Monday, April 2, 2012

Return of the Travelling Blog!

So, it has been awhile since I last wrote in here... Like 3 years or something, but I have once again fled the country.

On the 29th of March, which was a while ago, apparently I've lost my touch with up to date blogging.

My 29th of March seemed to go forever and because it consisted of waiting, flying, waiting, flying, waiting and a bus. With dealing with customs in the inbetween but in terms of interesting things... There were no interesting things.
I eventually got to London... Ontario..

Did I mention I went to Canada?
Yeah, I'm now in Canada. That flying went Sydney to Vancouver, Vancouver to Toronto and the bus from Toronto to London.
Lots of Travelling. The two latter trips featured glorious naps. Glorious, glorious naps!

I travelled to London, because I am currently staying with the delightful Paige.
To be completely accurate I am now unemployed living in Paige's basement. I like to think it is very rock and roll. In a cliche movie kind of way.
Other people do live in the house, it's good times.

So, Day one, the Day started ridiculously late as I had to sleep off a whole bunch of non-sleep but I got mail and that was exciting, more exciting was that the mail was a gift card for Best Buy from Team Weekender. Thanks, Team Weekender!
I haven't used it yet, but I assure you I will and it will be glorious!

I could use other words besides glorious, especially since I do have a window up of for the word "proud". I was helping Paige with her essay. You are welcome.

But basically, my first couple of days have been just trying to set myself up in Canada. I have a bank account, a Social Insurance Number (which is the complete government number, not like in Australia) and am working on the whole cell phone thing. It is proving to be difficult since apparently I don't have enough ID. I have enough ID to get everything else, just not a phone.
So, that's being slow and painful but am working on it.

I've also been grocery shopping. I find milk very confusing.
Where is the full cream, Canada? Where?

There really hasn't been anything exciting happening.
My accent does keep getting made fun of and a lot of people don't seem to understand me, but I can't work out if that is the accent or the fact that frequently people have trouble understanding me.

My current Canadian goals are: Get Canadian Accent, learn French through signs and packaging.

I'll eventually get another video diary happening.
If time permits, I'll get Paige to participate and then the internet might break due to the combined awesomeness.

Any questions or comments?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elyse is coming back from San Franciso

Hey, that one is still a song! Thank you Google!

So this is the end. This will be my last post from overseas as I doubt very much I will get some computer access between now and reaching home.
I am sure that I will post once more for this trip and this blog will then remain dormant until the next time I need to flee whether that be to Spain, whether for good or for just a little bit. Only time will tell.
Thank you all for reading and commenting, whether those comments be on the site or actually to me or via others or whatever.
I hope you have enjoyed Elyse having be fleeing the country.

Today I pretty much finished the list for what I could do of which I add a hearty "Take that! Davey, Adam and those who added to it but I don't know which specifically because I am not that good and your name isn't at the top of the list!"
There are three that remain, two of which will be taken through other means, it is helpful to know people and the last will be the last of the list and will be taken tomorrow as I flee yet another country to return home.
Yes, home, not to my homeland. I can see where you can get confused. Though, if we go home is where the heart is then according to the song lyrics that will be San Francisco. This will teach me a valuable lesson about living my life through the lyrics of music.

As of now I'd like to bade a farewell to two items of clothing that won't be returning to Australia. That have made a noble sacrifice, so that others could see brighter places. Elyse's bag has mainly been packed or at least the one she thought she would struggle with. Elyse has spent too much time writing facebook status' and is now talking in the third person.

What of today?
The day that my readers will associate with yesterday. Timezones- like time travel, but not as cool as a TARDIS.
I saw lots of pirate things.
Boston and San Fran both have a lot of Pirate merch, yet the Pirates are in Pittsburgh!

Today I planned my great escape to Alcatraz! Did it happen?
Tickets are hard to get buy and the ticket I bought last night doesn't actually stop at the island, so it was a cruise around the Bay. That was very pretty and it had a track to narrate it, Captain Nemo. From 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, not what Nemo the clown fish grew up to be. It was amusing.
So yeah, a cruise around the Bay, got to see the Golden Gate Bridge up close and went really, really close to Alcatraz. Apparently the tour is boring anyway and it is "just a building", which means that the place is poorly interpreted because Alcatraz isn't a piece of brilliant architecture it's significance and importance comes from the history behind it and more importantly it's geography giving it a hard place to access. That's what is interesting! The stories and the tour should convey that.
Oh, woah...
The tourism comes out sometimes in very strange places.
Ok, mainly in tourism places. I have a degree in this, I know what I'm talking about!

