So recently I’ve updated you on what I’ve been doing in life but I haven’t really told you what the future looks like for me. Well… I don’t think I’ve blogged about this yet as it’s been kept on a down low and some details haven’t been so clear at times… but for the past 4 months I’ve been making plans to move to Australia for a year at the end of August.
At present the situation looks like this. I’ve been struggling to find a job but somehow my saving are slowly increasing. It does mean I’m literally not spending a penny and things like going for a coffee with friends are a serious “pros and cons debate” haha. However I’m please to say I’ll soon have saved enough money to buy a return ticket and insurance for a year. Having said that, when I actually arrive in Australia I won’t have as much saved as I would have liked.
Back in September I felt a pull in my heart to return to Australia, after a number of weeks praying and seeking God out on it all… it seemed to sit well with my heart, my family, and my church out there. Since I’ve been home I’ve searched and applied for jobs high and low. I had one job trial which didn’t work out because my hearing was discriminated and a job offer which also hasn’t worked out because of the computer course I’m doing so I can graduate in July. Up until recently I’ve been really frustrated by this but recently I’ve discovered that it seems like God’s slowly cutting ties that keep me here in Carlisle. All my friends have moved on in life and moved to various places around the country. Any remaining people here in Carlisle that I’m somewhat close to are leaving for University in September… I have no phone, gym membership, job…
I suppose I had a bit of an experiment recently. I took a “detour” from my plan to move to Australia in August and changed it to February. Why? Because it would give me more time to get some money together. Well, basically for 3 weeks after deciding this I was miserable. Like majorly. And again to cut a long story short it was only when I decided to change it back to August did this burden lift, my emotions drastically changed, and the feeling of peace came back. What I realised was back 4 months ago it felt right before God to move… and now… I need to continue to trust God with that because it still feels right. True I could be totally wrong but… one of my favourite verses is Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the left or the right you will hear a voice behind you saying ‘This is the way, walk in it.” The very fact that NOTHING concrete has come my way to hold me here in Carlisle, to me, is a statement in itself.
The other thing also is… a few things have happened recently that have challenged me. Life is not about money. Sure, I have to be responsible. But the moment I give in to fear of not having money, the need for financial security, or the thought that I can’t give my money to someone who really needs it… then I have failed God. Sure I have a university debt. But every time someone tells me I need to be responsible and get a job to pay it back… if I’m honest, it makes me really angry. I’m really trying to get this job and even still, without a job I’ve already paid back £3000 out my own pocket. So please forgive me if you don’t agree with this but, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m gonna follow God and worry about my debt later. God knows I need to pay it back and at the moment I believe he’s leading me to do his will and where his will is, so will be the right job, place or person that will help me pay it back.
So what’s out there is Australia? Well, I love my church over there. They’re amazing and God’s doing so much. At present the church is looking at developing a research/training centre and a 24 hour house of prayer. They’d like me to get involved with this project. I’m gonna skip over the biblical foundation of these two projects for now and blog about it another day. But basically, we’re all forever saying “If only there were more Christians in positions of power, politics, arts/entertainment, education, health systems, business etc etc etc.” So the research and training centre comes in two parts.
Firstly, we want to build relationships and make connections with people in these key areas. Then, through these connections and relationships we can connect people in the church to them. So for example, we could link aspiring Christian musicians to producers; young adults with politicians to do voluntary work; university students to influential businesses for placements etc. Secondly, the research/training centre would equip people in the church to enter into these positions of influence and demonstrate/share the world of God. So for example, develop their gifts of the spirit. Like Daniel and Jacob in the bible… they were pretty regular, but because of education of the world and god’s calling on their lives… they were able to change history.
I realise I haven’t written this very well, I find it a bit hard to explain it all… especially because my role isn’t defined yet and the projects are in the “discussion and planning” stage. But it will be a Kingdom trip. My role would be unpaid and so I will need to save, get a second job in Australia along with my job at the church, and maybe see if some people would be willing to support me a little bit with living costs. So…. as you can see, this is why I haven’t blogged about it all haha… it’s all a pile of thoughts and stuff at the moment. My next step is to use these next few weeks between now and buying my ticket to pray alot about how I feel God would like to use me in these projects. I’ll talk to the pastor again once I’ve prayed and maybe we’ll know some more then.
