Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas & London with the Family!

So my parents finally arrived!! The whole day I waited for them I was so anxious and excited! I could not wait to see them after 4 months. So my mom told me the bus would pull in at 4:30 and my friend Char and I were there for 4:15 well buses kept pulling in but my parents weren't getting off. 5 buses later they finally got off the bus! While there was some tears and super long embraces it was amazing to see them again. And my amazing friend Char offered to meet them with me and take them to their  B & B. So we loaded up all their suitcases and went to the B & B. We had dinner at a Wetherspoons and then walked back to my house. They stayed for a while just to meet my room mates and see the house. I spent the night at my place because I had to work the following morning. Then on Christmas eve we went into Cardiff to shop and so they could see the castle. My mom then cooked a meal (one of my fav's) and we just hung around. I spent the night at their hotel and we opened gifts and stayed up watching a movie. I then went to work the next day and the room was amazing. We had giant snowmen, a life size gingerbread house and an amazing selection of food! After work I met my parents at their hotel, got dressed and went to Char's for a Christmas spread. It was really good and filled with great conversation. I then came back home so I could pack for London and do some laundry. So the next morning I met my parents at the bus station and we were off to London! London with my parents was awesome! We saw the Changing of the Guard, we did the London eye and did a river boat down the Thames. We saw Big Ben. Westminster Abbey, and the Parliament buildings. I had loads of fun and we managed to see Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Great show! If you have time and the opportunity go see it! But on the 29th I had to come home because I had to work on the 30 and 31st. So I ate my food at 5, got on the tube at 5:08ish but it broke down and took me a total of 12 minutes. Once off the tube I had to run at least 2 blocks which isn't too bad but with a whole steak in your stomach it's pretty bad! Got my luggage and made the bus lol. Took a lot of energy but I did make it back to Newport. I then worked on the 30th and I have to work tonight. Then I am going to a friends house for some drinks after work but I have to catch the 9:25 am bus tomorrow to meet my parents back in London because I am going to..... PARIS! So on the 1st I am doing the London dungeon all by myself, meeting my parents and going to dinner and the musical We Will Rock You and in the morning we are taking the Eurostar to Paris until the 5th. I am so unbelievably excited for Paris. But in other news back home, one of my closest girl guide leaders just had her surrobabe. I am so proud of her and incredibly happy to call her my friend! Congrats Dar on the beautiful journey and the incredible joy you just gave a couple! Enjoy your Guinness tonight!
Happy New Year to everyone! See you in 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Update from the last 2 weeks, because my internet was down!

I have to say I have surprised myself with how little I have felt homesick. There have been days where sure I miss my mom, my dad, my brother and my friends. But things always perk up and I feel much better. However this past month I had a sick day. I woke up at 4:30 with the intention to go to work. I got up and instantly felt dizzy; I thought it was because I stood up too quickly. So I sat back down for a second and then got up and went to the kitchen. I put in my piece of bread into the toaster and attempted to make my way up the stairs to go to the toilet. However once half way up the stairs I fainted and rolled back down 8 stairs while feeling nothing. Once I had awoken I felt so nauseous so I called in sick to work. Now fainting is a common occurrence in my life. However it hasn’t happened in 2-3 years and usually I can stop it before it happens. However this time it hit me like a ninja. Normally when I faint I go forwards and I have been standing still on flat ground. This time however I went backwards as I was walking up stairs. But usually when I am sick I like to have ginger ale. This country doesn’t have any. Then I wanted those square crackers that come in a red box and I never know there name but guess what? This country doesn’t have any. So the next best thing, Lipton’s chicken noodle soup and omg guess what? This country doesn’t have any. After realizing that food wasn’t going to comfort me on my sick day, and my mom was thousands of miles away I gave up and just slept. I slept 20 hours on my sick day. This was the first day I was truly homesick. So I decided when I woke up that evening I was going to Skype my parents but to my frustration the internet was down and was down until the 20th.. So now I had e-mail only on my phone but it’s so slow! Needless to say that was a bad day. I did not like that day. But now were going into the final stretch. My parents are going to be here in 2 days and I am so excited! It’s been 4 months since I have seen them and I cannot wait! It’ll be a nice visit and it’ll definitely be the boost I need to get my through till June!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas!

My Christmas Tree
 Hello All,
My fireplace Mantle
I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit! I know I am! This christmas is going to be great. This week I bought a 4ft christmas tree for me and my room mates. I also bought a window display and some decorations for the mantle. I am a total christmas nut and I am convinced that its hereditary because my mom is one too! So my christmas tree is black, 4ft tall and covered in green,pink and gold ornaments. Needless to say it screams me! In my window is a merry christmas sign with little ornament lights and on my mantle are reindeer with color coded candles. But my room is my masterpiece. I have a snowflake on the door and star lights hanging from the ceiling. They illuminate my tinkerbell advent calendar from home (thanks mom!) The tree went up on the 1st, like its normally done in my house and there were presents underneath already by the next day. Now because my room mates are european, the big focus at christmas time is on christmas eve. That's when they have their feast, and set up the tree and thats also when they open presents. So on christmas eve my mom is going to make us a meal at our house for me and my room mates and they can open their presents then but I am going to wait till christmas morning. Oh yeah did I mention my Parents are going to be here in like 19 days!!!!! I am so excited. I haven't seen them in person since September 10th! There going to be here for 2 weeks and that is the best christmas present ever!!! I do have to work christmas day but thats alright. It's a 10-6 or 11-7 shift so I can have some time with my family on christmas morning and then afterwards my family and I are going over to Charl's house for a christmas spread. It's a whole new experience that I am looking forward to. It's nice to see how christmas traditions are different all over the world.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Milestone :)

