Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
This blog tied for 3rd Place in the June 2016 "The Bard's Hall Contest" |
This is a non-specific blog about me and my life, the things I do, the problems I cause, and the trouble I manage to escape. Topics that may be covered include but are in no way limited to food, animals (especially farm animals), war, the military, photography, North Carolina, medical problems and medical care, religion, writing, and examples of extreme laziness.
|Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged. In fact, I couldn't remember exactly how to get here to do it again, but luckily WdC makes it pretty easy to find your own blog again. I've had several comments about why I'm not blogging (mostly laziness), so I thought I'd try to get back to it.
Well, last month (May) I did a big promotion to get folks to join (or rejoin) "The Contest Challenge" and it worked...at least for the time being. (HOPEFULLY most people will keep at it for the whole year.) I gave away a free 1-year Premium membership. It cost me over 50 million GPs...significantly more than I expected. But that's mostly because I did NO math to prepare for this. So, one might say it's my own fault. But I hope that "one" would say it quietly behind my back and not to my face, just to be polite. But they are right. It IS my own fault. Well, it was fun and I got a CRAP TON OF STUFF IN RETURN thanks to Lilli organizing a wonderful thank you reward for me! THANK YOU! It was so unexpected but SO AWESOME!
During that time I also made Yellow Case. I'm not sure why as I don't think I'd been super active recently, except that month. lol But whatever. I'm not going to argue! I'm very happy being Yellow and Blue isn't even a goal, so YIPEE!!
Also in May, my cousin talked me into selling Pampered Chef. With the brain injury, it's easy to talk me into stuff, though she claims she wasn't even trying. On the good side, I see selling Pampered Chef as a way to help me work around my brain injury and get back towards working a full-time job again. And I DO LOVE THE PRODUCTS! They have such creative things like the Julienne Peeler where you can peel veggies into julienne pieces and the Rolling Cookie Cutter so you don't have to cut each cookie by hand (not that I make cookies with my blood sugar, but still, options are nice) and I love the Measure-All Cup (and the Petite and Mini ones as well) because you can measure 1/4 cup in the same thing you can measure 2 cups so you're only dirtying 1 item, not to mention you're less likely to lose count when you have to do multiple cups (a real issue with the brain injury) and it has a plunger thingie so you no longer have to scrape out the inside when measuring things like honey or ketchup. I am totally in love with their RockCrok collection of stoneware because it goes EVERYWHERE! You can use it in the freezer, oven, broiler, microwave, on the stove, grill, and, of course, in the dishwasher. It's fantastic! And their nonstick cookware is also amazing because you can use it with metal utensils and it goes in the dishwasher. FANTASTIC!
Okay enough about what I love about Pampered Chef. I don't want to sound like a commercial. Too late? Well, they have great stuff! It's not MY fault. lol
FYI, anyone interested in joining my Pampered Chef party that starts Monday, June 24, 2018, (and ends Sunday July 1) go to this link. (If you live overseas, we can talk about me shipping smaller items to you myself, but I'm not shipping you a set of pots and pans on my own dime. lol)
If the party is already closed, you can contact me or just order through my website.
Also, I'm offering 5 MBs to anyone who hosts a qualifying party (only $200 in orders). If you don't want the cookware, but do want the MBs, consider hosting a fundraiser or host a party to stock your church's kitchen or doing a wedding shower for someone. We can find a way to help you get those MBs! I'M SUPPOSED TO BOOK 4 PARTIES IN MY FIRST 4 WEEKS, SO I COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP!!!
Anyway, what else am I up to? Well, I'm glad you asked! I'm working on my retirement plan--rental houses. I bought a new house in December and just finished that renovation. I'm starting the renovation on one side of one of my duplexes as well. Unfortunately, I had to do EXTENSIVE exterior work to help with water issues, it needs a new roof soon, and the a/c just went out. And I still have to do the inside! YIKES! On the good side, the exterior and roof cover both sides, so I won't have to do that again any time soon. I'm not making any money off my rentals at this time, but am just trying to pay them off (using the rent) so I can use the money for a nursing home one day. I say I can't afford the kind of nursing home I will one day want to live in and I don't want to live in the kind I can currently afford. lol I'm hoping to have everything paid off in 15 years so when it's time to go into a nursing home (hopefully in more than 15 years), I can afford a great one!
What's YOUR retirement plan?
(Don't forget to talk to me about those 5 MBs! )
|I'm trying to make a website for my friend's pottery business, Paint n Parrot in Fairhope, Alabama. Check it out if you're in the area. Currently, he only has a Facebook page, but you can check that out. You can go and paint things and he will fire them for you so they are food safe. It's pretty cool!
Anyway, his website will be pretty static, but I'm trying to make it as interesting and fun as I can. I've decided to include some activities (like word searches and word jumbles). I've also included a couple of riddles and some jokes. (Fyi, finding pottery jokes and riddles isn't the easiest thing--ESPECIALLY the riddles!) I also wrote a tongue twister for his site. I'd love some feedback on it before the site goes live!
Peter Potter putters with pots. Potter Peter pots putters. Both Peter Potter and Potter Peter putt pots. But only with Potter Peter's potted putters and Peter Potters' puttered pots.