Though, let's move on to a very significant fact. Hey Megan, this is for you!
It has a longer Spanish name which means "Island of the Pelicans". Doubly painful for you!
Ha! Well, it amused me.

I wandered around Fisherman's Wharf, saw lots of crabs in the Fisherman's grotto, didn't get any of their wares though but I saw it!
I did get some crab cake sandwich on sourdough, it was good. I felt it was kind of San Fransiscian, according to spellcheck that isn't a word. Oh well.

Near Fisherman's Wharf there was a Wax Museum that I visited, it was odd. Wax figures are kind of creepy, but the big "60 Years in San Francisco" sign won me over. Oh, who am I kidding, the main reason was purely to get that last item on the list. A Celebrity doing something shamelessly. Done and dusted my friends, done and dusted!
They had a religions of the world section which funnily enough featured Jesus, that scene also featured a squirrel at Jesus' feet, which I am convinced isn't accurate but shows that even Jesus loves the squirrels.

Less squirrels but more oddities was Ripley's Believe it or Not. Strange place there, though they had a reworking of Vincent Van Gogh's self portrait made out of toast.
So, that was fun.

On the way home I saw a dude with a massive piece of cardboard that said "Gay Sex is a Sin... Repent" in massive writing with smaller writing about Jesus saving from lust and demonic something. He didn't yell, he just stood there with his sign. Odd place to protest and also, it was the gay sex, not the gayness that was the sin. Oh religious nuts... How quaint.

My bag full of what I have purchased has once again been rearranged to fit all my stuff.
Tomorrow it comes to an end.

It's been fun, but I miss my people, I miss my room, I miss not having to get dressed in the path room and not living from a bag! I will have a room to myself! I will be able to see the time without having to try and find my watch and I won't have to worry about all the noise I make! I can watch Dawson's Creek, I won't have to pay for the internet (Mum and Dad will, but shhh). Oh, to be home once more.

It is gonna be great!
One day more!

That's another song... just for the record.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I left my heart in San Francisco

I wonder how many songs actually feature San Francisco?
Thankfully, I should last through my adventure here.

So, San Fran, hey?
It's odd.

Last night I had a room to myself. It was great! So great! Oh, how I missed privacy! It did only last the one night, for when I returned to my room this evening there were people in there. Oh well, one night worked. Only 2 more sleeps til home time! Well, three if I can get to sleep on the plane.

But let us not talk of the future or the present, but the past or the recent past...

I started the day by making myself pancakes. They were delicious and it was amusing to see the instructions on the wall for those who had never made pancakes before. This hostel as an all you can make pancake breakfast. Thankfully pancakes is one of the three dishes I can make, pancakes, pasta and French Toast. I actually had two of those today! Though, I didn't make the pasta, I just ate it. For lunch!

I made the silliest packing decision. Oh, I won't need my sunglasses, It's going to be winter. That was a stupid move! STUPID! I was blinded by the sun today. My glasses do tint, but it is nothing! Nothing! I had to buy sunglasses and in traditional style they cost me $15. I really only need them to last 3 days, so if they are crap so be it. If they aren't they will be added to my sunglasses list which now consists of three pairs. Good times.

Weather was good, all that was required was a jacket, that is my kind of winter!

Today I mainly wandered the streets of San Francisco (That being the TV series with Michael Douglas... Another pop culture reference). I got very, very, very lost. See, this is what happens when you decide to head to a place called Sunnydale. Seriously, it was a place called Sunnydale!
That was very excited.
Ok, if no one understands that pop culture reference please say so now, upon my return you will be taught. Oh, you will be taught.

