Tag Archives: dancing

Fatboy Slim

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 7:15 am on January 3, 2013.  We packed up our bags and had breakfast.  Ivan and I said thanks and good-bye to Elizabeth.

We got a taxi at 8 pm to the airport.  Our flight left at 9:35 am headed to Guarulhos.  Ivan and I slept during the hour flight since we only slept 5 hours.

We all had lunch at the airport.  Ivan and I shared tuna sandwiches that tasted weird to me.  We used the internet.

Our flight to Navagantes was at 12:50 pm.  The plane arrived at 2:10 pm.

We got a taxi to Balneário Camboriú which is 35 km and it cost us $42 USD to get there – way too much money.

Ivan checked us in to the Hotel Plaza Camboriu which is close to the beach.

Lil Dave was happy that there was a double bed for us and a single bed just for him.  Ivan and I used the internet.

Ivan walked around to see the beach to see the stage for Fatboy Slim at the Big Beach Boutique tonight.  It looked miles away from our hotel. 

At 5 pm, we walked to Los Paleteros which is a place that sells Mexican popsicles.  Ivan and I each got Chocolate Belga (Belgium Chocolate) while Dave got Banana.  The popsicles were so very chocolaty and tasty.  Lil Dave thought his was tasted great.

Lil Dave went back to get ready for a monkey party on a boat. 

Avenida Brasil was busy with cars.  Ivan and I walked down the street trying to find a taxi and we couldn’t see any.  After about 10 minutes, we finally found one.  He took us near the stage for tonight.  There were people selling tickets for the event.  Ivan and I checked out the backstage area which is right behind the backstage.  We’re not really sure why you’d want to see the back of the DJs instead of be in front where all the action happens. 

We found out from a lady where you can print your tickets that the box office wasn’t open yet, but we could try there later.  She wasn’t sure when it was opening and how much tickets cost. 

Ivan went to a few people who were selling to get two Gold tickets for R$300 each ($150 USD).  Most guys wanted R$500 per ticket.  One guy said fine even after his friend was getting mad for saying he’d take it for R$300 per ticket.  We got a good deal since the prices were a lot more at the box office.  Glad to get it all sorted before we had dinner.

Ivan and I had dinner at Casa de Lagosta.  Ivan and I shared shrimp cooked aglio & olio style and a salmon in a great orange sauce.  The salmon was a huge portion for 2 people.  We weren’t sure what time Fatboy Slim would be on.  Ivan figured there would be a few opening DJs first.  We each had an espresso.

I noticed on the screen that 3 DJs would be on before Fatboy Slim.  Ivan and I walked to the Gold area entrance.  He asked a few people what time Fatboy Slim was going to start.  Since they didn’t really speak much English and we speak no Portuguese, we were hoping they knew we were asking what time he started and not when he finished.  Two people said 11 pm.  We walked to the box office and the guy there said 9:30 or 10 pm. 

We walked around to find a place for dessert since we had time to kill since it was 7:20 pm.  We went to Meiji Sushi.  The music started at 7:30 pm and it was generic house – so we knew it wasn’t Fatboy Slim since his music is very upbeat.  Ivan and I shared a petit gateau which came with vanilla ice cream.  It tasted good even though the cake wasn’t that warm.

We walked to the Gold area entrance at 8:30 pm.  Ivan waited in line for awhile to get drinks.  He got a bunch of Smirnoff Ice for later (so we wouldn’t have to keep going back to the bar) and Jagerbombs for us.. then, we headed to the dance floor.  Dexterz was on which had a DJ, a violinist and a drummer.  They played some lovely music.  We danced awhile and then the next DJ came on who was alright.  It started showering at the end of the set. 

Fatboy Slim came on at 11 pm. 

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When he started DJing fireworks went off above the whole stage structure.  It was really cool.  His sets are always filled with fun, upbeat music.  There’s usually a lot of vocals and classic tunes.  The visuals on the big screen were really cool. 

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I saw a 3D rendering of Fatboy Slim, lots of yellow smiley faces and skulls.  I liked the white paint on his face and in black Dance Bitch was written on his face.  When he played Can you help me find Fatboy?, he was on the screen with his face painted yellow and a black smiley face drawn on his face. 

Ivan and I were in the front off to the side where there was plenty of room to dance.  Part of the Gold area is a covered area with VIP tables and tables where you stand – this area was packed with people. 

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We danced like crazy to Fatboy Slim.  The rain made it cooler out which is good when you’re dancing since you get hot.  It started raining hard for a few minutes, but then it finally died down. 

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Fatboy Slim had a canopy over him so he stayed dry.  It was taken down when the rain stopped.  Later, they had to put it up again.  It was a wonderful set.

Check out the video of the beginning of Fatboy Slim’s set:

It was awesome dancing to Fatboy Slim.  We could have to danced to him for hours more.

There wasn’t a taxi in site near the beach.  Ivan and I walked along the beach for awhile and then on Avenida Brasil to get back to our hotel.  It took us an hour to get back.

Photo Credit: Fireworks, Skull photo and Fatboy Slim

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Dancing the Tango

Ivan and I left at 10 am on December 18, 2012 for the Brazilian Embassy.  I had an appointment today, but Ivan didn’t write down what time it was.

There was a short line at the Embassy.  We found out that my appointment is at 1:15 pm.  Brazil charges Americans to enter the country since we charge Brazilians when they enter the USA.  We had lots of time to spare.  I had to print out my bank statement and my plane ticket exiting Brazil as part of my visa requirements.  Ivan kept asking where an internet café was and we couldn’t find one.  There was supposed to be one on Santa Fe but we couldn’t find it.  We hopped in a taxi to head back to the apartment to print, but then we spotted one in the taxi.

