Finally!

Who would have thought that I would finally update my blog?

However, I have been looking at this page for quite some time and the words just do not want to flow….maybe this is a sign that I just shouldnt bother?  However the thought of being asked if I’ve updated my blog and having to admit that once again I have failed in doing so, isn’t really that appealing.  So here I am, waffling like usual.

Maybe I could become a professional waffler?  Not one who makes waffles mmmmm waffles, but a waffler who waffles like I do.

So…..where to begin?
Its been almost a year since I updated my blog and as much as I would love to say I have done so many exciting things, I havent really.  I’ve done a few but not many.

I guess like most things I should start at the beginning.
October – I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything exciting in October.  If I did it can’t have been that exciting because I sure don’t remember!

November – Oh I went to Edinburgh in November, froze my bum off the entire time.  But this wasnt just a trip to Edinburgh, no, this was a trip to the Rugby, and not just any old rugby game but an All Blacks game!
Picture this:  Amanda and I sitting in Murryfield Stadium, its freezing cold, surrounded by as many Scottish people you can possibly imagine.  Dressed in our black and white, our All Blacks scarves and our New Zealand flag and we sat there and watch the Scots get absolutely slaughtered.  I think that’s probably about as exciting as it got in November.

December – Snow.  OMG did it snow.  I was meant to go to Spain at the start of December but it snowed and closed Gatwick airport and Spain had an airstrike so even if it hadn’t snowed, I still wouldn’t have gotten there.
However on the  18th of December (a Saturday) we had a whole lot of snow fall in a very short time – in fact I was stupid enough to go out in it and take some photos which are HERE.  Why do I remember the exact date?  Because only 3 days later I was due to board a plane at Heathrow and go home for the first time in 2 and a half years.  Luckily, I was on one of the first Air NZ flights out of London …. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and 28 hours later…i finally arrived back in Christchurch.

It was nice to be back home, even after the big EQ in September, it was still nice to be there.  Plus it was really hot the entire time I was there 🙂  I got to see some of my friends, Dan, Simon, Snail, William etc and I got to spend time with family.

Jess, Hayley and I went to Hanmer for the weekend which was AWESOME!  We stayed at the Braemar Lodge in Hanmer which was really nice, we had our own spa pool on our balcony looking out over the gardens which was really nice.  We did a bit of a tiki tour on the way home, stopped off to see Hayley grandparents and saw the largest hare I think I’ve ever seen.  OMG it was massive.
Had a lot of aftershocks while I was there, nothing major though.  I think the biggest one was the boxing day one which was a 4.4 but very shallow and Mom, Aunty Desy and I were in Glassons in South City.  That was not fun at all.
Mom and Dad and I did a wee trip to Lyttleton to see all the damage that was done out there from the Sept EQ and then we went out to Akaroa which is gorgeous but it was really hot.  It was over 30 degrees while we were out there – however it was cold, snowing and miserable in London so I was totally loving it!  We stopped at Barry’s Bay on the way back and bought cheese which the dog ate.  Bad dog!   I’m sure there are lots more that I did but it seems like so long ago that I can’t really remember.  Photos from when I was in Chch are here.  I stayed in Chch till the middle of Jan which was a nice wee break from miserable, cold London.  Oh and mom and dad bought a dog.  Little baby Mack or Mack-a-doodle or Mac n Cheese or…well he has a number of names but he’s so cute and not so little now.

Feb/Mar: nothing of interest there, move along.

April:  April I did an Easter tour to Valkenburg, Cologne, Amsterdam and Bruges.  This was really cool.
As it was a really early start I called and booked a cab the night before so I was all ready to go.  4am my alarm goes off, yeah not cool at all.  Eight minutes before my cab was due to arrive I get a call to say they were still trying to allocate a cab to me.  How the hell does that work?  I booked this cab almost 12 hours prior.  Was not impressed at all.  However 10 minutes later the cab arrived and off I went to the coach pick up spot.  I must admit that it was really badly organised.  There were 3 coaches due to leave from the same spot and all three of them went to at least one place that the rest did and the tour guides didn’t really seem to know what was going on.  Finally they worked it out and we all set off for our next destination.  For me, it was Valkenburg in the Netherlands.  A quaint wee town, Valkenburg, but not a lot to do.  Driving there though you notice that all the houses look the same.  Square box houses with large square windows and a triangle roof.  However, once at the hotel and our rooms are allocated I took off with my camera and did some sightseeing.
Later we all met up for a group dinner which was fun.  I sat with a girl from New York whose name escapes me but she was very obnoxious; two sisters from Toronto and an older lady in her 40’s from Australia.  So a very mixed group with people of all ages

The following day we set off for Cologne.  Lou, that was the obnoxious girls name, and I headed off on a sightseeing bus to see all the sights of Cologne and then realised that what we really want to do is go to the Chocolate factory.   It was very hot in Cologne and we did a lot of walking around.  We spent so long in the chocolate factory.  For only 7euros it was a bargain!  We got to see how they made the chocolate (there are 2 videos in the Nexus S folder on Smug, link at the bottom of the post) and we even got to sample some of it.  They had a wee museum of all things chocolate related.  Then we went to the gift shop….big mistake.  Okay, a big mistake for my wallet, not such a mistake for my parents and sisters and a few friends who got some chocolate too.  After this we thought it was about time to stop for a drink.  So we sat down at a wee pub and had a beer, yes I had beer.  It wasnt too bad either haha.  After wandering around Cologne, doing some shopping we stopped for some Schnitzel, it was good but not as good as the Schnitzel I had in Vienna haha.  Then it was back to the coach to head back to Valkenburg.

