Kate Rivet

Archive for December 2012

I was just thinking about this blog a few minutes ago as I wait forever for photos to post to my Facebook from a Zoo trip today. My life has been so incredibly busy lately that it’s enough to make me want to cry sometimes, no lie. We’ve had a lot of personnel changes at my primary job — the one I’d love to leave to write full-time instead — and this has left me working a lot of overtime and just not a lot of time OR energy to actually do some writing.

This has also kept me from doing NaNoWriMo again, which is a bummer. My friend and I agreed to do a 2 month NaNo-type deal for ourselves, but I know that she is actually behind my progress on this, and my only progress is deciding what the story would be about. I actually have two really good ideas, and one of those has a first chapter, but I just don’t have tme or energy, as I’ve said, to get anywhere on those. I’m hoping that sometime soon I can get inspired and find enough time to get somewhere on these, but who knows at this point!

Well, remember how I was talking about my vacation in my last post? I’m happy to report that I did it!! I was actually terrified to be on a plane as long as it took to get from New York to London, but I made it through both legs with very little problems. The flight TO London, I had a fabulous seatmate in the same business as I am, so we had some nice chatting between sleeps, and he was incredibly nice to me as a first-time transatlantic flier. Somehow, my iPhone’s AT&T World package was the wrong one, so I could NOT get any signal on any UK carrier until I got to my hostel, which was over an hour after I landed. I was freaking out because my parents were waiting for my call, but I was able to send my Dad an iMessage to let him know that I was back and was going to figure out what was going on with my phone.

I stayed in Clink 78 Hostel in London, which was the former courthouse where The Clash were tried and where Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens. This is located in Islington, which is about 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station. I was a 10 minute walk from a phone store, so I picked up a prepaid phone to use throughout the UK in case of emergency at Orange, and when I returned to the hostel, I got my iPhone fixed. I then started my vacation after getting settled in my bunk in a large dorm that saw a lot of different and nice girls throughout the stay.

I went to Emirates Stadium to see my team, Arsenal FC, on the 5th of May. It was amazing to be there and experience the Premier League atmosphere! It really made me aware of things I could add on edits of my books, which made it even better. I even shopped in the Armoury and bought a bunch of neat souvenirs to bring back home with me, and although we drew against Norwich City on that day, it made me sure that I’ll keep my membership up so I can go back again!

I left early the next morning for Barcelona, after taking the Tube back to Heathrow after the match, and I had a nice night in a luxurious hotel room before my flight. It was actually only about 2 hours from London to Barca, and the plane had these little overhead maps that kept me aware that we were passing over places in France that I’d only ever heard of in books. Stepping into El Prat de Llobregat Airport was amazing; it was my first time in a country where English is NOT the first language, and to see the signs telling you where the departures, or “salidas”, were was insane.

I took the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya, which is the main Plaza in Barcelona. I was disoriented immediately, and there were two buildings that seemed to match the ONE listed on my directions to my hostel that I was supposed to navigate by! I found some English-speaking help at a tourist information booth, and I was soon on my way down the Passeig de Gràcia towards the hostel. I stayed in HostelONE Barcelona Central Garden on Carrer Roger de Llúria, and I can’t tell you enough how spectacular that place really is. I was sick on arrival there, and it turned out that one of the workers was a doctor! He told me that if my concoction of drugs I brought from home didn’t help, that I should go get some in the Farmacia. Well, I ran a terrible fever that night and went between hot and cold flashes, but the Spanish paracetamol and the American Aleve I took in a combo managed to bring it down. I took his advice and went to a doctor the next day, and I ended up spending my trip in Spain on antibiotics!

I wasn’t about to let that get me down, though; I did cancel my trip to Dalí’s museum, but that was because there were so many beautiful and amazing things to see in Barcelona itself! The first day found me entirely overwhelmed by the enormity of Barcelona’s central area via Passeig de Gràcia — I’m sure being sick didn’t help — but I woke up that second morning feeling like I was finally home.

Finally home? I’ve lived in Pittsburgh my entire life and it’s very much my home, but I felt more like myself and at home in Barcelona than I have here in Pittsburgh for YEARS. I was so sad to leave behind everything I had grown to love, from strolls down Passeig de Gràcia to Parc Güell at the top of the city to Casa Milà to Sagrada Família. I vowed before I boarded the Aerobus back to El Prat that I would absolutely be back again, and I am hoping to get back there in 2013. If the opportunity arose, I would definitely move there in a heartbeat!

I spent a day and a half while still sick upon my return to London up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the setting of one of my very favorite shows, Geordie Shore. The train ride from south England to north (and nearly Scotland for that matter!) showed me the beauty of the English countryside. I didn’t get out that night as I had originally planned; I took a shower in my private ensuite in the hostel (EuroHostel)’s room for 4 that I purchased for myself, and I watched television and rested because my illness had finally caught up to me with the exhaustion part. I did eat at a fabulous meal at Panis Cafe near the hostel, since they had gluten free pasta, and the next morning I got up and passed by a Geordie Shore hotspot, Florita’s, on my way back to the train station. The exterior shots of Newcastle by the way? Not exaggerated! It’s really that beautiful 🙂

I spent one day traveling from London to Paris and back on the Eurostar. Paris was … ehhhh, it’s hard to say how I felt about Paris. There was an exchange with a rude French girl at Gare du Nord who refused to believe me when I told her I spoke no French (in French nonetheless!!), and I had to stand in line for literally over 3 hours to get a TICKET to go up the Eiffel Tower, but the cabbie to the Hard Rock from the Tower was WONDERFUL, and I think I would go back to Paris for a day or two someday just to see if it was as meh as I remember.

The rest of the time away was in London, and it was beautiful. I love London and would gladly live there, but my heart is definitely set on Barcelona one day.

Well, I somehow managed to write about 1,400 words here! I guess if I can get that much out now, I should probably be able to get some stuff written for my books, right? Haha. I’m really going to try to use this blog more as well, but I think the next things I’m going to really focus on are cleaning up my books more, edit-wise, and looking for agents and/or editors to try to get the publishing thing going! So I guess I’ll be off to get working on those things!

Until next time,
Kate


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