Monday, April 25, 2005

Ten minutes to write something AMAZING and memorable.



This weekend was quite good! In celebration of my last Friday at Russell & Aitken, Kelly and I decided to partake in the Friday night after work drinks event that take place to mark the commencement of the weekend. So we hit the bars pretty much straight after work and were eventually joined by (in order of appearnce) Brandon, Shannon, Anne and Gary. All was good, but by 10.30 Kelly and I were ready to head home. And after many nights of 6 hours sleep, I found myself snoozing on the couch at 11.30. WOW.

Saturday I walked a lot, hit up the library, spent money, etc. Saturday night was my "leaving do" night. (Leaving do = Scottish for going away party.) First we went to the Walkabout where I FINALLY got to eat some kangaroo. Not a traditional Scottish meal, but that was had the weekend before when I had haggis in a Scottish pub. The kangaroo was good, more steak-like than chicken-like. In an effort to be a true Aussie, the kangaroo was washed down with a pint of Fosters. So now I'm officially Australian minus the accent. Then we headed back to Hostel PEI (as one friend has named our flat) for some socialising/drinking/eating and eventually hit up the town. And I definately give my mates props, as instead of giving me a going-away card (a leaving do card?) they had bought a Scottish flag and all signed the white St. Andrews cross on it! Had loads of fun and hit up a couple of Irish pubs. It seemed like everyone I spoke to there was Irish, so I couldn't understand them very well. On the way home blokes from Dundee stopped us and asked us for directions and I realised how infrequently I have tried to converse with Scots who have thick accents. After a year I should have MASTERED Scottish, but I digress. I'm good with the more city-ish accents.

Yesterday was Sunday. I walked lots (again) and saw a really cool museum. I didn't go in (i was waiting outside for the free museum buses that runs about Edinburgh as it turned out I walked VERY far) but the grounds were really neat. Maybe I'll find a photo of it someday and post a link to it. .... Maybe...

In other news, I have come down with a *slight* case of larangytis again. I don't get it in the first 22 years of my life, but get it twice within March and April? Huh? Must have been something I picked up in Glasgow when I went there in February =P

Anyway, time is up. Sad.

The end.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ahhhh! I am being indecisive. I have yet to book a flight home from Copenhagen - London - Edinburgh and the price of the flight I want just went up by about £10.00. I basically picked to fly that date because it was the cheapest day to leave... Now leaving Wed Jun 1 is the same price as leaving on Tuesday. Oooh, what to do?

And why do I want to go to Copenhagen so badly anyway? Why couldn't I have picked somewhere cheap to fly home from, like ... I don't know. Somewhere else. HATE THIS. (By times.) Anyway, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Help me.

(I lie, I actually do have a VERY good clue about what I'm doing most of May. It's still fuzzy after May 21st.)

In other, non-trip news, I'm going to the Pizza Hut buffet for lunch tomorrow with Kelly and Keri. Kelly and I have been counting the days as we sprint up to work every morning. Speaking of work, only 24 hours more of it! Woo! Anyway, my lunch is over. God, I feel like cursing so much. But alas, no complaining about yee ole job yet.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ahh, Friday afternoon. Bizarrely, I don't have any work to do right now...

Yesterday I called my temp agency and gave them my notice! I shall be unemployed as of 26 April. Yay! I don't think I've ever been this happy to be unemployed. However, I realised/am worried that perhaps I haven't really been "saving" for this holiday. I don't think I've been spending excessively or anything, but... I don't know.

Anyway, last weekend we went to Livingston! It was grand. Kelly, Keri, Beth and I met up to catch a bus at about 11.00. We decided to spend the extra £0.10 and take the train instead as the journey length would be pretty much halved. However, we had JUST missed the train and had to wait for the next one. That was fine, it was only about a 25 minute wait. So we hopped on the next train, waited for it to move, and it never did as there was an electrical failure. YAY. So we got to wait 30 minutes for the NEXT train. YAY AGAIN. So we eventually made it to Livingston only to learn while the bus drops you off at the mall we wanted to go to, the train station is a good 30 - 40 minute hike away. So we ended up paying cab fare. Ah well. Lesson learned my friends, lesson learned! Anyway, it turns out there ARE deals to be found in Scotland but they are, for the most part, in Livingston. I spent more dinero than anticipated, but that's because I bought new trainers. SUCH A GOOD DECISION. I was kind of hesitant. Is it really wise the buy new sneakers just less than three weeks before travelling? Plus I would have to pay almost £4.00 to get back to the mall if I wanted to return them. In the end, I decided they were amazingly comfortable (it's very rare to put on a pair of trainers and find them fabulously comfortable INSTANTLY) and quite the bargain at only £25.00 (think $60CND). Already I notice the lovely difference between them and my old "I'll buy them cause I really need new sneakers" sneakers.

