet and I’m not sure I will before the trip but we’ll see, I have a bit more of a reason to do it now…I’ll tell why in a bit.

Anyways….you know what the voucher is for now. Well I booked the hair cut and the facial/massage a few weeks ago to be on the same day so I could have a nice spa day! It was so great. I got my hair done at 11:00 and just got a trim since I like my hair long and now it looks so much healthier and feels soooo soft! Then I had a bit of time to kill till my next appointment, so I had a bite to eat and looked around in the stores on Oxford Street. Then at 2:00 I got my facial and massage. I almost fell asleep on the table! I felt so good after! And my skin and hair were so soft, I couldn’t stop touching it! Lol!

I planned on going to bible study and it wasn’t till 7ish, so I browsed and studied Greek for a few hours at Starbucks. I ran into my friend Will (he’s one of the teachers at bible study) and barely even recognized him because he shaved off his hair (he had a headful of hair). I had missed the last 2 bible studies because I was either working or in Venice, so it was nice to see familiar faces again.

Oh and got a phone call today from one of the model scouts I ran into recently and found out I got accepted into this online model and talent directory . It’s sort of like an agency but they don’t take commission they make their money from the clients who post ads on their site. It’s cool because you can work as much or as little as you like. You get jobs three ways: Either a client goes through the directory and picks who they want to work with, or Zebra Management will recommend certain people for a job, or they also have job posting just for the members to look through, so you can apply to any of those. The jobs range from extras in film/TV/music videos to model print work/fashion shows and promotions. I think I’d mostly be interested in the extra work and fashion shows. So we’ll see, I won’t do much with it till I come back from Greece, but it might be a fun job to have for when I get back.

Now today I have to work but not till 1:00 so I’m going to go for a walk I think and study some more Greek (my tutor likes to test me and I want to be prepared!)


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer is definitely here!!

Today was a lazy, relaxing, hot day. All last week was very hot but today was crazy! It was in the 30’s!

Yesterday I walked to Oxford Street through Regent’s Park and all the roses are out now. The last time I walked through the same area, they were just stumps. Here are some photos of the park, so beautiful! Once I got to Oxford Street I was on a mission to buy some summer clothes, since I’m not ready for this heat at all! And it’ll be even hotter in Greece I’m sure! So I ended up buying a bunch of stuff including capris, tank tops, a skirt, etc… found some pretty good deals too!

I was also planning on going to see the Hillsong United band from Australia play tonight at church but when I got there, there was a huge long queue wrapping around the block (and I was half an hour early!). I stood in it for a while but it was sooo hot and I had all these shopping bags with me, so I ended up not seeing them (I would’ve had to wait for the next service which was over 2 hours away).

This weekend one of Gareth’s friends from Norway named Gunhild stayed over since they were going to a wedding of a friend on Sat. So this morning we ended up talking and going out for lunch at a near by tapas bar. It was really good! And we got along really well. After lunch she had to leave to stay with other friends before heading home.

I wanted to register with a doctor just in case I needed one so I had an appointment in the afternoon. I found out my real height which is taller than I thought! Apparently I’m 5’10.5” even though I always thought I was 5’9”. I can’t remember the last time I was measured and if it was even accurate. I guess it wasn’t! After the doctors, I went out to suntan since it’s crazy hot! I’m not complaining though! I’d much rather have it uncomfortably hot than uncomfortably cold. It’s just weird how it went from almost winter-like weather to boiling weather with no in-between stage! It’ll get me ready for the Greece heat! Below is Primrose Hill where I suntanned.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Last Day in Venice (Thurs, June 8)

All night I was thinking about that glass pendant necklace I saw the day before on Murano and didn’t buy. I decided to go back to Murano today and buy it before I leave. I had to be at Piazza Roma at 12 to catch the bus back to the airport so I got up early and headed out at 8am. I made sure the others in my room were up before I left so I could say bye and exchange emails (we’ll swap photos).

I checked out and walked to a near by Vaporetto stop and passed a seafood market on the way. I bought a big apple from a produce market for breakfast since I pigged out yesterday!

