Thursday, 5 November 2015

Dismaland, Weston Super Mare

Last month I was lucky enough to get tickets for the very popular Dismaland. For those of you that dont know, Dismaland was an exhibition by artist, Bansky, in Weston Super Mare, North Somerset. Bansky is a top secret street artist whose work can be found all over the world.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

London Town

The past few weeks were super exciting for me. I had a visit from my Australian friends that I met during my Camp America adventure visit me at the beginning of the month. I hadn't seen them for a year so it was a great reunion.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

New York - Day 5

So day 5 was our final full day and we had scheduled a trip to Coney Island in Brooklyn. I was so excited because I had not been before and I was looking for a relaxing day. The problem was - It was cold and raining! Not wanted to be defeated we still set off.
On the way we stopped for breakfast in iHop - because its 'Merica and you have to. I had an American version of a full breakfast, followed by pancakes - and I enjoyed every mouthful. The American version of a hash brown is just so yummy, it's making me hungry thinking about it. I went to iHop in New Orleans last year, and they do have the same grubby look to them, and a bit of an odd smell, but the food is too good to care.

We then hopped on the subway for an hour journey into Brooklyn, where we eventually got to Coney Island. For those who don't know, Coney Island is a beach in Brooklyn, which a big funfair. It is probably really good - when its not raining and things are actually open. The first place we went was a big sweet shop. We stocked up on some American candy and set off to explore. There was lots of food places and little shops, most of which were closed. I'm not sure if this was due to the weather or the fact it was Sunday.  There was lots of rides and different sections to the fair/theme park, but again, most things closed. The place did have a good atmosphere though. Everything seemed a bit old fashioned - but in a cool vintage way if that makes sense - see 'Nathans' below and you might understand. 

So after a pretty unsuccessful trip to Coney Island - so disappointing. We headed back to Manhattan. Our next port of call was The Brooklyn Bridge.  The weather was still pretty gross so it wasn't going to be a long visit.
I didn't realise ho big this bridge actually was. We seemed to be walking for ages but not really getting very far. However we walked up to a good selfie point - because thats what it is all about right?

By the evening I just wanted to sleep - I'm super lazy I know. But my friend had other ideas. It was time for the night time view of the New York Skyline at the Rockefeller Center , and I'm so glad she made me go. It was incredible.
We got there at 9.30 pm and there was an hour wait - so make sure you plan in advance. The good thing was, your ticket gives you an assigned time - so you're not spending that hour queuing. Its open until midnight, with the last elevator going up at 11pm, and a ticket cost $30. The experience was brilliant. When you get in the lift, the lights go out and the ceiling is glass. All the way up there is - fairy lights so it looks like you are going into the stars.
The day we visited the Rockefeller Centre was also the day the Gay Pride parade took place in Manhattan. So we were lucky enough to see the Empire State lit up like a rainbow to support it. It was super pretty. I would definitely recommend the night time view of Manhattan. I'm secretly glad my friend didn't let me sleep - as much as I moaned at the time.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

New York Day 3 + 4

Day 3 was difficult, by this point we had walked so far my feet were suffering unbearable pain. However today was my friends birthday so I was determined to put on a brave face.
We started the day by visiting the Empire State Building. Overall we paid $50 for a ticket, but this included a video thing at the beginning. We hadn't really realised we had signed up to that but it was an interesting addition to our visit as it explained the history of the building.
At the top the view as you can imagine was incredible. It was pretty windy up there, almost a bit chilly - but not quite! It was still very hot. I spent a bit of time looking through the binoculars - I think it was about 25c for 2 minutes, but very interesting. I could even see into the offices and could see people working.

After the Empire State we went to TGI's for lunch as their website boasted a good gluten free menu - my friend is gluten free, and as it was her birthday she didn't really want a salad. Unfortunately it was a bit of a let down as they didn't have any gluten free buns - or anything gluten free. 
We then went of a bit of a treck to find the New York Sex Museum - which I would like to point out was totally not my idea of how to spend an afternoon. But of course the birthday girl gets to choose. Personally I thought the place was rather boring, and would not pay to go again. The only good part was a big bouncy castle of boobs. Strange I know, but it was hilarious, and I got to take my shoes of at this point so I was happy to go in. You basically got 2 minutes to bounce around in the boobs. There is no other way to describe it!

In the evening we had to celebrate the fact my friend could now legally drink in the USA so we went out to party. We had to make sure it was a unique night and not something we would do in the UK so we went to the Coyote Ugly Bar. For someone that doesn't really enjoy going out drinking, I had an amazing night. We weren't out for very long as my friend may have partied a little too hard, but it was a great atmosphere and I would recommend it to anyone. It's basically like the film - if you haven't seen it, go watch it now! Girls get to dance on the bar and the bar staff and singing and dancing on the bar. Its brilliant. The only downside was I kept banging my head #tallgirlproblems.
New Yorkers seem so much more friendly at night time! 

