Turkey, among other things.

It has been wayyy to long since my last post so I apologize for being so lazy! So much has happened in the last month and I figured it was time to provide an update to my loyal followers with an obscenely long post. First off, for my two week term break myself and some girlfriends went on an adventure to Turkey and needless to say we had a wonderful time! The weather was fabulous, the scenery was beautiful and the people were very welcoming and helpful.

We stayed on a resort in the beach city of Alanya and because it was not tourist season, it was pretty barren, which was great for us. We pretty much spent our days being lazy, reading on the beach and soaking up the sun… I did get slightly  severely burnt so I had to tone down the tanning for of, but was back on track by the end of the week! The water was a bit to chilly to enjoyably swim but Candice and I did test it out on one occasion. The food was pretty good as well.. it was really hard to find authentic Turkish dishes because the area is SO catered toward tourists, but we did manage to find some delicious food near the end of our trip. Unfortunately, this trip didn’t involve too much party puking (well I guess it’s not that unfortunate) because the drink prices where we were were absolutely ridiculous… I’m talkin’ about 25 Canadian dollars per cocktail. No thank you. We did buy our own alcohol here and there and found us some good deals, but all in all our livers were pretty happy to be on vacation as well.

We did do some local travelling while there and were able to see some really awesome ancient ruins that have been so well-preserved over the years. We went to an area called Aspendos which houses the oldest and most well preserved Roman amphitheatre and that was awesome! The history buff in me definitely enjoyed that part of our trip. We stayed for 7 days but I definitely don’t think that is enough time to see the country so hopefully one day I can go back and see more of the history the country has to offer!

Since we got back I had another week off before work started and was looking forward to just relaxing, getting organized and planning mom/dad/Adam’s trip coming up at the end of May/beginning of June. However, I barely did any of those things as the social butterfly in me just couldn’t be tamed. I was able to go to Portobello and enjoy the insanely nice weather we had last week.. my wonderful friend Michelle and I sat and drank in the 25 degree weather all afternoon and it was fabulous. I also ventured to Regents park with friends on Thursday, which I had never before visited, and it was so beautiful. On Friday I met my friend Leann for dinner and then a couple of us girls decided to go see Scream 4. I love a good scary movie and can’t remember how long its been since I have seen a movie that has actually scared the s**t out of me… probably Paranormal Activity..  Anyway, needless to say, the movie wasn’t that great, not that I was expecting it to be, but we did jump a few times and had some good laughs! After the movie we braved the local bar where I live and lets just say it was an out-of-body experience… definitely scarier than Scream 4!  The people or should I say hog beasts, that frequent that place were.. interesting… there was a smoke machine that probably clouded the normally sane persons judgement and you couldn’t dance without swatting wandering hands away from your private parts… it’s safe to say I probably won’t be returning any time soon.

And then we have Easter… well, as I am the epitome of appropriate behaviour (my mom is now choking) I decided to spend my Sunday in Church… not the one where you can find Jesus, although come to think of it there were many Jesus’ in attendance… I’m talking about The Church.. the one where it is not uncommon to witness people making babies on the dance floor, people are dressed up as anything and everything, and the beer flows freely both down throats and clothes equally. Since it was Easter, the girls and I decided to be Easter Bunnies and we were not the only ones who thought this was clever, as there was much humping, I mean hopping, all over the bar that day!

That’s that.. I will write again sooner than later because in exactly t-2 days one of my besties will be here so that we can wreak havoc on this city for a few days!

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Happy Sunday!

It has been so nice in London over the weekend (a rarity) and today it’s semi sunny and quite mild out so I am taking advantage to run some errands and get some fresh air with my favorite roomie. We are also going to pick up some bread so that we can make my all time favourite Canadian breakfast, FRENCH TOAST! We found maple syrup so I am excited to be a sticky beast for the next few hours while being the glutton I am.

