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The Florida 2010 Diaries ~ Part 3

Read part one here...
Read part two here...

Friday 4th December 2010 ~


Ooo the day at Disney Hollywood Studios was the best day :) Once again we were pretty much the first at the ticket gate due to still waking up at a totally ridick hour. Today, this worked in our favour. Much like the X Factor with Cher Lloyd, Disney has created a monster with Toy Story Midway Mania. This was much much worse that the racing to rides at any other park. Parents had walkie talkies, telling kids that the slightest delay would impact on how long they had to wait and totally ruin their day/life and it would all be that child's fault. i exaggerate not. I was first at my ticket booth and when non nipple gazing Disney cast member opened it up, my entrance pass wouldn't go through. Oops. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!" screamed the normally delightful (probably) mom (with a lot of spit on my neck. Ew) behind me. Sheesh! Then we were all led by a velvet rope to the ride and I let Darren do his best. I am rubbish at barging past people in an angry mob, but Darren has no such compunction. He is like the emotionless Dexter of crowd control. He weaves in and out expertly, taking kids down and even had time to stop and glare at an old fella who ran over his foot with a motorised scooter. By the time I had (fairly speedily) got to the ride, Darren had put seething Disney moms to shame by getting fast passes and meeting me at the start of the minimal line. Amazes.

As we waited in line, we put the fastpasses away (9.43am - 10.43am) and a different normally delightful probably mom behind me announced loudly in her best WASP passive-aggressive tone to no one in particular "I think it's so unfair when adults with no kids get fastpasses. It takes them selfishly away from families". "Kids are baby goats" I retorted "and we're getting two more fast passes for tonight when we get off" I added just as Disney crew member asked for a party of two and I minced past about 20 people to the front of the line. SCORE!


(the ride, if you haven't been on it is brilliantly simplistic 4-D shooting game that anyone can do and is ridiculously fun. And yes, by the time we had ridden it, gone for a jimmy riddle and joined the fifteen minute line just to get later fastpasses, we got some of the last few and rode it for a third time just before the lights were switched on for the Christmas spectacular. Three times, no lines. Brillopants. Even more brillopants was that we saw selfish fastpasses passive aggressive mom just as we got out of the fastpass line for the 2nd time and I waved the tickets at her. she looked furious and probably ranted non-stop to her poor hen pecked husband about it. i felt no guilt. Ooo maybe I'm Dexter!)

So after avoiding 100 minute long lines for Toy Story Mania, we pretty much partook of everything the park had to offer - rides, shows, Disney museum and oh, American Idol: The Experience. This is essentially a mini version of the show. if you so desire you can audition and they choose the best 3 from each audition session to sing to the audience at 5-6 shows during the day. I was going to audition for a laugh but they didn't have Cee-Lo's F*** You. I can understand that, but they didn't even have mariah's all I want for christmas is you. Surely that is a crime against Santa?! Anyway, the show we watched had a pre-audience warm up from Disney Crew Member Mike - WHO HAD LONGER FINGERS THAN DEVON!! - and interspersed with "how great is this attraction" clips from people like Ryan Seacrest, Lee Dwayze, Kris Allen, David Cook, Adam Lambert, Jordin Sparks, some guy who came 5th last year and had won the guaranteed audition ticket that each ultimate daily winner gets and uh Justin Guarini. Clearly Kelly and Carrie are too successful (and Ryan is contractually obligated). We got some grizzled old navy seal doing a not sexy Sway (old and navy as in woo the troops, not the store, though judging from his too bright fleece, who knows?), some Justin Beiber wannabe, nervous as heck, Christian choir singing kid called Eric and some girl called Sarah, who if she was on the x-factor would get through just because she is quirky. Not because she could sing. Though she ennunciated mouthally worse than the vicar of dibley in the songs of praise episode. We voted for Eric because a) it was his birthday and apparently we have killed enough kids dreams today with our fast pass selfishness and b) one day he will realise he won't be giving his parents grandkids. As the seats next to us were empty too, they voted for Eric and he won the chance to sing in the night's finale (which we didn't watch). Woo hoo dreams restored.