Wow so I have officially been away from home for 3 ½ months and in Wales for 2 months. I cannot believe how fast it’s gone. In 4 days it will be December and I am blown away! It seems like only yesterday I was at the airport saying good bye. I have enjoyed every moment of it and I cannot wait for more! So I spent Saturday day and night London visiting some friends from high school. I bussed there, took a double Decker red bus to my hotel and then the tube to meet up with them and I didn’t get lost once. We walked down Regent Street which is the main shopping drag. We had lunch and then we walked through Hyde Park which is like the central park of London. I saw the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain which is beautiful. Then we walked through Harrod’s! OMG one day when I'm rich I plan to buy everything there! The dresses and the shoes and toys! I touched a Marchesa gown for 13,000. I felt as though if I touched something I’d ruin it. And the shoe section! My goal is own at least one thing from there before I leave. I was able to see Big Ben up and close. But what I learned is that Big Ben is attached the Parliament buildings and it’s the bell inside that’s called Big Ben.  I thought it was the clock face that was called Big Ben. I got to see the London Eye all lit up because it was dark by this point. And then we headed back to the hotel for some chilling out time. But next time I go, I plan to see Buckingham Palace better, ride the London eye, Go to the Ripley’s Believe it or not museum and I am going to do a bus sightseeing tour.
And for those of you who live under a rock... BREAKING DAWN PART 1 came out Friday. I went to the midnight showing with Charl who I probably drove crazy that night! Thanks Charl for putting up with me! But the movie was AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to go see it again! It missed a few lines that I would have liked to see in it and they got a few outfits wrong but hey its show biz. But it was great! It had a different twist to it and it portrayed Bella and Jacob’s book quite well. I even cried in the movie and I won’t tell you when or why I cried because I am assuming most of you haven’t seen it yet. But after sleeping in till 1 pm the next day, I went to my first eve UK Girl Guide sleepover! The girls had loads of fun and they’ve totally warmed up to me. I love being able to have a unit here. We did tons of crafts and a lovely campfire thanks to me! The only thing though that drove me crazy and this is because of my lovely leadersJ, the girls didn’t have to make bedrolls and they were allowed inflatable mattresses. Like plug into the wall mattresses. It drove me bonkers to sit there and watch them plug them in and pull their sleeping bags from garbage bags! But that’s how I was taught as a Girl Guide. And believe me when I start the Brownie Unit back home next year, bedrolls will be the second meeting! They’ll be going to their first camp with amazing bedrolls.  But I have had a lovely 5 days off and now it’s back to work again, including a Sunday shift L so not my favourite. I am getting better with posting though don’t ya think. This one only took me 2 weeks lol. I’ll post sometime in the next 10 days.  And to end my post I’d like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREEZERS!!! Wish I could be there to celebrate. Love you and miss you!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

London Bound!

So I just recently found out my creeping facebook that a friend of mine is visiting another friend of mine in London. And since I have 5 days off next week I am able to go visit! So my life has done a total flip from full time high school student who played sports, and was on council and was super involved in the community to a full time working girl who has a social life. Tomorrow (as in sunday) I am going to a Welsh rememberance day ceremony with a very good friend of mine Charl. Then I work Monday-Thursday and after work on Thursday I am hoping to go straight to the movie theatre because (drum roll please) BREAKING DAWN PART 1 IS RELEASED! I have tickets for the midnight showing and I am so excited! And I am not going alone, again Charl is coming with me! Then Friday I am going to register at a gym down the road from me and I am oddly pumped about that. Then I have my first UK Girl Guide sleepover but I am not allowed to sleepover because I am not registered so I am going to leave once the girls are in bed. And on Saturday morning I am going to London for the night!I have been to london but for all of 2  hrs waiting for my bus to take me here to Newport. So I am hopeing I can at least see Big Ben from the bus. But us 3 girls will hang out and have a fun time! It'll be nice to see friends from home in person. As well I have so many tentative travel plans like ireland, edinburgh, paris and spain! Everything will be getting booked in the next 2 months. I am doing great! I have been away from home now 10 week and in Wales for 8. I am all settled in and have loads of amazing reliable friends. As well I got a new room mate. She is also from the EHA and she's very nice. Everything is great although it's getting colder and colder every day. Pretty soon were gonna have snow I think. But that's alright because I have a pair of wellies!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I can't believe how long it's been!

