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Feb. 7th, 2008

same thing

ephant

Naked Photo

So here's low-res version of the Naked Photo.

Around 1000 people, apparently. Gosh!
sunglasses

ephant

Cruisin'

(I'm back in Melbourne now, got back the day before yesterday. I think I'll do one more post after this one to get you all up to date)

Did I mention that the cruise was awesome? It was totally awesome.

I felt much better when I woke up after my big sleep the first evening. It was very easy to sleep on the boat - we had a cabin without a window which meant it was very dark and the boat rocked in a very relaxing way (as well as, you know, rocking har har har).

In the morning it was time for the Naked Photo. For the naked photo everyone (well everyone who wants to be photographed naked) goes up on the deck in their bathrobes. Then after a countdown everyone disrobes and they take a photo. There were... lots of people.

The food on the cruise wasn't entirely awful. The dining room didn't appear to have much food that I wanted to eat but there was a buffet on pretty much all of the time and there were chickpeas. Yumyum.
I had sushi one night which wasn't very exciting but there was some amusing Chinglish to be had on the chopstick packet...

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Welcome to Chinese Restaurant.
Please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history. and cultural


I gave J his Christmas present which was a "sudoku cube". It was shaped like a rubiks cube but had numbers on it instead of colours. He solved it while we were at a Brothers Creeggan concert. Sigh. I enjoyed The Brothers Creeggan much more than I thought I would - I had listened to some of their music and wasn't super impressed; I think they are better live.

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There were two headline shows for BNL and we had tickets to the second one. I think that was a better deal because the second show was much better. I was able to watch the first show on TV in the cabin as it was simulcast there. It was very cool but not as cool as our show.

The cruise had two port stops. The first was at Grand Cayman. J and I slept in a lot which meant that we didn't have too much time there. We had to get a little boat thing to go to the island and we wandered around looking at the same souveniers over and over again. I didn't buy any. But then there was this woman selling home made jam and I bought some for the boyfriend as they were tropical fruit jammy things and he likes tropical fruit type things.

I think I coped rather well with strange people coming into my room and making my bed and moving my things. I wasn't sure that I would but it was ok. I didn't enjoy it especially when they mixed up our things. Sometimes they made weird towel things.

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Those are my sunglasses. I ended up losing my sunglasses one night. I think it was Jamaica day. Man that day sucked.

I was a bit seasick one night. I don't remember which night it was. With the seasickness and the collapsing in bed one night I missed quite a few bands. I wish I had have been able to see more of Boothby Graffoe because he was made of win. I hadn't really heard of many of the bands (well I had heard of Harvey Danger but didn't remember that they were them) but enjoyed most of them.

Barenaked Ladies of course were completely awesome in the most awesome of ways.
Guster are a band I hadn't heard that cabin mates K and E are very into. I really liked them and I will have to try and find out if their CDs are sold here.
Harvey Danger I got to see once and I really enjoyed. They described "Flagpole Sitta" as their 'One Week'.
The Vanity Project (BNL Steve's side project) were about as awesome as I thought they would be. Which is pretty amazingly awesome.
As I mentioned The Brothers Creegan (Jim & Andy Creeggan + others, Jim is a current BNL, Andy is an ex-BNL) were more enjoyable than I thought they'd be.
Howie Beck was very enjoyable once other people joined him on stage - his solo performance wasn't that inspiring but with the band it was very cool.
I saw a little bit of Great Big Sea and Gaelic Storm. Neither of them made me want to see more of their stuff although I enjoyed what I heard of Great Big Sea. Gaelic Storm seemed a bit too... I don't know, fake I guess. I couldn't really get into a whole lot of American kids singing about how great it is to be Irish even if the music was very catchy and had violin and bagpipes and clapping and that kind of niftiness. I ended up sneaking out to catch some of Boothby Graffoe instead. (Then I had to sneak out again to go and see Barenaked Ladies

I also went to Jamaica which was even less fun than Grand Cayman. We were bullied by taxi drivers and shop assistants and it was rainy and muggy. I did not have a good time at all. Oh that was the day I was seasick too THAT DAY REALLY SUCKED (but I wasn't seasick until I got back on the boat). I didn't throw up or anything I just felt queasy because the rain made the sea a bit rougher and stuff. I just went to bed.

