If you know me and my penchant for all things nerdy, then you’ll know going to comic conventions is the epitome of what I’d call heaven.
Going to New York is also my idea of heaven and my partner knows this all too well.
So imagine my sheer delight when he contacts me at work to tell me that he managed to score Friday and Saturday passes to New York Comic Con (held every year at the Javits Centre), myfirst ever convention outside of the UK! Well it gave us the incentive to return to our favourite city (as if I’d need a reason!) Mr Lee had been to NYCC a fair few times before, so luckily was able to fully prepare me for not only the size of the convention centre itself, but advise me how chock-a-block (apologies, I mean crowded) it could get and believe me, coming from conventions in the UK nothing can prepare you for the vastness of NYCC!
It was strange because the first thing I experienced wasn’t even at the convention centre itself; it was a few blocks away in another venue and I was awe struck. Mainly because the comic con practically takes over the city and I’ve never seen that happen with a convention before. In London, apart from the shopping bags that are a dead giveaway that you’ve been to comic con, for the most part it’s pretty contained. In New York City, the entire of New York City knows.
So my first taste of comic con in New York brought me to the main stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom, for a panel I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d ever get to witness.
SpongeBob Appreciation Day, a panel where the cast and creatives of SpongeBob Squarepants not only have a chinwag about how fantastic the show is but also do a live table read of one of the episodes.
Right there, in front of my face.
Ok dramatic, I didn’t quite do that… But I did cry upon leaving said main stage. Yes, 30 years old me cried because I got to see Tom Kenny (aka SpongeBob) perform the iconic chortle more than once and my 10 year old self was living a childhood dream. Things like that just don’t happen to people like me and that was only my first taste of what was to come, from a jam-packed two days of my nerdy dreamlike state.
Well I proceeded to cry another 2 times, didn’t I? This was over the course of our time at comic con, due to meeting people and attending panels that were making me pinch myself every two seconds, such as my childhood hero Sean Astin and the incomparable Rick Baker (I mean… That right there? GOALS… And that’s just to name a few!)
But aside from the guests, what amazed me about a convention that I suppose from the outset can be seen as someone’s worst nightmare if you have anxiety; it is insanely busy and there’s no real quiet spot to take a breather, the queue’s for the toilets are constant and the food can be very expensive.
But you know what? I have never felt so at home.
Honestly. There was this feeling of radiating joy from everyone I came into contact with. Everyone around me was extremely kind, polite and so happy to be in this place of utter happiness! I got to meet new people and connect with friends, such as my pal Andre who I’d not seen in a while because he lives so far away. Also, the amount of people who asked if I was going to cosplay whilst there… Now there’s a good reason why I didn’t do this, because THE COSPLAY’S ARE FLIPPING INSANE!! Are you kidding me? If I want to even contemplate cosplay somewhere such as NYCC I seriously need to up my sewing game and soonish! The level of creativity and detail to people’s costumes is quite simply put- something else; it’s on a whole other planet and I just thoroughly enjoyed marvelling (ahem) at people’s hard work. It was beautiful to witness what people had created in person.
I already know that Mr Lee and I will be returning to NYCC without a shadow of a doubt, and I’m already looking into it for next year.
Some people may say that Disneyland is the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, but I think it’s fair to say New York Comic Con might be mine.
I’ll be honest lovelies; I
really don’t care for summer.
From June until mid-September
is a time of year I simply don’t look forward to. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I
love the thought of staying out until late and yet it’s still light out, those
days someone suggests having a BBQ for dinner (which is always a resounding “UM
YES”) and days spent lounging in the park or wondering around central with
gelato. But I have this love/hate relationship with the HEAT. Put it this way
my dear readers, when I go on holiday my destination of choice is anywhere
that’s 25 degrees or less… But when the UK does decide it’s going to get hot
(which actually happens believe it or not. I’m staring outside right now and I
see the sunshine, it’s there!) I’m always horrifically unprepared. Why am I always unprepared?
This is why. Now I’m going to
give you a little insight into my wardrobe situation, (y’know, this is blog
number 11 m’dears and we’re all getting to know each other now!) So the
scenario is this… my summer clothes are abysmal!
Winter clothes dominate a solid 90% of my wardrobe. Now that’s bad isn’t it?
My “summer clothes” basically
conclude of 2 skirts, 2 dresses and a mere few tops… I’ve been well aware for a
number of years now that this has to change!
However I’ve been extremely lucky! I managed to win a prize (which never happens) with my absolute favourite online clothing store Joanie Clothing. If you’re listening to me ramble on wondering who on earth Joanie are? I shall explain my loves. Their tag line states “pretty clothes for nostalgic souls” – It’s feminine, chic but also fits my quirky personality. It was a brand I felt suited me perfectly and their clothes are extremely high quality. So you can imagine my excitement to discover I’d practically won a shopping spree, without the arduous task of leaving the house.
It was here I set myself the
challenge of actually buying summer
clothes and I can honestly say I had a difficult time pick and choosing, as I naturally
gravitate towards the long sleeves and those warm autumnal tones. It’s almost
like telling me I’m not allowed to buy anything with polka dots ever again…
It’s just not going to happen!