For those of you that follow, I am so sorry I haven't posted in so long! The one major perk about being out of high school is that you get a life! Shocking I know! But since I've made loads of friends and I am tied down by homework or my age I have been going out lots! So it's official! I have been in Wales for one whole month! One down, 8 to go! It's been quite a whirlwind since I got here! Work has been great! I love it, the people is great and I really don't mind the work. It's hard work but at the same time it's not. Although last week was a shitty week. Monday I had a 2-10 shift and it was just a crew dinner and one customer yelled at me all night about everything!!! I didn't plan the event or book it nor do I run the hotel and he still yelled at me! Then that night I got 4 hr sleep because I got home late and by the time I ate, showered and fell asleep it was totally midnight. So then I went to work the next day knackered and managed to burn myself with hot water 3 times. Down my stomach and hip, my foot and my forearm. Luckily they've healed and none of them have scarred which is the best part because I am already covered in scars. Then the rest of the week was just pretty much ruined! So thursday I worked the nigh shift and did veggie runs. So the way the dinners work is once the whole table is seated, the person in charge of that table breaks the napkin over the guests lap and asks for dietary requirements. Then if someone does a requirement you let your team leader know and the veggie runner takes care of it. So this particular night I decided to be veggie runner. Well we must of had over 20 requirementss in our section. I was so stressed and panicked. Thank god my team was amazing and another associate on my team helped me bring out all the dinners but in the process of bringing the dinners out I broke my shoe! The sole peeled right off!! So a very good friend offered to take to me Cardiff to buy new work shoes. So I got up early the next morning and headed out to Cardiff!OMG the shopping is phenomenal! For those of you that have shopped with me, you know its painful! I try on like 20 items and only take 1. I always complain about prices and its like nailing jello to a tree to get me to spend money. Well not here! All I do is shop! My wardrobe has become like 20 times better since I've been here! Shoes, purses, pants, and everything else! So then Friday night when we got home, it was my room mates birthday so we went out for that! And although I wasn't drunk that's the most I have ever drinken and I totally paced myself. But out of the 8 drink I had I probably paid for 1 of them. Cheapest way to do it! Everyone else who's drunk or even boys buy you drinks! So that was a fun, interesting experience! I worked Saturday and went to Cardiff again on Sunday to see the Castle and Shop some more! The castle is phenomenal because not only was it used in medieval times, it was used my soldiers in WWII.
Because C & B is super slow right now, they've moved all the full timers to work in different spots in the hotel. So I got a shift at the Resturaunt on the lobby level. All I have to say is I much prefer C & B. Then I had tuesday off and all I did was clean the house and do laundry. And the one day I do my sheets and towels, its sunny in the morning but as soon as I leave the house to go do errands it bloody rains! Luckily my room mates were home and they managed to bring them in before they got drenched! Today (my one month marker of being in Wales) I went into Cardiff with a very good friend and her son and we shopped until we dropped! I needed to get a few items for Halloween because a bunch of us from C & B are going out Friday for halloween and I am going to be a kitty cat! But I work 3 more times this week and that's really about all. My fluke I was hooked up with a Girl Guide Unit. I was talking to one of the CDR's at work and she said her and her guides were going to cook tonight. And I asked her if she meant girl guides and she said yes! So we got to talking and her other leader said it was ok if I came to meetings, sleepovers and camps when I was available! This is totally what I wanted! I have no repsonsibility in the Unit but I can still be with the girls and help out and still be in guiding! I love it here! The people, the shopping, the ambiance and my social life!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Getting into the groove of things.

So I have been working at the Resort for a full 2 weeks now. I always manage to get the weekend off which I love! The past couple days I have been setting up my bank account and getting a mobile phone. And soon enough I will have everything I need to survive the 9 months I am here. I love work, it is demading and tiring but I do love it and I love the people I work with. Up until now I have only worked the day shifts which I love and recently I did the night shift. I however do not like the night shift. Maybe it's because I am still new but I find them to be extremely stressful. We do this thing called silver service where we use a fork and spoon to serve dinner rolls as soon as the guests sit down. Well it's quite challenging at first and I dropped a dinner roll. So because I was totally embarassed out of my mind I decided to kick the roll under the table and continue. We then serve the starters. Now I can serve 3 starters at a time except when it's soup then it's only 3. Then we move onto mains which for the most part are ok but because the plates are bigger and hotter I can only carry 2. Then with dessert I can carry 3 again. So on the night shift you are constantly moving on your feet and carrying things whether its food or your clearing. The atmosphere is nice amongst me and my colleagues but I definately prefer day shifts.The only downside to work is the transportation to and from work. On morning when I start at 7, I have to get up at 4:30 to catch the 5:30 staff transport van. I could take a taxi but that expensive, from my house to the hotel is 6,40. To do that 4-5 times a week is too much. Then to catch a bus for that time of morning, I have to walk 30 minutes, catch the bus and then get to work for 6:50. So I've talked to my boss and staff transport and I've suggested they change the times. Then on days when I end at 5 or 7 I take one bus to the city centre and then transfer to the bus that gets me as close as possible to my house. The night shifts, I either catch staff transport at one of their designated times or I get a ride home with one of the Chef de Rang's that live a block away from me. I am making plans to go to Cardiff by the end of the month because supposedly it's very pretty, with a castle and there's great shopping! I am having fun getting to know people and explore the city.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