On the final night of the cruise was the Barenaked Ladies show I went to see. I ended up having a pretty good seat, four rows from the front, steve-side. I was worried that the people in front of me would be too tall but it turned out that I had an excellent view.

I really enjoyed the show. They played a good mix of songs. I didn't take any photos during the show because I was too busy being completely overwhelmed by the awesome.
They did a real encore. like, bands these days plan their encores which is somewhat lame. Guster even said "we're going to do two more songs and then take an encore" LAME. BNL did their fake planned encore and came back on stage for Call & Answer and If I Had $1,000,000. Then they went offstage and the audience didn't go away when the lights came on. The techs were taking away the mics and stuff but we all stood there clapping and cheering until the techs came back and set everything up again and the guys came back on stage. WIN!

Awesome awesome awesome.

I had bought a "BNL on a stick" wristband which entitled me to a usb-stick with a recording of the show on it. We had to wait around because the unexpected things the band did had meant they had to do stuff before they could print the sticks. heehee. As we were sitting around a guy with a video camera asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed. I did an interview and talked about coming all the way from Australia and how it was all worth it and everything :D Everyone around me who listened was all "oh my gosh she came all the way from Australia!" heehee. I kind of liked being interesting in that way. On the cruise I wasn't ever at a loss for things to talk about because just being Australian was interesting enough for most people to want to hear me talk forever about anything. Or maybe I just wanted to talk forever about anything and imagined that people were interested hehe. The best thing was that I got to talk about me. me me me. Now that I'm back in the country I have to learn how to be less conversationally selfish, I suppose.

After the Cruise I had a couple of days in Miami. K and E hung out with us on disembarkation day - we drove around trying to find me a new ipod. Had I not had four aeroplanes to fly home on I may not have bought a new one so quickly but the trip home would have been a nightmare without music, I ended up buying an ipod classic as it wasn't too much more expensive to buy one of those rather than a new Nano. It's very... big. also shiny :)

Some more photos...

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One night J was very Aussie and drank the cheapest beer available. I had a sip, it wasn't as awful as I thought it would be. The can was very big.

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My moment of fame. I managed to get a photo with Jim Creeggan! He was very sweet :$
One day someone asked me who my favourite BNL member was. I said I couldn't decide but that it probably wasn't Kevin (I really like Kevin, Kevin is fabulously talented and everything... but he's just not in the running as my favourite member).
"So who is it between?" they asked me
I said it might have to be between all the rest
"Even Jim?" he exclaimed.
"He's tall and skinny," I explained "I like tall skinny guys..."
:$

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These chocolates look like little packets of butter yes/no?

Feb. 2nd, 2008

sunglasses

ephant

and then I was THERE!

I failed at sleeping in the hotel in LA (see last post, golly that seems like a very long time ago...) and ended up heading back to the Airport pretty early. Due to the time I got there going through security was very quick indeed and I sat listening to my ipod in the airport for ages...

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Unfortunately I must have put my ipod down somewhere because I haven't seen poor nanophant since then :( :( WOE

My flight to Washington DC (Dulles) was not cancelled. I enquired after my luggage when I got there but the woman at the terminal could only tell me that she *thought* that my bag had gone to Denver. This was not good because I wasn't in Denver. I was in Dulles. I did not want my luggage to be in Denver as she told me that the next flight from Denver to Miami would reach Miami at 4.25 that afternoon (it was sometime on Sunday morning by this point... Cruise boarding was 1pm-4pm that day). I sensibly decided not to worry about it and to enquire again when I got to Miami.

