Tag Archives: holiday

Ooooooh… Fanceh!

8 Nov

So a week has gone since the advent of the competition and you still have 5 days to enter! I did promise I would share some of the ones that featured highly on my faves list, so in no particular order…. (plus see if you can spot the glaringly obvious Where’s Wally/Wendy in this post!).

1) Marc Spine Chilling Horror. This one dropped into my inbox and filled me with jealousy. I wish I had come up with this one, they look so cool!

2) Patricia at Aniksrunn sent me this one of one of her kids. I loved it! She’s totally rocking the dead kid. Reminds me of The Ring. Creepy!

3) Charlet at DaintyC sent me a similar one of her and one of her students, dressed as Pikachu and Luigi from Super Mario. Totally adorable.

4) One of the first up takers of the game, Kathleen sent me pictures of the entire family dressed as the Rubbles. I always preferred them to the Flintstones anyway!

5) Tori – this one I think it still sitting in my favourite spot. She sent me a pic of her darling little boy dressed as George Michael from the WHAM! Days…. This is the sort of mother I am going to be. I sincerely hope these pictures are brought out every time he brings a girlfriend home.

But do you think your fancy dress outfits are better than these guys? Were you the most fly witch on the block? (See what I did there, I’ll keep the dad jokes coming….) did your zombie look have people running for cover? Some of the more creative entries are some lads dressed as bacon, and a lady in a fridge costume, but I want to see what you’ve got!!

It’s not me judging (it’s a woman whose alter egos include Dangermouse, Wally from Where’s Wally fame and a really chavvy looking golfer) so you guys have all to play for, keep them coming! Mainly because I love the creativeness, and feel special when I get emails 🙂

For more information, read these related posts:
Fancy Dress Update!
Competition Alert! Who Dresses The Fanciest?

18 – 30’s ~ Part II

2 Sep

Inspired by watching The Inbetweeners film (if you aren’t from the UK I hope you get to see it, its hilarious) I decided to write some posts on my first holiday away from my parents. If you read Part 1, you will understand how we came to be acquainted with six lads who were, well, interesting. They were a few years older than us and therefore a bit of a mystery to seventeen year olds, yet they were also the sort of men who we knew we would never be associated with at home. But oh well, when in Rome!

Danny was bald and had a lisp but I found him amusing and he was my partner in crime for the trip. Whizzer was short and looked like he might have had an STD, and was completely mental. J was the gentlemanly dapper one, and Adam had a tattoo on his back that said ‘only God will judge me’.  This wasn’t true. All the Mums around the pool were eyeing him up with worry, and completely judging him for looking like he might kidnap one of their darlings. Aaron was the ginger one, and Ben was hot. So hot that you couldn’t really look directly at him. My friend took a shining to him and we were bound to them for the rest of the week.

In their defence, they took us under their wing and kept us amused. They also got us banned from one of the pools and gave us a visit to hospital, but that was the fun of the teenage holiday.

By day us girls would migrate to the pool after a short night’s sleep, meeting them there as they stumbled back from one of the clubs. We would reserve them a lounger where they would kip the alcohol off before starting again, burning in the sun as the effects of the night before wore off.

We had joined them the night before on a night out, and all got our sleep on the loungers in the sun, some suffering more than others from the effects of the massive fish bowls full of cheap liquor we had drunk previously. I slept peacefully until two of the lads decided it was time to wake me, picked up my sun lounger and flung me in the ice-cold pool. Cheers lads. I recovered quickly and positioned myself on a lilo, where I slept for a few hours, blissfully unaware of the hijinks happening around me. I awoke later when I felt someone groping my bum.

The defence story was that ‘it was burning’ and the lads were simply thinking of my well-being by rubbing in some sun lotion. Course you were boys. But I was quite pleased that I wasn’t going to have to perch on flaming cheeks for the rest of the holiday so reserved my retribution for a later date.

