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USA, Europe and 6 weeks of summer

Hi everyone! Welcome to my travel page. I'm hoping to find time to jot down some good adventure stories while I'm away and I thought this would be better than a bulk email that everyone stops reading halfway through i describe the 3rd meal i had that day (i promise i won't do that)

So its Kerrie and I travelling from America to Europe for 6 weeks of summer fun. I'd say we'll miss you but chances are we won't..because we're on holiday!

Feel free to leave a comment for me. They always made me laugh when i had a page like this my last trip (Dan and Glenn, that means you).

Jana xo

Diary Entries

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Location: Perth, Australia

Last entry!

Arrived home in yesterday morning in the early hours after traveling for about 2 days home from Valencia, Spain. After Barcelona it was a whirlwind trip to Valencia for Tomatina. Our train ride was full of 6 Irish guys drunk at 11am with a carton to finish on the train. They sang the whole way, a couple stripped off and the one in a bathrobe finished by reciting the speech by Daniel Day Lewis in "There Will Be Blood".

Tomatina was an early morning train ride to the small town of Bunol. There were so many people from home there so it was a blast. There were 40,000 people at the event and out of that i ran into almost everyone i knew would be there. Which was lucky because it really was a sea of people, a friend will be next to you one minute and then gone in a second, like a rip. What i dont think people realise about the festival is to get totally drenched in tomatoes you have to go into the most violent mosh pit of nutcases. Kerrie said she saw people lose the plot and revert back to pre-evolution. Elbows to the head, cant breathe, face in someones armpit kind of moments. Sounds terrible but we had a wicked time. I also managed to make the find of the day which was little old lady letting people use her toilet for a euro. and if you saw the other toilets on offer you'd know how big a find this was.

The local town people get the best kick out of this event, they are up atop the buildings pegging tourists in the head with stray tomatoes and buckets of water. Its a Dad's dream day. They connect the hose to their apartment kitchen and spray you as you walk by laughing their heads off. Afterward they hose the tomatoes off everyone which we are so grateful for and we trod off back to Valencia exhausted.

So much more had happened and i feel like i've barely touched the surface, its been the trip of a lifetime and now that i'm home i can say without touching wood how lucky Kerrie and I have been. I'm especially lucky to have had Kerrie with me the whole way. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to share this with.

Now that I'm home i looking forward to eating properly, vegetables and no more bread! And of course seeing all my friends, but I'm not going to lie..its bittersweet. I already miss the constant change and new experiences everyday. So bear with me if you catch me daydreaming, i'm only thinking of where to go next.

Thanks for the messages and reading along. I hope it wasn't too self indulgent.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Last day in Barcelona. Had a great time catching up with friends from home the last few days. Jess, Josie, Teneeka, Kaisha, Kerrie and I all went out to dinner a couple of nights ago. We caught up with Deirdre and Natalia from school as well and went to a Spanish Cooking class where we made Sangria and had a delicious paella. Jess got her sillouette cut out on a piece of paper by a guy on the street in under 2 minutes. So cool to watch.

Went on a bar crawl one night, a girl recognised me from playing her at netball in Fremantle and I only hope i was nice to her..cant one liked dalmatinac. Spent most of the night with a group of 6 'lads' from London who taught me cockney rhyming. Glenn/Hayles you were right, you have no idea what they're saying. 'Britney Spears' ....Beers. At the end of the night walking to find food we ran into a guy we think was a bartender at one of the places we went to on the crawl and he walked us to a late night (4am i think it was) tapas bar.

Went and saw Gaudis church then sort of got lost heading to the gardens so gave up. Pretty amazing church though.

Barcelona itself was pretty cool, we were in a bit more of a central tourist area which affects things. Easy to get to places but i dont really like going to a restaraunt that has the English translation. Less fun... you actually know what you're getting. You also never know the opening times of places here- i think they're making siesta a joke because only around 30% of the stores seem to be open at any one time.

So last day here..and last day of buffet breakfast every morning. All the girls are heading to Valencia today for Tomatina so cant wait for the next 48 hours.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Location: Barcelona, Spain

You´ve probably figured it out but i am safe and sound. Kerrie and i left Madrid today for Barcelona by train. The crash has been all over the news and its shaken us a bit when we think about all the same sort of flights we´ve taken but we´re just trying not to think about it.

Really hard to do a good leeway from that but i should tell you about Spain so far...

