Saturday, 10 December 2016

Travel | America


Gosh it feels so strange to be blogging again, i've had a pretty crazy few months so blogging has been pushed to the very back of my mind! Sometimes you just need to take a few steps back for a while and give yourself a little break, putting pressure on yourself to write passionately when theres so much going on around you and you're ridicously busy, is not something you can force! 

I've been away for just under 3 months now, it's been a whirlwind 3 months but I am feeling motivated and festive with Christmas coming up and have lots of exciting things coming up which I can't wait to share with you!

So, a few months ago I wrote about stepping out of my comfort zone, which involved getting on a train with Abbie and going away for the night, a really big deal for me then. 

But almost 2 weeks ago, I completely outdid myself. 
I hopped on an airplane to my favourite place in the world, America, for a whole week! Not only was it my first time travelling completely by myself, but it was also my first time ever leaving Abbie overnight, but I knew she was in the best hands! 

The trip had been planned for some months, but due to recent unplanned events, I wasn't able to go, that was until two days before I was due to leave, when a bunch of my awesome friends and family encouraged me to go still! To be honest, the break was well overdue and despite all my anxieties, I knew I really did need to do this. What made this trip that little bit more special was finally meeting one of my oldest and best friends for the first time, ever! 10 years ago we first started talking so it was such an awesome and overdue thing to do!

So Saturday morning I made the decision to go still, and on the Monday morning I headed off to Heathrow! Eeek.

Things weren't smooth sailing going over there, the first flight was pretty turbulent, and I can't even talk about the food, I ate my bread roll, and luckily I'd bought some cakes for the journey so devoured those instead! Just as I was planning my next step, I got pulled in at customs and quizzed for an hour and a half by Homeland Security...Now, I've seen Homeland, so my expectations were pretty bloody scary, but of course it wasn't really anything like that at all, thank god. Naturally I was anxious, despite the fact I knew I'd done absolutely nothing wrong, they searched through all my luggage, also handed me a permit so they could look through my phone and also tried contacting the person I was staying with, just to make sure my story added up. Although they were all pretty stern I must add how lovely they were too (just adding that incase they read this...) haha but no seriously, they were genuinely just looking out for me and even helped me to my next flight...

Because of all that, I almost missed my connecting flight, I had to run to my gate, somehow lost my boarding pass along the way, managed to get it reprinted just as they announced we were boarding, phew right? No. Got on the plane, only for it to circle the runway for half hour before being told maintenance were coming as there was an issue with the plane, were then told they couldn't fix the issue, so we all had to get off the plane and wait, at this point I'd been awake for about 24 hours (couldnt sleep on the plane annoyingly), so I was grumpy and a bit spaced out, turns out i'm pretty fiesty when i'm super fricking tired, so apologies to the flight attendant and 4 airport staff I moaned and snapped at..Luckily we were all called back on our little plane, where my body finally gave in to the deliriousness and I slept until we were just about to land!

I don't know what it is about America, I just feel such a connection to it, I've mentioned in some previous posts, ever since I watched Home Alone 2 back when I was 9, I just wanted to be there. That's why visiting New York back in 2009 was a dream come true for me. But this time I was in a completely different area and it felt just like home!

It took me a day or so to get used to the time difference, for some reason I get jet lag going places rather than coming back.. But once I'd adjusted, I did what any parent without their child did, I SLEPT! ALL NIGHT, I didnt think that was possible for me ever again. God it felt good! Zzzz

I got a little too excited about going to Walmart and Target, such typical American shops you hear people talk about, it's odd though because if someone from over there got excited about going into Asda, I'd be a bit taken aback..You should've seen my face when we walked into one shop, Christmas decorations galore!! It's pretty much what I imagine heaven to look like! Shelves from top to toe with wreaths, fairy lights, Christmas trees, Santa's, candles, literally everything. How I didnt buy one of everything I don't know! I mean the highlight for me was the huge jars of Nutella, never in my life have I seen such beauty..