Also, our friendly neighbor cat whom we haven’t seen much of lately decided to pay us a visit and come sniffing around for some affection… don’t have to ask me twice! So, since I am having such a lovely Sunday I thought I would wish all of you the same! AND, if you are not familiar with this magical band, you need to listen to this song and their entire album and make sweet audio love to it like I do.

Happy Sunday!

From Italy with love.

Oh Italy, how I miss thee. It has been a week and a half since Adam and I visited this magical place and I am longing to go back. Since I had a week off in February, Adam came to see me and we travelled to Italy for about 12 days… in a word it was (which is slowly becoming a staple word in my vocabulary) magical. I loved it. Not to mention I got to go to one place I have wanted to since I can remember with my most favourite person.

We started in Rome where we stayed for four days. Definitely my favourite part of our trip. I always thought Rome would be a fantastic place, but it exceeded my expectations in SO many ways. It is probably the most beautiful city I have yet to visit and everything about it was such a positive experience. The buildings there are insane, you can’t even fathom how these were built when they were… so amazing. One of the highlights for me was the Colosseum.. We were walking through a park on our way to see this and it just came up on the horizon out of nowhere and it was such a big moment for me. Seeing something you have been waiting to see for years and years was intense and so cool. We stayed there for probably just over an hour just walking around inside and me constantly having to pick my jaw up off of the floor.. After we saw the Colosseum we walked over to the forum where there are lots of ancient ruins and churches etc to explore. Beautiful.

The Vatican was wonderful as well. We visit St. Peters Basilica and walked to the very top (I was a sweaty, heaving beast by the time we got there) and saw the city from above, soooo amazing. More people up there then I cared to see but it would have been worse on a scorching summer day with a bunch of sweat hogs so I’m not complaining. The Sistine Chapel was really neat to see, smaller than I expected and again about a million people stuffed into a room made for 100. While we were in Rome we got to see Adams old roomie Alex and that was a lot of fun! We had lots of wine and the boys partook in some Grappa, which did not have a happy ending for one of them… I won’t say which… *cough” Bulgarian.. *cough*

After Rome it was off to Naples and Pompeii. We LOVED Naples. It was such a cool city with lots of old streets to get lost in, markets, tons of people, and graffiti everywhere. We had been warned that it’s not the safest of cities but we had no problems. Unless you count having to run away from a couple of demon kids on a mini four wheeler who were silly stringing perfect strangers…ridiculous. Pompeii was awesome as well, so interesting to see an entire city preserved after a volcanic disaster. It wasn’t busy either which was a plus and there were plenty of street dogs to satisfy me so all was good. Earlier in the day we hiked up Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii, and surprisingly I didn’t collapse or puke from too much exertion, go me! It was really neat to see a volcano and Adam loved it so I loved seeing him in his element.

The last four days of trip were spent in Capri and on the Amalfi coast. This area of Italy is SO beautiful it was hard to believe it was even real. It would have been nice to go in the summer when it was warmer so that we could swim in the AMAZING water there, but it was still magical nonetheless and we had so much fun together just exploring the towns and streets and forests that were here. There were barely any tourists here because it’s off season so that was a positive. One of the best things about the entire trip though was the FOOD. God, it was soooo delicious. I definitely packed on some pounds just eating pasta and pizza the whole time, but it was SO worth it. Our last night in Amalfi we had the BEST dinner. It was a little restaurant run by a mother and son and we had the best pasta and bread and wine. It was delicious and such a nice way to end the trip.

We arrived back in London late on Tuesday and then had one more day to ourselves on Wednesday before Adam left for home Thursday morning. We just relaxed and spent most of the day cuddling and watching movies and of course had some delicious Indian food, which has become another staple food in my diet. I LOVE it. Anyway, we had a great last day together and in the morning said our goodbyes (without crying) and I had the rest of the day off to unpack and relax and get back into my everyday routine.

