Thursday, February 26

votes needed

Please vote: Helsinki,Finland Tallinn,Estonia Bucharest,Romania Ljubljana,Slovenia or Geneva,Switzerland in August?

Once you've decided on an answer, can you guess what stilton rumble de thumps is & don't cheap by googling it, I just want the first thought that comes into your head if you saw that on a menu!

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Wednesday, February 25

wet myself laughable!

you must check this post out, it made me wet myself it was so funny, to me at least, let me know what you think?


Tuesday, February 24

Updated update on new years resolution

I know I just updated this yesterday, but need to make yet another addition, as I've finally sorted out my Easter plans:
  • March - Morocco with mom for 4 days
  • April - Germany for Easter & hopefully train it over to Luxembourg (to add another country to my list of places!)
  • May - Sofia, Bulgaria & NY for mom's birthday
  • June - Warsaw, Poland
  • July - Budapest, Hungary and Copenhagen, Denmark has been added with Kaylie! (you'll love this, it cost us £57 return per person!)
  • August - Vienna, Austria
  • September - America (Tennessee specifically for Patty's big 3-0)
  • October - hopefully Rwanda again
  • November & December are still unplanned, keeping my eyes out for good deals!


Monday, February 23

Update on new years Resolution!!

Some of you may recall my plans, well here is the most up to date version highlighted in purple ink (can you say ink when it's online?)
  • March - Morocco with mom for 4 days
  • April - probably Germany for Easter (still not booked- LOL)
  • May - Sofia, Bulgaria & NY for mom's birthday
  • June - Warsaw, Poland
  • July - Budapest, Hungary and Copenhagen, Denmark has been added with Kaylie! (you'll love this, it cost us £57 return per person!)
  • August - Vienna, Austria
  • September - TN for Patty's 30th birthday party
  • October - hopefully Rwanda again
  • November & December are still unplanned


Sunday, February 22

American living in Germany visit England

My mate who I stayed with over Christmas came to visit this past weekend. They arrived Thursday morning when I was at work, but luckily I'd posted them keys, directions & oyster cards, so they were able to get from Heathrow to my flat without a hitch. They then went out exploring during the day & we all met up at dinner time at Piccadilly Circus tube station. That night we saw Phantom of the Opera. Friday I went to work, they went sight seeing & we met up that night to go to the Absolute Ice Bar in London (photo #1: Kaylie, Neala, & Ben in an ice cube, photo #2: Neala, Ben & Kaylie in the bar in their funky capes, photo #3: me & Kaylie enjoying freezing our butts off in the ice bar - lol) Saturday we woke up, went to my local farmers market & then to see Wicked (matinee showing), then over to London Bridge to see Tower Bridge, cause everyone knows seeing London Bridge is nothing to see! Then we walked over to Liverpool Street Station & over to Kings Cross for dinner, before heading up to Camden to meet up with Nim & Andy for a drink before heading home. Today they got up & went to the London Eye and we met up in Camden to go to the markets, then back into the city to Piccadilly Circus to see "She's Not That Into You" which is a hysterically funny movie (Ben laughed too!!) and then back to Kentish Town to see Rob & Mark for about an hour, now they're packing & I'm playing on the internet :)

I love having visitors, but when they arrive the day after I've gotten back from the USA, it's a bit exhausting trying to be chipper when tour guiding, jet-lag sucks!!

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Thursday, February 19

North America trip update part 2

After an uneventful flight from Vancouver to Montreal on Wednesday morning, where the donut made it all the way through security but not onto the plane :) I only had to wait around for my luggage for an hour and then picked up dad's car in the parking lot. Everything was going fine till I couldn't figure out how to use the satellite navigation system. After driving around the parking lot thinking I needed to "orient" it I finally caved & called mum to find out if she knew anything . . . 3 minutes later it was all sorted, not thanks to our brains so much as me just pressing every button I could find & it finally working. I followed Betty's directions and after a rather long (45 mins) stop at the border, where they searched the car & told me "anyone can get a work permit, so do you have a business card?" to which I literally bit my tongue to explain anyone can get a business card made up but getting a work permit was much more difficult. I then continued down to Pottersville in the thick fog with mix of rain & snow.

