Istanbul: Day 5 - The Last Day

As sad as it is, today was our last real day in Istanbul. And, we, being the poor planners that we must be, thought it would be a good idea to go to Topkapi Palace today...a Saturday...the last day of Istanbul. Yeah, so maybe we should have gone earlier in the week.

Nevertheless, after another wonderful breakfast at the Hotel Nena, we took off in the general direction of Topkapi Palace, Haya Sophia and the Blue Mosque, a direction which we are now very familiar with. The morning was cooler than the previous days and much cloudier. It was very pleasant.

We actually found the street marked on the map and took the pre-planned route without getting lost, if you can believe that, and were met at the gates of the park surrounding Topkapi Palace with some very nice looking men with automatic weapons. They were all over the place, and it kind of reminded me of Colombia in 1998. But I digress...

Going through the gates was another amazing experience. The walls surrounding the park are high, so you can't see what your going into until you're there. Plus, it is literally right across the street from one of the largest, oldest churches/mosques in the world (Haya Sophia). The whole experience is awe-inspiring. You enter the park through a set of gates with gold borders and some writing I couldn't read. And when you get through, it's just...peaceful...bucolic even. Seriously, when we got in, we saw 2 cats chasing each other, and behind them, two dogs were chasing the cats (in a playful sort of way...they were definitely playing, not trying to eat the cats). It was hilarious! I tried to take pictures.

Anyway, it was just lovely walking through, and we were confused for a bit, because we thought we were already in the palace, but hadn't paid yet. As it turned out, they managed to take our money and we got into the palace just fine...along with every freakin' tour group under the sun. With our trusty audio guide (for an extra fee) that ended up telling us basically what the posted signs told us as well, we meandered along through the different parts of the palace looking at jewels, Moses' staff, St. David's sword, St. John's arm and head, and beard pieces, teeth, and footprints from the Prophet Mohammed. It was seriously cool...not sure I believe that it was the actual stuff, but very awesome nevertheless.

The palace was HUGE, and I think we ended up spending about 5 hours to get through the whole palace and harem (more about that in a second). I mention the time, because as we were entering the park that morning, a group got out of a cab. They were trying to settle on a time for the driver to come back and pick them up, so they asked him how long he would take. He told them it would only take an hour and a half. So, I want to know that the dude was smoking! Over the course of the day, I think we were standing in lines that long!

After most of the palace, we went to The Harem, a separate section of the palace that costs extra, and thus has fewer people in it. I couldn't help feeling like a prisoner the whole time I was there, even though it's where the sultans' private quarters were. It's just that, all the concubines and eunuchs lived there, too. It gave me a very eerie feeling, but some parts of it were beautiful, too.

We'd had almost no break from when we started in the morning, but we wanted to visit this handicraft school that is run by the Ministry of Culture, so we persevered and actually found the place! However, it was do to the directions from the Carpet Selling Philosophy Professor from day 1 that we happened to meet on the sidewalk. Seriously, we run into everyone here! He was nice and even though we wouldn't buy a carpet told us where to go for our handicrafts.

Cafer Aga (the g has a hat on it) Courtyard was lovely! Coskum (pronounced Choshkoom) showed us all the rooms where students learn all sorts of different handicrafts. It was incredibly impressive stuff. They teach glass painting, pottery, embroidery, calligraphy, etc. and then showcase the art in their gallery. Coskum even wrote our names in calligraphy as a gift! It was great! So, another plug from me, if you're even in Istanbul, go by Cafer Aga even if to just look at the art. It's beautiful, and if you go between October and July, you can see people making stuff!

Really, that ended our we were completely exhausted. Now I have to go pack, which I'm dreading, because I have to figure out how to fit 3 kg of tea and many other things into my bags and not go overweight. I even planned for this!! Hopefully, I won't have to pay extra.

I will definitely miss Istanbul, but am also planning my next trip. I'm still owed a honeymoon, and I think Turkey (including Istanbul) would be a great place to go for that. The people here are extremely friendly, and as much as I've joked about the carpet salesmen, I've felt so much hospitality from everyone. I would recommend this city to anyone looking for a nice mix of history, arts/crafts, culture, and fun. If you're every planning a trip here, let me know! I'll tell you some places to check out!

