13/11/13 – Home. We’re coming home again

Up earlyish, mostly so that I could have my last waffle for breakfast. We stayed in the room for as long as we could before checking out, since it was then a day to be spent in the lobby because of our crappy flight times. We holed up in a couple of chairs by the vending machines. My taurine addiction started roaring again so I had to settle for a can of Monster. Eh, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Though I’d still only use it as a last resort. It was even colder today so we definitely weren’t brave enough to venture outside. Instead I got comfy with the first That Anime Show Halloween special.

Oh man, how have I not listened to these before? They each consist of collections of ghost stories and encounters told by various voice actors. They’re the real deal too – it’s some freaky stuff! Tatum told a totally creepy one about an abandoned cabin, which really freaked me out. Jamie and Jean-Luc shared a re-telling of Jamie’s mother’s story about her old house. It genuinely made my hair stand on end. And then Tia told this gorgeous tale about her last moment with her grandaddy. It made me really tear up. It was just so sweet and, if anything, I was actually really jealous that she got to have a moment like that. I’m still happy for her though.

We broke for lunch and I had another steak and cheese panini, then had to help Kel with her big-ass pizza. That is officially the last pizza I’m ever going to eat. If anyone suggests pizza to me now they’re going to get punched. We migrated to some new, comfier chairs after and I listened to my next Halloween special. Again, more fantastic stories. Tia spoke about an infamously cursed doll that is now in a museum in Florida, eek! Glad we didn’t go to that one! Josh told his story about breaking into an old church and Terri shared about her real-life horror movie stalker. Terrifying!

By this point it was time to get our shuttle to the airport, if we wanted to be on the safe side, so we did. Had a good four hours there with our flight being delayed. Listened to the last Halloween special I had and watched some Durarara!! The first flight and airport stays passed in a blur of Psych, Spirited Away and not-so-great attempts at sleep. It was light again by the time we got to Denmark, but then dark only a few hours later. Way confusing. Did manage to get some crazy cheap Coco Mademoiselle for only twenty-six quid though! (even if it took me a little while to figure out the crazy Danish conversion). I always seem to find good perfume bargains. Then when everyone was boarding our final flight – and last leg of the journey – I had a hairy builder’s crack shoved in my face. Thanks for that, Denmark.

The last flight felt longer than it actually was – likely because it was the very final trip of our adventure. I did manage to get a huge chunk of writing done though, so I was at least pleased about that. We were met at the airport by Auntie Ann and Sarah, still in part of our scheme of telling Mom and Dad that we were coming home a day later than we actually were (we’d given them fake flight times and everything – because we’re sneaky like that). It was so, so nice to see familiar faces in the flesh again! Kel had a little blub and we all had a goss on the way home, after some silly confusion of not being able to get onto the right floor of the car park (of course we couldn’t end our journey without there still being something).

We left all our baggage in the car when we pulled up at home. Auntie Ann went to go drag Mom and Dad outside with some inane excuse whilst me, Kel and Sar hid behind my car on the drive, ready to jump out. It worked a treat. Mom went from a scared scream to a happy scream. We then had our own surprise as we accused them of replacing our dogs, since one had no teeth and one was three times the size as when we’d left! And of course I was starving by this point, so I broke open some of my old traditional Super Noodles. Ah, home sweet home.

So that’s it. It’s been a whirlwind of two months. We’ve seen some fantastic places, done many amazing things, met both new and old people and finally learnt the damn knack to packing and re-packing. Now my only thought is… where to next?

12/11/13 – Braving the cold… and then chickening out

Since we didn’t have any particular plans we got to have a lie-in and a much more relaxed morning of very slowly getting ready. We wanted to Skype the oldies since we wouldn’t have chance after going out, but messenger Sid told us they were at the Harvester. Rude. We decided to wait for them to get back and watched some old videos from when we first got Izzy in the meantime. Aww. I miss my woofies pretty much more than anyone! We then Skyped Mom for a while, and also Dad for a little bit. Told some porkies about only just flying to Chicago today.