That night we went on a resort-organised bar crawl. I had never been on a bar crawl and didn’t really like the sound of it, but thought I would anyway. I didn’t really stand a chance as friend was in love, and as the boys were going, there was no chance we weren’t. It was horrific. The long and short of it is that we were plied with cheap shots and my friend swapped clothes with hot Ben. Funny, because he was wearing a dress; less funny when she fell off the bar thanks to a swift wrestle from Aaron and our night was cut short by a trip to a Greek A&E. She was patched up quickly and we were escorted off the premises, thanks to the rowdy boys. Job done.

The holiday went past with relative quietness, till we got banned from the pool. Whizzer had been spiking everyone’s milkshakes with shots of vodka through the hot and sunny day, and after a few bevvies had decided it was a great idea to host some pool Olympics. The lilos were set in a line across the water, and we took it in turns to run across them; the winner being the one who made it to the other side of the pool or at least the furthest without falling in.

Obviously it was dangerous, especially fuelled by alcohol, and something that the reps tried to break up. But the boys persevered with their new sport, until one fell funny and hit the side with a sickening crack. He went under for the scariest length of time, before shooting to the surface and gasping for breath. He has concussion and a broken arm and as he was whisked back to A&E for the second time that week, we were politely told that we were no longer welcome at the pool, and had to make do with the beach instead.

On the flight home I wrapped myself in my hoodie and tried to sleep as best as I could with sunburn and a hangover, and as soon as we got home housemate and I went straight to our rooms and slept off the effects of what should have been a relaxing holiday. Needless to say I have never been 18 – 30’s since!!

Come Fly With Me!

31 May

I’m not the best flier in the world, and it doesn’t help that flying isn’t the most exciting thing that I get to do in life. Yes, it’s a means to an end and ultimately makes me happy as I touch down to my family or to a fantastic beach holiday, but that doesn’t make me like it any more.

Firstly, there is security. Even at 5am you have to trail through the barriers set up for a manic holiday weekend, and at that time of the morning it’s out of my skill set. Then you run the gauntlet of having to either take your shoes/belt/pants off so they can scan you, or looking like a fool when you take the aforementioned items off and don’t actually need to.

Then there are the dawdlers at the airport. You know the ones I mean, people who are walking with the flow and then suddenly stop, or feel the need to turn and charge back towards you. You constantly get bruises on the knees where a child in control of their own suitcase has rammed it into your knees, or the person with the suitcase with the extraordinarily long pull bit has wandered off and you trip over the case because it is so far behind them.

Then there is the issue with your cases in the loo. This one particularly grates me as I regularly travel by myself. Until you travel alone you don’t get it, but trying to navigate the toilet cubicle with a suitcase, a hand luggage case and a handbag is like a new Olympic sport. You have to go in at a certain angle so that everything fits and you can shut the door without ending up face down in the loo. The key is te approach, and having lots of hand sanitiser on hand in case you accidentally touch something.

This is all before you get on the plane. Once you are on you have that worry of whether you have the window seat (always need to go to the loo 10x more because you will have to shift people), the aisle (run the likelihood of losing an appendage if you have it sticking out and the duty-free trolley comes past) or the middle (where you will inevitably get stuck between too hoggers and fall asleep and dribble on someone’s shoulder. Or worse, they’ll do it to you!)

And then they bring the food. Unidentified meats in weird sauces that taste of plastic. I am known to buy bulk packs of hula hoops in the airport to last me the entire trip, but this sometimes doesn’t work. For example, when my flight to Chicago was cancelled a few weeks ago and I was rerouted through LA I had to run to the terminal for the next flight, missing all food stations and therefore had to eat on the plane. Doom. I find in these situations the best option is veggie, and was presented with veggie lasagna which was manageable. Just.

JK Rowling has it right. Harry Potter has some magic flea powder that he wiggles round the place and appears where he wants to be. I need to get thinking about this, it could be the next revolutionary invention. Until then, I will grin and bear it as the person in front of me reclines their chair at a rate of knots and I risk having my dinner propelled into my lap and my front teeth knocked out. If I survive this, the child that is (always) behind me will feel the need to play the drums on my back for the entire flight. Happy times!