Okay, so it doesn't make a LOT of sense. Who pots putters? And who putts pots? But that's part of the fun, I think... Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. I'm wondering if Peter Potter should be the one who pots putter and Potter Peter should putter with pots. For that matter, I'm open to anyone else wanting to write a tongue twister about ceramics, pottery, clay, etc. There's a MB in it for you...
|This entry is in response to "Note:
48-HOUR CHALLENGE : Medi...".
I've never heard the song "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic. For that matter, I've never heard of OneRepublic. lol The song isn't bad, though. It's got a nice tune and is peppy. However, I don't really understand some of the lyrics. For example, "Everything that kills me makes me feel alive." Hmmm... I don't get it. However, it DOES remind me of my saying, "Nothing makes you feel more alive than almost dying." Admittedly, almost dying can cause horrible problems like PTSD. However, it can also be a rush like nothing you've ever felt. That was my response to the rocket attack in Iraq. The feeling was indescribable! I've never felt more alive than I did at that moment when I realized that I could die at any moment! Crazy, I know. And my two friends who were with me, had the PTSD reaction. I have PTSD from Iraq, but not because of that incident. That is one of my favorite memories! NOTHING MAKES YOU FEEL MORE ALIVE THAN ALMOST DYING!
Here's their video. Do not ask me to explain what the video means. I have no idea, especially that part with the alligator. lol
If you want to know more about OneRepublic, here's their Wikipedia page.
Interesting bit of trivia, their band was originally named This Beautiful Mess, then Republic, before becoming OneRepublic. Also of interest, 2 of the members originally met their senior year at Colorado Springs Christian High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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|I'm writing this in reference to "Note:
48-HOUR CHALLENGE : Medi...". They offer a merit badge. I accept.
We were to listen to the song "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang and write something (story, poem, blog entry, etc.) related to it.
When I listed to the song again, I suddenly realized how simple this song was. It's not telling some story or explaining something to you like most songs. It's just simply singing about celebrating and inviting you to celebrate along with them. I wonder if this isn't part of the magic that has caused this song to be so popular for so long.
I don't have a lot more insight into it, so I thought I'd do a little research on it.
It came out in 1980 as an R&B/Soul song on their album, "Celebrate!" They hit #1 on the charts in the U.S. February 7, 2981 and stayed there for two weeks before Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" kicked them off. But they managed to make #1 in Billboards Hot 100, Dance, and R&B charts. They were also an international sensation, making #1 in Canada and New Zealand. They reached #2 in South Africa and Netherlands and it was #3 in Belgium. COOL! Or should I say, KOOL! lol
Here's a link to the lyrics. http://www.metrolyrics.com/celebration-lyrics-kool-the-gang.html
I didn't know this, but this wasn't the only time it was recorded.
In 1987, the New Zealand band, Dragon, recorded "Celebration" as a single, then in 1988, they included it on their album, "Bondi Road." It was also included in their 1989 compilation album, "Snake Eyes on the Paradise Greatest Hits 1976–1989."
It was recorded in 1991 by Australian singer/songwriter Kylie Minogue for her album, "Let's Get to It," though she didn't release it on that album. She later released it in her "1992 Greatest Hits." To be honest, while I like the sound of the Kool and the Gang song, the video from Kylie Minogue is a lot better.
Most of this information was taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebration_(Kool_%26_the_Gang_song)
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Well, it's been quite a while since I last wrote. A lot has happened. Most importantly, I got a new computer. YIPEE!
Well, I have SB Musing and someone else...I forget who, to thank for my bath bombing these days. They kept talking about Lush's bath bombs during our virtual European vacation. I'd never even heard of Lush, let alone a bath bomb. In/conveniently (depending on how you look at it), the internet was there to educate me on all that I've been missing. It started innocently enough with me ordering a Lush bath bomb. Then I liked it, so that was a problem.
I'd been looking into soap making again (more on that in another post) and kept running into bath bomb recipes. They seemed so simple, I finally decided to make some. I thought they might make a great gift--cheap, easy, fun, perfect. I kept looking at bath bomb molds on Amazon because, of course, you can't have a weirdly shaped bath bomb. (They're round for anyone who doesn't know.) Eventually I ran into a whole kit (including molds) at A.C. Moore (a craft store). I got it and excitedly went home to make them. Well, in their defense, it DID say to mold them then CAREFULLY take them out and let them harden. I figured since other instructions I'd read had said to let them harden for 24 hrs before removing them, I'd go with those instructions just to be safe.
The next day I couldn't wait to unmold them! I grabbed my first one and tapped it like I'd seen in the videos and pushed on the back like the instructions said and well, nothing. I tried again, tapping harder. I banged with the end of a spatula. I pounded it on the counter. I pried at the edges. I shoved at the back. Nothing would get those devils to release my beautiful (in the eye of the beholder) bath bombs! I even tried freezing them since things shrink in the cold. Well, apparently it all shrunk the same amount since it didn't cause the mold to release.
