travel
So initially I wanted to do this as a video but considering I haven't updated my little blog for a while I thought I would do it on here! I've been to Disneyland Paris quite a few times now (eight times to be precise), and during those trips I've accumulated several favourites that I wanted to share with you all.


Top 2 Rides in Disneyland Park - It would be way too hard to just pick one so I've got two! My first is Big Thunder Mountain; it's a bit of a thrill ride with a fantastic theme. My second favourite is Peter Pan's Flight. This couldn't be more different from most of my other favourites but it's just so magical!

Top 2 Rides in Walt Disney Studios - Again, I could never pick just one! I've loved Tower of Terror ever since my first ride on it back in 2013, and it's been a firm favourite ever since. The other ride I would pick has to be Crush's Coaster! I hadn't had chance to go on it until recently but I'm so glad I ignored the long queue time and gave it a go!

Top 3 Restaurants - Lets be honest, the food in Disney is pretty pricey and most of it isn't exactly the best either, but there are still several places I have to eat in while on holiday! My all time top restaurant is Hakuna Matata, the theme in that place is amazing plus the food is delicious! Another favourite has to be Casey's on Main Street, you can't go wrong with hot dogs and chips really. The last restaurant to make the list has to be Plaza Gardens. The character breakfast there really is a treat. 


Favourite Thing To Eat - If I could only eat one thing in Disneyland it would have to be Hakuna fries from Hakuna Matata. They are crinkle cut chips with a yummy flavouring unlike anything I've ever had before! Pair that up with the Kebab meal deal and you have one happy Gracie.

Top 3 Meet And Greets - One of the best meet and greets I had was with Chip and Dale. They are just so fun and you end up with several hilarious photographs after just a few moments with them. Another great meet and greet was Moana (Vianna in France). She was really chatty and looked incredible - my photos with her are easily some of my most treasured. But my very favourite meet and greet has to be with Micky Mouse himself! He doesn't talk, but more than makes up for it by playing around! 

Best Show - This is really hard as there are just so many amazing shows in the park that change from time to time, but I would have to say Mickey and the Magician. I almost cried the first time I saw it and even though I've watched it a few times since, the magic hasn't worn off!

Favourite Shop - Again this is super hard as there are so many to chose from but I'm going to go with World of Disney as I think its the biggest and you can pretty much get anything from there!


Favourite Hotel - This is a bit of a cheat as I've only ever stayed in two but out of the Santa Fe and The Cheyenne, the Cheyenne is definitely the best! The cowboy/ Toy Story theme is great and the newly renovated rooms are so much nicer, plus the rooms are a lot easier to find than in the Santa Fe I think.

Favourite Time of Year - I've been to Disney throughout different season's and my favourite time to go is in the early Summer. It's nice and warm, unlikely to rain, and the kids haven't broke up from school so it's not too busy. I haven't been during the Christmas season however so I imagine that would be pretty magical!

So those are my Disneyland Paris favourites! Although I'm not going to call this a 'tag post' as such, I would love my fellow Disneyland fans to fill this in on their own blogs or even just in the comments below! What are your Disneyland faves?!


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DISNEYLAND PARIS FAVOURITES

So I've been AWOL for quite some time again. I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted but here I am, once more explaining my absence. Sean and I went travelling. Not for very long, and probably not the usual way either but honestly it was fantastic.



We saved up for a while, and when I say saved, I mean we took the money out of our moving out fund to pay for our extravagant obsession. So we saved and planned, and planned, and planned. And then planned a hell of a lot more and off we flew to central Europe. Now I'll probably talk about all of that at some point but right now I want to talk about how it honestly changed the way I see my life and helped my mental health.

So before I start, I just want to put out a little disclaimer. I know travelling is a privilege that not everyone has access to. Although I slave away stocking shelves to pay for my travels I still understand how lucky I am to take these trips. I also just want to say that as amazing as they are, trips around the world cannot cure metal health problems, although I do believe they can give you a short break from having to deal with them.



So lets get to it; why was this trip so life changing? And why was it different from any of the other trips I've taken in the past? Well to start with it was the longest I've ever been away from home. We were gone for 18 days. This might not seem much to veteran travellers but to someone who suffers with anxiety, this is a long time believe me. I worried a lot about having enough money, catching the right trains at the right time, and, you know, silly things like getting mugged or losing my passport. Well we did have enough money, we made it on time to all of our trains, and we got to where we needed to be, even if things didn't always go right. Although I couldn't stop myself from worrying every now and then, I got though it, and I handled any problems we came across pretty well too. Although travelling is my passion and I love every second of it, by going on an experience like this I came home feeling like there's nothing I now couldn't do. For someone who is constantly drowning under self doubt and worry, thats a pretty nice feeling.