I also managed to score some decently priced make-up at a Revlon outlet. How I heart outlet stores. Okay, so I bought only nail polish (replacing a colour I have managed to misplace somewhere between my bedroom in Ch'town and, well, my bedroom in Ch'town) and mascara that I love but has been discontinued in Canada. I also bought a pair of capris (my true mission for the day as I wanted them for travelling) for £8.00 AND DISCOUNTED CADBURY CHOCOLATE. Yes folks, Cadbury runs an outlet store. Dieters, stay away from Livingston! There was a kilo of "mishapen" chocolate for £3.00, but I refrained. Basically I have no self control and would probably eat it until I threw it up. (How graphically honest of me to admit that.)

Weekend plans: karaoke at the Au Bar (an Australia bar - although I have yet to tell anyone about this), haggis as a late lunch tomorrow (probably my last plate of it... :( ), the Edinburgh Castle, free internet @the library, and gym time. (Have to make good use of the two weeks of my membership!)

I still haven't bought my interrail pass. I think I'll buy it tomorrow. I also have to get on the ball with some other stuff. I am rather worried about making a couple of train connections in France. And I should book some hostels or something. Or at least write down phone numbers so I can call 'em! Ugh. I need a spreadsheet. A good, nerdy spreadsheet. And again, doesn't anyone want to come with me?! I'll have Shan and Anne in Spain, but does no one out there want to explore Switzerland, France, Belgium or Denmark? Sad. The interrail brochure shows GROUPS OF PEOPLE in the pictures, not lone travellers.

Okay, so I may be making a Ben Nevis out of Brookvale (my clever take on making a mountain out of a molehill) as I realise that I will meet people travelling and at hostels but I'm jealous of the people who make the huge excursion of Europe with close friends and then can talk about it when they get really old even if it's the only thing they still have in common.

On another note, I have eatened so many freaking granola bars in the past couple of weeks. Last time I keep food in my room. "I'm laying in bed reading. I'll eat a granola bar." "I'm 'cleaning' my room, I'll eat a granola bar." It's pathetic, and Kelloggs, I'm looking RIGHT AT YOU FOR MAKING THOSE GOD DAMN SPECIAL K BARS THAT TASTE SOOOOOOO BLOODY GOOD.

At least they aren't on sale anymore so I can now say they are too expensive to buy.

Now there are toffee and while-chocolate chip granola bars on sale instead. Someone at Tesco is testing me, and I am failing. A lot.

I want to text people and make plans for tonight but my phone credit is gone from trying to call the electric bill people yesterday.

I think I figured out my flight home... Wednesday, August 24th: Edinburgh (or perhaps booking from Glasgow would be wiser) - Belfast for £11, then Belfast - Halifax for £173.00. I guess that's pretty decent for a one-way flight during the peak season. That's about $423.00 according to the handy-dandy computer calculator. Sigh. I suck at decisions like this... Especially since I don't know where I will be come August 23rd. It *may* make more sense to book a Glasgow - Belfast flight, I'm not sure.

Or I could just move to Belfast for the summer! Although really, I'm not too keen on that idea, although it would give me the opportunity to see Ireland... at least the Northern part of it.

I wish I had a phone card so I could actually make some long-distance calls. I have £0.08 left on mine, which is enough to call pretty much no where and have enough time to basically say, "Hi how are you?".

I think I would really like to go to bed now.


The end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Whoops! Been a wee while, eh? My excuse is that most of my internet time is devoted to scoping out hostels/activities in Europe. Last night I figured out where I will be EVERY NIGHT for the first half of my trip up until I enter Paris. Exciting! I won't post the golden schedule yet though, I have a few things to get through first. Like train schedules and actually booking hostels. I'm slightly worried about the train thing as I have a couple of REALLY tight squeezes to make... Like ten minutes to change trains. Here's hoping the train station in Narbonne isn't too big, otherwise I have a good four-hour or so wait... I also realised that I won't be doing very much sleeping in, and a LOT of my time, so it seems, will be spent on the railway. Hopefully not too much though.

And why was it so important to nail down the first part of my trip? Because the Lindt chocolate factory in Zurich, Suisse is open only Wednesday through Friday and I should get there mid-afternoon Friday. Priorities people! Europe isn't just about old castles and artwork! It's about Suisse chocolate and small towns that manage to have both palm trees AND mountains. (Three cheers Lugano!)

Another reason to leave Edinburgh: our heating bill for the past two and a half months is about £270. Want to hear what's worse? That's about $620. Seriously. And you know what? Despite that I swear I was freezing most of the time I was in the livingroom. SCREW YOU SCOTTISH GAS, SCREW YOU. If it's any conselation, that includes the Canadian equivalent of gas/heat and electricity. It also prooves why I'm so anal/compulsive about turning lights off. So this and about £90 in council tax bills are what I have left to pay in Edinburgh. It's like a £180 fee to leave the city and get somewhere cheap. This is suuuuuch a blow to yee ole bank account, and a REALLY good thing I didn't use my debit card to buy an interrail pass a couple of days ago as I almost did! Turns out STA travel charges a 1.5% surcharge to buy an interrail pass with a credit card. UGH.

