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Liesha's Next Big Adventure

Hi Everybody - welcome to my travel page!

Thought this'd be a great way to keep everyone up-to-date with what I'm doing overseas. You can check out my photos, read my diary entries and post your own messages!

Looking forward to posting lots of exciting entries about my adventures and hearing all about how you are!

Luv and Hugs,

L.

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Location: London, UK

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a lovely Christmas and a properous and Happy 2008!

Sam and I had an unusal Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve I went to St Pauls Cathedral to listen to the chior and the service. There were 2,000 people there and it was just magic! The voices in the big Cathedral were like nothing I could describe - angels. This is definitely a 'must do' for future UK Christmases!!!

Christmas morning was relaxed with early morning phone calls to family at home, and a visit to the Church (across the road - convenient!) and a hot breakfast with the traditional British drink of Champage and OJ - yum! Then it was off to lunch at a Lebanese restuarant in Kensington.

Long story, but our traditional Christmas feast was postponed to Boxing Day, so Sam and I did something a bit different - Lebanese! Lunch was really nice and kinda bizzare as the people eating there were all sorts from a sweet old couple, to young families and us! Was really nice though.

Given that there's not much open on Christmas Day, the next stop was a hotel up the road, the Oriental. They were having Christmas celebrations and so we sat in the bar and had yummy Moet champagne cocktails and enjoyed the atmosphere. We picked up some groovy hats and had a really nice time.

After that it was the Langford Hotel. VERY posh. I'm not sure we'd get in the there on a normal night!!! The hotel is just beautiful - magnificent Christmas Tree in the foyer and lots of antiques. We sat in the Library Bar, had another Champagne cocktail and just generally enjoyed people watching and relaxing.

We were a bit over hotels after that, so it was off to the Slug and Lettuce in Fulham (the only other place we knew that was open) to meet some friends (kinda ironic as it's a bit of dive - going from the Langford to the Slug is a MAJOR step down!). So, we ended the day in a room packed full of Antipodeans celebrating. A bizzare Christmas, but heaps of fun none-the-less.

Boxing Day was 'feast' day, and we had an absolute ball cooking turkey breast, cranberry sauce (from scratch), roast vegies, brussell sprouts (tradtional British apparently) and the rest. Lizzie, Chloe and Wazzer came over and we ended up dancing the night away in our living room. A fun day had by all!

So, even though we missed our rellies and friends, Christmas was a warm and fun day. No snow though!!!! Maybe next year???

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Location: Ashburn, Virginia, USA

Well, here I am in Ashburn, Virginia in the good ol' US-of-A. I'm here for two weeks for work, and have been here for 10 days now. I was fortunate enough to arrive in time for Halloween and got to experience a good ol' American Halloween, complete with trick-a-treaters, jack-o-lanterns and candy. It was heaps of fun!

Ashburn is near Washington DC (40 min drive), so I went to DC for the weekend, last weekend. I did the tacky tourist thing and got tickets on a double-decker sight-seeing bus, which was great! I got to see all the sights of DC and get a good feeling for where everything is. There is SO much to see in DC. I reckon you could live here and visit something every day and still not see it all in a year: so many museums, monuments, and events.

I caught up with one of Catherine's friends, Helen, and some of her friends for dinner and drinks in Georgetown which was really nice and fun. Was good to chat to some Antipodeans! We drove past the Lincolm Memorial at night and it totally captivated me, so it was top of the list for sites to see the next day. And it didn't disappoint. There's something about it that is just awesome in the true sense of the word.

I also wanted to see the White House so had a nice walk around DC between the monuments, having a wonderful encounter with the many squirrels that inhabit DC. I was glad that I'd bought some peanuts to nibble on as I could make friends with the squirrels!

Then, back to work on Monday. It's been a busy and tiring week, but everyone at work has been so nice and hospitable. Caitlyn, my boss, took me to the Kennedy Centre to see a play, Shear Madness. It's interactive comedy and was really good. It's one of the longest running comedy's in the US and I can see why!

