The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 8

Day 8 of Lessons I’ve Learnt before turning 24! Day 8 is all about making sure you remember to show and tell your friends and family you love them.

What does this mean?

I feel like this is so so important. Show your friends and family how much you appreciate them, care for them, love them, how much you miss them if you’re far away from each other and how much you can’t wait to see them soon. Make plans with these people because they are SO important in your life. Sat doing nothing for an hour or so? Call your loved ones, text your loved ones, FaceTime them.

Make sure they know about it.

You never know when it might be the last time you see them or speak to them and that has always stuck in my mind. Hug and kiss your family goodbye, tell your friends you love them before you go somewhere or they go somewhere. Make the last words before you leave them count. But also make the time you’re with them count as well.

A lot of people in your life come and go, but it doesn’t mean it has to be in vain or a bitter situation. Burn bridges and don’t leave sour tastes in peoples mouths. I’m a firm believer of treat others how you wish to be treated. If you’re kind, people have no reason to be anything untoward to you. Also consider other peoples feelings. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of someone, you don’t need to be hostile or awful to them. Don’t lower yourself and do that. Be the bigger person.

Tell your loved ones that you love them. They might know it, but maybe they need to hear it too.

The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 5

Day 6 of Lessons I’ve Learnt in the run up to 24, Say Yes, but not to everything. But also, It’s absolutely okay to say no.

What does this mean?

I find that a lot of the time when people ask me to do something I will jump straight away and say yes, because why not? Live and let live, enjoy your life and go out and have fun with everyone and everything life has to offer. BUT, from saying yes so much it can cause you to completely burn out. You don’t have to say yes to everything and thats okay. Friends invite you for drinks but you’re mentally exhausted and also can’t afford it. They tell you they’ll pay for your drinks for you. Thats really lovely and all, but you can still say no. You have to think about number one, and that is you.

It is okay to say no. Say it with me. IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO.

SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK.

Being a yes person is really nice and exciting because you do so much and see so much, but its absolutely okay to say no as well. You need to take time to yourself and do other things for yourself. This links back to Day 1 explaining how important self care is. They all interlink in some small way or another.

I also know that sometimes it isn’t that easy. Some people get a little off with you or a little funny with you when you say no, and honestly? Fuck these people. It’s something they have to come to terms with themselves. But I also understand at the same time it is situational. If you say no to something thats been planned for week, then yes I can appreciate there will be backlash from it. But at the same time, it’s something I’m sure would be taken into consideration before the decision is made.

At the end of the day, You have to think about what you want out of it and how you’re feeling! If you’re down, say yes, if you’re not, say no.

And the best part? You don’t have to justify why either (but thats for Day 6).

June Reading Round Up

I haven’t managed to read as much in recent months as I have in the past few months which makes me sad, but I’ve still managed to get through a couple of books! I’ve upped my reading goal to #35 for the year and I am currently on 34 books! So I might have to up it again! Here is what I managed to read this June!

The Kiss Quotient (#1) – Helen Hoang

This was such a beautiful love story, I especially love the POV from Stella who is Autistic. I always find books like this really informative as well. As a person who doesn’t suffer from Autism its really good to know boundaries like how she doesn’t like being touched, loud room and crowded places and other points throughout the book. That made me love this couple even more, how gentle he is with her. but GOD DAMN is it one SAUCY book. I was not prepared for the amount of sex but it was definitely welcomed. I also enjoyed the cultural aspects which made it all the more interesting for me!

The Bridge Test (#2) – Helen Hoang

In this second book of the series you meet Esme from Vietnam and Khai who was introduced to us briefly in the first book, he is also autistic and it was good one again to learn his different needs and boundaries once again. Another beautiful love story and I love that it entwines well with book one and the characters and storyline from the previous book. I was hooked all the way through dying for everything to work out how it should do. I loved both of these books so much.

BUT IMAGINE FINISHING THE BOOK TO DISCOVER THE THIRD BOOK ISN’T OUT UNTIL MAY 2021, I AM GUTTED, And I also can’t wait and absolutely have it on pre-order for my Kindle already!