Like I said we had everything planned down to the tiniest detail which did make me feel a lot better, but there's no way we could plan for everything, that's just not how life works. We were bound to come across problems at some point and we did, but we managed them well and continued on our journey. I didn't have any major freak outs while we were away and that has given me a boost in confidence.



As well as helping me to overcome my anxiety by forcing me to confront situations head on, travelling for such a long period of time allowed me to take a nice break from everything that worries me at home. For 18 whole days I didn't have to worry about finding a new job, saving to move out, my parents' business closing down, and all the things that keep me up at night. The only thing I needed to think about was what I planned to do the next day. I know that isn't reality but to have such a long period of time without my everyday concerns was so refreshing. Although I came back home to my worries they weren't as built up in my head as they were before I left. I think I needed that break to reset my mind, give it a good cleanse, and come back to things when I could think more clearly.

By the end of our trip I came home with a new outlook on life. I realised there was more to it than working a shitey job to pay for a little relief every few months. I don't want to be another person living just for the weekends, especially when I have to work them. I want a good job, a well paying job, a job I like, a job that can allow me to afford these sorts of trips more often. I want to wake up everyday feeling like I did the morning after I got home, knowing that we overcame any problems that stood in our way. I want to be able to face situations that terrify me - like being in crowds, learning to drive, and going places on my own. I want to live a care free life like the one I had just a few weeks ago. This trip has given me the drive to push myself to be the best I can be. It made me confront situations that I would completely avoid here at home and it has given me the inspiration to try new things which is something I will always be grateful for.

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HOW TRAVELLING CHANGED ME AND HELPED MY MENTAL HEALTH


So here is the second part of our amazing trip to Disneyland Paris. I can't believe it was almost a month ago now that we were living the dream! We honestly had the best time and I can't wait to go back! Me and Sean are planning to go back for halloween but in the meantime I'll be returning next week with my family who have never been before! 


I really hope you've all enjoyed watching my Disneyland vlogs as I plan to make so many more! I'd love to get some feedback on them too as I always want my content to be the best it can be!


Thanks for watching!


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DISNEYLAND PARIS JUNE 2017 VLOG - PART 2

As you may know if you follow me on pretty much any social media, Sean and I recently spent just shy of a week in Disneyland Paris. We had the most incredible time and I still have the post holiday blues now. To break the trip up a bit (not that we could ever get bored of Disney) we hopped on the train and spent a few hours in the city of love.


As usual we hadn't really planned what we wanted to do too much, however Sean really wanted to visit the islands where Paris was originally founded and so we headed that way. Out first stop was at The Conciergerie when Marie Antionette was held before her execution in 1793. There was a lot of information about the French Revolution, however there was not so much about Marie Antionette herself which I found quite surprising. The Conciergerie is free for European citizens under 26 and can be more or less done in around an hour so I would recommend a visit if you get chance. 

After our short visit there we stopped for a little snack break. Walking around all day really does take its toll on you so we like to have regular munchies. We then headed towards Notre Dame which I had never seen up close despite being to Paris twice before. The structure really is something else. It's bigger and more beautiful than I have ever seen in pictures an I'm really glad we got to spend a lot of time just soaking it all in. We did consider going in but the queues were really quite long and we didn't want to spend the day standing still.


Once we had taken more photos than any tourist should we moved to towards the Centre Pompidou but not before stopping off at Sephora for some treats. Sean actually tracked it down as he knew how keen I was to pick up some goodies you just can't get here in the UK. We grabbed a few bits and carried on.

We arrived at the Centre Pompidou just as it started pouring it down. Like every other tourist in the vicinity we ran towards the entrance, however we went in through the library instead of the main doors and beat the ridiculous queues to get in. Like the Conciergerie, The Centre Pompidou museum is free for Europeans under 26 however exhibitions needs to be paid for. The Centre holds many works of modern art including 'Fountain' which I was over the moon to see as it was one of the works I think really started modern art. We also had a wander around the top level which gives you absolutely gorgeous views over Paris and I would say is a must see while you are visiting.


Once we had pretty much exhausted the Centre Pompidou we took the Metro over to The Bataclan Theatre. To my surprise there were no flowers, no cards, and only a tiny plaque to commemorate the lives lost there back in 2015. Considering the size of the atrocity that took place I thought there would be more but I guess now it's just turned into the site of yet another terrorist attack. Despite there not actually being that much "to see" there were still several tourists posing for selfies in front of the plaque which I really didn't think was appropriate at all.

By now it was getting quite late and our tummies were rumbling. Not wanting to go too far we headed into a pretty Parisian café on our way back to the Metro. It was the least touristy place we'd eaten in for a while and that was exactly what we wanted. We had a long look at the menu before deciding we were actually rubbish at decoding French and we both ordered safe options. I picked a delicious four cheese pizza which could have probably fed a family of 12 and Sean went for a Caesar salad after enjoying one earlier in the week. We could have stayed there all night people watching and soaking up the atmosphere but we wanted to get back to enjoy a few hours in the Disneyland Park.


