Norway 1, Girls 0

Since I have lots to tell you about as I have been such a busy bee lately, I am happy to bring you another post so soon. SO, after Harry Potter on Thursday myself and three girlfriends headed off to the airport (more like dashed because we were all going to be late) where we got on a plane and headed to the beautiful country of Norway! We found a ridiculously cheap fare on Ryan Air for a return ticket so we thought why not treat ourselves to a nice little weekend away.

We arrived at the hostel later in the evening where we met up with my roomies’ friend who flew in from France to join us. We all dropped off our bags and headed out for a few drinks and to experience the culture of Norwegian nightlife… which quite literally translates into being s***faced until the wee hours of the morning. Everywhere you looked there were drunk people. Young people walking to the bar. Old people stumbling around the city and smelling like corpses. Babies. Dogs. Statues….literally, it seemed like the whole of Norway was drunk upon our arrival, and we thoroughly enjoyed this scene. We went to a nice pub that played some good music, interesting people (by interesting I mean scary) and had a great time. One good thing about Norway is that the pubs are open till 3ish and therefore there is no rush and you can relax and have a great time into the morning if you so choose.

The next morning we slept in, had some delicious pizza for lunch and set off for the day. Little did we know that today was the day we would fail at everything Norway had to offer and meet the worlds most expensive cat. The tourist office was a disaster. The man who was “helping” us clearly hated his life, or us, and wanted to ensure we wasted as much money as possible and saw as little of Oslo as we could. We decided to go out of the city to experience the country side and we would do the whole city scene the following day. So, we headed to this supposedly magical Christmas town/fishing village an hour outside the city.

A) It was more like 2 hours. B) Everything was closed. C) Santa and his workshop were no where in sight, not as promised. D) We had to talk really loudly and obnoxious outside a Christmas store so that the owner would let us in. E) The most exciting attraction was a beautiful cat that looked like Beans (my cat) that I played with for 10 minutes.

After being there for a half an hour we hopped right back on the bus where we had a lovely nap and reminisced about what we DIDNT see in the town we had just visited. Basically we spent $200 so I could play with an animal for a few minutes. Once we got back to the hostel we thought it was 8pm because it was pitch black so we decided to get ready and start drinking. Unfortunately it was only like 4, and so without having eaten dinner and done any sight seeing, we were all feeling pretty good pretty early. My vodka got the best of me and I was down for the count at about 1030/11, where my wonderful Candice took care of me and put me to bed. I woke up around 4am to Candice coming back from the bathroom, laughing uncontrollably. I was a little disoriented and didn’t think I heard correctly what she was saying because it was along the lines of… “someone s**t in a cup outside the girls door..” So, me being a the drunken fool I was, didn’t register what she was saying until I realized she could not pull herself off of the floor because she was laughing so hard. Once I understood what she said I had to go find out for myself. No word of a lie, someone actually DID s**t in a friggin styrofoam cup and left it outside of our friends door. Me being me, I obviously took pictures (which I won’t post for the weak hearted individuals reading this) and took off back into my own room where Candice and I pretty much peed ourselves laughing for the next 20 minutes.

Why on earth someone decided to s**t in a cup I will never know, however, if you are out there stranger with a now awesome s**t story reading this, thank you for the stomach cramp inducing laughter. On a side note, once we woke up in the morning, the cup and s**t were gone. That said, we had a poo thief and the poo-ee on the loose in our hostel. Excellent.

The following morning we all awoke at a decent hour and felt pretty good considering the amount of alcohol we had consumed the previous evening. Off we went to ACTUALLY see something in the country and we started the day off with the worst lunch I have ever eaten thus far in my life. I had a chicken caesar salad that tasted like I was eating f-ing fish vagina, Candice had beef that was still breathing, Erin had the “bruschetta” which was some sort of saucy concoction with nothing bruschetta-esque about it and contained meat (she happens to be a vegetarian) and Christina and Maren had lasagna that was still frozen in the center. A perfect lunch to start the day  right?