I celebrated my first ever Thanksgiving! Boy, Americans sure know how to make you feel welcome and warm and fuzzy! The food was delicious, the people were amazing and I haven't laughed quite so much in a long time! Oh and I also had my first glass of wine in years, went straight to my head, great job Jess! Plus I made some Oreo Truffles for everyone which I have to say, were bloody delicious..

Have you ever been to an American cinema? 
Well this was my first time but LOOK, look at those seats! I swear I felt like a rich celebrity sitting in my own private cinema room in my house, red leather seats, that RECLINE, can you tell how excited I am about this? I practically led down for the entire movie, which by the way, was amazing, if anyone is thinking of going to see Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, do it, it's the best film i've seen this year! So definitely go! Also, the size of the drinks..I know we ordered large but blimey, you kinda needed 2 hands just to carry it!

FOOD! Everything tastes so much better over there, even down to the bread, the amount of peanut butter sandwiches I had was ridiculous! I know it's not as good for you as the food over here but sometimes it's so nice to relax and eat whatever you want!
We popped out to a proper lovely pizza restaurant, the whole atmosphere just lifted you right up, the football was on the TV, the people were so jolly and bubbly, and the god the pizza, the cheese, i'm actually salivating just thinking about it again..If it was acceptable i'd probably just eat there every single day I was there..

Have any of you ever heard of something called disc golf? It's exactly what is sounds like! Basically you have frisbees, you're on this large green which branches off into the woods and past brooks, and you have to launch your disc and try and get it into the basket at the other end..Obviously I was utterly shit, something like 24 over par, (it's the taking part that counts thank you..). I did think it was gonna be easier than what it was, turns out I have no arm strength whatsoever so took me twice as long to get it anywhere near the basket, however I'm pretty sure I did hit par on one, so I call that an achievement. Hopefully i'll be better next time, although lets be honest, I can't get much worse..
It was also the perfect spot for some lovely autumnal looking photos, any photographers heaven!

I think what I enjoyed the most was being able to completely relax, something I've not done for 4 years,   this year i've really started to find myself again, and it's been such an amazing thing. To be able to just sit and watch TV, stroll out of bed whenever I wanted to, and to put myself first, I'm so content just curled up on the sofa, watching Netflix and doing absolutely nothing, which is exactly what I did on a few days. Oh and can I mention how nice it was to have a bath or shower without having a child shoving all her toys in there and/or jumping in with me? I also didn't have to share any of my food either...

And as quickly as the holiday started, it came to an end, it was pretty bittersweet having to leave, it went far too quickly! Luckily the journey back to England was much smoother, even if I did walk the entire course of the airport in Atlanta to baggage claim, only to be told my luggage had gone straight to London and I didn't even need to collect it..thank god for there being a train or I would have missed my connecting flight! 

Considering it was pretty much bedtime on the plane, I managed to sleep for a good 4 hours, meaning I wasn't arriving home feeling like crap! Again the food was questionable, the sticker on my meal stated "Pure veg" but upon inspection I wasn't convinced...cucumber stuffed bread roll was my evening meal that night! Yum....

I had such a lovely time away, it's given me the motivation I really needed, one of my new years resolution for 2016 was to go abroad and say yes more, so I'm so proud of myself for actually doing this. I know this is gonna sound a little cheesy but I feel like me again and it's amazing. Surrounding yourself with positive and happy people really is all you need, from there you really can do anything. 

For those of you wondering, Abbie had a blast without me, not only did she sleep through every night but once (yes she still wakes up for me), she had the greatest time with her favourite bunch of people! I'd decided that unless she asked for me or got upset, we weren't going to FaceTime or anything, I didn't want her to be fine then possibly get stressed seeing me, as it turns out she didn't ask for me once, and greeted me with the biggest smile and cuddle when I got back, it was just awesome!

Until next time America..
Happy Christmas!

Jess x

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