Thursday I drove to Albany to meet up with my mate Tom who I'd studied biology with at Norwich,but who I'd not seen since graduation in May 2001. We had a great catch up at PF Changs before I continued my drive to Connecticut through rather heavy winds & snow (in the Berkshires, not the Pocono mtns). I arrived safely at Matt's house around half 6. We went and got Chili's take away for dinner, watched part of The Dark Knight and went to bed.

Friday I woke up around 9am, showered, watched the rest of The Dark Knight, had lunch with Matt and then we spent the afternoon reading in his living room. It was really nice to be so relaxed after a rather hectic week in meetings. That night we met up with Anne & John for a lovely dinner and catch up with them. When we got home we watched Rudy, one of Matt & my favourite movies until we both fell asleep.

Saturday we got up, had breakfast, showered & then went our separate ways, him to the gym and me to Vernon, CT for another great catch up convo with my adopted Dad, Rog & his wife Patty. After an hour or so I then headed east to Plainfield, CT (on the RI border almost) for lunch with Karen & Ben, who I studied biology with at Norwich and again like Tom had not seen since our graduation in 2001! I was with them for about 3.5 hours, reminiscing about old times & gossipping about who we've seen since leaving the wick 8 years ago. Once home at Matt's we made plans not to go out since it was Valentine's Day and probably expensive & crowded everywhere, so instead we had chicken & biscuits followed by chocolate chip cookies. I also got to meet the neighbours (his tenants) who were super nice and then we watched Braveheart, again until falling asleep on the couch. Thank goodness Matt doesn't mind watching movies "alone" after I've conched out!

Sunday was Matt's 33rd birthday & we were going to go out for breakfast, but we both slept in too long, so instead I showered, packed, said goodbye & drove to Kev & Sylwia's house to visit with the family (Owen 6, Maya 4, Grace 19 months). We read some stories, eat chicken & broccoli pizza, took some photos and then I got back on the road headed to New York for my next visit.

Around 4.45pm I met Dave, Brenda & Freddy at Dunkin Donuts for about an hour. I just love visiting friends with children cause kids say the funniest thing. For example, no matter what you letters you say, when you ask "what does that spell?" Freddy replies his name. Another great story is Freddy's culinary expertise . . . apparently Catalina dressing, maple syrup & pancakes makes for a good combo - who knew???

Arriving back at mum's house just in time for breaded chicken dinner with veggies. And probably to nobodies surprise if you've been following my schedule, I then fell asleep watching a movie.

Monday, mum & I left for Montreal, which was easy minus the 45min queue at the border crossing. We had a great lunch with dad at a french place just round the corner from his new condo. Then we checked into our room and spent the afternoon going down memory lane, trying to sort our which years we lived placed or went places or did things, which might not seem so hard for "normal" people, but our family travels & moves houses A LOT. We then went on a walk around the city, before going to dinner at Ella's Greek Restaurant, which had FABULOUS food and excellent service. After dinner we went over to dad's condo for the full tour. It's not only a great location, but a neat layout with wonderful views! Then to bed.

Tuesday we were up early and took a city tour of Montreal getting to see all the highlights of the city, which is nice in winter so I imagine even nicer in summer when it's warmer & more green than grey. Lunch at Eggceptional on St Catherine's Street opposite a museum of modern art (I think) and then we made our way to the airport.

Flight back to the UK was uneventful & lots of spare seats so I was able to get a row of 3 to myself & even take a nap. Arrived at Heathrow on time & luggage came out quickly, so I was able to get home, showered & take a nap quickly.

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Wednesday, February 18

North America trip update part 1

I left the UK on a Wednesday around noon and arrived in Vancouver with Tash around 2pm. Don't I wish that was just a 2 hour flight!!! Of course it wasn't, it was a 10 hour flight with a small screaming child most of the way and rather bad turbulence over Greenland as the jet streams changed. With a day & a half to kill, we went out exploring (really more so to keep ourselves awake & get onto the right time zone) and found lots of cool things in the city (see photos in other posts).

The conference was really really good, just exhausting getting up at 6am every morning & not finishing till 6om earliest (10pm some nights). The really cool part was that people from my former work where there as well so it was nice to get to catch up with them and find out how they're doing. Plus they do work on infections as well so we understood each others work more so than when the speakers on autoimmunity spoke, which btw there were a lot of!! Hey Ms Cheesewiz, you & your readers will be happy to hear there were LOTS of MS researchers at the meeting & they seem to be doing tons of interesting work!

