A Different kind of Journey 

After the effects of being in an unhealthy relationship, the grief of Mom, I turned to food. A lot. And not good food, take aways, pizzas, and my all time vice-chocolate. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you will have read about my experience in the boot camp in Ibiza. A quick-fix, which didn’t last very long once I came back to the real world! It got to the point where I felt like I tried everything. I’m an intelligent human being, I KNOW I should eat healthy foods and exercise more, that’s just common sense! But actually following those general rules when your emotions are up and down like a yo-yo is hard when you have no self control! 

So I employed a Personal Trainer. 

I put it off for so long because I genuinely thought I could do it by myself. 

Getting help was one of the best things I’ve done this year. I actually have a plan I can stick to, I’m accountable to someone, and I’m seeing results, albeit slowly, but I feel like the excess weight will actually stay off with this lifestyle change.
And that’s the key to all this, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice. 


Moving to London has also been challenging during this transition. Socialising in London calls for a lot of drinking. I’ve been called boring several times, and received a lot of weird stares when I’m offered a drink and I refuse. 

All this behaviour has made me realise I’m actually lucky as I don’t need alcohol to enjoy my night. I still talk to everyone, I still dance like no one is watching, and I don’t have the hangover or crave bad carbs the next day! 
So once I get to a point I’m happy with, I may even share my before and after pix. So watch this space…
https://www.gbfitness.com

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London!

Well, my feet haven’t touched the ground in the last few weeks. An opportunity came up to live with some friends in London and I took it! 

Since I’ve arrived I’ve been to several house parties, a comedy night, a cocktail event in Spitalfields market, and a movie premier where I met the actor who played Flash Gordon. All in the space of a week! 








And there’s plenty more where that came from. Only thing is, I’m not a big drinker, never have been, and I don’t have work yet. So the pressure of drinking expensive alcoholic drinks at every.single.social event is quite brutal. 

Luckily there is plenty to do which doesn’t involve drinking, or spending a lot of money!

I found a free art class where I started learning how to draw comic book characters, something I’ve never tried properly before, and also had a MMA taster which I enjoyed! Being away from the sea sucks but there’s plenty of parks to have a walk through to pretend you’re in the countryside.
So my current task is to find a job I love. Maybe a tough one but life is way too short to spend it doing something I don’t love. I’ve had enough of those jobs so far! I may sound smug, but that’s one thing grief has taught me, life CAN be snatched away at any point so why be miserable in life? 

Final day

The last thing I really wanted to visit was the American Museum of Natural History.


Not only for the fact they used this building as the inspiration for the set of ‘Night at the Museum’, but because dinosaurs are awesome!


Greeted by this bad boy as soon as you walk into the lobby.


Now, it gives you admission prices but then also tells you it’s a donation to help keep the museum running. So technically you could probably get in on a child ticket, as no one actually checked my ticket the whole time I was there!
I learned all about microbes, the Big Bang (the fact that the universe is infinite always blows my mind so I usually avoid the topic!) and of course…dinosaurs! 


Big Bang theatre, inside, a short film narrated by Liam Neeson. 



Rexy!




Look how happy this guy’s skull is! 







Life size blue whale hanging from the ceiling in the marine quarter.
I could have probably spent the whole day in here, but I was on a mission to see the Bethesda Fountain (as featured in ‘Enchanted’ and ‘Friends with Benefits’).
The walk through Central Park to get to the fountain took me over the row bridge.





Enjoyed watching people attempt to row boats on the lake, felt eyes on me and noticed some snapping turtles surfacing.



Final stop of the day took me to Big Daddy’s, a diner boasting the best milkshakes in New York.


It was good. 

And so ends an incredible week in a destination I’ve longed to visit since I can remember. 

Tower, Ghostbusters, John Travolta

 
Before I came to New York I was all about getting to the top of the Empire State Building. Once you start wandering around and see the highest building is the One World Trade Centre building and is also cheaper to go up…Empire what?


Up by there! 

