Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure: Day 11 & 12

Chanzie's  2015

Travel Adventures:

 Malaysian GP & Derbyshire

Hello lovelies

Hope you  guys are enjoying Sunny South Africa (Or where ever you are in the world) while I am loving life and actually coping quite well with the weather. Maybe I am just to happy to care at this point. So lets get on with our catch up session!!

Sunday (29/03) was a stay in the house day through and through! The clocks moved forward an hour with the daylight savings here in the UK, so I had an hour less sleep and got up at about 6:30 to watch the Malaysian Grand Prix. It was totally worth it!!! My man took the win fair and square... #GoVettel He has never looked so good in Red!!

(Most of the time I am just lost with the time here. I just got used to being 2 hours behind South Africa. So I would know it was 10:00 here and 12:00 in SA. Now its 10:00 here and only 11:00 in SA. It feels like 10/11/12 all at the same time! If that makes any sense at all.) 

What a way to start the day!!! After that I had my first skype chat with my parentals as well as a fantastic catch up with a friend, Jenna, that I haven't spoken to in about 10 years! It is amazing how much can happen and change in that time, yet we spoke as easily as we used to in high school. I am going to try my best to see her before I leave here as well! #WillTryMyBest #HopeItWorksOut

I thought I would include a pic of the streets I walk almost daily. These were my first landmarks to help me navigate myself around, specifically to Tesco and the Thames River! 

Monday (30/03) 
The day has arrived where I am finally going to see my bestie after 9 years!!! I woke up bright and early to finish packing up the last of my stuff and was ready to make the 'groot trek' (big mission/departure)! And literally it was a huge mission. Kate was kind enough to drive me to the Surbiton train station. From there I caught the train to Vauxhall and from Vauxhall I caught another train to Euston, and then I boarded another train which ultimately took me to Tamworth where Jaydine would pick me up. 

On this multi-train change journey... (Ok just a refresher - my handle on my bag was already broken) one of the wheels on my bag decided to semi-detach it self from the bottom. So it was now only attached with one screw and kept turning side-ways so it would drag rather than roll *sigh*. Eventually the only way to avoid this was to push the huge heavy bag forward instead of pulling it. You need a special drivers licence for that thing... It kept veering to the left or right at any random point in time. I tried to take the lift where ever I could instead of using the escalator. 

At first when I got to Euston I wondered why there were random people just standing in the main area.I had no clue where to go or which train to catch, even though I knew I was going to Tamworth, the train is called by it's end line. So basically the last stop that the train will make on it's journey. After trying to steer my bag to the information centre, I found that I needed to keep an eye out for the train going to Crewe. (Sorry for the bad picture - it was the best I could do)

There I found myself arbitrarily standing around the same area, doing the exact same thing that I was laughing at other people were doing when I arrived. I had my backpack on and was sitting on my suitcase, listening to my ipod staring at the screen waiting for my train to arrive at a platform. And yes, it would be none other than platform 17. The second last platform there was in the station, which was on the other end of the building. You only have so much time to get there - I had to speed walk (And steer my suitcase) there! I wasn't really sure if there were allocated seats or coaches as per your ticket so I was a bit lost for a while. Eventually I just picked one and settled in for the 90 minute journey. 

Do you know there is a place actually called Rugby?? Wow that was odd to me. 

I really should have packed in some 'padkos' and water.. anyway... so you learn. 

Eventually I arrived at Tamworth station, excited beyond belief to see my bestie and... she was late!! Jamie had changed the settings on the GPS to stay away from the motorways and main type roads, so it took her the scenic route via all the country roads *rofl* so I ended up freezing my butt off waiting for her to arrive. It did feel much colder than when I was in Molesey. Seeing her for the first time was just awesome, so much has changed yet nothing has changed at the same time. We ended up taking to same route back, which was entertaining. 

Let me just add that Jaydine has had her licence just over a month. I forgot what it was like to start driving. This is probably payback for when she used to drive with me when I first got my licence! I was such a nervous driver, it didn't help that I had an accident 2 weeks after I actually got my licence. 