Other highlights:

  • Darren agreeing to come and see the hideously edited Beauty and the Beast musical (30 mins! no Human Again! only half of Gaston! Surely they could have changed it to the Christmas one?) becaause he knows it is one of my favourite musicals of all time.
  • Darren doing his BEST ACTING EVER when at said musical, the couple behind had their maps out and were planning the rest of their day! DURING THE TITLE SONG! "Do you mind, i'm trying to watch this" he chided and made it sound entirely plausible even though i know he was bored silly.
  • The Osborne Spectable of Dancing Lights being turned on at dusk with fake snow and Christmas music. It really is quite lovely and I was filled with christmas spirit (possibly the festive margherita I was drinking to wash away the taste of cardboardy pretzel I had just bought. Yuck = buyer's remorse). Everyone seemed genuinely happy away from the pressure of Toy Story and I even fist bumped a guy in passing wearing a "Dudes marry dudes, get over it" t-shirt. Joy to the world indeed!!

More soon!!

Posted by Paul 12:39 am 22 comments  



The Florida 2010 Diaries ~ Part Two

Wednesday 1st December 2010:

Hurrah. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It's the first of December and despite warnings of a sharp temperature drop, it turns out to be the hottest first of December in Orlando for yonks. Luckily, The Magic Kingdom (now the second most magical place on earth) has decked their halls and I'm ready to fa la la along with the Disney crew. Amazeballs. We arrive at the opening gate with about ten minutes to spare and enjoy a nice little sing and dance routine. This is like the contents of my head come to life because each morning, I imagine that life IS a song and dance routine. It's all very twee and looks of wonderment abound, etc. Charming. And then the gates open...

Let the memories begin indeed. It is a scene of carnage and devastation as parents grab, pull and drag their children and run through the not that busy main street to get to the attractions first. "Mommy, it's cindy-wella's castle" pants one breathless little girl. "Yeah yeah, i've seen it before, we will look later" chides the trotting mare of a mother. "I need the toilet" whines another probably desperate little boy. "Well i hope you know we will spend most the day in lines now" fumes his dad. Good grief. Way to embrace the enchantment.

The part was fairly empty. I've done my research. I know which parks will be quietest on which days and which order to do the fastpasses/rides. It involves a bit of (darren) criss-crossing and lots of walking but it totally works. Though the lines are minimal for the magic kingdown we seem to remain one step ahead all day - arriving to walk onto rides just as queues build up behind us. I think the haunted mansion is my fave, though I must once again express (milk) my disappointment that they don't Nightmare Before Christmas it all up like they do in California.

The jungle cruise - always a hoot - was delightful for one reason: Unfeasibly long fingered camp chicken Devon. He did a brilliant southern accent "I do declare" which reminded me of Dame Annie from Sunset Beach. And he made an amazing Shakira-muppets waka waka joke that I don't entirely recall now, but made me chortle even if it went over everyone elses head. Go twink Devon!

Was a lovely day until we got totally and horribly lost on the way back to the hotel. What a bummer. The gleaming light of hope was a Super Target with a starbucks where a nice barista directed us while I enjoyed a delicious white chocolate mocha with peppermint. Yummy. Coming out of the store, Darren asked me why I had bought People magazine (it's usually shite isn't it?) "Oh to have a perv over the 25 sexiest men" I answered loudly strolling through the parking lot. A rough looking dude in a pick up WITH AN ACTUAL RED NECK looked well angry at this so I quickly said in a well butch gruff voice "oh i mean lady dudes with beautiful pussies." One can't be too careful - he had God stickers on his car and according to the news, there has already been rapes, murders and muggings. Delightful...

Thursday 2nd December 2010:

The morning news is still about rapes murders and muggings (and now police brutality. Some old geezer sassed a cop and got his neck broken. Harsh.) None of these are the top stories. No sirreebob. There are two far more important stories. One is the cold snap that has dropped the temperature 10 degrees in Orlando. It is now a little bit chilly. There are clips of people at Walmart in shorts and a t-shirt with a blanket wrapped round them going "this wind chill is gonna kill me. Imma gonna go Miami" Incredible. The other story is Susan Boyle showing the limits of her voice on some tv show where she croaks, pulls a face and asks if she can start again. On live tv. Silly SuBo. Oh how I longed to be on twitter. You can now pinpoint on youtube the moment when she realises that if she ever had to sing more than one song on a tv talent show, she wouldn't be where she is now. VIVA MARY BYRNE!!!