We then layered up as much as we could (five layers and three pairs of socks!) and got the shuttle back to the airport. Oh my god… We’d prepared for the worst but it was still way colder than we’d expected at minus something degrees. We had a little wander round the airport to gage the temperature a little before we got the tram downtown. We decided it was just too cold without either of us having coats, so Chicago will have to remain a mystery for this trip. Before leaving we went further into the airport because I was still craving Red Bull. It was ridiculously expensive, but I didn’t even care by this point. We then hopped on the shuttle back to the hotel.

It was a shame, but at least it was warm in our room. I watched a couple of episodes of Psych, Durarara!!, then we both watched a bunch of Whose Line clips. That was pretty much it. It beat being out in the cold though. We’ll have to try and cover Chicago on another trip. Preferably in the summer. I repacked my case so that it was basically ready for tomorrow. Our last night here if you don’t count the one of travelling tomorrow! If I’m honest though I feel I’m ready to go home now. The cold’s put me off more than anything. And I miss my family, my friends and my woofies. Plus I’m dying for some real fish and chips.

This is what happens when we’re stuck in one room for two whole days.

11/11/13 – We were not prepared for this

Painful get-up for half two to get ready and finish packing. We headed to the airport and bid farewell to Klaus! I had a bit of a Psych day and watched an episode whilst waiting in the airport, then another on the plane. I also finished off Jet Lag, my Cobie and Crispin one-shot. The flight to Chicago was about four hours – it was actually our first direct one this whole year. But oh man, were we in for a shock when we landed… I’d been anticipating it would be cooler than the west coast, but I hadn’t expected it to be even colder than back home. And I certainly hadn’t expected it to be snowing! It was really horrific!

Also Chicago, why do you have cling film on your toilets? That’s just a bit weird.

I was worried our hotel wouldn’t be near anything, since I was starving (and certainly didn’t want to go wandering around in the snow!) But amazingly, there was actually a restaurant right in our hotel! So I was happy – I had a steak sandwich for lunch. We lost two hours in the timezone changeover, but it did mean we were only six hours behind home instead. We Skyped Sid for a while and drew on Kel’s chin, which was pretty hilarious. I watched another episode of Psych too. I had a huge Red Bull dilemma, in that there was nowhere for me to get any (the vending machine in the lobby only did Zero, sob!) so I had to break into my Elvis energy drink from Winter Park as an emergency. Hopefully the empty can will still survive the last trip.

We ordered Chinese for tea. I don’t know what it is about American ordering systems, but we have a variety of problems every single time we try ordering takeout. Whilst we were waiting I ran down to get some drinks from the bar to bring back to the room. I was glad I wasn’t staying – I got hit on within the first thirty seconds! The Chinese was amazing though. I had lo-mein and fried rice. I just love the novelty of those cute little takeout boxes too. We then watched an awesome episode of South Park that played on superheroes, Totoro and the idea of Kenny having reincarnation powers. “I die over and over again and you assholes never remember anything!” Brilliant! I also got interviewed by a girl on Wattpad. Awesome.

Welcomed with bad weather. Feels like home!

10/11/13 – Help is on the way, dear!

Up early to make sure we had plenty of time to get down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Finished off my yummy rice and watched a bit of Chamber of Secrets. America have a serious problem with re-sharing the same set of films. It’s worse than ITV2 with The Mummy! We got different trams down to the Wharf. We had breakfast at Maccies – word of advice: don’t ever have McGriddles. They’re weird as fuck! The pineapple and mango smoothie more than made up for it though.

We then had our movie location tour. It wasn’t quite as great as we’d expected, probably not helped by the fact that we were both young and British – we hadn’t even heard of most of the films mentioned, let alone see them, so about ninety-two percent of it went straight over our heads. Annoyingly there was a parade going on down one of the streets so we couldn’t see the apartment from Interview With A Vampire. One of the two places I was most excited about! We did get to see the other one though, which was the house from Mrs. Doubtfire. We also saw locations from George of the Jungle, X-Men 3, Star Trek and Dr. Doolittle. Our guide Whiley was very knowledgeable, though it wasn’t too surprising seeing as he was an actor too. He was apparently in a TV series about Alcatraz and an extra in the new upcoming Tim Burton film!