The flight to Miami was less than 3 hours which was lovely. I also actually slept for a bit of it (but not very much) which made me feel very tired when I woke up.

I got to Miami and there was a J waiting for me. I was very pleased to see a familiar face. We went down to the baggage pickup thing and then we were accosted by an E and a K. I was meeting them for the first time and they both appeared to be lovely and turned out to be excellent upon further aquaintance.

Even better was that my luggage was there and had followed me to Washington after all. HOORAY!
I was too tired for it all to seem real at that point. I was in a car with someone I'd only just met in a foreign country and had not had enough sleep. I also had a sore throat and had lost my voice.

We headed down to the port and found our boat.


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They drive on the other side of the road in America. The steering wheel is on the other side which made it look like K was driving the car using PSYCHIC POWERS.


Once we got the port and parked our car and walked to the ship there were a lot of people getting on and there were lots of lines. Did I mention I was pretty out of it? I really was. We walked into the ...terminal I guess... and walked up some stairs.

Steven Page was at the top of the stairs.

He had a beard. But it was Steve Page underneath the beard. At that point I knew that it was all worth it.

"I've come a really long way," I stammered out as I shook his hand. I SHOOK HIS HAND. I SHOOK THE HAND OF STEVEN PAGE CONNECTED TO THE REST OF STEVEN PAGE (and a beard).

I also shook Tyler Stewart's hand and met Jim Creeggan as we were in the next queue. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!

I did not get to meet Ed or Kevin, somehow it is difficult to be too disappointed about that :D

After we got on the boat I had some lunch. It was the afternoon by that point and I hadn't eaten since the pizza in LA which was a long time before. Travelling makes eating difficult.

As the boat left BNL played on the Deck. I didn't get up there until a bit later than hundreds of fans who are even more obsessed with me so I didn't get a very good spot. I had mislaid J, E and K by that point. I then spotted J and K and went to hang out with them but unfortunately they had an even worse spot than I had. It was still completely amazing and I could see bits of Jim Creeggan as he is very tall. They were fantastic even though I couldn't see them. I didn't see any other bands that night as when we got back to our Cabin I collapsed on the bed and slept for a really long time. It was really good!

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I'm not in the photo because I was taking the picture but these are my cabin mates. J (left, a friend from melbourne), E (centre, a friend from the intarwebs. The lovely woman who invited a strange internet person to share her cabin), K (right, a friend of E's).

(the cruise is now over, I'm in a hotel in Miami... I am posting in chunks as it's too much to do all at once... there will be more later. You never know what's going to happen on the cruiseah)

Some more photos for good measure...

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(More photos on my flickr! (including some I haven't blogged about yet... ohh spoilers!))

Jan. 26th, 2008

sunglasses

ephant

Part way there...

I slept very poorly last night (er... the night before last? last time I slept in a bed... Friday night before a very very long Saturday that hasn't ended yet... that one). I was too excited and scared. I double checked all of my stuff and was finally ready to leave.

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I like my new Sunglasses. They are weird looking and make me pull stupid faces.


At 9am my Parents came to pick me up. We drove to a supermarket to pick up a couple of last minute things which shall remain secret until they are given as gifts. Then we went to the airport. Since I had breakfast at uh, 5.30am I was quite hungry by the time we got to the airport. I checked my baggage and then Stepdad bought me a sandwich and a drink.

Eventually it was time to say goodbye and I had to proceed on my own. I found the right place to wait and sat talking to an American girl who was heading back to the US. and Waited. and Waited. and Waited. It turned out they had to perform maintenance on the plane and we couldn't take off :/

We ended up leaving around an hour late. I sat in a Window seat on the way to Sydney. I had photos of out the window but I haven't uploaded them yet. I like the plane trip to Sydney - I think it is the perfect distance to have interesting clouds to look at and not get boring enough that you have to get out a book.

