Fun Things to do in Lisbon!

A few weeks ago my friends and I went on a trip to Lisbon and I thought I would share some fun things that we did while we were there! I am by no means a travel blogger, but after being on my first trip out of the country since COVID, I could definitely consider it, if I had the time and the money lol.

Boat Tours

On our first full day in Lisbon, we decided to take a boat tour. It was with Rent a Boat and my friend Jasmine had booked it for us. We weren’t really sure what to expect but it turned out to be an instant crowd-pleaser for all of us.

When we were getting onto the boat we saw a lot of people choosing to sit in the designated seating area at the back of the boat, but when the tour guide said we could sit at the front we decided to head up there immediately. And honestly, if you are going to pay for a boat tour why wouldn’t you sit at the very front? This was great because there was enough room for all four of us and also it gave us some privacy away from the other people on the tour so it was like we were on our own private boat tour.

The tour itself was really chill, and there was music playing and the tour guide offered us some ‘green wine’, which we had never heard of but we were instant fans. To quote the tour guide when he offered us the wine “you are Irish, I don’t even have to ask”. The only thing he was asking was “do you want more?”. Now I don’t know if it was because we were special or if the tour guide was offering everyone wine a second (and third/fourth) time but I will not complain.

In terms of a guided tour though, we did not get much which was fine by us because we just enjoyed being on the water in the sunshine and enjoying the views. Our tour guide did come down and give us some ideas of what to do while we were in Lisbon as we hadn’t planned much for the trip yet. And he was really friendly and enjoyable, I think if we had been with the rest of the main group we might have gotten more of a guided tour.

And that was our first boat tour of the trip! Yep, we went on another one lol. That night after the tour, we all kept talking about how much we enjoyed it and so we decided to also book a nighttime tour. We did look at sunset ones but they are hella pricey because that is an obvious peak time.

So the next night we once again arrived at Belem marina for our second boat trip. This one was with Get Your Guide – we did originally want to book with Rent a Boat again, but they were not available. Though I think this was actually a good thing because we had a different experience with this company.

We got lucky with our night tour that we were actually the only ones on the boat, there was supposed to be a second group joining but they didn’t show. So it really was a private boat tour this time.

Like before, we opted to sit in the front, because again you gotta have good views. That being said, at night the tour was much colder, thankfully though the company provided blankets for us which kept us warm during the trip. Also because we were the only ones on the boat we got more of a guided tour, so the tour guide was able to tell us about all the attractions we could see along the river banks. I appreciated this because we didn’t get that the first time so it was nice to learn a bit more about what we were seeing. And it wasn’t repetitive which is good.

Unlike the last tour I found this one more chill and relaxing, I guess because it had been a long day and also there’s something about being away from all the noise of the nightlife and sailing along the water. Also in terms of wine, we did get one glass which was included in the package, which was more what we expected from the tour anyway.

And that concludes all our boat tours in Portgual lol. Honestly, I would recommend doing more than one, maybe not in the same trip if that’s not your vibe but they are definitely worth it because it gives you a different view of the city. And also the different times of day were nice because the contrast between both of them was nice to see.

And Portugal offers a lot of different boat tours, we saw plenty of them on the water as we were sailing though I would highly recommend the sailboat ones. We saw a lot of tour boats that were filled with a lot more people and that didn’t seem as enjoyable but might be for you if you prefer hop-on and hop-off kind of tours. There are also tours that include snorkelling and lots of other things so it’s definitely worth checking out!

In terms of pricing, the tours weren’t super expensive either which was nice. Both were around £30 per person and if you book private ones, then the more people you have the less you pay as the price is split between people. So 100% would recommend it to everyone.

Pink Street

I am not sure if this place is for everyone but it’s definitely a pretty photo op during the day. Pink Street is a street in Lisbon that is lined with bars/clubs on both sides and is party central at night.

My friends and I decided to go for drinks after we had been on our daytime boat tour and it was Friday night and packed to the brim with people. Usually not my scene, especially because we have just come out of a pandemic but we decided to be optimistic about it.

We walked up and down the street a couple of times, trying to find a bar with seating which was almost impossible, but we finally found a table outside a bar called Liverpool, named after the football team. Not exactly Portuguese culture but the only place with space and we took advantage.

I’m not going to say it was a glamorous night because in reality, you were sitting in a very crowded area in the heat of the night and the noise of the goings-on around you but we still had a great time. It worked out well we had this table, and there was a waitress who was taking drink orders for the bar so she would come by every so often to take our order. I honestly felt bad for her because she must’ve been getting all kinds of abuse and such throughout the night but we did our best to be polite and non-disruptive. We’re not that kind of people lol.

So we sat and we enjoyed our drinks, enjoyed seeing the parades of bar crawls and hen/stag do’s that passed us by.

Eventually, we did have to use the bathroom and the inside of the Liverpool bar is tiny, definitely wouldn’t like to be crammed in there with a lot of people. And also the female toilets only had one toilet which isn’t great for a bar but thankfully there weren’t many people inside, and so not many people in the bathrooms either.

And then around 3:30 a.m the staff were packing up the tables so it was time for us to move and probably go home because we didn’t realise it had gotten so late so quickly. The drinks were strong and we were enjoying our time so we had no idea it was going by so fast. The bar wasn’t closing at 3:30 though, they were just putting the tables away we could have still gone into the bar as they were open till SIX AM. Yeah, SIX IN THE MORNING. Crazy.

We did not feel like going inside so we decided to find a spot to stand and finish our drinks before heading home. Even at 3:30 in the morning, there were people everywhere. It was crazy, especially when in Northern Ireland clubs close at 2 and everyone is in Mcdonald’s by 3.

