Location: Sardinia, Italy
I went to Sardinia (an island near Italy) with my flatties for 6 days. We had such an awesome time. We pretty much spent the whole time at the beach in the sun and playing volleyball (and getting stung by jellyfish!!) We watched the sunset every evening and ate beautiful Italian food. We went on a boat cruise stopping at a few beaches along the way and had lunch on the boat. And we went to a water park with hydroslides which was really fun. The weather was perfect (reaching 39 degrees some days) and the beaches were stunning.
Location: Athens, Greece
Three days after I got back from New York I flew to Athens with Sanjay, Roshni, Jay and Anj. The day after we arrived we went to see the Acropolis in the morning and then we caught a 5 hour ferry to Paros Island. On the ferry we occupied ourselves by drinking, eating Goodys and playing drinking games. Unfortunately when we got to our hotel on the island the manager told us we had come in the off-peak season so the hotel pool was closed and it wasn't warm enough to go to the beach =(
Instead, we hired quadbikes and cruised around the island on them for 2 days, stopping for roadies and visiting all the beaches around the island. Anj had a crash and fell off her bike, Sanj ended up on the wrong side of the road, and I was wondering why my bike was so slow before Sanj told me that I had the hand brake on!! Ha ha. We had lunch, dinner then lunch the next day at the same restaurant where the staff joined in on our drinking games. We also learnt some Greek words - "Yamas" ("cheers") and "Gamma Setta" (which I won't translate for now).
We had an awesome 2 days on the island before we had to catch a ferry back to Athens where it was hot and sunny!!! The next day Sanj, Rosh and Jay left to go back to NZ and Anj and I back to London.
Location: New York, USA
The day after Bharti arrived in London we flew to New York to see my cousin Anil. As soon as we arrived Anil took us to a bar for $1 beers and then we went to a Mexican restaurant for quesadillas and sangria - YUM! We then went to another bar for drinks and dancing. The next day Anil had to work so we met him for lunch and had Kati Rolls (see photos) - YUM! After lunch we continued walking around Times Square and spent 2 hours in the M&Ms store!! Then we went for a window shop on 5th Avenue! That night we went out to one of Anils mates drinks and had an awesome time!
The next day we were pretty tired but still managed to hire a car and drive to Woodbury Common - a massive designer outlet centre!!! It was so the best place I have ever been to!! When we got home we got ready to go to dinner and then later to go clubbing.
We paid a visit to Chinatown the next day for Yum Char. Then went shopping in Soho and Noho. The following day we visited the place where the World Trade Centre used to be - that was really interesting and sad as well. After Jay asked someone where we could find the "Eiffel Tower" (instead of the Statue of Liberty - SHAME!) we caught a ferry past the Statue of Liberty .
We went to Chinatown again the next day - this time to do some shopping. What an experience that was! We wanted to look at some fake designer bags so we were taken into hidden rooms at the back of stalls and then a place which was underground and to get to the room where the bags were the lady had to unlock 6 doors which had 2 locks on each! We even got literally pushed out of a shop by one lady! That was crazy! After that we went to 5th Avenue where I made a special purchase at the Gucci store!! We then went to Madison Square Garden to to see if we could get tickets to a basketball game - New York Knicks vs Detroit Pistons! We managed to get some tickets from a guy outside the stadium. We had awesome seats and the atmosphere was just amazing!!
The next day we did a final shop before we had to head back to London. Bharti stayed on but Jay and I flew back that day. I so didn´t want to leave - New York was awesome!
Location: Paris, France
On Friday night Dharms and I caught the Eurostar (train) to Paris for the weekend. We stayed at the Murano Urban Resort which was really nice. To get into the room, Dharms had to use his fingerprint and you could change the colour of the lights in the room - it was sooo cool!
Anyway, on Saturday we shopped all day and when we got back to the hotel, Dharms told me to wait in the room while he organised a taxi to take us to a park that this "band" was playing at. When we got to the park we found a place to sit and I was wondering where the band was when Dharms pulled out a bunch of roses. There was a disguised ring box in the shape of a rose and he pulled out a ring and asked me "Will you be my wife?" and I cried and said "Yes!" It was so exciting. I still can't believe it though!!
The next day we walked up the Eiffel Tower. We didn't go all the way to the top - just to the second platform. The view was amazing. Then we went to see the Arc de Triomphe and walked up and down the Champs-Elysees.