When I have bought summer
clothes in the past they tend to be dresses that I can just simply throw on,
with no effort needed. However these tend to be unflattering to my body shape
and nowhere near reflect who I am or my personal style. What I like to call convenience clothing! These specific
items are worn in the house and unfortunately that’s as far as they go. I just don’t
feel my best self when wearing these items of clothing in public, no matter how
comfortable they are. Do you have any clothes like that my dears? I’ll be
honest, I have a fair bit.
But these pieces I’ve listed throughout this blog 100% show to the world exactly who I am and are also super comfortable, which is a huge bonus. What I basically wanted is a wardrobe that excites me to wear it just as my autumn/winter collection does. A wardrobe that looks as though I’ve put hours of effort when in reality all I’ve done is throw on a fabulous dress and my trusty mustard loafers (which I’m obsessed with!)
You can see why I’ve had such
trouble putting this all together now, can’t you?!
Tell me your wardrobe woes my lovelies! Do you look forward to getting your summer looks together, or are you like me and try to live in your autumn wardrobe until you just can’t get away with it anymore?
I know that it’s
only been 2 weeks since I last posted, but in the world of me I swear it feels
a lot longer. As you may be able to guess from the title of this post, I have
firmly set foot back onto land and back from my Scandinavian adventure and my
first ever mother/daughter holiyey!
I’ve been rather excited to have this chinwag with you all since returning and I have so much to discuss. So as Julie Andrews once sang “Let’s start at the very beginning” (don’t worry I’m not going to copy and paste the entirety of Do Re Mi on here, I’ll just let you all get the song stuck inside your head of your own accord…)
Now as someone who recently disclosed with you all that I had a fear of boats and doing something on this sheer scale was a rather big deal for me (understatement of the century). I can hand on heart tell you all that I’m completely and utterly converted to the cruise life and may have already started looking at others I could venture on in the future (may I add that I did this search whilst still on board the cruise itself!)
So for lack of a better word, I bloomin’ loved it.
I’ll be honest I don’t think my mum was the only one who was shocked upon hearing how much I enjoyed the entire experience, and no one was more surprised most than me!
The cruise liner we
sailed with was Princess Cruises, on the Sapphire Princess ship. Now this meant
absolutely nothing to me; as I didn’t know who was neither good nor bad! But
this decision was made due to the fact my parents had sailed with them a few
times before and has had many a wonderful experience with them, and thought
given their track record it wouldn’t be a bad place to start!
Lovelies if you’ve never been on a cruise before however it’s something that has crossed your mind from time to time, then I say absolutely do it!! But for those who really aren’t keen on the whole idea, I wouldn’t say that it’s a must do or tell you that “you’d be missing out if you didn’t”. However, there’s a lot I’ve gained from having this wonderful experience and also things I’ve learned about myself.
Cruises are not just for people who have retired – Unfortunately this is a very common misconception and I’ll be honest, when my parents booked their first cruise I was shocked as this is something I thought to be true as well. However, given the range on cruises you can now book and the vast choice of cruise liners you’ll most likely see every holidaymaker going!
You can absolutely go on a cruise as a solo traveller and look fabulous doing it! – I saw so many wonderful people on our specific trip that were solo travellers. There’s so much to do on and off the ship and everyone (especially the staff) is extraordinary you will always feel like you’re being looked after.
There’s a facebook group for that – If you’re going on your 1st
or 15th cruise with your partner/friend/wonderful self, join a
facebook group for your specific cruise line! Whether it’s a question about
what’s onboard, the excursions on offer or even how much of which currency to
take! Everyone will offer their own
experiences to help you on your way and for certain things my mum and I found
this very handy!
You don’t have to dress up to the nines – Again, a very common misconception! The formal nights are a great way to get dressed up and take the opportunity to snap some lovely photos. If you’re like me you’ll relish an opportunity like this, as apart from weddings or the occasional drag show in London I don’t get to do it very often! But you don’t have too if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable or it’s just simply not your thing! Don’t worry, there are still many people that don’t. But if it is your thing, however you don’t know what to wear and dread the thought of bling and sequins (very much like yours truly); A simple cocktail/maxi dress and some flats will do. (I’ll go into further detail about the formal nights soon!)
Activity time! – There’s so much to do on-board the Princess cruises and you get your daily patter delivered the day beforehand of all the things scheduled. I found this becomes particularly handy on the days at sea! However, just because it’s all there don’t feel obliged to take part! It’s one of the things that actually made me feel a little nervous. That notion of “do you have to join in?” You absolutely don’t. But watching a movie outside on the cinema screen, lounging with a coffee and cake (which my mum and I did many times over) or taking in a boogie in the ships nightclub are things I did do on-board!
So many places in the world, so little time! – Cruises are the greatest way to see parts of the world, by giving you a taster. What I mean by this is, say like me you wanted to visit Scandinavia… But you simply don’t know where to start?! Do you travel to the main cities or go further out to the countryside? This is where a cruise is a fantastic idea, as (depending on the cruise you opt for) it allows you to explore places you maybe never would have ventured to had it not been on the itinerary!
