Everyday Adventures

It was actually my sister that got me thinking about this. The first time I came to visit her at university she made me get dressed and wouldn’t tell me where we were going, all she said was that we were going on an adventure.

The adventure turned out to be this little zoo, (not much bigger than a petting zoo but without the petting) they had in a park during the summers. Another time we went to this Christmas lights display they set up every year, different companies sponsor it and displays are set up with scenes and stuff, it’s really pretty and a lot of fun to just wander through.

Neither of these things involve a lot of exotic travel or even, now that I think of it, any money. To me an adventure can be anything you do outside the norm. Something that gets you out of the rut of your normal life. These can be spontaneous or planned, they can be serious or a bit silly, they can really be anything you want. I tend to like fun stuff rather than serious stuff, I like galleries and museums but I prefer carnivals and zoos, (although it’s also possible I’m  really immature) I’ve even looked up how to turn my apartment (or at least my room since I have a roommate) into a ball pit, (here’s a calculator, and a xkcd comic) don’t tell me that doesn’t sound awesome.

I’ve come up with a  list to give people some ideas, Some of these I’ve done or keep meaning to do, (I get around to everything eventually). Some don’t require much time or money, some do, also some need lots of people and some you can do on your own, some would probably make fun dates too.

-movies in the park
-picnic (if its in the winter dress warm and bring hot chocolate and pasties or something warm, alternatively have a picnic in your living room)
-act like a tourist, see the sights in your home town
-go people watching (if you’re artistic try drawing them, if you like to write why not about them, are they on a first date? Spies conspiring together?)
-carnivals
-try out a new restaurant or cafe
-take a pottery/painting/art class
-artist studios tours
-hiking/biking trip
-make your own movie in the park or your back yard (with a projector and hanging sheet or against a wall)
-snow/sand sculpture competition with friends
-check out local events (like fairs or parades)
-rock climbing
-scuba diving classes
-dance/yoga/whatever classes
-learn to skateboard/rollerblade in a skateboard park
-botanical gardens/butterfly conservatories
-zoos
-get some huge paper or canvas and finger paint a masterpiece, or have a friend sit and finger paint a portrait.
-bowling or miniature golf
-tea party (even better: mad hatter tea party or high tea)
-dinner party
-cake decorating party (or cookie or cupcake)
-poetry reading/local bands at art house/cafe
-visit a psychic/psychic fair
-local museums/galleries
-plays (not all that expensive if you go for small local theaters, also you support your community!)
-board games (check out cheapass games for less conventional ones like kill doctor lucky or unexploded cow)
-scavenger hunt (the more ridiculous the better, like find a mullet or someone wearing a moumou)
-photo shoot (even if you’re not a professional photographer it can still be fun so pick a theme and go nuts, can be something as simple as a color. You could also combine this with the scavenger hunt idea)
-themed movie night (if all superhero movies also must come dressed up, try themed food too etc… like when you were a little kid and had themed birthday parties)
-apple picking (fun, you can follow up by making pies, and a lot of those places, at least near me, have other fun stuff, like corn mazes)
-go to your local market
-roller skating/blading or ice skating
-fly a kite
-side walk chalk, make a masterpiece (if you don’t think you’re a good artist just make it big and add lots of color)
-historical (or pre-historical) reinactment
-historical sites
-make paper boats/air planes/mini cars (from any materials) and have races
-water balloon fight
-bonfire (marshmallows and s’mores mandatory)
-sledding
-climb trees
-make your own movie
-finger paints pictionary
-volunteer for a good cause
-go to a casino
-blanket fort with shadow puppets and flashlights and spooky stories
-weekend camping trip
-beach day
-blow bubbles
-paint balling
-visit a shooting range
-read in the park (nice and relaxing, perfect if the weather’s nice and you don’t feel like doing much)
-body painting (best with ppl (or more likely just one person) you don’t feel self conscious around and vice versa… ok let’s be honest, probably someone you’re trying to trip into bed)
-film/music festival
-karaoke
-learn to juggle
-learn a new (random) instrument, like the harmonica
-go busking (possibly with your new juggling or musical skills)
-24 hour comic challenge (usually on a specific day, but really you can do it whenever you want)
-get some cheap air dry clay and get creative
-night games, capture the flag, kick the can, that sort of thing
-star gazing (bring a book and find constellations and their stories if your a geek like me, or make up your own)
-gather up some friends for a tournament, (ping pong, battle ship, etc, who will be the last one standing?)
-snowball fight/water gun fight
-build a bottle rocket (and fly it obviously)
-spa day
-go to a convention (comics, horror, etc,) and cosplay is an absolute must
-play darts in a pub
-mini golf
-skiing/snowboarding if there’s a place in your area
-make a time capsule
-have a girls (if your a girl… I don’t know what guys do at sleepovers) slumber party, do each other’s hair, manicures, throw on a clay mask and complain about boyfriends/girlfriends while having movie marathons (traditionally chick flicks but I hate those kinds of movies so it’s up to you)
-silly string fight
-have a potluck (fair warning, if you’re all college students you’ll probably mostly end up with instant food… if you are all college students an alcoholic potluck might be more popular, everyone bring a different kind of liquor and see what kinds of drinks you can make from online or book recipes) (are they called drink recipes?)
-go garage sale-ing (my nana and my sister are both incapable of passing a garage sale without stopping)
-reinvent the olympics (looking back at the tournament idea, except with more categories! Invent your own countries if you want, who’ll get the most gold medals? You can even have an awards ceremony)
-get window paints or markers and decorate your windows
-make pizza from scratch, or try a new recipe
-make your own cartoon using flip cards
-keep an eye on bulletin boards and telephone poles for fun little events that are going on in your area