I got my prints and then we went to lunch at Libertad Plaza Café for the salad bar.

We went to the Embassy for my appointment.  The lady asked about entry to Brazil.  We said that we were walking in at the border at Iguazu Falls.  She said you’re going to walk to Iguazu Falls from here.  No, we’re taking a bus there I said.  She wanted the bus ticket to Iguazu Falls which is in Argentina… showing a ticket to the falls doesn’t prove I’m entering Brazil.  She wrote Doesn’t have in on my visa form.  She didn’t like my bank statement since it showed October and November, she wanted to see December transactions.  I told her that was the latest statement.  She said she needed December and that I had to come back tomorrow with that statement.. I think showing tomorrow’s date.  Great! 

Ivan and I headed back to the apartment and used the internet.  We went out again at 4:40 pm.

We went shopping on Calle Florida (Florida Street).  Ivan was looking for socks, but didn’t find any.

We stopped at a mall and got our haircuts.  The guy who did my hair was being cheeky when he said he was going to dry my ends, but didn’t tell me it was 50 pesos to blow dry it.  I didn’t end up paying for the blow dry since I told the lady at reception that I just wanted a haircut.  Still not sure how a blow dry is 50 while a regular haircut is 110. 

Ivan and I hopped into a taxi to Complejo Tango.  We signed up for the tango class before the dinner and tango show.  It should start at 7:30 pm, but Ivan read that it starts closer to 8 pm which it did. 

Our teacher was a man named Alejandro.  He showed the class how to do the basic box step.  First, the women were shown the move and then the men.  After we learned it, we danced together.  Ivan and I got to dance together at first and then switch partners.  The women had to dance the whole time since there were more men.  Some partners didn’t want to change and only dance with their significant other.  I think it’s good to switch since sometimes you learn more since you’ll dance with people who are better dancers than your partner. 

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The group was taught another move where girls turned on each side.  This was easy for the guys since they just had to move us to each side while we did all the work.  Alejandro is a great teacher who knows his tango moves and keeps the class laughing.

The last move had both partners move their hand up and then down.  Then, the man puts his right leg out and the girl wraps her leg around the man’s leg and both turn their heads and make a sexy face. 

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I had to do all the moves that we learned with a guy from London along with three other couples so that everybody passed the class.  Good thing we didn’t mess up! 

Here’s Ivan and me striking a pose.

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This tango class was so much fun.  I definitely recommend taking the class.  At the end, everybody got a certificate for passing the class.

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The group headed upstairs for the dinner and tango show. 

We got to pick our 3 course meal from different options.  We both picked salad for our starter.  Ivan picked fish and I went for steak for the main course.  I’m still being bad and eating meat.  For dessert, we picked flan with dulce de leche and a brownie with ice cream.  The food was tasty and it came with unlimited wine.

The tango show was next and it featured 3 couples dancing.  It was amazing.  The dancing was erotic and very captivating. 

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I was trying to take pictures, but it didn’t turn out that good since they’re constantly moving around.  Plus, I was so enraptured with the dancing that I didn’t want to stop watching.  I definitely prefer watching tango than flamenco since it’s more exciting and has more moves.  This was a great night filled with lots of wonderful tango. 

Watch some of the dancing we saw at the show:

You should definitely check out a tango show like Complejo Tango if you’re ever in Buenos Aires.  Ivan called up to book the show and haggled a good price which gave us closer seats.. we were front row right by the stage.

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Hot Crepes

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:30 am.  I woke up at 4:30 am and kept tossing and turning, so I didn’t have a great night’s sleep.

We headed up to breakfast for the scrambled eggs and pancake.  Lil Dave had a banana pancake.

We packed everything up, checked out and held our day pack in the luggage storage at Home Sweet Home.  Later today, we’re going to a 2 day trip to Colca Canyon.

The 16 of us that were going on the trip walked with Franco to the truck.  Ivan and I put our big backpacks on Frida the big Oasis yellow truck.

We walked around the shopping area which is mostly pedestrianized.  Arequipa is a nice city, but there’s not many street lights in the centre.  So, it can take a few minutes to cross the street using the crosswalks.  Ivan bought a pair of swimming shorts since he forgot his on the truck.  We’ll be going to hot springs later today.

It was time for lunch, so we walked to Crepísimo Crêperie.  This restaurant is run by the same owner as Zig Zag.  I had an Andean trout crepe while Ivan had a spinach and tuna.  Lil Dave got a banana and honey crepe.  My crepe was the definitely tasted the best.  The Andean trout has a similar color to salmon and tastes terrific.

We walked back to the hostel.  A group of 16 of us were picked up by Illary Tours for our Colca Canyon 2 day trip.  Our guide was a Peruvian guy named Jesus.  Ivan wonders why Jesus is such a popular name with Mexicans and Latin people.  I think it’s because they’re very religious.

The bus drove us to different places like National Park Pampa Cañahuas where we saw alpacas and vicuñas. 

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We also stopped at the Volcano Viewpoint which is 4,850 meters high (15912 feet).

Our last stop was a great view of the town Chivay.

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We arrived in Chivay, Peru at 4:30 pm and checked in to Los Portales.

Ivan and I got ready and the group left for the hot springs.

La Calera hot springs was a short drive away.  It’s 15 soles per person for entry to 3 pools.  Two of the pools are outside with one being 39° C and the other one was slightly cooler.  We chilled in the pool that’s 39° C (which was a lovely temperature) and drank a cold beer. 