However… I would be super grateful if you could pray for me. I’d like to hear from God how he’d like to use me on this “Kingdom Trip“. I’d also be grateful if you could pray for my finances. Maybe pray with me for a job in Carlisle to raise some money; a job in Australia to cover some of my expenses; and to really go all out with asking God for stuff… maybe even for some people to support me a little while I’m there. Then of course I’d be really grateful if you could pray for the logistics of moving. Someone from the church that I could live with, transport, setting up bank accounts etc. Finally, please pray for all the emotions that go with this transition. Pressure, doubt, fear, anxiety etc. Please pray for peace and a clear mind that is focused on God and his will for my life.
One last thing… if anyone has any fund raising ideas for me… I’d LOVE to hear them! 🙂 So I’ll leave it as that for now but… watch this space 🙂
Is he someone that makes you smile?
Is he someone that you can cry to?
Does he inspire…
And does he challenge you to grow?
Will he stay faithful when the sun sets?
Will he create moments?
Do you feel safe in his arms…
And do you miss him, long for or desire his presence?
Can you trust him with your heart?
Can you see him walking life’s journey with you?
Does he and do you want to be close to each other…
And do you want to grow old together?
Will he kiss you goodnight?
Will he be there when you wake?
Does he feel like your other half…
And does he feel like the one you can give yourself to?
But most importantly, are you each other’s best friend?
Dear Breakable Hearts,
Over time I’ve come to discover that relationships are hard in this world. Many have come to me for relationship advice, and I have asked many also. I think the biggest lesson I have learnt is it isn’t me. It’s not him either. It’s just you’re either not right for each other, or the timing isn’t right yet. I was too young for my first relationship. I didn’t understand that there’s a fine line between grace and letting go. “Love is patient”, “Love forgives”… two phrases that tormented me for 4 years. Relationships are never going to be easy. There will always be a reason to walk away or to stay in it. The questions I pose to you above are questions I’ve collected over the years. Things I desire in a guy… things that matter to me.
Relationships are hard. There’s no question about that. And often we’re left with the question of, “Is it worth it?” I guess if through thick and thin you can honestly and without a load of hormonal emotion “yes” to the above questions… then stick it out. No one’s perfect but if you can see they’re trying to grow… even if they’re failing horribly at the moment… then I would say “Love is Grace”. So many of my friends are scared of missing out… and scared of taking that leap of faith for a potential partner. I’m in the group too. Lately too many of you have told me you’ve “settled” for someone… and it saddens me. Because I really want you to experience the kisses goodnight, the faithfulness, the memories shared, the life walked, the lessons learnt… together… with someone who will laugh, weep and battle life out with you. Which brings me to say, if you’ve done all you can to grow in the relationship and can’t with full conviction say “yes” to those questions… then it’s maybe time to let go.
Relationships are hard. When do you stay and when do you let go? Whatever you are, friends, lovers, partners… you’re in a relationship. Communication is essential for growth and so’s honesty. Listening is also vital. I’m still learning all this too. I guess I write this not with a clear-cut answer and a 3 step process. Rather, thoughts to challenge your thinking. I’m holding out for a guy that will love me through thick and thin… and I hope he comes along, cos I know I’ll love him a lot… and whilst it might be tempting to find someone in the mean time… Breakable Hearts, don’t do it. Just wait and grow in friendship with your guy friends… keep you’re eyes on God and you’ll fall over your husband… Everytime my sister comes to me for relationship advice that’s what I tell her. Wait. There’s no harm in that. The world lies when it says waiting isn’t the way to go. I understand it’s hard. I didn’t wait. But when you do meet someone… the right one… you’ll be really glad you come to him with less complications than some of us… in other words, me haha.
There’s a guy I really like, he steals my thoughts all day long and makes life complicated. He doesn’t even have to try for that to happen haha. And I would really love it if he chose to walk life with me and make memories together… but I guess like many of my friends… I too am waiting. Waiting to see if he might be the one. So that’s why I’m writing to you Breakable Hearts. I’m 22, still pretty young, but I’ve grown since I was 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17…. Being where I am today makes me realise really what it is that I want. I thought I knew back then… and I didn’t. It’s only in time, as you grow, will your real dreams be revealed to you. So wait. When you get to my age, you’ll start to feel even more pressured to find someone and get married. Everyone else is. But don’t give in to that pressure. Just wait. Enjoy your life. It’s short and being single means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want without having to worry about anyone else. No commitment. But again, my younger self never really understood that. It’s only now, 10 years later do I realise how great being single can be.
