sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Holiday part of being away begins

So I have left Vancouver. I put most of my winter clothes in a storage unit in Vancouver just so I didn't have to travel with them (and to be honest because I wasn't organised enough to do anything else!) and hit the road.
On the 1st of April I flew to Ohio and got in very early in the morning on the 2nd. My 2 aunties and one of my uncles picked me up at the airport. I spent the Easter weekend there just catching up with cousins, Grandma Grubb and all. It was lovely. It was the first warmish weather I had experienced in quite a long time. I also helped set up the Easter egg hunt with for the little cousins. That was fun.
The little cousins at the egg hunt

My Aunt on my dad's family drove me half way between her and my aunt from my mom's family. My mom's sister was there to pick me up and drive me the rest of the way down to where she and my mom's mom live. I spent a few days at my 90 year old Grandma's house. Getting to see her house for the first time was fantastic. She cooked dinner for me nearly every night. I was so spoiled. I also caught up with a few cousins there.

Here is me and Grandma in her living room

After a few days in Gallipolis, Ohio, I drove to Charleston, South Carolina to pick up on old friend of mine from Denmark called Karina. She and I lived together in Sydney when I first moved there nearly 10 years ago. We stayed one night in Charleston near the Amtrak train station. Our train was meant to leave the next morning at 5am, so we got up early and headed to the station. Unfortunately we forgot to check to see if the train was running on time. It was running 2 and a half hours late due to a fallen tree on the tracks. We took a cab to breakfast to kill some time and we ended up in Orlando around 3pm. We checked into our hotel and came up with a game plan of doing Magic Kingdom on our first full day, then Epcot the second day and Universal Studios the third day.
After a long drawn out timeshare sales pitch, we made it through alive (and without a new timeshare for the bargain price of $28k) and on our way to the Magic Kingdom. I took Karina on all my favourite rides: Space Mountain, the Tea Cups, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, Snow White, Peter Pan, Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Haunted Mansion. We even went on some new things: The New Hall of Presidents, The New Tiki Room, Stitch's Great Escape, Monster's Inc Show, and the Buzz Lightyear shooting game ride (which Karina absolutely killed me in). We had a great time. Luckily we didn't need to wait in very many queues and we figured out the Fast Pass pretty quickly and used it as required. We wanted to get a few photos with the characters, but unfortunately those queues were really really long. We did see 2 parades and some fantastic fireworks.

A show on the steps of Cinderella's Castle

The Daytime Parade

The Fireworks at night

The Lighted Nighttime Parade

The second day was Epcot. We went on pretty much all of the rides there. Lots of new ones. We loved: Mission Space, Soarin' and Test Track. Learned something in all of the different countries. We had a beer in an English pub and enchiladas in Mexico. The Epcot Flower show was on and they had some fantastic sculptural plants on display. And we managed to see a fantastic laser and fireworks show at the end of the day. We also had our photo taken with as many characters as we could find!
The Character Photos Begin:

Plant Sculptures

Epcot's Show

So our third and final day in Orlando we spent at Universal Studios. I hadn't been there for a long time and some of the new rides were great. I loved the Rock and Rollercoaster. I went on it by myself because Karina was too scared! We both did everything else though: Twister, The Mummy, Disaster, Jaws, Men in Black, and my favourite The Simpsons. The Simpsons was a simulator ride but a really good one. This made me fear, however, that all roller coasters could become just simulator rides and that made me a bit sad. After a quick dinner at Wendy's, we started the drive up to South Carolina to my parents' beach house. We stayed in Savannah, Georgia one night on the way up.
And Pawleys Island, South Carolina is where we have been ever since. We have been to the beach, been shopping, been to a great (and now our regular hang out) pub called the Pawleys Island Tavern where we signed a $1 bill and stapled it to the ceiling which is customary in this pub. We were quite the hit being from so far away! We have even been to the 9000 acre gardens just 2 miles down the road from my parents' house. We have totally enjoyed hanging out here. On the Sunday Karina was supposed to leave, her flight was canceled due to the volcano. She initially was told that she would be going on a flight the following Monday (8 days later!) But on Weds she called the airline again and got a flight for Friday. So we filled up our days with things to do. One day we spent in Charleston at a plantation, we picked strawberries and went on a tour of an old gaol. We had really bad super fried and really heavy southern seafood. We went back to the gardens near my parents house for a graveyard tour and even a night where we learned how to cook from the Garden's Restaurant Chef. We spent lots of days by the pool (it was pretty windy at the beach) and did even more shopping. We even managed to be rather competitive in a local pub trivia contest. (We won $15 at the pub.)
Karina and I at the pub

Our $1 on the ceiling

Boone Hall

Oak Alley at Boone Hall (from THE NOTEBOOK)

Karina picks strawberries (I made her strawberry shortcake!)

Karina and I at the Gaol

Karina left on Friday. My parents got here on Saturday after a relatively delayed flight from Atlanta. We had dinner at a lovely restaurant Saturday night. Went to the Taste of Pawleys Island on Sunday. And today we hit the beach. We leave tomorrow night.
THEN.....drum roll please....I am heading off on the next job. For those of you who don't know, I have accepted a position with the Opening and Closing Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. I will be working in the technical department as Master Scheduler. The shows are on in October and I start mid May. Should be very amazing. Am glad to be in some warm weather for a while and hope to get back to Melbourne just in time for summer! How I miss Australian summer...
That is about it for now. Do let me know what you are up to. I would love visitors in Delhi and lots of people had already expressed an interest.

Take care. Hope to see you all soon enough!