I remember one time when she was in the car with me. I was driving the caddie bakkie and we were going down William Moffett. I wanted to change from the left lane to the right lane. As I turned to check my blind spot on the right side, I accidentally turned the steering wheel to the to the left and we ended up ramping the pavement just a little bit! Yeah good times! 

Since I was starving we stopped off by KFC to pick up a snack before heading home. No the KFC does not taste the same... SA's just tastes better. Maybe its a local thing because we grew up with it tasting like that but anyway!

We eventually got home, I settled in and said hello to Jamie and the kids. After chilling we made our way down to Aldi's to do some quick grocery shopping! I always find this fascinating. Other than Jaydine and I taking turns to push the trolley, she would push me around too! #JustLikeNaughtyKids 

Do you know that:
A) they have 3 ply toilet paper 
B) it comes scented as Shea Butter 
(or Aloe Vera) - Wow Just fascinating! 

The kids do say the most fascinating and interesting things. I was teaching them some more Afrikaans. Dit is lekker by die see and counting to ten. 

One time I walked into the lounge and told Gabby to 'chill man', to which she replied: 'I am not a chilman I am a children.' Too cute!! 

The evening was pretty chilled, we just made supper (Jaydine made the most divine crispy chicken - I am definitely taking this recipe back with me). We chatted, caught up and sat drinking a bottle of wine until almost midnight.

There is something so beautiful about picking up right where you left off, even after 10 years like nothing has changed. It's so good to be here. Poor Jamie - he is out numbered for at least two weeks! At least he will have a break when Jaydine and I go to London for a few days at the end of the week. 

You know something interesting I thought about - every time I post a blogpost, I find out someone new in my life is reading it! Initially I get a bit worried,and think what will they think & stuff like that but then I realise it doesn't matter, it's my life, I have nothing to hide, I'm living my life to the best of my ability and trying to live a life to remember.  This is me. These are my thoughts. I love to write & I love to share. It's a huge part of who I am. Not all days are exciting and have stories but everyday is good. There is something amazing in every day. 

Peace out 

Monday, 30 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure: Day 9 & 10

Chanzie's  2015

Travel Adventures:

 Kingston & A drive in the countryside

Hello beauties!!

"You alright?" This seems to be the British greeting. The equivalent of 'Howzit my bru'
For some reason it keeps making me feel like they are implying something is wrong or I have a problem, or don't look well or something! My friend Jaydine did explain this to me before on the phone but it still caught me off guard a few times this week. 

The dress sense here is amazing.. there will always be someone more dressed than you or much less! When I head out, I normally have my a pair of jeans on, my uggs and my first ascent jacket. In the short distance it takes to get to Tesco, I'll walk past the first person who looks like an Eskimo (Beanie,gloves, scarf, knee length jacket- the works) and the very next person will be walking past with a tank top and shorts! This does remind me of the reverse situation when I was in Bali and all I really wanted to wear was my bikini and a towel and I would walk past someone with a hoody& jeans! I find it amazing how people adapt to their relevant climates.

On Friday (27/03) I didn't have too much planned, I caught a bus to Kingston to exchange the pretty dress I bought at Primark. When I got home I realised it looked like it had caught on something! I like this dress so much that I just needed to get it exchanged for one that was not damaged, as well as pick up my train tickets for my trip to go and visit Jaydine (after a little bit of confusion - I managed to get them!). I tracked down the train station in Kingston which also allowed for a little bit more exploring. 

When I went to the top floor in Primark it was like I discovered an entire new world! Plus I found an awesome pair of sneakers that actually fit my budget - Sorry DC's :(.

Ps I also revisited Hollister *Sigh* Yes I bought an awesome top that suits me perfectly!