Location: London, UK
Dharmesh arrived here on Feb 1st so we have been pretty full on over the past few weeks. The day after he got here we had a dinner at my flat as it was Nadja's (one of my flatmates) birthday and the next day we went to Parliament Square to see the Haka (which apparently happens every year for Waitangi Day.) We didn't get to see it though as there were so many people - was good to be around all the kiwis though! That night we went out to a bar called O'Neills near Leicester Square and just danced and drank all night. and the next day Dharms and I went to Madame Tussauds which was awesome.
The next weekend Dharms and I went to Luton so he could meet my Mum's family. They got along real well, luckily, so that was good. Dharms stayed up till 7am drinking with my Uncles and fell asleep on the kitchen table!! Shame.
We went to see the Lion King this week and it was absolutely amazing!!
Location: Scotland, UK
On Friday we flew to Scotland and stayed in a house that we rented for the weekend. There were 21 of us family that stayed there. The house was around 300 years old, there were 8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 living rooms and a games room. On Friday night, we were up till 5.30am drinking, dancing, playing pool and visiting the graveyard (which was right next door.) On Saturday, everyone was pretty much hungover so we just lazed around the house all day. On Sunday we went for a 2 hour nature walk around the area we stayed which was really nice. We pretty much just lounged around out for the rest of the day. We didnt do any sight-seeing at all but it was a nice relaxing weekend away!
Location: Luton, UK
On Xmas day we got woken up at 6.30am by my 6 year old cousin, Keelan, who couldn't wait to open his presents (so we only got 3 and a half hours sleep!!) All my Mums family came over and we opened all our presents, drank wine and ate all day. Unfortunately, it wasn't a white Xmas but we still had a great day!!
Me, Nish, Nals, Raks, Dips and his mate, Jay caught a cab into London from Luton. 2 and a half hours later, we ended up at Dips' mates apartment. We had a few drinks there, then we caught a few tubes to St Pauls and went to a place called Metropolis. It was a New Years party organised by someone Dips knew. We stayed there till around 2am then we decided we were hungry so we got kebabs then went back to Dips' mates apartment at around 6am. We had a few hours sleep, then caught a train back to Luton. We all did the "walk of shame" in the dresses and makeup we still had on from the night before - how embarrassing!
Location: Luton, UK
This week, I pretty much went shopping everyday - sometimes twice in one day!! On Monday Nish and I went to the Arndale Mall in the morning with my grandparents and her Mum, then we went again in the evening with Dips. On Tuesday I went to London with Nish and her Mum. We went shopping in Covent Garden and Harrods. Five minutes after arriving there Nish and I bought a pair of shoes each!! On Wednesday morning Nish and I went to the Arndale again with her Mum and my Grandma then again in the evening with Dips. On Thursday Nish's Dad arrived from NZ so we thought we had better show him the local shopping mall here so we went shopping again.
On Friday Nish and I caught a train into London and went shopping on Oxford St. We planned to get through the whole street but we only ended up getting through about a quarter of it - and it took us 8 hours!!! We spent 3 hours in Top Shop and we didn't even get to all 7 floors!! After all that shopping we were pretty tired and made our way to Jay's (Nish's brother) flat. We had a few wines there then made our way to the Redback. We just drank Snakebites and danced all night - it was so much fun!!! I bumped into Katrina there as well so it was nice to see her too. We stayed the night at Jay's flat and caught a train back to Luton in the morning.
On Saturday my Mum, Dad, Nals (my sister) and Raks (my brother) arrived from NZ so we stayed up and had a few wines and caught up with all the goss back home!! Sunday night (Xmas Eve) I went to the White House and Liquid again with Nals, Raks, Jay, Nish and her cousins. It started off as a quiet night but once the clock struck 12, they started playing Xmas songs and everyone got into the spirit. We had loads of fun drinking, dancing and putting lipstick on the boys!!! Jay found a blow-up sheep on the dance floor, which Nals tried to drop-kick but fell over on her backside!!! - That was the highlight of the night!!
Location: Luton, UK
Well I can't believe it has already been a month since I arrived here. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?!!
I went into London again on Wednesday as I had another interview in Wimbledon with a recruitment agent. Wimbledon is a great place to shop but I didn't get a chance to have a good look - will have to go back there one day very soon!!