This weekend is a chill weekend. I went to a bar last night with some of the people from work and am just relaxing in my hotel room today watching my HUGE TV. I'll walk on over to the shops later this afternoon. It's funny you know, no one walks anywhere (literally) so it's bizzare to be the only one walking on the streets. There aren't even any pedestrian crossings at the traffic lights!!!

Then, tomorrow, Caitlyn is taking me to see George Washington's farm and also some more of the gorgeous Autumn colours. The trees here are just spectacular!! I'm flying out on Monday night, back in the UK on Tuesday morning. So, until then...

Hugs,

L.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Location: Middle Farm, Firle, Sussex, England

I lurve Apples!!! ...so the Apple Festival at Middle Farm was a 'must do' event! Located in the tiny country village of Firle, in the county of Sussex in Southern England, Middle Farm holds an Apple Festival every year. I came across the festival while doing a country walk a few weeks ago, so we thought 'what a good idea!'...

There is an old-time fair, Morris Dancers, Apple Fare, Ciders (over 100!), bands, and of course, Chicken and Sheep racing!!! Sam, Lyndsay, Wazza and I drove down early Saturday morning and stayed in a gorgeously-tacky room in Brighton. We took a train and taxi to Middle Farm. We were not sure what to expect, and so did not expect much, but you can imagine our delight to find that it was a lovely, homey, old-fashioned affair.

It was busy, but not too many people so you could easily get around. The rides were hand painted and just gorgeous. There were various stalls, and to my delight a coconut shy! I have read all about these in various Enid Blyton books etc, and since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to try one. It was fun. I mean, I was hopeless at it, but it was fun doing it. The man who ran the shy was so stunned at my excitement about it all, he gave me a coconut, even though I came nowhere near actually hitting one!!!! We went on the Merry Go Round, and Sam and Lyndz went on the Chair-O-Plane. It was fun!!

I shopped up big in the home-made food stall, buying various apple treats, cheeses and sausages. Yum!

There was a Ferret Tent, selling the fact that 'Ferrets are Fun' (yes, I even bought the pen...), a Mouseland (which I didn't go into - that was taking it a bit far I thought), and of course, my favourite event of the day, the Chicken and Sheep races!!! Yes, you read that correctly! Check out my photos for proof. Hysterical!!!

And of course, there was a bar selling home-made cider! To be honest, home-made cider is not that great tasting. 'Rocket fuel' and 'Dettol' were two ways we would describe the taste, but hey, when in Rome... The bar was in a huge tent lined with bales of hay for seats and country bands playing. After the end of the day there was a big crowd dancing and we had hay fights and it was heaps of fun!!!

All in all. Fun was had by all! So, I repeat - I love Apples!!! :o)

We ended up in Brighton to watch the Rugby World Cup Final and then party the night away to the wee hours of the morning. It was a shame England lost, but it was still a fun night!!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Location: London, UK

Hi Everyone, sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written. Settling into London has had its ups and downs and it’s been a while since I’ve had the time to write..

I was VERY fortunate to be able to stay with my friend Amy when I arrived in London. She and her flatmates, Catherine (NZ) and Mark (UK) have been so welcoming and hospitable. It took me waaaay longer to find a place than I’d thought, so I ended up sleeping on the floor of Amy’s bedroom for almost 3 weeks.

I initially thought that I’d find a room in share accommodation with strangers, but my friend Chloe was also looking for a place so we ended up sharing together. We moved into a 2 bedroom basement flat in Clapham North 5 weeks ago. We were only there 1 week when we started smelling this vile smell. Over the following days it just got worse, mainly in my bedroom. Unfortunately our landlords were overseas so there wasn’t much we could do. The smell got so bad that I couldn’t sleep in my room, and after one night on the couch, I started sleeping at friend’s places!!

