Thursday, 28 July 2011

Travel Bug: New York

You could say to any member of my family and ask "where is the one city Rebecca would transport herself to right now?!" and the answer would be New York City hands down. The Big Apple. The City of Dreams or The Financial Hub. Whatever anyone calls this city I would love to be there right now. In fact on November 10th -14th this year I will be doing just that. (I just squealed as I wrote that for the 1000th time).

I have never worked out my fascination with New York. Whether it stems from watching constant re-runs of Friends and Sex and the City I don't know. Or seeing pictures of the distinctive skyline flash across my TV screen for years. It could be something to do with it's reputation of finding love, the place to chase your dreams or it could be that I just want to eat Chinese food out of a white box (we don't have them in the UK).

What I do know is I want to see a show on Broadway. We are planning to see either Wicked or The Addams Family. I vote Wicked hehe. I want to stand in the centre of Times Square and see the entertainment right in front of me. I want to take a boat trip to Staten Island and sail past The Statue of Liberty! I want to be able to hail down a yellow cab and see if it really is as easy as it appears in the all the movies. I want to drink a Manhattan cocktail IN Manhattan. I really want to see ground zero and pay my respects to a place where on 9/11 the world changed forever. In fact we are staying in a hotel that is right next the to where the twin towers stood overlooking the Hudson river.

I would love to go to the top of the Empire State Building and see Central Park neatly knitted in the centre of the city. I need to walk through that park. I want to picnic in it but I think in November it might be a little chilly so I have settled with my sister on eating a hot dog in the park! I need to sleep in a city that is known to never shut its lights off. Plus the shopping? Don't ever get me started!!!

To New Yorkers I may just be 'another tourist' but it has been one of my dreams to visit this city since I was little. It was the first thing I wrote on my bucket list 6 years ago and it has been on there for too long. I will cross it off. I know I shouldn't wish my days away but November really cannot come quick enough!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Travel Bug: Rome

I am going through a massive travelling bug at the moment. I have been saving my monies hard since last summer and now I can book trips/holidays. I have 4 trips booked at the moment. I am also now very broke but I feel I am in a time of my life where I want to see the world. I have done my education, I have a job I love and I am not in the position financially to move out. So why not go and do/see things that I have only ever dreamt about?! I went to Edinburgh in June which was on my to visit list and it has since gone on from there.

Over the next week or so I am going to blog about the trips I have planned starting today with Rome, Italy. 

Italy has never been a country I have wanted to visit. Sure Verona and seeing Juliet's balcony is appealing, the Lakes of Garda and Como sound beautiful and sailing on a Gondola in Venice is romantic. However, Rome has been a city I have been fascinated about. It is the one city we learnt most about in history when I was at school. So I have always felt the 'need' to experience it for myself. The trouble with Italy is that it is one of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe. The hotels and attractions are pricey to get into so to do it 'cheaply' is hard. 

Well after saving on September 2nd - 5th this year I will be going to Rome. Finally. Every once in a while I get long weekends off from work so I don't even have to book time off work to go. Awesomeness!

I cannot wait to visit these places. 

 Take a tour of the Colosseum where some of the most significant battles took places in Julius Caesar's reign.

 Trevi Fountain - I know this will be very touristy but I do plan to throw a coin over my left shoulder to hopefully ensure a return to Rome in the future!

 The Vatican and St Paul's Basilica - it's a small country within a country and it stands to be one of the most religious/spiritual places in the world. Apparently it takes a day in itself to visit everywhere in here.

Have ice-cream on the Spanish steps. This is said to be one of the most popular places for marriage proposals to take place due to it's beauty.

I cannot wait to eat authentic Italian food, gelato and walk among the buildings. It sounds and looks so architectural. To me it oozes history and as a result of learning so much about it quickly became one of my favourite subjects at school! If you have been to Rome is there anywhere else your recommend?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Baby Announcements.

In the last month two of my friends have given birth. I remember when we were 18 talking about when we had kids, how many we wanted, names etc. It is so hard to believe that it was only 4 years ago. Time really does fly. In January I blogged about two of my friends announcing they were pregnant, well now I can announce they are Mummies!

On June 30th at 11.30pm my uni friend Kaylee gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl - Alba Marie. She was convinced she was going to have a boy so they had the name Alfie lined up. 

I have yet to meet this little beauty but I cannot wait. Alba is named after Kaylee's favourite book The Time Traveller's Wife. The couple in the book have a daughter named Alba and Kaylee said she just fell in love with it. They chose the name Marie after both their grandmothers. Kaylee also recently got engaged to Jimmy! He proposed during their maternity shoot in May so it's a double whammy of a celebration. Congratulations you two!