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It’s true that alcohol affects you more at higher altitudes. 

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Ivan and I could feel that beer.

Bob, who’s in his 60’s, went to chat with 4 Swedish girls. I call him the Ladies Man while others say he’s Mr. Romantic.

There’s another pool inside with a sauna, but we didn’t check it out.  Sarah, Raoul and Ty said they checked out the sauna and it smells funny.  There’s another pool that’s 1.50 soles to get into, but they walked into that one and it’s nothing special.

Ivan didn’t want to leave the hot springs.  We were only there for an hour.

That night, some of the group when to see the Peña Show called Tusuy Wasi.  A set menu of 20 or 25 soles per person was available.  Ivan and I each got a hot alcoholic drink.  Ivan’s had anise in it and tasted like absinthe.  Ivan and I shared two set menus. 

A band started playing Andres folk music while a masked guy danced a traditional dance with two Peruvian girls. 

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Our soups were quinoa soup and asparagus.  The main courses were fried trout.

Lots more dancing happened.  The dancers pulled up guests to dance with them.

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One of the band members played the biggest pan pipes I’ve ever seen.  It made a deep noise. 

The guy kept dancing with a mask on.  I asked Ivan if he was really ugly and he was trying to hide his face.  Ivan said yes, he got the idea from the Phantom of the Opera.

Ivan and I shared a slice of chocolate cake (which wasn’t very chocolaty) and fruit salad.

Ivan and I were getting tired and wanted to leave, but we came on a bus with the group.

A guy and girl were dancing.  The girl was on the ground and the guy started whipping here.  We couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t think it was appropriate with little kids around.  More dancers came out.  We were talking to Wilko at this point.  One of the girls picked Wilko to dance with.

The guy dancer got on the ground along with the local girls.  Pete was on the ground near Wilko.  The girls started whipping them.  It was really funny!  The white girl was trying to mimic the whipping, but didn’t make a snapping noise like the local girls who’ve had lots of practice.  The girls then walked over Pete and Wilko while they were on the ground even over their face.  

The group wanted to go back to the hotel.  Jesus said that the driver left already so we had to walk.  We thought he was going to walk us to the hotel.  Once we got to the main square, he told somebody the directions and then he left us.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t walk us back.  Thankfully, we made it back in one piece.

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Dancing Octopus

On September 4, 2012, the Carnival Breeze was docked in Livorno.  The weather was overcast.  Typical…

Ivan and I decided to check out Livorno rather than go all the way into Florence which is what most people do. We got the free bus to the centre of the city.

We walked around, but there doesn’t seem to be much to see….I guess that’s why everyone goes to Florence!

Lunch was at a place near a bridge called Otto Risso. 

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Ivan and I shared gnocchetti pesti e noci (pesto gnocchi with nuts) and polpo cacciuccati (octopus molasses) which was lovely with a white wine.  At the end, we tried a lovely ponce alla livornese (coffee with a liquor punch and a lemon peel).

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It started showering at the end of the meal.  We started walking back to the centre.

We got back on the cruise ship at 3:40 pm.  I played the 80’s trivia which I was alright at.  Ivan headed back to the room while I played.

We chilled in the room and then relaxed in the jacuzzi. Carnival Breeze has plenty of Jacuzzi’s – on the pool deck, on the adults only part, and also on deck 5 jutting out over the side of the ship.

Ivan and I went to dinner with our tablemates.  We knew that we found a cool table since 4 out of the 6 people liked to have a good time and drink…always a good sign! 

We left dinner early to catch the 9:45 comedy show.  Chas Elstner was on first who I’ve seen somewhere before.  He was just okay.  Then, Al Katz come on next who was just terrible.

It was time to check out the Blue Iguana’s Mexican Fiesta on the pool deck.  Not much was going on there though.

So, we went to find the English couple and French/Latin couple.  We knew that it would be a good day to party since our last sea day was tomorrow.

We found them outside at the Red Frog Pub playing dominos and drinking a fishbowl.  Well, Andres was trying to teach Caroline, Marc and Clare how to play.  Clare look confused and didn’t seem like she wanted to learn.  Ivan didn’t think it was a game to play while you were drinking.. but maybe a game if you’re an old man.  Ivan and I grabbed an espresso and came back.  Nothing like a shot of caffeine to start off a night!

We talked and Ivan did a few magic tricks.  A young British couple Clare knew joined us – the girl’s name was Jennifer. Her parents obviously have really good taste in names!

It was time to dance.  We headed to the Liquid Nightclub which was packed with people.  The Latin/French couple were tired and wanted to sleep.  I told Andres he should get an espresso, but he thought it would affect him too much since he doesn’t drink it often.  Ivan told them they should stay since it was our last day to party.  Andres said they’d buy one more drink and stay awhile.  I knew that they’d be here for awhile.  It’s always one more drink and then I’ll go.. but it just makes you buzzed or drunk and want to dance more.

I said hi to the pretty French Canadian girls that we dined with one night at the bad location in the restaurant.  I keep seeing them around the ship.

We danced for awhile.  At first, the music was good fun pop music like Black Eyed Peas but then it turned into crappy ghetto hip hop (bump n grind crap) music which Ivan and I hate.  I was telling Clare that the music sucked and she agreed.  She asked me what kind of music did I want.  I said garage and drum n’ bass.  Clare went to talk to the DJ and she started pointing to me.  She told me to tell him.. so I went over there and said the music was bad and I wanted to hear some garage or drum n’ bass and he wasn’t going for that.  I said well, maybe something upbeat like YMCA and he laughed and said no.  According to Carnival 2.0 these DJs are trained to learn how to read the crowd and play what they think they want.  I think he was reading the crowd wrong and just playing what he wanted.