So, it's been about 3 days now and I've used a couple of my bath bombs and they work quite nicely. Thankfully the molds are waterproof (plastic) so I just float them in my tub and when the bomb FINALLY releases (not as soon as you might think), I just rinse it out quickly and put the mold on the edge of the tub to be taken to the kitchen later while I enjoy the rest of the bath. Well, the tub is quite small, so "enjoy" might be too strong a word, but still, it's entertaining, if nothing else. However, I rarely take baths and now I've been forced to take one daily just to release my molds so I can try another recipe.
Well, today I tried another recipe. I got it off a video that claimed they'd tried several recipes and this one was the best. Seriously? It involved adding water and oil (in small amounts), but it started the fizzing reaction and apparently containing it is an issue. I filled my molds and the filling kept growing...and growing...and growing...until it spilled all over the counter. Hmmm...theirs didn't do that in the video. Maybe I need to watch the video again. Or perhaps I should just use one of my spray bottles for spray oil and water mixes to be used for things like bath bombs. (Not sure what else I'd use it for, actually, but surely there's SOME other use for oil and water SOMEWHERE.) I'd used witch hazel in a spray bottle and didn't have this giant reaction situation start, so maybe the spray bottle is the secret. The witch hazel DID cause a LITTLE reaction, so I think it's more the application than the ingredients.
So far I'm 0-2 and the bath bombs are winning, but I haven't given up yet! I bought an 8 pound (3.6 kg) bag of Epson salt and 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of baking soda. I've got plenty left for experiments. I SHALL WIN! (For those unfamiliar with bath bombs, they fizz in the tub and often release scents, colors, and even oils or other skin soothing things into the tub. The most basic ingredients are baking soda and citric acid, but Epson salt, corn starch, and oils are frequently added, among other things.)
Regarding blog reminders, for those who don't know, you can set it to remind you to update your blog at intervals of your choosing. I chose every 3 days. (You see that since it's been more like 3 weeks, that doesn't really make a difference for me. lol) However, I discovered that if you don't do it when it tells you, then all bets are off and you're back to the daily reminder thing. Hmmm...good to know, but I can be just as stubborn as it can be. Case in point, I didn't let it force me into writing after it had only been 3-4-5 days. But hopefully I'll be better at writing from now on...we can hope...lol
I hope the rest of you are better at blogging than I am! Hahaha
TTYL (Talk to You Later)
For one last time, the prompts will be in blue and I'll write in red in honor of England's red, white, and blue flag.
Your last day in London...you have a red eye flight this evening home.
With 2016 marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, there’s no time like the present to revisit all of the theater favorites or follow in the footsteps of the iconic playwright. From standing on Juliet’s balcony in Verona to exploring Hamlet’s castle in Denmark, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Shakespeare all around the world, but the No. 1 destination is, of course, his home country of England. The country is celebrating the legacy of its national poet with a host of special events, plays, film screenings and exhibitions, and even if you missed the anniversary itself (April 23), there are plenty of ways to add a Shakespearean twist to your visit.
Visit famous Stratford-upon-Avon landmarks and walk in William Shakespeare’s footsteps with this ‘All Five Houses’ tour ticket. Step back in time to the 16th century, when one of England’s most famous scribes was alive. Visit Shakespeare’s family homes and gardens at your leisure, where a broad range of exciting activities bring the bard’s story to life. Listen as the guides shed light on his life and times, watch live performances, test your Shakespearean knowledge, meet farm animals at Mary Arden's Farm and enjoy a fun-filled day for all the family. Highlights: Family-friendly Romantic experience, perfect for couples; Step back in time on a history tour; Perfect for all ages and skill levels.
Read more about Shakespeare's Birthplace: 'All 5 Houses' Ticket - Stratford-upon-Avon | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Stratford-upon-Avon/Shakespeares-Birthplace-All-5-H...
The Shakespeare's All 5 Houses tour was fun and interesting. They had a different tour guide at each location and each was unique in their special ways. It was cool getting to see where he'd courted his wife and where his daughter lived, but my favorite part was his mother's farm. That was the BEST! Partly, I love animals, so there's that. But also, they really made efforts to do it as accurately as possible, even using the same breeds of animals as she raised. Cool!
I hung out with Jellyfish steps in to 2020... on this part of the trip. She's been in several of Shakespeare's plays and was able to offer insight that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. How fun is that?!? I'm glad I got to spend time wtih her, but especially on this last leg of the trip!
Dinner is a walking experience you'll appreciate before the long plane ride for some of us.
Feast your senses on the cosmopolitan culinary scene of East London during a 3.5-hour walking tour of the vibrant London district. Accompanied by an expert gastronome guide, explore the eclectic neighborhoods of Spitalfields and Shoreditch to discover spots favored by local food-lovers. Appease your appetite with the English classic of a bacon sandwich at St John Bread and Wine restaurant; delight in the complex flavors of Beigel Bake's delectable salt beef bagels; and savor creamy artisan cheese during a tasting session. Stroll the renowned Brick Lane to sample spicy curries and try the traditional British dish, fish and chips, at Poppies restaurant.