Oh, ok, it was actually quite chilly waiting for Animal Kingdom to open. My nipples were clearly visible through my favourite Unsung Hero t-shirt (Discotheque). Crew member Aaron at the ticket gate could barely take his eyes off them. I'm sure I had a "my face is up here mister" moment with him!! People in the line were having a right good natter about the best strategy to get to Everest before anyone else. I love a bit of organisational strategy but this was mind numblingly dull and a moot point because a) it's not very good and b) they walk you there behind a velvet rope. VELVET ROPE! (Janet Jackson) One woman was so eager to be first, she practically straddled Aaron's rope. I bet it gave her the best ride of the day. Thanks to our excellent ropework we were on and off in less than ten minutes.

More rides followed (including Dinosaur, which was like behing shaken from behind. In the dark. For ten minutes). The highlight was definitely the Kilimanjiro Safaris. Not for the slightly racist white truck driver whose African game reserve accent was more Jamican than anything else (he was no Devon). Not it was for the batty old woman behind. She was brilliant. Couldn't see a baby rhino not 10 feet from her line of vision yet she came out with (what I thought were) hilarious one liners like (when a herd of graceful gazel were pointed out) "oh i wish I had a gun"!! & (when some ostrich eggs were spotted) "mmm omelettes"! Amazeballs. There were lots of tuts and shushs but I thought she was brillo. Rock it bonkers Granny!

Felt need for shopping. Went to mall. Bumped into someone from Darren's gym. It's a small world after all...

More soon!

Posted by Paul 5:01 am 1 comments  



The Florida 2010 Diaries ~ part one

Monday 29th November 2010:

Hurrah (said in a deeply sarcastic voice). It is travel day. The only downside to a dream holiday is the amount of time it takes to get there. Manchester to Orlando in "just 8 hours" is a bit of a lie because it becomes over 12 hours once you (x) factor in check in, immigration, car pick up, etc. Still it's freezing cold and I'm happy that the plane isn't snowed in. Leaving the de-icer in the car though was a bit of a neddy no no. It is beyond cold and my fingers can barely wrap around it. While Darren takes the difficult job of warming the car up ("my body heat will help the temperature rise"), I fumbled around with the piddly de-icer that instead of releasing a magnificent ice killing spray, a single jet emerged making the job twice as hard. By the time I was done, my gloves were actually frozen to the can. Yeeshk.

At check in, I managed to charm slender check in dude into upgrading our seats. I can be very delightful when I want to be. We went straight through to the executive lounge (block capital alert) BECAUSE THERE IS NO STARBUCKS AT MANCHESTER AIRPORT!!! I wept. AND IT WAS THE WORST EXECUTIVE LOUNGE EVER> For starters it was tiny and overbooked. I had to squeeze in next to a sour faced looking lady who was so obese her body cascaded like jelly over the few inches into my chair. The "full menu" included cold toast and dry croissants. Yum. And they guy who looked like Storm Lee opposite me opened an unwelcome conversation with "God, I hope there are no asians on this flight." HOW RUDE. I mean what do you say to that. I gave him a withering look and shifted away from the racist bigot. God, people can be vile.

Amazingly, the flight was actually quite nice. Decent seats, ok food, not too crowded. I settled down, started reading Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire (of Wicked fame) and watched Disney's A Christmas Carol (Jim Carrey not brilliant Muppets version), Easy A (it's no Mean Girls but it had it's moments, a decent soundtrack and a yum Penn Badgeley) and Toy Story 3. This is still emotionally devastating and I was weeping from the hand-hold of Jessie and Buzz right through to the end. Sniffle. It was almost ruined halfway through when a bloke walked past my chair and let out a blast of bottom wind so hot and forceful that it went straight to my eyes and throat. It burnt and stung for a good ten minutes. Vile. He did have the good grace to look chagrinned on the walk back. Vile.