2 boys, 1 girl

                No this isn’t a nasty YouTube video or a degrading porno. It’s my new life! I have moved into my staff accommodations. It’s a long walk away from work and a quick drive but a very long bus ride. But I’ll get to transport later. My house is a row house, so on my street there is about 150 houses all connected. It sucks! Because my neighbour plays Nirvana super loud from 4-5. And I can hear my other neighbour yelling at her kids to stop fighting. It’s normally quiet but man when it get going boy does it ever go. My house is 2 levels. As soon as you walk through the door and turn right, we have a small living room with 2 love seats and a chair. There is also a fireplace and a stand where out TV is soon to be. Next you go through a walkway and directly to your right again is my room. It’s the second largest room in the house and it has red carpet. And the only window in my room gives me a lovely view of my own kitchen. So if you go out of my room and turn left and go straight you will find our lovely open large kitchen. With 2 stoves, a separate fridge and freezer, a sink and a washing machine. And loads of cupboard space. However people in the UK don’t use dryers! We have a clothing line in the backyard but I am scared to use it! What if it rains while I am at work, then the clothes are dirty again. Or what if someone steals my clothing and of course why would I put my panties and bra up from all my neighbours and roommate to see. So I bought a drying rack instead and that now sits in my room. If you go up the stairs, directly in front of you is a very small empty bedroom because there is no one to fill it right now. Right beside that is Lorenz room. He is one of my house mates and he is from Germany. He too was at the EHA. He’s very nice and he is polite enough to smoke outside in the backyard. Beside him is Ignatio; my other roommate from Spain. He too is very polite and nice but he totally reminds me of Ricky Ricardo! Definitely not in looks but in accent (yes I know Ricardo was from Cuba), and his jokes and laugh. It makes me miss the hundreds of I Love Lucy episodes I have recorded at home. So I moved in Tuesday afternoon, then I went for an hour’s walk to their wal mart equivalent and I bought a few food items and some stuff for my room. Since I didn’t know the bus schedule at all I walked home. I walked for one hour with 20lbs of crap. I can no say I have the beginnings of muscles in my arm. When I got home I met my roommates and we talked for what must have been like 2 hours. Then I went to bed because my shift started at 7 which meant I had to be up at 5:15 and catch the staff transport at 6:20. So for the shifts I work super early 6-8, the hotel will pick me up and take me work. Likewise if I stay for the late shift and I am done from 12:45 onwards, the hotel will drop me off at home or as close by as possible. Otherwise I am on my own to get to and from work. The public transport in Newport is thoroughly confusing. No stops are marked with the name and a rare few have the time schedule. Now there are 2 major roads in Newport; Chepster and Corporation. I live off of Corporation which means, I have to take a 25 minutes bus ride to the city centre and then another 10 to work. I haven’t bussed to work yet so I don’t know how that one works but were going to have to figure it out. For those of you who know me well, I don’t take public transport like ever. And the odd time I do I panic! I never know how much, or where to sit and what stop to get off at or what bus to get on. Public transport is so scary for me. But by the end of these 10 months I am going to be a bus pro. So I’ve had my first 2 days of work and met most of the team. Out of 700 employees there are only 2 Canadians; which I find funny because the owner in Canadian. The first shift I set up for a large banquet and the second day I helped run that banquet. I did the juice and water station as well as the coffee and tea station. So after my second shift, I went down to the staff canteen where I get free but unhealthy meals. There are 2 computers there with internet staff can use but they are timed. So you log on with your name and after 25 minutes you’re logged out and you personally cannot sign on for another hour. So I went down to get a glimpse of everyone back at home and I read e-mails from my mom and dad that were so encouraging and loving and my chin started to wiggle. Then I read a wall post from my best friend (and she knows who she is, and it’s not your fault I was just mentally and physically exhausted) and then I started to cry. That was the first time in 19 days that I cried and truly felt home sick. The fact that I don’t have internet here makes it even more upsetting because that’s my connection to home and I don’t have that. 19 days is the longest I’ve gone now without being homesick. 2 summers ago I spent 16 days in Ontario. But then I was in the same country and surrounded by friends; so it wasn’t that bad. I hope once I have permanent internet I will get over this hump of home sickness. And in efforts to do so I spent Friday walking around the local shops which are a 15 minute bus ride away. There is like 100 shops lining a pedestrian street and one of the stores was an O2 store. This is where C and I bought our internet stick we used in Germany. So I went in and bought one so excited that now I could finally contact the world. So I bussed home and set it all up only to learn the converter C left with me broke for good. So I walked to the local home hardware type store and bought myself 2 converters. And on the way back I got a library card at the local library that actually has really good books. So I got back home plugged in my computer and started to install the O2 stick which they call a dongle. Well it doesn’t work because the lady who sold it to me gave me one that requires a mobile phone. I don’t have one yet and won’t have one till next week when I have a bank account set up. So I went to the O2 store at the city centre and she set it all up on my laptop and I now have INTERNET!!!! I have never been so happy and relieved! I can finally Skype my mom and dad and my friends! It makes me feel 100% better!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Unfortunate News and My first day--totally unrelated