This was a bad move, and I decided this when it started to look very deserted and very dodgy, so I got in a taxi and headed in the right direction, which is easier to do once someone knows the right direction. The cabbie was the best cabbie ever, or more likely it is easier to try and extend the journey than drive around and hope some hails the journey, it's a money thing. So, I ended up going to the Golden Gate bridge as well. There was lots of fog, it was very pretty. I have photos! (Yes, Mary, you will be forced to sit through them well at the moment,you appear to be wanting to do it of your own free will. That's nice of you)

Eventually I ended up in Pier 39. I wandered. Mainly shops, they were fun shops. I bought shirts!
And don't worry Megan, the tradition lives on. Are you as excited as I am about that?
Things I also bought, I bought a keyring for Jose.
You know Jose right? Jose El Basso, bass extraordinaire!
It is for his case.

There was lots of wandering. My feet hurt.
I got my ticket for the Alcatraz Ferry, hopefully I can do that tomorrow and I'll explore Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 in the daylight. Pier 39 being famous for the Sea Lions or seals, whichever and they aren't good to see in the dark.

I got the Cable Car back home and stopped to look in at Borders on the corner. I now have my 2009 Calender, that's exciting and I bought a Word Nerd book, which is awesome.
Though, in Borders, I once again crossed paths with the pig catapult. Oh, pig catapult. I remember you and how you combined with Davey almost blinded me at 2005 State Mass. Yes, I still go on about it, I was traumatised! TRAUMATISED! (Pictures are available. Please enquire at the desk).
There was also a crazy cat lady action figure and a Jesus Action figure, I was thinking about getting that for my desk at work. Any one have any thoughts on that?

Anyways, shopping is fun in San Fran.
Goodbye Elyse's money!

'til next time loyal viewers!

Hey, my spelling is getting better! Only one mistake and one typo! That is awesome.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

If you are going to San Franisco...

Hey, hey.

Comin' at ya from the West Side. Word. Of the USA.
I'm in San Fran as we speak!
I arrived this afternoon, after having to get up at 5am after going to bed at 2am. That isn't fun, but I did it and as a result actually got an excellent sleep on the plane. Woo for that! It was good especially since there was not the same entertainment levels of my trip over, then again I had a book and it is an awesome book. Wicked, if you were interested. I bought it the other day, it is Wicked and Son of a Witch in the one volume, leather bound and all that, it's very pretty and quite cheap so yay for that!

So another hostel, this one is a 4 to a room and I have a top bunk which sucks. I hate top bunks, it's only three nights so it should be alright because ya high ceilings! It is an important detail when on a top bunk.

Haven't really done much, I'm really quite tired so just have been sitting back and what not. I did head out to the pirate shop and it was awesome! Very, very awesome!
Not so much with the purchasing because it is a front for a writing and tutoring place, so it has some things and it is awesomely set up. It is very cool. I love the posters that around the place. Really great.
There I got my dude in an eye patch and the same dude with a cannon above his head. I believe a cannon is fricken heavy! So take that photo challenge!
You WILL be defeated. Mark my words!

I had dinner at some odd Belgian place, for the record- Yes, I did go there purely because it was Belgian.

Not so much for the adventuring, though I did see quite a lot of the Mission District, that was an interesting place but they had the pirate shop which was awesome! Seriously, AWESOME!
I have some photos. People will be forced to sit through them. Who is excited about that?

Nothing really to report.
Oh, my last night in New York!
Headed out to Chinatown, took a wrong turn and ended up in little Italy. Yeah, figure that one out. I had dinner out in Chinatown and who doesn't love an $8 meal?
That $8 meal was then dwarfed by the fact that while trying to find a subway I found a wooden door with a velvet rope. Who was I to resist to pose with a velvet rope?
I was getting ready to pose when the door mysteriously opened. Yes, it was a bar! A swanky New York Bar. It was both swanky and ridiculously expensive. Two drinks cost $23. Not cool, but amusing, it seemed full with many pretentious types which no signage and a velvet rope would indicate this would be the case so why I'm shocked I don't know.
It was interesting.

That was the last bar of the evening and then headed home to do some final packing before needing to get to the airport at 7am.

Nothing too exciting happening yet, but three days more.
The trip is winding up, hasn't seemed that too long ago that I was getting everything ready.
Time certainly does fly.