Arrived. Got car. Went to hotel. Checked in. Slept. See you tomorrow!!

Tuesday 30th November 2010:

Of course I was up ridiculously early - about 4am. Oh well. This means I had time to catch up on Glee and Entertainment Weekly before a full day out at Universal Island of Adventure. We get a nice cooked breakfast as part of our hotel suite package. We went down to enjoy it, and while we were waiting (no one was around), Darren helped himself to a coffee - only to be interrupted by a large woman called Shaneisha who yelled "oh no you di'n't" and chased us out (LITERALLY) into the actual cooked breakfast room next door. Oops. The thief.

We went straight to Universal IofA because I could not wait to experience the Harry Potter stuff they had built since I was last here (2008). $15 to park the car!! I was agog and aghast (is Marius in love at last). I've bent over for less... Are they not making enough from sales of the slightly yucky butterbear... Still, all parked up, we were a bit early so went for a yummy starbucks. So much cheaper than the UK and so much more choice. On the advice of TRWhite88 I had a salted caramel hot chocolate, which the entire store (ie 2 staff and Darren) were watching intently to see if I would enjoy. it was nice, then different, then unusual but overall I've had worse in my mouth and swallowed so I think I will probably have one again.

There was a bit of a line to get in, which were quite close to the front of. There was a charming British family in front who were intent on having a good time - mom "Shannon, stop being stressed because then you will stress me out and then it will get all unpleasant". (All Shannon had said was "i'm looking forward to Flight of the Hippogriff"). Dad "if you don't take that look off your face, I will slap you silly". charming. Someone set Bellatrix LeStrange on their arses!! Once the park had opened, I expected people to run to Hogsmeade, but there were quite a lot of large people and large people in motorised scooters so we easily power walked past them to the part of the part where the descriptive words of JK Rowling came to life. And bloody amazing it was too. I decree it the new most magical place on earth. Hogsmeade and Hogswart look as real as anything you've seen in the movies and a meticulous attention to detail reveals fantastic delights everywhere. The rides are pretty wonderful too with Journey into the Forbidden Forest being the giddy best. Though it did make me feel a bit pukey. I'm not quite the rollercoaster riding spring chicken I used to be...

The rest of the day was a pleasant whirl of rides and shows. Incredibly hot day and not too busy so went back to hotel to have a bit of a relax. Plus wanted to catch up on my 2nd favourite famous couple (after Katilliam) - Gyllenswift/Swillenhall! Love it...



More tomorrow....

Posted by Paul 12:57 am 1 comments  



Austria (August 2009) Diaries - part two

part one here... (essential to read before this part, obv)
holiday photos here...

Tuesday 11th August:

  • NB to Monday - how could I forget Rhythm of the Rain by Jason Donovan? It occurred to me last night when there was heavenly torrential downpour and illicit tipsy activities were undertaken like stealing a parasol from a cafe bar and running home under it. Then there was thunder. All through the night. Did not see Jesus in the morning light as promised by Prince (possibly due to now being criminal element)...
  • Forgot to mention that have been reading (now finished - Poppy and Kwame 4eva, etc) Diary Of A Snob with my thumb positioned over the S, thus drawing withering glance of STRW from plane and loud titters of chav family in fake kappa "trackies". Oh dear.
  • Went on ANOTHER forest hike today and was soon "sweating buckets" from steepness of The Climb (miley cyrus). Decided to turn back after an hour as path was becoming less and less pathlike and due to thinness of air, I was having an out of body experience and thinking I was in Lost and was sensible doctor, Jack...
  • I was sensible doctor Jack mixed with other Matthew Fox(y) character Charlie, from weepfest Party of Five (now airing on Hallmark channel fact fans). Darren was actual Charlie from Lost (but with clearner fingernails and no drugs stuffed inside Virgin Mary). Nice Austrian woman at edge of forest/civilisation was crazy Russo and her husband chomping on his pipe was Smoke Monster. It took 2 raspberry jaffa cakes to bring me back to reality.
  • After 2 hour exhausting trek and gently mosey around village, sensible thing to do seemed to be to go to hotel gym. MP3 player still DNR so I did 40 mins of laps in quite chilly pool (due to be quite high altitude, in clouds and outdoors) while singing every track from seminal 1989 Electric Youth...
  • Including all the acoustic and campfire mixes of songs I'd already sung.
  • Was going to do a gentle walk in the early evening up to Russerhof or Rasselheiner or something, but both sounded like strange lovechild of tv weirdies Elizabeth Hasselback or David "Call Me Hoff" Hasslehoff, so gave up on idea and played scrabble instead...