Two Brothers – Ben Elton

Based in Nazi Germany an absolutely heartbreaking story about a Jewish family in Berlin. I really really loved this because I love the historic aspect. I have a real morbid fascination about Holocaust books, I find them so informative to read. This story really is heartbreaking and shows the things young people will do for love, especially in such a difficult time. But I love the friendship dynamic between the 4 main characters, The Saturday Club. But if there is anything I hate, it’s Dagmar. She a bitch.

Finding Emma (#1) – Steena Holmes

I’ve been waiting to read this book for so long! And it was worth the wait, constantly something happening and I was totally hooked and waiting for the next huge thing. I Felt so sorry for Megan throughout the whole thing especially for her marriage. The ending was also everything I could have possibly wanted and more and made me really happy. I can’t say at any point I warmed to Dottie. I thought she was nasty the whole way through even though I know she was suffering.

Emma’s Secret (#2) – Steena Holmes

This book was a little more disappointing. Emma didn’t really have a secret. Well she did, but it wasn’t huge enough to name the book Emma’s Secret. I felt it was still interesting and kept me reading but I wasn’t overly impressive.

Dear Jack (#3) – Steen Holmes

Extracts from Dottie’s journals as she journals throughout the whole book. It was interesting to read her POV especially as I was always so apprehensive of Dottie and I still don’t like her very much. Although this short and sweet book made me sympathise with her more I just felt more sorry for Jack more than anything.

Less – Andrew Sean Greer

This was a book club suggestion and oh my GOD did I LOVE this. Following Arthur Less’s travel journey form country to country and as a writer and ex lover of a famous poet, not to mention the scandal that came with that, I was totally hooked by this book. It was written so well and beautifully, I just wanted to give Arthur Less a cuddle but also follow him on all his adventures.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

I’ve read this book already before but I think its just SO good that I had to re-read it. Not only is the storyline phenomenal but I love all the maths equations and the way Christopher describes things. its clear that the book isn’t about Aspergers but about being an outsider and different. I also love Toby, his pet rat.

Heres to another month of reading more books, I would LOVE some suggestions, drop me a comment for some good books!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Helen

Global Quarantine Diaries

Where in the world are you located?

I live in a sleepy little town in Cheshire in the UK. It is picture perfect and we absolutely love it here. Formatively, I have lived in many counties through out the UK due to my Fathers job. In fact this is the longest I have ever stayed in one place! 9 years and counting, for the first time in my life, I have a house that feels like my forever home. 

What is lockdown regulations like there? 

As I am shielding due to an on going argument with that thing known as The Big C, my lockdown regulations have been very strict. I have been unable to leave my home for over 10 weeks. This proves interesting when trying to homeschool 3 kiddies who want nothing more than to do fun stuff and play out with their friends! It turns out I am a terrible teacher, as they are students!

How are you keeping busy?

As a Mum of 3, I never have the time to keep busy! It is constantly a mad house, full of chaos, but most importantly full of love. On the upside, when we have been attempting homeschooling, it has given me the opportunity to think, create and write for my blog and side hustles. I have also taken on an absurd amount of DIY tasks, in the genuine belief we would be bored if we hadn’t got plenty to do. The reality of it is I don’t have time to be bored nor time to get everything done! Who knew how short 10 weeks really were when there was a mountain of things to do on The List of Doom.

What do you miss doing the most?

Having coffee with my girlfriends. In all the years of friendship I have been fortunate to amass with my besties, I have never had to go so long without seeing them. I struggle with zoom/facetime interactions as I find them stunted if there are more than a couple of people on them. I can’t wait to go for a walk with my pooch and a cuppa with my besties. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over?

Spend time by myself! It turns out I am a very solitary person, and I am really struggling being in a house full of lunatics 24/7. I can’t wait to drop the kiddies back to school (hopefully in September!) and enjoy the silence of the car journey home. Then I am driving straight to my aforementioned besties house for a long over due hug! Turns out for a loner, I really enjoy a cuddle.

Find me here:

https://www.instagram.com/alittlecupofhelen/

https://www.alittlecupofhelen.co.uk

Global Quarantine Diaries – Jessie (Me!).

Hello!

I am Jessie and welcome to my blog and my instalment in the Global Quarantine Diaries! To say I’ve enjoyed this time it would be a solid 50/50 split. I’ve loved being furloughed of work and having time to myself and to get organised but I’ve also been ever so slightly stir crazy with cabin fever. I can’t wait to get back to work, to see my girlfriends and family, going to the gym, my god I MISS THE GYM.