Ok wow, so this list totally got away from me. After I’d come up with one thing it would give me ideas for like 3 more! So yeah, some of these turned out pretty silly, but as long as you aren’t the type to take yourself too seriously I think they’d be fun.

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Prompts

I think I skipped a Saturday while I was gone… Sorry ’bout that. I’d say it won’t happen again, but it probably will at some point.

Anyways here you go:
1. clocks
2. turbulence
3. rust
4. chairs
5. warm winter wishes (it snowed A LOT here)
6. stripes
7. anonymous

Sorry this is short, I’ll do something real during the week!

Home Sweet Home

Well I made it back home alive, though it did involve taking a train, tube, plane, bus, another train, taxi to get there, (there’s no airport in my city). Still it’s not like I have to do much while any of that was going on so I napped a bit, and read and stuff.

Anyways the last few days I was in England we did a bit of touristy stuff, the aquarium and sushi, and the sushi place was like right next to the aquarium so clearly I’m not the only person that thought the two went well together. Also our sushi came on a conveyor belt, so that was fun.

We also went to the Natural History Museum for a bit, last time I went the dinosaur’s were being cleaned, so I needed to see them, (because I’m five…) and there was a wildlife photography exhibit going on that both Katie and I wanted to see.

But the best part was the night before heading home they surprised me with tickets to the Chinese Circus. It was a lot of fun, I’ve always been a fan of that sort of thing and we had really good seats. The troop was on the smallish side (we were in Bromley, not London) but that kind of just impressed me more since it meant that most of the performers did a bunch of different acts.

There was the usual stuff like fan and umbrella tricks and spinning plates, (which were still pretty cool) and that thing where they climb up and down the poles and do flips from one to the other and catch themselves with their legs, but there was also some stuff I wasn’t expecting, a mini ballet, which was kind of mediocre as a ballet, but was really awesome when the girl was en pointe on the guy’s shoulders and the top of his head, (which is kind of insane if you think about it). Also the girls did bicycle tricks! They reminded me of old circus tricks where the girls would do things on the back of horses, only on wheels. They were standing on each others shoulders and in handstands, and doing flips from one bike to the next, and at one point I think pretty much all of them climbed on to the one girl riding the bike, one of them ended up sitting in front of the one driving so she couldn’t even see where she was going, (I was impressed she didn’t drive off the stage, sometimes I have trouble staying on the road when I’m not driving blind).