Ok, he did start playing some fun music.. so I was happy.  But, you would think he would notice that more people dance to the pop music than the bad hip hop music. 

I was drunk and started doing my usual craziness and hitting people’s butts (I blame the hitting people’s butts on my friend Jerry who would love to hit girls butts really hard).  Ivan and I were having fun dancing around with everybody. 

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The music was jumping around to all sorts of music like Latin. 

I noticed some of the playlist productions cast (the singers and dancers in the main shows) in the nightclub.  The Asian gay guy was really dancing like he was auditioning for a play.  I told Mark  that he was one of the cast (he didn’t know since Clare and he hasn’t been to the shows).  He dared me to go start dancing all crazy next to him.  I was going to, but then one of the other production cast members grabbed the Asian guy and left.

The Liquid Nightclub has a drink that comes in a disco ball.  Ivan bought one – we drank it and he went to drop it off in the room. 

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I’m glad Andres and Caroline stayed and danced with us.  It looks like they were drunk and having fun.

The music turned to slow music which meant the DJ wanted everybody to leave…either that or he was just feeling all romantic (somehow I think it’s the former reason…).

We said good night to everybody and went to our room at 3:30 pm.  Ivan was ready to dance more.  We ordered some free food from room service and then went to sleep around 5 am. Always nice to leave a nightclub, have a very short walk back to your room, and then have free room service on tap!

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Caribbean Liars Island

On August 29, 2012, we woke up and we were in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  It’s great to wake up and you’re in a whole new city and you didn’t have to do anything to get there – that’s why cruises are so cool. (That and the unlimited food of course!)

Ivan, Lil Dave and I rushed to the port in Dubrovnik.  We’ve been here before, so we wanted to go on a boat going to see the Elephanti Islands.  Ivan booked it through Adriana Cavtat and a few minutes later we were off on a boat with about 50 people on it.

Our first stop was Kolocep where we stopped for 30 minutes.  We walked around.

The boat started going to the next destination which was Sipan.  The boat only stopped here for a short time. 

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We walked around and enjoyed the sun. 

It was lunch time once we got back on the boat. 

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We got lots of fish and coleslaw (seconds and even more if we wanted).  The red wine and juice were all free as well.  We were shown how to eat a fish without the use of utensils.  The bones of the fish were thrown into the water for the birds to scoop up. 

The boat stopped at our last stop which was Lopud.  There was a beach here.  Ivan, Lil Dave and I relaxed on lounge chairs by the water. 

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Ivan and I each got a Somersby Pear Cider which is so very tasty.  We read our books while chilling out.

It was back on the boat and awhile later we were back in Dubrovnik.  We then got back on board the boat.

Lil Dave went to go find his monkey friends on the ship.

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It’s awesome having a balcony for the views and of course the lovely sunsets.

Later, we went to see the new Hasbro Game Show.  The games were really fun (like putting in basketballs to play Connect Four), but the main prize was just a big package of, yup you guessed it, Hasbro games.

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It’s not going to make me want to play – but a lot of people seemed to want to play….I guess they are desperate for a free board game!!

For dinner, we went back to the first table we had with the British couple, Latin/French couple and the Scottish couple.  At least they were all friendly and chatty (well, the Scottish were a bit quiet) – also we were all about the same age.

I started off with penne with artichokes  while Ivan got the salmon cheesecake.  Ivan got the Indian vegetarian for his main course while I got the Louisiana catfish.  It was a tasty meal.  We left diner to check out the Liars Club.

The Liars Club features three of the entertainment hosts.  We’ve seen this before on other Carnival cruise ships and it’s always funny.  We were happy to see that Calvyn was part of it.  He’s so hilarious that he could be a stand-up comedian.  The host of the show was a girl named Amy who’s 6 feet 3 inches tall so her nickname is 6-3.  Amy is the assistant cruise director.  Amy says a weird word and the three must give a definition of the word and the audience gets to decide who we think is telling the truth.  One is actually telling the right definition while the other two are lying.

Each host had a funny story.  Taylor was the beauty queen.  She would always say I’m Taylor and I’m a Beauty Queen.. each time she would say how she was in the beauty contest for Ms. Spam or Ms. Pork and tell a story related to beauty or beauty contests.

Calvyn would always give a long story about his past like getting bullied in school or working in Wendy’s. 

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He was definitely the funniest.  He puts on an act that he’s depressed.  At the end of the story, he would say thank you.  6-3 would then look confused and say Calvyn you didn’t tell us what the word means.  He’d say Oh, and then say a really short definition like a Middle Eastern leg warmer.  It was hilarious.  I would love to hear Calvyn tell jokes all day. 

The third girl was Stephanie who was the least funniest.  Her story was that she would talk about a guy she met (usually a French guy) and how the word related to sexual situations.  Only some of her stories were funny.

We wanted to check out the Mind Magic which features a good magician named Rakesh that we’ve seen before on another Carnival cruise ship.  The Mind Magic show was in the Limelight Comedy Club which is way too big to see a magician – we prefer smaller, more intimate venues.  It was already packed, so we left.

Later on, we went to the Lido deck (right by the pool) for the Red Frog’s Caribbean Party.  There was fun party music playing.  The entertainment hosts and Butch the cruise director were handing out things to people.  I wanted some so I started dancing.  I got glow sticks, beads and a whistle.  I wanted a funny straw hat, but they were only giving out only a few.  Ivan wasn’t dancing since he would rather dance to house music.