You can imagine how stressful this was. I was supposed to be working from home and I couldn’t even BE in my bedroom, let along working there for 8 hours a day!!! We ended up discovering that the smell was coming from a backed up sewage drain and that this happens every 4-6 months or so. The Council finally fixed the smell, but needless to say, Chloe and I decided to move out. The stress was just piling up as we’d signed a 8 month lease and we’d paid a lot of bond and we were worried that we’d be trapped there, in addition, I was packing up my computer every day to work in internet cafes or pubs or at Amy’s while trying to sort this mess out. It was soooo stressful I can’t even begin to describe it. On top of that, trying to sort out bank accounts, telephones, finances and all the other UK Red Tape; it was a crazy time.

Anyway, Chloe decided that as she was going home to Australia soon, she’d find a flat with some other people (no, we haven’t fallen out!!), and as Sam Benecke (a friend of mine from Aus) was looking for a flat, we decided to move in together. We found a FANTASTIC flat that was excellent value and just gorgeous (views, spa bath, big balcony, newly renovated), but the problem was it was 3 bedroom, so we needed another person.

The hunt was on to find another person before we had to move in, otherwise we would loose the flat and our deposit. While all that was going on, the landlords from my stinky flat (aka 'stink city') came back and we had to wait 2 days before we could talk to them before moving out. For a few days there, I had committed to the new place but still didn’t know whether I would need to fork out a lot of money to get out of my old one. It was crazy.

Anyway, Sam and I used our marketing skills and blanketed the London share accommodation market with ads, having numerous showings of the flat, until we found the perfect flatmate, an English girl (with Scottish heritage) called Lyndsay.

Anyway, to cut to the end of the story, the Stink City landlords let me out of the lease without any extra money (phew!), and I moved out last Saturday, into our lovely new place. We’ve been here a week and I just LOVE it!!! I am sooo glad that our persistence paid off and we fought the good fight to get this place. I’ve posted some photos of it, and will update them once we’ve settled in a bit.

But, in amongst all of that, I've been getting out and about! Clapham is a great part of London - always heaps going on! It has a massive park (English call them Commons) and on nice days hoards of people flock to the Common to picnic and get-together. Clapham is quite a young area, lots of bars and pubs and it's very social. I've got a few friends that live here and we all catch up or hang out at each other's places.

Sam and I have gotten in touch with Wayne Smith from CPA days and have already had him and another friend over for dinner on our lovely big balcony. We've got views of Big Ben, The London Eye, St Pauls and more! I'll post some photos...

I've also been on two country walks. The first one was from Arundel to Amberley in Sussex. In England, there are public footpaths that run all over the county. They typically go through farms or the woods and are so beautiful! Catherine has a book of country walks and we're trying to do one every month or so. Don't know how many more we'll get in as winter is fast approaching…

Amy, Sam, Anna (a friend of Catherine's from NZ) and I did one on Saturday from Glynde to Seaford and it was one of the most wonderful days of my life. Absolutely rewarding, breathtaking and fun! I’ve posted some photos for you to check out.

A few weeks ago, Sam and I did some exploring around London’s parks and spent a lovely Saturday morning walking around Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park. I’ve posted piccies of that too…

Last Tuesday, Amy, Nicole (a friend from CPA in Aus) and some of Amy’s friends and I went to see TapJam. It’s a really cool event where Tap Dancers (both professionals and amateurs) get up and tap to Jazz. None of it is rehearsed and it’s really funky. They only perform every 2 months, but I’m looking forward to the next one!

Well, I think that's a long enough entry for now. I'm so glad to get your messages and to know that someone is reading this!!! I promise that now I'm settled you'll get more regular updates.

Take care everyone - I miss you all soooo much!

Hugs,

L.


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Recent Messages

From Brigette
Hi Liesh,
Sent you a long email via hotmail, did you get it? What sort of job are you doing that lets you fly and work in the US for 2 weeks? Write me and give details so I can boast to all my other friends about you! I went to dinner last week with Carla, Julie Deeth, Susie, Claire McDairmid and Kylie Pulvirenti. It was 20 years since school had finished, It was nice to catch up but I missed you as did the others and they asked about you!