Highlights: 3.5-hour food tour of London’s East End; Explore Spitalfields with a friendly guide and discover where the locals eat; Head inside quirky cafes and top-rated joints endorsed by Time Out London; Visit St John Bread and Wine for a bacon sandwich and Beigel Bake for a salt-beef bagel; Enjoy fish and chips at Poppies served traditionally in newspaper; and sample curries on Brick Lane. Learn about the East End's multicultural cuisine and history.
Read more about London East End Food Tour - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/London-East-End-Food-Tour/d737-6093FOOD?pub=...
A 3 1/2 hour food tour? Wow! I'm not good at pacing myself and was fairly full after the first stop. On the good side, I wasn't super keen on the 2nd stop anyway. My favorite two stops were the cheese stop and the final dessert stop. YUM! lol I hung out with a variety of folks during different parts of the tour. I wanted to get to say goodbye, so I spent some time with Jellyfish steps in to 2020..., Kittiara, Sally, and the rest of my British buddies. I'll see the others in the airport and on the flight back. I'm happy that I'll be sitting next to SB Musing. In case I can't sleep, I'm sure she'll be a source of entertainment. lol
Your flights are all arranged and transportation is covered. Exchange addresses, cell phone numbers and get all those hugs taken care of because the next month-long adventure with Lyn's Tour Guide Service is next August.
If you have enjoyed your traveling experience, please feel free to tip your travel service "30-Day Bloggers Group" . It is always a pleasure to serve you. Lyn and Fivesixer.
THANK YOU NORB AND LYN FOR ALL YOU DID FOR US!!!
|Howdy Fellow Travelers and Other Readers!
Well, one again, the prompt is in blue and my response in is red.
August 29--London, England
You're booked on one of the hop on, hop off buses today. Enjoy whatever appeals to you.
Explore the best of historic London– seat of the British Royalty– by bus on a lively tour of the city’s key attractions and landmarks. Hop aboard the Big Bus at Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus or any of the other stops on the route, and grab a comfortable seat in the enclosed lower deck or on the open-air upper deck for the best views. Enjoy the flexibility of choosing your own itinerary and pace with the structure of strategically placed stops and informative onboard commentary from a professional guide.
When purchasing your ticket, choose the Red Route or Night Tour – both 2.5-hour full-route journeys – or the 3.5 hour Blue Route tour. With your 1-day, 24 hour or 48 hour pass, hop on and off the double-decker bus at any of the route’s many locations (tour stops listed below), or stay onboard for a relaxing ride through buzzing London. As you ride, learn about London’s history and interesting anecdotes about locals sites such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Marble Arch and more. Hop off to explore the eclectic shops in Covent Garden, snap photos of the lavish Buckingham Palace or experience the bustle of Oxford Circle. Between stops, stroll through gorgeous Hyde Park and view Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square. Your hop-on hop-off pass includes a Reward Voucher booklet for discounts around town, many daily activities (listed in the itinerary) and a 30-minute cruise along the River Thames! To end your London City adventure, disembark at any stop along the route, any time you like.
Tour Stops ▼
Red Route: Stop 1: Green Park Underground. Stop 2: Hyde Park Corner. Stop 3: Queen Mother Gates. Stop 4: Marble Arch. Stop 7: Regent Street. Stop 8: Piccadilly Circus. Stop 9: Haymarket. Stop 10: Trafalgar Square. Stop 11: Craig's Court. Stop 12: Whitehall. Stop 13: Westminster Bridge. Stop 14: London Eye. Stop 15: Covent Garden. Stop 17: St. Paul's. Stop 18: London Bridge. Stop 19: Tower of London. Stop 20: Embankment Pier. Stop 21: Westminster Pier. Stop 22: Westminster Bridge. Stop 23: Lambeth Palace. Stop 24: Parliament Square. Stop 25: Westminster Abbey. Stop 26: Buckingham Palace. Stop 27: Royal Mews. Stop 28: Victoria. Stop 29: Victoria Station. Stop 31: Mayfair.
Blue Route: Stop 1: Green Park Underground. Stop 2: Hyde Park Corner. Stop 3: Queen Mother Gates. Stop 4: Marble Arch. Stop 5: Madame Tussaud's. Stop 6: Oxford Circus. Stop 7: Regent Street. Stop 8: Piccadilly Circus. Stop 9: Haymarket. Stop 10: Trafalgar Square. Stop 11: Craig's Court. Stop 12: Whitehall. Stop 13: Westminster Bridge. Stop 14: London Eye. Stop 15: Covent Garden. Stop 17: St. Paul's. Stop 18: London Bridge. Stop 19: Tower of London. Stop 20: Embankment Pier. Stop 21: Westminster Pier. Stop 22: Westminster Bridge. Stop 23: Lambeth Palace. Stop 24: Parliament Square. Stop 25: Westminster Abbey. Stop 26: Buckingham Palace. Stop 27: Royal Mews. Stop 28: Vipposite Hard Rock Cafe. Stop 34: Hyde Park Corner (outside Lanesborough Hotel). Stop 35: Harrods. Stop 36: South Kensington. Stop 37: Gloucester Road. Stop 38: Kensington Palace. Stop 39: Notting Hill. Stop 40: Kensington Gardens. Stop 41: Thistle Hotel Kensington Gardens. Stop 42: Bayswater. Stop 43: Paddington Station
Read more about Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Big-Bus-London-Hop-On-Hop-Off-Tour/d737-6506...