Initially I didn't want to go back to Woody's as I wasn't in the mood to possibly be insulted by Mr Grumpy and co, but Kate said to me I shouldn't let them steal my spot from me! So I ventured down to Woody's to have my favourite cider as I actually don't think I will have time to go back there before I leave anyway. It was early-ish in the afternoon and when I sat down, there were no grumpy people in sight! I could enjoy my cider in peace. Well that peace was short lived. One was hiding in the back! Anyway I didn't engage in any insult exchanges, I sat on the wall, drank my cider and soaked up the sun! 

Strangely enough I realised that the the Thames river gave me the same comfort as Sundays river back home! What a peaceful realisation. 

Another strange question I got asked a few days ago was: "Why doesn't it snow in PE? Isn't South Africa close to Antarctica just like Argentina?" Hmmm - no sorry buddy, we have a tropical climate!

My day ended off with an awesome skype session with my Couzzie - Athena!! 
Love you MIllions!! 

I don't think anyone can make me laugh as much she does and we kind of bounce off each others humor and level of crazy. As I always say lately.... Just Own It!!

On Saturday (28/03) the weather was a bit on the colder side with a really chilly wind. Andrew and I watched the qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix and it was a good one. Vettel qualified second on the grid (P2) - front row!!!  

After that we ventured out for a drive. First Andrew took me to an amazing car shop... Romans International. Wow just wow. I am ultimately in love with the Ferrari Spider *sigh* I want to need it! It's only 187000 odd pounds - pocket change. There were so many beautiful, amazing cars all in one place. Including a Mclaren, Lamborghini and a number of Porsches. There was even this tiny one man type car - too cute! 

After that we drove through the country side and went all the up to The National Trust nature reserve. It was so beautiful. I would love love love to go and hike there and take photos. It was a tad cold and rainy so we had cake and coffee before heading back. 

There are a few things I am missing from home, other than my friends and family, my clothes!! Wow re-wearing this limited selection is tiring. I probably won't wear these clothes for a while once I get home. And I miss my pillow!

On an interesting note here are a few interesting points I have picked up over the past week:

Dating people from other cultures is as difficult as it is exciting. 
(This from countless conversations with Kate and Andrew)

The maps are 'squiggle straight lines' according to the people around here. Left right left but you always carry on straight in a northerly direction... really?? It's overcast, and I don't have a compass with me - sorry I forgot it in my African survival pack back home.  

I found a way to create a comfort zone outside of my comfort zone... I find when I am on a mission somewhere, as long as I am listening to music playing on my ipod I am as happy as can be and am more likely to take on an adventure!!!

Just some few useless facts to keep you entertained!

Next two exciting things: Watching the Grand Prix with my cousin on Sunday and going to visit Jaydine and family on Monday!!

Life is good! 
Much love 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure: Day 7 & 8

Chanzie's  2015

Travel Adventures:

 Home day & The two barmen

Hello lovelies

Well day 7 and 8 was a bit low key. I always think of these great things I want to tell you and then when I sit down to write I can't remember a thing!! I have actually had a wonderful past few days. Sometimes tackling things can be overwhelming at the time and well.. hard if it doesn't come naturally. Naturally I enjoy being around people and having a plan. This week I have been by myself and just winging it.. the complete opposite of my comfort zone and to top it off, I am on another continent without my support circle of friends. Fair enough technology keeps us connected, so they not that 'far' away. 

Hence the million voicenotes sent up and down between myself, Christell and Talia.

On Wednesday (25/03) I didn't plan to do much, I wrote out my blog posts while chatting to
friends and family back home. The 2 hour time difference thing is a bit of a mind boggle thing for me. Maybe I am still on SA time in some ways as I look at the watch and expect it to be 1pm and realise it is only 11am! My mom called and we caught up a bit, Urina the house cleaner came in today, she doesn't speak a word of English. (That was interesting). After some writing I decided to go out for a walk. Its such a  beautiful day I barely needed a jacket! Yes this does surprise me every day. I popped in to the charity shop where I found a few gem purchases. After that I decided to try out Tugas coffee shop and tried the yummiest Vanilla Chai Latte.This is definitely a new favourite spot & new favourite drink! 