Anyway, my lunch is over. Again. And I spent it all just sitting here at my desk writing down the prices of train supplements. I swear I'm going to need a holiday before I actually GO on my holiday. I stay til, like, 1.00am every night reading and/or mapping out train routes. Today I slept through my alarm THREE times this morning. Whoops! Maybe tonight I'll go straight to bed after Desperate Housewives.

Ha ha ha! Ahh, hilarity. So won't happen ;)

I don't want to go back to working... :(

Sigh, here we goooooo...

The end.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I bought my rail book yesterday!!! For the uninitiated (as I was until recently) it's a book that contains the timetables for all the rail lines in Europe. It's quite the challenge... My goal for tonight is to figure out how long it will take to get from Barcelona to Carcasonne in France. It involves changing trains a couple of times so me thinks a wee bit of planning ahead is necessary.

I swear this is practically my most exciting month ever!! I'm planning a month-long trip about Europe AND spending free non-Europe time thinking about Florida! The only thing I don't like about this is the wind. It's been windy walking to work the past few days.

So, worries about Europe: I'll get lonely and possibly bored. I know I SHOULDN'T be bored travelling about, but I think there are only so many castles, museums and churches one can see before they blur together and look the same. So I'm trying to figure out, what do I enjoy doing on vacation? I think I'll be okay though, although I'm slightly worried about money. Either 1) that I'll spend too much, or 2) I won't spend ENOUGH and will miss out on great things because I'm too busy being stingy and counting euros.

In good news, I found this hostel in Barcelona! Ah, me hearts the sea and the sun.

Okay, I had 20 mins left on my lunch and it started pouring so I decided to not head to the bookshop and read "Rough Guide to Florida". Now I have only NINE minutes left and it's all fabulously sunny again but I don't have enough time. SIGH. Instead, now I have only enough time to go to the grocery store or convenience stores to buy candy and/or chocolate. I would like to get out and stretch the ole legs, but I'm lacking a destination and now have only eight minutes. In my chair I shall remain.

Last night I had cookies and cereal for supper. Feel free to hassle me via email about my bad eating habits and remind me about them when I complain my trousers don't fit properly ;)

Five months from today I'll be in sunny Florida! Yup, I checked the weather forecast this morning and it says, "September 6th: Sunny skies in anticipation of Jennifer's most fabulous fall EVER."

In THREE WEEKS from tomorrow I'll be leaving for Valencia! Yay! I swear, 2005 is one for the books! So far, anyway... Don't screw these next nine months up on me!

And since I don't get to my hotmail very often, huge thanks to all those who emailed me and said congratuations re my Disney job! You'll all be getting cheap "WDW 2005" red t-shirts for Christmas.

So guess what I'm most excited about for the month of May? Sunny skies in Spain, relaxing in Suisse, the Lindt chocolate factory in Zurich, biking in Bruges and Copenhagen, l'Ile St Louis in Paris, the Olympic Stadium area in Barcelona, Disneyland Paris in Paris (not paying to go into the parks but hanging about the grounds getting excited), and buying my train pass. Yes, I am quite excited to spend £285. Call me weird!

Worry of the week: I have a $20 backpack I except to get me around Europe with no problems. I mean, people spend $120 on their packs and have problems! Mental reminder to bring OODLES of duct tape. And I mean oodles!

Lunch ended three minutes ago. Sigh. I refuse to complain about this job while I am here so back to work!

The end.

Friday, April 01, 2005


By now I think I told the whole world my good news (or at least every single person in my address book), but for those who don't know, come September 6th I shall be down in sunny/hurricaine ravaged Florida working for the mouse! I'll be doing food and beverage which means I may eventually earn tips, but will likely start off selling beavertails or over-priced Canadian beer.

However, more important will be the days off - hello Disney theme parks, Universal Studios, Gatorland, pool, sun, Pleasure Island, etc!

I figure I'll be home sometime late August. Conveniently, Keri will also be home then and Emily the American may come up to PEI for a wee visit! I also declared last night that I am going to Calgary in September or October 2006 to visit the oodles of Albertans that I've met in the past months.

I'll be plenty sad to leave Edinburgh; however, it'll be much easy to leave for Florida than it would be if my visa expired and I was going back to PEI.

So in the excitement of it all, I have already arranged to get rid of the flat at the end of April (which begs the question what I plan to do with all my stuff when I'm travelling) and will be terminating my gym membership mid May. (Too late to do it mid April, which is perfectly fine with me.)

We went out celebrating last night. First stop was the Filling Station where there was karaoke but no tables. Second stop, pretty much two minutes later ;), was Belushi's where we took advantage of 50p shots that could never get anyone drunk and could give, at most, a sugar high. There was also karaoke. I sang. No record deal last night however. Maybe in time.. maybe in time...

I can't wait to karaoke in Florida!!

Anyway, lunch is over. I wasted my lunch and should have left the office but I surfed the net instead. Lesson of the day: one-way tickets from London to Halifax at the end of August are expensive. Shocking, I know ;)