Thursday, 23 August 2007

VIP and me without my camera

Through the wonderful connections that Josh has through work we obtained tickets to last weekend's V Festival, a two day music festival in Chelmsford, England. We decided to go for it and camp for the night and see both days of the concert. Of course, if you read my last blog you will see that we went out the night before. Which, I might add, was not the best idea I've ever had. Not only did I have a run in with the bouncer, but I also somehow broke my camera and didn't get to sleep until roughly 3 am. We were to be at the train around 9am.

So Saturday morning starts off with a bang...(in my head), we missed the train we wanted to take because we slept through our alarm so we got off to a late start. However, I took a nap on the train ride there and while I wasn't 100% I was better by the time we made it to the campgrounds. We checked in and it turns out we were full on VIP guests of the concert.

There were two VIP camping areas and it wasn't til the next morning when we realized we had full range based on where we were. There was a fence dividing the two campsites and the bathrooms were in the campsite on the left side and we were on the right. On our side was a nice little refreshment stand with hot food and drinks, since it pretty much was rainy and cold all weekend, gotta love the English summer. We could cross the fence to the bathrooms, but they couldn't cross to our side for food. While in line for breakfast we saw a lot of people get denied and sulk off. Haha, suckers. I'm only joking, but only a little since in all honesty it was kind of cool to have special treatment.

Anyway....We went to set up our tent and ditch our backpacks. That was definitely comical. We had bought a tent in a local camping store and let me tell you it is not the best design. After fighting with it for some time a girl came over and told us we were doing it completely wrong and that she had the same problem last year. The guy on the watch tower above us was having a great laugh at our expense. We were finally able to assemble our tent after too long trying and went off to see the first band.

At this point we'd already missed the first two bands I wanted to see, which sucked because as we found out later Foo Fighters made a special appearance at Juliette and the Licks, Juliette Lewis' band. So we started with Paolo Nutini. While there the cutest ladies walked by. I bought a disposable camera to use for the weekend, so forgive the crappy pics, but check out these ladies. They walked around all day with their little cart serving tea to the masses. There were three of them and they were all done up similarly and smoking constantly. Every time they walked by they had cigarettes in their hands, while serving their tea and biscuits. They were so hilarious!

After Paolo Nutini we checked out the Louder Lounge which is the area that our VIP tickets got us into. People were hanging outside hoping to see someone famous and trying to peak through the gate. I felt very important. :) Inside they had free food, a nice bar with free alcohol, pamper tents with massages and such and a DJ playing music all day and night. Of course the number one best thing about the area was clean bathrooms. Throughout the weekend we were able to go back to the Louder Lounge and use the bathrooms there rather than queuing up for the port-a-loos with everyone else.

They had a bar in the Louder Lounge that was sponsored by Red Bull and every drink was made with some form of alcohol and Red Bull. Josh is drinking the passion fruit version. They were tasty, mmmmmm.

Over the course of the weekend we got to see Paolo Nutini, Mumm-Ra (a UK band that I liked, well, when the singer was actually singing and not shouting they were awesome), Pink (who put on a great show with a nice tribute to Janis Joplin), Snow Patrol (not really my choice), THE FOO FIGHTERS! (WOO HOO--Awesome as always), Mutya Buena, Remi Nicole, Mark Ronson, The Fratellis, Mika, and Lily Allen (who ripped into Americans for her recent Visa problems. I quite enjoyed her performance, especially the song about her ex boyfriend's little willy...I bet he's kicking himself that he broke her heart).

My favorite part, however, was when we got bored of The Fratellis we went back to the Louder Lounge to get a drink before the next show. (Side note: I like their music, but their live show for whatever reason was not floating my boat at that moment.)

When we got back to the bar they announced that they were starting a special acoustic performance from a band that would be playing later. As there were 4 main stages on at the same time it was a band I had not scheduled for since I had never heard of them. So we sat down right in front of them and watched them perform a few songs. They are called Tiny Dancers. I LOVED them! It was so cool to see them jamming in this tent. It felt more like rocking out in a house party in someone's back yard. They were very cool and I am glad that I wasn't feeling The Fratellis at that moment. It made me regret not hanging out in the tent more often considering who knows what other special performances we had missed up to that point. :)

It was a very cool weekend and I am glad that we decided against Josh's home-bodied nature to camp in Chelmsford.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Anger's my middle name

Friday night we decided to go out dancing and drinking with some friends. We went to Yates first because they have comfy couches and I like their food. Most pubs in Woking become night clubs at a certain time on the weekends. So after being there a bit the lights dimmed down and the music started to blast. We had been there awhile so we had a great spot with two couches and a table and a decent area to dance around.

My friend and I got up and were rocking out to the music and generally having a great time. We weren't drunk just enjoying ourselves. We were near a door that isn't used and while dancing we bumped into it, opening the door. There was a bouncer outside who waved down another bouncer that was inside and he came over to us. He asked my friend to come outside with him. So I went with her because I was the one at fault. He started laying into her angrily and telling her that he had been watching her a long time and that she was clearly "pissed" (means: drunk, for you non-english speakers, hehe).

