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Some Like Wine and Some Like Hops

But what I really love is my scotch
Its the power, the power of positive drinking…

Intercontinental Pub Crawl 2006 Hits the UK
London Leg err…. Milton Keynes Leg.

It doesn’t have quite the same ring to the title or evoke the images of finding hidden gems down foggy alleyways, but damn it we made it happen.

At 10something AM my husband (henceforce known as Lee, and sometimes as dickhead)and I set off for the Big Smoke. We arrived at the train station already pissed (off not up) because the cab driver dropped us at the bus station. How dare he make us walk across a little parkette? Didn’t he know what we were in for that day?

Off ot the Big Smoke

Apparently he did. When we walked into the train station we were excited at the relative emptiness. No fighting for a cash machine or waiting for incoherent chavs and chavettes to fight over 20p and their mother’s honour before we could buy a ticket. And then… and then… this little bundle of a lady comes over and asks if she can help us. Jumping right in our way so we had no option but to acknowledge her. “No thanks, we’re just going to buy a train ticket”.

That’s when we heard… “there are no trains leaving here today or tomorrow. You can take a bus replacement service bladdy bladdy effing blah”

What were we going to do? The travel time would have been 3 hours each end and we would have had to leave London early to catch the last coach back to the MK. Would we be able to handle a 3 hour journey if we were that pissed? Who said I would really be able to walk or to wake up to get off of the coach!? But what about the people. Not that there were many, but you know what they say Quality over Quantity. How could we let them down? We’d already texted to say we were on our way. Never mind the fact that I had taken on the task and was determined that I was going to do this damned leg of the Pub Crawl, even if I had never met nor seen the people organising it. I couldn’t let these strangers down could I?

I had to make a decision and quickly.

We asked if there was a discount for the disruption of the service and they said no. Well “Screw you, Buddies!” I do not take a coach for train prices! Are you out of your flipping mind?!

So we cancelled. We texted the masses (or the few anyway) and let them know what was going on. We were going to do the crawl ourselves, in Milton Keynes. And by golly, that is what we did!!

The Face of Rejection

So with our Replacement Service leaflet in hand in case we changed our minds half way through and wanted to make the trek to London, we walked to our first stop of the day. We needed breakfast to help us make it through the day and as it was pre-legal drinking time this would help kill a minute or two. Never you mind though! We arrived at Weatherspoons on Midsummer to see that there were people already downing alcoholic beverages. PERFECT! We grabbed a table and then hit up the bartender for an order of breakfasts and booze. I thought a nice super strong pint of cider would start the day off nicely. Like apple juice with a bite. However it tasted like the smell of cheese, but it did the job!

Ahh Bevvies

and brekkie

After we had prepared ourselves for the day, we decided to dash across the parking lot in the pissing rain to Chiquitos. A little Spanish influence before noon cannot be a bad thing. That is unless the place is closed. Damn you, Faux Tex Mex Fools! We didn’t need your crappy drinks anyway!

So we crossed the street. Thought we’d hit Crawler’s Heaven when we reached Hundred Secklow, a building with three bars connected to each other. We waltzed into the first one, Lloyds No.1 Hundred Secklow. Let’s be honest, we ran into it because it was now chucking down the rain on us. We decided that after the heavy start, we’d change to Corona to settle our tummies down a bit. It worked and we stuck with this theme for the rest of the day.

Here is Lee showing how hardcore he is. Or just really being happy to be out of the rain and to be holding onto some girly goodness in a bottle.

Double Fisted before NOON

Just to show that I really was there…. and to help you see the progression of our day. You will notice my hair begins down, then reaches a single ponytail and then makes it into pig tails. Not sure when, where or why, but it did.

US!

After Lloyds we decided to pop in next door to All Bar One. We had received special mention for find the pub with the best name on it when I set out the list for London, so we didn’t want to let our people down. The owners however had a different outlook and were not set to open before 12:30, no matter how wet or polite we were. We took a photo anyway.

All Bar Us

From there we tried Rodeo Bar next door. There wasn’t even the slightest hint of an open door and there were not any people inside to harass. It looked like our day was going from shit to shit. We went inside the next building to see if there were any bars hidden in there. We even tried to find one in a fitness centre. No luck. So we hightailed it to the shopping centre for a Break The Seal Stop and then proceeded to walk up to the Theatre District. We knew we would be in luck there.

First stop Hog’s Head. Note the relief on Lee’s face to be reunited with his alcohol.

