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Lyrra
28 October 2008 @ 09:39 pm
I made it back to California, America without any major hitches, although for a moment, I thought the airline had misplaced my luggage. Wouldn't be surprised if one of teh creepy crew got their paws on it, but what the hell would they want with my tampons?

I'm all settled in at one of the beachside hotels, and can I just say that although we're sliding into winter here, it does not feel that way. There are people (read: Gorgeous men, worthy of a lot of drool) still sunbathing here. Thank goodness I don't burn easily, although I made a point of getting sunglasses and sunblock on the way out of the airport. Getting over jet lag was a massive bitch though, probably helped by how warm it is here. I was always drowsing! I'm telling you, California may be America, but it's nothing like Nebraska.

Also, it dawned on me that yesterday that I was back in time to cast my vote for the elections. I'm not going to say who I voted for (Because politics is such a snarly subject, and I already bother people enough as it is), but just that I'm happy and confident about who I did choose.

But enough of this flopping around, checking out the hot Californian males. It's time to find out what Sarah Belle got her sweet self into. And first port of call?

Tch, like I'm going to say it for all the creepy bald guys to see.

Hugs and Kisses (Except to the leering, stalkerish-types),

Lyrra
 
 
Current Location: California, America
Current Music: Californication - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
 
 
Lyrra
20 October 2008 @ 09:35 pm
I still can't believe that I got mugged in Rome, Italy on Monday. He took my watch, my cellphone, my wallet (but not the cash stuffed down my bra) and...the copy of the memory stick. Damn it! I had just gone down to get breakfast at one of the local bakeries down the ways from our motel, and got distracted, and the next thing I know, it's all "Keep calm and hand over all your junk," from this disgustingly gorgeous Italian man who was not kidding. Okay, if the guy had washed a little, gotten his hair cut and shaved, he would've been hot. He smelled a bit funny, like he'd been on crack and beer, but he still looked better than many a clean man I know.

But I handed it over. Bit hard not to when he's standing there giving his stick a good shake every once in a while. And not that stick, I mean a literal stick, big thick and...okay, yeah, never mind you dirty dirties.

Actually, I'm pretty pissed about having to hand over breakfast too. I was looking forward to those bagels.

Jill was shocked, but glad I wasn't hurt. She slept through it all at the motel, and thank goodness, I didn't lose anything vital (Like my life). Jill helped sort everything out for me from cancelling my credit cards to getting me a new wallet. Jill wanted me to report it to the police, but the fact is, is that no one saw me, my description of him matches about a half of the population in Italy, never mind Rome and my Italian is negligible (Least of my concerns, really, considering how fluent Italians and the rest of Europe are with English).

What really got the goat though was this morning after everything had been restored. There I am sightseeing through binoculurs (Okay, I was checking out hot Italian men from the window of my motel room, so sue me) and there he is. A Creepy Bald Guy standing across the street, staring up at the motel window, right at me. Okay, not right at me, it's not like he could see through the curtains where I'd strategically positioned myself, but you know what wigged me out? He was wearing my memory stick around his neck. I mean how many people do you know wear a memory stick around their neck with bright red insulation tape around it? Never mind why I put insulation tape around it, okay, and please, focus.

By the time I got onto the street though, in full fury, he was gone.

But you know what? Game on creepy men. Game on. You want to know what it's like to be chased, douche bags? Because I'm coming to California. Just me. And then we'll see how you like being followed.

Lyrra

ETA: Still have the original memory stick on me, not that I'm going to say where I've put it, in case those asses decide to invade my luggage. I've also sent a courier package of a copy to Ann and Jill has a copy too. I've even sent a copy home. Good luck in keeping that undercover creepy bald crew
 
 
Current Location: Rome, Italy
Current Music: Coming For You - JoJo
 
 
Lyrra
10 October 2008 @ 03:59 pm
Oktoberfest was awesome. Am now on the way to Italy.

And yeesh, but this computer has minute font. WTF up with that? Otherwise am doing great. Have no idea if creepy bald men are still following me, but I still (despite all the revels) have the original memory stick. The copy hangs around my neck like some bizarre tailisman.

And yes, I'm texting Anne, so don't get testy if I'm not around!

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra
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Current Music: Just Stand Up - Mariah Carey, Beyonce, et al
 
 
Lyrra
14 September 2008 @ 08:57 am
So, Jill and I arrived in Munich, Germany from the night train from Paris a while ago. We're in an Internet cafe right now, we haven't gone to our motel to unpack, but first we needed breakfast. And hot strong coffee. Because, last night at the Gare du Nord, dashing for our train, bags flying everywhere, I ran into a creepy bald guy. One of the bags I had slung over my shoulder and I was trying to finish zipping burst, and books, iPod, toiletries and cellphone went flying everywhere. The creepy guy's own bag went flying too, and our stuff was everywhere. He looked seriously as stunned as I was, but there was no way about it: He was definitely one of them.

