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Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK Trip Day 2: July 15/14

8 Aug

So there I was, in Manchester, ready to get this vacation going, aaaaaand then the sucky part of my trip started, sigh.

I went to collect my suitcase at Manchester Airport and discovered they had lost it. British Airways lost my luggage. Idiots. sigh.

I had to wait in a line to fill out some paperwork, they had lost a lot of people’s luggage *rolls eyes* and was told they’d do their best to have it to me by tomorrow so I gave them the address of the hostel I was staying at in Northern Wales and left. I was told I could buy stuff to replace what was in my bag “within reason” and they would reimburse me for it but like I knew where to go shopping?

I then went to the car rental place where I had prepaid for a car and learned they didn’t have my car, nice huh? Exactly what is the point of prepaying for a rental car if the company isn’t going to have the car ready for you?? I rented through a company called Alamo and will never use them again. 😦 Β I waited at the desk for almost an hour just to be told they couldn’t find me a car so go sit in the waiting area and they’ll be with me when they are ready. The waiting area is a bunch of uncomfie seats and non-working vending machines so not the most pleasant of places. Once they finally had a car for me I asked about my gps system, I was told when I booked the car I couldn’t reserve that in advance but that they would have plenty at the office and I could rent one on the day. The guy informed me they had run out so no gps for me. I asked if the car had built in gps, he said no but I could upgrade to a car that did have that, I would have had to upgrade to a Mercedes! Like I could afford that, pfft! I then asked for a map and he laughed at me, actually laughed, in my face! He informed me “nobody uses maps anymore”, well, gee, I know that but if you are out of gps systems what the hell am I supposed to use?? He said to go to Hertz (they were next door) and see if they could help me out with a map. I went to Hertz, explained what happened, they said they didn’t have maps but they google mapped for me a route to where I needed to get to and printed it out.

Just to clarify, the company I spent no money with, Hertz, printed me out directions to help me and were very nice. The company I spent a good chunk of money with, Alamo, didn’t have my car, didn’t have a gps system, didn’t have a map and didn’t help me figure out how to get to my hostel. Oh, and they were rude. Nice huh?

Unfortunately, the google directions started with “Turn left on to unnamed road”, brilliant huh? lol I turned left then promptly ended up in a construction zone where traffic was being re-routed and boom! Lost! That quickly, practically a record for me lol I stopped at a shop to ask for directions and the girls there didn’t know how to get to the motorway I needed so I drove a bit more, asked some random people, they gave me confusing to follow directions but in the end they made sense so yay! I found the motorway and was finally on my way to Wales! πŸ™‚

I had called the hostel I was staying Β at to ask if shops would still be open around the time I got in to town and they said no, the guy suggested I get off the motorway at Bangor and shop at the 24hr Tesco, think of it like a Superstore, they have everything. Food, clothes, electronics, books, toiletries…literally everything I needed to get through the next couple of days without my luggage. I got a little lost getting back on the motorway but eventually found it.

The border between England and Wales is, well, not there…it’s not like here when you want to go in to the States you have to go through border control, there is is just a little sign saying you’ve entered Wales, no border control, no security, nuthin. It struck me as a little odd but different countries different ways right?

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

A little quirk of Wales that I soon discovered was the real lack of signage for where you are. I drove through multiple little towns that had no sign saying the name of the town so I had no idea where I was. It left me feeling kinda freaked out and worried that I had driven through the town I was aiming for and didn’t even realize it. Also, once off the motorway the roads are narrow and windy and scary, and I drive through the mountains in Canada during winter! I know scary driving but this, this is totally different! Every time it was a tight squeeze my entire body would shrink in, like that would somehow help me to not hit another car or hit the fences/rock walls/bushes on my left side lol I’m sure other drivers thought I was nuts lol πŸ˜›

The town I was staying at was Llanberis (pronounced Clan-bear-is) and I did eventually find it.

Love this town!

Love this town!

I had great directions for once I was in the town for how to find the hostel but the signs within the towns of Wales are no better than the signs for marking the towns of Wales. I had to turn left on a specific road and did I find that road? Nope. Drove the entire way through the town without seeing a sign for it. By this time it was late, around 10pm, I was exhausted, cranky and all I could think was I am so close to my bed for the night and I can’t find a stupid road. When I turned around and went back in to the town from the opposite direction I saw why I didn’t see the road sign I needed, it was tiny, low to the ground, and only facing one direction. One direction! Which means I could only see it Β coming from one direction, not the other. Who does that?!?!