Alright followers, I have some sad news. My cousin C has decided to return back home. This journey wasn't suited for her. And after sitting in Accident and Emergency for 4 hours yesterday, and getting a medication that gave her hives, she decided it was time to go home. She leaves tomorrow morning before the sun is even up. So we've said our goodbyes so she can get some form of sleep. I am sad to see her go as I was looking forward to this journey with her. But I will be fine, don't forget originally I was doing this journey alone anyways.
On a better note by first day was bloody brilliant. It started with a class room like setting where we did an ice breaker, went through a powerpoint where I learned a canadian owned and operated the resort. Then we had an amazing 3 course meal starting with sweet bean and tomato soup, then braised beef with beans and potatoes and finishing with a chocolate raspberry mousse! It was delicious! Then we took a tour of the whole resort which took over 2 hours! This place is massive. So tomorrow is all health and safety and then we go over details of our first shift and then I am moving into my new house! I am very excited and I plan to unpack ASAP! No more living out of a suitcase, then I plan to explore the town because I need to pick up a few things like towels, an alarm clock, a converter and I need to find the local grocery store. It should be a good week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cloud Nine

So we are here! We are in Wales! We both woke up way to early on Saturday. We were up at 9 and didn't have to leave till 12:15. So by the time we had gotten up, eaten the last morsel of food in our house, cleaned up and packed up, it was only 10:30. So I read and she did crosswords puzzles until our ride got to our flat. We went onto the Autobahn which was expectionally busy because there were 3 accidents! All involving two small cars going way to fast! So we got to the airport and loaded all 5 suitcases onto a trolley and checked in. Checking in at the Frankfurt is very different and futuristic. They have a bank of yelling machines that look like ATM's. In actuality you scan your passport, pick your seat and print your boarding pass. Then along a wall that has to bee close to 300 ft, you check in your luggage. I did not have to pay over weight which was amazing because my suitcase was definately over the weight limit by like 11 or 12 lbs. So we went through the security which is way more slack than Canada or the States. I could keep all jewlerry on and shoes. Then from there we went a grab and fly food spot because we were both ready to eat our fingers off, that's how hungry we both were. Then we went to board. But as I was going through an attendant stopped me, picked up my carry on suitcase and said "Uh-Uh, its overweight and too big, it must be checked." and he whisked it away from me. Thankfully it did make it to our desination. We sat on the plane, me on the aisle of course. It was a quick small flight. So when we landed in Heathrow we were dumbfounded at how big that airport is! We must of walked miles and miles! So we had to fill out this landing card that asked us our UK address, well we didn't have one and we still don't have one yet. So we explained our situation to the Visa/boarder crossing lady and she was so bitchy!! Just because you hate your job and you have terrible hair doesn't me you have to hate the whole world! "She was like, if only I belived you! Put your first hotel address in and then maybe you can go through." Well now I am stressed through the roof and panicked! My nickname on High School council last year was Stress Bomb. I love travelling but not the actual act of getting from point a to point b. So we managed to get through the assistance of a very nice chap. Then we walked another 1000 miles to get our luggage which was out right away and the first thing I did was check to make sure my laptop hadn't broken during the flight in my carry on. We then made our way up to the bus station where we waited. The bus came and we got on it. We rode the bus for 2 hours and then got off at the Newport Bus Station. Now this is where I almost went into cardiac arrest. My mother had booked us into a B & B close by. So when I went online to get the address I just typed in the name and UK. Well that was my first mistake. I went to a taxi driver who told me that address was 2 hours away and I almost crapped a brick. I thought he was mistaken. But he said that's where it was so set of on our 2 hour journey but by some miracle of god  (and I don't believe in god so that was a miracle in itself) we stopped at a gas station where a cop car was. He went and got gas and I went to talk to the police officer. And at this point I am trembling almost in tears so I explain to him " Look were both canadians and were trying to get to this B & B  but the taxi driver said it was 2 hours away and my mom told me it was 5 mins from the bus station." So he called it in and asked HQ and they gave us the proper address and the taxi driver took us there and it was indeed the right  B&B. We got there and everything worked out! Then we walked to the local 7 eleven type store and bought dinner. Then we ate it and went to bed. And toilets here are so confusing! Then the police officer we talked to earlier that night dropped by to make sure the " 2 young canadian girls" made it to the right place and we weren't whisked away somewhere. Now in the midst of setting the alarm for the morning I changed the time on the clock. I thought we were going to be at 12:15 but it was actually 10:15. So when we got up at 8 to shower and stuff it was 6 and breakfast wasn't being served till 9:30. So we crawled back into bed for 2 more hours. We had a typical english breakfast consisting of a hashbrown, toast, baked beans, mushrooms, a funny looking bacon, sausage and of course black pudding. Needless to say I had a very small breakfast. Then the owners Cathie and Ross got talking and we found out that Cathy used to be snowy owl in a brownie unit in Wales. I was so excited to have that connection with her and I am looking into hooking up with a unit. So we took a taxi up to the Celtic Manor Resort where I am sitting now and absolutely loving it! It's like the first 2-3 days in home alone where he has no parents and is excited about it. Or it's like pretty women minus the prostitute part. I have a whole big room to myself and its' fancy. All expenses paid, I don't pay for the room or food or anything! And tomorrow night I am going to zumba class after induction and then for a swim and sauna! I've posted photos on fb. So excited to be here! The bell boys are adorable especially with their accents and I can't wait to start work!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Updating the World