Wednesday 12th August:
  • How is it Wednesday already? Week is half over (celebrated American "hump" day with traditional dazpaz British hump this am) which means only a few days until I am back battling the rat race with the rest of the hoi polloi/wage slaves. The indignity of it all.
  • Am being adventurous today and crossing Austrian border to Germany today. Didn't even need passport, that is how free and liberal border control is nowadays. Not like when I cam back from Toronto to NY and had left a lollipop wrapper stuck to passport. Long story short, large borders control man Greg mistook it for a "tab" and poked his finger up my bum-oley looking for heroin whilst waiting for lab results on lollipop wrapper to prove my innocence...
  • Went up 6000ft mountain to Eagle's Nest, which was apparently a present to Hitler from the Nazi party in 1938 (hardly a party were they?!). What no HMV vouchers that year? You go up to it in this lift at end of tunnels dug into a mountain. Can't help but feel it was a bit of a crap gift as looney Hitler was claustrophobic, scared of heights and suffered from altitude sickness...
  • "Say what you want about the Nazi party" said chubby z-lebrity John from tv's Coach Trip (who was tour guide for the day) "but they were geniuses at engineering and architecture". Yes absolutely. That makes up for the slaughter of millions of Jews then - brilliant architecture.
  • Whole place is now a restaurant so was up there 2 hours with not much to do, though some quite nice mini hikes and pretty views. Didn't try the Schnitlerzel at the cafe, but the Eva Brownies were a culinary triumph :P
  • Also went down some cold damp bunker where Hitler hid from the air raids. Tour guide told us that if we felt through the gaps in the wall you could feel the original ceramic pipework. Excuse me for being a party pooper, but I ain't fingering Hitler's mouldy old hole for love nor money (excellent Debbie Gibson song title btw).
  • Have become absolute social butterfly in hotel dining room as now know all the guests including miserable old coot who complains about the price of strudel daily. Flit from table to table regaling them with brilliant anecdotes from the day. Eva Brownies was particularly beloved...
Thursday 13th August:
  • Woke up moody from continued kippus interruptus and continued mourning of MP3 player. Luckily have bought 3 books with me (finished 2, so just rereading The Deathly Hallows) and a plethora of magaines so have kept myself entertained and educated with my early morning risings...
  • Unhealthy addiction to cinnamon toast crunch cereal soon perked me up as did post brekkie dip in pool. Today I chose to sing every track from brilliant 2008 album "Pop" by Same Difference. Except Breaking Free which is now rendered redundant by We R One.
  • Forced Darren to go back to bed after swim as was very fatty-gay.
  • (*forced as in whined incessantly about his rubbish mattress and how tired I was, not forced in a rapey way!)
  • Did not want to waste whole day in bed (that is for the newly relationshipped and unemployed) so got back up just before noon and hiked up the quite high actually Kimmel Waterfalls. Is very steep trek so probably needed Sherpa, but footpaths and handrails were all I got. Was very pretty indeed even if spray-mist permeated every fibre of my being.
  • This of course meant thata sun tan lotion has run all down my face and I did not notice white streaky marks everywhere until I got to bottom (2 hours and passing multiple people later). Looked like an extra from Cum Guzzlers 3: Farm Hand Studs (Excellent movie by the way, great plot)...
  • Though am not a stud at moment. Feel old and fat. Must be psychological as when I breath in and look in the mirror, I look quite presentable, nay even do-able. Must be an R-Kelly thing (no, not sex with minors (ALLEGEDLY etc), but a "my mind's telling me no, but my body, my boooo-dy" etc)
  • Got back just before another torrential downpour. Stood on balcony watching all the people on street below running like crazy people. Tried ever so hard not to feel smug, but is very hard when you are a non-parasol stealing, law abiding and dry citizen...
  • Citizen! Reminds me of the 60s batman tv show reruns ("Citizens of Gotham!") ~ Robin was well alluring in his heyday. Pity he aged horribly.
  • Which is actually what people say about me so I am reminding myself that it is inner beauty that counts and there I am a stunner!
Friday 14th August:
  • Realised today that finding interesting and "witty" things to write about in the very laxidaisical St Johann on a daily basis is actually quite a feat. Am now quite proud of my observational skills as there are only so many ways that you can write "went up a hill" and make it scintillating.
  • Although we did actually go up another hihll today and it was ridiculously steep. Practically vertical (not horizontal as I mortifyingly and accidentally told a couple at dinner. No wonder they looked unimpressed). It was quite hot again as well, so once again the sweat glands were working overtime. Or as my possibly racially and gaybo intolerant old aunt used to say "horses sweat, navvies perspire, but ladies and poofters merely twinkle"...
  • Which is quite lovely and poetic in a twisted sort of way, I feel...
  • I better have lost weight on this holiday - have hiked and biked everywhere and not really had desire to stuff face. Although I did have a white Magnum ice cream the other day, and haven't actually "been" to the toilet since I got here, so it's no wonder that I feel a bit doughy...
  • Also noticed that in photos this week, my face is very liney, like lovely Sean from Same Difference. I am of the ilk where I like to think lines add a bit of character to my face whereas Darren will do everything in his power to eradicate his. Maybe I should be a bit more diligent with the L'Oreal for Men Wrinkle Decrease though...
  • Because I'm worth it too :)
  • Time to go home now. Thanks for having me...