Ahh Relief

Where I look like I am just getting down to business and doing my duty with some really bad posture.

Hog's Head Honey

There were some dodgy characters trickling in so we decided not to make this stop a long one. We shot out of there across the way to TGI Fridays. The Coronas were considerably more expensive here. £3 a bottle!? WTF!!!! But we enjoyed ourselves none the less.

Peek A Boo

Lee got his rocks off…

CrotchTrooper

After a few there we decided for a less “classy” or maybe a less “family” type place and went to yet another Lloyds No. 1.

This time there was this kinda outdoor but not really section where you sat in a covered bit with loads of skylights. But as there was no one there and I was having problems not laughing randomly, we sat out there. All was going well until this weird looking couple joined up and I attempted to let out a discreet burp which rattled the joint. High domed ceilings + burps do not an echoless sound make. After nearly peeing my pants and doing my best to make Lee take the blame, which he was refusing to do, we downed the drinks and dashed on out of there.

Pure  Love

We went along to Yates where we gave in to some Fruit Machine itches that needed scratching. I won a load of coins and then I set off to the toilet and Lee proceeded to lose the coins. We’ll the ones that I hadn’t stuck in my pocket anyway. There only exists one photo of this stop even though it was a rather lengthy one.

Yates

After Yates we left for the wonderfully skanky world of the Rat and Parrot. This brief stop provided loads of entertainment as it was where I found that vending machines in England do not only sell breath mints and tampons, and Lee fell over backwards after tripping on the karaoke stage.

Guess Where!

As you may be able to tell by the sozzled expression on Lee’s face. At this point vision was blurring but our passion was burning. We were going to see this through to the end. In fact Lee was going on and on about a Pub Crawl having to have at least 15 to 20 stops on it to be authentic, and me wondering if he wanted me to a) make these extra pubs appear from my arse or b) to die of alcohol poisoning.

We left the Theatre District at this time for the MegaWonderland that is Xscape. First stop, Moon Under Water. This was when we came to realise that we were pushing the threshold of drunkeness. The line where Lee turns from Happy Drunk into Dickhead. And let’s be honest, I do not put up with Dickhead when I am sober, never mind when I’ve been consuming Liquid Courage! So after a brief domestic that was actually well controlled with whispers and dirty looks at each other we made our way along.

Here is a photo that wasn’t really taken at the Moon Under Water, but we will pretend it was as no others actually exist.

Moon Under ..nah not really

Next Stop .. First Base. A sports bar with pool tables and the rugby on. We didn’t partake in any pool, nor did we bite when the bartender offered us 5 Coronas for a tenner. Though the way he laughed when we declined I believe spoke volumes about the state we were obviously in but oblivious that other people could tell. It was at this stop that I decided to present the ex-Dickhead with a present. Something I had picked up in a Break The Seal Stop along the way. Something that made me laugh like a hyena all by myself in the toilet because I had never seen one sold there before.

Mini Bunny

Lee looks amused but I think we more relieved when he realised it was a joke and that I wasn’t expecting him to use it.

Righty ho. Upstairs to Old Orleans we went. We wanted this to be the penultimate stop as we thought it would be appropriate to end it at “Harbourside Sydney”. The closest we could get to Australia without actually leaving the town centre. However, it was closed. So we sat in Old Orleans and drank and drank….

more drinking...

Until we would decide what to do. At this point we were starving. It was past 5 and we had been drinking for 6 hours straight. Everywhere we stopped we were going to get something to nibble, but when we’d arrive we’d remember that we hated the food there. So I decided to make my own meal…

Take A Bite Out Of Life

We thought we may as well call it quits. 10 pubs done and loads of alcohol consumed. So we headed down the escalator when we .. well Lee.. realised that the indoor skihill had a bar! So we went to Sno Bar and had our last drink and took our last photo to commemorate the day.

Awwww

Less than an hour later we’d be home with a McDonald’s bag to one side of the living room and a KFC bag to the other, with one large adult male passed the fuck out on the sofa and his drunken wife making long distance calls to anyone that could understand her jibber jabber. All in all… a very good day.

Thank you to Donna and Sally and Chris who gave me texts of support throughout the day. Though Chris’s was a little cruel in wishing that I would wake up ill.

Next year will be even better.*

*if there is no surprise addition to the family.

I believe this last photo sums up our day….

The End

Do these two look like they have a secret to you?

sweaty secrets

So okay, maybe he looks a bit like a greasy con man/child molester in this photo, but he still looks like he is keeping something secret. She on the other hand just looks like she is in love.