Oh forgot to mention it was one of my best friends birthdays, Happy Birthday Pix (again)! 

On my way home I popped into Tescos for some stuff for supper, I decided to buy a bottle of wine and guess what... I got asked for ID!  For some reason I knew this was going to happen. All I had with me was my Discovery Medical Aid card!!! Shame the cashier was a bit embarrassed. He checked my date of birth and sort of accepted it telling me I do not look old enough to buy a whole bottle of wine *rofl* (I was thinking...Do I look old enough to buy half a bottle) Before I left I said thank you for totally making my day!!! I smiled and giggled all the way home. 

On Thursday (26/03) I babysat my gorgeous younger cousin for about an hour while Kate popped down to the dentist. After that I battled for about 2 hours to try and book a train ticket online. Apparently some online SA restrictions ended up being the problem *sigh*.
I decided to pop down to Kingston in search of an SD card reader as I forgot my cable for my camera at home! I took the bus to Kingston (I was so proud!) - it was sunny when I left Molesey and pouring with rain by the time I got to Kingston. This is only a 10 minute bus ride!! 

I ran into a shop which was on the opposite end of the mall from the last entrance I used. I was literally lost in this massive shop for 10 minutes - I couldn't find the exit and didn't want to walk around the building in the rain. So eventually I had to ask for directions (yes to get out of this one shop) - for the exit *blind one* yay me! 

As I made my way through the mall I found one of my all time shops Hollister - I was in heaven!! I could have bought that entire shop!! 

Yes, its my style. Yes, its a designer range. Yes, its expensive. Yes, I want it all. 

I think my shopping addiction kicked in but I was sooo good. I found the most beautiful pair of DC's that I desperately wanted along with 3 other pairs of shoes... but I walked away. My restraint was so good until I got to Primark!! I think my cupboard has had a coral explosion *tee hee* 

You know how you always have that one friend you see a million things for and want to buy it all for them... Yep.. Such a silly moment. Had to share. You know who you are ;)  

Lastly I stopped off at Woody's for my regular Strawberry-Lime Cider. Why don't we have these in SA... really it is soooo delicious. I was listening to songs on my ipod sipping my cider. Life is good. After I was done I took my stuff inside and ended up chatting to two barmen. (Its been fun having these random conversations).

Wow... out of all the incredible stories about SA that I have heard this one is the insanest!!

There were 2 barmen, one was really happy and friendly, the other was really grumpy and man did he have issues. So here is a quick dialogue of a conversation with the happy one (I don't know his name) that had me crying with laughter. I actually had to ask him to tell me the story again as I wasn't sure I understood him correctly the first time. 

Happy barman: I wanted to know, and excuse me if it is just my ignorance, but a few years ago my mum told me a story. What type of Anti-hijacking mechanisms do we have in our cars.

Chene: Don't drive in dodgy area's, keep your windows rolled up and your air con on?? *shrug* (Since I wasn't sure where this was going)

Happy Barman: Well my mum told me that if someone comes up to your window with a gun, you have a button in your car that shoots out flames and incinerates them (the hijacker) in the street. *He looks at me expectantly*

Now to be honest it took me a few minutes to actually respond. Eventually I burst out laughing. 

Chene: No this is not a standard feature on South African cars! 

Wow just wow. That beats the wildebeest question by a mile! 

Grumpy barman was just insulting actually. We were all talking about accents and how sometimes you really have to concentrate on what they are saying especially when they talk fast. To which he turns around and says: 'I don't talk fast, you just listen slowly.' Really?? he was also bragging about his 5 words he knows in dutch. So I said: 'How about this, I'll start speaking Afrikaans and you can figure out what  I am saying. Deal?' He didn't tune me again. Like I said he has issues. Then they were asking how we pronounce words like Worcestershire and Bicester (its pronounced Bister??). Weird I tell you. I discovered this 'Bicester' is actually a place!