So I did something I really shouldn't have done, and stole a few of his things in the confusion, including a memory stick. I've had a look at it, and it's got photos. Of me and Jill, but mostly me. For chrissake, he even has a photo of me dancing in a cage in Sydney with Anne. Jill's gone to buy another USB stick for me to copy the info onto, just in case the original goes missing. It's got several encrypted data files and hidden folders there too. I have no idea how to get into the hidden folders, but I do know that they're there - it's a little difficult to hide the fact that although the memory stick is 90% full, I can only see approximately half of what should be on there.

After I've done the data copying, Jill and I are going to the motel, getting some rest, and hoping like hell we haven't been followed.

Or at least, we'll have a reprieve. Didn't I mention? I stole the creepy guy's tickets to Munich.

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra

ETA: I think I should go down low on LJ for a while, but I'll keep texting Anne, just so y'all know that I'm okay, alive, and getting really drunk in Germany.
 
 
Current Location: Munich, Germany
Current Music: Wenn Ich Ein Junge War - Fraulein Wunder
 
 
Lyrra
13 September 2008 @ 10:18 am
So, today is mine and Jill's last day in Paris. Too-rah hot Parisian guys! Went to all the tourist sites, which pretty much covers everything to be honest. There's no real need to go into cliches, but let me just say: Paris is the city of romance for a reason. Jill and I haven't been doing any tours in the last couple of days, just basically wandering around Paris, soaking in the sights, the sounds. And the beautifully-spoken French. Can I just say, that so far as I've heard, Frenchmen have the hottest accents ever? It's so smooth and lyrical...seriously, their voices seem to purr. And that's when they're telling you that it's three euro fifty for a cup of coffee. It's outrageous.

But tonight, Jill and I are heading to Gare du Nord to catch the night train from Paris to Munich. When we were planning this trip, Jill and I weren't sure if we should go to Paris to Munich, Germany for the Ocktoberfest at night (So we could spend more time in Paris) or during the day (So we can check out the countryside as it passes by). But the night train won by a tip of a fingernail, because we wanted to spend a little more time in Paris. And besides, countrysides do get much of a muchness after a while.

Thank goodness no more creepy bald guys following me around anymore. The idea of one of those a-holes getting loved up in Paris gives me the creeps.

Anyway, I better get some rest - I don't think I'll be getting too much on the train tonight!

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra
 
 
Current Location: Paris, France
Current Music: Quelqu'un m'a dit - Carla Bruni
 
 
 
Lyrra
12 September 2008 @ 12:23 pm
9/11  
9/11


Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra
Tags:
 
 
Lyrra
03 September 2008 @ 08:42 am
I'm in France! In Paris! Well, technically, I've been in France since last Friday, but I still can't get over it. France people. It's like...France.

I know, it's like, "Lyrra, how come you weren't as excited in Spain where there were also hot Latino boys?" Because I'm telling you, it wasn't France. Part of the excitement also stems from the years I actually did French, and surprisingly, some of it has stuck. Although, I must say, the English-French dictionary has been in play. Mostly, after hearing me painfully grind out a sentence in French, the Frenchpeople switch to English. Bless their hearts.

Jill's still taking the creepy bald guy sneaking around after us pretty well, and despite the fact that she doesn't speak French (she took Spanish and Italian at University, and yes we're going to Italy) she's handling things a lot better than I did with my Spanish in Spain. Elle est très calme. Even after we discovered one of the guys behind us in the Louvre while we were checking out the original Mona Lisa. Yeah, I'm not so artsy, but the original Mona Lisa. Why does Nebraska not have this kind of stuff?

However, Jill has a certain dislike of the French National Rugby team, although I found this calender called the Dieux de Stade where basically, every month, you have a naked rugby player (with strategic parts covered) staring back at you.

Oh, eep! Tour's about to head off without me! Better go!

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra
Tags:
 
 
Current Location: Paris, France
 
 
Lyrra
28 August 2008 @ 10:19 am
I admit right off the bat that my Spanish is somewhat lacking. The only words I know in Spanish is "Hola" (Hello), "Tenemos todo eternidad" (We have all eternity), "Querida" (Dear) and "Gracias" (Thank you). I can't imagine when I'd use the middle two unless I wanted to come across as a creepy stalkeresque type. Still, Spain is fun, at least after I got past the jet lag and inability to speak the native language. I called my mom on Monday morning when I arrived in Seville, which is the place for tourists who want to go to Spain. The noise. The color. OMG. The everything. Spain's intense, bright, vivid and yet there's so much peace in the Cathedral. Yeah, Seville's famous for its Cathedral and stone art and its the romantic city of Spain: Don Juan anyone? Compared to Australia and New Zealand, it's old (Seville's more than 2,000 years old, NZ and Australia were only "discovered" by the western world in the 1800s), but it's not a bad old.