You might remember Sacha who I hosted the surprise hen party/baby shower for in April. Well she gave birth on her due date to Kaleb Luke on July 10th at 10.55am after a 12 hour labour. Oh my days! I am in love with him - I met him yesterday and I could not stop cuddling him. 

They liked the name Kaleb for a while and they chose the name Luke as it is their favourite name from the Bible. He is such a good baby. She recently moved up north and I was gutted but we are staying in regular contact. I am going up to stay with them in September. Motherhood really suits Sacha, she is glowing!

For the time being there are no more expected babies in my family or group of friends. I am just so happy for these guys!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


On the 13 July I had my graduation and I loved every second of it. I have been waiting all year since I qualified last August and it finally happened.

This was just before the ceremony. I took my Mum, Dad and my Gran along for the occasion. You have no idea how much it meant to have my Dad there. He worked so much when I was younger that he hardly came for sports days, ballet classes etc. So for him to come to my graduation meant the world to me.
Dad, Mum, Me and Gran

This was me collecting my degree. My Mum didn't use zoom so you can barely see me but I am there
 The obligatory hat toss with my friends. We had to do this so many times to get it perfect!

My Mum and I. I think she was more excited than me.

Afterwards we were invited for afternoon lunch. I, however, was pretty much glued to the chocolate fountains all afternoon. I felt so sick afterwards!

Rebecca Louise Lobb BSc Honours Degree Nursing Studies.

It's official now and it's the best feeling ever.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Your're a wizard Harry!

Is anybody else gutted that Harry Potter is coming to an end?

I am! I am going to see the last instalment tonight and a part of me does not want to go because by not going it would not have ended to me yet. If that makes sense. 

When my parents were younger The Secret Seven and The Famous Five were like their version of Harry Potter. They grew up reading the books and loved them. They still mention them to this day. FYI - The Secret Seven is a good series, not a massive fan of The Famous Five. In 2001 my Dad told me to read Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone. Since then I was hooked and I still am. I have read the whole series 3 times and I don't feel I can ever get bored.

Some of my friends have just seen the films and not read the books. They're missing out, I tell them all the time. In fact, I can't see a film based on a book without reading it. It almost feels unfair to the author to do that. 

The films have never been as good as the books but I loved how they have been made. When the books ended, it was the fact the films were still being made kept the Harry Potter magic alive!

The Harry Potter series has been my companion on holiday, plane journeys, massive late night reading sessions where I would just say to myself "one more chapter won't hurt", in my breaks at school/work and in my garden. J.K Rowling is an amazing author and I really hope she keeps her penmanship going. My favourite book was Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. It was where the story got a lot more interesting and darker. I also loved Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which have been my favourite films so far!

I really wish it wasn't coming to end but I'm pleased I grew up in the Harry Potter era. It has been and always will be one of the greatest series ever written to me.

My popcorn, tissues and diet coke are ready.

Are you ready for Potter-mania to end?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Very excited!

I have had a bucket list for a couple of years now. I have occasionally added things but it has pretty much stayed the same. These are the ones that are most important to me, right now. I have a few others like pay off my car, be a bridesmaid for someone etc. Things like that but below are the ones I must achieve before I die.

Qualify as a Nurse
Train specifically in critical care nursing and health visiting
Fly openly in any way or form in the sky

Visit  Australia - planning stages
Do a tour of the west coast of the States
Have a trip to New York and see a show on Broadway - booked!
See Sister Act, Dirty Dancing, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Hairspray and Priscilla Queen of the Desert on stage. I now want to see Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and Avenue Q.

Have a stable and romantic relationship
To advocate for cancer awareness in some way
To fall pregnant (when the time is right)
Spend a spontaneous weekend in Rome, Barcelona and Paris.
To start and complete project 365 
Do a missionary trip
To start up and maintain my blog

To make my own piece of jewellery from scratch
Buy a brand new Car
To have a big holiday with friends anywhere in the world 

To visit my first blog friend, Steph, in Indiana
Swim with Dolphins

To become a mentor for other student nurses
Own a house
Pay off my student loan with no help from my parents
To host and cook a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings
To sign up and donate stem cells for The Anthony Nolan Trust.
Get at least 5 more people to give blood regularly

My aim for 2011 was to get to New York and I finally booked it. On 10th November 2011 I am heading to NYC for 4 days and I cannot contain my excitement!!!!!!!! I have always been FASCINATED by this city and I just know it will be so much fun. We are planning to see a show on broadway, we're just arguing between Mary Poppins, Chicago or Spiderman (noway to Spiderman!). I can't wait to cross this off my bucket list, it's a dream come true!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Call the Police!