Posted by Paul 7:06 am 3 comments  



Austria August 2009 Diaries

Saturday August 8th:


  • Usually I enjoy the people watching of the airport, but I was surviving on 4 hours of sleep and a 3.30am wake up call so most of it passed me by. I do remember being vaguely outraged that there is no longer a Starbucks at Birmingham airport, merely a (prepare to shudder in horror everyone) Costa Coffee. How hideous :/
  • The plane flight was a brisk 1 hour and 45 minutes - just enough time to get stuck into one of my holiday reads, Diary of A Snob by Grace Dent. I do not think these things out. It has a bright pink cover with a lipstick on it and it drew a withering glance from Snooty Times Reading Woman (STRW) next to me... (I realised why later in the week!)
  • People don't half get dead excited by the food on the plane. It was sausage and eggs breakfast and I truly think that people believed a guy called Ed in a chef's hat had scrambled the eggs over a hot stove at the front on the plane. Ninnies.
  • Ed had clearly scrambled the eggs with evil because they tasted like baby vomit (and I would know, my nephew once threw up in my face). Darren said the sausage was nice, but I am choosy and I wasn't about to gorge on Ed's meat after his sloppy evil eggs...
  • STRW prayed to mother nature over her vegetarian option (seriously - God knows why because there was nothing natural there at all), but then thought better of eating it and just pocketed the prepacked muffin into her "fannypack" (ooer, etc)...
  • Miracle of miracles - our bags were (specifically) 2nd and 5th off the conveyer belt and we were soon directed to our hotel by holiday rep Peter - the gorgeous Hotel Dorfschmidt...
  • Not the Hotel Dogshit as some common as muck on the bottom of the Primark flip flops family tittered behind us on the coach. Savages...
  • Hotel was actually very gorgeous - incredibly old, like Madonna, and set at the foot of the Kitzbulehorn Mountain range so we had a view of those dusty peaks wherever we looked. Our room was quite boutique chic (massive walk in wardrobe) with a ginormous (love that word) balcony covered in delicious smelling flowers...
  • Of course this means that wasps are drawn to the balcony like a moth to the flame drawn by the fire so while Darren ignores them, I am pirohuetting around all over the place like Billy Elliot (only less graceful and without the Tonys) every time they come near. This means I barely get through a page of Diary... or even Entertainment Weekly (the one with abtastic Ryan Reynolds on the cover)...