All in all it was a wonderful wonderful trip and our time together really was magical. Enter mushy Justine. I don’t know why I’m so surprised but more and more I see how one decision I made a million years ago could make me so happy and feel so fulfilled. I realize how lucky I am more everyday…. and it doesn’t help that he’s a man in uniform… Enter inappropriate Justine. I think every girl should bone, I mean date, a man in uniform… just sayin’

Happy Valentines Day!

Well, the time has come for lovers to celebrate their relationships and show their unfailing committment to one another.. for love struck crazies to declare their love to the one they have yet to share their feelings with.. for friends to celebrate each other and for singles to get drunk and throw I hate Valentines Day parties because they feel they have no one to share this day with. Personally, I have always loved this day. And no, it’s not because I have always been in a relationship because between you and me, Adam is not the most Valentine’s Day loving creature on the planet… in fact he hates it… however I do usually get a nice Card, E- Card and sometimes on the OFF chance we are in the same place at the same time… wonderful grocery store flowers (because he knows they are my favourite). So, he does okay!

While I do love it, I sometimes pretend I don’t like Valentines Day  because most people now a days seem to hate it. I know everyone always says “you don’t need a holiday to declare your love for someone or show someone you appreciate them.. you should do that everyday” okay, blah blah blah. YES, in a perfect word the man or woman you choose to share your life with will show you every single day how amazing you are and shower you with compliments, feed you strawberries, provide you with an unlimited supply of unicorn babies and read you Harry Potter by candlelight… BUT, in reality I don’t think this always happens. I’m not saying it isn’t possible and some couples don’t have this, but what about for those that don’t for whatever reasons. Life gets in the way sometimes. People get busy and people forget. So why is it so bad to have ONE friggin day out of the year to tell someone you love just HOW much you love them??

I don’t think it’s silly, in fact I LOVE this day and what it means for people all around the world. I can’t be with my Valentine today (well, haha most days lately) but we will be seeing one another very shortly… 4 DAYS TO BE EXACT.. but I just wanted to throw it out there to the universe and him that I am thinking of you and want to say thank you for being my Valentine 8 for years in a row! You deserve a medal. Also, thank you for loving me for me. SO, because I don’t wanna get too mushy and you know how much I love the F word… in the words of P!nk:

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than fuckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing
You’re fuckin’ perfect to me!

I love you.

Happy Valentines Day everyone, I hope you have a magical day, Valentines or not!

I leave you with this wonderful picture just to remind you that even Alpacas celebrate Valentines too…

Oh I almost forgot to say Happy Valentines Day to my simu-boyfriend when Adam is in the wilderness and therefore has no access to technology… to ConAir thanks for being Valentine #2. Ha, : )

 

Who’s it gonna’ be…

It is nearing that time of year when films around the world are honored for their outstanding stories, best performances, cinematography, best direction etc etc. It is also a time when the stars of these films don the years most fabulous designs and take to the red carpet with their loved ones to bask in recognition. Yes, I am talking about the 83rd Academy Awards, which is happening on February 27th, only a few weeks away. I have always been a huge fan of the Oscars, and it has been a tradition since I can remember to sit down with my mom and watch them together. In the last few years, because of school, this has changed a bit, however, I have yet to miss a show and don’t plan on starting now!

I figured since I love movies so much I would weigh in on my choices for this years winners. I would like to start with that fact while there were SO many deserving films and actors this year, there was one in particular that I feel was unfairly recognized in both the Best Film category and Best Actor category. I watched it last night, and I LOVED it. Blue Valentine. Which, not to be fooled by the title, is not  your typical hollywood romance story with a prince charming and a happy ending. It is in fact quite the opposite. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play an unhappily married couple who were once fanatically in love and now they have lost sight of that and are ultimately miserable… the movie is so honest and heartbreaking but these two made the movie what it is, beautiful. I’m sorry but just because James Franco is hosting the Oscars, does not mean he should get an Oscar nod for standing in a crevis for 127hrs contemplating whether or not to cut off his arm… Ryan Gosling was definitely shafted in this category, in my opinion anyway.