Once I turned on that road the street got even tinier, which I didn’t think was possible lol I followed windy roads up and up and up and eventually found the hostel, yay!

My first hostel of the trip

My first hostel of the trip

When I walked in the lady at the desk, she was soooo nice, she said “you must be Heather! I’m so glad you made it before 10:30p!”, that is when the hostel closed and I would have been stuck outside which would’ve been lame so I was also very glad I found them before 10:30p lol. She got me checked in, got me a towel since I forgot to buy one, told me where everything was and disappeared for the night…disappeared to her home I mean, not like, vanished in to thin air, though, how cool would that have been? lol

I showered, lamented a bit over my lack of a hair dryer and passed out.

And that my friends is how my vacation started. πŸ™‚

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UK Trip Day 1: July 14/14

8 Aug

I started my first day of vacation by working, weird huh? But normal for me lol I like to start my vacations as soon as possible and not waste even a moment of time. πŸ™‚

I worked 7am-1pm then scooted off home to finish packing, cuddle with the cat, shower (I like showering as close to leaving as possible if there is more than a couple hours travel time, shrug) and all that other stuff you have to do last minute before leaving for an extended period of time. For all that I planned huge parts of my trip I didn’t give much thought to how I was getting to the airport or what time I should be there by, or really, any part of the first part of my travel, oops? I guess I figured it had to work out so why worry about it in advance, right? πŸ˜‰

My flight left at 6:30pm so I started for the airport a bit after 4pm, took a cab then a skytrain and meandered in to the airport a bit before 5pm. I breezed through the baggage check in, was randomly chosen for “extra screening” at security, sigh. I had the option of being patted down in such a manner I would feel the security person should buy me dinner first or being put in that machine that takes a super detailed picture of my body. I have experienced both before and opted for the body scan, it is quicker and it means my shirt won’t be lifted up in public lol

Random question: Am I the only one who sucks in their tummy when that body scan picture is taken? I know it is pointless to do so but I still do…

Anyways, I had enough time to get a snack from Tim Horton’s, my last little bit of Canada, before flying out. Sadly the donut I bought was stale, ugh, but the iced capp was yum! πŸ™‚

Last little bit of home :)

Last little bit of home πŸ™‚

The first leg of my flight was great, course, I love flying so I generally find my flights great lol I had a window seat, I always book a window seat, I’m a diva like that lol πŸ˜‰ It was a two seater row and there was nobody in the seat next to me so I got to stretch out which was an unexpected surprise. My plan was to wear myself out for days prior so that I would sleep during the flight, why else book an overnight flight right? I had to stay awake for dinner though, I love airplane food, but not only do I like the food I didn’t spend all that money on a plane ticket to not get my food! lol I chose the pasta dish, seemed safer than the chicken. There was a super moist chocolate brownie, how sad is it that the brownie on the plane was better than the donut I got from the Tim Horton’s in the airport? Something is seriously flawed there, tsk tsk Tim Horton’s! πŸ˜‰

Airplane food, yay!

Airplane food, yay!

I watched the movie Labor Day, which fyi, excellent movie! Then semi-watched Mamma Mia, I say semi-watched because I purposefully chose it because I have seen it before and figured I could doze off to it. My plan sort of worked…I did sleep on the flight but not a solid sleep, I was constantly drifting in and out of sleep and didn’t reach a deep sleep like I had hoped I would. I bought a sleep mask to wear and am grateful for it, I think I only managed to sleep as well as I did because of that and the weird u-shaped travel pillow I had. I must have looked ridiculous lol

We landed in London July 15th, a bit later than planned but that’s ok, I got some nice shots from the air…

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I had to run through Heathrow Airport to get to my next flight, fyi, an hour and a half between flights is not enough if you are at Heathrow. When I was going through immigration the lady looked at my boarding pass and said “is your flight at one??”, my response was “if that is what the boarding pass says then yup”, she gave me a funny look then said she was fast-tracking me. I took that to mean I was running late but not like I can make the lines move faster, shrug. Even with being put in the fast line for security it took for freakin ever and since I didn’t have anything on me that had the time and couldn’t see a clock anywhere I was torn between mild panic because maybe I was about to miss my flight and didn’t know it and just chilling cause there is nothing I can do about it if I miss the flight and I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end lol.