So that was a lot of fun and a good end to my trip. Now I’m back home and have to unpack and do lots of laundry and clean my room, since my version of unpacking is really just to make sure the suitcases are empty, not necessarily put stuff away, and the results are about the same as what you would expect if you put a small bomb in my luggage. Good times.

France, (finally)

When we were first thinking about going to France we were only going to make it a day trip, but then we realized the train would take half the day, so then we were going to just go for one night. In the end we worked our way up to two nights, and were pretty glad we did. As it was we ended up checking out a bit late, (but that was mostly because we got a bit lost, and the check out people were really nice and didn’t charge us extra or anything).

The hotel we staid in was the Hotel Garden St. Martin. I’m not really picky when it comes to hotels. I like clean and quiet, and the less I have to deal with the concierge or anyone that works there the better, and all in all I’d say this place was pretty good. It was about 200 dollars for the three of us for two nights. We were in one room, plus there was the bathroom attached. There was wifi and Tv (and we could hook a usb thing into the tv so we could watch our own movies) and a shower, (the only reason I mention this is that Katie and Luke don’t have a shower, just a bath, which isn’t fun more than once) also they were nice enough to lend us an adapter for the plug since I have north american plugs and Katie and Luke have UK ones. They didn’t serve breakfast, (at least it wasn’t included) but there were a couple bakeries and a bajillion little cafe/restaurant things within easy walking distance, also the metro was right there and it wasn’t far from the train station. Next time I’m in France I’ll probably try and stay at the same place because now I know the area a bit.

I was really happy to find that the Metro wasn’t much different from the Tube, so it was pretty easy to find our way around. There are day passes (or two or three day passes) but we were doing things that would take a long time, but all in one place (mostly museums) so we just got 10 tickets (and didn’t end up using two, so we left them at the hotel desk).

The first day we got there, after getting to the hotel and figured out the whole metro tickets thing, we went to the Musee D’Orsay. There was a pretty long line (and it was raining) but it went pretty fast so that wasn’t too bad. Musee D’Orsay’s not my favorite but it was my sister’s choice and there was some pretty cool stuff.

The second day was the only full day we were there and we’d decided to spend it at the Louvre. The place is HUGE, we already knew we wouldn’t be able to get through the whole thing in one day so we focused on finding stuff we were interested in. Obviously we had to see the Mona Lisa, (which, while crowded, wasn’t as bad as I was expecting) and we wandered through the big long hall full of Italian paintings. Art Nouveau furniture was pretty fun, (and some of the detailing reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings, made us wonder if some of the inspiration for the elves furniture and buildings came from that). My favorite was the sculpture section (wing?) some of them were really amazing. We had a bit of trouble finding our way to one whole side of the building, though in our defense that was because their was a big chunk of it closed (for renovations it looked like).

I took some photos (which as far as we could tell was allowed as long as we didn’t use a flash) but I hardly ever take pictures in galleries, because you can pretty much guarantee there’s a professional picture out there somewhere that’s better than mine. I did have fun taking pictures of all the goofy little figurines, (my sister’s the art history major, not me, I don’t have to appreciate everything there).

huy on a horse

like this guy, he looks so happy to be riding his horse!

octosquid

and whatever this guy is...

After that we got some dinner and headed out again to the Eiffel Tower. I’m glad we went at night, we still had to wait in line, but given how many of those line divider things we went around I think we would have had to wait a lot longer during the day. It was also prettier at night than I expected, there are lights all over it and for ten minutes on the hour every hour they have a bunch of sparkly, (possibly seizure inducing) lights going which were cool.

We decided that we might as well go right to the summit, though Katie and I put our foot (feet?) down at taking the stairs like Luke wanted to. The view was cool, though we were surprised to learn that the CN Tower is taller than the Eiffel Tower, even the restaurant part is higher than the summit. It doesn’t really feel like it, but that might be because at the CN Tower most of it is closed in while at the Eiffel Tower you’re out in open air.