After repeating some of this to my cousin Andrew and Kate, they then went on to suggest they were flirting with me. Really? I missed that part. Apparently I don't get British flirting at all, lol. Then again I (probably) miss most of it at home too. *tee hee*

Every day has had an entertaining moment or two and I am so grateful to be here. Some times there are good lessons while other times there are some challenges which force me to step outside my comfort zone and just own it!

Hope you enjoyed the update!!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure : Day 5 & 6

Chanzie's  2015

Travel Adventures:

 Kingston on Thames & London

Hello Everyone

I must say that I have been very blessed to have some sunshine every single day so far! There is a huge part of my heart that is missing home already, guess that is normal and well just culture shock to a degree I guess. I could fit in here easily but in a way I don't - if that makes any sense! I didn't quite expect to be alone so much in my first week. 

On Monday (23/03) I walked to Kingston! The sun was shining, I suited up in my keep warm gear, plugged into ipod and walked along the Thames River. To be honest I was a bit freaked out to take the bus in case it didn't take me where I wanted to go!! It was a far stretch to walk but not too far. 

Initially I stuck to the places I had already been to with my cousin. I dined by myself for the first time! I went and had lunch at a place called Yo!Sushi. (Obviously *tee hee*). They have

a different variety that's for sure. After that I wondered around a bit more and found some of the cutest shops. The cold outside / heat inside things is a huge adjustment for me. My favourite shop of the day was Primark. I could have shopped up a storm there but was very good and limited myself. I still have a long month ahead of me! To end off the day I found my way back to Woody's and had the most divine Strawberry-Lime Cider. Yum - that is all! I braved it and caught the bus home and made it back in one piece!! #KeepingItLocal

On Tuesday (24/03) I ventured into London on my own! I had a plan initially to go to Portobello Road but after some research saw that it would be best to go on a Saturday. Now what?? My cousin had pointed out some things to me in the morning and sent me a few address of some car shops I might like to see. So I decided to wing it. 

For some reason I took a wrong turn and had a round about route to the station but I did find my way! I bought my day pass and was ordering coffee when an old man ran up to me asking if this was my pass. I had grabbed the receipt and didn't take the ticket. I didn't realise 2 cards popped out because it wasn't like that the day before... Anyway small blessings #Grateful 

I caught the train to Wimbledon and needed to change on to a district line that would take me to Earls Court. Now it may sound like I knew what I was doing but I just owned it and pretended I did *tee hee* On the next train I sat across from two guys from South Hampton. After checking I was indeed on the right train, they asked if I was from South Africa. I looked at them with big eyes and replied 'How did you know?' I burst out laughing. They then proceeded to ask me if I was from Johannesburg and if there were Wilderbeest in the street that messed with our traffic #Really??? This... after just discussing that SA is a car driven society and not a train/tube type one. I actually sat in amazement for a few moments at this question... No sorry my Zebra only goes so fast! #Really #DidYouJustAskThat

Once I got to Earl's court I hopped onto the Piccadilly line which I used most of the day. First stop was Knightsbridge. As awesome, fun and exciting as was I actually found myself feeling a bit lost, overwhelmed and moedeloos to a degree. I like to share my experiences with someone versus doing it all on my own. I was here in this massive city and wasn't really sure where to go. My goal has been to just enjoy the moment for what it is, go with the flow and appreciate where I am. I pushed through, I ended up mastering the trains and actually made my way round to quite a few places. 

First stop was the Mclaren Shop on Knightsbridge Street. I wondered around after that into Harrods where I randomly had a conversation with a Spanish guy who travels to Barcelona every two weeks and drives a scooter #Random #FunnyStuff. He was quite sweet and offered some more tips of places to visit in the area. After that I found the Louis Vutton Store!!! #InstantLove The cheapest smallest wallet was 200 pounds *sigh* 

I was in awe as I passed all the famous amazing designer stores. It felt like Millionaires lane or something... speaking of which I felt very under dressed and out of place - Like I had a huge blinking sign that said "Tourist" as I consulted my map book. 

