NYC & Caribbean Dreaming

Hello,

I’ve been missing AGAIN recently because i’ve been holiday which is a totally lame excuse for not posting, but y’know what I have some pretty pictures to make up for it.

On Monday I got back from a trip to New York followed by a Caribbean cruise stopping off at Bermuda, St Maarten, Puerto Rico and Haiti. This was my first cruise and I was unsure if I liked the whole idea of staying on a boat for 9 days, but it was undoubtedly amazing. Royal Caribbean made it the most enjoyable experience it could have possibly been with great staff, phenomenal food and brilliant entertainment.

We didn’t have long in New York and having already been and experienced most of the high profile tourist attractions we spent a lot of time shopping. However, we did take a 9/11 walking tour and visited the memorial before going to the observatory at the top of the One World Trade Center. I was only six years old in 2001 and obviously have since learned and been educated about the events of the 11th of September. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the events of the day and period surrounding 9/11 and it was entirely different to hear it from someone who lived in New York at the time. I wasn’t overly keen to do the tour, but I’m really glad that I did. The memorial consists of two beautiful waterfalls/reflecting pools surrounded by the names of everyone who died as a result of the attacks that day. The memorial plaza is equally as beautiful, a quiet space filled with trees, definitely a place you could go to sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pool 9/11 Memorial Reflecting Pool

We also visited the Radio City Music Hall for a tour which I wasn’t expecting to enjoy but it was really interesting and our tour guide Alvin was hilarious. The designs inside the venue were incredible and y’know what? I got a picture with a ‘Rockette’ (if you’re from the UK this possibly doesn’t mean much to you because I literally had no idea, but google it cause they’ve got some serious high kicks).

Inside Radio City Music Hall

That’s pretty much it for New York. I walked. I shopped. I ate. I jet lagged.

Onto the cruise and the ship that we were lucky enough to step onto was the Anthem of the Seas. It’s so big I’m not entirely sure that it still counts as a ship, it’s more like a floating town.

Anthem of the Seas docked at Puerto Rico

One of my favourite stop offs was Puerto Rico purely because I loved all the coloured buildings. If I could choose to paint my house any colour it would definitely be orange. Therefore this is definitely my future house. San Juan also had A LOT of shops…and not cute little gift shops, think of any high street or high end shop and it was it there.

Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

Haiti was really beautiful and for entirely different reasons. Royal Caribbean own the part of the island that the boat docks at – Labadee – so it did feel a bit like Disneyland, but there were so many cool activities to do there including a massive zip line 500 feet above the sea and a terrifying roller coaster down through the trees. It was so incredibly hot in Haiti that I may or may not have gone to the little kids water play area as a twenty year old adult just to cool down.

Haiti Labadee, Haiti

The part of St Maarten we visited was a bit less photogenic than the rest. Our taxi driver happily informed us that Donald Trump owns a house on the island – lucky them – along with many other high profile names. While we were there we visited the beach that planes have to fly really low over to land at the airport: you’ve probably seen a viral video or two on your Facebook. Bermuda was really cute, but my camera was obviously absent that day as I have virtually no photos of the occasion. I left without a ‘I survived the Bermuda Triangle’ t-shirt but in retrospect I regret not celebrating the occasion.

I Went To Skye

Hello,

As a Scottish person who is ridiculously proud and unashamed of Scotland and her Scottishness I’ve seen shockingly little of the country.

This past week I went to Skye to see my friend who recently made the move to live there and it was one of the most fun adventures I’ve had in ages without having to cross any borders. The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides and has a landscape like you wouldn’t believe. At some points I could have sworn we had been transported to a tropical island (albeit a tropical island experiencing a minor hurricane). We visited lots of ‘tourist-y’ places while we were there along with seemingly all of eastern Europe and America.

Several things about Skye were surprising to me. First, all of the signs are in Gaelic first and English second. I’m used to seeing Gaelic on roadsigns, but usually after the English and in much smaller writing. Not in Skye, which was rather cool. There’s something really amazing about having the ability to speak a dying language and I really wish I could. Second, the concept of fences surrounding farmland is alien. Farm animals (mainly sheep) roam free on the roads and pretty much just chill out wherever they want to. There were loads of adorable lambs bounding about and it was très cute. Third, it’s so ridiculously spread out. I’ve been to Orkney before and I was expecting it to be a similar thing. Somehow, though, Skye seems a lot more secluded because to get from one place to another while we were travelling around it involved a good half hour car journey.

First stop was Neist Point which is the most Westerly point of Skye and is home to Neist Point Lighthouse. It’s quite steep and for my unfit and clumsy self it took a bit of effort but it was worth it.