If it’s right, you’ll find someone… and you’ll fall in love with them. Your best friend. That part I do know. Even when things are rough between you both… if he’s your best friend he’ll make you the committment to fight and stick it out. And he will. So will you. For the simple reason that you both recognise your friendship is valuable to each other. So wait… wait… and then wait some more. Eventually when someone with potential comes along you’ll have the wisdom needed to check them out without giving them your heart the moment you say “hi”. And if you think there’s potential and if it feels right… fight for them. Thick and thin. Fight. Just don’t forget your value, theirs, or the value of your friendship.
I could go on forever… but for now I’ll simply say,
Lots of Love,
So unknown to mum and dad, Laura and I had been planning a surprise 25th wedding anniversary getaway for this past weekend. We’d been planning for about a year and all they knew was “not to plan anything for these dates“… we didn’t even tell them what to pack until like 3 days before going away haha.
Friday morning everyone was packing and I had hoped to have picked Laura up from school by 11am. She was on time, no one else was haha. So dad and I picked her up, then mum from the house and we were on the road by around 11.30am. To keep the secret for as long as possible I drove haha. I had printed the driving instructions off google and gave them to dad in 7 parts. He could only open one evelope at a time 😛 Our drive was two and a half hours to Kingston, North Berwick. Dad wouldn’t let me go above 50 mph so I was like an old granny student driver… lets just say EVERYONE over took me, *Sighs* haha. Dad kept freaking out that I was gonna hit the curb… I was like “relaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx…. It’s fineeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” 😛 Anyways after about 2 hours dad decided to take over… the drive was quite hard when you’re not use to driving. Narrow country lanes, super sharp bends all over the place and lots of constant gear changes. Luckily the driving instructions took us right past the castle. The whole drive dad and mum were trying to guess what we were doing…they thought we were going camping somewhere… hmmmm little did they know! 😛
As we started to drive past the castle I yelled, “Ok, stop, we need to go here!” Mum and dad were like “Errrrr, ok????” So I explained to them, “The place we’re going isn’t ready for us until a bit later, however, it was recommended that we check out this castle cos it’s of historical relevance and mum likes that kind of thing. We have a tour booked and we’re 30 min late.” I didn’t tell Laura this was my “excuse” to explain why we were here so she was actually really confused and thought we really were going on a tour! Haha. Thankfully there were no other cars around apart from the manager’s car and when we knocked on the door Alan, the manager, was already informed that we would be showing up for a “tour“. And so he proceeded to take us on a tour. Firstly he took our coats and showed us the toilet… which dad started taking photos of because it had a wooden box seat. I knew people were waiting in the main room to yell “surprise” so I was trying to get dad to stop taking photos and get moving! Haha 😛 As we were shown the dinning hall I noticed our names on little name cards by each plate and thought “nooooooo!! I hope mum and dad don’t see!!!” Finally, Alan got our group moving and led us to the main hall…
Mum walked in first, and gasped… dad seeing mum’s reaction hurried up the stairs and poked his head around the door… lo and behold… there was a small group of close family friends waiting to yell “surprise!” Mum couldn’t stop crying and dad couldn’t stop laughing from shock. Very quickly we informed them that this was our castle for the weekend. The whole place… and we would be joined by others throughout the weekend. I think they were in shock all weekend haha.
The castle itself is more like a really huge fortified house. 7 stories, 2 towers and walls as thick as anything you can imagine. There was a huge kitchen, cosy dinning hall, huge bedrooms for 12 people, fires in every room, a study, library… no billiard room… we couldn’t play a life-size version of Cluedo. Here’s a little history on the tower… I wasn’t joking when I said it had historical relevance… Mary Queen of Scots had a kid called King James the 6th. Mary was in prison and beheaded and James became king. He was like a baby when this happened. So everyone figured, whoever has the baby has the power and so King James was passed around and kidnapped and goodness knows what else. One day he had enough and fled to Fenton Tower and this is where he stayed. Eventually, Queen Elizabeth the 1st who was on the throne in England died and King James the 6th became King James the 1st in England…. 15 kings or queens later you get to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. But this King James you’ll have heard of because you’ll have heard of the “King James” translation of the bible. Same dude.