After the dinner of death we tried to take a boat to the Viking Ship museum which was pretty much the only thing we were all excited to see on this trip. Turns out, we missed the boat due to our vomit inducing lunch and the next one would make us miss the last entry into the museum. SO, a no go on the Vikings. We also happened to stumble upon a fortress and castle prior to that but decided not to go in because we wanted to catch the boat, which we missed. Awesome. We then decided to do a boat tour anyway and see some nice scenery and the coastline etc. Worst idea ever. We saw nothing that we couldn’t see from shore and paid a ridiculous amount, and basically stared at one another, miserable and freezing, for an hour and a half. One thing we did get to see was the Nobel Peace Prize museum which was actually really cool  and so interactive for both adults and children and a bonus, it was free! One thing worked out for us. We toured around the city for the rest of the evening and it is a really beautiful place however quite chilly this time of year. However, that was to be expected and most of us came prepared. By most I mean everyone but me.

All in all, while we weren’t overly organized and had our fair share of bad luck, it was a great trip full of laughter and silliness. We even got to meet Rita McNeil…. if you consider that a plus. I would go back, but I would want to see the country side with all of the beautiful fjords and mountains and the Northern Lights.

Thanks for reading about my non-adventures in Norway!

PS. Do any of you have some funny travelling moments that you will always remember?

 

Advertisements

When Harry Met Justine……..kind of.

There are few things in this world that I consider myself obsessive over. Aside from chocolate and animals being the frontrunners, the Harry Potter series is an absolute must for this category. The magic began in 1997 with the release of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, and I myself received the boxed set of the first three novels for Christmas in Grade 7. From the moment my eyes hit the first page, I was doomed. Enter greasy hair and a filthy body because I did not move for DAYS. I spent the duration of my entire Christmas holidays reading all three books. I was in love.

Following the first three books, the next four were released consecutively spread about two years between each. Because my mom worked at our local book store I always got my book early and would read each in a matter of a day or two. For the last book my best friends and I went to the Chapters release party and waited in line for hours for The Deathly Hallows. It was magical and worth the annoying children and the creepy dressed 40 year old men trying to be Harry.

Since I have started reading the series, I have officially read each book (minus the last) a total of 14 times. I will forever love them and I can never, ever get tired of the magic of J.K Rowling. That said, this past Thursday November 11, while I should have been working and attending Remembrance Day ceremonies, I did my part as a die-hard fan and waited for 15 hours to see my child and adulthood dreams come true…. meeting Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter.

It was the London movie premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and so fans from far and wide, all shapes and sizes, creepy and non creepy gathered in Leicester Square to get a glimpse, or in my case, meet the characters that have made my world complete for years. I headed to the square at just after 6am thinking I would be early. Wrong! There were sooooo many people already there waiting, some who had slept in tents the night prior just to be safe. Some may call that ridiculous but I call it dedicated. I met lots of Harry fans throughout the day to keep me company (I went by myself) and managed to weasel my way up to the front of the line somehow. I was situated at the front of the barriers located right in front of the theatre where the stars would make their final appearance. I literally stood for 15 hours in that same spot, shivering, starving and soaking wet as it poured down rain ALL day. Finally the stars started to arrive and the thousands of people in and around the square went nuts. I mean seriously nuts. I had bruises on my chest, legs and arms from being squashed against the railings for so long. However, once 630 rolled around, the wait and pain was worth it.