So..its awesome. I´ve been able to say a bunch of stuff in Spanish so my weeks of Spanish classes are sort of paying off..sort of. Weve had the most delicious tapas and its even more fun in that the only word´s i know for sure are huevos (eggs) and jamon (ham) because kris gave me the dr seuss spanish version of "green eggs and ham". -thanks kris- Bloody good food when it comes out. Even more authentic when they have the pigs leg a metre away from you when they shave of the meat. Rustic.

We play, what colour is the prostitute outside our hotel going to wear each day and thats been fun. She went for one full colour our first two days then flipped it on us today with a more demure black and white. Cheeky.

We went to the Prado museum and that was cool because it was quiet and relaxed, total opposite to Lourve. My favourite was Samson and the Philistines by Giulio Cesare Proccacini c. 1625.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Location: London, England

We just left London yesterday for the 2nd time. Glenn and Hayley looked after us yet again (thankyou thankyou!) and we got to do all our washing! You would be suprised how happy that can make a person. We went to Portobello and Camden (Lisamarie i was thinking of you) and i wish i had more luggage space...

Went to the Slug to watch the Dockers game and ran into my friend from uni, Kellie who i havent seen in a couple of years. It really is little Australia around there.

Afterwood, another bar and we caught up with some friends we made on the plane ride from Split to London. That was a lot of fun. Just meant we had another night with next to no sleep so Kerrie and I slept for about 13hours last night (in Madrid). Its the home of siesta so i feel like im embracing the culture.

So far Madrid is cool, really good to be away from Australian travellers again (for now). I cant really figure out when things open up over here because everything seems shut. I´m assuming we´ll start living like NYC again, sleeping in and then bedtime early morning. And I´m perfectly happy with that :)

Saturday, 09 August 2008

Location: Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar etc.., Croatia

Massively backdated entry but whatever, ive been on a boat for a week! Croatia was beautiful, relaxing and a massive learning experience. We were on a boat with about 30 Australians (and a couple of NZ´s). Let me describe the groups...

Dubbo boys..3 guys, one of which was cool the other two who find a reason to say c**t at breakfast and any other time in between. They also had a comp to get the most girls, and they did suprisingly well. Bleh.

Trashbags..a group of the most filthy girls you´ve ever met. Hot bodies but the biggest disgrace. They drank more than anyone on the boat, one had to do a swim of shame from one boat to another early in the morning, another had HER OWN name tattoed on her case she forgot it..i can go on but there is too much material. The point is, they sucked.

Geelong Crew.. Best group of people who made it a fantastic trip.

Perth Girls.. Briony and Kate. Chilled out girls. Will be friends back home for sure.

So this was our company (as well as some others) who we had to learn to live with for 7 days. It ended up being a really good trip though. Croatia is such a beautiful place and we spent all day eating (the food our drunk cook made) sleeping, diving off the boat and cruising around new towns. Korcula was a favourite.

Lots more to say but this is getting dull for you. I should also mention Kerrie and I flooded all the downstairs cabins on our second day. We left our tap on (accidently!) while the generator was off and soaked all the rooms below us. Woops. The Captain went nuts at us and we got to see the lovely Croatian temper. There was a mutual hate the rest of the trip..luckily the trashbags pissed him off more so we were 2nd last on his totem.

Friday, 08 August 2008

Location: Fulham, London, UK

We've been in London for a couple of days now, Amsterdam was fantastic. Our hotel was delux, we slept properly for the first time since we left and we even got to watch The Hills (MTV) dubbed in Dutch...kind of frustrating.

Organising our Eurostar in Amsterdam we had a crazy lady decided to stop our hearts several time by saying our tickets would cost ~250 euro each which then progressed to 75 euro...i think she just got a kick out of it.

London has been great, we've been hanging out with 2 friends Glenn and Hayley and staying at there place has been just what we needed. A home finally! The weather a bit strange, it will be humid and sunny then start raining, then get warm again. I'm glad we're back here for another day after Croatia because theres so much we havent done. We went out to Mexican in Covent Garden and then had some drinks last night. Shopped in Regent St area yesterday, went to Topshop which is a mini city. Its a great store but pretty intense, kind of like unairconditioned Myer during Christmas trading.

Apologies for not putting photos up; the computers over here don't seem to want to work with me. And Dad, sorry i got disconnected the other day 3 euro got me about 2 minutes on the phone..i mean't to say Happy Birthday! Hope your dinner was good.