I also need to rant a little bit about the Social Network and the buzz it has caused in the award circuit. First of all, best picture?? Are you kidding? It was good yes, but at times boring, repetitive, and all in all lack-luster…. I get that Jesse Eisenberg was great in the movie and I guess I will agree with his Oscar nom, but no way, not for Best Picture. You (the movie) are in the company of greats like, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Rain Man, DANCES WITH WOLVES, Forrest Gump, American Beauty, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, SLUMDOG for cryin’ out loud…. COME ON…. just because you were made because you tell the story of the DEATH of face to face interaction you deserve an Oscar?? NO WAY. Yes, I am addicted to Facebook. A lot of people are. I am also addicted to Creme Eggs and animals and shopping but I wouldn’t record myself eating a chocolate egg while riding an alpaca through the mall and call that a film now would I?? (No matter how awesome it would be)

Okay.. getting back to my picks for the winners… So, for Best Actor, it’s going to be Colin Firth. I have yet to see The Kings Speech but have heard wonderful things about both the film and his performance in it.  For Actor in a Supporting Role, it’s going to be Christian Bale. I saw him in The Fighter and thought he gave an oustanding performance. Different from anything he has done in the past, his part as Micky’s crack addict brother was phenomenal. No complaints there. For Best Actress, obviously Natalie Portman will win because of her performance in Black Sawn, however, I think it should go to Michelle Williams. I understand the work Natalie put into this movie and the physical transformation she had to undertake, but as an actress I felt Michelle gave the better performance. For Best Supporting Actress, I think it will be down to Helena Bonam Carter and Melissa Leo. Don’t really have any insight into either of these roles, other than I thought Melissa Leo played a great character in The Fighter. Best Animated, Toy Story 3 will take it, and I did love this movie, however, How To Train Your Dragon was surprisingly adorable and I LOVED the story line so I am happy it received a nod.

What’s next… so Best Art Direction.. hmm.. this is a toughy because all the films in this category were visually outstanding.. I will say Inception because it was so ridiculous and crazy in this sense… perhaps the only thing I appreciated about this one. Cinematography, this one is also difficult but I will guess that Inception or Black Swan will take the cake. She did turn into a friggin bird so I guess that is pretty Oscar worthy. Next is Costume Design, always a favourite of mine, and I believe that Alice In Wonderland will take this one.. there were SO many wild and whimsical costumes in this movie and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter deserves recognition. The next category is Best Direction and I will say that while I think David O. Russell should win for The Fighter, my prediction is that David Fincher will win once again for The Social Network..boo. I have picks for the other categories but those are ultimately not as important (to me anyway) as the last category, Best Film. This is going to be a big decision, and if Social Network wins in this category I will scream. But, I do think it will win because of its previous awards already and the recognition it has already received. Why I have no idea.. but I think it will. If I had to choose one though out of the nominees I would want to win, it would be The Fighter. I absolutely loved this movie. It had great acting, great characters, a great story line, and evoked so many different emotions in me as I was watching. I cried, I laughed and I was on the edge of my seat when he was fighting at the end. Such an all around good movie.

So that’s that. Those are my picks.. Will you be tuning in to see who takes home the gold??

A perfect day…

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I have in all actuality been extremely lazy as of late… however, I had a wonderful day today, which finally gave me some motivation to write a new post. Let me start by saying, since getting over my depressed, lonely girl who listens to sad, tear inducing music stage since returning back to London, I have been having the time of my life. Once I realized that I am FINE, and that I am living in one if the BEST cities in the world, and that it was MY choice to embark on this adventure (I was not tortured into making the decision to leave my parents, friends and soul mate (yes, you pilot) ) I needed to start taking responsibility for that. SO, I have.

Not that it makes it any easier being away from the people I would give all my body parts to if need be.. in fact, the more I am away the harder it gets… which I think should be the opposite, but it’s not. To make matters worse, I feel like there is something in the air here with couples and PDA lately. Not that I wouldn’t personally partake in some affectionate neck nuzzling, white knuckled hand holding, and a giggly kiss here and there while walking down the street… however, with the absence of my other half, it makes me want to vomit all over these giddy happy people. I am happy that you are in love, really, I am, but come onnnn I do NOT need to see phase 1 of your foreplay in the middle of the day.

