Category Archives: Travel

Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 October | Day 30

Mood: Happy Snapper

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Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 July | Day 29

Mood: Happy Snapper

Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 July | Day 26

Mood: Happy Snapper

12 Sleeps To Go!!!

Mood: Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

12 sleeps to go till our big trip to New York City!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! Can’t believe time has flown by so quickly! We still haven’t mapped out what we would like to do for the 10 days we’re in NYC – it really is a case of "so much to do, so little time"!

I am so looking forward to this trip with my darling man. We have never been on a holiday together, just the 2 of us. NYC is our first holiday together as a couple – what a way to hit that first milestone, eh?

I promise to blog about the trip when we return. There will be plenty of photos, so stay tuned for those!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

New York, New York!!!

Mood: Singing "New York, New York!"

Start spreading the news. We’re leaving on Halloween. We want to be a part of it, New York, New York!!! My gorgeous man and me are longing to stray right through the very heart of it – New York, New York!!! We want to wake up in a city that never sleeps, and find we’re king (and queen) of the hill; top of the heap!

Yes, folks, J and I have paid for our trip to New York! Woo hoo!

We fly out of Sydney on the morning of 31 October, and land in NYC around 5pm on the same day. 31 October is also known as Halloween, and from what the little I know, the Yanks are almost fanatical about celebrating this occasion. We can’t wait to be part of the festivities!

We’ll be flying with Qantas – most direct flight at the most reasonable price. We still have to get off the plane and be cavity searched at Los Angeles, but then we get back on the same plane from the same terminal to continue our journey to New York.

We’ll be staying at the Manhattan Broadway Hotel – right in the heart of everything – we’re told by people who have been to NYC that it is very centrally located, putting us not far from all the tourist-y places we must explore while we are there.

I’m so excited by this trip! We paid for the tickets on Saturday and felt our heads spin with excitement, and today, when I hit the "Book" button for the hotel and handed over our credit card details, I held my breath, and only let it out again when I saw the confirmation notification. The head spins started then!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! We are going to New York!!! We are going to New York!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The 200 Bus & The Fat Controller

Mood: GRRRRRR!!!

I like catching buses. Of all the modes of public transport, the bus is my favourite. As a matter of fact, I will go out of my way to avoid all other modes if buses will get me to my destination.

I have reasons for liking buses over other forms of public transport. The people who use buses are generally friendly and polite, you can only cram so many people on to a bus before the bus driver deems the bus to be full, and more often than not, the buses are air conditioned, clean and comfortable.

I have also had some bad experiences with trains. I was yelled at by fellow passengers for no reason, squashed like a sardine almost unable to breathe because there is seemingly no limit as to how many people could fit into a train carriage, and almost fainted from heat exhaustion inside steaming hot carriages with sealed windows and no air flow on piping hot days. And don’t even get me started on cleanliness (or lack of) inside the train carriages.

So it was with utter disgust that I had to witness an incident on my bus this morning that almost made me re-evaluate how I would be getting to work in future.

The bus I catch to work is the wonderful 200 express bus that runs between Chatswood Station and Bondi Junction. I have been catching this bus on and off for the past 5 years with very few not-so-happy experiences (like the times when the buses have failed to arrive for whatever reason). I like this bus because it is usually air conditioned and clean, and I can usually get a seat at any time of the day. There are a large number of regulars who are of the same opinion as me, who I see almost every day of the week.

One of my fellow passengers is a loud man who alights the bus just outside North Sydney Girls High (2 stops after my stop). A pudgy looking man, he has a flamboyant style about him and I’ve often seen (and heard) him talk to fellow passengers in an outlandishly animated way. Most of all, his features remind me of Sir Topham Hatt, aka The Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine.

I have never really got a good vibe about this arrogant little man. First impressions matter and he certainly did not make a good one with me. I have had the distinct misfortune of sharing a seat with him, where he sat at an angle and crossed his short legs, and leaned back into me like I was a seat cushion. Admittedly, I had never spoken to him in my life, but from what I’d seen (and heard), he appeared to be a shallow little man with a nasty streak. And today, my instincts proved correct.