It's been a few days since I've blogged so I figured while I had the computer I'd jot some stuff down. Classes re-started Monday but in a different format. The remaining students that didn't leave on Friday night were split into 2 classes. Class 1 (my class) had classes Monday and Tuesday from 9-10:45 and we had free time and lunch till 1:30. Then Class 2 was 11-12:45. Once lunch is over we have to wear our black and white outfits and head over to the Academy's resturaunt- The Scotland Yard where we have service training. We have all new teachers and girls in our class that weren't before but I knew who they were. So in my morning class we are learning a program called Fidelio. It is a hotel program used all over Europe. It is for making reservations, checking in, checking out, billings, wake up calls and everything else under the sun in a hotel. I have greatly succeeded at this. I did lessons 1,2,3 in the first hour long class. I'm not sure if it's because it's easy or because I am good at computers but I find it fun and easy. Then after lunch we have service training. Now this entails loads. So far we've set tables, folded napkins, and many other things you must know for working in a restuaraunt. Then for the last half hour of each class we do Cocktail mixing. Everyone picks a cocktail they wanna make and we do it and we each test it. I chose to make a butterfly which is orange juice, blue couracao and cointreau. I have to say the after taste is much better than the actual drink. We've tried lots so far, Mai Tai's, London Fog, Raspberry Daquiri, Sylvia, Julia, White Cloud. Loads of alcohol however anything with Gin I do not drink. And now since I am out of the house, saying this story I don't feel I'll be punished but Mom and Dad I love you. The last time I had gin, I put half a jigger into my juice and finished the whole thing. But before I even got to the bottom of the glass I was on the floor writhing in pain. My body cannot handle gin! Therefore I don't drink it. However sweet things like Mudslides, Margaritas, Pina coladas, that's all up my alley and oh beer. I love beer, its something I have inherited from my mom. So we have class Thursday, Friday and then Saturday we move countries again! Saturday we take our flight to London Heathrow because that was actually the cheapest. From there we are taking a national express bus to Newport. From there we are staying in a cute B & B. Then we move to the hotel were working at to sleep there for the night. Monday morning is induction day and then after that we move into our permanent housing for 10 months. Well 10 months for me, my cousin C is debating but she seems to like the figure 6 months. After we settle in we have to go shopping. We need alarm clocks and towels and depending, maybe a pillow or two. Then we have 2 more days of induction then I become a working girl for the first time in my life. I never really worked in high school, between keeping my grades and basketball and soccer and dance and skating and babysitting and last but not least Girl Guides, I never had time. So this is going to be new and exciting and yes I am a little nervous I am going to hate work and sometimes when I get into a must work mode I work without eating or drinking and I just go. For those of you who know me well that is a cause for fainting and that does worry me. And my shoulder worry's me that I'll overuse it and it's all a play by ear game. We shall see how all goes. I am unaware of our internet situation when were in wales. I don't think I'll be posting till late next week. It'll be a long post to catch everyone up!So people who follow my blog I shall talk to you later!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

People and their cars

Yesterday we decided we were going to sleep in. No alarms and no deadlines. So I woke up around 11 thinking i have about 2 hrs before we leave. WRONG! I had all of 45 minutes to eat, get dressed and get ready. Our german friends were taking us to the Frankfurt Intenational Car Show. I am not a fan of cars, yes they can be pretty but their purpose is to get you from point A to point B. We took the train which to took an hour into Frankfurt and started walking around all the car pavillions. And while I took lots of pictures, the pictures were only of the cars I thought were pretty. We walked from 1-9 pretty much non stop. We went into Mercedes, Lotus, Chevrolet, BMW and loads of other cars. It was exciting to be in Frankfurt and it was good to get out of little Heppenheim and see some other places while were here. The car show closed at 7 so we left then. But we got lost and couldn't find our way back to the train station. So a transit man told us to get on his bus and it'll take us to a train station. So 5 out of us 7 got on the bus and the other 2 got a bus behind us. Well the bus has its last stop at a random parking lot. So we got off and started to walk around. A lovelt man directed us to a train bus station and we waited all of 2 minutes until we go on. So the train bus is interesting, it looks like a bus on the inside but its on rails. We rode that for 20 minutes and it took us to the main Frankfurt train station. On the outside it looks like the train station in Vancouver but on the inside it looks like one in Euro Trip, no lie! It's huge with all window ceilings and lots of stores and food places. So we got on the train back to Heppenheim. But what's interesting is at home we pay to use the bus, or the trains but here you don't. They have a different system. When you enter the city, you pay a mandatory fee which pays for all transport you use in the city. So we payed the student fee of 7.50 Euros and that payed for all buses, trains and train busses. So we managed to get home and C and I were pooped! We walked all day and the excitement took over. So we decided to lay low in bed and I read and we skyped. Then our room mate comes back and tells us they have decided to go out clubbing. We said no because we were already in PJ's and exahusted. So we said have fun and good night. Well it turns out, they took the train again into Frankfurt clubbed till 5, then they waited in McDonalds till 6 when the first train leaves. So they ended up back at home for 7:20. And slept till 3. Now I like to party and dance and all but staying up that late and thats when you all these stories about girls. I am incredibly thankful there safe and I didn't go. Today we hung around because we wanted to rest up for the next week at school. Which should be interesting. It's service training which is like serving people and drink mixing. So it should be fun!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It was massive!