Okay, enough of my pouting. Aside from the constant ache in my heart from missing my pilot, I have been having an absolute BLAST here these last few weeks. I have gone out every weekend since my return, much to the dismay of my bank account, and started to make good on my London bucket list I made at the beginning of the year. Lately we have been frequenting a wonderful bar which is in the heart of Camden (an AWESOMELY funky and eclectic part of the city), called The Monarch… There is nothing special about the name I know, but every Saturday night they have an event where they ONLY play music from movie soundtracks… in other words, my heaven in London. The music is fabulous, everyone knows the words to everything, and the atmosphere is simply magical. A must do, if you will. Also a must do.. if you have the guts…. see if you can pee in an underground station (in the open) while waiting for the tube without getting caught and NOT peeing on your shoes… I haven’t tried it or anything…

This past weekend we decided to mix things up a bit and do something out of the ordinary. What would this be you fine people might ask?? Well, we rented out a friggin double decker bus for the evening, that’s what. Yes people, we PARTY BUSED our way through the streets of London, bar hopping and dancing like fools along the way. The bus held about 60 of us, 36 were with our group, and there was also a bachelorette party (hen party as they call them here) going on in the lower level. The bus was decorated with streamers and balloons and played music all the way to each bar. We didn’t have to pay cover and were able to jump all the lines as well, which was extremely convenient. It was a great time, and needless to say an experience I will never have again….I think Party Bus #2 would be overkill…

So getting to my perfect day today… I had the day off  (by had I mean took) and decided to venture to the Natural History Museum downtown. A lot of my friends here had already been, and obviously animals are my favourite things on the planet so I knew I would have no problem going it alone. It was fantastic! MUCH better than the small exhibit they have in T.O. There were so many great exhibits from all different kinds of species, my favourite being the mammals. They also had a wildlife photography exhibit that I wanted to see and it was definitely worth while. It is quite a large facility so everything was spaced out nicely and organized quite efficiently. For any animal lovers out there interested, I would give this one a definite go! After that I decided I would do some walking around, and got off at a stop I had never been to before and ended up finding an awesome shopping area. It was an older part of the city that had been restored and there were so many unique shops mixed with high end boutiques and funky restaurants. Suprisingly, I refused my natural instincts and did not purchase anything, instead I grabbed a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks (my new favourite city-girl drink) and did an hour of people watching and taking in one of the only sunny days we have had in a long time. It was so peaceful. You know when you just have those moments when you feel like you could juggle an elephant while riding a tiger and everything just feels….. in place? Well, today was one of those days. And now I am going to cap it off by making delicious fajitas with my wonderful roomie and my favourite irishman.

Oh, and on a side note, I found out yesterday that my best friend is coming to visit me in April and we are going to get arrested in London for all the ridiculous antics we are going to participate in… I am waiting for you with an anxious heart and open arms JOE! I CANT WAIT!

I know I’m “home” when…

Well, I’m back. I’m probably not as excited as I should be, but I will be in the coming days. Saying goodbye to my friends and family, especially mom and dad and Adam, was MUCH harder this time than it was in August. I think I just got so comfortable at home and was so happy there (because my family and friends are all wizards) that I was dreading leaving that behind. My holiday was so much more amazing than I could have hoped for. I had so many great visits with friends I hadn’t seen in months and many many almost pee inducing laughs. Thank you to everyone (especially mom, dad, and my wonderful boyfriend) who made my time at home the best four weeks I have had in a really long time.

Leaving was terrible, however when I actually said goodbye I was better. Yesterday was really hard and t didn’t help that I was sleep deprived either.  A) Because I was crying the whole way home on the plane and B) Because I sat with a family of three babies whose ears were popping the whole time. Thank you asshole parents for torturing your children. See, this is why you shouldn’t bring babies on planes. How would you feel as an infant being scared shitless on this huge noisy contraption and your ears are f-ing up your sleep patterns for 8 hours straight?? That’s what I thought.