Neist Point, Skye

Next, we went to see a coral beach in Claigan. Definitely not a beach you expect to see in Scotland which are usually pebble beaches with dirty brown water washing up on the shore. However, at this beach the water was crystal clear, blue and absent of mud. Win.

Claigan Coral Beach

My favourite stop off, and it’s somewhere I had my sights set upon before we got there, was the Fairy Pools. My photos do not do them justice because they honestly are mesmerising. There were a few brave swimmers there when we went, but a little paddle with our feet and hands was enough for us. Yes, the water was f*cking freezing (non too dissimilar from every other body of water in Scotland).

Fairy Pools Skye Fairy Pools Skye Fairy Pools Skye Fairy Pools Skye

We also had a wee stop off at the Talisker Distillery, but were unfortunately too late for a tour. It looked rather different to every other distillery I’ve seen in my time and that’s mainly down to the fact that all of the buildings were white. A common theme which runs throughout the entire island.

So, all in all, if you get the chance to visit the Isle of Skye then you definitely should because it’s beautiful and probably unlike anything else you’ll ever experience. I’m hoping to go back soon to explore some more!

Books I’ve Read Recently

Recent Reading

Hello!

I’ve been trying to get back into reading again recently and I’ve read two books that I fell in love with. One is a classic that I’m sure many people have already read, the other was published in 2001 and has been acclaimed by many. Both of these books have great film adaptations (oddly both star Keira Knightley) which I had seen prior to reading the books, but as is the case with most books they provided so much more depth and an overall greater, more complete story. I’m not going to give away any spoilers of the plots, so don’t be afraid to read on.

Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen – I think a lot of people are put off reading Jane Austen because they’re intimidated by it alongside many other authors including Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens. The plot can be a bit difficult to follow at times, but I think having watched the film adaptation (and the BBC series) first made it easier to follow. This book was written at a time when women were far from equal in society and Jane Austen’s ‘tell it like it is’ attitude paints this all too clearly. One of my favourite things about the novel aside from the love story? The humour. A lot of people might assume that the book is devoid of any sentiment of comedic value, but it is there if you just dig a little deeper. Plus, when reading it I can’t help but visualise Mr Darcy as Colin Firth and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Atonement: Ian McEwan – This is one of the greatest films I have ever seen and it’s pretty dire that it has taken me this long to read the book. This book makes you hate a character like you’ve never hated a fictitious being before, but as the novel progresses you will begin to have an understanding of why ‘the event’ happened. When you start to fall in love with other characters they are taken away from you and the ending is possibly the most unsatisfactory ending ever written. However, it is BRILLIANT. It’s a book that will make you smile and cry within the space of about five pages and I, myself know that I became emotionally over involved in the plot. A pretty strong indication you’ve read a great book. If you don’t like reading then 100% watch the film, you will not be disappointed *cough* James McAvoy.

Have you read either of these books? What are your favourite novels?

Kirsty x

Giveaway Winner!

Hello!

Just to let you guys know that a winner was chosen at random from all of the entries for my bundle giveaway and it was the lovely Sarah from www.thingssarahloves.blogspot.co.uk

Thank you so much for all of the entries, I had almost 500! I’ll definitely be doing another giveaway soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Giveaway finale

 

Kirsty xx

Reading Old Facebook Statuses | Bloguary 13

Hello!
Today’s bloguary is another ‘vloguary’ because I uploaded a YouTube video and I don’t actually have a planned post for today (organisation at its finest ladies and gents).

In the video I read some of my old Facebook statuses and y’know what? A lot of them are rather embarrassing. I took the statuses from 2010, the year that I turned 15 years old and was very very unwise.

Enjoy!

Got Meghan Interview | Bloguary 11

Hello!
Today I have a bit of a different kind of post for you all, and it’s something I’ve never done before. I interviewed a fellow blogger called Meghan who runs the blog called ‘Got Meghan’s Blog’. Meghan was one of the first people to tweet me and let me know she was loving my blog and it honestly made me feel so great. Got Meghans Blog has all sorts of posts from disability to music and she even writes the occasional short story! I’ll pop all her links at the end of the post so make sure you check out her wonderful blog and social media.

Blogger Profile
Blogger Name: Meg(z)han – a combination of my actual name and nickname
Blog Name: Got Meghan’s Blog
Age: Mid-20s
Location: USA

Basics
How long have you been blogging for?

I’ve been blogging since 2009. So six years! It’ll be seven in October! Yikes!

