Friday, 28 November 2008

San Francisco

San Francisco
28 November 2008- 3 December 2008

28 November 2008
Today I am taking my first journey to America, yah! I am going to San Francisco in the state of California to meet Debra who has just spent some time in NZ, she is bringing me some New Zealand snacks, Yum!

Upon landing at San Francisco airport (security wasn’t as bad as what everyone has said) I went and jumped into my coach and was on my way to our fancy pancy hotel.

Once there I meet up with Debra and we ventured the streets, in the dark (careful to avoid crack central!!) and went to Chinatown for one of many chinese dinners.

29 November 2008 – Saturday
This morning we rose and headed to an all American diner for some breakfast and then headed down to Pier 39 which is a popular tourist attraction in “the bay”. Pier 39 is a favourite place for Californian Sea Lions to hang out .

That afternoon we were tested to our limits (physically) when we had to walk up and down some of San Fran’s famous steep streets. When we finally made it to the top (after lots of panting and dread of the pain tomorrow) we were rewarded with viewing Lombard Street the crookedest [most winding] street in the world.
<-- Lombard Street Super steep street -->

After our walk we went back to our hotel for a rest after our exhausting afternoon and then got dressed up to hit San Francisco’s nightlife. We got the hotel to order us a cab (we are so posh) and jumped in and headed to Holy Cow. Holy Cow alright, we felt a bit over dressed at this place (we were the only ones in dresses) and even though the place was good for our egos we decided it wasn’t really for us and headed back to find a taxi. We asked the taxi driver where we should go and he directed us up to the Starlight Lounge, which was on the 21st floor of some fancy pancy hotel. After paying a ridiculous cover charge and upon dragging Debra away from the Norwegians we hit the dance floor and danced to some tunes. Unfortunately though its closes at 1.30am dumb, so we were only there for about an hour and as had no where else to go deciced to head back to the hotel to bed.

30 November 2008 – Sunday
After the events of last night, we decided it would be best if we slept in for a while. At 12pm we decided though that we should drag our arses our of bed (oh the pain) because it was a beautiful day. We headed back down to Pier 39 to rent some bicycles to go for a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. I haven’t riden a bike for years, so was a little nervous but actually had a really good time. We had perfect weather and it really was amazing to bike over the enormous bridge. In all we biked 13kms and I would totally recommend it to anyone going to San Fran.

1 December 2008 – Monday
This morning we had booked a morning tour to go to Alcatraz Island - sometimes informally referred to as simply Alcatraz or locally as the Rock, is a small island located in the middle of
San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. It was a misty, foggy day – perfect for sailing out to an old prison in the middle of San Francisco bay! has a lot of history and was interesting to see how it all came about, because it really is a small island in the middle of the bay. There are lots of stories and movies about Alcatraz and apparently three men escaped from there but it is not known whether they survived or not.

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39 (not on foggy day!) -->

After our adventure on the Rock we took a tram ride on the famous trams down to Union Street for a spot of shopping/guess the price of this in Bloomingdales before heading back to the hotel.

Every night the hotel has a free wine evening where you get free wine and cheesy music. Now I am not usually a fan of wine at all but this wine was super deslish its called - White Zinfandel. So here I am thinking that I am super sophisticated and posh that I like wine until I read this - White Zinfandel is a quaffing wine that is sweet, soft, and low in alcohol, making it a popular choice with those who would not otherwise drink wine. Anyone not familiar with what quaffing wine is, it means - A wine considered unsophisticated or simple in taste, but pleasant to quaff – brill so I like a wine but apparently its not sophisticated enough!!

2 December 2008 – Tuesday
This morning we had another breakfast in another American diner before more exercise in San Francisco. Debra and I decided that it would be good to live in San Fran because of the fact we would be super skinny (because of all the hills and forced exercise) but the fog made our hair go frizzy and we decided that nice hair was more important that being skinny!

Anyway, we walked to see the famous “Painted Ladies” (the correct street this time! (there is a funny story behind that)) at "Postcard Row." These houses also appear in the opening credits of the television series Full House.

After seeing the houses we wandered around the massive Golden Gate Park (which I don't really recommend) and then headed back to the hotel to rest up on the super comfy beds.

3 December 2008 – Wednesday
This morning was the day of departure from our hotel and each other. If you go to San Francisco I would totally recommend this hotel, it wasn’t too expensive and its super close to everything and everyone was really nice - Hotel Carlton.

Debra had an earlier flight than me this morning so after our goodbyes, I headed back down to Union Square for a spot of shopping and then I headed back to the hotel for my transfer to the airport. I had a good night flight with three seats to myself so I could get to snooze.

As per usual you can see all my pictures in my new photo gallery or on my facebook.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

My introduction into modelling ...

No... you don't think so ... ok just me in TNT magazine!

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Church - The second time

No banana, no, naughty banana!
Richard was coming down to London this weekend and suggested we hit The Church, I needed no arm twisting, I was so there!

< --- me and the michaels (my flatmates)
Banana in Pjamas (Richard) ------------------>

A theme was decided (it was supposed to be fairy tale or story book characters) and we were all set to go. Everyone battled the snow and came round to my house for some Rashuns, cup cakes WITH sprinkles (hand baked, not from a packet mix thank you very much Louisa) and some pre-church drinks before going outside to battle the elements again and head to the church (see here for explanation of what the church is and previous experience). I even made it on the church web site photo gallery this time with Tim - photo.
Puss 'n' boots ------->
<---- The cow that jumped over the moon ... with two Smirnoff ices...?

