Monday, May 31, 2010

Amsterdam Continues

The last week in Amsterdam has been pretty great. I have been sick for a few days now but I seem to be on the mend. Some sort of respiratory or sinus infection.

Stephen and I went out wandering on Saturday to see if we could find me a pair of shoes. That is a close to impossible task since my feet are a US size 4 and I only wear vegan shoes/boots (no leather, suede, etc). Anyway, we walked by a place that looked like nothing to me and Stephen suggested that we go in. It was a vegan shoe store! And they had one pair left of the coolest shoes ever. And since my feet are such a weird size and all of the regular sizes sell out so quickly...they fit! I was so excited and so was Stephen. We had been looking for shoes for me for a long long time. Yay for happy vegan mini feets!

We are going to look into renting a car. It seems like the best way to go. We'll get to see so much more, I think overall it will be cheaper and we won't have to carry ridiculous amounts of stuff on our backs.

We still don't know where we are heading from here. Maybe Germany or maybe Belgium. I think it really depends on the car situation.

Busking hasn't been happening here. Since I have been sick and we had so many friends around, we've just been chilling and enjoying the sights. We are going to attempt a minimum of an hour each day once we leave Amsterdam.

I guess that's about all of our noteworthy news. The plan at this point is to go to the sex museum today.
Oh and Stephen's been working with one mini hoop. It looks awesome. We're going to shoot a video soon. And my yoga podcasts are in the making, more info to come.

New fb pics here

Love to you all. xo
Erin

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Amsterdam


Our entire experience getting to Amsterdam was a nightmare. We flew with RyanAir and it was a disaster from the beginning. The flight departed at 6:55am which meant that we had to get up at 4am. The front desk person got the time wrong and woke us at 3:30. That part turned out for the best since it took us pretty much the entire hour to get ready. We had both slept for 2 and a half hours the night before since we realized that the checked baggage limit for RyanAir is 15kg. My pack was 17.6 and Stephen's was 19.6 in Toronto. We headed out at midnight (after paying 35 pounds to add another bag) to try to print a new boarding pass. It took us awhile to find an internet cafe that was open and by the time we got back to our room (aka sardine can) and settled into our respective bunk-beds, it was 1am. When we finally got into our taxi in the morning to take us to the airport, our driver informed us that even though on our tickets it said that we only needed to arrive half an hour early at the airport, it may not be true. He said the gate closes before the flight and that he had missed his flight one time because of it. Anyway, we were in a panic and a rush and when we got to the airport, an hour and 15 minutes and 80 pounds later, we were shocked to see the size of the lines at the baggage drop. Long story short, we got our luggage situation figured out by guessing since the scale ate our money and didn't tell us anything. Luckily we guessed correctly. Before we got to the baggage drop though, they started calling to see if anyone in the line was traveling to Eindhoven and told us to get in a different line because our flight was leaving soon. Everything went smoothly with me but they told Stephen that he would have to take his backpack through the oversized luggage section where they proceeded to search him. When he was done there we went through security, or at least tried. They wouldn't let Stephen through because they hadn't stamped his boarding pass at the baggage drop. He ran back and got that taken care of while I went through security. When he got back to security, they took his computer and ran tests on it. By the time we were finally through and proceeded to the section where we could find out our gate and flight status, we saw that it was the final call for our flight. Keep in mind we were going on very little sleep and it was incredibly early. We full out sprinted toward the gate. I like to think that I'm in pretty good shape but I could only keep up that pace for so long. My legs were burning like crazy and eventually we had to slow to a walk. I'm happy to say that we did make the flight and eventually it was smooth sailing. The flight was short and sweet and we took a bus from the airport into Amsterdam.

It was great to watch Stephen as we entered the city, his enthusiasm for the all of the bikes and the overall atmosphere was awesome.

We are staying in an apartment that's affiliated with Bob's Youth Hostel. It feels like we are living in the lap of luxury after the last place. It's very spacious, we have a kitchen and even a tv (not that it's been turned on at all but still).

We rented bikes and headed to an incredible park where we practiced Acro for a bit and then met up with Sebastian from Toronto. The next day we all met up with Wendy from New York and headed to the Dutch Acrobatics Festival in a place outside of Haarlem (which is two trains stops outside of Amsterdam) and we spend four days there. It was so much fun. There were people from all over the world as well as amazing workshops and performances. Sunday evening, the last part of the performance was an incredible group called This Side Up. Check out more about them here.

The four of us rented bikes and each morning and evening we rode to and from the festival. It was about 15 minutes each way and a relaxing and beautiful way to start and end each day.

We've decided to stay in Amsterdam for another week. We haven't really had any time to do much sight-seeing, other than what we've seen from our bikes so we're hoping to do that now. Sebastian's girlfriend arrived yesterday and the four of us are going to go on a canal tour tonight. Tomorrow we're hoping to take a yoga class, go to the Van Gogh museum and have a picnic in the park. We have all agreed to go on a guided tour of the Red Light District as well.

From here it looks like we're heading back to England for the Southern Lights Festival. We may stop in Belgium but at this point we have no set plans. We'll keep you all updated as we go :)

Oh and click here for more fb pics.

