Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Africa Plans

With Morocco looming in the near future I am trying to make my plans a little more solid before the trip takes off on the 6th of July. The plan as of now is as follows:

I catch a bus from Birmingham to London early on the morning of the 6th.

Then I catch a flight to Casablanca, Morocco where i will spend a couple of nights at a hostel in town.

After 2 nights in Casablanca I am off to Marrakesh for an undetermined amount of time and then I have the options of:
The Atlas Mountains
The Sahara Desert
Back to beaches of Morocco

Under all normal circumstances I would go with desert, but given the time of year that could prove to be a very hot mistake. The Atlas mountains seem likely to be the best choice due to the cooler climate and I am guessing beaches are the same just about anywhere.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Derry, Northern Ireland

Having traveled all over Great Britain I had yet to walk around Northern Ireland so this past weekend I remedied that and had a great trip to Derry.

(I was definitely in Derry)

Derry has been imprinted by disputes of the past and has focused on the future by expressing themselves through art. Murals are abundant in two distinct areas of the city.

Derry is also the historic site of Bloody Sunday. This is the memorial that honors the lives lost when English troops opened fire on civilians.

The city itself is also very old and historic and the center is surrounded by a long walkable wall that served as the main defense of the city.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Day the Pop Music Stopped

It is odd to think that certain events you will remember where you were for the rest of your life... well I am fairly certain that the passing of MJ will be one I remember for some time due not only to how sudden it was but the fact that I found out from a drunken Northern Irishmen in the city of Derry who met me as I walked into the pub with the line...

"Michael Jackson is dead.... he just died.... believe me... wait ask her (points to girl on phone outside pub and she agrees)"

The news went on to tell all that night but needless to say it is memorable.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Travels are Set to Continue

It has been a long time since I actually traveled (because I no longer count living in England as traveling), so I am ready to pack up and go again. The next group of trips will take me eventually back to the USA but not before stopping in a few more locales.

My first stop will be this weekend in Derry located in Northern Ireland. I have been all over Great Britain but have yet to see anything in Northern Ireland so a good weekend trip should give me a taste of it.

After this short trip I come back to England for a week or so before heading to Africa. I fly into Casablanca, Morocco on the 6th for about 2 weeks of exploration. I am not sure what parts of the country I will see quite yet but I know that Marrakesh is a definite.

At the end of July my tenure and my lease here in England are over so I am heading off to Eastern Europe to hopefully hit a few good beaches in Croatia and maybe track down Dracula in Transylvania.

To wrap up the trip I am hoping to hit Spain if timing and money permits before heading back home in September or so to start a whole new adventure.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sean Bruce

Sean Bruce Music

To anyone who reads my site faithfully (I am sorry) to the others I want to let you know that one of my friends has tried to make good. I now send you on to my friend Sean Bruce's (pictured below on his birthday with me in Lima Peru) myspace page to hear his music. Give him a listen and let me know what you think. He is touring England next summer so I might be making a return trip.

Sean Bruce Music

Here is my boy looking a bit more like a musician and a little less like an international birthday boy.

Sean Bruce Music

Well here is the link one more time in case you missed it on the multiple other times on the page.

Louisiana BABY!!

Father's Day

In the spirit of Father's Day I made this little gif to honor my father. Love you padre.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to the clean life

OK, so I made an obvious departure from my diet over the last weekend for birthday celebrations but I am now back on the starvation path as I try to ween myself from the English style of life (granted it is not like it is any less healthy that the typical American one).

Monday, June 15, 2009

PUB GOLF in Moseley

To celebrate Amy's birthday we had a pub golf night. It requires that you dress up like a golfer, do a pub crawl, and score your drinks based on how many pulls you down it in with a different drink at each pub.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TEFL fun

I have officially embarked on another educational process that will hopefully lead me to new parts of the world. I have began my TEFL certification process and like all things in life I am doing it to excess so I will be engaging in the longest course offered that will reward me with every certificate possible.

After getting my certifications I hope to go somewhere like Japan, Thailand, or Mexico to teach English and start paying back some of my student loans so this is my current plan. I just wish I didn't have to relearn English.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Running around Birmingham

In my attempt to get back in shape I have started to frequent the local parks on foot. In Moseley there is only one main park and it requires residents to pay for a key so I just run to the other parks. Granted, they serve as more of the end of my run in one direction than a place to run around inside, but it is nice to get away from the city for a bit.

Here are some shots around Cannon Hill Park.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Detox Diet

Having spent the last 4 months in England with only 2 more to go I have decided to preemptively strike my waistline. For the past two weeks I have tried to avoid the following items that are staples of the English diet. It has proven to be a positive step already so for those of you who don't understand the typical foods here in England let me share.

On a typical day it seems apparent that almost the entire population partakes in a pint of lager or cider and as most people know one quickly turns into 5 or 6.

The next stop is "The Chippy" for fish and chips loaded with salt and vinegar. Delicious fried goodness.

Particularly in Birmingham (because it is the home of the factory) Cadbury Chocolate varieties can be found in the cabinets of every home for sweets to snack on.

Then if that doesn't fill you up some Walker's Crisps (OK so to people from the US they are potato chips and yes the brand is owned by Frito-Lay hence the similar looking bags).

I have had a couple of pints in the past couple of weeks and one bag of crisps but the others have been successfully avoided and I plan to keep up the plan for a bit longer. Now if I can just bother to get off the couch and go for a run every now and then I should be back on my way to the shape I was in before breaking my leg over a year ago.

Flyin to Africa


Coming into my final 2 months here in England I am planning on making a few more conquests. It is official as of seconds ago that I will be flying down to Africa on the 6th of July for 11 days or so. I fly into Casablanca, Morocco and will be trekking around the country (plans once there still uncertain).

It will be my 4th continent to have visited. I am hoping to do some camping while there but if I choose to stay in the cities this could be complicated. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Learning to Teach

I am now back in the education game. As a method of continuing my travels I have began an TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Course here in England. I am planning on being fully certified by the end of July with aspiration of eventually ending up somewhere in Asia teaching English.

I realize my life has not been eventful recently so I just wanted to let anyone know that I plan on getting back to travel. At the end of June I am slated to go to Northern Ireland to finish off Great Britain and then looking toward Africa in July.