The next day was pretty much a write off - which is why is doesn't get its on post. My friend had the hang over from hell so it didn't look like she would be making an appearance. So I decided to head out myself and see Central Park. So off I went, braved the subway alone, and ended up in a park. It was nothing like what I had imagined - very quiet. There was a fitness class taking place, so I sat nearby on a bench and chilled for a bit. It wasn't until I got Google Maps out to see how to get back to the subway that I realised. When I got off the subway previously, I had turned the wrong way and was infact not in Central Park, but actually just in a random park on the outskirts of Manhattan - fail. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

New York Day 2

Day two was without a doubt the most jam packed day! We got up nice add early and headed the the Statue of Liberty to beat the crowds. This was a great plan as we were on the second boat of the day, and queue was a fraction of the size of when I went later on in the day last year. The only downside was that the ice cream stand wasn't open. Which obviously ruined my whole day.

Next up we visited the 9/11 memorial. I had hoped to visit the museum this year, but we didn't realise you needed to pre book tickets. You can pre book a time there, but the queue to do that was so long and was directly in the sun. Being the palest person in the world, I don't think my skin would have coped with this, so we decided to give it a miss. The memorial is a lovely place, but makes you feel very emotional. It's crazy to think that such a tragic event took place right there. I was particularly affected by seeing a white rose placed in the name of one of the victims.

After grabbing something to eat, we had a scroll down to Wall St. Because thanks to Leo that's now a super cool place to have a picture of!

We headed to Soho to have a look around the shops, and of course being a major KUWTK junkie I did have to visit the DASH store. It wasn't what I expected at all. It was a lot smaller for a start. Sadly the place didn't have a very friendly vibe, and nothing had prices on. Sneaky. Being the nerd I am, I had a quick look on their website before the trip so knew all the clothes were way out of my price range. I decided top play it safe and grabbed 2 pencils and 2 key rings. I was pretty shocked when I got to the till and they said it came to $36! 

In the evening we went back to Times Square again to see it all lit up. It looks much better at night, but is still ridiculously busy. For dinner, we went to The Hard Rock Cafe. This was the third Hard Rock that I had been to, and was definitely the best. The place was huge. We were told there was a 40 minute wait, but we were sat at a table within 20 minutes. I had the fajitas, and they were fantastic. I loved the fact you had to create your own. My friend had a salad and it was massive. She most definitely got her money worth for a salad.

On the way back to the hotel, my friend got her photo taken with a snake.. and a muscly man. Most of the people in Times Square charge you to have a photo with them. This one was $5, and I have to say, you couldn't pay me to touch that snake!!!

Monday, 13 July 2015

New York Take 2 - Day 1

Last month saw my return to the concrete jungle. I went back to New York for my friends 21st birthday. This trip gave me a completely different view of New York. I was there for longer this time. 6 days to be precise. It was incredibly tiring and my feet were killing me by day 3.

Day 1 and we arrived at JFK in the morning. We decided to get a shuttle to our hostel. This cost us $16 each and it dropped us at Port Authority bus station where we jumped on he subway down to Chelsea. Note: Getting the subway is not easy with a big suitcase! In hindsight we probably should have just got a taxi...
Unfortunately the hostel hadn't given us very clear instructions on how to get there so after standing around gawping and looking lost for a bit, a friendly american (rare in NYC) came to our aid. Turns out we were pretty far away. After a pretty long walk in pretty crazy heat, we finally found the tiny, completely missable entrance to our hostel.

We stayed in City Rooms NYC which in the end did turn out to be in a great location for sightseeing. We were a two-minute walk from Penn Station, which was handy for the subway and had a seven eleven right next door.
I will admit, due to previous experiences in hostels, I really was not happy about staying in another. And was sulking beforehand that we weren't going to a hotel. However I would recommend this hostel to any one on a budget, as it was the nicest I have ever been to.
We stayed in the room named Brooklyn. It came with a double bed - pretty comfortable, air con, a fridge, a sink, clothes rack, and a safe. For a hostel, it was a fairly spacious room, and there was a cleaner that came in everyday and changed towels and bins. In the reception area they offered coffee for free in the mornings and there was also a cold water machine which was handy for filling our bottles up.

The place only had two downsides. Firstly the shared bathrooms. Being a hostel, there had to be something that made in hostel like! To be fair, they were incredibly clean. The toilets were tiny. Any taller than me and you would probably find them uncomfortable. The showers were more spacious and were separate to the toilets, but weren't very powerful. The second downside was the layout. This is New York so the building was taller rather than wider, which meant a heck of a lot of stairs. We were on the third floor so it was a challenge to get the suitcases up and down. Luckily when we arrived there was a male member of staff there to carry my case for me.