Ivan and I jumped into the jacuzzi and enjoyed the hot bubbly water.

Ivan and I stopped to get some ice cream which is open all the time.  Ivan thought it would be funny if I put my head under it and put ice cream directly into my mouth.  I was trying to find out a good way to do this since it would be a weird angle.  Luckily, there were two girls there and I asked them to pour it in my mouth which they thought was hilarious. 

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It was fun, but messy!  I’m sure the girls tried it after we got our ice cream.. and their parents came back.  The kids would say We just saw a woman do it.  They would probably say Suuure that’s what you saw and wouldn’t believe them.

We headed back to the room to get some rest.

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Improv Dancing

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got the bus into the centre on August 16, 2012. 

Ivan wanted to check out a cool pop up café called Hunt and Darton Cafe

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When you walk in, there’s a table filled with goodies like sweets like cakes and Ribbon wafers.

Ivan ordered regular tea while I got the mint tea in two big teapots.  I got one with the Queen on it and Ivan got a teapot that looked like a building. 

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We both got the roughage plate which is a wonderful salad with beet, pumpkin, goats cheese and sunflower seeds. 

On the table, there’s a triangle plastic paper which had different things on it like games that you could play with your food and how to drink tea properly.  This is not your run-of-the mill café.  There’s music playing on an old record player.  The table has a real pineapple on it and salt & pepper holders that are Ken’s head on a Barbie doll with clothes on.  The owners Jenny Hunt & Holly Darton wear pineapples on their head.  This is my kind of place.

They have guest spots who do something different everyday.  Unfortunately, we missed the fortune teller who reads your fortune with asparagus. 

I love this café.. why can’t we have a cool cafe like this in Las Vegas?!  We will definitely be back here again for lunch, tea or maybe both. Apparently this café just spends a few weeks in each town, then packs up shop, and moves to somewhere else to open for a few weeks! Such a cool concept!

Next, we went to The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh.  Ivan likes to surprise me and only told me that we were going on a walking tour.  Our tour guide was a man named Cuth and his assistant a girl who wasn’t very bright.  The man told us that there would be a tour guide inspector on the tour.

We were given red balloons with The Greatest Walking Tour in Edinburgh on it. 

 

Cuth had a long, closed umbrella that he used so the tour wouldn’t lose him.  It kept getting caught on things like a lamppost or construction railing.

The group was listening to a story about Bobby the Skye Terrier in front of Greyfriars Bobby pub.  John Gray was a man who worked as a night watchman who died in 1858.  His dog Bobby spent the rest of his life (14 years!) at his master’s grave at Greyfriars Kirk graveyard.  What a loyal dog!  Anyway, the tour guide was asked the name of John Gray which he didn’t know (I just wikipedia’d the information to give you information on the great story).  He realized that the man might be the ‘tour guide inspector’ that he was trying to impress in order to get into the tour guide’s union.  At this point, I realized this wasn’t a REAL tour, but a spoof of one.  I should have known since we were at the Edinburgh Festival which is filled with all types of theatre.

At one point, I noticed somebody was following us who looked like a detective.

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Ivan didn’t see her.

The guy who Cuth thought was the ‘tour guide inspector’ actually turned out to be another tour guide who didn’t want Cuth trying to move in on his tour guide territory. 

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They fight which was funny since it was like watching a video game.  Cuth tells us that he recently broke up with his girlfriend who he still seems to love.

We actually see the real ‘tour guide inspector’ (which was the lady I saw earlier)  later on and she tells us to act normal, so that she can judge him fairly.

This tour spoof was funny with misunderstandings.. but the story at the end was a bit daft (silly).  Ivan and I think they could have written a better plot.. it was entertaining though.

It was time to see some improv at the show Paul Merton’s Impro Chums

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We got seats off to the side in the front row, but we were sat too far.  Ivan and I are used to seeing Paul Merton with The Comedy Store Players in the first or second row (oh, so close!) at The Comedy Store in London.  The Impro Chums consisted of Paul Merton, Suki Webster (Paul’s wife), Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson and Mike McShane.  Almost the group of The Comedy Store Players.  It was funny, but not as funny as The Comedy Store Players.  Funny improv and some singing.  It was my first time seeing Suki Webster live and Ivan’s right.. she’s not very funny at all.  Paul Merton was, as always, very funny… The bit where he has to translate for the foreign language is always funny.  Lee Simpson was doing the language (which he’s always very good at) and he’ll say something very long winded and Paul will say something very short and funny. 

We had to leave the Improv show early to get to our next show.

We hurried to go see the free show The Dark Room which is based on a text computer game.  Do you remember those?  I remember the game Zork.  The host John Robertson would say in a dark, spooky voice ‘You find yourself in a dark room. What do you do?’  There would be a few different options to do like Go North, Sleep or Find a Light Switch.  Each option would lead to more options and sometimes it was a dead end and you die.  Ivan said that it was poking fun at old text-based computer games.  It was a bit weird.  An annoying part was a guy named Brendon Burns an Australian comedian, who thought he knew the right way to go because he’s played before.  He didn’t seem to know anything though.  The show was okay, a bit odd and unfortunately nobody won which according to the host Is a rare thing indeed.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked around Edinburgh.  Ivan went to Top Man and I bought a few things for Ivan’s birthday that’s coming up in September.

Later, we went to the Festival Fun Ceilidh Dinner which includes a 3 course meal with a band playing and line dancing. 

