Monday, 2 March 2015

21 Before 21: Getting on a Plane Alone

Hi! Remember me? I genuinely don't know how I got so out of hand in posting but I certainly am still alive. Alright, let us jump right into this. 

I once posted my a series of things I hoped to accomplish before turning twenty-one , essentially a series of things I intend to do whilst in Europe. One of the first things I both thought of and achieved was getting on a plane alone. So, about a month ago sans mummy and daddy, I took my first flight alone for my first ever trip to continental Europe. I travelled to meet my dear friends  Luana and Angela in Milan. 

The actual act of travelling wasn't difficult, Ryanair has a simple online check in system so grabbing your boarding pass takes only a few seconds. Plus I travelled with only hand luggage which takes away the stress of gathering your things at baggage claims. Also, most of the airports I encountered had a designated queue for "Non-EU Citizen," and they tend to have significantly shorter queues. It's like getting an international queue jump.   

None of us travellers were too keen on staying at a hostel so we opted for renting an apartment for the weekend which I'd strongly recommend. It wasn't significantly more expensive than a hostel and had a great location and view. 


By far the best thing about Milan was the food. I can not describe how amazing everything I had to eat that weekend was. If I could move to Italy and eat pizza's and pasta's and drink glorious glasses of Pinot Grigio everyday for the rest of my life I surely would. I also would surely weight 300 pounds. 
 Unfortunately, aside from shopping and eating Milan really doesn't have much to offer. Alright, not entirely true I will say the nightlife in Milan was amazing and there are bits of exciting architecture, with the major attraction being the Duomo

In fairness, this is one of the most beautiful Cathedrals I have ever seen and I've seen many Cathedrals. 
Unfortunately I wasn't able to get into the Cathedral as my skirt was deemed "too short," So if you are going to go to Milan and intend on seeing the Duomo, I'd recommend pants or an overcoat. 

 If the best part of Milan is the food, then the worst part has to be the people. Yes, I recognize that this is a huge statement and is likely an inaccurate representation (no all Milanese) I did encounter some creepy men and had my phone stolen, so that kind of sucked. Still, I have to admit I really did enjoy my trip but that may have more to do with the company than with the location. 
Ultimately, my final verdict would be: 
If travelling for any reason other than Fashion week, let Milan be a short stop where you do some shopping and take a picture with the cathedral (hopefully you'll even get to see the inside) then venture onto better parts of Italy. Also, keep your phone hidden at all times.


Monday, 15 December 2014

21 Before 21: Film Premier

21 things
Let me tell you something about sleeping on the streets of London; it is not nearly as fun as it sounds. Maybe one day a good friend of yours will propose such an idea, and you’ll think to yourself “oh what an experience that will be.” You’ll pack a bunch of snacks, throw on your warmest sweater and pay the extraneous price east coast rails offers for a last minute ticket down south and before you know it you’ll be getting off at Kings cross and boarding a bus to Leicester Square full of excitement. But the externalities of such an idea will quickly sneak up on you. Where does one pee? And sure, you’ve told yourself that you are a Canadian, you’ve experienced weather in the negative forties and snow to your knees and yet, you’ve never been this cold. This teeth clattering, feel it in your bones kind of cold. And as the night ranges on, from 1 am in the morning till 6 pm the next day you constantly remind yourself that you’re here for a reason.

Ages ago, in the earliest stages of my blogging I outlined my bucket list. I listed 21 things I aimed to do before I turned 21 and I am glad to say I have officially been to a film premier. Ever heard of a minor film series known as “The Hobbit". I was in Leicester Square for its world premier two weeks ago. Now I’m going to be honest, I’ve never seen a Hobbit film. In fact I only ever watched the Lord of the Rings because my father was quite obsessed with it. But my friend is a major Tolkien fan and had expressed her interest in camping out in London to go to the premier. And, like I’ve said, I believed it would be an interesting experience so I offered to accompany her if she was serious in going. She was, apparently I was too. Now I’ve always known the LOTR series to be popular, but it wasn’t until I was surrounded my two thousand fans that I realized how popular it truly was. Leicester Square was over crowded, smelt of urine and absolutely freezing cold. And yet, when I was lucky enough to find myself pressed directly against the barrier making eye contact with Ian McKellen and having Jed Brophy laugh at a joke I made, I realized it was all worth it.

I will say, Hobbit fans are very committed. 

A home made Smaug costume. 

This is my good friend Diana having a nap and attempting to bare the cold. 
People really liked this poster, I didn't get it, I assume it has something to with the series but seeing as I'd never read the book nor seen the film.

This was the a dictionary containing all the characters of the film series, my goal was to get the actors to sign on the character they play. 

This Jed Brophy, whom I mentioned before. I said I made him laugh. What happened was, I was getting him to sign the Tolkien Dictionary and he was a bit confused and asked to see the cover. He said he thought I'd asked him to sign the bible, I told him he could sign that too if he liked. 

This is Jed's signature

This is Adam Brown, he's arguably the sweetest person I'd ever encountered. As I said before, I wanted him to sign on top of the character in which he played. He  signed on the wrong spot and quickly realized it. He then apologized and I jokingly said "you could draw an arrow!" to which he obliged! 
Ian moved around a lot which made it difficult to get a good shot of him. But he did sign my book and he smiled at me and I loved it. I mean I'm not a fan of The LOTR series but I love X-Men!

Ian McKellen's signature no big deal.

Let me tell you something about sleeping on the streets of London; it can be exceptionally rewarding.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

21: Edinburgh

Ages ago I listed the 21 Cities I'd most like to visit during my year abroad. However with the realization that my months remaining in Europe are depleting as are my funds the reality of visiting all these cities appears to be unlikely. Nevertheless I do intend on seeing as many of these cities as possible. So, to finally get the ball rolling I spent last weekend visiting the closest of the twenty-one cities, I ventured on a two and half hour car ride north and arrived in Edinburgh. During my short trip to Scotland, Edinburgh quickly became my favourite city in the UK. Not only is it beautiful, but the people were amazing. I have absolutely no complaints. 

Autumn is certainly the best time of year for travelling.

 As much as I love the scots I can't say that they are the classiest of people.
 I hate myself for having chipped nail polish in this picture. 
 If there is one thing to know about me, it is that I love Harry Potter. So, obviously a trip to Edinburgh would not be complete without having lunch in the "birth place," of Harry Potter. Honestly, the food wasn't any different than most cafe's but it had a great view of the castle. Plus, if it's good enough for JK it's good enough for me.
 I was visiting Edinburgh with a huge Scotch fan, so the opportunity to go on a minor "Scotch Whisky," Tour could not be passed up. 
Prior to this trip I've never really been a Scotch person. In fact I basically hated it. During my weekend in Scotland however, I drank so much, learned so much and returned with so much Scotch that I know consider myself a Scotch appreciator. 
 I stayed at Castle Rock Hostel (photographed above) and had a wonderful stay. All of the other guests as well as the staff were phenomenal. If you are visiting Edinburgh I would recommend it, it is affordable and has a great location.
Also, whilst in Scotland I visited the highlands and went a bit mad in the Scottish National Museum so stay tuned for those!