Amsterdam.  This is where we headed to next.  However our first stop was Keukenhof gardens which is a complete waste of time.  Dont get me wrong, the gardens are lovely, but you can’t get close enough to the large fields of tulips that the gardens are famous for.  I was highly disappointed.  But there were some gorgeous tulips in the gardens.  After this it was off to Amsterdam.
After a lot of faffing about by the tour guide we eventually headed off and went to the Anne Frank house.  If there was only one thing I got to do in Amsterdam, this was it.  Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house and there were too many people to try to sneak photos, but it had a very sad atmosphere being in there.  Having read the book as a teenager, to actually be in the house was a weird feeling.   Annoyingly I was with Lou who wanted to move on as quickly as possible and she was starting to get annoyed with me because I was trailing behind looking at everything.  How they managed to live in that place I’ll never be able to understand that.  The rooms were so small and the stairs, they were horrendous to climb.  At the end of the tour of the house there was a room with a video playing; it was Otto Frank, Anne’s father, explaining how he felt having read Anne’s diary after promising her he would never read it.  It was a very emotional video, i think even Lou felt a bit sad after watching it.
We didn’t have a lot of time in Amsterdam and because we had to wait half an hour in line to get into the Anne Frank house, we didn’t get to do much else because we then had to meet up for a tour of the red light district.  This is hilarious.  Honestly if you ever get to Amsterdam, go check it out.  There are women of all shapes and sizes wearing very little.  Some make you want to vomit just looking at them.  Although we did see a couple of classier ladies towards the end of the tour in their pretty corsets.  Such an odd concept.
After this is was back on the coach to head back to Valkenburg.

Today we head back to London, but not without a stop In Bruges (<– watch that video, makes me laugh every time) along the way.  Unfortunately due to an issue with the coach before we even left we had all of an hour in Bruges which was highly disappointing.
It seems like such a pretty town.  Once again I stopped off to buy yet more chocolate – strangely I didn’t get any of it haha.  Before I knew it we were back on the coach headed to London.  It was a good weekend and not a bad price for what we saw.  Id definitely like to go back to Bruges though and maybe Amsterdam.
Photos of this trip are here.

May:  This time I’m headed to sunny Italy!  Michelle, Penny and I are headed to Sorrento for a long weekend.  The weather there was amazing.  We got in late and headed out for dinner when we got there.  Pasta and wine all round.  We had an early start the next morning where we caught a bus that took us around the Amalfi Coast.  This was beautiful.  I’ve never seen scenery quite like it.  Blue waters, cute wee building with red/orange roofs.  We did a short stop in Positano and took some photos, then back on the bus to Amalfi.  We stayed in Amalfi for morning tea and took in the sights and took a lot of photos.  We did a boat tour while we were here.  Best 10 euro I’ve ever spent.  It was beautiful being out on the boat and seeing the Amalfi coast from the sea, although I got terribly sunburnt.  Then we got back on the bus and headed to Ravello and had a lovely lunch of fish and vegetables and wine.  It would have been nice to have had the time and money to do the boat ride out to Capri, but you can’t do everything I guess.
The following day we headed out to Pompeii.  We caught the train from Sorrento to Pompeii and it was excruciatingly hot there.  Pompeii was nothing like I expected it to be.  I expected it to be more like the Roman Forums in Rome where you can see the front of the building despite the fact the rest of the building no longer exists.  In Pompeii, it’s just bits of stone sticking out in the ground and you have to try to work out what on earth it was.  In some places it was a bit easier to see what it was you were looking at.  Again I took so many photos while we were here.
The last day of our trip was spent in Sorrento itself.  Sorrento is a lovely place but there isn’t a whole lot to do there.  Thankfully though we had some amazing weather while we were away.
Photos from this trip can be found here, here and here (Jess did you say that in that voice? haha)

I did finally get around to going to Kew Gardens.  Even though I’ve been here 3 years in Sept I still hadn’t done it.  I can honestly say I have now ticked that box.  The weather was a bit funny while I was there, one minute it was really hot, the next it was cold.  But there are some lovely flowers here and I took a lot of photos as usual.

Anyways not  a hell of a lot happening now.  I’m trying to find work in the States so I can get a Green Card.  I’m learning new things at work, sort of.  I’ve got a weekend booked in Liverpool at the end of August so I can do the Beatles stuff.  I’ve got time booked off at the beginning of September so I’m hoping to get down to Cornwall.  Other than that its just the same old, plodding along.

All photos found at www.sarahlmoore.smugmug.com

Who knows I might even get better at updating this blog haha!
Over and out.
S.

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~ by adventuresofglittergirl on 22 July, 2011.

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