Ivan got the vegetarian meal while I got to try haggis for the first time, Lil Dave got the banana option.  Our starters were the same being organic leek and potato soup which was actually quite big and tasted good.

Ivan got a vegetable tart which looked alright.  I got the Findlay’s Portobello haggis fritter with mashed potatoes.

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It was fried and looked like black rice inside.  Ivan and I both had no clue what was in haggis… I knew it was something gross similar to a hot dog in America.  It tasted alright, but it was really heavy dish especially with the mashed potatoes it came with.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.. but I don’t think I’ll have another go.  We enjoyed our meal with a lovely red wine.

Dessert was traditional Scottish Cranachan with fresh local raspberries.  It reminded me of a parfait and it was tasty.

Everybody seemed older than us.  We didn’t think anybody would know any of the cielidh dances, but we were wrong.  Everybody knew ALL of the moves – in fact I think we were the only ones there who didn’t! We were amongst all the pros!  I had no idea, but Ivan knew a few of the dances.  It didn’t matter though since the band named the The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience would teach us the dances. 

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There was a big birthday party group, all Canadian, that was most of the dinner guests.  It was a good thing they were there since they loved to dance. 

It was fun learning the moves although I don’t think I was really that good at some of the dances…plus it would have been nice to have let the food go down a bit, before we started going crazy on the dance floor and spinning our stomachs around like a washing machine on fast cycle.  Ivan wanted to keep going, but it was getting tiring dancing so much.  Line dancing is fun, but it requires a lot of movement which makes you knackered (tired).  I took a break between songs and then we were off to dance again.  One song was super fast and we were going round and round in a circle.  I couldn’t believe how fast the dance was.  The band was right that it would be like running a marathon afterwards.

I had fun at the Festival Fun Ceilidhl Dinner.  I really enjoyed the line dancing and the food was good.  I’m glad I got to try the haggis since I like to try the local food.

Credits: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums photo

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Lake Clubbing

On July 21, 2012, I woke up at 9:30 am.   I still had so much mucus still and I’m coughing because of the mucus.  At least my throat feels so much better now.  Ivan was still sleeping.  I finished the book Now You See Her book by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

Ivan woke up around 11:30 am.  Its unusual for him to wake up later than me.  Everybody started getting ready since we were headed to the lake today. 

We’re doing a project and we got Tanja to take a picture of us with Nenad so he can be in the project. 

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It won’t be done til next year.. so you’ll have to see the finished project then!

Ivan, Lil Dave, Nenad, Tanja, the Polish couchsurfers and I headed to the lake at 1 pm. It was a really hot day.  We took two buses to get there.

We arrived at the lake and beach of Ada Ciganlija and headed towards where Nenad thought it would be a quieter place to hang out.  Nenad pointed out a seafood restaurant for us.  We stopped at the next restaurant and put our bags down.  Nenad thought we should eat here.  We waited to get the menu.  I asked the Polish couchsurfer girl (no idea what her name was) if she brought her swim suit.  She said she didn’t have one.  How can you go traveling without a swim suit?  It’s not heavy at all.

There wasn’t any fish on the menu.  Ivan said we’d go to the seafood restaurant and come back when we were done.  Nenad said they’d be here or swimming in the lake.

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I had lunch at Stentor.  Lil Dave got a banana salad.  Ivan and I shared a trout and carp.  Ivan had a Staropramen beer.  The food was pretty good.

We went back to the table and Nenad and Tanja just got out of the water.  The Polish couchsurfers were headed to the city centre soon.  We wanted to stay awhile and go swimming.  Nenad said they were leaving in 20 minutes, so they could get ready for their friends party and then head to his house. 

There are small stones everywhere and no sand.  I walked into the lake with my sandals on.  The lake water was murky and there was lots of lakeweed floating around.

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The water felt great especially since it was so hot out.  When it’s this hot out, you HAVE to get in the water to cool off!  Ivan gathered bunches of the lakeweed and tried to scare me saying it was a monster.  He’s so silly and funny.

We left shortly after 7 pm.  We walked to the bus stop and we saw Belgrade’s version of Stonehenge.

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The traffic was really bad since there was construction going on.   Ivan thought it would be better if we started walking to the next bus stop.  Good thing we did.. the traffic was moving slowly.  Thank Goodness for the CoPilot GPS app on the phone.  It’s free and gives you maps for cities around the world.  Every time you want a new city, you do have to re-install it so you can get the map for the new city.  We got to the other bus and waited a few minutes and got on the next bus. 

We arrived back at the apartment at 8:15 pm.  Nenad and Tanja were still there getting ready.  They also ran into traffic. 

Nenad left us keys which we would have to give to the Polish couchsurfers later in the city. 

Ivan and I took showers and we all left at 9:30 pm.  Luckily, we found a taxi cab right away and hopped in.  We met up with the Polish couchsurfers at 10 pm at Republic Square.  Ivan gave them the keys and we said bye.  The couple were nice, but very boring.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to Little Bay for dinner.  It’s a great restaurant that has theatre type booths with classical music playing in the background. 

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It was really cool!!  Lil Dave got a chicken stuffed with bananas dish and a banana soup.  Ivan and I shared salmon tartar, little shrimps salad and salmon.  The salmon was delicious – I love when the skin is crunchy!  We also enjoyed a lovely Riesling.  For dessert, we got a yummy chestnut cake with cherries and chocolate.  It was a great meal in a great setting.

