So... I'm back from my two week vacation to the United Kingdom, and boy do I miss it. I could totally live in London. I liked that city so much!
I'll blog about my trip later on this month... for now, I'll leave my fellow readers (all three of you) with a pic of me in Wales at Conwy Castle. That's me, Princess Randi, looking down at all of my peasants from my ivory tower.
So... for the first time in my life this upcoming Sunday, I will be going on my first international trip. On the one hand, I'm really excited to see places that I've never been before! I can't wait to see all of the landmarks in the United Kingdom that I've only seen on television up close and personal. It's going to be great.
On the other hand... I'm EXTREMELY nervous about my trip.
Why, might you ask? Let's see:
For the first time in my life, I'm going to be considered a foreigner. Not that it's bad to be a foreigner, it's just that it's going to be weird to be in a place where no one sounds like me.
Secondly, I'm afraid that my luggage is going to get lost!
Thirdly, I'm worried about not having enough money. The British pound is $1.70 for every American dollar. WTF.
And lastly, I guess... I'm afraid that I'm going to get lost, miss my flight and lose my passport.
So there you have it... my fears.
I shouldn't be worried, right? It's not like they don't speak English in the U.K., lol.
Perhaps maybe my biggest fear is that after 9 months of planning out the most exciting vacation that I am about to take in my life thus far... I'm afraid that I won't have a good time.
Hmmm. How can I not have a good time? My friends will be with me. I get free room and board in Wigan when I stay there. George Clooney will be getting married in London while I'm there. And I may be able to (schedules permitting) stop off at the University of Oxford and possibly get a glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Yeah. That sure as hell sounds like a bunch of things to be afraid of. Perhaps I should just calm down.
I will, I guess. Perhaps when I'm finally on the plane.
I'm going to try and stay active on Twitter and Instagram, so that I can post pics whenever I can. So for all 3 of my blog followers, you will see that I probably didn't have anything to worry about in the first place.
And that I really am, having a good time overseas.
PS - My birthday is on Monday, September 1st. And I'll be in Scotland, having a pint. That doesn't sound so bad, right? Cheers!
So, yes... if you read my previous blog entry from last month, you know that I went to Seattle alone. I wasn't supposed to go alone, but, you know... s#$% happens. Or should I say, drunk happens.
Anyhoo... even though I went by myself, I made the most of my trip and enjoyed spending time in a city that I had always wanted to go visit. Seattle is very much a lovely city. The weather is especially nice in the summertime - it was in the 70's and 80's when I was there, and I very much enjoyed the fact that there is very little humidity out there. It was nice to get away to a place where you didn't have to take 3 showers in one day just to enjoy the day (humidity in DC sucks in the summer time).
And... it only rained once the whole time I was there. For an hour. Whoo-hoo! I couldn't have picked a better time of year to go visit. I highly recommend going to Seattle in the summer time if you ever want to go.
People wise? The crazies tend to come out in the summer time. Eerily enough, there are a lot of people roaming around in the streets randomly talking to themselves (and it's a bit scary). Also, Seattle has a very large homeless population, one that I think rivals San Francisco's. I was amazed at how many people I saw out on the street asking for change. But I guess if there is ever a place to be homeless, it's on the West Coast.
And... don't get me started on how everybody out there (white, black, you name it) still thinks we live in the 90's. Most of the people I saw on the street literally looked like they just stepped out of a Pearl Jam video. Grunge rock wear in Seattle is very much the norm. And! A lot of people out there had dreadlocks in their hair! WTF. Seriously... who knew that the 90's was still alive and well in Seattle? I was taken aback. But I can't complain or anything... some of the best music EVER and some of the coolest fashions came out of that decade (babydoll dresses with knee socks spring to mind).
I will say that even though everyone looks like a hobo out there, everyone is actually very super friendly. And polite. People will come up and talk to you just about anything. And no one honks at anyone! And! People actually stop their cars when they come to a crosswalk and wait for pedestrians to cross the street! I couldn't believe it. I mean, people will try and run you over when you are crossing the street here in DC! Hell, I might even try to run you over if you are in the street in DC! I swear, people out in Seattle are uber-friendly. Perhaps us East Coasters should take a page out of their books and be more courteous to each other.
Back to the trip! Anyways... below, I decided to highlight the cool parts of my trip/experience in picture form. I thought that would be cooler than writing out a bunch of boring paragraphs, lol. Here we go:
Did I mention that I flew Virgin America over to Seattle? This was one of the best airplanes/flights I've ever been on. Mood lighting, leather seats, free TV, remote controls in the seats... in short - this flight was AWESOME! I highly recommend flying on this airline if you get a chance. It's well worth the money.
Top Pot Doughnuts... I was told that I had to make a stop here and pick up some for my friends back in DC. I must say, these doughnuts were very good. I think they are made fresh right in the store.
The only downside to going here was that this shop was at the BOTTOM of a major hill. Did I also forget to mention how many HILLS there are in Seattle?!?!?!? About a thousand. That whole city is on one giant hill. Hills that are similar to the ones in San Francisco. My calves hurt so bad from walking up and down hills, it wasn't even funny. But I will say that the trek down this massive hill to get to this doughnut shop was well worth it.
This is a pic of the Great Wheel, which has only been out on the water for about two years. It was about $20 to ride it. I passed. But it was nice to look at!
I got to visit the Pike Place Market a couple of times when I was here. If you ever decide to visit here, do not go on a weekend. There were so many people there when I went on Saturday, I almost drowned in people. I did get to go really early in the morning on Thursday, the second day I was in Seattle (I went again on Saturday since I was nearby). I got to walk around the market and see the Gum Wall (it was gross), some fish get thrown (they sing songs and cheer loudly in the fish area!) and the first ever Starbucks. The line for Starbucks was wrapped around the corner. So I passed on going inside.
I went to the Space Needle on the third day I was in Seattle. It's really nice. And I hopped into the elevator and rode to the top, and... yeah. I looked around. That was about it. Honestly, it's not much different than visiting the Empire State Building. Same view, same scary height far up from the ground... so I wasn't too enthused. But I did enjoy the fact that I got to visit it.
Did I tell you that I went on a boat cruise around Puget Sound? It was really nice. The cruise lasted about an hour, and a tour guide gave us a brief history of the area surrounding the Sound. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze, and I also made friends with a girl who just happened to be by herself on the cruise. And... she came with me to the...
... Seattle Aquarium! AND THEY HAD OTTERS! I love love love otters. They are like, one of my favorite animals. And they looked so cute floating on their backs and playing with their toys. Oh, I wanted to jump in the tank and hang out with them (one can dream). Also at the aquarium, there were seals, birds and lots of fish. And they had a tank full of sea anemones, starfish and sea cucumbers that you could touch. It was really cool. And fun. I almost didn't go with the girl that I met (b/c I was tired), but once I saw the otters, I was really happy that I changed my mind and went in. And lastly...
I found Nemo! And Dory was at the aquarium too. They had lots of tropical fish. They were all so pretty. If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend making a pit stop at the aquarium. Surprisingly, it's really fun for adults!
So, that's my trip. Seattle is a pretty cool place to visit, and if you've never been, I recommend that you go check it out. Next up on my travels is.... THE U.K.! God, save the queen... I can hear that anthem in my head right now. Scotland, Wigan and London are on the itinerary of places to visit. So exciting! I can't wait to go!