First came the Weasleys. I have pictures (no autographs) of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Ginny as well. Then came the Malfoys. True to his character, Lucius was a dick and ran past us all and into the theater. Draco was my first autograph and Tom Felton who plays him in the film was so sweet to all of us. He signed so many books and was having conversations with us which was very kind considering there were 1000’s of people screaming at him to sign either a book or a body part. Then came Ron. I was SO excited  because not only do I love him but so does my best friend Laura and I so badly wanted to get a picture for her. Well, I got like three, and his autograph and he was wonderful. I would say he was the most nervous out of them all, he seemed quite shy but still made a huge effort to sign as much as he could. Hermione was next and I must say, she was SO beautiful I was nervous to ask her for her autograph. Definitely my new girl crush for 2010, maybe even 2011. She signed my book as well and I got a great picture of her while doing so.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for. Harry! Sadly, I didn’t get his autograph but I did get a picture and a video that unfortunately didn’t turn out. I saw him up close but I was in such awe that I failed to get a really good picture. Also, he didn’t come to our side of the barrier to sign autographs which would be why there is no engagement announcement between he and I. I was quite bummed at the time but honestly, I had the best time and got to see sooo many of my favorite characters and was lucky to get some autographs I am proud and excited to have in my book.

It was a once in a lifetime experience and I took in every minute of it. It was obviously one of m favorite highlights on my journey in London thus far, and it was SO worth the stomach cramps from not eating and the bladder pains from not peeing for an entire day.

Since I have all teased you with my verbal account, I thought I would leave you some pictures so you can pretend you were there and share in my excitement with me. Enjoy.

Oh baby..

Since returning from my magical trip to Ireland during my term break, which blew my mind by the way, I have been experiencing symptoms that can really only be attributed to one thing… homesickness.

Recently I had a conversation with someone who said something to me about ‘belonging’ that really resonated in my mind. We were talking about my being here and how much I love the city and have really been enjoying myself and love meeting new people etc. However, I know that in my heart of hearts I don’t BELONG here.. permanently that is. I know this was always going to be temporary, but being so far away from my home and my people made me realize that for a really long time I have been searching for something I didn’t think I had. I never felt a huge sense of belonging or a true tie to my home, but I realize now that being away I truly do belong back home, and I have found the thing I have been looking for for so long…. myself.

I am a girl who loves to travel, but doesn’t need to. I am so lucky to have travelled where I have and seen what I have seen, but I could also be happy to be grounded for a while. I am a girl who is a social creature, but if I never met another group of friends I would be PERFECTLY content with all the people I have in my life at this point. I love teaching and working with kids, but it is not my calling. I will go back to school eventually and find out what I am passionate about and make it a reality (making animals talk). I want to live in Canada and build a life there…with a certain someone. I don’t need to live somewhere exotic or tropical like I always thought, although for a year or two it wouldn’t be so terrible. I NEED my parents. I have left them to branch out on my own a few times in my life, and I was/am more than okay, but really, I will always turn to them in times when my light isn’t shining as bright as it should be. I don’t care if I am 30 and still talking to them every day, they are as important to my “being” as my arm or leg. I am funny and I love this about myself. I love making people laugh, and am often told I am ridiculous or hilarious, but I always kind of shrug this off and do something else inappropriate as though it’s nothing. But, it’s okay to to think this, because I am GOOD at making people laugh and smile, and I love that. I really, really, REALLY dislike when people travel with babies. Especially on planes. I am sorry but COME ON. They didn’t ask to be carted around like animals and have no freedom to move and therefore are cranky and decide to scream and fuss on my four hour flight. Okay so that isn’t really that important to my soul searching, however, it is still something I feel is part of my make up.

These are just a few things I have realized over these past three months, and I know I will learn a lot more while I am away and I very much look forward to it. So while I am homesick as of late, at least I am content with myself and my decision to be here. One thing that has made my homesickness a bit worse recently and which wrangled my fingers into action to write a post is the fact that…….. wait for it….

 

………………..

 

I AM GOING TO BE AN AUNT, AGAIN!!

 

Yes, my brother is having another baby and he/she (I think she) is due in May. I couldn’t be happier, unless perhaps it came out wielding a wand, and I wish I was home with my family celebrating this wonderful news. However, I will be home for Christmas in exactly 36 days and will do plenty of celebrating when I get there!

So that’s that. I promise I won’t be so lazy and will write another post sooner than later.