I had a nice morning boat ride out to the island of Murano and since I got there early, the shops weren’t open yet so I had a cappuccino outside at a little café. I also went for a little walk on the island but not too far since I had no map. It’s a nice little island. It was very quiet and has a more village atmosphere because the tourists weren’t around yet. Once the shops opened I went in and bought my necklace (below is a pic of other necklaces similar to the one I got. The man working in the store was a cute little Italian man who spoke no English and we had fun trying to figure out what we were each trying to say!

I also stopped at a building where they have glass blowing demonstrations for free. It’s pretty crazy how they do it!

I finally had to leave the little island and start making my way back to the hostel to pick up my bag and head to the bus stop. I had a long travel day ahead of me. The flight was an hour late and by the time I got home I was so exhausted and wanted anther vacation to recover! Well Greece is coming up in a few weeks!!!!

These are my observations:
Don’t go during high season, it gets so crowded in the popular areas! The water from the water fountains is drinkable. The main souvenirs are Murano glass, carnival masks, and lace. Sometimes all the alleys with buildings everywhere get kind of constricting. Wear comfy shoes because everything is in walking distance. Not as many cats as I thought (I saw 3). Explore the other islands too. As a girl traveling alone I had no problems, just the guys who’d yell “ciao bella!” and stuff like that but they were harmless. I felt fine walking around on my own at night. Most people speak English too but you should learn a few basics. Tourists are annoying (except me and the friends I met of course! Lol!) Give yourself an estimate of how long you think it’ll take to walk somewhere and times that by 5.

Now I'm home and it's Friday, June 9. I start work at 5:00 and I've spent all day going through the photos and putting up the posts on the blog! I need to get off this computer and enjoy the nice weather that London is experiencing!


Venice – Day 3 (Wed, June 7)

Another long post! Today I spent the whole day with my new friends that I shared a room with. Allison is from Minnesota and traveling around Italy on her own and Kelly and Daniel are friends from New Mexico going for a Europe trip for a while. We all decided to go to the Basilica San Marco this morning. On our way we stopped by the Rialto Bridge since Kelly and Daniel hadn’t seen it yet.

We arrived at Piazza San Marco and I told them about feeding the pigeons so we all had to try it this time! It was a lot of fun!

We then waited in the short line for the Basilica and it was beautiful inside! I snuck 2 blurry pics but it doesn’t do it justice. The ceiling is all mosaic and the pieces of glass are sooo tiny! I must have taken decades to finish it! It is mostly a gold ceiling too so it sparkles when the light hits it. We paid 3 euro to go upstairs to the museum and the lookout deck (there was one for inside and outside). While I was taking pictures my camera totally froze on me! I couldn’t turn it of either, it was just stuck on with the lens open and the screen frozen, so I was so scared that I’d loose the hundreds of pics I took on that memory card. The rest of the time I had to hold the camera in my hand because it would get wrecked if I put it in my purse with the lens open.

After the Basilica we all decided to go back to the hostel and then we planned to go to some of the islands in the lagoon. Kelly and Daniel wanted to go to Lido to the beach and Allison and I decided to go to Murano known for it’s glass sculptures and artisans. My camera’s battery eventually died on the way to the hostel, so it was safe for me to take it out. I charged it a little and put it back in and it started working again thank goodness!!! I switched memory cards though just so I could be sure the pics I already took would be safe. Anyways, we all decided to meet up again at the hostel at 8pm to go out for dinner.

Allison and I bought a 24hr Vaporetto pass (Vaporetto are like buses but on water) and took a half hour ride to the island of Murano. We wanted to go to a glass museum that was on Murano but we didn’t find it (we had no map) so we looked in the many glass showrooms and shops. I saw a really cool necklace that I had never seen anywhere else, so beautiful! I was a glass pendant and it looked like the galaxy was in the pendant: little bits of reflective sparkly glass in the center. It was a little more than I wanted to pay though, so I decided not to get it (earlier in the day I bought a small and beautiful mask and they aren’t cheap).