We then headed to a kafana that Ivan had remembered being pointed out from the walking tour that we did. It was just off the main cobblestone old street but hidden enough so that tourists wouldn’t really find it. The moment we walked down the stairs we were met by this very very friendly girl called Ivana who found us a place to stand and immediately recommended that we get some of the local Rakia (brandy). So, we got two and then stood and watch as all kinds of drunken revelry took place around us. It was a small place with only a few tables and there were a band at one who were playing some local upbeat folk music, and all the men at the table were singing their hearts out as if they were performing in font of an audience of thousands!! We would have loved to have joined in – if only we knew what on earth they were singing!

We chatted to Ivana who was really friendly and nice to chat to. We told her about our weddings and our travels. She tried to translate the songs the band were playing – they seemed to involve love which would explain the passion the men at the table seemed to have for the songs. After a bit one of men was carried out by his friends – looks like he had overdone the rakia a bit…that or he had just passed out from all the exhaustion of the singing!!!

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We also tried some honey rakia. The rakia are served in these cute glasses which remind me of the volumetric flasks that are used in laboratories.  The honey rakia was really sweet and much tastier than the first one. Ivana said it was the same alcoholic strength as the first one which was surprising as it didn’t taste as strong.

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After a while we left and went to find a taxi to get to the river to go clubbing. Unfortunately the taxi driver ripped us off. It DID have a meter – but the meter was jumping like it was in a race to get to a million dinaras (the currency here). In other words instead of going up 4 dinaras at a time, it was going up about 40 at a time! The journey should have cost about 350 max (about 4 dollars) but cost 1600 (about 20 dollars). So although we were totally ripped off, its not as if it broke us!

Once we arrived at the river we took a walk along the riverbank. There were barges parked all the way along with clubs onboard. You could hear the music pumping out from all the places. We walked to the end and went on one barge that was playing 60’s/70’s/80’s music. We danced for a bit and it was really fun. After a while we left and walked along the river again and tried to enter a few more places. However they all said to us ‘do you have a reservation’ , to which naturally the answer was ‘no’, and they said ‘then you can’t come in’. Ivan actually did read about this – apparently all the clubs are just full of tables – tables at the bar, tables on the dance floor, tables EVERYWHERE – hence the only way you can come in is to have a reservation at a table. I think they just do this so that they can insure that everyone is drinking.

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Sunset Space

I woke up at noon on July 8, 2012.  Ivan and Lil Dave were both up already.  Ivan, Lil Dave, Charisse, Noelle and I had breakfast at 12:15 pm at our hotel Sol Bahia Apartamentos.  My scrambled eggs were runny.

It was an overcast day.  Ivan was told that if you walk 5 minutes to the right of the hotel (facing the bay) you’ll reach a beautiful beach.  We started walking on the rocks.  It was definitely a lot farther than 5 minutes.  It turned out to be 20 minutes away.  We did have lovely views walking there though.

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The beach was lovely with beautiful aquamarine waters.

We had lunch at the restaurant on the beach.  Ivan and I shared fresh salmon and tuna.  The tuna was very meaty and tasty!  Lil Dave got a banana salad.

The sun had come out and the sky had cleared.  Hurray!  Ivan and I love sunny blue skies.  We sat down on the beach. 

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We brought the inner tubes that we got from Elrow last night.  They were perfect as a pillow.  Ivan, Noelle and I took a short nap.  Charisse went to nap under the shade.

We swam around in the water.  It was so hot out that you HAD to jump in the water to cool off. 

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I love chilling and swimming at the beach.  We saw lots of girls with no tops on, some of them shouldn’t have gone topless though – especially the big pregnant lady. 

We started walking back on the road towards the hotel at 4:30 pm.  This way was a lot quicker.  Maybe this was the way that the guy thought was 5 minutes away.

Ivan has been having problems with his ears – they’re both filled with ear wax.  He hasn’t been able to hear very well.  Ivan and Noelle went to get stuff at the pharmacy.  Noelle was there to speak in Spanish if needed.

We all got showered and dressed for the boat party.

We rushed over to Lineker’s to meet for the Garlands boat party.  We got our free drink at the bar while watching the Federer vs. Murray Wimbledon match.  Ivan and I were hoping that Murray would win.  We left before the match finished.

A big group of about 150 people boarded the Garlands boat.  We sailed out at 6:20 pm.  The boat was advertised as having games, but we didn’t play any.  I would have liked to play something fun like a cool drinking game.  But, the boat was filled with mostly British people and the Brits don’t need any assistance in getting drunk. 

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We danced to funk house music and drank Strawberry-Lime cider. 

The sunset turned out quite nice.

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The boat arrived back at 9:45 pm.  The bus was leaving at 9:45 pm goin to Space.. but we figured it would be a few minutes late since all the boats arrived late.  We grabbed sandwiches at a store nearby and rushed to the bus.

We made it just in time.  The bus was full and left at 10:05 pm headed to Space.  The Garlands boat party included free entrance to the event We Love Space at the nightclub Space.  I understand why they call it Space since it’s quite spacious. 

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Our favorite room was the lounge one with the red lights and the buddha on the wall. 

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We had fun dancing to hard trance in the main room – Hot Chip were on.  You could feel the bass go through your body. 

One of the coolest things about Space is that the roof is mesh in some of the rooms, so you can see and hear the airplanes fly above the club. 

We left the club around 3:30 am and went in search for food.  We found a good pizza place down the street called Pizza Piadina.  Ivan and I each had a slice of mushroom pizza – it was really good.  We got a taxi back to the hotel at 4 am.

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Pepe’s Elrow

Lil Dave and I woke up at 11 am on July 7, 2012.  Ivan was already up.  I went to get a facial at 12 pm at IBZ Look.  Ivan packed everything up and met me at the salon.