I'm so excited about this hope on and off bus thing! I think it's great! We get to see so many things and I don't have to read anything to learn. lol At one point, a number of people hopped off and I was torn between going to the museum with SB Musing who would impart all kinds of amazing knowledge without me having to read or on the tour of Harry Potter filming locations. I ultimately let my educational side win out and I hop off with WakeUpAndLive~2020, SB Musing, Sally, Elycia Lee ☮, and SandraLynn. I knew this would be super fun...and it was! What a great bunch of ladies, though I was glad I wasn't the only one who wanted SB to just give us the rundown while we looked at the items rather than reading every single thing. lol Whew! Our tour guide, SB, did a wonderful job! HAHAHA
Party into the early hours on this fun pub crawl of central London and experience the city’s legendary nightlife even on a tight budget. With free skip-the-line entry to five bars and nightclubs, five free shots and exclusive drink discounts all night long, it’s excellent value and a great choice for individual travelers or couples wanting to meet like-minded party-goers. There’s even a professional photographer on hand to capture the night’s most memorable moments.
Highlights: Excellent value for money; All entrance fees included; Informative, friendly and professional guide; Perfect introduction for first-time visitors. Skip the line! What You Can Expect: The night kicks off at Piccadilly Institute– a bit of a schizophrenic giant of a club with its multiple themed rooms and discounted drinks. Your guide will be waiting for you right at the door and once you’ve gotten your wristband and first free shot token you will be taken inside to meet the other crawlers. The night is all about meeting new people and partying until the early hours so let your guide introduce you to everyone right from the get-go. Keep your wristband easy to see and new friends will be made quickly.
Next up is Bar Soho on Old Compton Street, which is right in the middle of the diverse and celebrated area of Soho. The short walk there takes you along Shaftesbury Avenue and right past all the huge West End theatres. Then it’s off to the bars and clubs of Leicester Square, which is without a doubt the epicentre of London nightlife! At each bar and club you get a free shot as well as discounted drinks such as bottles of beer or single vodka mixers for around £3! The majority of bars and clubs in London charge heavy admission prices but with us you don’t have to worry about any of that just as long as you are with us. Come, save money, make friends, have a few drinks and have a brilliant time in the centre of London on our #1 rated London Bar Crawl!
Read more about Pub Crawl of Central London - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Pub-Crawl-of-Central-London/d737-9075P1?pub=...
Well, this was an interesting experience. I've never done a pub crawl and really, if I'm not with Sally, I'm not even a drinker. But I figured whatever, it might be fun. I have to say, it's a good thing I've been hanging out with Sally, building my tolerance. Otherwise, I wouldn't have lasted through the first place. Admittedly, I was done for by the third of five. It was getting late anyway. I ended up getting a cab back to the hotel and sleeping it off.
But one of the highlights of the night is when Sally FINALLY talked the bartender into letting us make a drink for our group. She was so funny. She used this fake American accent (been hanging out with us too long) and I think she might have shown some cleavage. Well, hey, if you've got it, flaunt it. Not that I've been looking, but Sally is nicely proportioned, so I certainly don't mind her using whatever feminine wiles she can to get us a chance to practice our bartending. We're getting a lot of mileage out of that one class. lol
I asked Jellyfish steps in to 2020... what she wanted to drink and she teased me by asking for three different drinks she knew I didn't know how to make, then "complaining" that she needed a new bartender. Eventually, she ordered a mojito, though. I've gotten pretty good at those, so I was happy to oblige. Admittedly, we should probably expand our knowledge. Sally asked for help from the bartender when one of her "customers" asked for something she didn't know how to make. Darn that smart Sally! I just made mine order something else. Sally got to learn a new drink AND she got a bit of attention from the hot bartender. Very smart woman. We finally got shooed out from behind the bar when she accidentally dropped her fake American accent and the bartender discovered it was all a ruse. HAHAHA!
|Howdy Once Again!
Once again we will use the color scheme red, white, and blue. I had no idea how many countries used that in their flag. lol Anyway, if you've read more than one or two of my blogs, you'll know the prompt will be in blue and I'll be typing my response in red. I have to admit, I wonder if people of the future will think we had some sort of superior travelling devices the way we talk about going everywhere while we're still home. lol
We're off for a day long adventure which I am positive will appeal to Princess Megan Rose since we're going to see Jane Austin's home. Discover the delights of rural England on this full-day trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Lacock and Bath from London. Traveling by air-conditioned coach with an expert guide, visit Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest occupied castle, still used by Queen Elizabeth II. After seeing St George’s Chapel and the State Apartments, continue to Stonehenge, Europe’s best-known prehistoric monument. Admire the ancient stone edifice, enjoy a traditional pub lunch in medieval Lacock village, and lastly, spend time in the spa city of Bath, famous for its honey-colored Georgian architecture and Roman baths. Highlights: Full-day tour from London to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. Explore beautiful St George's Chapel and the State Apartments at Windsor Castle. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge with a guide. Sit down to enjoy lunch at The George Inn, a traditional English pub in the village of Lacock. Enjoy a coach tour of the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, home of the famous author Jane Austen.