Sunday 9th August:


  • My much needed boutique chic sleep was rudely interrupted. Monsieur (or Missure as someone at work spelt it in an email the other week! Lumme!) Dazricht of Panteloonemheimer's mattress creaked noisily every time he moved, which was quite often. I tried burying my head in the pillow but the creaks or his snoring (like a sailor on shore leave) soon wafted through. Booooo!!!
  • And then my mp3 (Archos) player died - completely kaput. This is obviously a tragedy of gargantuan proportions as it plays movies/tv shows too and I was halfway through an episode of Buffy, where Giles and Buffy's mom eat lots of candy and canoodle with each other.
  • And does no one remember that before the hugely overrated Twilight existed (yes I know I liked it initially, but i've seen through the smoke and mirrors now ta very much and tedious plotting and writing is tedious plotting and writing), Buffy had the best vampire love story ever with hunky brooding Angel (who btw would beat Edward Cullen to a pulp)?
  • Went to the welcome meeting where Peter Holiday Rep was very pleased to see us. Perhaps he gets very excited to see people not wearing lederhosen because he was soon assuring us that if we required ANYTHING, we could call on him anytime day or night. ANYTIME! Blimey luv, calm down - you might spaffle. I was fingering my ring at the time, so I think he got the message...
  • As it was boiling hot (not literally - I didn't boil), apparently the sensible thing to do is go on the keep fit jogging trail up through the forest into the mountains. It was almost treacherous with little "stop drop and give me twenty" exercise signs everywhere. Call me lazy, but i'm not doing star jumps on the edge of a muddy ravine...
  • ... so when we got back to the hotel, we made use of the gym and pool. I did some cycling. On a stationary bike. Inside. In austria. If you do not get the irony of this (and my slight misuse of the word irony) then there really is no hope for you is there?
  • The pool was nice though. Then we played mario party on the DS, which unlike gargantuan tragedy of my ka-put mp3 player (did I mention that?) is not broken. I was winning as Peaches right until the end when Darren/Yoshi practically molested 2 stars out of me. I don't think that little princess will ever recover :/
  • Sat with some nice people at dinner. I regaled them with stories of my office's broken sewer pipes. They were so enraptured that not one of them finished their schnitzel. Awww...

Monday 10th August:



  • Made the non-german speaking mistake of buying sparkling water last night from the local Spar (ooo how provincial). Went back this morning to get the one with the different label as assumed it was still. It was not still. Sparkling again! I am completely bamboozled.
  • Went up to Rattenberg and beautiful Lake Archanssee today (by cog powered railway Pete Waterman fans). Rattenberg is famous for some nun called Notburga who threw a sickle in the air and it never came down. Personally I think her name is a marketing person's dream, her creaky old bones on display in a church, not so much...
  • The lake (set up in a mountain) was proper pretty. It was quite cold as we were right in the clouds. Darren and I bought a value chocolate bar (Spar again) and walked round the like, but after about 6km, I was sick of being attacked by giant butterflies (they are terrifying) so we hiked back and went on a boat trip instead.
  • We sat next to a proper noddy on the boat trip though - he kept saying things like "the velocity of the water crashing down for thousands of years has created the most amazing rock formations. Sarah, take a picture". I swear I didn't mean to say "really professor Frink" out loud - or at least not out loud enough for him to hear ;)
  • It rained quite a bit - here are 5 songs about rain (in no particular order of brilliance) that I sang to an unappreciative Darren: Rain (Madonna); Naked In The Rain (Blue Pearl); Kiss The Rain (Billie Myers); Come On In Out of The Rain (Wendy Moten) and Here Comes The Rain (Eurythmics).
  • The day started with hearing the brilliant Martika's Kitchen, was punctuated by a Tyrolean radio station playing Jolene and La Isla Bonita and ended with a man at the hotel playing Black or White on a zitha. Don't ask!
  • Foodwise, the day started with Cinammon Toast Crunch (never had them before, utterly delicious - americans, please send box loads now as not available in England. I will email you address :P) was punctuated with that value chocolate bar and ended up chatting to a lovely family over some barbecue beef. When we asked their son what music he liked and he said "Enter Shakiri", I misheard and said "ooo I like Shakira" before I could even stop myself :/

Part two coming soon! All holiday snaps here!