So before I get into updating the world about my past few days, I have to let you know what happened to me this morning. I was sitting on my bed picking out my clothes for the day and inadvertenly I look like I belong in a rapper's video but thats besides the point. I went to stand up and my toe it the floor funny and I thought I cut my toe right open in half. Well I flip up my foot to discover a sliver the size of Italy has decided to make my toe its new home! It hurt so bad! So I pulled out my handy dandy travel nail kit, you know the ones with tweezers, nail clippers, a weird looking file and scissors. And now it gets a little graphic, I cut away at the skin around it so I could somehow extract it with the tweezers. Well instead of that plan I just started cutting the top of the sliver and man did the hurt. But what came next hurt even more! My cousin, who were gonna start calling C grabbed my tweezers and jammed them down my toe and yanked that thing right out. Well now I have a big chunk of toe missing and it's all better. So yes I did indeed perform minor toe surgery before breakfast today. Anyway so we went to the Heppenheim Golf Course yesterday which was one of those field trips you have in high school that are so boring but they turn out fun because of the events that occur on the trip. So to get there you go up this long hilly winding country side road. But this isn't a regular road, this road has 2 lanes but both their lanes put together is our one lane. So I am in this tiny german car with 3 other people and she is driving like there is nothing on this road but her. Well I just about died sitting in the back of that car. I was having mini panic attacks everytime another car came by or we were on a cliff. But we did make it there and back in one piece. So we get there and we start by learning the super basics of golf like that fact that there's 18 holes. Then our teacher gives us a tour of the golf club and the surrounding area. He then plays 3 holes. Well what I didn't know is that on the super fancy golf courses, there is a women's tee and a men's tee. And I thought that was super sexist until our teacher told us its because women's boobs get in the way of their swing and I understand that. But I went and drove from the men's tee anyways :)
We got back that afternoon and had a class about culture shock for when you arrive at your destination and your hotel. But C and I started to giggle because right now being in Germany is the culture shock, Wales will be more like home than here. But then today we learned all about Alcohol. We learned about to properly serve it, how to deal with intoxicated customers and we even did a wine tasting. Where you pour a little, swirl it, sniff it, look at the glass from the side and then you take a sip, but you have to suck in air after you drink and before you swallow. I still don't understand the point of whine but I am working on changing my attitude towards it! Then tonight as in Friday we decided to stay in. Because last night we were at the bad pretty late. I have a diebels dark german beer. I enjoyed it but I still like my corona better! So tonight were staying in, I am nursing my toe and I plan on reading till I fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alright folks here it is....

Alright so it's been almost 3 days since I've been here. And I do love it, its very pretty and the city I am in is all old fashion Germany. However I do have a few complaints. Everyone who knows me, knows these had to be coming soon lol. First of all, I am not picky with food, there are very few things I won't eat. However butter is not one of them, I am 100% a margerine person. Have been since I can remember, It's more pratical, you can keep it in your fridge and it doesn't go super hard, as well its in my opinion much more healthy. So Germany should totally sell margerine. Next order of business. Our fridge goes up to just below my waist and it's meant to hold food for 5 people. How in the world is that possible? We buy our food 2 days at a time. How much time must that waste? I'll admit our tri weekly shopping trips are a little fun but they are also lots of work. Now for those of you wine drinkers, does it matter to you what your drink it out of? Today in class we went over the different kind of glasses, now I get the generic ones like a water glass, shots, beer pint, wine glass and champagne goblet. But why in earth are there 4 different kind of wine glasses? There's white, red, burgundy, and claret. However in my mind there is 2 kinds of wine- red and white. And for all I could drink them out of a coffee mug. Supposedly it's to do with the smell and aroma and stuff. Now I am soaking up all this info in class as I have to but it totally sounds illoigcal to me. But I am going to a wine tasting on Friday and maybe I  will understand better then, I hope (fingers crossed). What I am really excited for this week is our Golfing Field Trip. Because most hotels the EHA students get jobs at, are golf hotels. Well we can't work at a golf hotel and know nothing about golf so we are getting a lesson on golfing. I plan to learn golf over the next year, come home and school my parents :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

And so it begins....