And so she should. They both should. Perhaps not in this picture, but I am sure if you took one now…right now.. assuming that they are together at this very moment… they would look very much all loved up.

Want to know why?

Well you’ll have to wait because I imagine some of you are wondering just who in the hell they are. Fair enough. They are Jamie and Stacy. Jamie happens to be my older brother. We don’t let him out often. Sort of like Alfre Woodard’s son in Desperate Housewives. Though as you can tell by the picture, my brother isn’t black (not on the outside) and hasn’t killed any girls in Illinois… that we are aware of.

I digress.

Minding my own business at work this afternoon I get an email from my mother. A very cryptic email asking if “I know”. If you are thinking .oO(HUH?) I was right along with you. It turns out that these two sly foxes went and got married last week. On my 30th birthday even!

If you looked close enough I guess you could see it was inevitable. Just look at these two in the backgroung all cuddly whilst there is garter throwing action in the foreground….

awww how cute

All I know is that they must have seen the magic in the World’s Greatest Day – 27th of April. It is a magic I know well and can truly appreciate. They chose the greatest day on the calendar to sneak off and make honest injuns out of each other. From what I know it was down at the Town Hall where they are living. The bride wore a green top and a brown skirt (though to be honest, she’d look good in a garbage bag… Lee quite agrees) and the groom wore jeans. Class. After the ceremony the went for pizza.

Let’s hope that Stacy laid off of the garlic as THIS look is not the most romantic ever:

garlic?

Mind you, she needs all of the help reigning that beast in. So if scaring the living crap out of him works, then keep on keeping on, girlfriend!

So to wrap it up:

Congratulations Stacy and Jamie! 😀
Please hold off on the children though.. we’ve seen the parenting skills from the pair of you and we are rather concerned!

no children please!

———————————————————————————————

all the time you wipe away that tear.

All I want is to hold your hand

to see the sun and walk the sand.

You make me sad and you make me glad

and now you see all my secret is this love

is love

is love.

My secret is this love.
manoevres in the dark - secret
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Like holes in Emmental….

…. these are the photos of our days in Zürich.

(You have no idea how proud I am of my ALT + 129 skills!)

If you also read my LJ, you will be aware of my Great International Toilet Debate. For those of you that don’t, please pay attention. For those of you that do, skip ahead to the pretty pictures because all I am about to do is cut and paste.

-> A lot of people travel around the world and they compare hotel rooms, service, the sights, the food, the wine… but me and Lee, we like to check out hospital washrooms.

Uh huh, I said we like to check out hospital toilets in foreign countries.

There is a lot to learn about a place when you see the state of the washroom. Are they clean people? Do they eat smelly foods? Do they care about themselves and the impression they leave behind for others?

On that last question, I can emphatically state that the Swiss care! They are the cleanest people EVER. No matter where we went to “spend a penny” (still not getting that phrase), it was sparking. Not the slightest misfires on the side of the seat, down the front of the bowl or any suspicious substances on the floor. Spotless.

Even the old ass hospital cubicles!

Okay, so it was not a pretty building. It was not lost amongst the canals and narrow alleys of Venice, but I’d pee in there ANY day! The hospital in Venice got full marks for outward appearance. The setting was unbelievable. The actual washroom was disgusting. Not fit for man or dog, but when you had been walking around for over 5 hours whilst consuming obscene amounts of gelato, being picky was an option you lost a long time ago.

Universitatsspital Zürich made up for what it lacked in architectural awesomeness with the cleanest damned toilets any hospital in this world has to offer.

The bar has been set high…. which country dares show me a washroom they think can compare?! < - Now what the LJ Only people will not get is the pictorial that goes along with this. They do not get to see the University Porta Potties as fine as they are. That is there own doing. They don't pay attention to these updates. So without further ado... Option A as presented to me by my kind and generous husband. The Great Blue Plastic Toilets: portapotty
And a sign to the cleanest PUBLIC toilet I have ever relieved myself in :

universitatsomething

Hey look at us! We’re in the reflection.. .how cool… and so not professional!

So, when we set off for Zurich there was one thing and one thing only that we were determined to do. For those of you that know how we spent New Years, or attended the Wedding Weekend Gone Wild do, you will know that we LOVE our fondue. I am no master, but I shan’t give up until I am. This weekend we discovered who the masters are; those talented Iron Chefs of Bubbling Booze n Cheese are the men and women preparing the fondues at Adler’s Swiss Chuchi. With the name alone you knew it was going to rock our socks off. Chuchi. I love it!