And so yeah our Pink Street adventures were pretty tame compared to most going on around us but I’d still say pretty wild for us lol. Like I said I wouldn’t say it was a vibe for everyone and I feel like if we hadn’t gotten sat at a place with a table it would have been a bit miserable. So I’d say it could be hit or miss if you decide to take a trip.

We did walk through the next day while trying to get somewhere and like I said, I think it’s nice for photos but otherwise not worth a trip, unless you’re looking to get smashed.

Timeout Market

I feel like Time Out Market is one of those things that everyone mentions on their list of things to do in Lisbon. It is a big food market located close to Pink Street in the middle of Lisbon.

We decided to take a visit the afternoon after our Pink Street adventures and it was packed to the brim with people. I don’t think it would ever not be busy, to be honest, but it’s definitely a fun vibe. The market is set up in long cafeteria-style tables, and then the outside of the room is lined with various food vendors. So if you are ever undecided in the friend group about what to eat, this is the place because everyone can go to different places, or you can all share little things from various places.

I will say it’s not ideal if you are looking for anything private or intimate as you are sharing a huge table sandwiched between groups of people but it’s nice for lunch or something light.

The waiting lines for each vendor vary greatly as my friends and I scattered to our selected restaurant and came back to the table with our buzzers. Though I’d say waiting in line to order actually takes the longest. Once you get your order in then the food is prepared quite quickly.

Needless to say the food was delicious and everyone enjoyed it. Lauren and Jasmine even went to get dessert from one of the vendors.

So yeah a bright and fun place to go if you aren’t sure where to eat. I also think that if you enjoy the food from a vendor there that they have full restaurants you can go to if you want more of the food so definitely worth checking out. Though I’d say if you aren’t a fan of the crowds to not stay longer than needed, I found it quite draining to be there for a long time. But that could’ve been the late-night out before, who knows?

Electric Scooters

We saw so many people zooming about on electric scooters while we were away and we decided to take them for a spin ourselves after Time Out Market. To use them you just need to download an app corresponding to the branding on the scooter, scan the QR code, and off you go! There is no shortage of scooters or electric bikes in the centre of Lisbon, we saw so many of them around and it’s such a handy mode of transportation.

Something to note about the scooters though is they are heavy. Like heavier than your average Razor scooter as a kid and definitely more painful to the ankles. So basically, doing a lot of pedalling on them is a lot of work, as I soon found out because it took me a while to get to grips with the scooters. Like you’d think you can just step on and go but no lol.

You basically pedal a little bit and get your balance and then SLOWLY press on the accelerator until you feel comfortable to zoom off. Unfortunately for me, the balance did not come quickly lol we first took the scooters out in a busy area and trying to navigate through people and also get your balance was not the easiest.

So, later on, we were in a quieter area and took out some scooters again where I got to practice my balance and it was much easier to figure out when you weren’t worried about hitting anything or anyone. Plus, the scooters can get up to some speeds so you really need to spend time adjusting and figuring out what works for you.

Once we got the hang of the scooters they were super fun. We wanted to use them at every opportunity, especially because we were along the river and it was a long straight path towards where we were staying. It was so fun zooming down the street at night with the girls. Definitely, something we’ll remember for a long time.

So if you want something fun and easy to try out, get some scooters! I will now be sad if I go elsewhere on holiday and they don’t have scooters.

Sintra

Sintra is not actually in Lisbon as it’s a separate town but I wanted to include this in the post anway because this is something the girls and I did.

Sintra is a town about an hour by train from Lisbon, and it contains four castles that you can visit and is perfect for sightseeing and pictures…unless you go in the rain which we ended up doing. So you go on holiday expecting sunshine and warmth and then the next thing you know it’s cold and rainy. Not fun, but something you can handle especially if you’re from Northern Ireland.

What it looked like waiting to go inside to view the palace interior

Even though the weather wasn’t great it was still a good day. We went to the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle. First was Pena Palace as it was at the highest up the mountain. It definitely would have been better if it was sunny, as the views from the palace were obscured by the mist, but it did clear up a bit by the time we had finished the palace interiors and had some lunch at the cafeteria.

What it looked like after we had been inside and the weather had cleared a little

I am thankful the weather cleared up a bit so we had some views, it would have been disappointing to continue to see nothing from such a great vantage point. But still would recommend a clear day to visit. It was also very busy waiting to get into the palace, we were waiting for an hour in line, I think if it was sunny it wouldn’t have been bad but I assume everyone was wanting to get inside to escape the rain.

The rain wasn’t actually too bad, it was a light mist at most but I think the altitude and wind made it a lot worse. So if you do see rain in the forecast, bring a rain jacket!

After Pena Palace we made it to Moorish Castle, again there would have been great views if the weather hadn’t taken a turn again. Moorish Castle was stunning and while climbing up all the stairs was a journey it was one I’m glad we took, even if we couldn’t see anything from the top I am proud we made it all the way to the top. Plus the views that we could see were stunning.

I would love the opportunity to go back with better weather to see the full thing and also explore the gardens of Pena Palace, as we decided to skip those due to the weather.

So those are all the things I would recommend doing in Lisbon! There were a couple other things the girls and I did like go to a flea market and also the beach but I feel like those you can kind of do anywhere. And in terms of where to eat and restaurants, my friends and I basically just walked along wherever we were until we found a menu with a vegetarian option for my friend Lauren and also something everyone else could eat. Unfortunately for us, Portugal is seafood heaven and none of us actually eat seafood lol.