8 more to go on the photo challenge.
Take that!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Last Day in NYC

Yes, I am spending my last day in New York at my hostel, it's crazy I know!
But I'm going out tonight and if was anything like last night, I will get home some crazy hour and need to leave straight away to go to the airport.

So today, I am packing my bags and I need to some laundry and that is currently drying so I have internet time! Woo!
Some new people in my room today who are actually social! That's new. They were Portuguese. I am getting worse at picking accents or I just assume not-Aussies are German or French. This will one day get me in trouble.
After I finish packing my bags I need to go in the crazy chaos of Times Square, ok, Rockefeller Centre to get Cameron's things. Man, the hoards! THE HOARDS! Things I do for you Cammy, the things I do.

I believe everyone is dying to know what I have gotten up into the last couple of days?
There was a massive gap, I know, it was a little crazy.
I don't know if I mentioned that I went to a pub called Charley O's, it had a great recession special and the Bartender, Mike, was a lovely guy. Charley O's is also know as my local or my usual, I've been there twice. I was there again last night. For a long time, lovely bar keeps there. Mike and Derryn, both want to be actors and work bars til they get their big break.
See, New York is fun!
An amusing night at said bar. Plus, cheap drinks! Recession specials are awesome!
I also attacked a gingerbread house. I took off the door and was shocked to find there was no opening. Then realised just how insane I thought it would be for there to actually be an opening.

Yesterday, I also walked around Central Park, which is just such a pretty part of the world. It is so easy to forget you are in the middle of a massive city. I saw the John Lennon monument and I got my snow Angel in the park. You'll all be disappointed... and slightly amused. I know I am!
I loved in Strawberry Fields (Forever), which is the John Lennon memorial, there are all these benches that have been adopted by various people have little plaques. I love those little plaques and what people have written. Quite a few have John Lennon lyrics on there. I am pretty sure just John Lennon, not the Beatles.
Eventually I got to the Natuaral History Museum, that was awesome! And what was even better?
Megan, MEGAN, MEGAN! Guess what I found out?
They DO have pelicans in America! On the West Coast! Guess where I am gonna go tomorrow?
The West Coast!
YEAH! Take that! That tradition isn't going down without a fight! I also have a backup plan that is just as awesome.

My barter skills have gotten better, that is fun. I thought I was really bad at it, but I'm not! I've gotten set prices down cheaper. Oh, stalls on the side of the road, you are fun.

I also got to the Met on Christmas Eve, I'm really not into art and I couldn't find the armoury part and it was closing early so that sucked, but I went to the Met so that will add to my cred.
Christmas Eve around Times Square was a little crazy, but I called my family and talked to all of them and one of them needs to tell me who won trivia?
Seriously, Megan or Alex comment and let me know who won! I don't think Mum would know how to comment, so she gets a pass.

Christmas Day was fun, so Amanda is the random friend I made at Wall St, we go drinking at nights. It's fun and I have just lost all my non-drinking cred on this trip and somewhere I think some people are quite proud, anyways, we did the Christmas thing. We went round the corner to the grocery store and got some random things to eat for lunch, mainly appetisers stuff. Onion rings, fish fingers, buffulo wings and I got some cheese in a can and graham crackers. It is the graham crackers that are good, the cheese just contains some kind of addictive thing because I had way too much cheese in a can, but it was good.
There are also no bottle shops open on Christmas day, but thankfully, in America you can get beer at Supermarkets! So, there was beer! Really, really cheap. I got 64 ounces of beer for $7! That is cheap and a lot of beer! It was good.

It didn't seem like Christmas and I did miss the overly competitive game of Trivial Pursuit which is my favourite part of Christmas, but it was a good day. Just never believe that New York is the city that never sleeps because I could not find a pub open at 9.30pm on Christmas night. It was odd.

So tonight, is my last night in New York and it will be held downtown!
Then off to San Franisco.
It should be fun.

Reply to comments:
Hey John! The only Christmas card I have gotten was from Val, so I might ask and see if there is any more, hopefully there is something because yeah, last night!
Some people know the charging bull, others don't. It is one of those things. Who knows how it all works!