Our adventures for the weekend included quad biking, horse riding, and visiting Rosslyn Chapel… if you’ve seen the Da Vinci Code, then you’ll recognise the chapel. If you ever get a chance to check out the chapel it’s a must. They gave the best 30 min presentation I’ve come across in a long time. It was informative and funny! Fine food and drinks were served all weekend too. I won’t mention names… but someone tricked me into eating Bambi… it was a sad moment. Saturday night was special as it was an evening of sharing, honesty and tears amongst everyone. Laura also shared her version of Mike’s death and of course, she had just about everyone in tears. We were also blessed with having Norman with us. He’s a well-known director and has produced many documentaries and films for the BBC… including “Shadowlands“. If you get the chance, check out “The Narnia Code“… it’s very interesting!
Anyways, many laughs and memories but it was a very special time, “the gathering of the wounded” someone called it haha. I think the fact that we were in a castle, it was very symbolic and profound for us all. As dad wrote, “There are so many parallels between my thoughts on marriage, friendships and a castle………safety, strength, refuge, home, peace, fighting, history, fun, feasting, belonging, family and intimacy…” He’s right. For all of us we’re a castle, life is like the experiences castles witness. I suppose that gives me hope. If a castle can withstand the battering it receives… times of pain, loss, doubt, confusion, uproar, injustice, tragedy, greed, hate, anger, hopelessness… then so can I. I think us humans are stronger than castles… castles do a job, they stand, protect and just be…they’re an object. But we have to live. We’re an action… an emotion. There’s a difference.
Anyhow, it was an awesome time… and I think mum and dad are still recovering from the shock 🙂
So I got back from America around midday on the 7th of Feb and pretty much went straight to bed. If you read my previous posts you’ll know I wasn’t at all well so sleep was much-needed. I seriously had no energy and couldn’t even open jars or bags of food when I was in the kitchen. Lifting the kettle even completely took it out of me haha. I slept from 3pm until 11pm and was awake until around 4am. Poor Laura, I hadn’t seen her for 2 weeks and I couldn’t make it until 3.40pm for her to arrive home from school. At 4am the family and I got in the car to drive down to London… this is when Laura got her hug and hello haha. As soon as I got in the car I fell asleep and woke when we arrive at 9am.
Again if you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that my great-aunt died on January the 18th, she was like 89 or something; and I wasn’t going to make it for the funeral as I would be away in America. I didn’t really say too much about it but inside I was really gutted I’d be missing it. Family is really important to me and to not attend her funeral made me feel bad! But “such is life“… I watched Ned Kelly recently haha… However, God is so good. I have to smile sometimes at just how much he cares for us. The Auntie Mavis had clear instructions about her funeral and as it turns out the vicar wasn’t available until the 8th of Feb. One day after I arrived back from America. Thank you Jesus 🙂
It was really nice to meet up with the family. It’s just a shame we wait until funerals to see each other. Having said that last year we all got together for Easter which was heaps good and this year we’ll see each other in July for my cousin’s wedding… The funeral was simple but I was really pleased with how it went. The speeches in memory of her were awesome and she would have loved it. It brings me such peace to know she’s with Mike, Grandad and her other brother Uncle Jim… She had a really good life. If anything stood out from her life and funeral it was how much relationships played an important part in her life. One of the many things we discovered as dad and Uncle Chris packed up her home was this. For 50 years she had a pen pal whom she faithfully wrote letters to and when the pen pal died Auntie Mavis continued to write to the pen pal’s daughter. Here’s the best part, she never once met the pen pal or the pen pal’s daughter.