But yeah, I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if you are interested in seeing more of our Lisbon adventures I did manage to vlog a little of each day so you can check that out below!

Now for me, it’s time to return to regular life and start planning my next holiday…

London, Baby!

Just back from another trip and am honestly looking for some much-needed rest haha.

I didn’t plan for this trip and Liverpool to happen so close together it just kind of worked out that way, but yes, I’m just back from London.

This trip was very different from the other one, mostly because I didn’t go with my family this time I went with my boyfriend. And unlike last time, we didn’t have very many plans so it was more laid back.

I was super excited about this visit to London because we were finally going to see Dear Evan Hansen! I had bought tickets to the show when they were first released almost 6 months ago, so the fact it was finally time to see it was great.

Sadly though Dear Evan Hansen wasn’t until the end of the trip so we had to do something to keep ourselves occupied until then.

The first day we arrived early and decided to do some shopping. I wanted to check out the Pokemon pop-up store that was in Westfield so we headed out there. Naturally, I wasn’t expecting to get into the place because I heard there were queues for days and they always ended up selling out of things but thought we might as well check it out.

When we got there it was no surprise that there was a huge line, even though it was the middle of the day and some things had already sold out. I wasn’t going to wait in line only to be told I wasn’t going to get in or that I wasn’t going to be able to buy something I really wanted. So we gave it a miss, which is a bit sad because I wanted to know what the store looked like on the inside, but it wasn’t really worth the queuing. So I guess if I want to see a Pokemon centre I’m going to have to go to Japan.

We spent most of the day in Westfield shopping centre, mainly because it was giant. Honestly like ten times the size of any shopping centre I have ever been to. I can’t imagine it being your local place to shop, it’s insane.

After that, we went back to the hotel to chill before having dinner and a kind of early night because we had been up from 6 a.m. So it felt so good to sleep.

The next day we headed out to do a bit more shopping, this time in Oxford Street. Though honestly when I say shopping, I mean we went to the expensive department stores and just looked around.

One day I would love to afford fancy things in Selfridges and Harrods but in reality, all we walked away with were two bottles of Voss water, which is about as fancy as we get haha.

On Sunday we went to Madame Tussauds to see all of the wax figures. I have always wanted to go to one of those museums and it was fun. I mean there were quite a lot of people around some areas so it was kind of hard to get a good photo with your fave famous person but it was all good.

I even got to see the Zoe and Alfie wax figures which I was excited about, I remember watching the videos of them making their wax figures years ago so it was cool to see them in person.

Then after that, we got some food and also went to China town to check out bubble waffles. My friend Jasmine suggested we try them so we did and they were great! Though the weather was a bit cold for it, they were still enjoyable.

We also headed to the Christmas market in Leicester Square which was super cute. We only have one Christmas market in our town so it gets boring and repetitive after a while so it was nice to go somewhere new. We picked up a couple of cute things for our apartment there.

To end the night we went out to a comedy club, wasn’t sure what to expect but it was actually really fun! I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely go back.

On Monday, before Dear Evan Hansen I took a trip to my work’s London offices. They are a lot fancier than my local offices and have a lot more floors lol. One of my co-workers also showed us around Canary Wharf which was nice.

Then we went back to the hotel to chill out for a bit before we went to the show.

The actual show was amazing. I cried a lot. I mean you can just assume from now on I cry at basically everything, TV shows, movies, books, theatre shows…everything. But this time I wasn’t expecting to cry so much. I wasn’t sobbing but just picture big fat tears rolling down my face while watching the show.

It was incredible, the guy who played Evan was just so full of emotion and I can’t believe he has to do that on stage every night it is so crazy. But I really enjoyed it. I know they have a book version of the story going around now but I didn’t want to read it until I had seen the show. I wanted to be surprised.

I did listen to the soundtrack before I went to the show but aside from a general idea of what happened in the story I didn’t know exactly what I was going to be walking into and I preferred it that way. It was good to be surprised and to react to it for the first time.

So that was our final day in London. The next day we just spent travelling home so nothing too exciting.

But that was our trip! It was very relaxed and chilled out which I am glad about, it was also nice to spend quality time with my boyfriend because even though we live together now, we both still work and have other plans so while we see each other every day it’s not like we spend much of that time together. So it was a nice holiday away together.

Now that we are back, we are back to work and have to start planning for Christmas. I don’t even know what I am going to buy people this year so looks like I have a lot of work to do!

Aside from that, I imagine the rest of my year will be spent working, chilling out with friends and family and of course, reading a whole lot more! 😛

~ Courtney x

Liverpool | Family Trip

Last week my family and I took a trip to Liverpool for my niece’s birthday.

It was going to be my first family holiday and I was kind of nervous about it, because sometimes spending a lot of time with your family can be hard work. Not everyone always gets along and sometimes people can clash over opinions so it was going to be an interesting trip.

That being said, the trip actually turned out pretty well, there was the occasional little fight but nothing major so we all made it out unscathed.

We toured Anfield stadium on our first day and as someone who isn’t into football it was kind of interesting. Mainly because I had never step foot into one of those places before lol. Still I can imagine if you’re a big football fan you would have enjoyed it even more.

Then the next day we headed out on a Beatles tour bus, again not a big fan of the Beatles but I know my mum loved it. The bus took us around to the houses where the Beatles had grown up and even stopped by the infamous Penny Lane. Also our tour guide was great, he even had a guitar and was singing songs so I want to give him an extra special shout out.

After the Beatles tour, we spent the rest of the day at the Royal Albert Dock, checking out the little shops and things in the area. We also found an escape room place there so decided to give that a go. For my first ever escape room, I really enjoyed it. Sure it was a little bit frustrating but sometimes that happens during games haha.