The Last May Bank Holiday

31 May

So the last Bank Holiday has gone until August. And they always go by with a flash! On Saturday we had a hard day of flat hunting, so in the evening we donned the glad rags and went for a boogie round our handbags. Sounds like a lot of fun, and we bumped into some friends and had some drinks, but my tiny feet got the better of me in the wee hours thanks to painful heels (which my sister insists are the comfiest heels she has ever worn) so I went home to bed. On Sunday I went round to LouLouBelle’s and got to coo over the baby. She is gorgeous. She’s snuffly and teeny weeny and smells lovely, and I literally went all gooey, which isn’t like me at all. I wanted to sneak her in my handbag and take her home with me, but I gathered that might be the end of a beautiful friendship with one of my best friends, so I reluctantly gave Poppy back. I also taught three year old Lilly a little breaking and entering with a hair pin (school might teach the brains but Auntie Laura teaches life skills. How else would she get into the jewellery box she had locked the key inside of?) Next lesson, getting into a car with a wire coat hanger J

In the evening I dragged my bum off the sofa and went to dinner. My severe lack of sleep didn’t help by getting to sleep in the early hours (again! Too old for this!) and Monday morning came as a bit of a shock as I dragged myself from bed and left, ensuring I had my top on the right way and my hair didn’t look much like Ronald McDonald for more house viewings. I then spent the rest of the day in bed watching Britain’s Got Talent and other rubbish, determined to feel less rubbish and get myself back on track for the working week. The alarm went off and was a bit of a shock, and life begins again. Joy!

But I have reasons to be cheerful.

We may have found a flat that is better than the first, so keeping all fingers and toes crossed, we might just score a winning house.

I am off to the Isle of Wight festival for merriment next weekend, and the weekend after is Ellie’s garden party, an annual affair with a bouncy castle. Result!

The sun has his hat on and the next three weeks are short ones.

I might feel a little bit sugary this week, but life is good.

I love my mum.

How were your weekends?

Old Town San Diego

3 May

Last year when we were here we didn’t make it into San Diego that much, so my sister wanted us to go to Old Town, which is now a national park, and ride thetrolley bus round the city.

The old town is really unusual; like stepping back into the past and exactly how I would imagine America when it was more desert and less powerhouse to the world.

Considered the birthplace of California (or at least the California that we know today) the town was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It was the home of the first mission that became the central part of the colonisation of the west of America. At the base of the hill in 1820’s, a small Mexican community was formed and by 1835 had attained the status of El Pueblo de San Diego. In 1846, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and a Marine Lieutenant, raised the American flag in the Old Town San Diego Plaza.

Above is one of the little shops in the town (all designed to be with the times) and there are grocery stores, churches and little market stalls all along the same lines.

The town’s saloon was covered in beautiful flowers and looked so pretty in the sun (above).

Couldn’t help but smile when I saw this in the window of a shop by where we ate. It wasn’t strictly in the Old Town as the trolley takes you round the Coronado and through Downtown San Diego, but it made me think of my friends.

A Right Royal Wedding

30 Apr

The Royal Wedding is the talk of the town, and I’m surprised by how much of a big deal it is here in the USA. I thought that by escaping for Easter and coming to stay with my family I might get a little respite from the whole palaver, but that’s not the case.

Firstly, the build up has been phenomenal. Every morning when the TV is on the news has done a round up of what she will wear, if there are any hints on who the dress designer is, what the hen do will be like, if she is pregnant (that was my favorite one!). Foreign correspondents have been inserting their two pennies worth and the rain prediction has been wrong every day up to the wedding.

I woke up this morning and it was over. Don’t get me wrong; im not anti royalist and i think that should William become King it will be great news for England, but the wedding of the year wasn’t enough to make me rise early to turn on the TV. I watched the footage this afternoon though, and I was both amused and touched in places. I thought it was really sweet how the newly weds disappeared off into the sunset in a little car with learner plates and just married over the number plates (although it was in an Aston Martin) and I was amused at some of the hats! Seriously guys, it may be Phillip Treacy but it’s still a monstrosity! he Princesses were my favorite, closely followed by Elton John resembling and Oompah Loompah, and Victoria Beckham’s interesting style choice.