Where in the world are you located?

I am living in England in a small village in-between Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

What are Lockdown regulations like there?

Lockdown regulations here have been implemented and are very strict as it should be to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

These are the main rules and regulations that have been implemented during our lockdown. We are now currently in Phase 1 (I think). In honesty I’ve been trying to stay on top of what is what but I’m trying to not keep too much of an eye on it, it isn’t good for my mental health, my family can keep me updated on the important bits of what we can and can’t do which I appreciate a lot.

How are you keeping busy?

I am trying to keep myself busy every day as I find I really lose the will and get cabin fever if I don’t keep myself amused. So What have I been doing?

  1. Reading! – I used to read when I was younger all the time, all day every day when I could. Once I hit sixth form college and university I completely fell off it. I only ever picked up a text book that was relevant to my uni or college work and that was it. It wasn’t until my final year of uni I started reading again thanks to Majelle leaving a load of books here as she couldn’t take them back to Canada. That was it, I was off, I started slowly and now with lockdown I’ve read at least 19 books in the past two months and it has been amazing. Outside of lockdown and in total i’ve read 26 books this year and I absolutely love fantasy fiction. It made me realise just how much I missed reading a GOOD BOOK and there are so many I had been missing out on just because I couldn’t be bothered or found something on Netflix to binge watch instead. I even booted up my 2012 Paperwhite kindle which still works a dream and have been using it religiously. Its also so lovely to pass the time and also really helps with my anxiety.
  2. Working out! – I’ve tried to work out or run as often as possible. Im a bit of gym bunny so when they closed the gyms (which was of course a wise choice in the current states) I was a bit stumped. Running is hard with my achilles pain but its been well worth it for my weight and mental health. I’ve been following the likes of Joe Wicks on YouTube and doing DANCE workouts! I can’t even dance I have 2 left feet but my god am I SWEATING whenever I finish up! I feel it helps me get through the day a bit easier and allows me to eat all the cakes I make. I also enjoy walking, having the dog is helpful as we go on regular dog walks, I love going at sunset as its the best time of the day.
  3. Baking – If anyone knows me they know I despise cooking. But lockdown has helped me realise I love making desserts. I’ve got a speciality Victoria Sponge cake down and we’ve made cupcakes and brownies in tow! Thats another great way to pass the time!
  4. Blogging & Social Media – This time has been really good to take part in blogging collaborations, getting my blog all organised and posts written, just being able to promote my blog and engage with other bloggers has been so beneficial for me. Keeping my socials up to date has also been a positive.
  5. Spending time with the family – Sunday is a games night in this house! Im in lockdown with my boyfriend, my dad and stepmum. And not forgetting, the doggo! We’ve been cooking dinners, going on walks and bike rides and its been fantastic spending all this time together. Thats what I am really cherishing.
  6. I bought a Nintendo Switch! – So I’ve also been seshing Spyro, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, all of my favourite games on my switch! It was so worth the money and a great bit of kit. If anyone has any game recommendations please do let me know in the comments!
  7. Learning French! – Thats right, I’ve decided to teach myself French with Duolingo. I decided on this when we went to Paris and I realised my reading ability of french was actually MUCH better than I had ever imagined. I did French at school for 7 years and didn’t pick it back up in college or uni. I wish I knew another language so why not take the time now to learn a new language? Its great to pass the time and really push and motivate yourself as well! Its something I am really happy I decided to pick up. I’ve even learn how to flirt in french, Voulez-Vouz dancer aves moi?
  8. Zoom Calling! – Honestly nothing has made me feel more grounded than Zoom chatting my friends every Friday night and Saturday night. It gives me life, a good laugh and a chance to catch up with everyone all over the world and in the UK. Also a good chance to drink. We’ve been playing all sorts of drinking games and also doing a book club as well! It’s just so nice to see everyone and breaks up the week massively.
  9. Binge watching Netflix – I put this one last because I haven’t actually done much of this. Yes I have absolutely watched A LOT of tele but no where near as much as I would have imagined. I guess there is only so much you can sit and watch and I was already watching a lot of Netflix after dinner and before bed with my man. We are watching Outer Banks, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Brassic (which is FANTASTIC) and Lil Dicky’s new TV Show DAVE. What are you watching at the moment?