Then the final day we spent doing some shopping before we went to the British Music Experience museum. Surprisingly this was not the biggest place, it was basically one room which was cool but I kind of expected to see more. But I still enjoyed it.

So that was our trip in a nutshell. I don’t know when the next family trip will be but I don’t think it will be for a long time. Still, it was nice to spend time with the family, since moving out I don’t see them that often, especially my sisters. That being said Christmas is right around the corner so I imagine I’ll be back home with all the fam before I know it.

In the meantime, I am going to be gearing up for my next adventure – me and my boyfriend are going to London to see Dear Evan Hansen! And I’m so excited, even though Ben Platt will probably not be there, but a girl can dream right?

~ Courtney x

24 Hours in Manchester for BLACKPINK | 21st May 2019

So me and my brother decided to go to Manchester last minute to go see Black Pink!

This is probably one of the most impulsive things I have ever done, I mean I’ve booked tickets to things before and had to think about travel and accommodation later but this time, we literally had to book everything and get tickets the day before lol.

It seemed to good to be true to be honest and I was worried that because we bought resale tickets that maybe we could have been scammed but luckily for us everything worked out in our favour and we got to see BLACK PINK!

The show was amazing and I am so glad we decided to go and you know if BTS in London wasn’t so expensive I feel like we would have been going to that too lol but I guess I will hold out for BTS for another time.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this vlog! I think it was the best way to kick off summer 🙂

~ Courtney x

2018!

It is once again time for my annual wrap up blog post of the year! These are always interesting because it gives me time to reflect on all the things I have accomplished this year and remember all the good times I’ve had. I actually just read through last year’s post and I can’t believe all those things happened only a year ago, they already feel like a lifetime away.

And I think things will probably feel that way when I reflect on this year. Especially because I really don’t remember much at all from the first half of it. And unlike previous year’s, I sadly do not have all my tweets to remind me – so I’m gonna have to use all other social media to figure it out. But we will talk about what happened to my Twitter a bit later.

I started out the year celebrating with my boyfriend again. We have now been together coming up to 3 years, and here’s hoping there are many more years to celebrate together after that.

I also started the year with a full-time job as I was still on placement as part of my university degree. This is probably the hardest thing for me to remember, working a real job. It feels like it almost didn’t happen at all. Even though I worked there for 11 months. I won’t go into full detail about my placement year as I have made several blog posts about it so if you want to know more then you can check them out.

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A selfie from a lift while on placement

Overall I did enjoy my placement though, I think I learnt a lot and it was a valuable experience for me to have. So I am glad I had the opportunity to do it as part of my degree.

So, to briefly sum up the first half of the year, I was working Monday – Friday, 9 – 5. Not much else to report about that.

Though I did have a lot of fun things that I did outside of work. For example, in January I was eager for my next annual leave bout after coming back from Christmas because I was going to London with my boyfriend for his birthday.

Back in November of 2017, I impulsively bought tickets to Hamilton for me and my boyfriend for his birthday. We hadn’t even booked flights or anything but all that was important was that we were going to see Hamilton.

And while we were going to be in London I also thought it would be a fun idea to get tickets to the Harry Potter Studios for Christmas for my boyfriend as well.

It was safe to say the first couple of weeks back at work after Christmas was torture because I was just dying to go away for my next holiday haha.

London was amazing. I won’t go into too much detail about it here because I’ve already made a video talking about it which you can check out, but I will share some of the highlights.

First off, Hamilton was amazing. It was our first ever West End show and so I wanted to get good seats, and we got the best. I was blown away by the musical when I first listened to the Broadway cast but nothing really compares to seeing it in person. When you’re there you feel those emotions and you experience it completely. It’s incredible. And I highly recommend going to see it if you haven’t already.

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On top of that, we also had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Dornan while we were there seeing Hamilton. My fangirl heart literally exploded when I saw him walk into the room. Like what were the odds? It was even crazier because the night before we had been watching him on TV and then he was just there. I was starstruck and obviously had to say hi. I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t. He was lovely and even though our exchange was a small one I’ll still always remember.

Then, of course, there was the Harry Potter Studios! Okay, I’ll admit, I’d never seen any of the Harry Potter movies until right before I left for London. This was more for my boyfriend because he was a big Harry Potter fan, but I felt I needed to at least watch the movies to have some idea of what was going on. The Studios were stunning and I was blown away. I had never gotten into Harry Potter and I guess I never really understood but being there, where they filmed and seeing everything in person, I understood. It was magical and I really enjoyed the visit.

Other things that happened on our trip to London included a visit to the Sherlock museum, a look at Buckingham Palace, and some shopping. We wanted to go to the London Eye but I think it was closed when we were visiting, so I guess that’s something I will have to do when I go back.

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Just hanging out

Another thing that I did in January was start pole dancing lessons, this is something that I never thought I would do. But my friend Victoria and I decided to go at the start of the year, and I’ve been going ever since. Not going to lie, it was definitely a bit scary going at first, you know there’s a whole stigma around it and you think people might judge you, but honestly? It’s super fun and the community that I have found in NI around it are so wonderful and supportive.

I’m really glad I decided to take the chance and take pole classes, I have made new friends from it and it is also a fun way to keep fit. It’s definitely helped me get stronger and I love sharing my spins and tricks with my friends.

In February and March, I honestly am not sure what I was doing. I guess nothing eventful if I don’t remember haha. I feel so lost without my tweets to guide me in some sort of direction. I didn’t make any YouTube videos in those months either…so I’m guessing these months were just spent working. Obviously not all working, but nothing significant either.