If there is one thing I never banked on happening whilst on holiday last week was dealing with the police. It is not something I am very proud of but I'll be honest. I crack myself up laughing half the time at the thought of it. So it is only fair that I share with you guys here.

Yes there was alcohol involved. We were drunk. I still don't remember much and no I have no photos of the event itself. My friends were gutted that I didn't have my camera out for the Police part of the story. But somehow I don't think they would have been too impressed!

It started out a fairly ordinary night. Every night after dinner we went out for drinks. There is a cocktail bar I love that I thought we could check out. We had such a laugh in there but we didn't realise how 'potent' the cocktails would be. Over here in the UK all spirits and alcohol are measured so you know how many units your drinking. In Spain they just guess and estimate, so maybe we should have thought about that. But when your having fun with your friends it's the last thing you think about. We were on holiday after all.

Our yummy cocktails.

After we went to Aloha Jay and Tambra said they were pretty tired and headed back to the apartment. James, Neale, Andy, Danny and I decided to stay out. We headed to another bar but I mean this when I say it. We did not plan to get drunk...but we did. We ordered a couple of drinks, the bar had some brilliant music and we started dancing. After a couple of hours the drinks were still flowing, we were still dancing and I still remember this point in the night. It was around 3am.

 James, Neale and Danny dancing in the bar.
Andy, Neale, James and Me.

This is where it gets sketchy. The last photo on my camera (this reminds me of the hangover movie where they look at their cameras for clues as to what happened!) was this one below. It is of Andy and Danny completely wrecked. It was taken at 03.30am.

Just before I went outside and found these guys I had been to the toilet. I remember sitting on the bar stool wondering where the hell had Neale disappeared to. I hadn't seen him for about half an hour. I was with James, Andy and Danny still. The next thing I remember is sitting outside the apartment crying my eyes out. I don't even remember walking back! Tambra had been waiting up for us and was the ONLY sober one there. Jason was still asleep. It was around 04.30am at this point, a whole hour had gone from my memory.

I was crying because we could not find Neale anywhere. He was not at the apartment, not in any of the open bars and all I could remember thinking was 'how are we going to tell Neale's parents we have lost their only child?!" Tambra was keeping me company on the side of the road. James (not really drunk) had gone to look for Neale and Andy and Danny had gone on some drunken walk to 'talk' about stuff. 

The next thing I can remember is sitting on my apartment balcony. I remember Tambra telling me it was getting on for 05.30am. Another hour wiped from my memory. Then we saw torch lights and a man shouting 'I'm calling the police! I call the police on you people' in some weird Spanish accent. I started to panic and went and sat in the boys apartment sofa to keep out. Next thing I know Andy and Danny appear and they go sit it out in my apartment. Tambra went to join them as they were very drunk and it was clear what they had to talk about had not been resolved (are you confused yet? I am! Haha!). Whilst I was sitting on the sofa on my own I could still see flash lights. Shortly after James appeared with Neale in tow. I started digging into him about where the hell had been? We had been worried sick. It was around 6am and the sun was starting to rise. I just remember thinking what the hell had been happening. In the space of 3 hours so much had happened and it was overwhelming. I started crying again on the sofa and James was comforting me saying ' it was okay'. Well it far from wasn't as I looked up to see two police officers and the hotel security in front of me!!!

No joke I froze on the sofa and did not say a word. In fact I recollect me pretending to drink water out of an empty bottle! Tambra then came in and tried to diffuse it. Seriously, I am so thankful she did not drink and went home early because Neale would have been arrested!

It turned out that Neale decided he had had enough and wanted to go back to the apartment. The thing is he was so drunk he forgot where we were staying and started banging on the apartment opposite us thinking that was our apartment. Little did he know that he was banging on the wrong door shouting all sorts to Jason (who was still asleep in a different apartment!) to let him in. Sadly, he was banging on the door of a poor old Spanish lady's house. She got so scared she thought she was being burgled and called the police! I do not blame her in the slightest, poor poor thing. It is the one part of the story I feel so terrible about. She must have been so frightened!!!

Tambra explained that we were all drunk, that Neale had got lost and it was a stupid but honest mistake. The apartments all have the same lay out and it is easy to take the wrong turning. Especially if your out of your mind on alcohol. They had their handcuffs out ready but once they heard the story they gave us a stern warning. Neale had sobered up a little and sincerely apologised.

By the time they left it was 07.00am and we were tired. So hungover and tired. We all woke up the next morning feeling terribly ill. We still can't help but laugh and feel guilty at the same time. The boys all had cuts and bruises on them the following day and we still don't know how they got there. There are still lapses in our memory, we can't seem to work out the right sequence. It really was our own mini version of The Hangover movie.

Moral of the story: if you go out drinking abroad, take a map of where your staying. It saves you from nearly being arrested!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Viva Espagnol!