But anyway, when I called mom, neglecting to mention that bald men may/may not be following me and Jill around, she asked me if I'd been going to church lately. My family's Catholic, even Jill's family, although they aren't strict adherents to the faith (That is, they don't go to mass every Sunday). Jill told me when I talked to her after the call to mom that she'd have to say too many Hail Marys to make up for the numerous sins she's accumulated since last confession. But it's only been a month or so since I've been to confession, and my mom told me quite firmly that whereever I am, I'm still Catholic. Sadly, I'm going to be in Europe for a while unable to speak the local language. Most Europeans speak English fortunately (Probably because they don't want their own language mangled by well-meaning tourists with pocket English-Spanish dictionaries), but I did try confessing in Spanish with my English-Spanish dictionary. I got ten Hail Marys. Ten. That's just...Or maybe the priest just gave me ten because I'd just mangled his language. But still.

I've sent a whole lot of stuff back home from my excursion in Sydney, and my pile of stuff keeps getting larger the more time I spend in Seville. It's getting a bit ridiculous - the motel room I share with Jill is overflowing with pretty little statuettes and souvenirs from all the places we've been to. I've got to make sure everything's well wrapped before I send them all off, which is going to be a mission. But next stop after Spain tomorrow is Paris, France, where there will be a lot of clothes shopping. Jill and I will be staying there for a week, and fortunately, there's been no creepy bald guy prowling after us since we arrived in Spain. Maybe we shook him off?

The last couple of days in Sydney were fun. Jill and I went to see the Sydney Opera House and we got to check out market day there! So many pretties. LoL, I only just resisted buying something from every stall, but there was still a small haul afterwards. Good thing we went to the stalls after we'd done the backstage tour of the Opera House. Admittedly, the tour started at 7am, which is a ridiculous time to roll out of bed when on holiday, but it was totally worth it. We didn't see any performances (because it was a Sunday and Jill and I aren't that big on opera anyway), but the place is amazing.

I got to see the party side of Sydney too thanks to Anne. That was fun, and there was thank goodness no discussion of creepy bald guys, although, yes I did see one a time or two. Which goes to show, these guys are crap at being discreet, if they're being made by me of all people. I'm possibly the most uncoordinated person in existence, and add a little alcohol and I'm all over the show. And also lacking in inhibitions apparently, because I recall rubbing against some good-looking Irish guy at one of the clubs. I ended up dancing in a cage at the end of the night, doing the sluttiest moves ever with Anne, which had me in hysterics. Jill, who's actually a little more restrained than I am decided to get more sleep, having been out partying with her friend Dana the night before when I was packing everything to send home and luggage for the trip to Spain. Anyway, it was a good night, with some very good-looking guys thrown in (No, that's not the alcohol talking), so the time in Sydney was definitely well-spent. I also gave Anne my cell number too, although I'm not sure if she still has it? Cellphone's a lot easier to reach me as opposed to e-mail, because not every place has an easily findable Internet cafe.

Now I'm off to finish packing. Hot French boys, here we come!

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra

ETA: I spent some time watching the Olympics at the motel in Sydney too. And all I have to say is oh my. The gorgeous guys. The amazing feats. Serious woe-age
 
 
Current Location: Seville, Spain
Current Music: Abriendo Puertas - Gloria Estefan
 
 
Lyrra
16 August 2008 @ 04:23 pm
Well damn. So, for the past three weeks, Jill and I have been making our way up New Zealand (It cleared up, thank goodness, and so we took the train from Wellington to Auckland. The country's like a damn post card, it's so pretty. Jill begs to differ: "Lyrra, gorse is not pretty. Especially when you fall into it." ) and going across the ditch (Kiwi-isms!) to Queensland, Australia. Specifically the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding tourist towns. Although I'll grant you that Australia's got its own charm, there's a more vibrant, in-your-face feel to it, as opposed to New Zealand, which has a sleepy, quiet beauty to everything. I'm thinking that it's because of all the sheep and cows that are around every bend in New Zealand, as opposed to the fact that there do seem to be more cattle of the (hot men) people variety in Australia.

When I arrived at Sydney yesterday though, all revved up to meet Anne after I'd got settled in at the motel Jill and I were staying at, I got a pretty big-ass shock. There Anne was at the front of the Orient Hotel, looking rather…murderous. And it hit me that maybe I should've bought Jill along to meet Anne, just in case Anne really was a serial killer behind those pithy online comments.