This morning’s bus was packed to the rafters. I was running late, and ended up on a slightly later bus than usual. There weren’t that many seats available when I first got on the bus, so I counted myself lucky to get a seat at all. The bus driver let in as many North Sydney Girls as he could, so we were jam packed as we headed towards North Sydney.

At the NSGH stop, the students poured out of the bus, and in came The Fat Controller and his fellow passengers, one of whom was a middle-aged lady with a few heavy looking bags. At the front of the bus sat a mother with her young primary-school-aged son, who would have been getting off at the next stop anyway (the kid was wearing a school uniform that belonged to the school at the next stop). The Fat Controller got on the bus before the middle-aged lady, and as he did, he told the mother her son should stand for the lady with the bags.

As he said this, the Fat Controller walked to the next row of seats, and sat down in the last seat available.

To say the mother got upset is an understatement. And boy did she blow up at the Fat Controller.

The mother launched into the Fat Controller, saying that he had no right to speak to her the way he did, and that the lady herself had not asked to sit down. The mother said had the lady asked for the seat herself, she would have stood up and given up her seat. The fact that the Fat Controller took it upon himself to ruin the day for the mother and son was too much for the mother to handle. She screamed and ranted at the Fat Controller, and unfortunately for her, the only time that the entire bus heard the incident was when she started screaming. The sympathy was misdirected to the Fat Controller, making him look like the hero in every right, when it was him who stirred up the hornets’ nest in the first place.

I felt so sorry for the mother. But I was too scared to say anything loudly. The only "chicken" thing I did was to say in a loud whisper directed at the Fat Controller, "YOU could have stood up for the lady". In my head, I was screaming all sorts of things at him.

I wanted to say to him, "Wow, how chivalrous of you to give up your seat for the lady. Oh, wait, you didn’t. So instead, you’re doing the real man thing and pick on a woman and a child. What a hero to do such a thing. If you want to appear like a real hero, get up off your fat ass and let someone else sit down, instead of pontificating to others whilst seated. Who died and made you the Fat Controller anyway?"

The mother’s subsequent behaviour left a lot to be desired. She ran after the bus and pounded on the window after she and her son got off the bus. Scared the daylights out of everyone, including the Fat Controller, but by this time, everyone on the bus was siding with him. Everyone except for me. Oh, how I simmered and wanted to say something at him. If I wasn’t running so late, I would have hurled my abuse and got off the bus in disgust to make my point.

I am going to make a huge effort to not be on the same bus as him in the future. Seeing the Fat Controller’s face will just leave a foul taste in my mouth that I will carry around all day. Jerk!

New York, New York!

Mood: SqueeeeeeeeEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Guess where I’m going in November???

Ok, so it’s not confirmed, but I certainly hope to be in New York in November this year.

There are a couple of reasons for going, the first of which being my friend Belinda marrying her lovely beau Pete. Be and Pete met on a Contiki tour a little while back, and their romance has been the stuff of fairy tales. Be made the decision to move to New York to be with Pete, and on her first trip there before the permanent move, after months of separation, Pete proposed to her at the airport car park. Be, of course, said yes. The wedding is planned for November, leaving Be with very little time to get everything sorted!

The second reason, and the bigger of the two in my opinion (sorry Be!), is that J and I both harbour a huge desire to see New York. We have both always wanted to go there, in winter, and as we have been invited to the wedding, November is close enough to winter to complete the perfect picture.

In order to get to New York and be able to afford to stay there for around 10 days, we must save like mad now, and sacrifice a few items along the way. J is going to resist buying new books and computer games, and I am going to forego new books and new shoes. There are also other luxuries that we will also limit, like dining out, buying lunch, and treatments such as massages and pedicures. I don’t know how I’m going to cope, but if it gets me to New York in November, then I’m all in!