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Though at the end of March I did get a second tattoo. I decided to get one because my boyfriend was also getting one. We didn’t get matching ones but I thought it would be fun. Ever since I got my first tattoo I have definitely always toyed with getting another one. And so I ended up getting a small one on my arm which says xo xo. And if you’re thinking xo xo Gossip Girl then I can confirm yeah I definitely also thought that. But I love it, like I love Gossip Girl and also gossip in general so I guess there was a meaning behind it, other than I just wanted another cute tattoo.

In April I decided to start my YouTube channel up again properly and try vlogging every day in April…I didn’t vlog every day but I did keep it up for a while. I suppose the reason I didn’t end up vlogging every day in April because I wasn’t always doing something worth vlogging, which is the YouTube vlogger struggle. But that’s okay, I don’t put too much pressure on myself to do YouTube because it’s just a hobby, as long as I’m still posting every so often I feel accomplished.

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I also got to see the Nashville Farewell Tour in April which I enjoyed a lot. I originally was not going to go, but then the day of the concert I decided to buy a last minute ticket. The reason being that I worked across the road from the arena where they were performing and I was on Twitter and saw people meeting the Nashville cast around the area and I was jealous and wanted to see them perform. It was also going to be the last time I would be able to see them perform as Nashville the TV show was ending.

And I’m really glad I went. I’ve been watching Nashville since I think 2014/2015? And I love the music on the show, so I guess it naturally made sense that I enjoyed the concert. It was a great show and if you’ve never seen it, now is a perfect time because you can binge watch it. 🙂

May was another one of those months where I don’t really remember what was going on. It was the month before I left placement so I know things were starting to wind down there and the weather was beginning to pick up for the summer. I think May was also the month when I lost my Twitter account.

I have already made a blog post about what happened to my Twitter account so I won’t bore you with the details but long story short, I made my Twitter account when I was 12 and so they locked me out. I still have not been given access back to my account and it’s really annoying. I’ve had that Twitter account for 9 years and now it’s just…gone.

So I started a new one. It’s definitely not the same as it used to be. But because I use Twitter so much and it’s a big part of my life I couldn’t be without it. I had friends there that I didn’t have anywhere else and to try and find them again without remembering their Twitter handle was a struggle. It was also hard because I couldn’t really explain to anyone what happened.

But with the way things are going, I think this is the Twitter account that I’m going to have from now on. It’s just annoying that I can’t at least get my username back…

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June started with a drag show which is how you know June was a good month for me. As you know I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and going to drag shows has become a new hobby of mine. The first big show I saw in 2018 was Werq the World. This is one of those shows where a bunch of queens from past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race come together to perform and I love them.

June was also a big month because it’s my birth month. It also happened to be the month that I finished work placement. So it was a time for celebration, this year I turned 21 and celebrated going out with my friends. I never really feel older when I celebrate a birthday but I suppose no one really does. Either way, I still end up getting ID’d when I go out so it’s not like I’m looking any older haha.

Also for my birthday, I got to see Taylor Swift in Dublin! Taylor was amazing and I have wanted to see her perform for the last couple of years now so I’m really glad I got to do that. And she recently released her concert on Netflix, so if you missed it you can check it out there.

At the end of June my boyfriend graduated from university, so all his hard work and sleepless nights had paid off. I am so proud of him for making it through uni and getting his graduate job. It was great to see him get his degree, and hopefully next year it will be me getting mine. 🙂

As far as I remember July was spent chilling and enjoying my time off work. I also started this new blog and I plan to keep it. So far I think it’s going well, though I am still trying to find a good layout. I want something simple and clean but at the same time, all the blog layouts I’ve found have not been right. The one I am currently using is the one I liked the most out of my choices but I am hoping to find something better soon.

Aside from that, I feel like I spent a lot of July playing video games, watching TV and sleeping. Which is a great month in my opinion when you’d spent the last few working a lot.

A few fun things that happened in July were that my friend Jasmine came over for a while with her boyfriend Chris, it was his first time in Northern Ireland so we had to show him around, I also started my scrapbook which I’ve had sitting around for ages and I also started selling things on eBay for my mum. I’d never sold anything online before but I’d always thought about it because I have a lot of stuff I wanted to get rid of and I thought selling online would be a good way, though so far mostly my mum’s stuff has sold compared to mine lol.

August in comparison to July seemed to be a very busy month for me, I spent half of it with my boyfriend as I stayed with him while his parents were in Florida, I also decided to vlog/make a video every day and played a lot of Sims and Stardew Valley. Not to mention went to pride and all the drag shows as well.

After the less successful attempt at vlogging every day in April, I decided to try again in August. Only this time, it wasn’t just vlogging, I also made videos for my Sims YouTube channel. August was definitely more successful than April as I was able to create 22 videos in August, 11 for my Sims channel and 11 for my main channel. So it’s safe to say August was pretty well documented on my YouTube channel.

At the end of August, I was also super busy with moving house and preparing for my final year of university. It feels weird that I have been moving so often, and I can’t wait to finally move one last time after graduation and be settled for a little while. But for now, I’m back in student accommodation and ready for the next semester.

September I spent settling into my new flat and enjoying my last remaining weeks of freedom before university. As in, I spent a lot of time playing Sims and Stardew Valley because I knew once university started I wouldn’t be able to play as much.

Animal-Crossing-Switch-1017320

September was also an exciting month because after waiting years we FINALLY got confirmation for Animal Crossing Switch. It should be coming in 2019 and I’m going to be waiting every single day waiting for some news. We haven’t heard anything since the first announcement but I’d like to think we’d be hearing something very soon. In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of Animal Crossing and it’s been 5 years since we got a new main series game and I can not wait until it comes out. I already know it’s going to be amazing.