Posted by Paul 5:34 am 1 comments  



THE NYC FILES - Part Two

Hurrah! First full day of NYC adventure. Dressed in warm clothes, we patiently waited for the lift down to the lobby. And waited. And waited. As 2 of the 4 lifts were broken, they were in full demand and the man in front of us refused to get in anything resembling crowded. now, obv. I have the patience of a saint, so didn't push past him, but as the 3rd lift came and went, enough was enough and DazPushy and I bitchslapped his ass out of the way and began our day :)

Now I thought yesterday was cold! My nipples popped out so quickly when I walked out the door, that I had to check where DazPickle's fingers were ;) As we hurried to Starbucks, my warmblooded little fella (darren not the other little fella!!) was telling me I'd get used to the cold and he didn't need a scarf or hat. As we came out of starbucks with frozen snot in our noses, we bustled back to the hotel to get him a scarf and hat. It was lucky I tells ya that I was wearing my scarf wrapped round my face as I had a very smug told you so expression on my face! we decided to head towards rockafella plaza and enjoy the view from up there. Darren is not a heights man, but he was a brave little soldier and enjoyed the stunning views across NYC.

The NBC studio tour was ok, interesting to see the inner workings of tv! There was one dude on the tour who felt he knew the answers to all the questions so never gave the tour guide the opportunity to five their rehearsed answers. In retrospect, it may have soured the atmosphere a bit when after one buttinsky to many, I snapped " for gods sake no one was talking to you" but i ultimately feel they were glares of apology shooting my way. Thank heavens for the no weapons sign the guide kept pointing too...

Looking round Radio City Music Hall with a former Rockette was bloody bonza ripper. Doing those eye high kicks on an empty stage, looking at the costumes and designs and seeing the dining room where Vincent Minelli planted the seed of Liza in Judy's er .... well i'm sure they flirted there... was a great way too spend the afternoon in a gorgeously stunning art deco setting that positively crackled with theatrical history.

In the dusk of the early evening we did some more rooftop sightseeing from the top of the Empire State Building before heading home from our 11 hour day for pizza and snuggles. Marv...

Posted by Paul 11:58 pm 0 comments  



THE NYC FILES - Part one

After a delicious night of romp and relaxation in our posh upgraded room, it was time to get up and kill a couple of hours in our posh upgraded bathroom robes until we needed to leave for the airport. My attempts to seduce darren by trying to make the terry towling outfit look sexy by swinging the girdle around like a baton were hopeless. But i like to think i did my part in bringing sexy back! Anyway, i perservered and I like to think that any and all sexual favours subsequently provided were because of my hotness and not to "stop any more insane behaviour"...

And then it was off to Heathrow airport to check in and hang around for a couple of hours before we can sit around the gate for half an hour or so before we are allowed to board the plane and sit around waiting for takeoff. So in all this time, naturally the starbucks card was abused but i did get to listen to just jack's new album and some new songs i hadn't gotten around to checking out so it was all good.

the plane flight to nyc was actually ok. I read my book (The Road to Inconceivable - amazon search it, but it's only ok), a couple of Entertainment Weeklys, watched The Queen which was surprisingly touching and gorge and a much better than expected John Tucker Must Die (great soundtrack). I even managed to get some stuff down for my novel. Very productive.

Of course this being me, I had to be surrounded by freaks. Behind was an elderly gentleman whose middle aged son explained everything in annoyingly minute detail to him. Except plane etiquette as he kept stretching his leg up by my arm rest so his pongy foot was right near my face :( Once it may have touched my Jack & Jones top which clearly now i will have to boil. Grrr. And in front was seizure girl. She had her chair back which i don't begrudge at all, but she moved around so much it was like sitting infront of a washing machine on full spin. I was grateful when she nodded off and just the sound of her bulldozer snoring and pungent halitosis breath filled the air....

Arrived in NYC!! It was vair vair vair nippy noddles. I thought i would die from shock from the cold but rallied by thought of three starbucks right by hotel (which is near all theatres and one block from Times Square). V tired now so zzzzzzzzz.

Posted by Paul 12:11 am 1 comments