Anyway, I am already feeling better being back now that I have unpacked and had a great catch up with my wonderful roomie. I have lots of great things planned out for the next couple months, including going to see Billy Elliot with Candice, riding on a party bus, hopefully making a visit or two to the Church, and of course, a visit from ADAM AND a trip to ROME!!! I am also going to make a point of getting out more and seeing the city. I am only going to be here for 5-6 more months so I need to take more advantage of this great country.

Some not so great perks of this great country however, or East London to be more specific, are the constant efforts of creep bags who hit on you whenever you leave your house. As soon as I got off the Tube and made my way to my house, which is a span of 1 min, I was hit on by a flea with dragon breath and no teeth. Thanks, but no thanks. Also, I know I am “home” when I am awoken at 11pm on weeknights and 12pm on Sundays by my lovely neighbors who bone like it’s their last day on earth. Seriously, I don’t need to be part of your loud, monkey like ‘sessions’ every friggin day. I have never had a threesome, and don’t intend to start now so if you happen to be reading, please cease and desist and keep the ape like grunting to a minimum.

Hopefully I will work a lot this week, this girl needs money and I like getting back into the routine work brings on a weekly basis as well. As much as I hate most of the children, there are a few that make the days bearable and on the rare occasion, fun. I will keep you all posted on my New Year endeavours in the coming days/weeks…. I hope everyone has a great start to 2011 and a smooth and enjoyable back to school and work!

Oh Christmas, how I love you.

I have been back home for almost a week now and I have been loving every minute of it. And, what better time to be reunited with my family and friends than Christmas time? I arrived last Monday, starting off the week with a wonderful reunion with my mom and dad, followed by a nasty drive home in Mother Natures’ sick idea of a winter wonderland. We were stranded (albeit in nice warm hotel room beds) in London for the night and although my internal clock was an a**hole and woke me up at 4am because it still thought I was in England, we left around 7 for home.

Walking in the door was probably one of the best feelings I have had in a long time, it was just so nice being in MY home, with all the familiar smells and furniture and of course, the always loving and cuddly (extreme exaggeration) Beans, my kitty. I was pretty much a disaster waiting for Adam to show up later that afternoon. I almost burned a hole in the front window with my laser eyes for the amount of times I looked out the window waiting to see that familiar blue beast of a vehicle. Well, he finally arrived through all the bad weather, and it was MAGICAL. There were lots of smiles, a couple tears (on my part), lots of hugs and kisses and some very pretty flowers. Okay so that was probably the best feeling I have had in a really long time… our reunion couldn’t have been better!

Since then, I have done all things Christmasy, including decorating the tree with my adorable niece, wrapping presents, giving presents, reading and watching TV in front of the fire, eating piles and piles of delicious yet terrible-for-you food, played some games, hanging out with my family etc etc. I still need to play in the snow and make hot cocoa drink egg nog, and see many friends I have yet to see, but so far the holiday season has been too good to me. I also had a fabulous reunion with my friends from teachers college (Merry Christmas to all my Raptors) and have many more to look forward to over the next few days.

Some other things I am looking forward to over the Christmas holiday:

Cuddling in my awesome bed on these cold snowy days, dads famous Christmas morning breakfast, annual no-shower or get out of bed movie day, Christmas Eve with the Carnies, Adam’s mommas meatballs and lasagna, playing board games with my pretty much brother in laws, moms mashed potatoes, watching Rudolph 17 times on CTV, Christmas morning, turkey-chicken coma, candy-cane stained teeth, my first cottage New Years and sleeping late pretty much every morning until I leave.

What are your favourite holiday traditions or things you are most looking forward to this Christmas?

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and if I don’t write again before Santa comes, I hope you get everything you are wishing for and more!

 

The Kitchen Sink Post

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!

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?