By the time we had settled in I was completely knackered. I knew the day wasn't going to last much longer for me. We took a stroll to Times Square which was about 15 minutes away. I don't know if its an age thing or because I had seen it before, but the place didn't have the same feel as last time I was there. The crowds were not appealing and I felt in the way everywhere I stood. Don't get me wrong, it was still pretty cool to be stood in Times Square. But it just didn't feel as magical as last year. We had a browse around a few of the shops. Including the massive Forever 21. I remember when I went in last year and initially thought it was incredibly small for their New York store. I then noticed the escalators that went down...way down!

On our trip to Times Square, we also spotted the Naked Cowboy! I was so determined to find him this year as previously I hadn't. And people hadn't believed me when I told them he was a real New York thing/person. He was taking selfies with tourists but the crowd was too big so I took a sneaky shot from behind.

I didn't last much longer and headed back to bed, because at this point I had been awake for about 26 hours, which wasn't working well for me...

Day 2 coming soon.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


So this is a majorly overdue post. As a celebration of getting new jobs, me and one of my best friends decided to take a week away to celebrate in Paris back in February.
After seeing New York, Paris was next on my to-do list.
The week was great and Paris was not how I had imagined it. Unfortuanly I was pretty ill whilst I was there, and the freezing cold temperatures did not help. But I still had a brilliant time.
On Day 1 we spent the day site seeing. As I can imagine most tourists do, we visited the Eiffel Tower first. The whole process was a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be. The tickets were a reasonable price and the queue moved fairly quickly. And once you were up it didn't seem that busy. We only went up to the first and main viewing point, and holey moley it was cold. But the views were incredible!! 

After picking our next route from a height, we then made our way to the champs élysées where we visited the beautiful arc de triomphe. Fact of the day - the arc de triomphe is so big that in 1919 Charles Godefroy actually flew a place through the middle! I never realised that it was quite so big in the pictures. 
We spent the rest of the day strolling around the area. Visiting a few shops on the way including Mac, which I have the ability to find wherever I am in the world! We made our way down to the Louvre, but decided not to go and see the Mona Lisa as we weren't really feeling the queue, or the price.
We decided to then take the subway to find the Moulin Rouge, of course the film had been prep for our trip. The actual place was not what I imagined at all. The area looked a bit seedy and we didn't want to stay long. I'm not really sure why the Moulin Rouge is even a tourist attraction, because there's not really much to see.

The following day we continued our sight seeing. Our first port of call was Notre Dame. I was particularly excited about this trip as The Huncback of Notre Dame is my absolute favourite Disney film.
It was incredible to see the real life building in front of me, and it was one of my favourite moments from the whole trip! 
As the sun was out and it was a bit warmer than the previous day, we decided to get a city tour bus. This made sure we covered all the main sites of Paris, most of which we had seen but it was a nice relaxing way to see the city. The downside was the the sun was misleading, and after a few minutes on the bus we were starting to lose feeling in our fingers and toes and were regretting our desicion. Nevertheless we had paid for this tour so we were going to see this tour. We stuck in it out for the whole journey, and by the end we could barely move. In hindsight we probably could have just sat in the warm on the lower deck, but staying on the top I felt like I achieved something.
We ended the day by seeing the Eiffel Tower at night. Which, let me tell you, is way cooler! If you get there on the hour it sparkles for around 5 minutes, which is one of the most beautiful things you will see whilst in Paris.

Our final full day was the most exciting. We were going to Disney Land!! The day was very cold again, but we wrapped up warm. The park was surprisingly busy for a cold February day. I had thought it may have been quiet but I was wrong. One of the bad things about going at this time of year was that a lot of the attractions and resturants were closed whilst they 'made improvements'. This was particularly gutting as I had prepped myself to take on Space Mountain, as on my previous Disneyland visit, aged 7, they had turned me away due to my lack of height, but no, it was closed. 
We had lunch in Planet Hollywood, which looked like it hadn't had a makeover since I was 7. Let's bear in mind I'm in my 20's now.  The foods was average, nothing to rave about unfortunately.

 Towards the end of the day we watched the Main Street parade, which was magical. It's amazing how it still gets me emotional at my age, but it was worth standing out in the cold for. I stocked up on numourous Disney gifts from the gift store, including Mike and Sully (Monsters Inc) mugs and a Toy Story alien cereal bowl - not that I even like cereal, it was just super cool.

If you're planning on visiting Paris for yourself in February make sure you take warm clothes! 
My essentials also included - scarfs, ear muffs, leather gloves, thick socks and lip balm. It was the coldest I think I have ever felt! I did end up getting a nasty cold from my trip so try and make sure you keep warm, as it's not great fun going on a plane when you feel like death warmed up!
If I returned to Paris, I would like to visit some of the museums, as that was something we didn't really have time for. But if I'm completely honest I don't think I will be rushing back.

In a couple of weeks time I will be off to New York for a week. So keep a look out for my New York posts in the near future!