Witness the pure elation on Lee’s face as he grasps firmly the fruit of the Swiss Beermakers’ labour in order to celebrate the hot dairy goodness and basket of bread before us. Carb Counters be damned! The Swiss know where it’s at. Holler at me Dawgs!

fondue madness

Okay so we had eaten most everything by that photo, but trust me when I say it was good. So good in fact, that we went back the next day. To prove that we are not being paid by the owners or employees of Adler’s Swiss Chuchi to endorse their product falsely or for monetary gains, I offer into evidence Exhibit Half and Half. This is Lee’s second choice from the fondue menu and I must admit, it rocked my world. Mine was okay too, just too boozy and I was already quite sozzled on Swiss wine.

fondue too

We did eat more than just cheese and cheese. In fact we ate A LOT more. Not a massively wide variety, but the portion sizes were as big as our heads. And trust me, we have big heads in this house. But we’ll leave that for another post. *wink wink*.

So yes, we also ate the world reknowned Swiss Sushi.. or as I like to call it, Swushi. Okay, so it is not famous, but damn was it tasty! Have you ever seen a man so happy to have a plate of dead raw flesh in front of him? I didn’t think so.

Swushi

We followed that meal up with some of the worst wine in the world. But what can you expect when you buy it at the local grocery store. And I am not talking Sainsbury or Fortinos here, I am talking a high end Beckers or Tesco Express.

glug

The wine may have been rank, but check out the funky room. Once again I commend myself for finding such an awesome little home away from home. Even if I was allergic to the pillows and duvet. Hardly a serious price to pay when you get to have such amazing things as a painted headboard and multicoloured hard boiled eggs for breakfast. In all seriousness, we would go back. The rooms were quite funky and unique and the staff at reception was SO friendly. It was a nice place to chill out.

heaadboard

The headboard painting. Each room was named after a Swiss man/woman who has had some great influence in the world or in the country. The paintings depict things from that person’s life.

There is also an outdoor patio that we got to enjoy on our last day. Oops, I thought I had a photo uploaded for that. Let’s ignore it.

Back to the eating and drinking. We went to a place called Zeughauskeller which was recommended all over the Internet. Some people don’t trust what the ‘net says about things, but I figure I scored a husband from it, so it cannot be all that bad. Here I am enjoying more fruits of my Internet Hunts. And for once I liked the dark beer better than the lager. Lee also liked this because by the time I realised this, my lager had way more left than his dark beer.

double fisted

P.S: If you end up here. No need to order the saurkraut unless you are SERIOUSLY hungry. The bowl comes with enough to feed 10. And the bread on the table that you think is free. Not so much. More like $1.30 CHF a piece (that is roughly $1 CAD or £0.60).

We did actually take in some sights and not only spend our days stuffing our faces. Though we did enjoy those parts. To be honest we did not do much research into anything or find out what a lot of the places were, but we still enjoyed it. Plus, who needs facts when I have Lee who just names buildings what he feels like. Like this gorgeous building… that Lee lovingly refers to as “the nipples”:

nipples

We also rented a boat and whipped around Lake Zürich (quite slowly) enjoying the views…

Ahab

And walked around. Though don’t be fooled by this photo as it was the only time we asked for directions. The rest of the time we winged it… sometimes getting lost and sometimes stumbling upon the intended place, purely by accident.

lost in translation

The most important thing that we stumbled upon happened moments before we went to sit and wait at the gate to board the plane. I found an important part of Canadian history on the airside of the Zurich Airport (Flughafen)…. The Original Swiss Chalet…..

swiss chalet

I never did find out if they served Toblerone or Lindor.

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Chuchichäschtli

That is my favourite word/phrase of the moment, if not EVER.

Lee and I went to Zürich over the long weekend to celebrate my never ending birthday, and I must say that we had a fabulous time.  From the start it was great.  There was breakfast with Owen Wilson (poor man’s version of) and shoe shopping in the departure lounge (not just me!!!) and of course my wonderful husband giving me the window seat, thus sparing me from the annoying, ignorant twat in our row.  Who knew a Saturday morning flight to Zürich would be so full?!

Anyway. I am going to spare you all the details until I recharge the battery in my camera and I can hook it up to grab the photos off of it.  The mother of all photo posts is on its way!

For now though, I am going to rest my sunburnt face! (it was so cold I had to huddle up under my coat, and I have a sunburn.. AWESOME!)