Carpet Salesmen Count = 1 (the first guy from day one), and he was so nice and pointed us in the right direction to where we needed to go.
Cat Count = 25...I got some pictures of loads of cats in different places

Turkish Guys Hitting on Me Count = 1
I was almost finished writing this, but then we went to dinner and hit up a jewelry store so Norah could spend the rest of her Turkish money. I was starting to feel neglected, because no one had said anything to me all day about how incredibly gorgeous I am. Fortunately, I got hit on in the jewelry store by one of the salesmen. He was so very nice and I even blushed with his compliments! He now wants to meet Gavin so he can "make sure he is good looking enough" for me. Hee hee... (Note: I find it really humorous that I attracted so much attention, and can only assume that other women from the US have also garnered the same attention. So, if you want to be reassured about your looks, come to Turkey. And, while I heard stories about butts being pinched, most everyone was very complimentary...not disgusting.)

Istanbul: Day 4

This week has flown by so fast, and we've barely scratched the surface of Istanbul. Tomorrow will be our last sightseeing day, which is a little sad. Fortunately, we plan to go out with a big site, but more on that tomorrow.

This morning, after our usual breakfast, we decided to visit Kariye Museum (the Church at Chora) based on a recommendation from a friend of Norah's who comes here often. It did not disappoint! The 11th century church has a huge number of 13/14th century mosaics covering the walls and ceilings. I can't describe how beautiful they were, so I'll try to post pictures as some point. The mosaics covered all sorts of things from the Life of Christ to the Life of Mary to the Miracles of Christ, etc. They were exquisite and simply breathtaking. Seriously, I gasped when I entered one domed room.

The other interesting thing about Chora was the sheer number of cats! My cat count for the day went through the roof when we came across 8 cats on the street outside the entrance to the museum. The cats followed us in, and were very friendly for having lived on the streets.

Anyway, we took a cab back to the Spice Bazaar, which has shops that sell, can you guess??? Spices!! And they also sell Turkish Delight and tea. We found a little hole in the wall and I purchased loads of different kinds of tea. Yes, I'm a total sucker. But, it was all really good-tasting tea! I made it out with only 3 kg of tea and sundries. :( My baggage weight allowance is screaming at me right now!

Loaded down with our bags (Norah's was 5 kg), we tried to walk back to the hotel to drop our loot. I used the word "tried" on purpose, because the more I walk around here with the map, the more I realize that it really doesn't matter. Either the road markings suck, the map sucks (probably), or a combination of the both. Whatever it is, we got lost. After wandering around aimlessly, we found a street that looked promising and walked into an opticians office to ask where we were. They didn't speak a lot of English, but pointing at a map works in any language, and we figured out where we needed to go. What an adventure!

We rested in the room for about an hour (it was rather warm outside), and then decided to take a trek back in the direction we had just come from to find the Suleymaniye Mosque. Once again, we got a little lost. Seriously, nothing is marked here and where the map says there's a street, there isn't! It's so confusing. Through the mire of "you are beautiful", "oh, baby", and "you look like an angel", we came to the mosque, eventually. And, wouldn't you know it? All of that trouble walking paid off...with a mosque that was almost entirely closed! I can only assume that it is an incredibly awesome site when it is not being renovated.

Dejected, we decided to comfort ourselves with more haggling in the Grand Bazaar. With only a moment of lostedness, we found an entrance that we'd been through before! Interestingly, we passed by the booth where Norah bought her bracelets. The man remembered us and said hi. It was a nice way to start off the second day of the bazaar experience. Then we walked around some more. Norah bought some things and managed to talk a guy down more than half of what he original said he was charging. He must have thought she was a total sucker...he was mistaken! I'm leaving the haggling to her from now on!!

We went back the way we came in to this Uzbek man selling embroidered things. I had tried haggling with him yesterday, and he really wouldn't budge. As it turned out, he was MUCH cheaper than anyone in the bazaar, so I bought something small from him. I liked him, and his shop was small and out of the way. I liked that too.

Taking a different route out the bazaar, we happened upon another hole in the wall place with a guy selling tea (the already-made-for-you kind). Norah wanted to get some tea, and I'm glad I stopped being a pain in the ass and had the tea! The guy who runs the stand was bringing tea to a shop down the way, and he didn't speak English anyway. So another shop owner came up and translated. He stayed at talked to us, because we were down an alley that didn't get a lot of traffic. He was extremely friendly and talked about going to school in Britain and how his wife embroiders things. We talked about textiles and he got us more tea. It was very pleasant.