The big-ass tree kinda ruined our shot. Where were you in the movie, tree!

We went to Applebee’s again for lunch and then went to catch our cable car. We had to wait for over an hour which was annoying, but it was fun going down the big hills. We had a bit of a mishap with some tickets we’d booked, so we then got the tram back to our motel. Guess what was on TV? Chamber of Secrets. Again. Come on America, there are other Harry Potter films. There are other films in general! We showered and watched some Yes Man early on, ready for bed before nine o’clock. God, I won’t miss these early flights.

A nice man took this for us! Though it was only fair, since he then shoved his bum in my face during the ride.

9/11/13 – Watch it or I’ll take your soul

It’s a very sad day when your notebook finishes but your journey is still going… Oh wait, maybe that’s a good thing. It’s just the OCD part of me that dislikes how my blogging didn’t all fit and that I had to rip pages out of my other notebook to make ends meet. Goddamn it. I also didn’t have the space to write last night that as we left the campus I thanked Jeff again and he said ‘bye Brummies!’ Good man. I’m gonna have to think of a witty tweet to send him today.

With our pit stop for food and petrol, as well as the toll traffic to use the Bay Bridge, it took about four hours to get back down to San Francisco. We’d already Skyped Mom and Dad before leaving, so now I was dying to Skype Sid so that we could tell her all about last night. Of course that was then the first thing we did once we’d checked in. Needless to say, she was very jealous. Sorry Sid! I managed to write a huge chunk of some Cobie and Crispin fluff too, who I’ve been meaning to write about for ages.

We watched bits of Rush Hour and Pirates of the Caribbean and ordered what was apparently Greek style platters. The meat was a bit dry and boring, but the rice and pittas were really good. I’d bought a can of what looked like some fizzy berry alcopop thing, but no, it was 12 percent alcohol so I had to mix it with my Powerade again. I never thought I’d look forward to seeing 4 percent on a can. After I’d showered, Adult Swim finally came through for me and showed some Soul Eater! I knew they were good for a reason. Great way to wind down for bed too.

Not quite as glam as the Golden Gate Bridge… But still the setting from a scene in George of the Jungle! (Random fact of the day)

8/11/13 – This is the story about the day I died (i.e. totally party!)

The first chunk of our day was pretty chilled and non-eventful, but all necessary in leading up to our wonderful and gloriously spazzy evening! Polished off most of our pizza for breakfast and then headed out. The drive to Chico was about two and half hours – cue more That Anime Show. We checked in and then alternated between Skyping Sid and the oldies pretty much all afternoon. We then got ready for the night we’d both been dying for. I got all weird and stupidly shaky over the idea of it and couldn’t even pluck my eyebrows properly. How annoying! We went to Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ for a quick tea and I had a yummy BBQ turkey sandwich.

When we got into the stage I was literally jumping with anticipation (as well as slapping Kel in excitement). When they were introduced on stage my heart was pounding so hard it was ridiculous. I really am an idiotic fangirl – I always get so starstruck. Though let’s face it; I never ever thought I’d ever get to see a Whose Line show live. And boy, was it fucking amazing! We got a fabulous mix of our favourite games – Freeze Tag, New Choice, Song To An Audience Member, Styles, Jeopardy, Whose Line, Moving People, Sound FX, Greatest Hits and Fairytale.

I felt like I didn’t stop laughing – it was easily the best comedy gig I’ve ever been to (and I’ve seen some damn good comedians live too!) Like most comedy gigs, it was difficult to remember all of the best bits afterwards as there were just so many! But we did get to see a Frankenstein Ryan during a Les Mis performance, Jeff sing to an adorable old woman who hated her dog, Pokémon jokes, plenty of lines that made no sense (I’m a doctor, not an escalator!) and a hilarious detective from the audience who totally killed Fairytale. We even got a crazy Jeff name (Alapecia).