Also in September my friends and I went over to England to surprise Jasmine for her birthday. This was a really fun trip as it was a good time for all of us to spend together before we started university again. It was also the first time we’d ever organised a surprise and it was super fun. Though a bit stressful, especially when Jasmine almost saw Megan the day we arrived to surprise her but it all worked out and she was really surprised.

October was when I really started to get into university life again, classes started and things quickly settled back into a routine of student life. This year of university has been the busiest one I’ve ever had. We have so much more work to do this year than we did in previous ones so it’s been hard to adjust to the workload.

That being said, I still had a lot of fun things to do to take my mind off of university, and by that, I mean I went to 4 drag shows and a metal concert haha. They announced these drag shows over summer so I bought tickets at the time not knowing how busy I would be university wise, but I made it work.

The concert I went to was Okilly Dokilly, I had heard of the band through the internet and I couldn’t believe they were coming to Belfast. My boyfriend and I went to see what it would be like because you never really know what to expect when you go to see a heavy metal band that is all about Ned Flanders. But they were actually really good and I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I am their biggest fan by any means, but they do put on a good show.

November was mostly spent working hard at university, I didn’t have any drag queen shows to go to that month and so things were definitely a lot less busy than they had been the previous month. However, I did take some time out in November to play some Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee.

And finally, December was a pretty chill month. I started it off by going to Christmas Queens, which was the first drag queen show I ever went to by myself. It’s so weird to think that was a year ago, especially when I’ve been to plenty of shows this past year by myself now. I’m really glad I decided to start going on my own though, because it’s true what they say, if you wait around for other people to do things with you, then you’ll probably never do them.

Aside from that, I spent the first half of December working hard to finish the university semester on a high. And then have been spending Christmas break having a long and much-needed break.

Which brings us to now! The end of the year. Well actually, into the new year as I’m writing this. Overall 2018 was a very busy year, whether that’s because I was keeping myself busy or because I’ve had obligations. But it’s been a great year, I’ve said this many times already but I think my main plans for this new year are to continue to work to get my degree, enjoy Animal Crossing when it comes out and we will see where we go from there.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year is a good one for everyone!

~ Courtney x

Dublin and Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour | Saturday 16th June 2018

I’ve finally gotten around to editing my Dublin vlog!

I guess I wouldn’t really call it a vlog but still, I finally edited it. I almost considered not posting at all because I thought maybe too much time had passed since the actual event but I guess a few weeks isn’t too bad.

I promise that I will step back up on my editing game this summer! I currently have about 5 Sims videos that are unedited so please expect to see them very soon! But for now, enjoy this lovely Dublin vlog.

My 2016

I know a lot of people would say that 2016 was a terrible year, and for a lot of reasons it was. But for me? 2016 has been a pretty amazing year. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the negative of things but I think going into 2017 we should focus on the positive. And so that’s what I’m going to do.
In this recap of my 2016 I am only going to focus on the positive. This year has been an amazing year for me and I want to share all of the good things that have happened with you today.
Just like last year, I am going to talk about things in chronological order since that makes the most sense. It’s hard to think back to the start of the year but luckily for me, I like to document things. Whether that’s online, or writing a journal, I always have the memories somewhere.
One of the first big things that happened in 2016 for me was meeting Bianca Del Rio. She is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 and one of my favourite drag queens. The night I got to meet her was definitely an unforgettable one. Mainly because I was asked to come on stage and lip sync for my life in front of her. Talk about pressure. And of course, plenty of my friends were there and recorded the whole thing, so I think I’m going to be remembering that for a long, long time.

A quick look back on my Twitter, and the rest of January consisted of me playing Sims, and not having very much sleep. Something I think I need to work on this year. Sleep is precious, make sure to get enough of it.
In February I started dating my boyfriend. We’ve been together almost a year now which is crazy to think about. I don’t want to say too much about it but we’ve had a good relationship over the past year, and I’m hoping 2017 will be a good year for us too. I never thought love would be in the cards for me last year. As my first long-term relationship it was an adjustment but I think I’ve adjusted quite well.
Then in March, I began house hunting with my two friends. We were looking for somewhere to live during our second year at university and that was an experience. Student houses are not the most glamorous of accommodation but they are something.
During this time I was also starting Mandarin classes for the first time. Definitely not an easy language to learn. Let’s just say I didn’t make it far in those classes. However later in the year, I ended up enrolling in a Korean class and I find that language much easier to learn. So I think I’m going to be sticking with Korean for now.
April was spent watching a lot of TV shows, I watched Suits, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Nashville. I also got addicted to Neko Atsume which is an app about cats. I thought it was really adorable and so I posted lots of photos about it on Twitter. I still play the game to this day so there’s no regrets.

In May I was starting summer holidays after finishing my first year at university. It felt good to be done with university for a while. I felt like I had a much needed break. This is when I started to make more YouTube videos again and decided to make my second YouTube channel.
I think that it was a good idea to start another channel just for Sims content. I just find that my Sims content doesn’t fit into the rest of the channel which are all videos of me. Plus it means I don’t feel bad for posting so many Sims videos. It also helped to keep me productive over the summer months because it meant I always had something to do.
In June I celebrated my 19th birthday by going ice skating with my friends. I also put together party bags which I think went down really well. I swear that young adults appreciate party bags more than little kids haha. At least my friends loved them. Who knew all you needed was mini water pistols and party poppers to have fun? That and sugar, sugar is a must.
Also in June, I left the country for the first time to go to New York. Talk about a holiday to remember. I went with my best friend Jasmine for KCon and it was the most amazing experience. I won’t talk too much about it now since all I did when I got back from New York was talk about the fact I went to New York.
I just had such an amazing time and to be able to share that experience with one of my close friends was even better. I am also so glad that I was with Jasmine when she went to see her KPop idols in person. I hope that in the future there will be more opportunities for her to be able to meet them. Seeing KPop idols perform in person is an incredible experience. And if you get the chance to experience it, I definitely recommend it.
And of course I would love to go back to New York one day. It’s an amazing city and I wish I had gotten to see more of it when I was away. But I guess it just gives me an excuse to go back.