On Thursday I went to the airport to pick up Nish (my Mum's cousin from Auckland.) It was so good to see someone from home!! On Friday Nish and I went with my uncle to do his Xmas shopping at Toys R Us and Argos (where you order stuff from catalogues - Nish's favourite shop.)
On Saturday night Nish's cousins, Dips and Kuks, took us out clubbing in Luton. We went to The White House (not the same as the one in Auckland!) and Nish and I had 2 bottles of wine in the space of about an hour as Dips was rushing us as he wanted to go to another club. We went to Liquid which was so much fun - we were just dancing and drinking all night until...Nish and I ended up in the toilet. End of story!!!
My third week in the UK...
On Tuesday my grandparents took me to a shopping centre in Milton Keynes (about half an hour from Luton) for more shopping - its such a huge mall. We were there from 11 in the morning to about 5 in the evening and only managed to go to about 5 shops. I decided that I would need 2 full days to get to all the shops so I think I might have to stay in Milton Keynes one weekend!!!
On Wednesday one of my Uncles (that I hadn't yet seen) came to visit me. I decided that I wanted to decorate the house with Xmas decorations as the whole of my Mums family will be together for Xmas for the first time in 12 years so we went and bought some outside lights for the house and some other decorations for inside. I helped my Uncle put the outside lights up and then I put the Xmas tree up and the other decorations.
On Thursday I caught a bus to the Arndale Centre (Luton's local shopping mall) and I spent the whole day shopping - again!!! I finished all my Xmas shopping and, of course, bought a few things for myself as well!! And on Friday, my Grandma wanted to go shopping so we walked to the mall and went shopping yet again!! I didn't buy anything this time though!!
On Saturday I went to my Uncles house in Ware (near Hertfordshire) - not far from London. He has three crazy kids - Jared (11), Danyn (9) and Imogen (7). I went to watch Imogen's Xmas theatre production which was really cute. We went back to my Uncles, had lunch and a few wines and chatted for a couple of hours. We then had dinner (pizza and wine) and had no choice (thanks to Jared) but to watch The Crocodile Hunter and Animal Planet for the rest of the night!! On Sunday we walked to a cafe and had breakfast - I had pancakes, bacon and maple syrup!! Yum! I then went to watch Danyn and Imogen's swimming lessons which was really cute and after that my Uncle took me back to Luton.
My second week in the UK...
On Tuesday, my Uncle took me to Aylesbury to do some shopping and I bought heaps!!! There is so much variety here and it's reasonably cheap. We had a pub lunch and then done some more shopping.
On Thursday, I caught a train into London and met Katrina (who I used to work with in Auckland) for lunch. We went to a Thai place near her work which had great food. However, it was so busy that we got kicked out as soon as we finished eating as there were people waiting so we went to a pub across the road and finished chatting and catching up. Was good to see someone from home!!
On Saturday afternoon I caught a train to Katrina's flat in Acton Town to experience my first night out!! We caught the tubes to a bar in Wimbledon for "2 for 1" cocktails and when Happy hour was over, we moved on to a few other bars. We then had a feed and caught a cab back to Katrina's. I stayed at Katrina's and caught a train back to Luton on Sunday morning.
Location: London, UK
My first week in the UK...
I arrived into London at 6.30 on Sunday morning and my grandparents picked me up from the airport and took me back to their place in Luton. My cousins were there when we arrived so I pretty much spent the whole day catching up with them as I haven't seen them in 12 years. I went to bed around 5.30 that evening as I was pretty jet-lagged.
Didn't do much on Monday and Tuesday but on Wednesday, I went to London with my Uncle for the first time (in 12 years) and I absolutely loved it!! It is such an amazing place. It is so different to what I remember it being 12 years ago. Everyone and everything is on the go 24/7!!
My Uncle and I met another of my Uncles for a drink at a Canadian pub then we had lunch at a Mexican place. We then went to see the Piccadily Circus lights, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the London Eye (although we didn't go on it as it was raining) and finally we went on a cruise around the River Thames. After walking around London for 6 hours my feet were beginning to hurt and it was getting really cold so we decided to say goodbye to London and catch a train back to Luton!
The rest of the week was pretty much spent indoors due to the miserable weather. I can't believe how early it gets dark here - by 4pm it starts getting dark and by 5pm its pitch black!! And this is only the start of winter!!