We're flying to Split, Croatia today to cruise through the islands for a week. Its going to be rad.

Monday, 04 August 2008

Location: Paris, France

Last entry from Paris, we're off to Amsterdam tomorrow and I'm up on my hostel computers at 4am because my 6 euro espresso was NOT a good idea late at night. It was damn good though, the coffee here is are the pastries..but other than that i only seem to see food with baguette, ham, cheese or egg. I'm craving vegetables. Mum-make note.

So I've fallen in love with Paris, its hard not to.. the place is unlike anything else. We went on a night bike tour and we ended by riding through an almost deserted Lourve at sunset with a lone saxaphone playing in one of the arches. I can't even describe the feeling, i could come home right now and no one can ever take that moment away.

We made some great friends on the bike tour (Students from Purdue and Ioha uni) and we went out with them after the bike ride. It was really good to have a group to go out with because Kerrie and i haven't been game to go to a bar while we've been here. I think any girls who have been here can attest that 'forward' is an understatement with many French men and we've felt uncomfortable on so many train rides and just walking around. I'm never going to miss that, i think kerrie was going to hit one of them walking to get food last night.

Speaking of last night we went to the Moulin Rouge, had a UK couple on our table who are thinking of emigrating to Perth in Sept, we got along really well. The show was super campy, was great but also had a taste of Eurovision in there too. You know the weird European vibe we'll never really get?

Oh and yesterday was the first Sunday of the month so all museums are free..we didn't line up- right place right time- and saw some cool sculptures and epic paintings. Then we became aware of the retarded tourists around us taking photos of paintings ...what for?...hell i saw a guy take a photo of a POSTER of mona lisa! Thats when we decided it was time to go.

Saturday, 02 August 2008

Location: Paris, France

Oh and Dan..Jess..Graham my camera just paid for itself today. It was taking crap shadowy shots of the Eiffel Tower because its overcast and I played around and lit it up. Really pleased with myself and will hopefully be able to understand what i did to make it get like that soon.

Friday, 01 August 2008

Location: Paris, France

Just woke up, most people know how good i am at falling asleep at any time of the day. Its actually been a really helpful skill whilst travelling because the hours we keep can be strange.

We did our laundry today and were so lucky an old parisian guy who was doing his helped us using sign language and a lot of nodding. Pretty much a highlight for me (and I'm not kidding we would have never gave figured it out otherwise). Ordering food is also interesting, i don't think we're in a tourist area because no one speaks english. Kerrie and I smile and nod a seems to work. But i need to stop speaking other languages like 'Si ' because they don't get that either.

The patisseries around us are drool worthy, just like everyone has always described. We will have to get some tomorrow.

Did the bike tour this afternoon and it was fantastic, we got to see so much in a short time and got funny, historical stories to go along with it. Recommend it to anyone. We're doing the nightime tour tomorrow which ends with a tour along the Seinne and free wine. Hoping we don't have the same middle aged Texan dorks on todays tour again, i think they need to buy a convertible and be done with it. We rode beach cruisers and it felt like i was on the set of 'now and then'. Mum- your bike would have put them to shame though.

As i said before, we are having a blast in Paris and our hostel is in a fantastic spot away from tourists..and dodgy people that were around the Sacre Coeur. Anyway more later.

Friday, 01 August 2008

Location: Montmarte, Paris, France

We are finally in Paris! Our flight got delayed at JFK for 6 hours so that was shit. I'm out of my element, can't speak a word of French but we're here and it the most exciting place to be. People have been so helpful, the subway system is easy to use but not airconditioned and its was so hot when we arrived maybe ~35 degrees. Our hostel is great and Montmarte is a sweet area nice and chilled. We went and had wine and cheese for dinner @ 11:30pm and our translator (the only customer who spoke english) bought us red wine which was sweet. We also sat on the pathway facing outwards which is great to watch everyone go by. And we tried not to judge the pregant woman who was smoking nearby..ahem.

Tomorrow we are probably going on a cycling tour so I'll let you know how that goes.

I love this place!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Location: Burger King Internet Cafe NYC, USA

Last day in New York :( Today we're having lunch with Eleonora and then flying out to Paris.