When I came back from New York I threw myself back into playing Sims. I had went a whole 4 days in New York without it and I was missing it dearly haha. I also began to play a lot of Pokemon Go. I was obsessed with Pokemon Go for a long time when it first came out. I had spent so long waiting for it to be released in the UK that when it finally came out I couldn’t get enough of it. I even played in when I went to Rome in September.
Rome was another amazing experience that I got to have in 2016. I went from never having left the country to going on two holidays in a year. That’s a big deal. Again, I won’t say much about my trip to Rome since I already made a blog post talking about it. But I had a great time there. And I think it was the perfect way to end the summer before I headed back to uni. Everyone says that when you are young you should travel and I think 2016 was just the beginning for me.

After Rome came the hard work of starting university again. Second year so far has been so much more work than first year. So it was a big adjustment for me. That and moving into my student house was a lot to take in for the first month or so. But soon enough I settled into a new routine. There are still flaws in this routine but I know things will work out in the end.
Obviously moving out wasn’t the smoothest of transitions. We went without wifi in our student house for a month and it was a whole new world having to pay for food and bills on your own. But I think it went pretty well. We also had a roommate situation but luckily we were able to deal with that as soon as possible and everything worked out for the best.
On top of starting university I was also looking for a job for my placement year. I was completely new to the process of applying for jobs and going to interviews so it was a learn as you go type of thing but everything worked out well in the end. I got offered a job in the middle of December and I start in July which is wonderful. Something less to think about for now.
And to end the year I was able to spend lots of time with friends and family over Christmas which was really great. Ever since going to university I don’t get to see all my friends as much as I used to and so I think that it was good that I got to see them when they came home for the holidays.
I was always worried about keeping in touch with friends after we left secondary school. It’s a lot harder when you don’t see each other everyday but when you do get to hang out again it’s really fun. And I hope that I can continue to keep in touch with my friends no matter where we go and what we do in life. It’s definitely something that takes work but when you have really good friends, it’s worth it.
I am now currently enjoying my time off from university and preparing for another crazy year ahead. I have no idea what exactly 2017 holds for me, but if it’s anything like 2016, then I welcome it with open arms. If you had told me this time last year that this was how my year was going to turn out I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s been so amazing. And I’m glad that I got to share it with such amazing people.
So do I have any expectations for 2017? Not really. I’m not expecting this year to be like the last one, maybe it’ll be better, maybe it’ll be worse. Who knows? I just know that I am going to continue doing my best and see where it takes me. I’m definitely going into this year with a positive attitude, and I hope everyone else does too.
I hope you all had a good 2016, despite all of the bad things that happened. And I hope 2017 is a great year for you. I feel like the whole world is hoping 2017 is a great year. So let’s see if we can make it one.
~ Courtney x

Five Days in Rome

I’ve been meaning to make this blog post for a while now haha. It’s been over a month since I’ve been to Rome but I still wanted to write about it. So here it is, my trip to Rome.
It started off as a random conversation between me and my boyfriend, we wanted to go on holiday somewhere and he had always wanted to go to Rome. It was just before summer and we hadn’t been going out that long but we agreed we would go to Rome someday together.
Who knew that someday meant a few months from then?
It’s kind of crazy to go on holiday with someone you haven’t known for that long. Especially if you are in a relationship with them. This would be the first time we were ever fully alone together for five whole days, and it’s not like one of us could just leave if we had a fight. So I was a little bit nervous about it.
But luckily I had nothing to worry about. Yes, we got annoyed at each other (mainly because all of the walking and the heat really got to me) but we’re still together now and so I take that as a good sign haha. I mean every couple has their disagreements and get annoyed at each other at time to time, why would going on holiday be any different?
Anyway, moving on to the actual trip itself.
Rome is breathtaking. Everywhere you go in Rome there are beautiful buildings, fountains and all of the pizza/gelato places you can imagine. I honestly had never been in a place with so many restaurants around every corner. It was wonderful.
On the first day we arrived in the morning but didn’t arrive to our hotel until the afternoon. We hadn’t really arranged transport to the hotel from the airport but we decided to take the bus, and then a train rather than pay for a taxi.
Public transport in Rome is very cheap – well taxis can be expensive due to traffic and they run on meters – but the train we took everyday from where our hotel was to Rome was only 1 euro. I found it hard to believe the train cost so little, especially when the same length of journey here costs about £6. So if you are ever in Rome – take the train!
Once we had been to our hotel and showered – we used the rest of the day to go into Rome. We wanted to see something so that our first day there hadn’t been wasted and so we went to the Trevi fountain. It took a little bit of navigation to get there from Rome Termini but we found it in record time thanks to Google Maps.

It was beautiful. And way bigger than I thought it was haha. There were people everywhere so it was hard to find a way to even get close to the fountain but we managed it. We only stayed for a little while but we said we would come back the next day to throw a coin in and make a wish – at first we weren’t sure if we could do that since it seemed not a lot of people were making wishes but you can still do it!