Why did you start your blog?
While in my last English course of high school, we were assigned to create little blogs to do in class and out of school if we wanted to, I had been introduced to it that summer, but didn’t think I’d like it or use it outside of class, boy was I wrong!!

Is this your first blog, or did you run any blogs previous to this one?
I’ve had two blogs, the one I did in school of course. I used it for about two years. I created my WordPress blog out of the fact I liked the themes and layout better. Some days I regret making that decision but I didn’t know how to get very creative with the templates for Blogger back then.

General Questions
What is your favourite blog post you’ve ever written and why?

I have quite a few that have turned into favorites of mine, but I’ll only pick two:
Waiting For Superman: I’m a fan of superheros as you’ve probably known for a while, but some concepts of the characters have affected me differently than other characters in TV shows/movies. It’s my favorite because I’ve literally cried and felt the same way as these characters.
I also had another post, but it’s no longer up as I’m in the middle of trying to fix it. It’s a music page I created in 2012. It was a timeline of what I used to listen to as a kid to now. One of these days I’ll finally finish it and have it back up and running!

If you could pick anywhere in the world to travel to where would it be?
I’ve been asked this question a lot and my answer always changes in some way! I would love to travel to England (purely because I have a lot of friends and I am obsessed with the history there!) and Poland (again, I have a close friend there and I just want to hang out with her and have a tour of her country.) Lastly there’s The Netherlands (majority of the reason of why I’d like to go there is that I have Dutch in my blood, it’s a distant ancestry but still I’d like to learn about life there and what made my distant relatives to travel on the Mayflower to North America. Also I really love music from over there too! This country alone rules both rock and dance for me!)

I think that living and growing up in America and the UK is vastly different, what do you think are the most different parts of life in the UK and life in America? Would you change it?
There are definitely a LOT of differences between America and the UK. I wish both countries had a course you could take to study on just the other’s history in school! I think I would have enjoyed it! I find accents are very interesting! There’s one American accent that I loathe and it’s the country drawl. It’s by no means hot. I enjoy hearing UKers speak though; it’s so weird to say that out loud but the differences in words like “blueberries” and “scone” are very neat! Even though I much prefer how we say “scone” then how you all say it, sorry! I also find things like “nappies” are diapers and “wellies” are rubber/rain boots here to be very strange.

On your blog you write a lot about music, if you could pick just one musician to listen to for the rest of your life who would it be and why?
Honestly I really do listen to a LOT of different music but I feel like I’d want something ambient; that’ll keep me motivated while I work and also sooth me if I’m depressed too! So i’d choose Future World Music. And then there’s the fact I need words in my music too. So I would say Within Temptation (Dutch band!), since their music is a little bit of both! I’m sorry, I always have to be complicated!

There is sometimes an assumption that ‘all bloggers should support each other’, to what extent do you agree with this?
I think bloggers should support one another, but here’s my whole point of view on it. Everybody has and will have a different opinion of something. I think people need to expect that somebody else isn’t going to agree or disagree with them on everything. You just have to live with it and it’s better to let them have their piece on the matter and keep your mouth shut. I tell my nana this all the time, you don’t have to react to everything that is said. Just breathe and let it go.

Did you initially start your blog as a disability blog (in part) or did that develop after you discovered fellow disability bloggers?
I always knew I wanted a place to talk about it, both the positive and negatives of it. I actually didn’t talk about it as much as on my first blog because I wasn’t sharing it anywhere. When I created my second one, it was more constant. I didn’t start to follow other disabled bloggers until 2013, It wasn’t until 2014 that I started to use the RT accounts on Twitter more and joined in on the chats that I managed to find a whole bunch of people that had disabilities and blogged about it too!

Have you met anyone with the same disability as you through blogging?
I’ve only met one blogger that has Arthrogryposis, but sadly we’re not that close.
I’ve been known that even though I have a disability I can still have a life. I think a lot of people just assume we just lay around and like having somebody do things for us and I’ll be honest I hate lounging around, doing nothing when I have things to do. I’ve never liked having other people do things for me, I still have family members that do it and they all know not to do it unless I ask for it. I like to learn more things that maybe I couldn’t or didn’t want to do years ago. I love blogging about it and everybody that reads my blog or just those posts seem to enjoy them too!

If you could ask me any question what would it be? 
Meghan’s question for me: Do you know your family history? If so, where did your family originate from?
Unfortunately, my family history is beyond boring. As far as I know, pretty much all my ancestors are from Scotland. I can trace some of my ancestors back to the clan of my surname with a family tartan, coat of arms, civil wars and all!
Meghan’s Links:
Blog – https://gotmeghan.wordpress.com
Twitter Handle – @gotmeghan
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