We took a ferry back to the Piazza area and headed back to the hostel to meet for dinner. We got totally lost!! So disoriented that we past the same area twice while we thought we wer going in the right direction! It was pretty funny! We finally made it 20mins late.

The 4 of us walked toward the Dorsoduro area since they hadn’t seen it yet and stopped at a restaurant right on one of the canals. We all shared some wine and had good food. I tried a Venetian specialty: pasta dyed black with squid ink. It was so good! It had pieces of squid (I think that’s what it was) with spaghetti and it was pitch black and dyed my whole mouth black too!

After dinner we walked further to a square called Campo San Margherita. This is near a university, so there were a bunch of café/bars open and lots of people out and about. We sat outside and had a drink and talked to some other people some from America and one from Canada. They had been living in Venice for about 3 years now! We had some gelato too and then headed back and got home about 12:30 (lockout is 1am).

Daniel, Kelly, and Allison


Venice – Day 2 (Tues, June 6)

Well today a did lots and I took about 220 pictures, so it’ll be a long post! I woke up at 7am to church bells ringing and decided to get an early start. I wanted to check out the Dorsoduro area since I didn’t get there yesterday. I wandered my way over and it was so nice to be out before all the other tourists, it was nice and quiet. Oh ya, that’s one thing I’ve noticed here, there are no cars or scooters, the only thing motorized are boats so it can be so peaceful and quiet in the smaller canals. Anyways, I made it to the south coast of Dorsoduro and there is a boardwalk along the water, sooo nice! I stopped at an outdoor café for my breakfast: a cappuccino and chocolate croissant, mmmmmm! Little birds came by so I fed them a bit, it was so relaxing and beautiful! Then I made my way to the opening of the Grand Canal near the eastern point of Dorsoduro and it is so beautiful there! I think it was one of the best views of the Grand Canal. I hung out around there a bit and made my way to the Ponte Dell’Accademia (the third of the 3 bridges that cross the Grand Canal).

I then walked to the Piazza San Marco again and I had to pay the 1 euro to feed the pigeons because it looked like fun. I got my little bag of corn and when you sprinkle it and put it in your hand they attack! It was so cool, they were all over my arms and head! I got someone to take a pic since it was hard to take on myself. I got a small poo on my arm but at least it wasn’t my head!

I made my way up the big bell tower in the Piazza called the Campanile. There was a small line-up but it was still only around 11:00 so it wasn’t too bad. This is a definite must if you come to Venice because the views are amazing and you can see all around!

Next I went to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). It had a courtyard and very large rooms with gold ceilings and murals everywhere! There was even the largest oil painting in the world on one of the walls, pictured below, in the apparently the biggest room in all of Europe. I also walked across the Bridge of Sighs into the prisons (named the “Bridge of Sighs” because of the noise the prisoners made on their way into the prisons!) The prisons were creepy and dark. These prisons are where Casanova was kept and he escaped by making it onto the roof (who knows how!).

After being inside for an hour, I walked along the boardwalk east from the Piazza and explored part of Castello, it seemed like more of a residential area and there is ship building going on there. I headed back towards the Rialto Bridge and found a café/bar along the way were I had a panini.

What’s next? I made my way to the Rialto Bridge again and bought a gelato (soo good!). The view around there is nice too! The one thing I don’t like about Venice are the crowds of people; So many tourists (including me I guess but that’s not the point!). I think next time I come, it’ll be in low season that’s for sure! After the Rialto Brige I walked back to the area my hostel was in and bought some tomato and motza salad and ate it on the water near the Ponte Degli Scalzi and headed back home since it was getting cloudy and I needed to get changed.

It started raining a little bit but I still felt like seeing the canals at night so I walked North this time to the area over looking the road that connects Venice to the mainland. It was very quiet and peaceful. The water looked so neat with the orange lights reflecting in it. I went down another canal to over look the Grand Canal and took a few shots. I was a nice end to the day even though it was wet, still pretty warm. When I got in I ended up talking for a while with the other three people in my room and we all got along really well so we decided to hang out the next day. During the night it poured and there was thunder and lightning too, kinda fun!