Read more about Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath, Including Pub Lunch in Medieval Village of Lacock - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Stonehenge-Windsor-Castle-Bath-and-Medieval-...
We are nearing the end of our tour of Europe. I can tell those from England are getting quite sad about the end. Sally and Kittiara and Jellyfish steps in to 2020... have been trying to put on a brave face, but it's clear they're disappointed to be home.
I totally loved Windsor Castle, but I'm a tourist like that. lol Hey, it's people like me that make tourist economies possible, so don't knock me.
Stonehenge was AMAZING! Really! How in the world did they get those giant stones there? Crazy! Also crazy, I somehow didn't know Stonehenge was in England. Where did I think it was? I never really thought about it. I probably would have guessed somewhere in Europe, but that's about as close as I would have gotten. But I feel smarter now.
Speaking of feeling smarter, I think Princess Megan Rose knew more about Jane Austin than our guide did, though our guide was far more knowledgeable than your average person. It was really interesting, but afterward, on the way home, Princess Megan Rose filled us in with a LOT more that was previously left out of the tour. Thanks! I feel much smarter now!
Lunch at The George Inn was tasty, but I'm really glad they had more variety than the fish and chips place we went to yesterday. lol Of course, that was prominent on their menu, but thankfully, they had other options. I got a lovely sandwich that I thoroughly enjoyed. And it came with chips (French fries). lol It's not the chips I'm opposed to, but the fish.
Dinner is at a comedy club this evening. It came highly recommended.
Immerse yourself in the sidesplitting comedy of Faulty Towers during a 2-hour Faulty Towers Dining Experience in London’s West End. Enter the richly decorated dining room of the Amba Hotel in Charing Cross and prepare to laugh yourself silly during an evening of improvised comedy from beloved characters of British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Feast upon a 3-course lunch or dinner of English specialties as you receive shocking service and see hilarious theatrical scenes. Highlights of Faulty Towers The Dining Experience: Be transported back to the 1970s with this hilarious and acclaimed 2-hour homage to British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Meet Basil, Sybil and the lovable waiter Manuel, and enjoy a fully interactive comedy experience. Enjoy a 1970s-inspired 3-course meal, served by the characters. Choose between a lunch or dinner show.
Read more about Faulty Towers The Dining Experience - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Faulty-Towers-The-Dining-Experience/d737-657...
Faulty Towers was funny. I'd never seen a show like that where the wait staff was the show. I thoroughly enjoyed it and they even had vegetarian options for a veggie friends. Good times.
Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler
Funny thing, I thought I was done with the red, white, and blue theme and we end up in England. So, the prompt will be in blue and I'll type in red.
August 27th London 2 hours and 19 minutes on the train.
We're ending our trip at The Nadler Soho.
Well, this hotel is different. It's not got the opulence of some of the other high-end ones we've stayed in, yet it IS high-end. It's very sleek looking with clean lines and a minimalist attitude to decorating, yet without skimping on the features. I'm especially excited about a 40 inch TV that connects to the internet. SWEET!
We're beginning our day at Buckingham Palace .Delve into London’s rich royal heritage during a 2.5-hour visit to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the Guard Ceremony. Marvel at the traditional Changing of the Guard performance, which involves meticulously dressed soldiers marching to the rhythm of military drums. Then, enjoy an exclusive experience as you enter the opulent State Rooms of Buckingham Palace for an independent audio tour. See lavish chambers during a tour only available for two months of the year, and gain fascinating insight into the history of the British monarchy. Book now to avoid missing this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Highlights 2.5-hour Buckingham Palace tour including the Changing of the Guard ceremony, led by a tour host Wander through St James’s Park and watch the famous Changing of the Guard Explore the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, an experience only open to the public for two months of the year Plug into an audio guide and learn about Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family
Read more about Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Buckingham-Palace-Tour-Including-Changing-of...
WOW! Getting to see inside Buckingham Palace and to see the Changing of the Guard was AWESOME! At least for me...but I noticed some of our British buddies didn't seem as excited. Was that even some yawning? Hmmm...Sally? Jellyfish steps in to 2020...? Kittiara? Well, I loved it! Yes, I'm such a tourist! lol
Get acquainted with two iconic London monuments on a 4-hour tour of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. While gaining fascinating insight into the royal history of Great Britain, you’ll absorb the Gothic grandeur of Westminster Abbey’s interior and head inside the Houses of Parliament — home to the renowned Big Ben — to see highlights like the House of Commons and Lord’s Chamber. From your guide, you’ll learn about the United Kingdom’s political system and major historic events while touring the prominent landmarks. Highlights 4-hour tour of Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament in London Explore Westminster Abbey, where all but two of Britain’s monarchs have been crowned since 1066. See the Coronation Chair, 900-year-old College Garden, Poets’ Corner and more. Snap photos of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Enjoy a 1.5-hour tour of the Houses and Parliament and learn about British politics from the guide.