We actually ended up at the Trevi fountain every night we were in Rome. I’m not even sure how but we did haha. Sometimes it was just because we knew there were lots of shops and restaurants around it because it’s a tourist spot, other times it was a complete accident. But it is not the worst place in the world to end up at.

One night we were there and my boyfriend decided to get gelato. He had had some before and he wanted more so this time he ordered a large cone. The first one he had gotten was small and wasn’t enough and thought the large would be more fitting. Little did he know the large cone was going to be bigger than his head haha.
But he accepted the challenge of eating all of it, cone and all. It was a struggle but he did it and vowed never to eat that much gelato/ice cream ever again. The people next to us cheered for him when he had finished and kindly gave him some wipes to clean the gelato from his hands. This was also the night a couple got engaged at the fountain, so it was a night to remember for us all.
The second day we were in Rome we headed to the Vatican. It was an all day affair but it was so amazing. I can’t even really describe to you what it was like but I did take some pictures that I think you’ll enjoy:

We also went to St Peter’s Basilica that day and while we were resting I decided to play some Pokemon Go. And I know what you’re thinking – how can you play a video game when you are in such a beautiful city? But I just had to see what kind of Pokemon I could catch in a new place haha. I was able to catch some great new Pokemon and even take some gyms too, all while enjoying the view of this great city.

After visting the Vatican and St Peter’s we ventured back towards the Trevi fountain to make our wishes, and to find a restaurant to eat at. There were so many to choose from that it was so hard to find one but we finally found a nice one. I liked this one because of the umbrellas attached to the chairs, I thought it was really cute.

I felt like I was in a movie, sitting outside having dinner in Rome. It was so romantic. I was also just in shock that we were able to sit outside at night and eat at all. In the UK it’s always too cold/raining so you can’t do that haha. But outdoor restaurants are everywhere in Rome and I think they are really cute.
There were so many restaurants that looked so pretty that we wanted to go in but we definitely didn’t have time to go to them all haha. Normally you see them in the side streets you walk down to go somewhere else and they just look so inviting…
On Wednesday we headed to the Colosseum – another classic tourist destination in Rome, and the number 1 place we had to go to on my boyfriend’s list. Again, it was so much bigger than what I thought it would be. I mean seeing these places on TV and in movies is never anything like when you see them in real life.

When we went to all the these tourist places, we decided to go and see them at our own pace and so didn’t have a tourguide, but I do regret that a little bit. Mainly because I feel like I would have been able to learn a lot more if through a tourguide. However it is nice not to have to follow on a schedule and explore these places in your own time.
After the Colosseum we walked up Palatine hill – this was not my favourite thing to do. Here’s a tip – don’t wear all black in the sun – it’s not good. But the view was worth it. I’ll admit we didn’t spend as much time there as we should have but I definitely didn’t have the right walking shoes for the occasion haha.

That night we headed to the Spanish steps – which were unfortunately closed at the time. But we still spent some time in the plaza, people watching and admiring all of the designer stores. I’m not really sure why but the plaza surrounding the Spanish steps is designer heaven. There are brand names everywhere and one day I hope to come back to Rome just so I can shop there. I feel like it’s Rome’s version of Fifth Avenue and it’s wonderful.

The next day we headed on a boat ride – not really sure where our destination was supposed to be or if it was some kind of tour haha – my boyfriend bought all of the tickets for touristy things. But all I remember was that we got off the boat and made our way to the Pantheon.
Again, another gorgeous place to visit. We walked around the area and found a plaza with the most beuatiful toy shop I have ever seen. I wanted to buy all of their dolls. It looked like something out of a fairytale.

That night we walked around town and noted a lot of shops and we agreed that we would come back into town on our final day and do some shopping. However when it came to finding the shops the next day we were out of luck. We couldn’t remember the name of the plaza we were on and spent a lot of the day walking in a circle. It was maybe not the best last day to have in Rome.
Not to mention the traffic on the way to the airport! We had arranged transport with the hotel to take us to the airport. Luckily it was at a fixed price otherwise we would have been paying so much more money for the taxi. But we did make it to the airport with time to spare.
We were a bit worried our flight might be delayed or cancelled because at the time, it seemed a lot of earlier flights had been delayed but luckily we were able to get on our flight with no problems.
The trip home seemed to happen in a blur. I was so tired that I lost perception of time and everything seemed to take longer than usual. By this time I just wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep forever.
And at 2 a.m I was granted my wish haha. The next day I spent catching up on social media and uploading photos of my trip to Facebook. It feels weird to look at holiday photos after you come home. It’s almost as if you can’t believe you were there even though you have photographic evidence.
But it was an amazing trip, and I am really glad that I went with my boyfriend. I think it was a great bonding experience for us and has brought us even closer. It was also great to be able to explore somewhere new.
And as someone who went from never having left the country to going to New York and Rome in a matter of months, I can say I finally understand why people like to travel. It really does give the word holiday a real meaning to me. You separate yourself from your world and everything you know and are put into a different environment. A fresh start where no one knows you and a place you’ve never been to. It’s intoxicating.
But at the same time I was glad to be home and sleep in my own bed. There’s nothing like coming back to your home after being somewhere far. And I guess that’s why I know I could never move away from here. I would miss it too much. Even though I do hate it sometimes, it’s my home.
And so, that concludes my blog post about Rome! I’m sorry it took me so long to write but when I came home from Rome I honestly had no real words to describe it. Even now I don’t think what I have written does the city justice but I still hope you enjoyed. And maybe next time when I go on holiday I’ll post about it sooner haha.
~ Courtney x