What do you miss doing the most?

Honestly I miss my friends. I miss my girlfriends who are in two different directions and distances from my home, and visiting my friends back up in my Uni city. I miss going to the pub for a pint, never again will I take advantage of a beautiful beer garden I will cherish it in my soul. I also miss the gym, nothing compares I find to the motivation I feel to workout in the gym. Once lockdown has started to ease and I feel more confident in myself I know normality will return at one point.

But you know what I miss the most? Travel.

I CANNOT wait to be on a plane again. Visiting places on my bucket list, touring the UK and Europe and more importantly my potential trip to Australia. I can’t wait to hear the words ‘Cabin Crew for boarding’ and “Can I have your passports please?”. I want to go back to exploring. I miss it so so dearly I feel I’ve lost a limb.

Luckily with the current regulations you can have 6 people socially distancing in your back garden which has been a nice change of pace. We met one friend in the park for the afternoon for a social distancing catch up and we also met two other friends for a social distancing kick about. Making sure to be as safe as possible whilst we do it. I miss normality.

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over?

Once lockdown is over I am going to go to my hometown on the East Coast and see my mum, sister and my friends down there. Then next on the agenda is spending time with my 3 best girlfriends that I have here in the UK. I miss those girls more than life and we’ve been trying to tour different UK cities together, most recently (Pre Covid-19) Liverpool. So who knows where we will end up next when we do all see each other.

I know it will be a long while until everything is back to normal but I can’t wait to be back to where we were. Back to work. Back to exploring and travelling. Back to Normality!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Abbie

Quarantine in Canada / Abbie!

If we are to take anything away from all of this chaos, I hope it’s a better understanding of the unpredictability of life. It’s always a good thing to have a plan but, with that said, without flexibility, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak. 

“Quarantine Where I’m From” 

I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (Toronto/Niagara Falls), where we are currently in “Stage 1” of reopening. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think quarantine in Ontario is too outrageously different from quarantine in the states or the UK. Social distancing rules have been enforced which, of course, include staying at home, not visiting with friends, and avoiding any non-essential outings. Although it looks like some of the rules are letting up and we may be on the road to re-opening, I am bit worried about the ominous second wave that many are predicting. Collectively, universally, we would all love for COVID-19 to be over, to see our friends, and engage in the social activities we miss, but I hope these steps to reopen don’t cost us more casualties than necessary. 

“How I Keep Busy” 

Personally, Netflix has consumed my life, Grey’s Anatomy more specifically. Apart from that I’ve been doing a lot of baking, and art, or whatever comes to me really. I make lots of plans to be productive and take this time to work on my future, but that all just seems unnecessary considering the end of quarantine is not yet in sight. Stress management was something I needed to focus on before we even knew about COVID-19, so I think taking this time to focus on different management strategies would be the most useful way to spend my time and improve life after quarantine. 

“What I Miss” 

Around this time I would usually be getting together with my friends from my hometown, welcoming summer and celebrating our survival of the previous school year. This year I graduated from university so naturally I had some plans for celebrating. I did have plans to travel so I am missing the airport and my travel buddies. Turns out the travel bug never goes away. There’s plenty to be missed but most of all, it’s not being able to see my friends and family that gets me down. I love my alone time but it is a difficult change not being able to visit and chat in person with those I care about. 

“First Thing I’ll Do When Lockdown is Over” 

Look into plane tickets. I hate to say it because I know there’s lots of other important things I should be thinking about in regards to my future, my career, and life as a university graduate, but I am just so excited to travel again. I think once life goes back to the way it was I will be more than eager to plan a trip and see more of the world. 

This situation is not ideal, our lives have been uprooted and it feels like the solid ground we all stand on has been ripped from under us. However, we are healing. This is a hard reset, it is time to rebuild, start thinking about the life you are living/want to live, and focus on healing.

You can find Abbie on her socials below!

Twitter: @AbbsLemay

Instagram: AbbieLemay

Youtube: Abbie Lemay

The ‘Real Neat’ Blogger Award

The rules are simple and easy to follow. They are as follows:

  • Display the blog award logo in your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. Do not forget to link their blogging website.
  • Answer all the questions they have given you.
  • Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.
  • Ask them 7 questions.