We made it to The Church in good time for the 12pm door opening and most of us got in for £4 because we were dressed up, Richard got free entry because he was way dressed up - me and Louisa are already thinking about what we could be next time to get in free!

Aladdin --------->

The usual carryons were had (posing photos, photos with other people in costume, hat swapping, excessive consumption of alcohol, singing, dancing, falling down stairs x2, etc, etc) until closing time and then we all trekked it to the She Bu Walkie. Once there the mandatory pie was had before checking in the coat and dancing all night long to some tunes and boy did I dance (I could hardly walk the next day)! I finally had to leave the place when it was closing at 11pm which to be honest was probably a good thing as I had work the next day and I probably would of kept on going and going and going, just like the energiser … cow!
Check out my facebook and photo gallery for more pics!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hayley’s last night partying in London Town

Tonight was Hayley’s last time to go out partying with all the girlies in London town, so we frocked up and headed to Louisa’s for some quality girl talk, chocolate fish and green frogs (Wicked, Smirnoff Ice and Orange Bacardi Breezer mixed into one). Once the fish and frogs were gone we headed into the city for some dancing to 90’s tunes.

On the way into town on the tube, we found ourselves in an empty carriage and at a stop so some of us decided it might be quite fun to swing off the poles or maybe do a little pole dancing and fashion parading. We knew there were CCTV cameras operating but we put that to the back of our minds and were giggling and dancing away as you do after a few drinks. It wasn’t until the tube driver announced that we were delayed and that he appreciated our dancing did the embarrassment engulf our bodies!! Oh the shame!! And then if that wasn’t bad enough upon leaving the tube the girls started waving to tube and the tube driver came out of the tube and started waving back at us.

We then continued to our destination on foot. The night was full of other embarrassing moments the highlights for me were Louisa’s camera moment and where she slapped someone in the face with her over enthusiastic clapping. We had such a good night dancing, singing, watching Baywatch and partying in the big city, even on a broken heel!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Holidays in the Pipeline

Now that I have finished writing about holidays already been, I can now write about holidays to come, I figured I would put them on here as I have lost track who I have told and people keep saying to me your going to __________ I never knew that ...
Debra flew to NZ a couple of weeks ago and on her way home was stopping in San Francisco for a couple of days, so jumped at the chance and quickly invited myself to come along. I fly to San Fran on Friday (yes less than a week!!) and return home on Thursday 4 December. I can’t wait to go to America and get some green money that all looks the same. I am, however, unfortunately going to miss Blair and Rebecca’s wedding as that falls on the same weekend. But I hope to see lots and lots of pictures!! (hint hint).
I decided to do something exciting for New Years this year so me and Debra are going skiing in the French Alps Les Deux Alpes to be exact. We leave on 27 December and arrive back in London on 4 January 2009. I am super excited and you can read all about our trip here.
Highlights are
  • Free lift pass with access to 3 resorts! (covers 6 ½ days at Les Deux Alpes, 2 days at L’Alpe d’Huez and 1 day Serre Chevalier)
  • Free ski hire - not really free is it, as we have already paid ...
  • 12 hours of free lessons (beginner or intermediate)
  • Guaranteed natural snow
  • Free leisure pass (Access to swimming pool and ice rink)
  • Welcome party with live music and dj’s
  • New Years Eve party including wine, live music & dj’s

This is with the same company I did my big tour with so should be good.

I have never been skiing before and, until a couple of weeks ago, have never seen it snowing so am really looking forward to it! I am, however, not looking forward to the painful body that I expect will follow after the first day!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Since I have been back in London

Just a few notes about what I have been doing since I have been back in London, aside from the highlights which get their own special blogs!!

Since I got back it was a little difficult to get a job. The job market is really quiet with lots of people being made redundant. After about two and half weeks I finally managed to get some work and it was been quite steady ever since. I have been working in the same place for about a month. It’s a patent firm and totally boring, but, I sooooo need the money to pay for my holidays that I have lined up.
After living at Hayley’s for … a while … I managed to find a nice house in Dollis Hill (up the Jubilee line for those in the know) which is in NW London. So it’s a little closer to the other girls, but not that much really!! I have a single room that is super cheap in an old house, but its nice enough and suits me fine. It has wifi Internet which I am loving (as you can probably tell) and free calls to NZ, Aus and other places, so send me your landline number. I live with four other people (five at the moment though, we have a dosser). So there are 4 guys and 2 girls there at the moment and they are all really nice which makes a huge change from the last flat.
I signed up to play netball the other day as felt I needed to do some exercise. I rang them up and they put me in an A Grade team - gulp! I had my first game last night and it wasn’t as bad as expected. I didn’t pass out (phew), hurt an ankle (yah) and I can still walk today (bonus)! Had a really good time and once we have a full team it will be really good.
I have been doing lots of reading lately, tube commuting does that for you and just thought I would suggest some books I recommend to read

Anyway that’s enough about my mundane life for now, looking forward to hearing about everyone else's.

Lots of love

Toni xoxo

Wednesday, 5 November 2008