On the third day there we had to check out by 11:30, but we decided to spend the morning at the Catacombs. They were really cool, there were a lot more bones than I expected, you’d turn a corner and expect to be going back up but there would be another hall lined with bones. The brochure thing said that there were 6 million people buried, (entombed? I mean they are under ground so they’re kind of buried) there, which yeah, my head tells me is a lot, but seeing row upon row of bones filling the place was still a bit of a shock, we’d keep rounding corners expecting to be on the way out and instead find more bones. But it was really cool. There were even patterns made out of bones, lines of skulls among the long bones, or crosses made out of skulls set in the walls.

So we didn’t really want to rush through there, but we were a bit worried about checking out late. They were nice enough to let us check in early when we arrived and if someone was waiting for our room we didn’t want to make them have to stand around with their luggage. The problem was when you come out of the catacombs it’s not through the same door you went in. We didn’t know where we were, what side of the building we were on, if it was even the same building, (though we kind of assumed it was) or where we should be heading. So we asked one of the guy’s inside and he gave us directions to the metro stop, but it wasn’t the same one we’d taken getting there.

We figured it out since Katie and I both had metro maps on us, though we did have to backtrack once. In the end we were a bit late checking out, but still before noon I think, and the guys were really nice about it so that was pretty cool.

The train ride was mostly boring, though we ended up on a car with a class trip and it was funny listening to them when we got back into England comparing how many BBM messages they had waiting for them and generally doing the whole everything-is-crazy-important-right-this-second thing that teenagers do.

So that was my trip to France. I’m glad we did more than just a day trip since that wouldn’t have given us much time to do anything, and I’d be willing to go back again sometime, though it’s never been high on my list. I’m actually more willing than I was before since I’ve survived once. This was actually the first time I’d gone anywhere that didn’t have English as its first language. Though it probably helped that pretty much everyone spoke English anyways.

Loot!

I actually did a similar post on my other blog because I wasn’t sure where to talk about this. Yesterday Katie and I went to some of the charity shops around where she lives.  If you’ve never been to a charity shop they’re basically thrift stores, but run by volunteers and the money’s all for charity. So sometimes the stores don’t have names they’re just called whatever charity they’re for.

Anyways I got four books which is why it went on my other blog, though really only one of them is geeky scifi. I also bought some clothes, mostly sweaters. Actually all sweaters, (I get cold easily and I know that in a few days I’m going back to Canada where it’s colder. Well, usually it’s colder. This winter’s been crazy mild).

Then we went grocery shopping. I think I’m starting to like England more than Canada, at least when it comes to shopping and things like that. Katie and Luke found everything in Paris really expensive, but I think that’s just because they’re used to England where you can almost always find something within your budget.

It’s weird because I’ve never really though I’d like living in a different country. Traveling for months at a time I’d be cool with, (and even plan to do if I can save up the money) but I always figured that Canada would be the best home base.

I’m still not sure if I’ve changed my mind, because I do really like Canada, and this is only my second trip to England. Between the two trips I’ve spent about a month here, and I do want to do this whole travel around Europe thing, I’m thinking Iceland to England, around the edge of France to Spain (I have family in Spain) back around the edge of France to Italy and maybe over to Germany (possibly skirting France, or maybe through Switzerland or Austria instead).

I figure it’ll probably take a few months to do, I want to do the whole work for room an board while I go, stay a week or so in each place before moving on. Even so I’ll have to save up and it probably won’t be until next year since I want to do the same thing across Canada first, (I have to ease myself into new things…).

Anyways today we just wandered around town a bit, almost everything was closed because it’s Sunday, but there’s a cool little graveyard next door. It looks really old, but some of the dates aren’t really that long ago. I guess moss and stuff grows really fast around here so it makes the whole place feel like no one’s been around for a long time and the plants are starting to take over the place.

Tomorrow we’re going to go to the Aquarium and then to sushi, (heh) and I’m coming down with a cold, so the rest of today will probably be spent lying around reading so I can conserve my energy. I might finish my post about France if I’m feeling really energetic.

Daily Art Prompts

Here’s the art prompts as promised, and they’re probably super early with the time change, (well, depending where you are I suppose).

1. weird creatures
2. odd couple
3. the fool
4. back to nature
5. retro/pop art
6. road less traveled
7. portrail of an artist

So yeah, do whatever you want with these, off to explore England now.