I have to admit the "best" part of the conference was the last day when Vicky (aka Sister Itafari) & John arrived from Portland for a visit! Tash & I were sitting in the last lectures of the day when we both sorta hit that wall of concentration/ability to take in any more information and all I could do was count down the minutes till we were done. When that time came we both walked calmly (okay semi ran) to reception to wait for V&J. They arrived shortly after us & we all sat in the bar lounge area and had a wonderful catch up story telling gab, it was divine. A few hours later Tash's cousins arrived and the 6 of us went out to dinner where we giggled a ton more over stories from our pasts - just an over all lovely evening!

The next day Tash & I checked out and went out separate ways to start our holiday. I moved to the hotel V&J were staying at and along the way stopped off at the 9th Ave Grill on Howe St in downtown Vancouver, which I highly recommend to everyone/anyone who goes there, tell Darcy I sent you! Later that day Vic & I went for pedicures and of course more chatting! We decided to do a pay-it-forward party in New York on September 26th, so keep that date clear on you calendars! We had a lovely Indian dinner followed by Tim Horton's donut for dessert YUM! I even got an extra donut to save for my breakfast the next morning as I had an 8.30am flight to Montreal.

need another nap, will write more later

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more photos from north america

dad & me at notre dame cathedral in Montreal
mom & I at Mary Regina basilica in Montreal
dad's new condo kitchen in Montreal
dad's new condo (top floor middle "balcony")
Grace & me reading

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photos from my trip to north america

maya & me learning to take photos of ourselves
karen & me, we were Norwich biology majors together & hadn't seen each other since '01 until valentine's day of '09
matt & me on his 33rd birthday (he's not a bit fan of having photos taken)
me at the Vancouver look out
me at the Chinese gardens in Vancouver

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sorry for the sabatical

i was not well connected during my conference or holiday that followed, which I'm 97% sure made it that much better, since I'm now rather jet lagged, I'll update later today (hopefully) but if by sometime soon, got mates coming in from Germany tomorrow to stay for the weekend so schedule's a bit tight, but keep checking in :)

bottom line I had a fabulous time!!

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Tuesday, February 3

Leaving on a jet plane . . .

don't know when it will take off again. Alright I have to admit we've not been delayed/cancelled YET, but after the "blizzard" conditions of the past 36 hours, I'm hoping that Heathrow has sorted itself out by the end of today so that Tash & I can leave tomorrow without a hitch. We're Vancouver bound thanks to Air Canada's direct flight, now please pray we get entertaining movies & decent airplane food (I know the latter is a stretch, but you can say a wee prayer cause hey ya never know!)

I just read the funniest joke over at Ms. Cheesewiz's blog and feel I have to share it with you.

here goes:
Q: What does a piece of toilet paper and the Starship Enterprise have in common?

any ideas . . . . . . . .

thoughts . . . . . . . . .

good answers?
. . . . . . .

Before I give you the answer know if you don't find this nearly as funny as I did (and I laughed out loud in my open office plan), realise that so far this week I've come in contact with very few people, only lots of snow & icy sidewalks so maybe that's the problem ;)

A: They both circle around Uranus searching for klingons.

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Monday, February 2

Saranac Lake's Winter Carnival 2009 webcam

for those of us not living in Saranac Lake anymore, we can visit this site and feel like we're there, especially with all of today's snow!! thought some of you might like to check it out too. This year's theme is Pirates of the Adirondacks, how cool is that? Here is the pin:

City comes to a stand still over 4 inches of snow

it's been snowing in London for awhile now & we've probably got about 4 inches, here are some photos:

those of you in places where snow is "normal" this will seem strange, but here in London where for the 3+ years I've been here I've never seen this much snow stick in London. The buses are not running at all, most of the tube lines are closed or at a minimum are running on very slow service. My work closed at 3pm today & has already announced it's closed tomorrow . . . I find this extremely funny since in Saranac Lake, I wouldn't have even batted an eye at 4 inches. I just hope it sorts itself out by Wednesday when I have to fly to Vancouver, Canada!!

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