Next stop... South Kengsington. I found another starbucks and got my mocha dose. I stopped by Lamborghini, Ferrari & Christies art gallery - amazing stuff. After that I made my way back to Covent Gardens and popped into Chinatown before making my way to Victoria station to meet my cousin and go watch Wicked, a musical at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. We supper at this tiny little Italian restaurant across the road. 

It was amazing and so brilliantly done. Do you know you can pre-order your drinks for the interval?? We eventually got home at about 11pm after taking 2 trains and a taxi. 

So to some it all up I lost myself in London but at the same time found myself. There is a big part of me missing home with a sore heart but I think it should get better when I get to see my bestie on the weekend. 

I still have 3 weeks to go!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure : Day 3 & 4

Chanzie's Travels 2015 Adventures:

 Mercedes-Benz World & London

Hello Everyone!!!

Wow what an intense 2 days it has been. On Saturday (21/03) we were initially going to chill at home and I was going to go on a walk around Molesey to take some photos, then my cousin Andrew decided it was a great day to go down to Mercedes-Benz World (MBW). 

On the way there we first stopped at McLaren. Unfortunately we weren't able to go inside, but I still loved seeing it! Then we ventured down to MBW and wow...  As we walked in I was just in awe... all those beautiful cars. Anyone who knows me will know what the best parts were for me... Yes I saw 4 Formula 1 cars as well as the suspended one! I think I took a million pictures all from different angles. While I was walking around I sent photos to my friend Tom in SA *tee hee* I know he would have loved to been there! Clearly I did not mention that I am a Vettel fan and am on the Ferrari support team. You know what they say... When in Rome! For that day I was totally team Mercedes and Hamilton's fan. 

You know one of the strangest things... they had these mini F1 cars for Rosberg and Schumacher but there wasn't one for Hamilton? Weird. 

Then............Andrew arranged for us to go on a Driving Experience in one of the newer cars around the testing facility. Wow.. just amazingly fantastic and awesome! It was only supposed to be 15 minutes but we got 25 minutes! Andrew thought they must have had a soft spot for us but Kate (Andrew's wife) laughed and said it was more like the driver had a soft spot for me, my green eyes and SA accent. *Flirt flirt wink wink* 

After that we made our way home. #LovingLife

On Sunday (22/03) it was our travel explore London day! We left the house at about 10 am and literally had to speed walk to the Hampton Court Station. It was my first trip on the train, it was awesome. I might be overwhelmed when I make that first trip on my own this week. We hopped off at Vauxhall station and came out by MI6 - wait what... that is a real building and place.... 

Another amazing moment was that we got to go inside St Paul's Cathedral. No pictures are allowed and it was absolutely breathtaking. I lit a candle and got to say a little prayer. 

The amount of expensive beautiful cars we saw was insane!! On our way to Covent Garden we passed the Bond in Motion Museum and just around the corner was a display of every single Bond car!!! 

We had a pub lunch at the Taylor-Walker Pub where we defrosted and had a Pint. 

We explored, explored and explored some more. Andrew isn't much of a shopping person so I will have to go back to some of the places like Covet Gardens. Some of the places we saw were: MI6, MI5, Big Ben, The London Eye, A huge book exchange(no I didn't buy anything), Starbucks, the Shard, an amazing church, a few ruin type places, The tower bridge, The Royal Court, St Paul's Cathedral, Piccadilly Square, Trafalgar square and we ended off walking across this steel  millennium bridge and having a glass of wine watching the sunset over the London Skyline. We got home at about 8:30pm and I just crashed... again!

Performers we saw: Some Trick Bicycle peeps, a lady with a glass ball that looked like it was floating, A tight-rope walker and best of all some street dancers. (Check out the snippet)

On the way home we even passed the South African Embassy. 

