Day 57 – London

7th October 2015

Today I was up in time to have breakfast downstairs at the hostel. There was a selection of spreads with toast, cereals, fruit and yoghurt and also you could make your own toasted sandwiches which was a bit different.
Though I’m still missing my American bagels and cream cheese to be honest haha. 😋

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Once breakfast was finished, I put a little status on facebook to see if anyone in London was free to do anything. My friend from NZ who now lives in London replied and said I should come and have lunch with her. I used to work with Emily at an Ice cream store while I was in High School haha. I miss having all that free ice cream now! 🍦🍧

I figured out how to get to her work and took the tube there. When I arrived at my stop, I had some time to spare before our lunch date so just went for a walk at the park next to the tube station. I’m trying to remember what the park was called but I can’t for the life of me remember. I even tried to Google map it but none of the pictures look similar to the park I walked through haha.

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I then made my way to the Covent Gardens as I heard there was a magnum store there where you basically get to design your own magnum ice creams.
Unfortunately for me it was only a Summer thing I think and they’d closed it down for the year. It was more of a pop-up store so it wasn’t around forever. 😧

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The Covent Gardens aren’t actually a bunch of gardens.
It’s a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End and it’s  associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square which is now a popular shopping and tourist site.
I had a look around the shops and even found a shake shack! The famous American burger/shake food place I never went to when I was in the USA. The lines are always just way too long that is can never be bothered lining up.

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When it was nearly lunch time I walked to meet Emily at her work so we could go for lunch.

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We decided On getting burrito wrap type things at this store called Wrap It Up. So yum! I got a chicken mexican bean thing which was exactly what I felt like.
Pretty soon, an hour had been and gone and Emily had to head back to work. She suggested I go to the store Primark (which is like a Kmart and they just sell heaps of clothes and shoes)

I went there hoping to find the summer clothes I’ve been wanting and was met with rows of sweatshirts and Christmas wollen jumpers. 😣
I walked out of there with a winters hat and baby clothes for my best-friend little baby boy for next year! Haha. At least I tried.

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I was all shopped out again so headed back to the hostel as I was meeting a friend later on for dinner.
Dave and I met on Contiki and he’s now living in London so it was good to see a familiar face again!
I insisted we had to go to a classic London pub for a beer (well a cider for me) so we found one and ordered some food. Out of all the foods on the menu, this pub had like 3 pages of Thai food to choose from and a couple of choices of London food.
It was good I love thai food, so I ordered a yummy thai curry and we sat there to drink our drinks for a few hours.

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It was getting late so with my tummy all full, we said our goodbyes and I headed back to my hostel for a good night’s sleep.
I ended up actually going downstairs when I got there and attempted to write up a blog but people kept sitting down and talking to me haha. I must have looked lonely or something so I ended up leaving and probably didn’t even finish my blog post.

Xx

Day 54 – Amsterdam 2

I am sooo behind on my blogs.
I blame it on being sick. 😥😩
I keep sleeping in for ages in the morning and then being too busy all day to actually sit down and write anything.

So our second day in Amsterdam!
We had to get up a little early as there was an optional free bike ride tour around the city. I’m glad I went and didn’t sleep in because it was such a good way to see the city. I felt like such a local riding around on my bike haha. I just got paranoid about being hit by a car because the lanes all get so confusing!

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We had a few stops on the bike tour where our guide explained a bit about the history of Amsterdam, why things are legal here, some of the good sights etc. It was interesting listening to him and I’m happy we got to take pictures at the I Am sterdam sign!

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It was the foggiest morning though so the pictures wern’t super good. The fog made it so cold too! Biking through it, it all hit your face and it made my hair so damp. It wasn’t a terribly good hair day after that so that’s my explanation for my hair looking shit in all my up coming pictures.

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When we finished the tour, myself and the other 4 girls from my tour went and got some breakfast. Of course it wasn’t healthy 😣
There are just too many pastries and nice looking donuts to justify having s bowl of muesli for breakfast.

