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Friday, May 24, 2013

Why stop at London?


I love to travel all over the place. I don't care where I go, I just want to go somewhere. The following is my top four countries on my travel bucket list. The list extends much farther than four. I did countries, not actually sites because otherwise I would have Machu Picchu or the Great Wall of China on the list when I don't really want to see the country as much as I want to see the sites in the country.

This is just my overall "I want to go to these countries" list.

4. Ireland

There is a bit of a story behind why I want to see Ireland.

When my family moved to our current house, the previous owners left tons of VHS tapes and books in the study (a librayish room.)

One of the movies was called The Secret of Roan Inish. It's based on an (according to Wikipedia) Irish (where the film is set,) Scottish, and Icelandic folklore about "selkies," or seals that can turn into humans. A young girl moved to her grandparents near where the "selkies" live.

The film was shot in Ireland and ever since, I've wanted to visit there. It wasn't a particularly good movie, in fact, it was really creepy... but it was all just so beautiful.

Not from the movie, just a pretty picture.
I also read an autobiography called Angela's Ashes while in high school. It was set mostly in Ireland too. Not a happy book in the slightest, but I enjoyed it.

I was hoping I would get to go to Ireland while I'm in the UK, but it won't happen. One of my friends was considering going over the summer (not with the program, just to Ireland,) but decided against it. Had he gone, it wouldn't have made any sense to not visit him in Ireland.

3. South Africa

I'm really not sure why I want to go to South Africa. I once had a teacher go and she said there were penguins, but I don't think that's the main reason I want to visit.

It's just one of those places I want to go. I want to do a safari and see Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Freshman year, and nearly every year after, I watched a movie called A World Apart that was about apartheid in South Africa and I think that's when I decided I'd like to go there.

2. Australia

Why wouldn't someone want to go to Australia? I like koalas and kangaroos. I like opera. I desperately want to learn how to scuba dive, though I burst my eardrum once so am unsure if I can still learn. I want to see the Great Barrier Reef.

I could also snorkel. That might be more likely.

I want to go to P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. See the Australian outback. See a ton of the world's most poisonous critters!

Besides, Nemo lives there!

1. Italy

Why do I want to go to Italy? Well, if you know my last name, you might could tell. I am 1/4 Italian and have always wanted to visit there. I don't think any of my family have been there, but I could be wrong.

I can't find a good enough picture to post, so I'll go with this one. 
My great-grandfather went through Ellis Island to come here and from what I remember, got kicked out of school because he couldn't speak English.
My great-grandmother wasn't born when she came through Ellis Island. I don't know how to eloquently put that into words. I guess I'll go with her mother was still pregnant with her?

I can actually say "Do you want to go fishing?" in Italian. I can't write it, but ask me to say it next time you see me.

If I asked my grandpa, he could tell me where in Italy he's from, and I have asked before. He also says that his grandpa was a head honcho in one of the Italian mafias.

I'm also fascinated by Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, there was a Doctor Who episode called "The Fires of Pompeii," in fact. Plus there was a Doctor Who episode about Venice called "Vampires of Venice." Also I've always wanted to see the Vatican.

Bonus: Route 66

I didn't plan on posting any American places on the list, because it's not that crazy to think that someday I'll get to see the places here, but Route 66 is not something I'd do normally. I'll see the Grand Canyon someday. I've been to NYC. I been to Disney World. I've not seen Route 66.

I want to get in a car and drive the entire road, from Chicago to LA. The hard part is getting to Chicago first, but I'll figure it out someday!

The good part is that I've already seen some of the sites on the road, like Cadillac Ranch and a few others, so I could just zoom past them.

Bonus Part 2: Simple Sites

This is just a list of the sites I want to see. I don't want to see the whole country, though I would still gladly visit and spend a ton of time there if I could.

Jesus Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Great Wall of China
Machu Picchu in Peru
The Sphinx and Pyramids
Petra in Jordan
Chichen Itza in Mexico (the only spot I'll likely see)
St Petersburg
Tiananmen Square

10 points if you know what this is from. It's only my favorite girly animated movie IN THE WORLD. I specify "girly" because otherwise Hercules might take the least, so I make sure to say favorite "girly" or favorite "manly" animated movie.

Can I just travel for a living? I want to get paid to see these places.

Or maybe I'll take a 107 day world cruise that stops in nearly every port city on the planet.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

50 DAYS TO GO?!?!

*This post was originally about nothing in particular, now it's turned into nothing in particular plus David Tennant and Matt Smith. I think it's an improvement. It's pretty much all over the place because I found gifs I enjoyed and then tried to find a way to shove them into the post. 


How I surely look when I'm talking about the upcoming trip
I'm so excited that I could dance badly.  This is probably about as well as my dancing would be. I hope they don't expect us to wear silly sweaters over there.

I like to be organized, though if you look at my room or in my car, you wouldn't think so.

I like to be organized when it comes to going places or accomplishing tasks.