A quick note... I was quite cold ok.. no shock there.. but but but... There were girls walking around with tiny tops showing off there tummies, girls wearing mini's with or without stockings.. stockings not even tights. My cheeks are constantly pink from the cold (Andrew says its from the Cider) but really.. I didn't even need to pack in my blush. It's like freezer burn.. reverse sunburn. This is a new feature for me *rofl* 

Anyway let me get out and about before the day flies by!

Monday, 23 March 2015

My 2015 Adventure (Day 1 &2) : Hello Molesey

Chanzie's Travels 2015 Adventures

Day 1 & 2

Hello Lovelies!!

Wow.. I can barely believe I am here in the UK!! I still have to pinch myself sometimes just to make sure it's real...

In the morning my Mom and I rushed around picking up some last minute stuff before I flew out from Port Elizabeth at about 1pm on Thursday the 19/03. I arrived at OR Tambo in Johannesburg at about 2:45pm. I collected my luggage and walked what felt like 10 kms to the International Departures side pulling my luggage that weighed a ton - I didn't even over pack!! When I got there they politely informed me I couldn't check my luggage in for at least another hour. I grabbed a table at the closest coffee shop and watched some Youtube videos, ranging from SYTYCD routines, judo videos to music videos by my favourite artists while having a hazelnut hot chocolate type drink. To say I overheated in the airport was an understatement - I had jeans on and my warmest boots on while carrying around my first ascent jacket. I knew I was going from a comfy warm 24 degrees to a chilly freezing 4 degrees when I landed!!

After checking-in my luggage an hour and a half later I made my way down to Mug & Bean to meet my sister-in-law and nephew for a quick catch up and cup of coffee, before going to the boarding gate. We took off at 9pm!

Out of about 4 movies I only ended up watching 1: Dracula Untold. It was ok good - not fantastic but not bad either. I eventually fell asleep half way through watching some Foo Fighters documentary which was actually quite interesting. 10 hours of sitting/sleeping in the same tiny chair... yeah I am sore all over!!!

We landed at about 6:20am, after making my way through collecting my luggage (they broke the handle on my bag!!! sigh) and passport control I finally made it to my cousin Andrew. We got lost in the parking lot trying to find his car *tee hee*. Honestly it was not as cold as I expected it to be! 

It took us about 20 minutes to get to his house in Molesey. Yes I pointed out all the red buses and took in everything with wonder. We got home, I unpacked and showered, making myself completely at home. I met my youngest cousin, Thomas, who is about 9 months old and he is just too gorgeous! He instantly stole my heart. 

We took a walk to the local Tesco for some groceries for lunch. I was loving it, I even found my favuorite chocolate, Reeses Cups!! I haven't had these since I was in the USA. It was a rather chill day, we took Thomas to his swimming lesson - kids are just amazing, I was stressing every time he went under water, yet he was loving it!

After lunch we took a scenic walk through Molesey down to Hampton Station and proceeded to walk through the Lion Gate entrance to Hampton court palace & Bushy park. I am definitely going back there with my camera!! We caught a red bus down to Kingston on Thames and went to get a local sim for me to use while I am here. I am amazed at the great deals they have... wow. I can't say I am really using it yet but more as a hotspot for my normal cell number.

After that we made our way down to the Thames River, I had my first pint with my cousin sitting outside a pub called Woody's on the wall of the river watching a beautiful sunset. It was beautiful and then it got very cold quite quickly. From there we started making our way home. We stopped off at another pub called Bells where I had a half pint of Thatchers cider. I was a little numb from the cold when we eventually got home, but at least not a frozen ice block!! 

After thawing out I called my Bestie!!! It was so good to hear her voice on a normal phone - No internet pauses or dropping of calls. A few friends back home were teasing me about what I was missing out on being away from home but I have a sneaky suspicion they might be missing me already... *tee hee*

This morning I was plotting my adventures on a huge map! everything looks the same on there I tell you... Next week I'll be catching the tube to London on my own.. See why I needed a local sim... 

I am excited to be here and have as much fun as possible. 

I'll keep you updated.