We walked the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, balmy summers night- it was beautiful. As we were walking along we became friends with some Spanish guys who were great fun and told us all about Spain. On the way back..fireworks start going off just in front off us (we're assuming they were for us) so we are all just lined up on the bridge having the most unexpected show and a lot of them were in Dockers colours...even better ;) And on one of our Subways yesterday 3 guys just set up their drums and played for us in our carriage. I love this stuff, so much more passion than we ever see.

Also....12 pack of coronas $16 from the pharmacy.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Location: New York, USA

I love hotels, love them.

Went out in...Noho (i think) the other night to meet up with Kerries mate Yuna, awesome bars all round Bleeker St there. Its great, we start our nights out at ~11:30pm. Everything gets good around midnight so we sleep in till 11am go shop or see a museum (went to Moma the other day) go to Wholefoods or out to dinner ~ 10:30 and then head out.

Kerrie and I shopped down Bleeker St yesterday, went to Magnolia bakery (Sex and the City) and got cupcakes and the most awesome carrot and red velvet cakes. We pretty much made ourselves sick.

Downtown in Soho, Chelsea, Greenwhich is our favourite area..we don't get called at (guys are really forward over here- gross). People are just chilled out and helpful. We even ran into a couple from Applecross, the suburb next to me at home.

To all my Woodside crew- I've been spying the ball photos and it looks a blast. Wish i could have been there. And Krista... Happy Birthday for tomorrow!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Location: New York, USA

Saw Legally Blonde on Broadway last night- Eleonora got us free tickets so we were really lucky. The lead playing Elle Woods is apparentley the winner of an American Idol style show "Search for a Broadway star" i do't actually know what its called but the crowd went a little nutty for her.

Other than that we are moving to a hotel today!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Location: New York, USA

Kerrie and I are seedy today, really seedy. After shopping at Macys yesterday and around 34th St we went back to our hostel which was having a bbq in the back courtyard and had great live music. We requested crowded house but he didn't know it..damn american. He was fantastic though, it made me appreciate the hostel a bit more. Went out to Tribeca Tavern and then to M1-5 in Soho. Randomly the owner came up to us and bought us drinks all night- we said we wanted to have a cheap night so that was awesome! As a result we both feel totally awful today.

This morning i got up and had my hair blowdried by the dominican hair salon down the road. I warned them my hair was a pain to do cos its so thick and they looked at me like i was an idiot..then i realised they do afro hair all the time so mines a cake walk. Err Jana...

Anyway Broadway show tonight so i'll let you know.

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Recent Messages

From Butchers Hook
Jans its all 6's n 7's innit - I was all apples n pears to the 2nd level today to have a few beers innit
From killa
I could not be more excited for you and proud of you. You are a worldly socialite and I am a reject. Its offical you are better than me. But atleast my spanish has more depth than Doctor Suess (That is really funny, I was trying to make "dr" spanish and I realized it was the same word- damn) How about Medico Suess? Ya thats clever. Te amo mucho hermana.
Response: I wasnt lying either...sad. please get your shit together for our next rendevous! mama j
From Miss Mullin
I thought you woulda been right at home in Siesta-Land!!? Imagine you thinking that a country was taking the siesta too far?!
From SJ
hey babes,
sounds like you are having a blast!!
spanish cooking classes i am impressed.. keep living it up and hanging to see you
luv SJ
Response: the paela was so good and it i learnt how to make sangria. jessand i are set on a spanish night so maybe when we are both home...?
From sexy suzie
Hey Jana Novotna,

I miss you, im so happy you're having the wildest time. I'm leaving work Fri 29th so i'l miss ya but im planning on seeing you! Don't come back preggers!! heheheh
love ya xxxxxxxxxxx
p.s. so much goss goin on your nips will turn blue!
From Fred the Philistine
There is a museum named after the Toyota Prado? Weird. What about the Corolla Art Gallery?
From Carly
korcula was my favourite too! i daydream often about falling in love with a millionare who owns a little shack there and running away to spend the rest of my days relaxing on the deck of his boat and eating yummy food in korcula...
Response: Can i steal that dream?
From Killa
Are you dead? That would excuse your lack of interest in posting your misadventures. I would just expect a note or a call or something if you dropped dead...I don't think that's too much to ask, so call me from the great beyond or whatever.
Response: I´ve been on boat! Can you come meet me in Spain right now? My Spanish is atrocious..
From Jeff Farmer
I want you to come watch me play, Sunday at the Slug in Fulham, I will be putting on a show at 6pm - I suggest you meet up with those Aussie studs you stayed with before and go watch... Holla