My sister isn’t interested in the Royals at all. She thinks they are a waste of time, but I like them. William and Harry seem like genuine boys and I like the thought of a new era of Royals reigning over the country. I like that Kate and William have lived together and done their grocery shopping at the local supermarket without having aides and waiters to attend to their every whim. I like how elegant and timeless she is despite her now Royal standing, and I think that as a pair they will take England to a new period in time. We should embrace it. It was touching to see the Union Jacks waving in the breeze around Buckingham Palace too; giving us a sense of the patriotism that we so often forget.

A friend who is in the army commented that it would be nice to see the support to the country more often, and it made me think that where I am at the moment, in California, there are flags all over the place. You see the star-spangled banner and the California flag, and people here are proud of their country. Servicemen get mentions at big games, and they are a whole lot more appreciative of their country. In the UK the England flag is so often associated with hooliganism; three lions on the shirt and sunburn from foot fans in other countries. Most people can tell you when St Patrick’s Day is (and all the connotations og green, drinking, and more specifically, Guinness) but its rare to find someone in my age group who can tell you St George’s.

I think that if Prince William and Kate Middleton can inject some interest back into the youth of Britain, then good for them. And if not, we got a day off, didn’t we? And another one next year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Good old Royals!!

Da Da Da Hollywood!

29 Apr

So I’m back. Sorry for my lack of posting, I have been experiencing too much fun to be able to think of interesting stuff for you guys to read, and rather than bore you with dross I have taken a break. But I’m baaaack!

This week I have been massively busy sightseeing and doing lots of touristy stuff, and missing my cousins. We went to Downtown San Diego on Monday and rode the trolley around the city. It was so pretty, and really interesting.

We had lunch at a swanky hotel and ate out at The Counter; an amazing build your own burger place in Del Mar. Mmmmmm! I did make a bit of an error though, you get to choose from all these sections like which cheese, which toppings and which sauces. I chose blue cheese (my favourite)and garlic aoili; far too much sauce and flavour for one night and a bit of a weird mix!

Tuesday saw the beginning of our road trip to LA, and by lunch time we were in Hollywood. I’m sorry to tell you, it was disappointing. I felt for all the young hopefuls over the years that have made their pilgrimage to the glitzy city; its seedy to say the least.

Little Bean and I worked out that if you knew who the stars on the boulevard were then you were pretty central, but if you didn’t, you were probably in the dodgy part. She commented that it felt a whole lot different when you were two girls alone, as last time she was there she was with guys. And I felt it too. I didn’t realize how creepy people telling you that you are beautiful can be, but when it is creepy men trying to get your attention, it makes you feel a little nervous.

That said, it was fun for a few hours walking up and down the boulevard, stopping to see the stars and visits Graumann’s Chinese Theatre and see all the prints in the cement. My favorite was th stars of Harry Potter, but Humphrey Bogart and Morgan Freeman were there too

We also visited Ripley’s Believe it or not because Little Bean likes odd stuff, and I had my picture taken next to a portrait of Michael Jackson, made completely of candy. Brilliant!!

In the evening we walked from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier. I didn’t like Venice Beach. It was a lot of people trying to sell you stuff and I felt quite exposed. I don’t often feel uncomfortable, but as it got dark I felt a little on the edge of in danger. I much preferred Santa Monica, where we ate in the Forest Gump restaurant and messed around on the pier.

On Wednesday we went to Universal studios. Its pretty expensive to get in and you can’t take your own food either which just adds to the cost. But it was great fun. We went on a Simpson’s virtual rollercoaster which took you on this massive drop and through all sorts. I had to have a little word with myself half way through to remind me that it wasn’t a real rollercoaster and I was only about three feet off the floor, because i felt nauseous. I am such a baby! We also went on the Jurassic Park ride and the Shrek 4D exhibition, but in my opinion the best part of the day was the studio tour. We saw great special effects like how they create a flash flood, and how hey throw the cars about for the new Fast and Furious film.

We also saw special effects from the Psycho film and Jaws, and got to drive through the set of Desperate Housewives. All great fun!

it turns out if i couldn’t live in San Diego I would choose Orange County. Its beautiful. My first choice would be La Jolla, but alternatively I would live in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or pretty much anywhere there would be fine. So if anyone who lives in these localities wants to make me their wife so I can stay, then that’s fine. I can cook pretty well and Im not adverse to hoovering despite my previous posts. Suitors make an orderly line please!!