But no. The first thing Anne says to me is "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!" In caps. And yes Anne, I know you're reading this. But believe me, that was not the greeting I had in mind. "G'day Lyrra, how's it going?" was more like it. But there we are, in front of this glorious building with people streaming by, and my dear friend Anne looks like she's about to have a coronary. Well no, no one who's about to have a coronary could've grabbed my arm quite so viciously, so that we're nearly nose to nose – a feat in and of itself, because Anne's quite a bit taller than me. "Don't you know that Sarah's missing?" she hisses at me. "We're…" And then another yank, to a shadowy corner, and here, I get a little creeped out. No offense Anne, but Jesus.

In any case, the story comes out of Anne after she calms down a bit (A few drinks did the trick) was that Sarah Belle was missing, and the FBI was looking into it. And it looked like Sarah's LJ friends were being targeted by creepy bald guys. Seriously. I could not believe it. I've been a bit too caught up in the whole travel jazz to sit down and find an internet café, but…yeah, it feels like I just turned my back and suddenly, wham bam. Creepy people on the loose. So yeah, I wasn't that big a believer.

But then today, I went online and checked Sarah Belle's livejournal. Googled her name. And Anne was right. There's something plain wrong. I've just talked to Jill about it, and this expression that I've never seen before crept across her face. She looks at me and goes, "Lyrra…I think your friend's not the only one being followed." Which made me want to scream, because I may be pretty obtuse, but no way could I miss the inference there. We were being followed. And obviously whoever was following us wasn't doing a good job if a twenty-year-old just graduated linguistics student can make him. There's no way in hell that I'm telling mom that I'm being followed when I ring home tonight – she's bad enough as it is ("Lyrra, be careful! Americans aren't well-liked nowadays!") but telling her that something's not right will send her through the roof. Poor Dad must be having a time of it.

But Jill and I are staying in Sydney for a couple of more days before we head up to the northern hemisphere, namely Spain. I know that I said we'd be going to English speaking countries, but Jill and I decided to skip Britain (The idea of spending more time in rain makes me soggy) and go instead to Europe where Jill can put her linguistic skills to work (I took French in high school, but all I really got was "Je me levee a six heures," which I think is both wrong anyway and not useful, unless someone wants to know that I get up at six o'clock). Hopefully I'll remember to check online for Sarah, and I'll lose whoever's following me. If that's not possible, I'll split from Jill – she refuses to consider us splitting up, but this OE is her dream, and I am NOT going to ruin it for her.

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra

ETA: The Olympics. GO AMERICA!
 
 
Current Location: Sydney, Australia
Current Music: This Love - The Veronicas
 
 
Lyrra
31 July 2008 @ 10:59 am
The rain just won't stop dribbling down in New Zealand. I swear, there's this never ending storm over this country right now, and although I don't mind it (The house here I'm telling you is very cosy)it's screwing up the travel plans. Flights keep being delayed throughout the country, and it's just too damn soggy.

On the other hand, we've bought tickets to Australia (specifically to Queensland, where there's the Great Barrier Reef). It's an odd time to be travelling in the southern hemisphere because it's winter down here, but it should still be warm enough to go for a swim in the Reef. And even if it isn't, at least there'll be no more blessed storms. Grr. So we'll definitely be in another country by next week, which means I'll be seeing Anne around the fifteenth (if you can ever tear me out of Queensland!). I'm excited! Jill, ever the heart and soul of things said to me, "You should be careful. She might be a serial killer for all you know." This, coming from someone who met her boyfriend online. Yeesh.

So this week's been pretty quiet, storms not withstanding. There may/may not have been more time spent with Andy. Hey, we both know it's not going anywhere, we're just having fun. Besides, he's a nice guy, and you cannot, cannot have a trip around the world this big and not have a fling of some sort. Jill's parents don't mind as long as we keep private things private and that I'm not going to get pregnant (Yeah, that was one awkward conversation I'm telling you). Jill's been a-dither, because she really wants to travel to Wellington and then Auckland to see friends, but the weather...yick. The problem is mostly on the fact that while I have scads of money thanks to Great-Aunt Lyrra and could probably travel for the rest of my life without any worries, Jill doesn't have the same lee-way (Great-Aunt Lyrra's related to me on my mother's side, Jill's related to me on my father's side. Great-Aunt Lyrra never even knew Jill existed, although that old bird knew more than she let on). Yeah, she's been saving for this since she was twelve and she spent a year working for this before going to university, but for her, everything's got to be calculated down to the last bristle on her toothbrush. I told her that if things get tight, I can always...help, but Jill's Jill.

In any case, I'm getting excited. James is currently rewatching last week's rugby game between the All Blacks and the Australian team to rev himself up for this week's re-match (I can hear bellows of "No! No, why did you do that?!" from the lounge. There's also a pounding sound, which if I'm not mistaken is No-Neck destroying Aunt Aly's top-of-the-range wooden table as he tries to pound his team to a win. Which isn't possible, because they've already lost.)

Here's hoping it stops storming soon!

Hugs and Kisses,

Lyrra
 
 
Current Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Nesian 101 - Nesian Mystik