Love to you all,
Erin

video

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Leaving London


We are so ready to go. The hostel we've been staying at for the last few nights has been less than ideal and we are both feeling like we would have been fine with spending 3 or 4 days in London as opposed to a week.

We tried to busk yesterday. We had costumes, a really solid flow, a big crowd and we made NOTHING. We are having a hard time because we don't want to ask people for money (we did have a hat out) but if we don't then they don't give us anything.
We've been discussing putting up posters to advertise shows that we'll put on in parks, maybe followed by a workshop or class. It's a learning experience anyway.

On the positive side of things...
We ran together yesterday morning in Hyde Park! It was beautiful. Stephen hadn't run for years and I've been focusing on so many other things lately that I haven't done much running (and every time I do, I overdo it and end up in serious pain). We did 2 minutes run, 1 walk for the first couple and then 1 minute of each for about half an hour.

After our jog we grabbed hoops and yoga mats and had an awesome practice in the best park that I've seen in London.

We went to an awesome vegetarian restaurant in Soho last night called Mildred's. Almost everything was vegan and incredible (mixed mushroom pie, or wellington according to Stephen, omg!). The atmosphere was great and the art on the walls was phenomenal and created by one of the servers. We actually liked the art so much that Stephen got his card so that we can discuss tattoo design. His name is Mark Boyce, check him out here.

We need to leave our hostel around 3:30am to get to the airport so it's going to be an early night. Amsterdam tomorrow!

Love to you all,
Erin

PS For the non-facebookies, see more pics here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Landed


We made it to London! Our flight was delayed and we landed almost 8 hours after we were scheduled to but here we are. It was a long flight with a bit of a detour because of the volanic ash. I was squished between Stephen and a rather large gentleman and I don't think I've ever been so happy to get off a plane. I think it was an extremely jarring experience for Stephen because he hadn't flown since a trip to PEI when he was a child.

I can't believe we got everything done that we needed to before we left and made it to the airport. We were up until 3am the night before we left, at the goodbye party that Beantpal so graciously threw and then doing some last minute packing. We got 4 hours of sleep and then continued with packing and errands.

Stephen's parent's and brother, Jon, picked us up in a van and saw us off. We couldn't have done it without them. Thank you so much guys!

We weren't sure what the situation would look like at customs since we only purchased a one-way ticket but it was a very smooth and quick process.

We checked in at the hostel and managed to book another night here. We slept in and missed check out the first night (oops) and today was another late day. I guess we still haven't adjusted to the time difference.

So yesterday was our first day busking! It was sort of an accident. We weren't prepared for it at all and had talked about training but when we stumbled onto an area with TONS of street performers, we decided to give it a shot. I'll just say a couple of things:
-yay us for trying (we even made a bit of money!)
-we learned a lot about what not to do
-we're excited to try it again when we are better prepared

Today we are moving to a new hostel in Soho. It looks like there are lots of veggie cafes around and like it's a little more suited to our style so I'm excited.

It's been a lot of fun riding the double-decker buses all around town and going through the grocery stores to discover the differences and similarities.

I am loving London. Lots of beautiful parks and interesting buildings.

Time to move to our new 24 hour home.

Love to you all,
Erin

Stephen's promising his debut post soon :)

PS If you're not on facebook, you can see more pictures here http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=170312&id=518028180&l=43ca5ee016

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Beginning


Here I go again! Weeee!

Before I really get into it, I would like to get a few things out of the way...The donate button: I hope I don't come across as a complete ass but I am setting out on an adventure of a lifetime and I have a limited amount of funds so if people want to help me out I would be most grateful. Having said that, please do not feel pressured in any way. I want to share my experiences freely so I hope you enjoy!

Also, if you live in Kingston and wish to purchase an adult or kid-size, professional weighted hoop for hoopdance (aka hula hoop), please let me know. I have a bunch and all proceeds will go toward living my dream.

What is the dream? To travel the world and meet amazing people, see awesome things and get out there! I want to let opportunities and experiences happen. I feel like I have a lot to offer and I want to move out of the rigidity of the life I have been trying to live and into a more fluid existence.

I love acroyoga or partner balancing as well as many other circus arts. I have been working hard and I'm ready to get out there and perform as well as continue to learn. I hope that performing and training will be a large part of my journey.

And of course I am sharing this experience with someone very special, Stephen. We met in our high school years and reconnected over facebook last year. We met up in person and there was magic and here we are, ready to go on an amazing adventure together! He told me that he wanted to learn acroyoga and that he would be my partner so it's been on for the last few months. He is incredible (in so many ways), he has learned so much in such a short period of time. We did our first performance together recently and I'll post the video when it's up on youtube.

We leave May 11 and fly into London, England. Speaking of which, I should get back to packing and last minute preparations.

My vision for this blog is that it becomes a space for Stephen and I to post our experiences, thoughts, pictures, etc and for you all to be able to learn and visit places and meet people through us as well as keeping in contact and seeing our performances.

If you have any comments or questions or constructive criticism, please feel free to share.

Peace out,
Erin