I looked at him and said as nicely and emphatically as I could, "Sir, I'm so sorry it was me that bumped into the door. It was my fault not hers and again I'm sorry."

He wouldn't even look at me he just put his hand up and said, "I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to her."

I came back again as nicely as possible with, "Sir, I understand that you are talking to her, but you should be talking to me, I was the one who bumped into the door and again I am so sorry."

He looked at me and said in all seriousness "Do you even live here?!?"

I was a bit taken aback with the bitterness in which he spat the line at me and responded with "Of course, I live right up the street. What does that have to do with anything?" I was more surprised than upset at this point.

And he came back with, and I swear I am not making this up in anyway, "Go back to where you came from, you don't even speak English!"

To which I very politely screamed back with my eyes wide in amazement, "You've got to be kidding me, we're out of here!!!!" I think there were a few expletives in there, but I can't be too sure. I went back in and grabbed my things as quickly as possible without even looking at the rest of our group and walked out.

It's too bad, I really liked that pub.

Monday, 6 August 2007

I am now Lady Rachel

I went online to buy movie tickets to see Hairspray and while filling in my information I noticed that there were way more options for title than we have in the states. Usually it is just Mr, Mrs, and Miss. Sometimes we have Ms and Dr as well, but here in the UK there are way more options. They also have Baroness, Col, Judge, Lady, Lord, Prof, Rev and Sir. I have decided that hence forth I will be known as Lady Rachel. I quite like the sound of that. Do you think it's allowed? Oh well if I get caught I will just claim to be an ignorant American. Tee Hee!

Lady Rachel

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles...

...and sometimes buses and ships.

After driving from Woking to Dover in a torrential downpour (England apparently was getting 2 months worth of rain in one day) we arrived in the latter as the sun started to peek out from the clouds. It was the perfect day to stroll around Dover Castle as there was no one who wanted to brave the weather like we did. As soon as we stepped out of the car we didn't even have a drop of rain. We were able to go into the secret war time tunnels where they hid soldiers and planned attacks in the second World War. After storming the castle, we went down to catch our ferry over to France.

We must have looked like a traveling circus. We had to return the rental car at the docks while trying to get an earlier ferry across to Calais. Mom and I dropped all the boys off to get us checked in and drove off only to go around in circles and find that we were meant to drop the car off in the same place where we dropped the boys off. Despite the run around we made it onto the ferry no problem and were in France by the evening. We had our first French meal in Calais, which was delicious and crashed for the night. In the morning, we hopped on the train to Paris.

We got into Paris at around 9am. We dumped our stuff and set out immediately to check out the city. It was beautiful!!!! We decided to get passes for the hop on, hop off bus that you can listen to facts about each place as you drive around. It was fun although the middle of tourist season is not the best time to be riding that bus considering we were always packed in.

At the Eiffel Tower we hopped off and decided to take the stairs up to the second level. Which by the way is 347 steps to the first level and 674 steps to the second level. So that was lots of fun! It was a bit unnerving for me since you can pretty much see all around you and down while you are walking up.

The second day we decided to check out the Louvre. It was quite impressive! Again the amount of tourists got in the way as we were pretty much herded through like cattle to see the Mona Lisa and then when you get there it is surrounded by walls and bullet proof glass and hard to see, but hey I can say that I saw it now. What was great was the rest of the museum wasn't crowded one bit and we were able to see what the Louvre looked like before it became a museum and we checked out the Egyptian area and of course Venus De Milo.

My dad had to work in Paris, so the boys and I took our tour bus up to check out the Moulin Rouge. Which was cool and all, but not quite as impressive as I expected it to be. While there we grabbed some gelato from a stand and this man approached me and asked if I was English. I told him I lived in London but I was American. He said, "Ugh! American!I hate Americans!" He made a gun with his hand and started saying bang, bang. He was saying how he hates Bush and I let him know that he's not my most favorite person either.

Despite the one crazy guy, I loved the people and the atmosphere of Paris. I would go back, but for a nice, romantic weekend with my husband.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Back in England

We are finally back in England and I have to say it is dry and beautiful. Apparently the entire time we were away most of the UK was under water, but as I sit here catching up on my blog the window is open and there is a gorgeous breeze and the sun is shining. I have a lot of blogs to add in so bear with me as there will be an influx from me over the next day or so. I wanted to give you all a little photo recap of my trip to the wonderful US of A. I had a blast and can't wait to be back home for good. So check out the pics and keep watching for my entries about our Eurotrip "survey" course. ;)

Photo booth Rocks!

Don't know what's up with Josh there?
I think he's trying not to squint.
Chris' Graduation trying to brave the sun.

Woo Hoo! He made it!

How do I get off this crazy thing?

So would this be considered two points or three?


Shhh! Don't tell anyone that he's in the captain's hammock.

I'm scared, are you?

Livin' it up at Cannibal Flower.

Check out my glasses!

Chillin' to The Hereafter!

Look at the drunkies!

Nothing like Bob's Big Boy after a long night of partying!
Bob, We salute you!

The night before I fly back they ambushed me trying to keep me in town.
Can't say I really put up much of fight. ;)

They promised to take good care of me. Yummy vino!