Then we went to his shop. It was small, but he had lots of textiles and antique silver. He showed us some other things, and I think he knew we couldn't afford some of it, but he was proud of what he had and just wanted to show us. I told him he needed to get a website set up, and I plan to help him do that. I also said I'd mention him on my blog. :) So, if you're ever in Istanbul and you go to the Grand Bazaar look for Yasar (pronounced Yahshar), which is run by Amanullah Yasar. He had some really nice stuff and I thought his prices were extremely reasonable. I will post a picture I took in his store as soon as I get a chance.

That ended our bazaar fun, or so I thought. On the way out, we ran into an old friend--the carpet salesman that I wasn't so nice to yesterday, but who had been nice enough to escort us from the darkened, closed Grand Bazaar. He tried to persuade us to come by his shop, but we were tired, and I just absolutely cannot afford a carpet. So, I told him that. And, what do you know? It worked! I did also say that I'd try to remember to bring Gavin back when we come. Who knows, I may see him again!!!

Carpet Salesmen Count = 1 (although numerous tried to get us, we ignored them)
Perverted Guys with Stupid Pickup Lines = 8 (give or take a couple)
Cats = at least 25...seriously, they are everywhere!!

Note: If you want more info on Amanullah Yasar's shop, let me know! I'd be happy to send it. If he gets a website up and running, I'll link to it from here if I can. :) Also, I can try to give you directions to his shop if you plan on coming to Istanbul. It's worth the trip through the bazaar!

Istanbul: Day 3 - SHOPPING!

As the title of this blog post suggests, we went shopping today. And, I must apologize to Gavin straight away for spending our life savings. If that didn't get your attention...

We started off the morning eating breakfast in the hotel. Can you see a pattern? This morning they had potatoes, which made me incredibly happy, because they were so good. I'm quite impressed with this hotel so far, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who came to Istanbul (it's the Hotel Nena, in case you're wondering). The people are extremely helpful and pleasant, the rooms are nice, and the food is tasty.

Anyway, now that I've given a free plug to the hotel...over breakfast we decided that we would go to the Grand Bazaar today, and then we'd go see a mosque or two when we were finished. HA! What we weren't expecting (and really I should have since I've been to the big bazaar in Khazakstan) was that the bazaar would be so huge! To start out, we got lost on our way to the bazaar. Really, we didn't so much get lost as was we took a different route than was suggested by our friend. We did, however, find exactly where we think he was sending us. I bought some really cool little pocket/purse thingees made out of old dresses. The guy was really pleasant and I bargained!!! I think I did pretty well, but you never can tell with these things. Anyway, it was a great way to start the day.

Next, Norah bargained for in-lay boxes, that were gorgeous mother-of-pearl and wood. The guy drove a hard bargain, but I think she did great!! We made a good bargaining team. :) We looked at all sorts of textiles, new and old, embroirdered and dyed, silk and cotton. They just had stuff all over the place!

We meandered around the alleys and roads in the bazaar, which is covered, finding all sorts of random trinkets, old grammaphones, textiles, jewelry, leather, name it...I'm sure someone had it. Shopping made us hungry, so we ate at a little kebab place, and it was quite good. A cricket did fall out of the ceiling, but it was successfully avoided before it went in my mouth. I was freaked out, but...I kept eating. :) Hopefully, I don't get Cricket's revenge. Norah's rosehip tea was very yummy. I've decided I like Turkish drinks, which are sweet, the way I like them!

We found a place with some embroidered textiles, and bought a bunch of things. It was a nice little store out in the back of the bazaar somewhere quiet. I liked those much better than the main ones. For one thing, I think the people working there actually owned the stores. For the other, they were just less pushy, in general.

With our hands full of packages, we went back to the hotel for a break. Hoping to see the Spice Bazaar today, we quickly changed clothes (into something cooler) and left. Unfortunately, the guys at the front desk said we didn't have enough time. But, we did fret! We just just went back to the Grand Bazaar!

At some point, we ended up on one of the main thoroughfairs, which we tried to avoid for the most part, and got cornered by...can you guess? If you didn't guess carpet salesman, well, I'm sorry, but you're just not all there. We had done extremely well with the "nope" keep walking technique. In fact, we'd fended off all kinds of salesmen (the leather and carpet salesmen were the most persistent). One carpet salesman in particular actually ran up to me, and stood in front of me. So I stepped around, and said we weren't buying a carpet. Then I kept walking. He didn't like that, pursuaded Norah to look at pillow covers, and well, I got pissed off. If you've never met me, you would not know that I have somewhat of a temper (if you do know me, you would know that that sentence is an understatement). These carpet salesmen now know that when I don't want to buy a carpet, I don't want to buy a carpet. I didn't even yell. I just said, "We don't want to buy carpets," several times in a forceful voice. We ended up walking off to one of the guys asking, "why you gotta be like that?" To his credit, he comes up later in this blog...