Those immortal lines “I don’t get motion sickness, as I’m great on roller coasters” – ships are not roller coasters kids. They can be extremely rocky and this can last for hours. It is true, I love roller coasters and have never really suffered with motion sickness. However this is a completely different sensation. Heed my advice and take sea sickness pills with you, no matter how strong you think your stomach is! However if you’re like me and for reasons can’t take sea sickness tablets, those adult travel bands (y’know the ones that sit on the pressure points on your wrist?) are amazing and certainly do the trick!
THE FOOD – It’s inclusive, enjoy it and feel no
I well and truly missed the boat here – Due to unfortunate circumstances (aka the darn weather, curse you Storm Hannah), we had to miss our stop to Brugge and stay at sea for an extra day; this would ensure our safety and help us arrive into Copenhagen on time. Now I’m going to put this down to my sheer lack of knowledge about going on a cruise… But I didn’t know that ‘missing a port’ was a thing. It’s a bummer!! So much so that the idea of spending another day at sea sent me into a panic attack… My first in a couple of months! However thanks to my amazing mum, she got me back on track and helped me deal with it pretty quickly. I digress! If this ever happens (the missed port scenario, that is) make sure beforehand you have holiday insurance with specific cruise cover, as you may be able to claim something back!
Lost at sea? – Obviously it goes without saying but you won’t have phone signal on board the ship (shock horror!) Whatever you do, do NOT go and pay the ridiculous Wi-Fi prices they have on-board. I forbid you all to do so, as it’s really not necessary. Most cruise liners (like Princess) will have a super easy to use app (free of charge might I add) that you can use on the ship to contact others you’re on holiday with. Huzzah! Then if you’d like to contact loved ones back in the UK, wait until you land at a port! Being at sea and having no signal or social media was extremely liberating. It put me at ease to not see everyone attached to their phones and instead taking the time to meet new people; and living in the moment.
RELAX – The first thing I told my partner once we’d landed back home was how, for the first time I went from 90 mph to 5 mph. His response? “Good, because you never ever relax” and he’s absolutely 100% correct. My usual idea of a relaxing holiday is crammed full of sightseeing, walking, wandering and going full-out. When you’re at sea… You’re entire mentality has to change. I didn’t realise how quick I’d fall into a state of relaxation. Honestly? It took me less than a day. As someone who’s past year or so has been a never-ending stream of overthinking, to the point of either not leaving the house or a series of panic attacks. This has been a triumph and a half!
As my adventure away draws closer I’m beginning to think
about what lies ahead at the places I’m about to visit! The excitement is
rather overwhelming and slowly bits and pieces are finally coming together.
So, I’ve mentioned previously that on the cruise I’ll be
heading to parts of Scandinavia- but to expand (and so you can fully understand
my excitement) I’m visiting Brugge, Copenhagen, Skagen and Oslo. I know, right?
This is my first taster of what Scandinavia has to offer and I already know
that in the future I’ll be planning to head back to some of these places, along
with some new ones! This is an area of the world I’ve dreamt about visiting for
so long and can’t wait to finally see it for myself. To hone in on one of the major
reasons I can’t wait lets discuss one of the greatest things known to man.
I am a MASSIVE foodie (which is rather hilarious coming from who used to be the pickiest eater. No, I’m not kidding. As I child I was the fussiest eater you ever did meet), and it’s pretty much the main reason I keep visiting Paris (I’ve been 3 times now… Not counting 2 school trips).
There’s just something spectacular about eating local cuisine;
whether it’s street food from a food truck, a sit down meal, food on the go
(like a good pastry) or eating 3 desserts in one day just so I can try them
all… Definitely haven’t done that (I’ve definitely done that).
My favourite meal in the entire world (sorry to betray you beloved pizza) is boeuf bourguignon (see tasty photograph to the left). It’s like a rich beef stew served with boiled potatoes and by god is it incredible! It’s one of those meals that is both extremely hearty and comforting, but also indulgent. Basically it’s just utter perfection. Now I’ll freely admit, I’m stubborn. So stubborn in fact that I waited years to try this dish, as I refused to try it at any of the restaurants in the UK. But I’m so glad I did as it was worth the wait and I eat it every time I visit Paris! However, I’m afraid to say I did the same thing with my now favourite desserts, Crème Brulee and Mille-Feauille. But remember good foods come to those that wait! That’s the saying right?
Where was I again? Apologies lovelies, my tummy just rumbled…
So basically, the hunt for the best Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwich), Rød Pølse (Danish hotdog) and Frikadellar (Danish meatballs) is on!! Not forgetting my sweet tooth (or should that be sweet teeth?) I’ll also be scouting out some delicious Belgian chocolate waffles and a Norwegian bakery in the hopes I can try KrumKake (honestly, google this delight… It sounds amazing!)
Have you ever ventured to this part of the world and know of fantastical foods that I simply have to try? Please contact me through here or Instagram, as I’d love to hear your thoughts!