I have only 10 more in the photo challenge to go. Who thought I would ever get that far?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Boxing Day!

So, it has been awhile since I have written, no rest for the wicked and all that.

Once again when I have actually been on the internet I have been distracted by various things. It is good times.

Just in response to the last post comments: Yes, I have an actually copy of the paper I was quoted in. I got the paper before I knew it was online, I didn't even find it online- that was all Kaylah! Go team Kaylah! (hey man, two shouts in two posts? Crazy).

I tried to mail it home but I found out I am incapable of knowing how the American Postal System works, so in my bag it remains.

What have I done in recent times?

I finally made it downtown! Yes, the song just came into my head. Curse you too much knowledge of music!
Though, I did have to go downtown (downtown- my back up vocals) to get the ferry, I didn't really explore.
I saw Ground Zero, that is just weird because I was at the Fireman Memorial which was kind of eerie or atleast I found it to be but not eerie in the sense it was all quiet because it wasn't there was lots of noise.
For one they have started a new tour in the place of the twin towers called "Freedom Tour", which some dude told me it would be 1776 feet high. 1776 being the year of the American Revolution and independence and what not. So Ground Zero, just one big construction zone.
I actually didn't realise where I was until I heard some guy yelling stuff about knowing the facts of September 11th and all that. I believe that is all that guy does. America is certainly a strange country.

I eventually found myself in the "World Finicial Centre", that wasn't exciting. I was looking for Wall St.
Wall St was surprisingly hard to find, I managed to work it out though, I got a photo of me with the charging bull (I tried to make a link to Wiki for the Charging Bull since no one knows what I'm talking about, but it didn't work so just google it.)
Just near the charging bull, there is the American Sporting Museum which I checked out, it filled me with both awe and weirded me out. They also had a video about how sports is so much more than competition but about communities and bringing people together which had clips of the Yankees winning in '01 and the New Orleans NFL team playing in the SuperDome or whatever it was after Hurricane Katrina, I only mention it because it is the only thing I remember with a lot of clarity because it was a very successful piece of propaganda, it was very good.
Lots of stuff on Baseball and Gridiron which I skipped because I didn't care and a fair bit on the Olympics, which I kind of cared but I realised I just mainly care about the Australian aspect of the Olympics, but it was interesting.

I then walked around and found the NY Stock Exchange all lit up for Christmas, I have pictures! I also got a photo of someone crying at Wall St! It wasn't even me, it was someone who worked on Wall St! I'm very proud.
So much of that list is completed I am up to 40! Yes, 40! I will update the list post after this so check it out!
At the Stock Exchange someone asked me if I was Aussie because of my scarf and thus I got into a random conversation, she was also Aussie from Melbourne and had been travelling for 5 and a half months. Interesting conversation. Since we were both travelling alone we agreed to do something together for Christmas, but yeah, just a random situation but hey I found a friend so go me!

While walking around Times Square, random people try to harass you to get you to do stuff and go to their things. When I say people, I mean legimate businesses, generally, on Christmas Eve I stopped to put my coat on and some guy asked if I wanted to buy marijuana. He actually said marijuana, which is kind of funny to me.
As a result I ended up with tickets to some kind of comedy show, which did look amusing and the guy was very funny, not the marijuana guy that was just a tangent, the legimate business people, the dude was funny he thought that we were Irish and then that Ireland and Australia were close enough to drive too.

There are many, many Irish pubs around Midtown and I have been to alot of them. On another note Recession specials are the best thing ever. I paid $5 for a tall glass just filled with all kinds of alcohol!
You know, my mum reads this quite a lot, she's a big fan, it occured to me today as I was writing her an email that I probably shouldn't discuss my drinking adventures but I really don't care and they aren't very exciting, I am impressed with my alcohol tolerance for someone who doesn't really drink. It's impressing.
So while I have drinking adventures, it doesn't end up with a drunk Elyse, just so you all know.

Time is runnign out and I have only recapped one day!
I really do go into much detail... Oh well!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My claim to fame!

Today I was quoted in the NY Post. I have a link! Thanks Kaylah for finding the link!
I am quite fond of the quote, finer words have never been spoken!

