12 July 2006

One of a kind festival

Ok, this just plain weirded me out... but I like their style - sweet!

http://www.prestonidaho.org/ndevents.htm

PS: A Big YAY for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert tonight - I am soooo excited!

10 July 2006

July 10th

1886 Eruption of Tarawera volcano destroys famous pink & white calcium carbonate hot-spring terraces (North Island, New Zealand).
1890 Wyoming became the 44th state of the USA.
1965 Rolling Stones score their first #1, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".
1985 Explosion sinks Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour.
1989 Mel Blanc, the “man of a thousand voices,” including such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig, died in Los Angeles.
1998 "Lethal Weapon 4" premiered, garnering $34.05 box-office bucks its opening weekend.

I can't believe I have reached another birthday! Not only that, but that my 5 week international holiday is over, and I am back at work, in the winter! My first day back at work and its my birthday! On the upside, Wendy from work decorated my whole office with streamers, glittery coloured stars (they are tiny and EVERYWHERE - the cleaners are going to go nuts!), and smiley faced balloons :)

I had lunch at my fav Thai place, where my Aunty gave me a gorgeous bouquet of roses, which alerted our waitress (and owner of the place) that it was my birthday - so she brought out a fab piece of choc cake, with icecream and cream and choc sauce all over it, with a candle! Sooo sweet :)

I'm looking forward to an early night tonight - I am whacked!!! But I've had a lovely day despite being back at work.

09 July 2006

London trip, June 2006

Here is a brief list of my likes/dislikes during my month in London June this year.

Thumbs up:
-The London Underground; the tube. A million times better than public transport in Auckland, NZ. My Oyster card became an important apendage.
-The London Eye (though its overpriced).
-"B@1" a chain of cocktail bars that have a FAB happy hour (2 for 1).
-Dough balls, from Pizza Express. Who would have thought that little balls of pizza dough, dipped in a galic butter could be soooo good! I was unhealthily excited when I found out that Salisbury's sold them in the frozen foods section also.
-The (new) Globe.
-Kew Gardens, which were just beautiful.
-The weather while I was there. Only one day of rain and the heat wave kindly waited until just as I was leaving the country.
-Concerts in Hyde Park, namely 'Massive Attack'... No words can describe...
-Camden markets on a Sunday. I was in Emily the Strange heaven, though I didn't buy anything. Still, great shops and stalls.
-Tower of London.
-Forbidden Planet, such an awesome "cult" store, with everything from comics to Little Britain talking mugs. I ended up there 2 or 3 times during my stay.
-Thames River cruise.
-Banana fritters at 'The Banana Leaf' Thai restaurant in Clapham somewhere... The fritters were just divine! The Pad Thai Gai was a bit of a letdown though.
-Paperchase, a brilliant stationary store. I notice that there matching stationary is now appearing in Borders though, so I will not have to miss gazing at matching pens/cases/bags/writing paper/folders etc! -
-Squirrels and Foxes; darn cute!

Thumbs down:
-The tubes at rush hour, in the heat, packed like sardines in a can... Oh the horror!
-Tube delays due to "a body under a train"... disturbing and sad. Locals are jaded to the horror of it and a body becomes a pain in the neck because their train will now be late.
-Madame Tussards. Ok, so it was fine, but a little disappointing. The ride through history thing was pretty cool though. But, in the end, if hadn't gone, I wouldn't be too upset. On that note I did skip going to the London Dungeon.
-The people on the corner trying to sell 'Big Issue' magazine. Honestly, there seemed to be someone on every corner. It was very disturbing.
-Exchange Rate NZ$ to £ gets a special mention because it was CRAP while I was there. £1 = $3. In some cases I refused to submitt (like at one place they wanted £7 for ONE cocktail - that's NZ$21!). Admittedly, this is not London's fault. I am merely whinging.
-Oxford Street, which I found overrated. Friends pointed out to me that for Londoners Oxford street is brilliant for shopping as every store you could want is there - and sometimes its there 3 times! I enjoyed Covent Garden shopping much more.

07 July 2006

Italy trip, June 2006

I adored Italy!!! Since I was little I've always wanted to go - I am not sure what even started my obsession, but what followed was 10 years of Italy Calendars before I made it to the actual country! What follows is just a summary really:

Over one week we travelled via train from Milan to Verona to Venice to Bologna to Florence to Pisa to Rome.

Favourite City: Venice - Everything was more beautiful than I could imagine! I felt like a different person there; I just can't describe how incredible my experience there was and how happy I was to be there.
Least Favourite: Bologna - only because we didn't do much there, and I could have done with more time in Florence and Rome. I owe Bologna another visit though, as I know I didn't do its sites justice.
Most Lost: Florence - I don't know how I did it... I had a map and Il Duomo as a guiding landmark, but I got so lost that I felt like crying; it was hot, I had nothing to drink, and no end was in site. However, I ended up finding a gallery and a public palace to visit (I wouldn't have visited them if I hadn't been lost!).
Most Stairs Climbed: Florence - 500 at Il Duomo, followed closely up 300 odd at the La Torre di Pisa.
Most Walking: Florence, Rome, and Milan - all very close as we didn't use any public transport while in the cities.
Most Expensive Meal: €42 for 2 cokes and 2 pastas at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan. We couldn't exactly afford to shop in the Galleria, so we foolishly settled on eating there. It turns out if you are rich enough to shop at Prada and Gucci, then you don't even flutter an eye-lid at paying NZ$84 for something that actually had the value of around NZ$15. We had a very small and cheap dinner that night to compensate!
Most Purchases: Venice - ahhh the markets! I bought most of my gifts for people there, and then though I was very restrained, I still had trouble zipping up my bag.
Most Impressive: I don't even know where to begin! The Sistine Chapel, St Peters Cathedral, the Colosseum - and that's just Rome! I was forever in awe :)

I am going to add more as it comes to me. I know for sure that I will be going back to Italy; back to the same cities, as well as to others that I missed out on.