Security didn’t like me, sigh, I forgot to take my water bottle out of the side of my bag so my entire carry on had to be searched because of that, oh, and I also got patted down to such a degree I felt like I was on a third date *rolls eyes* lol That was when the running started, running to the escalator, running down the escalator, running to the gate where luckily they saw me barreling down on them and kindly waited for me. Thank goodness they had snacks on the plane cause there was absolutely no time to get anything at Heathrow and the breakfast I got served on the first flight was long gone, it was a simple breakfast of yogurt and banana bread.

The flight between London and Manchester is short and I dozed through most of it, well, dozed or chatted with the cutie in the seat next to me. πŸ˜‰

Aaaaand this is turning in to a huge post so I’ll finish the rest of it in a second post…see you there! πŸ™‚

Return to Real Life

2 Aug

So, I’m back. Back to Canada. Back to my little apartment. Back to work. I think I’d rather be on vacation lol but who wouldn’t, right? πŸ˜›

I absolutely fell in love with Wales, there is something about that country that just clicked with me. It could be because it is beautiful, or the people, or just the fact that I was on vacation and having a blast…whatever it was I loved it there. πŸ˜€

The vacation didn’t go perfectly, in fact, the beginning of it was so sucky I was actively wishing to go home. By the end though I was having such a great time and I swear I blinked and boom! vacation over! What’s with that?? Boo!

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I had intended to write posts every evening after my days adventures while on vacation, I was actually really excited to do that buuuuuut even though the websites for the places I was staying said they had wifi they didn’t, sigh. Nothing I could do about that, shrug. I also planned on keeping a journal while on vacation. I am horrible at remembering the names of places I go, and the details of things I do and I hate that I forget that stuff. I figured I would write in my journal every night so that years from now I could read it and laugh at all the random crap I was thinking or better remember all the stuff I did. I only did that for a while unfortunately. I was super tired one night and couldn’t stay awake enough to write everything down so I did some bullet points and thought I’d write more the next day but who has that kind of time? Not me, least not when I’m on vacation. So I let it slide. I’m surprisingly not too worried though because the trip has really resonated through me and I am grasping tight to all of my memories because I can’t bare to not remember. I figure I’ll remember long enough to write a bunch of blog posts about them and put together a photo album at least. *crosses fingers*

Since coming home I have embraced the new schedule jetlag has given me, I am awake early every morning and tired much earlier every evening then normal for me. I am kinda liking this whole get up early and have lots of time during the day thing…I don’t kid myself that it will last very long, I am naturally a night owl and all it will take is one day of sleeping in to mess with this new rhythm but for now I’m enjoying it. Today, before it was ten in the morning I had read a bunch of my book, showered, dressed, done dishes, done laundry, played with the cat and was sitting down to breakfast and a lovely cup of tea. Oh yeah, that is one other thing being up early has changed with me, I am eating more than once a day! Weird huh? I am up early enough I have breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, oh and somewhere in there I have a snack. Super weird lol πŸ˜› I’m making conscious food decisions, that means I’m not eating super super healthy but I am trying to balance every meal, I make sure every meal has a fruit or veg in it, is not huge portions and I’m working on increasing my protein (I always suck at getting enough protein). I’m hoping little changes will help implement bigger changes, healthier changes. For now though I’m focusing on eating three times a day, for me that is a big change and I want to cement the new routine before changing a bunch of other stuff.

I have decided that instead of doing one small-ish post about my vacation and trying to fit all the deets in it I will do a series of posts over the next week or so, each one detailing a different adventure or day of my trip. Consider yourself warned that my next week or so will be all about vacation memories, complete with pictures! πŸ™‚

For now though I have to go get ready for work, ugh. That is the hardest part for me when I come back from vacation, getting used to a schedule again. Sure, while on vacation there are places I have to be at by certain times or things I have to do at certain times but for the most part those are activities and places I chose, and I want to be there. Coming back and getting used to a schedule that I don’t have control over, and that requires me to be places I don’t wanna be, well, let’s just say laaaaaaame! Why do we as a society let ourselves get trapped like this? Ok, wait, I won’t even get in to that rant right now cause I so don’t have the time lol πŸ˜›

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