Every year I visit Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. I love it there, it's like a second home to me now and also I get to see one of my best friends Oli. It's the perfect combination. So this year I decided to bring my friends along and we had a gooooood time. This is a holiday recap of Menorca 2011. I miss it so much already :(

***warning picture overload***

The main thing we did on holiday was nothing. We wanted to be lazy and just relax. We all work full time so it was a blessing to have some down time. Most days we were by the pool basking in the 30 degree sunshine.
The guys purchased a football and they literally played with it the whole time in the pool.

Meanwhile, Tambra and I lounged by the pool chatting and dipping our toes in the water. (FYI: we did go swimming as well just when the boys were playing with the ball us girls often became the target! It was safer to sit it out)

We only went to the beach twice in the 10 days we were there. I am not a huge lover of the beach and we had to lug our stuff up and down around 250 steps on the cliff. It was hard work in the heat. It was nice when we were there though. The beach scenery is so beautiful!

We shared tweo apartments and I had to take pictures and post this. Tambra and I - who had the girly, smells nice all the time apartment were lucky enough enough not to share with the boys. It smelt, they didn't wash up and the apartment was a mess. Boys will be boys I suppose. 

 Speaking of the boys they had a blast. They literally slept, fed, swam, played ball/pool, drank and slept.

Group shot of all of us on our first night there.

Water-slides at the hotel. We played who can race each other down fastest, because we're cool.

Halfway through the holiday my friend Oli was kind enough to take us all to the water park. It was fun to get out of Calan' Porter resort for the day and really use up some energy. The slides were so much fun.

Yup that's me and Tambra about to drown on the rubber ring slide!

I have to give a special mention for this girl because boy did she keep me sane with 6 other lads to contend with. Tambra has been dating Andy for a couple of years and it may sound cliché but we really bonded on this holiday. I am really thankful for her friendship now. I got to know her so much better! This night we went down to the port Mahon and had a meal by the water edge - once again so so nice!!!

I love this guy - enough said. I miss Oli so much. And the pool table in the background, kept the lads entertained every evening with their pool competitions!

One night we all went to the village pub quiz. We named ourselves Snow White and the 7 Dwarves. We won as well!!! :)

Cocktail Night - Me and Jay.

I would name all our cocktails but I am can barley pronounce them let alone spell them. They were so nice - toxic - but tasted soooo unbelievably good! Mine is the Elephant - Bali Hai.

Now this night is sketchy because after cocktails this night became 'let's get nearly arrested night' I will do another post on this entirely. It needs it.

But from what I remember it was a brilliant night out, with the pole included.

 Just around the corner from us was a tennis court. The lads are pretty active so they played Tennis a fair bit. Tambra and I gave Wimbledon a run for it's money this year though.

On our second to last day we hired a pedalo for a couple of hours. I didn't get many pictures because I was soaking wet but it was cool to pedal away from the beach, go down the pedalo slide and swim in this beautiful water!!!!

This is my favourite picture of the whole holiday. Tambra and I before we went out on the pedalo. I really love it!

These two pictures tell a story. Just before we went away Tambra said she was really looking forward to seeing a sunset. She has only been abroad once before this holiday so I really wanted her to see a decent one. If you look on a map Menorca is the 'most southerly' of the Spanish islands. There are no countries or other islands below. In fact if you kept swimming off the south coast of Menorca the next thing you would hit is the Antarctica. It would be a VERY long swim though and due to the freezing temperatures I would not recommend it.
Well what do you know we were holidaying on the south coast and there is a place dubbed "the end of the world' in Menorca. Simply because as the sun sets and hits the sea the place goes into total darkness. You are literally at cliff edges and it can be very dangerous there on windy days. In this photo the sun is setting behind us and when you look out to sea you know there is nothing beyond the horizon apart from the Antarctic thousands of miles away. It kinda steals your breath away and I know Tam really appreciated it.

It was the perfect way to end the holiday. There were times when we bickered a little as living with 7 people could be a little chaotic but 90% of the time we had so much fun. It was so nice to get back yesterday and look through these pictures. I could literally make a quote book of all the funny things said or the you had to be there moments. One being the following (FYI we are talking about our food consumptions):

Me (very hungover): I tend to eat more in the winter and less in the summer. I have always been like that.
Andy (very hungover): Hamsters do that as well Becca. They hoard and eat more in the winter you know.
Me (totally confused): What? Andy are you comparing me to a house pet rodent?
Andy: It's true. Hamsters are cool, your just less furry.

*both laugh uncontrollably*

What I would do to be back there right now. It was so much fun. I will share some of the videos, drunken and shameful nearly getting arrested story another time. Adios!
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