It was also pretty neat to find she had a will that included all her family and a number of friends. A couple of years ago Auntie Mavis went through and gave each individual family member some of her belongings. Even when Mike died she chose not to remove his name from the list. I think she was pretty wise. It makes sence to remove someone’s name if they’ve died because they can’t get the item. But she knew better I think. Mike is still apart of us… even if he’s not here. For me, Laura, mum and dad… if Mike was missing from the list it would have been sad. She left Mike a music box and her brother’s ring. I have to smile, because I know for at least Mike and myself she gave us things that she knew we’d love. Mike liked music… and I love books. She left me a whole bunch of early additions of various books from the super early 1900’s; and she also left me a ring.
I’ve been trying to do a little working out on this ring and the significance to her. All we know is she bought it in Bournemouth in 2000. Auntie Mavis and her brother, Uncle Jim, use to go on holiday each year to Bournemouth and as far as we know, 2000 was the last time she went. I can’t remember when her brother died… but my Grandad, her other brother died in 2000. The ring I have has 4 rows of diamonds, 3 emeralds, and it’s also an eternity ring. Here’s what I have thought of so far…
* Eternity ring… Heaven * 4 rows of diamonds… There was her and 3 other siblings * 3 emeralds… The Trinity * Emeralds have been symbolically known as the sacred stone of the goddess Venus… and she was known for the concept of “love” * Emeralds have also been symbolically known in Christianity for the concept of “faith” and “hope“, as well as the stone for “prophesy“….
It could very well be that she saw it and liked it. But knowing Mavis she never splashed out on nice things unless they were of significance… maybe one day I’ll crack the code. I also wonder why she gave it to me. For me it brings up the question of how involved is God in my life. Does he just let people do nice things.. or is there a bigger picture. Does this ring have any connection to the ring God gave me when I was 14… Long story, I’ve already blogged about it haha.
As soon as I got in the car I was asleep, and when we got home around 9pm I went straight to bed. I was exhausted. At 12pm on Wednesday.. 48 hours of being home I worked out I’d been asleep for like 32 of those hours. So ridiculous. Sara and Sam from the ship came over Wednesday night. It was so cool to see them. I haven’t seen Sara in 16 months. I’d missed her a lot and it was so cool to have her in my living room chatting away!
Because I was so sick I simply chilled on Thursday… and by chill I mean sat on the couch with my laptop an went through all my pictures. Deleting duplicates and backing the others up. It’s actually taking me forever to do… 35Gb and growing… but it’s a job I’ve been desperate to do because I’d cry if I lost them all haha.
Friday I had to catch a train to a city an hour away to discuss my computer course. Thankfully I found I can start really soon. So that’s great… God’s so good in providing the funding for this course. Right before I left for America I also got offered a job, however on the Thursday it became very clear that I couldn’t accept the job due to it clashing with this computer course. Was super gutted because it would have been a great job but I can’t graduate until I’ve done this course. So it’s not really an option. I tried to work something out with work but they were unwilling to accept any of my suggestions.
Over that weekend I started driving again. It’d been 4.5 years since I last drove and I was really pleased to discover I remembered stuff and could still drive! I need a bit of practice but it’s not bad! I also read the entire “Highway Code” and did some practice papers in order to take my theory test which I hope to complete in the next few weeks before my computer course.