It's been 2 days since I have arrived in Germany and I love it! The day I flew started with me being dunked at my school fair in the dunk tank. From there we picked up Bryanne, My suitcase, said good bye to my fat cats and left for the aiport. I checked in, where I found out my carryon was over wait but my other suitcase wasn't. How backwards is that? From there we went to dinner with my parents, my brother, Gabby and Bry. I had my last real steak :(. At that point we headed back to the airport where the water works started. I bawled, my mom bawled, my dad got teary eyed, I think Bry was even crying and then GG told me she cried when she got home. My brother on the other hand laughed at all of us crying- typical 14 year old boy. And being the emotional person I am I cried all the way through security and boarding and the whole plain ride to calgary. But once we landed in calgary, i fell asleep and didn't wake till breakfast. Upon landing we had major turbulence which actual made me sick, which doesn't happen often. I got off the plane, met the girl who was to take me to Heppenheim and of course it poured the whole time. I had my first experience of driving on the Autobahn where yes there is no speed limit unless there doing construction then its only 80. We got to my accomodation, where I got my key and met up with Caro, my cousin who is also on this journey with me. We were very happy to a familiar face and to hear english again lol. I don't speak a word of german except for a few words. Once I settled in my bags I was whisked off to the other house where we maed home made soup. It was very good and we had the leftovers for lunch. I however don't really know hot to cook. I can do Mac & Cheese, pancakes with a recipe in front of me and few other basic things. So cooking for the next 10 months is going to be interesting. I just might set the table and clean up and let Caro do all the cooking lol. Example one of I can't cook. We decided to have fried potatoes with our chicken tonight. So I wash the potatoes and cut them into halves or squares and put them in a pan with oil. Well to me they looked ready. So I served them. However Caro then reminded me and herself that your supposed to boil the potaotes before you fry them. So we hate half raw, half fried potatoes with our dinner. Classes started this morning and they were great. We were the new Canadian girls and we did lots of talking and comparing. We weren't neccesarily picked on but definately singled out, which is fine by me. However there is only one boy in my class. Only one! But we have classes from 9-3 except tuesdays is late start so only 9:45 to 3:45. Today we role played front recpetion and learned about the channel islands that I now have a project on. It's exactly like school! So after school we went and bought some neccesities like shower gel and laundry detergent which was so much fun! lol Caro and I speak no German so we were guessing and yes we did buy the right stuff! Afterwards we went and bought a webstick which allows us to have internet through our USB. We then came back home, dropped our packages off and went out for food. Now we have a mini fridge so we can only buy 2 days worth of food at a time. And you buy all your drinkning water and they don't have ice trays here lol. So we bought dinner and then we walked back. It's about 10 minutes and I carried 10lbs of water the whole way back. We got home, cooked and then chilled. Everything is going great so far and I love germany! Heppenheim is a very old town and it's all cobblestone streets and church bells and its so beautiful! Tomorrow we plan to explore the grand church down the road from us after school. All is good. I accepted my job offer for the Celtic Manor Resort and I start on September 26th. However we are done school on the 23rd so Caro and I are gonna try to do a day trip to Berlin for Historical Tours and then head over Wales. I don't feel homesick, I mean I miss people but not home itself. I do wish I had my cat to cuddle with at night thought. Everything is great!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2 months to Europe

Hello All,
It's been quite awhile since I've blogged but it's been a whirlwind between Graduation and finishing up all my activities. I got my confirmation letter in March that I was accepted into the European Hotel Academy. I am so unbelievably excited to go! I leave the 2nd week of September and don't come back till June. My cousin is also going with me but we'll be in different hotels. So now I need to get my British Visa and start preparing. I have already made packing lists and shopping lists and sight seeing lists and I cannot wait! It's going to be an amazing year! I am very thankful to have this oppurtunity and to be able to live overseas for a year. It's interesting telling people about my plans, they give me one of two reactions. The first is "OMG how exciting, your going to love Europe!" or I get " Your leaving the country for a year, away from family and friends, aren't you terrified?". The truth is yes, I am excited and I cannot wait to go but at the same time yes I am scared to move away for a year, I am nervous that I won't succeed but if you obsess with the bad it will be bad! Therefore I am keeping the positive in mind and reminding myself this is a trip of a life time. Most people move into a dorm right after high school, I am moving to Europe. Some people think that I am not going to come back. That I am going to fall in love or go to school there afterwards and I have no clue what I am going to want in a year. As of right now I am coming home in June and going to university on the east coast of Canada in September. But we shall see. I won't be posting for another little while but when I do it'll be because I have updates :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Getting Started

So I've always known I wanted to take a Gap Year. I've been at the same school for 13 years with the same people and stuck in the same routine. I am not saying I didn't enjoy it but I definately need a break. I've applied to universities but differed my entrance for a year because when I get back I definately want to get further education; it's just a matter of what I want to do with my life. I am very fortuante that my mom runs a company that sends and brings kid to other countries to work and study and through her company I am taking a great oppurtunity. I am going to England for 10 months. This will be a very scary, nerve racking and amazing experience and I am very fortunate to have that oppurtunity and the support of my parents. I've been slowly filling out the application because so much is involved in doing so. I have to take proffesional photos and get references and a work visa and its a lot to do. But slowly and surely I am getting to the point where I can send it in. I am starting this blog now so  I can describe this process step for step and once I get to England I can write about all my experiences and everything else that happens while i'm there.