Love and miss you take care
Bid
Response: Hey Bid! I'm sorry I've been so slack replying and updating this site! Will call you soon - did you get the message from Jade that I called when he was babysitting?
From tania
looks like life is one big holiday. can I come too. go girl.
From Brigette
Hi Liesh,
Wrote you an email when I had trouble accessing this site. I did send you a quick note on here though. Did you get it?
Have been busy, as usual. I now have Landen at Daycare on a Thursday with Tyler so I can do some teaching work. I have only had a few hours so far.Tyler is booked in to go to Corinda for Prep next year and we have been attending the school once a fortnight in the afternoons for orientation sessions. It is good as he will start to make friends and know the place before he starts in January. I am a little sad as my first born is now a big boy!
Landen had a stint in the hospital about 8 weeks ago to do with asthma. He had to be on ventolin every 3 hours, for the night. It was awful. He is ok now, thank goodness.
I am very envious of you. The trips and touring look great.
I want to come and visit next year after I win lotto of course!
Miss you Liesh, keep up the blog I love hearing what you are doing. xxxxx

Bid
From Darcy
Hi Liesha,
Love you're new place!! I wish so much I could come and play. Missed you heaps at my wedding, I was thinking of you. We had a fantastic day, I will email some pics soon. Miss you heaps,
Darc
Response: I was thinking of you too - I saw some piccies and you looked SO beautiful!
From Mum
Glad you got all the troubles sorted out, what a stressful time! How have you had time to go on walks and share the photos with us? Thanks for this, nothing is nicer than summer in England. Its just so beautiful isnt it. Keep enjoying it, winter will sooooon be here.
Response: Can't wait for you guys to get here so we can go on a walk too! I will have tried a few of them out by then, so we can do the best one! Won't be walking in winter tho - might start working my way through London's Museums instead!
From Brigette
Hi Liesh,
Love reading and seeing what you are up to.I am envious, you are making me remember my London days! Wish I was there. We miss you but keep having a great time. Sorry to hear about your first abode, but it does make for an interesting travel story. I was worried as I was reading that you were going to say that the stink was a dead body or something!
luv ya Bid xxxx
Response: LOL!!! I'm glad it wasn't!!! :o)
From Susan harding Smith
Hi Liesh,

I'm so excited to hear all your wonderful news. What a disaster with your first place though! Glad to hear it ended well and you are now in a fantastic place! It's great to hear that you are having a good time. We will have to organise that skype catchup soon.

Take care - miss you!
Sue HS.
Response: Miss you too! Hope all is well - we should have a good long chat soon! :o)
From Tineka
Hi Sis,

How's tricks? Have you picked up an english accent yet?! Hope your having fun settling into your new place.