And as if that wasn’t awesome enough we then made the very wise decision to wait around outside afterwards… And it totally paid off. Ryan and Greg were out first. We got autographs and pictures with Greg and chatted to him for a little bit. He was real laidback and told us he actually has some tour dates in London in December! I think Sid will be pleased. I then realised that Jeff had then walked outside and started spazzing out (cue slapping Kel some more). We got autographs and I had a mini heart attack when we brushed hands. Yes, yes, I know I’m sad – let me enjoy my moment. Having a million and one pens in my bag totally worked out for this night too. I will never use that Days Inn pen again now that Jeff has used it!

We did have one where he was actually smiling, but we’re girls and we’re vain and we both preferred this one of ourselves.

We had more pictures and Jeff was even nice enough to point out that the photos wouldn’t turn out great with the light behind us, and did a little skippy sidestep to move us round to the other side. Too, too cute! (I’m glad I didn’t trip over my own feet during that move!) He was really friendly and actually knew of Birmingham! He asked us if we were into the ‘footie’ and even mentioned about ELO being from Birmingham. I managed to stay coherent enough to compliment his socks, which prompted him into modelling them for me. He was apparently having a sock-off with Greg so I asked if he’d won, which of course he had tonight.

This is about the point where I floated off up into heaven. Just look at those cheekbones…

We caught Ryan in his car to cheekily steal autographs through the window, but he didn’t seem to mind (especially since we’d already sacrificed our own opportunity to take some woman’s photo whose camera had died). Once we were out of sight we then spazzed all the way home. Our priority was sharing the news with Sid and Emi and I then spent the rest of the night in a dizzy, happy little bubble. Years old dream totally fulfilled! How am I gonna sleep after that one? Oh yes, dreams of Mr. Davis, please.

It was probably just as well that he was sitting down. I already have height issues and he’s ridiculously tall…

7/11/13 – When in Napa do as the winos do

Skyped the oldies before leaving this morning and lied some more about when our return flights are, since we want to get home a day beforehand and surprise them. We told Sar and Auntie Ann in secret just in case we need some inside help, and they’ve now decided they’re going to pick us up from the airport! Too, too sweet! Now I’m probably gonna blub at arrivals. Hooray. As we left San Francisco we got to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. That was pretty awesome and we got another great view of Alcatraz from there. We went to an Ihop for brunch just after leaving San Fran. Cue another country omelette and more pancakes, yummy scrumboes! There was a petrol station right next door so we got to feed Klaus too whilst we were at it.

Why is it even called the Golden Gate Bridge? It’s red. Or if we use the technical name: “industrial orange”. Ooooh, fancy.

It was a pretty short drive to Napa so we got to our hotel around one o’clock. Wine country is seriously beautiful – vineyards everywhere you look! We Skyped Sid for a little bit and then headed back out to a winery for our wine tasting tour. They went through the processes of how they make the wine and more info on the winery itself. We got to try two white sparkling wines, one sparkling rosé and two still reds (the reds in particular were vile). I wasn’t keen on any of them, but it seemed to amuse Kel watching my reaction. The guy in charge asked what flavours we could taste in one of the whites and were people saying things like ‘peach’, whereas I quietly muttered ‘vinegar’. I’d anticipated I wouldn’t be a fan from the beginning but hey, when in Napa do as the winos do!

One of my favourite drives so far!

We had takeout pizza for tea (I’m gonna look like a sodding pizza). Got another chunk of writing done and watched some Big Bang Theory, including a brand new episode! Totally can’t wait to catch up on the new season. Then much to my delight, Interview With The Vampire was on! God, I love Lestat. Tom Cruise really is perfect in it. Made me miss Kay a lot though… But Kel did spot that the steamboat (the Natchez) is the same one that we went on! Awesome!

Can you tell I wasn’t impressed? I think the man behind me was enjoying his a lot more!