I can’t really remember what I did last week (Monday 14th-Thursday 17th). I was still unwell and worked on various projects. Including going away for mum and dad’s 25th anniversary… I’ll save that for my next post 😛
One of my latest favourite songs…
Tuesday morning Fitz and I left around 6.30am to catch the train into New York. We got to the station a little early as the weather became really bad again and we didn’t want to be stuck in traffic. However the train journey wasn’t too long and we arrived into NYC around 11am. Our accommodation was down in Chinatown and so Fitz and I attempted the subway from Penn Station to Delancy Street. Thankfully it wasn’t too hard and Fitzy was really nice to me… he carried my suitcase the entire way 😛 However, finding our apartment was a small mission as it wasn’t well displayed nor was there a way of letting them know we had arrived. There was a phone with a number to call on the side of the door but no one would answer it. Luckily, a couple of weeks prior to this Laura, Josiah and I were bored one night and tracked down a direct number for the manager in case anything like this was to happen. Fitz managed to make contact with the guy as a result and we were able to enter. Check in wasn’t until 3pm and we had arrived a couple hours early. Subsequently we decided to drop leave the bags at the apartments and go exploring. Our first stop, Starbucks. It was here the suggestion was made to go back to the subway, buy an unlimited weekly subway pass and get a map. Our second subway trip took us to Ground Zero, Wall Street and Brooklyn Bridge. I was actually quite surprise at Ground Zero. I thought the towers were a lot bigger… but they were actually quite skinny. Wall St didn’t look anything out of the ordinary either… maybe I need to go with an expert. I thought it was like a street with loads of important buildings… that you know… look all grand and important. I did get a picture of the Wall St street sign though 😛 Brooklyn Bridge was a thrill because I was sure Fitz and I were gonna get mugged hahaha. Our little loop of adventures lead us back into Chinatown where I discovered I could haggle. I simply didn’t want the perfume and yet I managed to get it down from $25 to $10 or for “a price I want” as the guy put it. I’m thinking the perfume was either fake or stolen haha. No, I didn’t end up buying it. We made it back to our apartment around 4pm and poor Fitz spent a good while trying to sort out our apartment phone and internet because neither worked. Our apartment was… interesting… it was pretty smelly and dirty but for what we wanted you weren’t gonna find a better price in Manhattan. Having said that, both Fitz and I ended up quite sick with a fever and cough haha. I suppose on that note our apartment’s worth could be a little questionable 😛 That evening we checked out the local supermarkets, used our little kitchen to make noodles and watched TV. It was a pretty relaxed 🙂
Wednesday was a grand day. We caught the subway to Rockefeller… not before getting a Starbucks and McDonald’s Breakfast… and explored Rockefeller, St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Public Library, Times Square, The Plaza, M&M World, a supermarket and an electronics shop for Fitzy’s new laptop. We didn’t spend too much of the day uptown as we needed to get ready for a surprise evening out. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe which I actually loved. The food there was yum and filling. Fitzy and I also played a little game where we both picked a drink out for each other without them knowing what they were getting until it arrived. I flicked through the menu and chose the one that stood out most appearance wise. It was bright blue haha… I can’t remember the name of mine but Fitz made a good guess as to what I’d like because I drank it all up! 🙂 I felt a bit bad because Fitzy kept asking if I was excited about my surprise coming up and I wasn’t really :S I find it hard to feel excited about something when I don’t know what it is haha. I love surprises… they’re fun and make things adventurous. I think I’m more like egear and trying to guess what the surprise is rather than “excited“. Nevertheless Fitzy didn’t need to worry because when I found out we were going to Broadway to watch “Wicked” I couldn’t stop smiling 😀 Now that is a great show! I loved heaps! It’s about the Witches from the Wizard of Oz… it’s kinda of like the story before the story. So you find out why the Witch from the west is so nasty, and how the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man become the way they are… oh it really was very funny. I would recommend it 🙂 Thank you Fitzy 🙂
Thursday during the day Fitz and I walked around Central Park. My escapades included getting one leg thigh deep stuck in snow and having a random stranger guy rescue me… I quite literally need rescuing. My leg was so tight in the snow and if I tried to use my other leg that was just gonna get stuck too. The other escapade included falling. Fitzy was the one tiptoeing around scared he’d fall over and it was me that went flying haha. *Sighs* I suppose my attitude of “I’m not going to fall” caught up with me… 😛 After a couple of hours we stopped off at a cafe for some lunch and then headed back to Chinatown. Thursday evening we went up to the upper east side to watch a comedy show. That was pretty funny. They had some good acts. Also like literally half the audience were Australian tourists. It was hilarious. Sadly for Fitzy I thought the subway stopped at midnight so we missed the act that he really wanted to see 😦 Sorry Fitzy.
Friday morning we headed off to Brooklyn to meet up with an old ship friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in 7 years. It was really cool to catch up with her and Fitzy was quite pleased to discover he worked with her dad on the ship. Small world 🙂 Friday afternoon Fitz and I took the ferry across the Hudson River to Liberty Island. We were quite surprised at how small the Statue of Liberty is!? We thought it would be absolutely towering but instead found movies are rather deceiving. Having said that it was pretty awesome to walk around and check it all out. Not many can say they’ve been to the Statue of Liberty. We then took a ferry across to Ellis Island and that was pretty awesome to see something so historical in America. Learnt a little bit of information from our visit there 🙂 However our ferry ride back to Manhattan was rough. I was cold and really not feeling at all well. Friday night I went pretty much straight to bed as my temperature rose and my cough became worse.