Science Museum and the V&A

Ok, so I meant to post this before we went to France, but then I forgot… Anyways the first full day I was in England (after I finished being jet lagged) we went to the Science Museum, (we being my sister and brother-in-law). It was Luke’s idea but it was actually pretty cool. There’s actually a tour you can take where you get to dress up as cockroaches!

We were going to go to the Natural History Museum too, (been before, but you can never see the dinosaurs too often!) but there was a crazy line because it was England’s version of march break for the kids I guess, so instead we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I’d actually been before and was kind of like “meh, it’s free and we have nothing better to do” but the last time we went was kind of the same idea, and this time we took a minute to look at a map and see what sort of things would interest us so we found some pretty cool exhibits.

I really liked the photography exhibit, they had some of my favorite photographers and I found some new ones that I fell in love with. I’ll probably do individual posts on my favorites I know this blog hasn’t been going for very long but I’m pretty sure I already mentioned that I love photography. I don’t think I’m very good at it but I’m hoping to start a photography course in a couple months. I’d love to be a professional photographer, (though I should note that I routinely change my mind about what I want to do for with my life) so that’s usually where I head in museums and galleries.

There were also some cool Art Nouveau posters, (I’ve always thought they were neat) and I really liked how they described the movement: “The concentrated essence of a wriggle.”

Other things that stood out were the jewelry exhibit and the watercolors and sketches by Beatrix Potter.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m finding it very distracting that whenever I go to type words like ‘favourite’ and ‘colour’ with the Canadian spelling the spell check thing in word press tells me it’s wrong so I go back and change it, (because I find the little red squiggles even more distracting… I think it’s a conditioned response because in school we weren’t allowed to write in red because that was the color teachers used to correct your work, so now red means wrong when it comes to writing).

Now that I’m done with that random rant I’m going to go to bed, I’ll post the art prompts tomorrow, and maybe do a post about France, though it might not go up until Sunday.

Art Prompts

Since I do the story starters on my other blog on Saturdays I figured doing these on Saturday’s as well means I’ll be less likely to forget. So here you go:
1. shifting shadows
2. circles and squares
3. a gift
4. mirrors
5. midsummer night’s dream
6. counting down
7. quixotic

There’s one for each day of the week, they could just be concepts or you could do a full finished project. Really it’s up to you, these are just inspiration for if you get stuck.

Hello world!

Welcome to my second blog. I decided to start this one because I felt that my other blog was trying to do too many different things. In my head I’ve labeled this one as my Happy Fun Blog and the other one as my Geeky Blog. Geeky things make me happy too, but on the other hand most things make me happy. I’m one of those disgusting people who are happy pretty much all the time. But the things that make me happy on this blog are photography, adventures, travel, exploring and pretty much every medium of art. I’ll probably do posts about things that inspire me too, people especially.

If you’re coming from my other blog (the geeky one) I’m moving the art prompts over here, they’ll also be posted on Saturdays. If you aren’t coming from my other blog, I’ll be posting art prompts here! Exciting! Mostly they’re just things to get you started (daily one word prompts that you can do pretty much anything with in pretty much any medium).

I figure now is a good time to start this blog because I just got to England, (starting point is Canada) visiting my baby sister and brother in law so I should have stuff to write about. I’m also making Katie and Luke (the aforementioned b.s. and b.i.l.) do some art journals so I should have time to work on mine while we’re out wandering around, (though I started a new one so that it could double as a scrap book).

We’re also going to go to Paris for a few days, (and I’ve never been there) so I’m looking forward to that, even if it does mean more boring train time. Although to be fair my boring travel time so far was waiting for the shuttle, riding on the shuttle, waiting for the plane, riding on the plane, then taking the bus, (my sister lives in Hayes not in London proper so it was a bit of a ride) so I have yet to do any train waiting. Anyways traveling with people is a lot more entertaining than doing it on my own so it won’t be as bad, (though a friend pointed out that being on a plane means a whole bunch of people I can make friends with and who can’t get away from me until we land).

For tonight we’re just hanging out and watching movies, (and eating junk food).