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I did chuck in a smoothie with my meal to be a little bit healthy.

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We went for a walk around the city after that. A couple of the girls wanted to go to the Anne Frank house so they went and lined up for that. I unfortunately didn’t get to see it because the line was soooo long!! Like down the street – wait 2 hours long. I didn’t want to just stand around when I could be exploring so I skipped it out this time. I feel i’ll be back in Amsterdam one day so I’ll definitely do it then.

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We browsed round more shops, saw some buildings and then grabbed some frites to share (Dutch word for Fries me thinks) they were so good! And you got to pick sauces to go with it.
Kara and I only got some chilli mayo stuff but went back and got a second sauce. The guy at the counter must have been trying to impress us coz he gave us more sauce for free on top of our frites but ended up absolutely drowning them in sauce from his generosity that we could barely eat them after that haha.

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I was laughing with Kara the other day about our own pictures and how it always looks like we’re wearing the same thing. It’s cold in Europe so I’m continuously wearing my Kathmandu jacket and she’s always wearing her one so all my pictures seem to be of me and her in a jacket haha!

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We split up from 2 of the other girls as Kara and I wanted to do some shopping and the others weren’t super keen to keep looking in shops. We saw lots and lots more yummy food places and oohed and ahhed over all the goodies.
It’s honestly a foodie heaven for anyone who likes sweet things and pastries.

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Eventually it was time to head back to the hostel so we could get ready for our night out. We made sure to get back around 4pm so we had plenty of time to glam ourselves up and get ready.

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I got the girls to use my MAC volcanic ash exfoliating scrub as well since I’m always raving about it. They loved it! Even if it did make our faces look funny.

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We didn’t scrub up too bad for dinner! It was like the first time on our tour that we felt we were all glammed up which was nice.

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On our way to our river cruise dinner, our tour leader stopped off at the I Amsterdam sign again so we could take a big group photo.
I may of also tried to get everyone in on my selfie stick photo too haha.

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Dinner on the boat was nice, we went through the canals and out near the harbour. The waiters served us dinner on the boat (a bit of chicken thai curry with some veges and rice) the meal was good, we just didn’t get enough of it I thought! We got free wine and beer through so it can’t complain haha.

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Once we’d all eaten and drunken our fair share. We did some speeches where our tour manager gave us some words of travel wisdom. We all gave him some cheers for being a great tour leader and then we hopped off the boat to go to some clubs.

I never really take any pictures on my phone of my nights out because my phone is horrible at taking pictures at night!
I guess I could put it on flash but it wastes the battery and everyone ends up having these white – shocked flash faces haha.

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The clubs we went to were all good, it was just our group though as it was a Sunday night in Amsterdam. A Contiki group ended up joining us at one of the clubs and I swear half of our tour just ended up hooking up with their tour. It was quite funny to watch. (I was not one of these people by the way haha)

Kara and I were the last ones from our tour at the club so we headed home in the early hours of the morning to get some sleep before our trip back to London the next day.

Thanks Amsterdam for being more than I expected!!

Xx

Day 39 – New York City (6)

This was one of my favourite days in New York so far!
After having another bit of a sleep in (I know I can’t help it! 😴😴) I finally dragged myself out of bed and headed off to Central Park.

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On the way, I remembered to make a phone call to this lady in Washington DC who’s also a kiwi. She’s been a nanny in America for like the past 7 years and loves it. She actually helps girls through an au pair agency get jobs over here but she hasn’t done it in awhile. I inquired at this au pair agency online a few days ago and they contacted her about me. So yeahhh.
We had a chat about what I had to do to work here, what it all kind of involves etc… so she’s going to send me some info and then I’ll decide what to do when I eventually get home. It’s still just kind of an idea at the moment.

After I got off the phone, I walked towards central park and then came across a street of shops I’d never seen before! It had Sephora and Whole Foods and was only like a 5 minute walk away from the hostel. Why did I not know this! 😣
I immediately went to whole foods as it was lunch time by then and I was a bit hungry.
After being very indecisive and looking at all the food like 5 times, I decided I was too poor and not hungry enough so left without buying anything.