Missing you, T. :)
Response: Hey Sis, I'm missing you too!! Am loving chatting on Skype tho! Hey, check out the photos of the Buzz night we had recently. It's hard to make playing Buzz look fun through photos, but it really was a fun night!! L.
From Tracey Hannant
Hi Liesha, you trip so far looks fabulous. I am sure it is a great experience to be on the road travelling around. The photos give a great feel of what you are experiencing too. Just for your info today (Friday 21st September is my last day at CPA Australia. I have at long last decided after 19 years (e.g. as at 19 September 2007) it was time to hang up my Events persona and try something new. So I resigned, don't have a job to go to but taking part of my long service leave now. Once I decide to return to the work force will just temp for two months until Xmas, then take all of January off to go to my long awaited trip to Antartica, for a few weeks. Then we will wait and see. I might even head off overseas. The list is endless really. I am so excitd about my future whatever that may hold. Have kept a copy of the blog address and will try to keep in touch with your o/seas adventure. Chow and bye for now! Tracey
Response: Hey Trace! Good on you! You've got so much talent - the world really is your oyster! Please keep me in informed of what goes on as you embark on your 'post-CPA' adventures! London is going really well. Sam Benecke and are sharing a 3 bed flat with a lovely Scottish lass and are having a ball. I'll post some photos of a fantastic day we had yesterday and of our flat. If you are heading this way, let us know! Do you have a new email address that we can contact you on? All the best for this exciting new phase in your life. L. oxo
From Gadabouts
Thanks for the great tour of New York, Hamptons and London. We dont have to go now! Gave us an enthusiasm for America we've never had. Keep seeing great things and thanks for sharing them with us. Makes us part of your journey! Keep safe.
Response: Thanks Mum! I love and miss you both sooo much - you still have to come over and visit tho!!! L. oxo
From Mum & Dad
Like reading your blog and hope all is going well.
Hope the weather is in summer mode. L M & D
Response: It's beautiful weather here! I'm enjoying the 2 weeks of Summer before winter comes!!! But I'm looking forward to winter too! Hope Mitchell isn't too cold! Missing you HEAPS! L. oxo
From suski
Hi Liesha!
Wow, what a nice idea to have a diary in a net! Thanks for sharing your experiencies with us. Me and Trev arrived home to nelson bay last night.
Was fantastic time in Finland, Holland and Singapore. We are now married! I wish all the best to you mate :->
Response: And to you! Have you got photos of your wedding? I'd LOVE to see them! Next time you're in Europe I should come and visit you!
From Sam
Heeey there stranger! Where are you now. I´m still in Spain, Sans Sebastian after travelling through France and Morrocco. It´s been a blast, and with no shortage of great laughs, disasters and breathtaking sights along the way. I am heading to Paris on Sunday and then London Tues or Wed. Off to the Embassy to get a new Passport after mine was stolen by the horse cart driver in Africa. Ha, that´s another story! Miss you and can´t wait to catch up in the Motherland sista! When do you arrive? xx
Response: Heeey Sammy. I'm here now, waiting with an ice cold bottle of French Sav Blanc. The sun is out and the weather is magic - can't wait for you to get here to swap travel stories! Give me a call when you're in town. L. xx
From Tania
Wow, can't believe you are on your way! 2 months away from the big delivery but I'll hopefully catch up with you in blighty next year and you'll meet our little girl! All the best of luck Liesha - you're arriving at a very wet time in Britain - get a pair of wellies - Hunters are the best! Loads of luv
Tan xx
From Susan harding Smith
Hey Liesh

This is great. I will definitely be checking this out regularly... afterall, I am going to be living vicariously through you!
Going to miss you heaps..

Sue
From Tineka and Simon
Thank soooooo much for coming all the way out to visit us last week - it was wonderful to spend some quality time with you and Mark. A memory to treasure before you fly overseas. Just one thing.....stop being so damn good at Buzz....it's rigged we tell you!!!! Ha ha! Thanks for bringing it....oh, and thanks for the cheap advertising on your site of Mitchell's "tourist attractions"!! ;)
Response: I've heard that Steve is a killer Buzz player, so I'm looking forward to some heady competition with him in the UK!

Mitchell is a gorgeous place, with some lovely scenery, so it is easy to advertise it!!! :o) The good ol' Aussie Outback!
From paully
Hey there great idea on the blog and I look forward to seeing you in london
Response: Can't wait! Not long now...
From Susan
Hi gorgeous! The site looks fantastic :). Oh I'm so going to miss you :(. Love love love the photos.... email me the full-size ones if you can (I know you have a million and one things to do).
Love Susan xoxox
From mark
This is the best web page I've ever seen...
From Rebecca
Oh Lieshy-loo, we'll miss you!
Bec xxxx
From Joy Paul
'ey Liesha,

All the best in your new advenures and life and in a new city.

You will be missed.

Cheers

JPT.
From Tineka
Woohoo - great idea Sis!! Can't wait to read about all your adventures. Love the camping and big pineapple pics - and how gorgeous are Susan's kids?! Can't believe how quickly they've grown into handsome little men! Good luck with the to-do list, and all the warmest wishes for a wonderful life in London. xo
From Tracey Hannant
Hi Liesha, what a great idea with the travel log. The pics showed you had a fantastic time. Really looking forward to keep intouch with you and what you have been up to. Cheers Tracey
PS: looking forward to saying my good byes on 15 July.
From Judy
Hey Leish,
Great site. I'll look forward to your adventures. Have a fabulous time.
J.