I like lists.

I like planners.

For this trip, I have both.

I literally have walking directions to each location we're going in Paris along with a packing list.

I know it's a bit much, having walking directions, but whatevs. ORGANIZATION FTW

If I had enough clothes to sustain me for these next 50 days, I would already be packed.
Although I could wear old clothes for the next month and a half...

On second thought,

I'm kind of afraid that my lists will fail me though. 

In New York, we had lists galore and they were great, but my mom made them. This time, I have to delve into what I know and make my own lists.

I'm afraid that when I get there, I'll find out that even though the lists make it sound so simple, it's really not.

If my lists don't work

In my ideal world, the whole trip will be a breath of fresh air (plus all the pollution they have in London, so not really a breath of fresh air.)

If my lists do work 
 I do have someone to blame if the lists don't work.

Always blame Moffat.

Anyways, back to the point.

I think my lists will work.

I know I'll have a great trip.

I wish it wasn't 50 days away.

Pretty sure this is what I'll look like when I step out of the airport.

Well then...I guess that's all.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Planning Part 2

So, Patricia (Allons-y) and I met up again to book tickets. We got our train tickets to and from Paris, booked our Cardiff hotel, and booked our Manchester hotel. We also got our train tickets to and from Cardiff and Manchester.

Unfortunately, it was not as easy as it sounds.

I booked my Paris ticket with the greatest of ease. Go Mastercard! Patricia on the other hand had a Visa. She tried to book her ticket and it said error. Three times that happened. After twenty minutes of watching the available seat amount decrease, she called the help number on her phone. After another ten minutes of her trying to find a real person to talk to, we discovered that because she tried to buy something in London, her card locked. I suppose that's good to know they really care about keeping identities safe, but come on! But we got our tickets!

After we FINALLY got the Paris train ticket situation situated. I look really weird. Patricia is still on the phone with the nice lady who helped her. They shared in each other's joy.

Cardiff hotel was easy as pie, but the process not. We couldn't get from Newbury (where Downton Abbey is) to Cardiff unless we could somehow get to Reading first. That was not doable, so we just decided that Cardiff would be boring and we didn't need two nights there. Just one now. But that means we'll only have to carry two nights of clothes instead of three!

Train tickets were simple. She bought two for going to Cardiff and I bought two for going to Manchester. Easier than trying to get one each.

Now, we're on the Manchester hotel. I had found a perfect hotel less than a five minute walk away from where Macbeth is playing. I was about to book it when a bright green row of words caught my eye. "Must be 21 to book."

ARGHHHH. Neither of us are 21, so that really put a damper in our plans. We spend the next half hour trying to find another hotel within a reasonable distance at a reasonable price. Luckily, we found one.

All we have left to do now is buy tickets for sights (which we'll do when we're actually there) and buy our tickets from Manchester back to London.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

All About the Doctor

Well, while I'm overseas, I will be going to Cardiff. As everyone should know, that is where Doctor Who is filmed. The only bigger Doctor Who fan than me is Patricia, over at Allons-y.
The following six locations are Doctor Who filming locations in or around Cardiff that I want to see.

In honor of 60 days left:

6. Paget Street

On this street, is the lovely church from the Doctor Who episode Father's Day. This episode featured Christopher Eccleson as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose. 

The church isn't too far of a walk from the other locations I want to see. It's a functioning church called St Pauls Church, so I don't believe we can go inside unless it's a service day and we won't be in Cardiff on a Sunday, I don't think.

5. Warton Street 

Warton Street has been used for many episodes of Doctor Who, including the Christmas special that is being filmed in the photo. Donna ran down the street in her wedding dress. Rose ran down the street after the department store explosion. I'd just like to walk down the street.

4. St. Fagans National History Museum

St. Fagans was used in Family of Blood and it's second half with David Tennant, or should I say John Smith? 

The museum is an outdoor museum designed to be similar to a Welsh village. You walk outside to old houses. It's about an hour away from Cardiff, so I won't go there.

3. Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle was used in The Rebel Flesh and it's second half with The Doctor, Amy and Rory. The corridors were used in filming as well as outside. 

It's pretty much next door to where we want to go, so it's a definite! 

2. Roald Dahl Plass

This location was used in many episodes. The ones I remember most are Vincent and the Doctor and The Last of the Time Lords. The centre was used as a stand in for Musee d'Orsay in Vincent and the Doctor and in The Last of the Time Lords, is where Captain Jack told The Doctor and Martha that he is the Face of Boe.

Free admission!

1. Senedd

Used in The Lazarus Experiment with The Doctor and Martha, Senedd is another place I'd like to go. Right below the platform in the middle is where the machine was set up for the experiment. It's the lobby, so free entrance! The Senedd is the home of the Welsh National Assembly.

Who says you need to pay £30 for an official tour? I think I found PLENTY of locations for us to see in Cardiff without having to pay to see them.