Another bloggers award/nomination!

God I love the blogger community, a huge thank you for the nomination Ronald! Make sure you go and check his blog out, its impressive, informative and a really enjoyable read!

My answers to Ron’s questions!

  1. How important do these blogging awards mean to you?

I love these blogging awards so much. When I am nominated it makes me feel warm inside knowing out there, there is this awesome blogging community out there which I am part of, people are actually interested in what I have to say!

  1. How has blogging helped you?

It helps me keep my focus and calm down. I love to blog after work to relax and take my mind of things. It’s also a really enjoyable hobby, I find a lot of pleasure in writing.

  1. If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

A new everlasting computer, the ability to time travel and to be a full time, paid travel blogger for a living!

  1. If the blogging community had rankings, what would be your rank?

I’d like to think I’d be at least the bottom of the middle. Ya girl isn’t BIG TIME enough, yet!

  1. What’s your take on blogging as a whole?And do you see more people take up blogging as a means to earn a living?

Blogging is a great way to experience new things, reviews, find new products, clothing, it’s an amazing platform of creative people. Yes! I’d love to make a living travelling and blogging about it!

  1. What is one dish you can never say no to?

Spaghetti Bolognese u dont have to ask me TWICE.

  1. What is something you’ve never done but really want to do?

Skydiving is a must. And cliff diving, and go to a cooking class! (Brad would be over the moon as man do I hate cooking but if I could just get into it, maybe I’d enjoy it) I could go on but we would be here for a while!

My Nominees for the ‘Real Neat’ Bloggers award are:

  1. Soph (@sophienaylor_) // Blog
  2. Lynnette (@pink_lynette) // Blog
  3. Jess (@awholelattejess) // Blog
  4. Bryony (@bbbbryony) // Blog
  5. Tathy (@vibrantandgray) // Blog
  6. Emmie (carpediememmie) // Blog
  7. Lindsey (Lindzy92) // Blog

And my 7 Questions for these bloggers are;

  1. What is your dream blogging goal?
  2. Someone gives you £10,000, what do you do with it?
  3. Tell us about yourself, explain yourself in 3 words
  4. What does blogging mean to you?
  5. Do you like horror movies?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. Tea or Coffee?

Thank you again to Ron for the nomination! I can’t wait to read the responses!

Orlando To Miami – ROAD TRIPPIN’!!

We decided from the start of the holiday we were going to drive to Miami South Beach from Orlando as a convoy, two SUV cards both packed and ready to roll for the 5 hour journey! And it didn’t disappoint. Honestly I spent a majority of the journey wondering how the hell my parents knew where they were going. We did two initial stops, although there was a quick one because we got lost being adventurous.

162We’d been driving about an hour when we stopped for a toilet break and some breakfast,  Dunkin’ Doughnuts? Don’t mind if we do. The scenery hadn’t changed much; we could tell we were still in the depths of Orlando, but there was a lot less around as were were driving. Not as many buildings or places to stop and enjoy. So once we’d stopped at Dunkin’ Doughnuts and stocked up on munch and were satisfied, we were off on our road trip once again to the holy land.

A little further along the way more buildings and roads and cars generally appeared, which meant we were getting somewhere, and getting closer! We stopped for lunch on our journey to Miami at Palm Beach! I didn’t catch the name of restaurant we went to but we sat outside under a canopy and all 13 of us enjoyed a big lunch! Us younger ones went for a wander along the beach, there was a huge pier which I wish we’d had time to walk down. There were also countless volley ball pitches on the sand, which was awesome but I can’t play volley ball for love nor money. The food was lovely and it was a really good break in the journey as it was starting to get a bit tedious.

We got a little lost before we finally managed to make it to Miami. I could never have told you the route we followed but it involved looking at a lot of beautiful beachside houses that were impressively large. We had to make a stop to stretch the legs and figure out which way was the right way but we made it in the end!

I remember arriving in Miami and being absolutely lost for words. What a place is all I have to say. I would live in Miami if anyone gave me the chance because its hands down the place of my dreams. Beautiful beaches, houses, fast cars, better lifestyle, god If only.

One day hey! I’ll be writing about my experience in Miami from here on! These were some of my favourite experiences of the holiday!