Today, I was woken up my alarm as opposed to the fire alarm, this was a much better start to the day.

I headed down to Rockefeller Centre and grabbed my stand by ticket for Conan. Amazingly, I was there at 9.45am (they start giving away tickets at 9am) and I got ticket number 74, that's not the amazing part. The amazing part is that on Thursday when I got my ticket at 1pm, I was number 66. What the hell?
Tomorrow is the last show of the week and my last attempt and since when it come to things that involve luck I don't have much so doesn't look likely.

The main part of my day was spent at Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty. It was cold, very, very cold. No snow or rain, it was just cold and the wind was particularly cold. I couldn't get into the Monument itself so I pretty much just the Statue of Liberty up close. I did find out that the Statue is made of copper and the green colour is just an oxiding process. That was new and makes a lot of sense but the green is what I'm used to.
There was some stuff about the symbols of the freedom and what not about what the statue stands for. There were the seven rays of the crown standing for the seven oceans and seven contenients, breaking free from the shackles of tyranny as well as the tablet marking the date of the American Independence.
There is something a little amusing about something breaking free from the shackles of tyranny requires to go through secruity to get to. I have something further to say on the topic but I won't put it down in writing for fear of other consquences.

I went to Ellias Island as well, the most interesting part was about the American immigration as a whole. I didn't find it all that interesting due to my lack of interest and well, a lot of it is about finding relatives that went through there. I don't have any and if I did I still wouldn't care. Will someone repeatidly tell Dad about my complete and utter lack of interest in where my family comes from!

The I went back to the Rockefeller Centre for no reason since I do remain having not seen Conan.

Talking about things I have no luck in, I finally snapped! Today was a very cold day, I once again waited outside for the Wicked ticket lottery. I didn't win. I just bought a ticket. It was a cancelled ticket for tonight's performance, it was just the regular price.
It was awesome!

Ok, I say that, because I did really enjoy it. Wicked is a favourite of mine, I do have a few issues with it and you'll read about them now!

This was the first time I had actually seen the show, but I'm very familar with the Original Cast Recording, as well as the book.
First things first, the book is very different from the musical. If I had to make a call, I'd say I like the book more. The book is really just fantastic.
It might also come down to it, that I'd take tragedy over the happy ending. Which is one of the points of difference.
I really do enjoy the book and in particular the ending, which isn't the same in the musical but it makes sense and both work for the scenarios that come before it.
Though, it is the ending with Elaphba losing everything, including her life that truly makes her beautifully tragic. The ulitmate underdog because she goes out with a fight and doesn't win.
Man, I do love that book.

That is always what comes to mind.
The other thing is that I am familiar with the Original Cast Recording which has Kristin Chenoworth and Idina Menzel, who are absolutely awesome. Really, absolutely awesome and I know that Glinda was written around Kristin Chenoworth and I think something were changed when Idina Menzel was cast and they are some big BIG shoes to fill! I mean metophorically because Kristin Chenoworth is a tiny person!
So knowing all that I was rather impressed with I forget their names, whoever play them now. One was the understudy which makes it harder to remember because her name wasn't everywhere.
Elaphba was played by Chelsea someone and Glinda was Ali someone, Chelsea someone was the U/s. Or was it Katie someone?
Hmm.. I really don't remember.
I was really impressed with Chelsea/Katie/whatever her name is during Defying Gravity, which is my favourite. It just gave me chills, it was spectacular. Of course it is the song before intermission so generally spectacular is the aim.
It was during No Good Deed where I really missed Idina, it was still good (specially coming from a non-singer), it just wasn't the same.

Man, to see the original cast? Now, that would be fricken awesome! BEYOND AWESOME!
I must say Glida is hilarious.
Very hilarious.

Side note: I thought they killed Dr Dillamont. They didn't. In the book they do, it is a big turning point in the book, but yeah, not in the musical. Shame, it makes much more sense with the murdered profosser. Think of what we have learnt from Cluedo!

I'm ridiculously happy that I saw Wicked on Broadway. It was pretty much my must see show and it was worth it.

Good times!
But alas, I must be off for Tomorrow awaits!

This is a note for Mum: I found a squirrel to bring home! It's very exciting!