Last time I went to Paris I didn't really enjoy it much. We didn't plan a lot and I just didn't fall in love with the city like I usually do when travelling. Although I still wouldn't rank Paris in my top 5, we did manage to tick off a few things from my 'to do list' and I had a much more enjoyable time. I'm sure we will be back to explore more of this beautiful city and hopefully then I will finally feel the way most people do as they wander around the pretty Parisian streets.

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A DAY TRIP TO PARIS


So as I'm sure you guys already know, me and Sean spent an amazing 6 days in our favourite place on earth. Its the longest time we've ever spent in the park in one go and we had an absolutely amazing time. I've wanted to start vlogging for years now but I never really had the confidence until recently and so I decided to film all of our fab break away. I might seem a little nervous, thats because I am, ut I'm hoping that will improve with time!


This is just part one of my mega long vlog so don't forget to keep a look out for part two which I will be uploading very soon!

I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback on this video by the way. I really want to start putting more time into youtube so if you guys would like to see more of this kind of thing please let me know.

Thanks for watching!


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DISNEYLAND PARIS JUNE 2017 VLOG - PART 1

A couple of Sundays ago, unsure of what to do, I took to the visit England website to see what fun things they recommend. We didn't want to travel too far so I reduced my search to just the Midlands and was intrigued when a page for the Heights of Abraham popped up. I'd never heard of it before but after a little bit of digging I found it was just over an hours drive away, so off we went.


Tucked away in the heart of Derbyshire, the Heights of Abraham promised a cable car, 2 caves and other fun activities. We arrived just after midday and headed straight for the cable car. Parking was a little bit difficult, so if you can I'd probably recommend getting the train there.

After handing over our £16 entrance fee (each) we were soon on our way up the cliff, but not before I managed to drop my foundation and break it all over the floor. Fab, I know. The view from the cable cars was just amazing though, you could literally see for miles! The ride to the top took maybe around 3 or 4 minutes and it really was lovely.


Once at the top we headed towards the picnic area to have part of our lunch which we were absolutely gagging for; sausage rolls as always. After our quick snack we had a wander around the fossil museum which was a little bit smaller than I expected but had a real dinosaur skeleton which I was definitely surprised to see.

By now I was so ready to explore the caves and as we were already at the top it made sense to do the Masson Cave first. In hindsight I would have preferred to do this one last as it was definitely the more impressive of the two. Following our tour guide we walked through small passageways and wandered around the huge cave. It was a little bit slippery but luckily I didn't fall over which makes a bloody change to be honest. There was a fair bit of climbing up steps involved inside the cave and I had wobbly legs by the end of the tour but it was so worth it.


At the end of the cave we emerged at the top of a hill overlooking the little town of Matlock Bath which seemed to be miles down below us in the valley. We ate the rest of our lunch here and I forced Sean to have a mini photoshoot with me as the view was just so gorgeous I needed to have pics in front of it. After taking around 4 million photos we headed down the hill slightly to the Prospect Tower which involved walking up another load of steps to get to the top. If I've learned anything from this experience its that I should probably walk a lot more.


We didn't stay at the top of the tower too long as I was keen to see the Rutland cave which was positioned about halfway down the hill. This meant I would have to walk back up again as the cable cars didn't stop here but I was determined to do it. As I said before, the second cave wasn't as impressive as the first, it was a lot smaller and only had one way in and out unlike the Masson cave which had a route all the way through. That being said it was still fascinating to wander around and learn a few things I hadn't before.

It was then time to walk back up the hill which we did very slowly and reluctantly but we had no choice if we wanted to get the cable car back down the hill. Once at the top I rewarded myself with a well deserved cookies and cream ice cream which made everything better. After I'd munched that away it was pretty much closing time so we headed back towards to cable car for our final trip down the hillside.

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THE HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM

So a couple of weekends ago me and Sean popped up to Manchester for the weekend. We only stayed for 2 days but I think that was enough really. I originally planned to go up there to visit an exhibition and do another street style shoot which I won't be sharing on here because I was just not happy with the results at all.


Day 1

On the first day after going to see the Fashion on the Ration exhibition which you can read about on my uni blog we checked into our hotel. We stayed at a Holiday Inn around a mile out from the city centre and I really wasn't a fan at all. The location wasn't great and the room was pretty basic too, that being said we were only using it for a base so that didn't matter too much.


After check in we headed straight into the city to do my pre shoot to prepare for the next day. As you might know I'm working on a street style project for uni so that's what I was hoping to do in Manchester. The shoot really didn't go all that well so I gave in after an hour and did a bit of shopping in the few shops that were still open at that time. I didn't get much, and most of the stuff I did buy only went back the next day.