What You Can Expect Visit Westminster Abbey: Make your own way to Parliament Square, where a bevy of London’s most famous sights, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, await. Then, meet your guide outside Westminster Abbey and head inside to begin your tour. Walk along the same aisle that Prince William and Kate Middleton took their first steps on as a married couple, and get up close to the Coronation Chair, where the British Royals have been crowned for hundreds of years. Stroll through the cloisters and see College Garden, thought to be the oldest garden in England, along with the graves of Dickens, Hardy and other famous writers.
After touring the abbey, make the short stroll to the Houses of Parliament, which sits resplendent along the banks of the Thames River. Marvel at the golden spires and statues that stud the building’s grandiose facade, and learn about the much-snapped Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Big Ben bell. Then, continue inside and enjoy a roughly 1.5-hour tour. Take in highlights such as Westminster Hall, Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Lords Chamber, and gain a fascinating insight into Britain’s modern-day politics.Your tour then concludes outside the Houses of Parliament, leaving you free to continue sightseeing independently or make your own way back to your accommodation.
Read more about Inside the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey Tour in London - London | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/London/Inside-the-Houses-of-Parliament-and-Westmins...
The architecture here is far beyond what I was expecting! It's just absolutely beautiful! I especially enjoyed Parliament and the House of Commons. Interestingly, I'd JUST researched and written a story about the only Prime Minister to ever be assassinated...and it happened in the House of Commons. At first it wasn't mentioned, but when I asked about it, our tour guide had a lot of knowledge. It makes me wonder what OTHER knowledge he was holding back on us. lol Anyway, for anyone interested, here's my essay: "Prime Minister Spencer Perceval"
Dinner is at Bailey's Fish and Chips, and then we're off to take in a show.
I noticed that some of our buddies weren't too excited about fish and chips. I guess if I was from England I probably wouldn't be either. It's like going to New York City and then being taken to McDonald's, I guess...except with less variety. lol As an American, though, I can appreciate the idea of us going there. I even tried the fish, but yep, still don't like fish. However, SandraLynn was kind enough to eat my fish and in exchange give me her "chips" (AKA fries). That was sweet of her to keep me from starving.
Be dazzled by the exuberant 'Kinky Boots' musical at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Based on real-life events, this high-energy, uplifting show tells the story of Northampton shoe factory owner Charlie Price, who with his inspirational sidekick, cabaret performer Lola; transforms the fortunes of his struggling business by catering for drag queens who want sparkling, thigh-high stiletto boots. Featuring a fun and feisty Grammy- and Tony-winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, together with sensational performances and staging, this uproarious show is a glorious, glamorous got-to-see while you're in London. Highlights: Ticket to the 'Kinky Boots' musical at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Chart the story of shoemaker Charlie Price who transforms his business by making kinky thigh-high boots for drag queens. Meet sassy cabaret performer Lola, who works with Charlie to rock the runways of Milan. Enjoy feisty songs and music by Grammy- and Tony-winning Cyndi Lauper Be swept up in the hilarious plot and sparkling choreography by two-time Tony-winning Jerry Mitchell.
Well, THAT was an interesting show, I must say. lol But I love stuff based on a true story and that makes all the singing and dancing tolerable. lol I'm glad I went.
Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler
This is our last day in Paris so possibly my last day of using blue for the prompt and red for my response as statistically the next flag probably won't be blue, white, and red. lol
Last Day in Paris
Aug 26th Paris and your tour guides 60th Birthday!
I'm super excited! It's Lyn's birthday today!!! I love birthday surprises and making people feel special on that day...especially if I can do it in real life!
I had gotten her a birthday card, or at least I think it's a birthday card. It's in French, so I can't be 100% sure, but it LOOKED like a birthday card. I figured it would be a great way to celebrate and help her remember this trip. I went around to everyone and got them all to sign it. Some folks like Kittiara and Fran 🏅🇬🇧🇬🇧🏅 really took their time and composed something truly worthy of a writer! Others of us just wrote a compliment or two and told her happy birthday--hey, don't judge! I'm the one who thought to get the card!
Next I had the hotel call her in the morning and ask her what she'd like for breakfast, telling her it was already paid for. They also delivered a beautiful bouquet of flowers for her to enjoy with her breakfast. For dinner, we've all decided to take her out to a place recommended by the concierge. That should be fun. I also had them call and make arrangements for her to get the starring role in the movie we are shooting this afternoon. That should be fun for her!
I've always been fascinated with the movie scene so today we're going to have an insiders view.
Explore Montmartre, the Parisian neighborhood adored by filmmakers, movie stars, locals and tourists alike, on this 2.5-hour walking tour. Journey through Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ with a stroll around the Sacré Coeur Basilica; visit the real Moulin Rouge, where Christian and Satine fell in love in the movie of the same name; and see Café des 2 Moulins, which featured in ‘Amelie.' Numbers are limited to just eight people on this small-group tour.