Thoroughly embarrassed for being mean to a guy just trying to con some nice ladies out of a couple thousand dollars, I was led by Norah a d nice jewelry shop. We tried to bargain there, but weren't willing to pay what they wanted (which was probably a fair price), so we walked away. It was fairly easy for me to do that, because the pissed-offedness hadn't quite worn off yet. (Sorry mom, you don't get the necklace and earrings I found...) Luckily, right around the corner, Norah found us another jewelry shop and I bargained my way into a necklace.

We ended up back at the first store we went to, so Norah could buy some more trinkets. I have to say, out of all the vendors, I liked this guy the best. I felt like his prices were fair and he was just generally nice and not pushy. That probably means we got ripped off, but he made us feel bad while he took our money. :) Plus, he gave us two free felt ornaments!!

Anyway, after a long day, we ended up about to leave, only to get stopped by some lovely scarves. I tried on so many that the bazaar closed. In fact, it had been closed 30 minutes before we left! Talk about eery. The place was really dark, and all the outside doors were closed. We got a little lost, and I got a little scared. Fortunately, the carpet salesmen that I wasn't so nice to, led us out!!! So, if he ever happens to read this blog, I'm sorry I wasn't like nice. I didn't need to be like that. Thanks for helping us not get stuck in the bazaar overnight. And, to his credit as a salesman, he showed us his other carpet shop on the way down the street...

Dinner was at Rami Restaurant, which overlooked the Blue Mosque and the restaurant with the whirling dirvishes. Lucky for us, we got free music from the other restaurant. At one point, we could also see a dirvish in all his whirling glory! The food was excellent and the conversation was even better. :)

Today was a fun fun day. And, if Gavin is reading this and dying of a heart attack after the intro to this post, I didn't spend our life savings. I only spent half of it. :D

Carpet Salesman Count = at least 15 (but only one managed to stop me...and he got an ear full)
Perveted Turkish Men Count = at least 6, but these were much more discreet than before
Cat Count = too many to count, but if I had to'd be at least 20

Istanbul: Day 2

My goals for this morning were to count how many times a man told me how gorgeous I am and to avoid, at all costs, carpet salesmen. I accomplished both those goals. I am apparently the most beautiful person on the planet according to at least 6 men, some of whom were trying to sell me things I'm sure and one of whom I think may have been propositioning me. Plus, I didn't get let into any carpet stores. "Nope" with a stern look at the growd while walking quickly away from the dudes harrassing you to buy carpets seemed to work quite well.

Carpet salesmen and perverted men aside, today was brilliant (yes, that sounded very British). We started off with another lovely breakfast at the hotel followed by the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. There were a lot of artifacts there, but I think what took the cake for me were the rugs/carpets. I know that after complaining about carpet salesmen so much that it may be difficult to believe me there. But, really, the carpets were amazing! They had carpets there from the 12th century, and the work was spectacular. They were gorgeous. Plus, the entry was pretty cheap compared to some of the other places. It was well worth the visit.

We spent quite a bit of time at the museum, and then it was time for lunch. So, we decided to go to the Arts and Crafts showplace, where there was supposed to be a good cafe. We didn't get lost, really, but we had a hard time finding the place. And, on the way, several very helpful carpet salesmen tried to point us in the right direction...and also sell us carpets. We got the direction and ran with them...well...walked quickly. :)

We finally found a place to eat light, and it was tasty. Then we saw some Turkish arts and crafts that we could have bought, but couldn't afford. :( They were beautiful pieces and all handmade, which was why the cost so much. But, still...

After the arts and crafts, we decided to look at Mosaics. The only thing was hidden! Seriously. We walked down where we thought it was (in the middle of a Bazaar next to the Blue Mosque) and couldn't find a thing other than stuff to buy. After wandering around a while, Norah stopped in a hotel and asked for directions. As it turned out, it was in the little bazaar, and the sign was in Turkish. Who knew?! But, it was well worth getting a little lost, because they had mosaics from like early 6th century all over the place. It was a floor and some wall-coverings that were excavated and preserved, after a lot of work, from several locations around Turkey. From above looking down on the floor, the mosaics actually looked almost like paintings. It wasn't until I got closer that I noticed the tiles were about 1/4 inch square and set in with different colors to emulate folds in clothing and muscles on legs. Seriously, very awesome!