Saturday morning I was still feeling really unwell as we packed up our apartment. We stored our luggage and went uptown to check out the Empire State Building. Sadly we chose a day with zero visibility and instead we ended up checking out Grand Central Station before heading back to collect our luggage. Once we got our bags we took a train to New Jersey to check into a hotel near the airport. Since I was leaving from Newark and Fitzy from La Guardia it made sense to be closer to the airports so I didn’t have to lug my stuff around without Fitzy’s help. Fitzy had another surprise for me. After checking in we had an hour to get ready before we needed to catch a train back into the city for a 6pm event. Unfortunately for us we had to walk several blocks in the rain and I forgot my umbrella. Again I’m sorry Fitzy!! I don’t think that helped either of us in terms of our health haha. But still it’ll be a memory and a story 😛 My surprise was a Valentine’s gift of a cruise around Manhattan on a yacht (?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?). Oh MY Gosh!!! It was amazing!!! A 3 course meal, cocktails, live band and Manhattan at night… what an experience, we even sailed around the Statue of Liberty. Fitzy, you are amazing. Who does that for a Valentine’s gift?! Not many from home will ever do anything like that… I’m so blessed and lucky. Sadly we didn’t end up doing Empire State Building… the viability cleared by 10pm but I think Fitzy was tired and wanted to get back to the hotel. Never mind… maybe one day 🙂
I said goodbye to Fitzy around 8am and then hung around until 4pm before getting the train to the terminal. Hanging out at the airport didn’t go too slowly and I was soon on the plane. The only problem was whilst I was sitting at the airport I took my temperature and it was 39.3 C. Along with this my kidney had started playing up again. It was making me nervous thinking my temperature was increasing and I started to question whether or not I should get on the plane. Unlike Rachel from “Friends” who, “got off the plane” (and the audience cheers); I got on the plane… feel free to cheer 😛 And I stayed up watching “The Convicted“, “Secretariat” and “Due Date“. No matter how sick or tired you are… watching movies on the plane is a definate must!! Haha 😛 The first two films were true stories but I’d say the second one was the best out of the three.
I arrived back into England around 7am and had to wait until 9.30am for my train. It’s hard to know when to book the train. I try and take into account planes being delayed but then I’m always stuck waiting for ages at the train station… what to do hey. I finally made it home around 12pm… and lasted 3 hours before going to bed at 3pm haha.
Fitzy, thank you for my America holiday… you did an awesome job and I have many memories and stories as a result 🙂
Argh we gotta back track and follow up a little on Akila’s life…
On Monday the 7th of Feb I got back from my America trip; I left on the 26th and was in Philadelphia until the 1st, and then in New York from the 1st until the 6th. It’s probably worth noting here that I can’t share all the details of my trip in terms of who I was as they have asked for privacy… So I’ll try my best to share my adventures as fully as possible whilst respecting their wishes, this also means their names have been changed 🙂
On the 26th, Wednesday, I left for the airport around 4.30am local time and flew out at 9am. I managed to stay awake by watching three movies, “Life As We Knew It“, “Easy A” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Thumbs up for the first two!! Thankfully I arrived into America without any problems but upon landing my phone bleeped it’s “Message Received” sign. To cut a long story short, whilst I was flying to America, Pennsylvania and New York were hit with crazy snow conditions which meant transport of all kinds was a mess. My ride managed to get me from the airport eventually… thank goodness! My two-hour wait enabled me to read “Eat Pray Love” as well as chat to one lady whose flight had been cancelled. Unfortunately for her by the time I showed up she’d already spent the last 7 hours waiting for her bag to be returned to her. Bad times.