But What Can I Buy The New Princess?

26 Apr

What do you buy for a girl who has everything? I bet when Kate Middleton went to sleep at night as a little girl she didn’t dream for a second that one day she would actually be marrying a Prince, not to mention the most eligible nearly not bachelor in the UK. OK, so he has the potential to look like his dad when he’s older (probably something that haunts his every nightmare), but he is the future King of England. Girl done good.

It doesn’t surprise me to hear that the year Prince William decided to go to St Andrews, the female applicant count doubled, and even Miss Middleton herself made the decision to go there over her previous choice of Edinburgh.

But it brings me to my previous question, if I did happen to have an elusive ticket (invite? i don’t think they are actually touting tickets!) what would i buy the happy couple? Do they have a wedding list? Are they asking for donations for the charity of their choice? Imagine if you had to pick something off the wedding list. Wedding lists are bad enough as it is. Everything is super fancy, but you don’t want to choose the cheapest thing and seem like a tight are, yet at the same time your car failed its MOT this week and the bar bill from Friday night was slightly more expensive than you thought it would be, wasn’t it?

OHGOD. So what do you choose? At a normal wedding its OK; you have two choices. You can either team up with a friend and choose something more expensive, or you can go for the middle of the road duvet set or pair of mugs. If you arguing for the latter, then you MUST make sure that you get to the wedding list as soon as it opens, otherwise all the other people having the same thoughts as you .

But what would be on the Royal wedding list? Crystal chandeliers? Gift certificates for Harrods?

I think I might give it a miss. I’d prefer to watch it on TV while drinking a Pimms, eating a cucumber sandwich and toasting the Queen, the Prince and his future Princess. Wont you join me in a toast?

Torrey Pines State Reserve

25 Apr

Yesterday my sister decided it would be nice for us to go for (another!) walk at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Its about a ten minute drive from the house, and its a massive hill.

I felt duped. Yes, it was going to be gorgeous when we got to the top, but the ten minute walk that I had been promised was in fact a super steep incline, and it was HOT! it also took at least half an hour. To add to the insult, there were people running and cycling up the hill, looking effortless, while I wanted to die. They were also dressed in jackets and jumpers, while I struggled up the hill in my shorts and vest top. Damn them for making it look so easy!!

Once we got to the top though, the view was spectacular, and we then took the cliff walk down to the beach and walked back along the coast line. It was beautiful with the cliffs behind us and the waves to our left. There were people surfing and kids playing in the crash, but it was getting hot and we wanted lunch so we headed home.

Danielle had asked me to smile for this pic, but by this point we were only a third of the way up the mountain, and I was fed up.

(above) Little Bean on the beach, chasing the waves. (below) the view from the high point on the reserve.

La Jolla

24 Apr

La Jolla is one of my favourite places in the world. When the sun shines it is like paradise; these sparkles in the cove and you can watch the seals and sealions in the wild, mixing seamlessly with the people scuba diving off the shore.You can take a walk around the sea wall and get right out in the water, and although it can be a little cold with the wind coming off the water, its beautiful. It also gives you a completely different view on the stunning coast line, and is gorgeous.

My sister and I went climbing on the cliffs, and I managed to get stuck. Im pretty scared of heights, so I was dead proud that she was able to ake this pic of me with my leg hanging off the cliff (reckless, moi? Definitely not!!) I had to take a different route back because although i had managed to jump what was basically a third of a meter hole on the way over, I could see all the way down on the way back and was totally frozen. My sister was telling me she would hold her hand out and it was small, but I could just see myself falling to my death. In truth, I don’t think I would have even fit down the gap!

On the way back we were stopped at the lights with the roof down, and I remember thinking how lucky I was to be in the sun, with my family. I totally tempted fate, the next thing I knew a pelican pooped on me. I spent the twenty minute drive home cursing wildlife and wiping poop off myself. I got home and went straight in the shower. Thats the Laura luck!!