This was followed by a little shopping. I bargained for my first item: a Nazar Boncu-oo-u (it's not spelled that way, but can't find the actually letter which draws out the sound of the first u).It's supposed to ward off the evil eye, and I found a pendant that I thought was pretty. The guy wasn't pushy either, which I liked. Plus, he helped us find someplace else we were looking for. After I paid for the thing, I heard a scuffle in the walk-way. A dude was chasing another dude yelling at him in English. His harsh words ended in, "you son of the bitch", which had two guys not had to drag the guy back, would have been really funny. I'm still not sure what made him so mad, which I saw another guy walking away looking very pleased with himself. Speculate away!!

Back to the Blue Mosque we went. I wanted to see it for myself, without a tricky carpet salesman rushing we through. We got there in time for the call to prayer. We watched, and it was quite interesting. I wanted to know why people seemed to leave after different prayers, so I asked the security guard who was very nice and tried to explain. I'm still not sure why they left at different times, but I can now read all about Islam, because he gave me several books. I'm quite keen to read through them, as he was so helpful, and I'd like some explanation for what all they were doing.

So, that was about it...but I can't forget to mention the cats. They're everywhere! I don't see dogs around that much, but man these cats breed like rabbits!!!

More tomorrow...we're going to the Grand Bazaar, where I'll have to work on my bargaining skills and fighting men off. Really, do they think it works to pick up a girl by saying, "you're really pretty, wanna meet up with me later?" Umm, yeah.

Istanbul: Day 1

I realize it's Tuesday, and I usually post a teaser. But, in celebration of my awesome MIL, who took me with her to Istanbul, I'm going to try to blog about the trip every day we're here. Lord only knows if I'll actually blog every day. But here goes...

Well, after a very exhausting day of walking, looking at old stuff, trying to look as mean as possible, apparently looking as friendly and open as possible, and having to say 'no' repeatedly to people who mistook the 'mean' look for the 'I'm here to spend tons of money on carpets' look, I AM PLUM TUCKERED OUT. That isn't to say I didn't have a great time today, because I definitely did.

We (Norah, my MIL, and I) started out a bit late this morning, because the 2 hour time change had us staying up later than we would have liked. But, after a lovely breakfast (included in the room price!) at the hotel where we could see the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. One of the hotel staff offered to help us locate the places we wanted to go. Which started off a conversation about whether or not I was in school. He apparently thought I was in high school. Seriously. I'm not sure if that was a compliment or not, considering that was at least 10 years ago. But, well, it was funny.

This first day was to be spent in the Architectural Museum and Topkapi Palace. Little did we know that the former was the size of a city. So, most of the day was spent at the museum. I can't tell you how amazing it was to see parts of the tiles from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

Leaving the museum for some lunch, we ran into Carpet Salesman #1: the Philosophy Professor. I tried to avoid him. I really did. Norah even made a good stab and getting rid of him, but he literally RAN after us. I mean, what can you do when the guy stands in front of you, blocking your path? Well, I could have been really mean, but I hadn't learned my lesson yet. We followed him back to his store. He served us some lovely tea and proceeded to spread carpets out in front of us "just to show us." Although he was an excellent salesman and seemed like a nice guy, you can't sell carpets of people who ain't got the dough. So, we left carpetless. (And for those of you wishing to make a dirty joke here, save it. I'm sure I've heard it all today...)

Lots of walking comprised the first half of the day, and we ended up coming back to the hotel room for a short rest after the longer-than-necessary carpet setback. We had planned for lunch, but we didn't really have time, so we ate a snack we'd gotten at Heathrow, and headed out to the Blue Mosque. According to our guidebook, it was the only thing that would be open long enough for us to see it.

It's amazing how close we are to everything, and it didn't take us long to get to the mosque. IT'S GINORMOUS! And, I'm glad it's a mosque cuz when I walked into the gates and they had booths set up with people selling just about anything you can imagine, I thought about a particular passage in the Bible I actually remember from Sunday School...

Anyway, we found the "visitor's entrance" off to the side and proceeded in that direction. Enter Carpet Salesman #2: Tour Guide for the Blue Mosque. He was very nice indeed, even though we walked right past him and kept on going. In fact, I had the "if you mess with me I'll kill you" look that has seemed to work on other trips. It doesn't work here. No, instead, apparently this look is just a challenge. Either that, or they think I'm flirting.