We were only 45 minutes late when we left Sydney for LA and when we arrived in LA we were on time. YAY.

The flight over was horrible. I was too tired to read and yet I couldn't sleep. I may have dozed off a couple of times but considering how little I slept the night before it was highly unsatisfactory.

The food was also terrible. I know it's airline food and it's supposed to be terrible. I was sure that I ordered Vegetarian but I think I must have ordered Vegan because they gave me different stuff to another Special Food person sitting near me. You'd think that Vegan would suit me better than Vegetarian due to the fact that I generally dislike eating a lot of dairy foods but... I'd rather eat cheese than have no protein. My blood sugar is easily unbalanced and if I don't get plenty to eat regularly I get very cranky indeed. Salad is insufficient :( :(

Thus when I disembarked at LAX I was very very tired and very very hungry and very very cranky. I was also stressed about missing my next flight as we arrived in LA at about 9.45am and my next flight was scheduled to board at 10.45. Everything went pretty smoothly actually and I walked out of Customs at about 10.45 having had my photo taken and questions asked and been stamped and found my bag and pushed it around and rechecked my bag...

Then my flight (The one boarding at 10.45) was cancelled. I was then very stressed out and didn't know what to do and felt more stressed and asked people for help and stood in a line for three quarters of an hour to be told that they could get me to Miami by 1pm Tomorrow afternoon (Miami time). I was supposed to arrive at 9.15pm (Miami time) tonight. I am also supposed to board my cruise ship at 1pm tomorrow. I mentioned that to the person fixing my flights and she managed to set me up so that I arrive in Maimi at 11am. Then she had to ask me what my luggage looked like so that they could find it and make sure it gets on the right plane. EEP.

All of the American people I have met so far have been so kind. I was so stressed out and someone standing behind me in the line said hello to me and asked me how my day was going. I burst into tears and said that it wasn't going well and that I wasn't dealing with it well because I hadn't eaten or slept properly in a really long time. then his wife offered me a hug and an apple and a granola bar and they were very re-assuring and kind to me which made me feel a lot better.

Cruise Buddies were supposed to meet me at the airport tonight. Some internet detectiving turned up Cruise Buddy E's parents phone number who passed a message on to her. I've now spoken to her on the phone so she knows which plane I'll really be on. J does not and he does not have his phone while he is in the US which means that I can't really do anything but e-mail him. I have done so and I hope that he checks his e-mail before he tries to pick me up from the airport. WA.

The Airline sent me off to a hotel to wait as I said I wanted to have a sleep. As it turns out I haven't actually been able to sleep but I did have a shower and a lie down. I then went and had some food as in my hysterical freaking out about being stuck in Los Angeles for 13 hours I had completely forgotten about Lunch (which wasn't very clever). I ate pizza which tasted like it had some kind of pig meat on it which wasn't on the menu or at all detectable texture wise (it was just a flavour - perhaps it was in the sauce) but I was so absolutely starving that I ate it anyway.

I am so tired :/
Maybe I will try sleeping again now.

Jan. 19th, 2008

sunglasses

ephant

Making a list

I'm leaving on the 26th which is one week from today.



I'm writing a list of things to pack. Advice appreciated...

Jan. 13th, 2008

sunglasses

ephant

Preparation & countdown

Hello reader, and welcome to my travel blog!

On 26th January I will leave the country for the first time. I'm excited. Well, excited and scared.
I will be cruising with my favouritest ever band Barenaked Ladies on Ships & Dip III!

As it is my birthday tomorrow I have today received a birthday present from my parents. Lookit!

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and for scale... (not because I am at all strange...)
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Now I can start packing! In fact I have already started packing! As one of the theme nights on the cruise is 'green dress' I have borrowed a lovely green dress from sister-J. I also have packed a christmas present for cruise-buddy-J as he left for overseas-land before Christmas and I didn't get to give him his present before he left.

Less than two weeks to go now.... count down to 20080126!