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Orlando – Universal S(unburn)tudio’s

Universal Studios was incredible, We did both sides of the park and of course we visited more than once, my all time favourite ride is at these parks, duh, The Hulk! Universal is sick, from The Simpsons world to Harry Potter world and all the other awesome rides and places it has to offer its definitely a come back more than once job!

Of course we all had our photograph of us on the giant fake blue wave in the entrance to the parks, it would’ve been rude not too, and I also absolutely LOVED the Billabong shop they had so of course I did spent a little too much time there. Theres also the beautiful view of the river that runs through the entrance to both universal parks and the entrance to the Hard Rock restaurant, the best time was when the sun was setting, it was gorgeous.

And not forgetting the rather large spinning earth and Universal Studios sign before you enter the park on the right side, I mean did you even go to Universal if you didn’t get a photograph in front of it?

Of course upon entering the park for a majority of the day all I was doing was applying suncream, which didn’t work, because I got royally burnt as per usual when is anything ever different with me. My face and my nose flare up so much when they’re burnt you may as well call me Rudolf. So many great rides at universal and so little time, but regardless of that we went on the Hollywood Rock It probably the most, although The Hulk was definitely a close second!

278My favourite time on the Hollywood Rock It was when I went on the ride with Imi, obviously you get on the ride and you strap yourself across your legs and stomach and whilst you’re making your way up to the first drop you get to choose what music you listen too as you go around the course, and at the time they were also filming your experience for you to take home instead of a photo. Id decided to listen to Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger because what other banger is better than that.

So it was video’ing Imi and I as we went round, and I’m pretty sure after watching it back with Ims she passed out on nearly every single drop on the ride and then came back to life screaming and smiling whenever we weren’t on a drop or loop, and the ride managed to get it all on film! I wish, I WISH I’d bought a copy of the film because we were hysterical laughing!

Some of the other rides that deserved just as much recognition has got to be The Mummy Ride, The Transformers 4D ride and the Men in Black shooting/game ride was so much fun. Im a pansy and hate simulator rides, so the Twister ride was lost to me, which is such a shame as I love the film! After being in Orlando a while I was starting to get sick of eating crappy foods so universal was my saviour in terms of the huge big tubs of fruit they sold around the park, easily my favourite buy because I was starting to forgot how good the sweet nectar of fruit was whilst we were out there.

269Of course The Simpsons world was fun, although I bottled it on the ride they had to offer, so I held the bags whilst everyone went on! But it was so cool how they had a Moes Bar and all the other Simpson related statues and venues! I even got to have a cute photo with Millhouse!

From The Simpsons world we went across to the Men in Black ride which was interactive, where you sat in a carriage of 4 and shoot things and get a score, I was crap, of course.

 

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For those who are massive Harry Potter fans you’ll know just how incredibly impressive Diagon Alley and Harry Potter world, Hogwarts, the train and the Duelling dragon rides are. Not to mention the Butter beer, So sweet but so good. Nothing was cooler than walking along Diagon Alley and realising that the dragon breathes fire down at all of us walking through the street! We also had a pretty good chat with the man who was running the ‘night bus; in the park, he was pretty up for a photograph and a natter! Now I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, but It didn’t take much to absolutely blow me away with just how impressive the place was.

We took the train from platform 9 and 3 quarters across to the other side of the park which was awesome. It was newly opened when we headed there, there was 5 of us to a cubicle and the movie they showed on the window and the special effects with the carriage doors was so cool, so fascinated and great to be reminded of what happens in the Harry Potter films! The train dropped us in the adventure island part of Universal where the duelling dragons and the village with Hogwarts was, Im not sure how it happened but after a few tears from one of our youngest members of the families, we managed to bag ourselves a quick tour of the Hogwarts castle and then on the ride that was inside Hogwarts!

The Duelling dragons were good fun, and of course we had to go on both the Red ride and the Blue ride too see which one was better! I preferred the red ride hands down.

NOW of course because we’d come across to the other side of the park there was a whole new park to explore basically, this side of the park consisted of Dr Seuss’s area, as well as Jurassic Park and the Marvel area, which is definitely my favourite area!