Once I had finished in the shops it was pretty much tea time. We didn't really know where to grab dinner as we'd never spent much time in Manchester before so we headed to the only place we did know; The Hard Rock. I'd been to The Hard Rock here once before for my 21st birthday and I absolutely loved it so I was excited to go back. We had a burger each and several cocktails, everything was fab as usual and we didn't leave too drunk which is always a bonus. We headed home pretty early as we were both wrecked from the early start.

Day 2

The second day started later than I had hoped. After a well deserved lie in the finally managed to get down to breakfast by around 9am but didn't leave the hotel till 11am. I wasn't too bothered as I didn't really need to start my main shoot until 4pm that afternoon. We again headed into town and I did what I do best; shopping. As we didn't have anything planned we didn't really know what to do. I'm sure Manchester is full of full things but we didn't do our research so ended up just wandering around the city centre. I took some of the previous days purchases back and bought some new things too. We probably spent most of our time in Primark. Honestly that place is massive and I definitely got lost in there several times. 


Once I was done shopping we were definitely in need of some grub. Again unsure of where to eat we wandered around for a good half an hour looking for something we fancied. We eventually settled on Wagamama, somewhere neither of us had eaten before but were keen to try out. Well I'm super glad we chose there as our meals were just incredible and the staff were really friendly too. I opted for the safe bet and chose a chicken chow mein style dish but next time, and there will be a next time, I will probably go for something more daring.


After our late lunch it was again time for me to start shooting. I was trying out a new style of street photography this time - candid photography. I'm really not a fan at all. Something about taking photos of people without their knowledge just didn't sit well with me and the images I ended up with just really weren't great so I won't be doing that again!

By the time I had finished my shoot we were both absolutely knackered so it was time to get back on the motorway and return to our beloved Brum!

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BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER

Last May me and my family went on a little holiday to the beautiful island of Rhodes in Greece. I didn't really talk about it on here as I had so much college work to do when I got back but I finally got around to sorting out my photos. I've decided instead of telling you all about my trip, I would just talk about the 4 things you have to do while you're visiting!


Ancient Kamiros - We travelled here on our last day in Rhodes as a bit of a spur of the moment thing. We were running out of ideas and as we had a late night flight we really needed something to do. Probably around 10pm the night before I was flicking through my guide book and happened upon a page all about Kamiros. It looked amazing and as far as I can remember students got in for free so we hired the car for one last day and headed off to visit the ruins.

Ancient Kamiros has been called 'the Pompeii of Greece' and while it's not really as big, it's definitely impressive. I will mention that there is very little information on site so it's worth doing your own research beforehand or picking up a guide book. The place is also full to the brim with harmless lizards which will happily sunbathe the day away. I'm so glad we chose to spend our last few hours in Rhodes here as I really haven't seen anything like it before. 


Go Snorkling - I'm a proper little water baby; there's nothing I love more than spending my holiday splashing about in the ocean. You'll never catch me in the pool and there's only really one reason for that, there are no fish in them! Grab some goggles and a snorkle too if you struggle to hold your breath and get in that ocean! All of the beaches we went to that week were jam packed with wildlife that you just won't see over here in the UK. If you take some bread in with you too, you'll soon have tropical fish swimming all around you.


Acropolis of Rhodes - Ruins are kind of my thing. I love wandering around a good ancient structure, so this place was always going to make my bucket list. Although the Temple of Apollo seemed to be under repairs when we visited last year, that still didn't take away from the overall impact of the site.

This place is a little tricky to find and you will probably need a car to get here - even if you are staying in Rhodes town. The car park isn't very well sign posted and it's quite a walk from there too but honestly it's worth it. Below the temple is a large theatre and sports stadium and beyond that is a large grassy area with bricks strewn about. Similar to Kamiros, there is little to no information available here so keep your guidebook handy!  


Village Of Lindos - I've probably saved the best until last. The Village of Lindos honestly has my heart. This place is the Greek equivalent to an English chocolate box village in the cotswolds. It is completely unruined by anything modern, so be prepared for a lot of walking unless you fancy taking a donkey taxi that is. A word of warning, we did take a donkey taxi and honestly we regretted it immediately - they don't seem to be treated all that well.

While you're here I would recommend a quick look in The Church of the Panagia. The craftsmanship that went into creating this little place is incredible. Another quick warning for the ladies, you will be asked to cover up your shoulders and legs, which may mean like me you have to wear two awkwardly sized blankets around you in 40 degree heat. Lindos beach is also well worth a visit to relax after a day of walking around the tiny winding streets.

So those were the 4 things I think you absolutely must do while you are on holiday in Rhodes! There's so much to do there really and honestly I would recommend hiring a car if you can get one. The island is quite big and you can get a car from €25 a day which I think is fab!

Will you be jetting off anywhere nice this summer?

Thanks for reading

x

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4 THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO IN RHODES

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