We walked towards our new hotel at 1:30 pm.  We went to Villa Manchega for lunch.  Ivan and I shared salmon and a seafood salad.

We walked to Sol Bahia Apartamentos and checked in.  We checked out the two rooms.  We decided to be nice and give Charisse and Noelle the room with a balcony with a bay view – they would be arriving tonight.  Our room had a living room and a bigger kitchen.  Lil Dave was happy that he got the couch as his own bed.

Ivan and I chilled by the pool.  We wanted to take a nap, but it was still bright when you closed your eyes.

We headed up to the room and took a long nap.

We used the internet.  Charisse and Noelle’s flight was delayed from Barcelona.  The girls arrived at the hotel at 8:30 pm. 

Everybody got ready to go out.

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We walked along the bay passing Café Mambo and Café Del Mar. 

We walked to great tapas restaurant El Rincon de Pepe.  We wanted to sit outside, but there wasn’t a table available. 

We sat outside and ordered peppers and aubergine, squid in batter, sardines, anchovies, baked cod and fish croquettes.  We chatted, ate tapas and drank rose.  The food was delicious again.

Ivan, Charisse, Noelle and I walked along the beach.  Ivan thought we should get a drink before heading to the nightclub Privilege.  Ivan and I thought Ibiza Rocks looked good. 

We sat down and got a drink at Ibiza Rocks.  Ivan and I each got a tasty passion fruit Caprioska.  Noelle started talking to four guys from Wales. 

We wanted to get the free bus to Privilege, but Ivan figured we should just get a taxi since we’d have to wait for the bus.  We flagged down a taxi and headed off to Privilege.

The event was called Elrow in the Vista room.  Privilege is the biggest nightclub in the world, but we were in the annex.

A cool dome was outside where people were chilling out.

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Ivan was told that Elrow wouldn’t be busy, but there was definitely a lot of people in the annex.  Since it was an event for locals, there was about 80% Spanish. The music was alright.  It was really stuffy in the club since there was no ventilation or air-conditioning.  We saw crazy clowns, a lady on an elephant (fake of course) and a gorilla.

Later, up above on a platform we saw lots of blow-up things like inner tubes and hammers.  There are stages where dancers dance.  A few people were up there putting circle stickers on people.  I didn’t know what it meant.  A couple of people were also in the crowd putting stickers on people’s faces or shirts.

The blow-ups started coming down and the people on the stages were handing out different hats like Chinese bamboo hats, umbrellas and glittery top hats.

I grabbed an inner tube and got two top hats.

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We ended up getting different blow-up stuff and dancing with them. 

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We were about to leave and a guy wanted to switch his pirate hat with my pink glittery top hat.  I thought he was going to run off with the top hat, so I made sure we exchanged at the same time.  The pirate hat was so much cooler while the top hat was cheap looking.  It was a fun night!

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Thai Paradis

On July 6, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I went to get breakfast at 12:30 pm.  Lil Dave had a banana pancake.  Ivan and I each got scrambled eggs on toast.  Ivan also had baked beans.

We walked around to the hotel that we’re staying at tomorrow.  It has a pool and a view of the bay. 

The day was cloudy and it looked like rain. 

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We walked along the bay to find a place for lunch.  We couldn’t find anything good.  The sun had come out and it was really hot.  Ivan bought a bottle of sparkling water.

We started walking towards the main street and we ran into the guy we shared a taxi with.  It turns out that he’s 37 years old.  I thought he was 25.  He has a baby face and wears braces.  He recommended a Thai place nearby that the locals go to. 

We headed to the Casa Thai.  Ivan got a tom yum soup and noodles with tofu.  I got pad thai with tofu and vegetables.  The food was good.

We started walking back to the hotel.  It was so hot out.  I just wanted to relax.  I stopped at IBZ Look for a haircut while Ivan and Lil Dave headed back.

Ivan took a nap while I created mailart for my friend Noelle and my cousin Charisse.  They’ll be arriving in Ibiza tomorrow night.

We headed to dinner at a great tapas joint called El Rincon De Pepe. It was a traditional tapas place which is sort of a rarity in Ibiza – especially in the ‘west end’ which is the area we are in.  We had peppers, cod in sauce, fish croquettes and anchovies in vinegar. 

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Lil Dave got banana croquettes and a banana salad.  Ivan and I shared a bottle of rose.  It was a very tasty meal.

We headed back to the hotel to change.  Lil Dave decided to stay in for the night. 

Ivan and I went to a bar on West End street.  We had a fruity drink and people watched.  We walked to another bar and had another drink.  A Scottish girl started talking to us.  Her accent was so strong that I wasn’t understanding most of what she was saying.  I just kept nodding my head.  She was really sweet.  She was partying with her mom since she was 22 years old.  I couldn’t imagine partying with my mom.  My mom doesn’t like loud music and she’s a lot older than me.  Then again…maybe if she had a few drinks inside her and the music was good…….

We walked to Es Paradis for the Water Party.  It took awhile to get in.  I started talking to a guy in line since I was buzzed.  If I was sober, I probably wouldn’t have started a conversation. 

We danced for hours to the great funky house music.  At 4 am, the water started coming out in the circular area with Moby’s song It’s Raining again playing.  The water just keeps on coming out of the floor and the circular area becomes a big pool.  It’s crazy!!  We were soaked with water.  Guys were jumping in the water and crowd surfing.  I wanted to crowd surf.  It was fun dancing in the water. 

We left around 5:30 am and it was cold outside since we were wet.  We walked about 10 minutes to get to our hotel.

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