The Wiz
Response: Been there done that,.,,can't remember
From K-Time
Your back soon! Its been ages and I can't wait to see you and photos and stories....
have fun, be safe x
Response: I think i have a tan! I'll be blacker than you when i get back!
From steph
Loving your updates.....i'm in Turkey for three weeks and you're in Croatia....thats frustratingly close!!!! We have the owners on for 3 weeks n i am probably going to go a little insane, so keep the blog updated so i can see that at least one of us is enjoying Europe...Oh my, im dying to know what u think of London? Chavtastic or what? hehee
Response: Oh man turkey is so close Croatia is stunning but some of the people can be rude assholes. Old ladies shove you out of the way! im going to start pushing back.

..p.s how annoying are european keyboards?
From yingying and beibei
mexican in england? thats like goin around the world and not seeing us at the games.. what ever happened to a good curry.
From canon camera nazi
jana great to hear! i'm feeling chuffed with my purchase, even if it is purely for its looks. elvis has been my main subject, and a good one at that. mind you i did spend 2hrs watching youtube vids before i felt confident to switch to manual settings ahahha. you'll get there. patience my friend. go to AV mode and click away for portraits, you'll thank yourself later, blurred backgrounds alllllll the way!!!! ahhah xox
Response: I had a guy teach AV setting to me when we were on a cruise along the Seinne last night! Who needs to read?
From Eleonora
I'm so jealous of you in Paris! Have a fab time, and miss you already. So great to see you both on my birthday - the red velvet was delicious. And, guess what?! I was right - I'm engaged! It was awesome. Tell you all about it when we chat. xoxo
Response: Oh we have been dying to know!!! So excited and happy for you both! We will try and call at some stage to here all about the proposal. Woo hoo your getting married!!!
From Ansel Adams
Great pics so far. The Canon is doing nicely i take it?
Response: Yeah i still havent read the manual though so they are all point and shooters. Best purchase
From Miss Mullin
Hey Jani
I love reading your updates (and when i'm reading them i can hear your voice narrating them in my head!! well as see your disappointed-shake-of-head at pregnant-mothers-who-smoke :( So glad you're having a blast. Me and Deidre are gonna travel Europe next year, yay! I'm jealous of all the things you've been up to but the clincher for me has been 12pk coronas for $16!!!!! beats getting pissed on a bottle of passion pop ANY day!!
luv ya
Response: You and deirdre will have a blast, i've got so much more to tell you as well.
From Gem
Hey Sweetpea. Paris is a love you'll find and will never lose.
I did the bike tour! HOT TOUR GUIDES!!!!!!
Response: Ha! We are using there computers atm and they are!
From jess
oooh la la pari.... have fun mademoiselle.
From Jaylene
Hey Jana,
When in Paris if you get a chance try go to the latin quart for dinner, it's all these little restaurants that try and compete to get you in so they offer free wine etc and some will let you smash a plate just to get you in!
Response: I think we are going there tom night so will let you know!
From K-Time
Jans!! missing you terribly :(
sounds like your having an awesome time! unbelievably've infected me with the travel bug big time!
be safe & have fun!

Response: I've got so much to tell you. Can't wait to see you at your birthday/my welcome home party!
From Duff Man
Bud? Bud? Bud...... Gotta work on that palate kiddo.

From Prince Charles
When are you in England, I have some rather splendid sites to show you and your travelling chappelle's..

Do bother...rather...

Response: Faaaabulous
From steph
Jansy babes!!!!!!!!!!!
Im loving your oh so honest travel blog....those over the counter sleeping pills in the US are tops...but be careful they're addictive..... I miss u so much. Have a Bud for me (its not so bad!!!!) and i'll have a Cisk (Malta beer apparently)!!!!
When are u over Europe way? xo
Response: I think Dan will kill me by saying this but i liked bud more than the other beers here!

Flying to Paris tonight...we will be in the same time zone finally. Miss you too xx
From ted theodore logan
Men at work! na dude, now that would be a waste of time.. every rose has its thorn and every night has its dawn.... duuuuude poison!
From Big Brother
Crowded House? Pshhaw. You should have asked for 'Men at Work'. They usually know 'Man downunder'...Or whatever that damn song is called.... *singing* '....and she gave me a vegemiiite sandwich...' *stops singing*
Good huh?