I felt like I knew New Orleans before I even got there. It has such a strong identity in films, books, and TV that I had very set expectations. The jazz, southern hospitality, beignets, and everything that’s in The Princess and the Frog (probably including a saxaphone-playing alligator). It doesn’t have the same fictional magic in the air that cities like New York do; New Orleans is a grittier version of it’s stereotypes. There’s binge drinking, poverty, and some unsavory places to be. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was amazing in different ways.
First of all, though, I have to tell you about one of the most surreal experiences of my life which happened on my first morning in this city.
Contacts or glasses for travelling? All of you strutting around with your perfect 20:20 vision may not understand the importance of this one, but as a full-time glasses wearer, please believe me when I say it is a big deal. I need help to see things that are far away. While my vision is not too bad, I like it to be perfect whenever possible so I always wear glasses in day-to-day life and usually when I’m travelling, too. Besides, who wants to stare across the river to the Budapest parliament building and see a bit of a blur?
This might not sound like much of a problem. ‘Just wear your glasses then and get on with it,’ I hear someone cry. But sadly it’s not that simple because prime travelling time is during summer, which is when the sun is brightest. And there’s one thing here that we can all agree on – sunglasses on top of glasses are just not the one. So, those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be gifted with perfect eyesight have two choices; squinting or blurriness.
It’s a battle that I waged war with regularly, but now I can finally say I have a solution.
Theme park food is generally thought of as being burgers, fries, and various other forms of fast food. That might be the case at most amusement parts around the world, but Walt Disney World likes to break the mould. I’ve had some of the best meals of my life on Disney property (and it’s even more incredible on Disney Cruise Line), much to the surprise of most people.
While Disney do provide the traditional fare of pizzas and hotdogs, they also have gormet restaurants where you can sit down after a busy day of meeting characters and going on rides. Some are in the parks themselves, and others are located in the 25 Disney resort hotels as well. With so much choice, it’s hard to know what’s amazing and what’s average. Here are my top five Disney table service restaurants – when you sit down and a server brings food to your table – to help you pick where you want to eat on your next trip.
Budapest is cheap, especially where accommodation is concerned. When we started looking for a suitable hostel, we quickly realised that we could afford a fairly decent hotel for only slightly more than the price of a hostel elsewhere. Result.
I really recommend the hotel we stayed in, which features a balcony that I could happily stand on, staring off into the distance, all day. Plus, Budapest has some very cool hostels, perfect for those who want to explore the ruin bars all night.
While my group of friends have been in and out of relationships, I prefer to sail along with single life and only put in time and effort when the right person comes along. So, as you might expect, I’ve been single for many a Valentine’s Day. Usually on February 14th around half of my closest friends are in relationships. In one horrific year at Uni, I was the only single person in our house of three couples. I felt like I was taking up much-needed space in the living room, and probably should have crept up to my room to watch TV instead.
But this year is going to be different. For the first time, all of my uni housemates are single along with me, so naturally we’re having a massive Galentine’s Day celebration.