Highlights: Paris movie sites walking tour. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the artsy Montmartre district. Visit major filming locations featured in Moulin Rouge, Amelie and Midnight in Paris. Stop at a local café and enjoy a drink while on your movie tour. Small-group tour limited to eight people ensures a more intimate experience. Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour: Imagine you are the star of your very own film on this movie-themed walking tour around the Montmartre district. Find out why Paris is so popular with film-makers and while we can't guarantee you a leading role, you'll definitely come away full of knowledge to impress people back home with!
What You Can Expect: See famous film locations on your movie sites walking tour. Meet at the Blanche metro station in northern Paris for your morning or evening tour of the district of Montmartre. Following your expert guide on a walk up the hill, you’ll be greeted by an impressive view of towering Sacré Coeur Basilica at the summit. This quaint, historic neighborhood is a haven for artists, making it the perfect setting for films. Learn about the history of cinema and discover why so many directors have chosen this pocket of Paris as their backdrop. In fact, one year, Paris was the setting for more than 900 shoots across film, TV, documentaries and ad campaigns, making it one of the most popular choices for film locations!
As you stroll down cobblestone streets past centuries-old churches, charming shops and creperies, and compact apartment buildings adorned with flower pots and rod-iron balconies, you may recognize this setting from scenes of a popular modern-day film, Midnight in Paris, staring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. Director Woody Allen used these streets as a backdrop for this 1920s period piece, and featured iconic Sacré Coeur Basilica in some of the scenes. Discover Café des 2 Moulins, the bar and restaurant where many scenes from the movie Amelie, starring French actress Audrey Tautou, were shot. You’ll feel as though you’re a part of the movie as you see this place in real life! Remember Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge? The real Moulin Rouge cabaret is tucked away in Montmartre! You’ll recognize this must-see attraction by the red windmill on the roof. Listen as your guide describes scenes from the movie and explains how Moulin Rouge became the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance.Sometime during your tour, pop into a local café for a soft drink, cup of coffee or cup of hot chocolate to enjoy as part of your Montmartre film experience. Your Paris movie sites tour ends back at the Blanche metro station.
Read more about Paris Movie Tour of Montmartre - Paris | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Paris-Movie-Tour-of-Montmartre/d479-3234CINEM...
I'll be honest, I hadn't seen any of the movies that were referenced in the tour, but it was interesting nonetheless. I think I might go back and rent "Midnight in Paris." I like Owen Wilson. It was a lot more interesting than I'd expected. SB Musing had asked if I wanted to go with her to the Rodin museum, but I declined. I'm glad I did.
I've arranged for us all to star in a movie...we're going to be in a horror flick so be prepared to take advantage of the moment and prank us
Hmmm...well, we were told to prank during the movie filming, but I'm not much of a prankster. But I did find some other folks pranks pretty funny. Sally pulled off an especially elaborate one!
Staring in the movie was fun, but I'm no Meryl Streep. We got to pick our role and it was pretty cool that everyone wanted something different so there wasn't anyone who had their feelings hurt. I'd always been interested in lighting and such for some reason, so I actually asked to help with that instead of being in the movie. They seemed a little surprised, but happily complied. I learned a lot in that short period of time and think I can actually even go back and apply some of the principles I learned when it comes to lighting my home. Cool!
Celebrate your last night in Paris, any way you want, we don't leave until 9 am.
After we took Lyn out for her birthday dinner, I opted to head to the spa again. I wanted to try one of their massages I'd never heard of. It was sort of weirdly tickly/painful in the beginning, then suddenly that part just completely relaxes. It was awesome. That's the first time I ever fell asleep during a massage. They were kind enough to let me keep sleeping so I had quite a long nap and didn't want to get up and go back to my room. But I certainly will sleep well tonight!
Writing Updates (AKA Real Life)
Well, I finished my challenges for "A Very British Challenge" I got to say, though, it was tough. The primary sticky point was the 18th century British Prime Minister essay. I don't really know a ton about American politics (nor does it interest me), so I know less about (and am interested less in) British politics. I didn't understand most of the positions held or even some of the vocabulary with them. I chose Spencer Perceval. He's the only PM to ever be assassinated. It was interesting, though, that in the 1980's a descendant of the assassin, John Bellingham, became a Member of Parliament. Then later, he narrowly lost his seat, in part due to another person from a 3rd party who didn't stand a chance of winning, getting votes he needed. Who was that other person? A descendant of Spencer Perceval. Cool!
I encourage everyone to run over to A Very British Challenge to check out the videos on the challenge. They are only 2-3 minutes each, but one is Americans trying to pronounce traditional Irish names and the other is Americans trying to pronounce Welsh town names. It's not only funny, it's really interesting. One town literally had like 60 letters. I tried to count, but lost exact count in the 50's, but I'd estimate it had about 60 letters. CRAZY!!!
Okay, tomorrow I'm on "The Challenge" ! If I complete that, it will be 3 months for both The Challenge and A Very British Challenge and I'm done. Whew! No more pressure...from that, at least. But I will, naturally, find other things to apply pressure. I still have to do my "I Write Romantic in Winter" for this week. And I need to get around to doing my last entry for "CLASH! Original Character Tournament" . Thankfully, my only competitor left also hasn't submitted hers, so I feel like I can wait a few more days. I'm also almost done with "30-Day Bloggers Group" Whew!