Because I haven’t written a new post in so long, this one is going to include everything but the kitchen sink, hence the title.
Where to begin.. so much has happened these last couple months and I cannot believe that I will be home next week. Time has flown! First off, after Norway Candice and I decided we weren’t done travelling just yet and took off to Düsseldorf, Germany, for the weekend. While our bank accounts may have taken a big hit, we had the most magical weekend. Tis’ the season of Christmas Markets, and Christmas Markets there were. We had heard that Düsseldorf was home to some of the better markets in Germany, and the flight was cheap so we figured hey, why not! For those who love Christmas, you would have been in heaven, as Candice and I were. Our jaws hurt by the end because we were smiling so much! There were hundreds of Christmas trees everywhere, Christmas lights galore, delicious food (which deserves a post on its own) handmade gifts and toys, skating rinks, merry-go-rounds, SNOW and of course Santas! It was perfect.
We ate all kinds of traditional German foods, including sausages (which were magical), pastries, these potato hashbrown things that were good but extremely greasy, soups, breads, crepes etc. Mostly everything I tried I enjoyed, with one exception. I am not a crepe person but I know that there is a huge crepe fan club out there (sorry) and Candice loves them so I decided to try one. She got banana and chocolate which was amazing and I decided to be festive and get chocolate and egg nog. Well, being the pig that I am, I took an enormous bite and it took every effort in my body not to throw everything back up. I didn’t realize that the egg nog they used was PURE ALCOHOL and my mouth was screaming at me in protest. Yuck! Suffice to say, I have learned to make further inquiries on what I will be eating from now on. Other than that, I have no complaints about Düsseldorf. The people were so friendly, the gifts I got for people are amazing and Candice and I had a wonderful weekend together just us roomies!
Along with some heavy travelling, November also brought the loss of my “Church” virginity (that doesn’t sound right, I apologize). The Church is a bar here in London that is quite popular among foreigners, especially Australians and especially young Canadian teachers… I don’t really no how to describe this place except that it is AWESOME and where potentially all of your wildest dreams can come true, all you need is your presence, and perhaps to be semi-conscious. I would say while it is catered to more single people, it is still a great time for anyone who can laugh at others misfortunes and sexual escapades and if you just like to have a good time. The unique thing about this place though, is that if you dress up you get in for a cheaper rate, and get to re-live Halloween every Sunday if you really wanted to. Candice and I went as Kittens and enjoyed ourselves immensely with a bag full of beer on our backs and grins from whiskers to whiskers.
With November also comes birthdays and relationship milestones. My wonderful boyfriend celebrated his 23rd birthday and while I missed out, he rang it in with some friends and by not dying in his intense survival course in the freezing woods of Winnipeg! We also reminded one another that we have in fact been together for quite a long time… we don’t celebrate anniversaries, because we don’t really have one per se. May 2003 was when it all started (I can’t even believe that, we were babies!)…. then we had some ‘fuzziness’ and then in the fall we got over the ‘fuzziness’ and I think we agree that Oct/November are when things were serious… and the rest is history! Therefore, our relationship is somewhere between the lifespan of a newt and hummingbird (7 & 8 yrs) and all I can say is that I hope one day we reach the lifespan of a Bowhead whale (200)…. We have had our moments and it hasn’t always been easy, but these past years have been what they have because of him/you. I can’t imagine going through this crazy journey with anyone but him/you (if you’re reading).. I love you.
For those of you have been keeping up with my blog you know that in November my childhood dreams came true when I semi-met my literary hero, Harry Potter. While this moment is still at the forefront of my mind of being one of the best days of my life, yesterday I got to meet another idol/hero of mine. I have said over and over that one day I will pursue my dreams and go back to school so that I can facilitate my longing to work with animals and work toward animal conservation. This all started when I was little, I have loved animals since before I can remember. I used to watch the Crocodile Hunter and National Geographic programs with my dad and just loved learning about them and seeing them in their natural worlds…I think they are the most fascinating creatures on this planet and I will love them unconditionally forever. That said, yesterday I got to meet a person who shares the same beliefs as I do, only she has transformed the way the world thinks about animals having personalities and feelings and made leaps and bounds in animal conservation. Especially with regards to Chimpanzees. Yes, yesterday I was fortunate enough to meet JANE GOODALL! I originally wasn’t even going to go and I didn’t even know about it until Adam sent me the link, but I am SO happy I went. She is an amazing woman and she was so funny and eloquent in her talk. She started off by making chimpanzee noises as her greeting (hello, can we be soul mates?) and told some great stories which Candice and I thoroughly enjoyed. She signed my book and the inscription reads, “For Justine, follow your dreams, Jane Goodall.” Well hey, if Jane Goodall tells you to follow your dreams, you kinda have to. So, I promise I will make you proud and stick to my plan… I will make it happen!
Looking back on these last couple months I have realized (again) that I really am one of the luckiest girls in the world. I can’t believe all that I have done so far while being away and it’s only the beginning of December! If 2010 was this good, I CANT wait until 2011!