Tour Guide guy gave us a nice tour of the mosque, which I don't think we would have had without him. He pointed out all sorts of things and told us about holy days, etc. I was a little surprised when I saw that not all the women had their heads covered, and well...I just didn't seem right. But, that's just me. He said it wasn't required for visitors, but still.

Then we went on a tour of the outside of the mosque, the old stable areas, and some old old houses. This tour ended at...a carpet store. And, I actually considered buying one. So much so, that I asked the price. Well, let's just say...I didn't buy anything. As lovely as they were, I can't spend half my rent on a carpet. And, it made me feel a little bad, because they'd gone to so much trouble trying to sell us stuff. And, even though we didn't buy a carpet, Tour Guide guy continued our tour all the way to the Hagia Sophia, where he informed us that it was open until 7:00.

We went in, and it was AMAZING. If I thought the Blue Mosque was huge, wow, there are no words to describe the Hagia Sophia. It's ridiculously old, and incredibly beautiful in a stoic kind of way. I just can't imagine how it was built. They were doing a lot of restoration on the mosaics, so we didn't get to see the whole thing, but we got a good idea of the massive size of the place. Seriously, I wish I could describe it, but I can't. You just have to go!

The day ended with some dinner at a place we were pressured into eating at. Seriously, men here have no problem standing directly in front of you, telling you what to do! Fortunately, the food was really good, and it was served on a terrace overlooking all the sites!!

Now, throughout the day, I'd had several flirting men (just ask Norah), but I think the waiter took the prize for most flirtatious. Even after I said I was married--by which he was completely shocked--he continued to flirt. It was kind of funny actually. And, he managed to jump into a picture Norah was taking. My facial expression may have been pretty funny. I'll have to see and post it if so.

And, that's basically it for the day. I'm tired and will be going to bed as soon as I dry my hair. I'm thinking of making it into a big poofball. Possibly, I'll put my lipstick on crooked tomorrow as well, and paints a weird mole on my face. Do you think would get them all off my back? There have been very few times in my life when I really thought I NEEDED to have a man around (the car dealership being another of those times), but I have to say...for reasons other than the obvious one...I wish Gavin were here. At least he might scare off some of the carpet salesmen!

Want time to write? Get your husband an Xbox 360

After a year of saying "no", I caved this weekend and told Gavin he could get his Xbox 360. Of course it had nothing to do with recent decrease in price, but everything to do with giving him an outlet of fun so I could write in peace. Actually, it was mostly about the price drop.

Today we went into town, hoping to get the best deal possible. I think we did well. All-in-all, we came away with the Elite console, an extra wireless controller, and 5 good games. We didn't pay much more than what the console itself cost, so I figure the shopping around paid off.

You know what else paid off? Gavin sat in front of the monitor most of the day, mostly getting himself killed over and over again, while I wrote. It was a very productive day indeed!

Tomorrow, I'm thinking we'll have to break out something a little less Indiana Jones or Kung Fu Panda. Ohhh...yeah!

I predict very few words written tomorrow.

Now Showing at LiveJournal: This Blog

I'm a follower. I'll admit it. And, being such a fantastic follower, I've followed several other AW peeps over to Live Journal. That's not to say things are stopping here on Blogger. Do not despair for I am still posting here!

Just in case it's easier for people to check out my amazing writing skillz (notice the z, which indicates how ridiculous that statement just was), I'm mirroring this blog onto this blog:

I'm still working out the kinks. For example, currently, the layout over at Live Journal sucks. Hopefully I can remedy that with the help of Vero (who got me started on this mirroring stuff). Only time will tell!

Because I was bored...New Layout!

Through a mix of boredom, jealousy, and a good case of the crud, I decided to change the layout on this here blog. Gavin should come along in about a year or so when he gets tired of my bugging him to read the blog and realize that it's different than the one he set up. Actually, it was different before this layout change, because his was boring. But, well, what can a girl do?

(Gavin if you do wander by this blog--the blog that you started and subsequently didn't post on--any time close to the posting date, I do apologize for my lack of faith. But really, it was warranted, right?)

I've been in bed most of the day, because I just don't feel that good. At least, that's my excuse. Yeah, I think it's a good one. **cough, cough, sneeze** And, I decided to read some blogs (check them out over in the sidebar!). I have to say, I was quite jealous with the layouts. So, I figured out how to get my new shiny layout here! I had to go with something dark, because, well...the name of this blog kind of lacks the sun. I should have also gone for something completely grey, like how most people view Manchester. But, I had to have SOME color in my life, right?

So, what do you think? Like the layout? It's ok if you don't, but I will hate you. Just so you know. ;)