228Jurassic Park was good fun because at Universal they have the water ride for Jurassic Park, not only was Imi terrified of all the dinosaurs that jumped out, and I don’t blame her either, but as we were making our way up the massive hill to then go down the HUGE drop they have, which FYI soaked me through even though I was holding a waterproof coat over GJ and myself, one of the padre’s our group had his Go Pro out and you can just hear some america voice say “Can you please put your Go Pro away sir” over the intercom, but, I’m sorry love, we didn’t hear you, what was that???? It was wild fun, I’ve NEVER been on a water ride with such a steep drop! Scared the living daylights out of me! But of course we were soaked, and it was great, kept us cool for the duration of the day as to was a scorcher!

Carrying on through the park the Spiderman 4D experience ride was tonnes of fun although it made me a little nervous in terms of simulator rides, but it was good’un in the end! AND I got to meet Captain America and HOLD HIS SHIELD, But typically, with my rather short shorts its made me look very naked…

Got to meet Optimus Prime too! The transformers costumes were seriously impressive, I couldn’t tell if they were ran by remote control or if there were people actually inside them, but they were really tall and so detailed, they were so impressive.

My favourite part of the holiday in terms of food in Orlando, was the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando in Universal Studios, I was excited to eat there before we’d even arranged to go there put it that way. Not only was it huge inside and out but it had a Cadillac just in the middle of the restaurant spinning around above the bar below it! When we arrived there was 13 of us and they even took a group photograph of us before we all went to sit down, and it was a great picture as we didn’t get another like it the entire holiday.

The food was incredible, I had a burger with bacon, cheese and the sweetest BBQ sauce, then all of us girls had mocktails because boo hoo the drinking age being over 21 in the US, none of us qualified for that haha! But the mocktails were nice none the less! I loved looking at all the famous musicians outfits dotted about the restaurant too, I’d also never eaten in a Hard Rock before this night either so it was a fun experience!

Id love to go back to Universal soon as they have opened a Kong: Skull Island ride, and it bet its phenomenal because I LOVED the film! One day I’ll head back.

 

 

Portugal – SURFS UP!

We surfed on the beaches every day and it was such a huge gorgeous beach! Visit www.studentsurftrips.com for more info on these trips!

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When we got there everyday we would all work as a team to take the boards down to the water and set our base camp. The surf instructors back at the lodge had already put us in groups of our skills. I was in the beginner group because lets be honest I’ve never been that great at it. They would usually take us to two different beaches but the surf I believe was dead on the south coast but amazing on the west, so thats where we went, The beach was called Praia Da Borderia and it was beautiful (shout out to Paulina for telling me the name after I forgot!).

To get down to the beach we had to walk down a boardwalk, through where the sea on high tide cut off the boardwalk onto the beach, and then further down the beach to set up camp. IMG_3214They usually had a gazebo and then we’d set up and leave all our stuff around the Gazebo during the day. You had sunbathing time every day on the beach too which was always lovely.

They took each groups in the water for two sessions a day for two hours each session, although you could get out when you wanted and if you didn’t want to surf at all but still come to the beach you could! Or you could stay at the lodge if you didn’t fancy it which some days I really didn’t. So pool days were on the cards occasionally! They would show you how to do certain things before each session, you’d warm up and they would sometimes show you how to pop up again as its always a nice refresher. They also brought us food down to the beach for lunch! It would usually be salads, pastas and crisps and sandwiches, water too, it was all fresh and really nice after a surf session.

All the instructors are really nice, really good teachers and come on nights out with you when you go out in Lagos, they’re all up for a laugh which is always great!

I love surfing, I always ave, I don’t know how I got into it but I’m pretty sure it was through the love for my Beach lifeguarding job. Theres no surf where I live but joining the university surf society was easily the best choice I made! Surfing abroad is more challenging I think, it makes you more alert. Its amazing fun though and if you get the chance to surf anywhere you visit, take it.

There was a only a tiny little cafe on this huge beach, and there were not toilets which was always funny when 4 girls all ran off to pee in the dunes. The sea was also pretty chilly without your wetsuit on and the current was really strong in the water so we weren’t allowed to far out without some sort of supervision of the instructors.

It was a really beautiful beach, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a prettier beach and the swell was really good.

It was always so good to surf and I always came home covered in sea salt and with beach curls I never wanted to wash out, well and truly shattered and ready for bed. Its  my all time favourite feeling.  I love the beach too much.