(Side note: as I write this, the girl above me in the bunk in my hostel – her phone is going off like every 30 seconds with THE most annoying noise. It’s like the sound of a tap dripping and it’s driving me insane. Not to mention every time she moves her bunk screeches like anything. I want to kick her.)

Carrying on…
After my Whole foods fail, I went across the road to this sports store and looked through all their Nike shoes. I was going to buy 2 pairs but ended up deciding on these ones. For $59

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Finally I was on my way to Central Park. There were lots of people there as they were doing a big walk for people who have Down syndrome and their families. They had a big fair set up as well which was pretty cool.
I found a nice spot in the grass and had a bit of a lay down. I listened to my music and rested my eyes which was nice.
I think I’ve pulled a nerve (can you even do that? Maybe I mean pinched a nerve) in my leg from all this walking so I didn’t go for a big central park walk today.

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I was messaging NZ Alicia while I was at the park and we decided to meet up at 5pm to go up the top of Rockfeller Centre. By this stage it was after 1pm so I went down the road and had some Subway for lunch and then TOOK the subway to Times Square haha.

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I had found this hair extension place online so went in search of it. I have hair extensions and they were nearly at the stage of needing maintenance done (which means they lift them up higher to your scalp again) and luckily this place was able to do them!!
I’m so glad I found them as it’s difficult finding a place that does the same method as what’s currently in my hair. It was more expensive than what I pay back home but at least I got them done and won’t have to worry about them for the rest of my trip.

When I left, it was about 4.20pm and I didn’t realise how far away I was from the rockfeller. It was good I had my running gear on so I half walk/half ran to meet Alicia and Miriam at the Bottom of the rock as they had my ticket.
We had booked it for 5pm so I got there with 3 minutes to spare.
Me being all sweaty, took the lift to the 67th floor with them and it was defintaly worth the $30.

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The Rockefeller Center is actually a combination of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st streets in New York City.
It was created by the Rockefeller family, in Midtown Manhattan between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
The part that we went up is called 30 Rockefeller centre. Also known as 30 Rock. It’s 70 stories high and is home to the Observation deck (Top of the rock)
It doesn’t take long to get to the top in the elevator. But when you do, the views are just incredible. I’d love to see it in the winter time.
I even said to one of the girls, my future husband needs to hire out this entire observation deck and propose to me on a beautiful evening. Hahaha (just incase my future husband is reading this, there’s a hint)
But please, be careful not to drop my Tiffany ring.

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There were a few people up there but it wasn’t overly crowded. I think they only let a certain number up at once.
The only thing though was it was a bit windy so my hair was blowing all over the place which didn’t take for a great picture 😯 not to mention I was sweaty from my run and my hair needed a brush haha.

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But I did get some great shots of Central Park itself. It’s crazy how big it is! And it’s right in the center of a city. Crazy.

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There’s more pictures on my Facebook if you want to check it out.

I think we stayed up there for like 45 minutes, maybe more. Even though you’re only meant to spend 15.
I even put my earphones in and played Empire State Of Mind by jay – Z and Alicia Keys to really get into the zone. Haha.

When we got back to the streets, we decided to go out for dinner to this Indian restaurant that Miriam found on Google maps.
On the way there we took some pictures at the LOVE sign NYC has.

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When we found the restaurant, we saw that they had a special for $17.99 where you got an entree each, a main curry, rice and a dessert which we thought was a great deal!
It was really yummy and the Mango Lassi’s were only $2.50 score! I love them

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With our massively full bellies, we finished our meals and headed off to take the subway home.
Even though it was a Saturday night, I was so knackered I didn’t even open an alcoholic drink.
Instead it was time to charge my phone and write a blog.

It’s currently Sunday night as I write this and I really must go to sleep. I have to check it of here by 11am tomorrow as I’m off to London! Woohoo.

X