I made it to Fred and Mary’s sometime towards the end of the afternoon only to discover Fitzy’s flight from Detroit had been cancelled. The next half hour was spent trying to track down a phone number to contact him on in order to find out when and how he’d be arriving. Then Mary and I went to pick up the rest of the family. I still hadn’t brushed my teeth at this point :S
The rest of Wednesday evening was spent visiting Fred’s family members and finding a place to eat dinner that wasn’t closed due to the weather. By now the gentle floating snowflakes turned into a psycho blizzard. The highway had about five other cars on it including us and we could barely see them. There were a few moments I was sure there was zero visibility. A number of cars were driving so slow they were getting stuck… so dangerous. But I have to say it was rather comical watching Fred drive through it all. That and the fact that I kept falling over. At one point I had a leg in the passenger side of the car and the rest of me was outside on the road haha. Although we got home around 10pm I was so tired that I went straight to bed whilst Fred and Mary spent the next hour shoveling snow off their driveway. Bless them.
Thursday morning was spent taking photos of the 12 inches of snow that had fallen during the night; trying to work out when Fitzy would arrive; and hanging out with Fred and Mary’s kid who was off school. Around lunch time I had just settled in a cosy spot to read a book when Fred called to say Fitzy made it to Philadelphia. The last we heard from Fitz was the car broke down on the way to the airport and he was now stuck in loads of peak hour traffic. We didn’t even know he managed leave Detroit! So off we went to the airport to pick him up. Even though it’d only been 2 months since I last saw him it was really good to see him again 🙂 Thursday afternoon was spent chilling out together before going to dinner at a really cute little family restaurant near by. I’m pretty sure Fitz was freaked out by this point at all the stories Fred and Mary kept telling about my dad haha… oops.
Friday was a busy day. Mary and Fred needed some help moving furniture so Fitz and I worked on that in the morning before getting ready for an evening of fun. Our adventures started with going to a restaurant called the “R2L” on the 37th floor of a building that overlooked the city of Philadelphia. That was pretty awesome! Then we went to the “Walnut Street Theatre” to see “Amadeus“. A show based on the life of Mozart. That was quite interesting… I love the theatre. It’s amazing. But such an expensive hobby haha. Later when we were driving home we went past the steps to the Museum of Art. If you’ve seen the movie “Rocky“, you’ll know the stairs are famous. Anyways that wasn’t the cool part. The cool part was the stairs were covered in snow and ice. Which basically meant they became a slope for people to sledge on. We stopped to take pictures but continued on our way.
Saturday will be remembered as “The Day Everything Went Wrong“. We chilled out in the morning; ate burgers for lunch which were BBQ-ed in the snow by Fred; and then decided to go tubing. However when we got to the tubing slope the tickets were sold out. The second slope we tried had the same problem. Mary suggested we go sledging in a nearby park. So we went to the nearby park only before long the police kicked us and 15 other people out because someone was parked on private property. And by “someone” I actually don’t mean me. Slightly unsure what to do next Fred suggested we hang out in another nearby park and enjoy the snow there. So we went to the second park but soon discovered we had nothing to light up our cigars. Finally, after an hour of fun and toes that could not be felt anymore…we tried to leave but the car was stuck in the snow. Lets just say 4 pairs of arms, a load of rocking and 5 minutes later the car was freed. It was quite simply hysterical. That evening was thankfully hiccup free whilst we enjoyed a meal with Mary’s family members. Even when Fitz gave me a piggyback to the car nobody slipped. However, the last view Mary’s family got of me as I said goodbye was my butt… great.
Sunday was another great day. We headed into Philadelphia to watch another show only this time it wasn’t a play. We watched people dance around the stage doing the tango. That was a bad idea… I’ve now got it in my head to move to Argentina for 6 months just to learn to dance haha. After the show we went to a Brazilian Churrascaria for dinner to eat giant chunks of meat off skewers and drink caipirinhas. Ahhhhhhh, that was the yummiest meat I’ve ever eaten in my life! Our drive back home took us past the Museum Steps again and this time we did stop and sledge down them… was a lot of fun!! 😀
Monday was a bit of a chill day but in the afternoon Fitz and I made dinner for Fred and Mary as a thank you for having us. I think Fitzy’s cheese board was the biggest hit… it was epic! Fred and Mary’s kid was the cutest to watch as he helped me serve each course of the meal. Our lovely time with Fred and Mary was finalised with port and cigars. The house stank for a week is what I heard later haha; and can I just say… I can’t smoke cigars… not Churchills anyways… I don’t have the lung capacity haha.