The Americans like to make a little song and dance about the fabrication of this beast, with videos projected onto the walls as you’re corralled through the hallways, of construction workers on the verge of tears explaining how many ethnic background came together to build it (bet you there wasn’t any Welsh!) and even making the bold statement that it’s probably the most important building in America…I’m sure a few people may have different opinions.







Ghostbusters tour time! The firehouse that they used as their headquarters was under construction and covered in scaffolding which was a shame.




Luckily, to mark the building some Ghostbusters symbols have been painted onto the sidewalk.
We had heard of an American diner where the staff are all aspiring actors and actresses and they burst into song while serving…this I had to see.


Ellen’s Stardust Diner. You have to queue under a bubble machine but it’s definitely worth the experience if you like musicals, Disney songs and pop songs.



All musical’d out ready to find the next ghostbusters landmark-the apartment building that Dana and Louis reside in when they become possessed.



To finish the last full New York day, there was a screening of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as part of the Central Park Film Festival, the theme, films shot here in New York. 


An amazing way to end the day.

And amazing last night in New York.

Brooklyn, shopping, sight seeing, pub.

Brooklyn felt more ‘New York’ to me, busier, ruder, and grittier.
I dragged everyone to see the building where ‘Brooklyn 99’ TV show is filmed from the outside. It was 27 degrees.

I was happy now. 

Onward to Brooklyn Bridge! Through Wall Street.



Got a bit caught up with the eclipse crowd. 



We stopped to try and see the eclipse for ourselves, and I indulged in food out of a van. If it’s good enough for the New Yorkers…


Burrito. My favourite. 


Obviously can’t see the eclipse in the photo, but it’s there. 




Shopping happened. I’m not a fan myself, and there’s nothing interesting to take photos of. So I got a milkshake from a little chocolate shop.



Back to some sight seeing. Empire State was up next! 




New York public library next, I geeked out a little here as the film ‘Ghostbusters’ used this building!



Behind the library, in Bryant Park, an outdoor film screening was taking place. I had wanted to do one of these, until I saw the crowd at this one! 


Back through Times Square.




Peter had to take a pic of his favourite eatery…


And then we found Gray’s Papaya, as featured in ‘Fools Rush In’. It’s cheap and good for New York. $2.50 for a hot dog. 



That’s what over ten miles of walking around New York looks like. 

A pretty, sh***y city

Firstly, apologies for the radio silence, took some time to chill out and get used to being back home.
Also, to me, the whole point of writing and publishing it is that there is something interesting to actually write about. Me lounging around in a hammock soaking up the limited UK sunshine does not make for a riveting read! 

 

That’s not to say I did absolutely nothing, there’s been a few summer fayres and events, like the Natural Living Expo, held in the National Botanical Gardens of Wales. 
The venue always worth a visit, even in the Welsh weather. 

I conquered the hay maze! Also received an unusual back massage whilst laying on my back. I was in bits the next day, in a good way.
The whole event consists of plenty of stalls, all centred around natural living and health, mental and physical. All put together by the Old Mill foundation.
A more local event was the Gower Chilli festival. Celebrating the many ways you could possible add chilli to anything, I like chilli but draw the line at it being in cake, beer or gin. But that’s just me! 





My favourite event of the ‘summer’ in Swansea so far has been the outdoor screening of ‘Twin Town’. A movie set and filmed in Swansea. Everyone who was of age at the time it was released knows the words off by heart, and after 20 years the city celebrated its anniversary by having a movie screen placed in Singleton park, a band playing songs featured in the film, and even the Welsh Male Voice Choir as a grand finale.

Goosebumps.





http://www.natural-living-expo.co.uk/

http://gowerchillis.com/

https://cinemaandco.yapsody.com/

North Island – Wellington

 
I can’t call it jet lag as we haven’t flown, but 4 weeks of camping seems to have knocked us for six!
We basically ate Wellington, we had burgers, Mexican, Japanese, aaaannd ice cream. There was no money saving happening here! 






The only other buildings we set foot in was the library (I have a thing for libraries, plus it had free wifi and it’s a nice place to chill out) and the museum.














The walkways by the marina were pretty interesting with sculptures and art.







We spent three nights in Wellington, then moved on up the west coast to Hawera.