Jess Ellis

Joined June 2017
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  • Day194

    Las Vegas, America

    November 16, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Las Vegas!! The City That Never Sleeps!! We touched down in Las Vegas and it bought back all the memories from when Hollie and I were here in 2014. Nick has never been to Las Vegas so I was keen to make sure he had the full experience of this crazy city. We explored all of the hotels, casinos and shopping malls while making a stop at In and Out to curb Nick's burger cravings. We also had a super fun night out at Tape Face - comedian from NZ that starred on Britain's Got Talent who was hilarious. He pulled Nick up on stage to have a light saver competition with a tape measure and I was so impressed by how funny Nick was in front of an audience, I definitely couldn't of done it!! That night we played a bit of BlackJack - Nick losing and me winning so surely that means we break even, and then headed to Hakaasan for a little dance with Steve Aioki. We've only spent three days in Vegas but I think it was more than enough and now we're super excited to be heading into Utah to visit these amazing canyons we've heard so much about!Read more

  • Day184

    New York City, America

    November 6, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    I always knew I'd get to the Big Apple one day but it kind of just sneaked up on me in the best way possible! I hadn't seen Nick for six months and we were finally reunited in America for a whole month of quality time. This was a great way to finish my travels and I am so thankful to be able to share this with him. There is so much to do in NYC and luckily for us we had nine nights here so we didn't have to rush or skip anything. Times Square is incredible and exactly what you imagine from the movies, tv programmes and ads. The place is full of bright lights, people, food carts and vehicles that you can't help but feel so insignificant to the world as you stand in the middle of the carnage. Nick and I sat on the Times Square stairs and I had another pinch me moment because it felt so surreal actually being here watching the world go by. I knew when coming to New York that I definitely wanted to go to a show on Broadway and we ended up spending a bit of money to go and see The Lion King but it was totally worth it!! Having grown up with that story, knowing all of the songs but most of all having just been to Africa, it was pretty special to watch, and I think Nick enjoyed it just as much! We had a couple of days in tourist mode visiting the 9/11 Memorial Sites, Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty, The Charging Bull and Fearless Girl, Trump Tower and Wall Street. We also did the ultimate instagram foodie stalk and ate a million worth of calories in different cakes, biscuits, burgers, milkshakes and doughnuts, including visiting Super Moon Bakehouse which was insane! Bryant Park was another memorable moment with an ice skating ring and mini Christmas markets, as well as the Rockefeller Centre and the Top of the Rock sunset which was incredible - the best sunset I've ever seen. We also had so much fun seeing the Cleveland Cavs play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, especially because watching Lebron was something Nick had always wanted to do. I really enjoyed our time in New York, there was always something to do but we took our time and actually got to rest or spend the day in bed if we wanted to. It's important to know that New York is bloody expensive so I probably won't go back unless I'm super loaded, but I'm so glad we did it and we did it well. Now we're off to Las Vegas for a totally different type of adventure!Read more

  • Day177

    London, United Kingdom

    October 30, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    I was quietly dreading the journey to London but I've made it!! And it has exceeded all expectations! Traveling from Antwerp to London took 11 hours on a Flixbus - my last long bus journey so I fully embraced it. I was dreading arriving in London with two humungous bags, each weighing about 25kg plus my day pack and food bag, yep I've been traveling with an ongoing food back because you always need snacks on long travel days! However I was super lucky to have Melissa meet me at the bus station to share the load and navigate the London Underground which made it so much better. We had so much to catch up on since Marsellian that we walked about 15 minutes in the wrong direction without realising due to our continual talking! But it was super nice to be greeted with open arms and a friendly family face after such a long day. We had bought tickets to Katchafire for that evening so we rushed home, got changed and made it to the O2 London for the second part of their set. I hadn't been to Katchafire live in the past, a part from seeing them at RnV or CoroGold, so it was cool to watch them live on the other side of the world with a hundred other Kiwis away from home. With so many Kiwis having relocated to London, I took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and spent time with Jordyn at Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Chinatown. I then caught up with Daisy for dinner at her new flat in Fullam, Louise from Sail Croatia at the Camden Markets, and Jigz for a few G&Ts in Soho. Melissa and I explored Oxford Street, Regent Street, 99 Downing Street, Mayfair, Platform 4 and 3 quarters, Kings Cross, Carnaby and Selfridges. We also went and saw Matlida on the West End which was AMAZING and absolutely blew my mind! My cousin Rob has also recently relocated to London and we did a bit of sightseeing together to the London Bridge, London Eye, Borough Markets and Big Ben however, Big Ben was being renovated and completely covered in scaffolding so I didn't really see a thing. My four days in London flew by with SO much to do, see, explore and try that you really do need at least a week minimum to do the main city. For somewhere that I wasn't overly excited about, I had the best time and that was mainly to do with Melissa who was a fantastic host and completely went out of her way to make my short stay there so memorable.Read more

  • Day173

    Bruge, Belgium

    October 26, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    I finally managed to get to Bruge after several failed attempts due to train faults and cancellations. The weather wasn’t the best but I made the most of it and found myself on the main shopping street within minutes of arriving...oops! I made my way to the Markt square and saw a free walking tour that was leaving so tagged along and learnt a bit about the history of this medieval city. I had no prior expectations but found Bruge absolutely beautiful and the further I walked, the more things I found that were like no other. In medieval times, a private estate was created, surrounded by a moat, for single woman only, notably nuns. The rules are more relaxed now and we were able to walk through. As I crossed the bridge and walked under the gateway, you can immediately imagine how peaceful this place was in the olden days. Even today it’s still so calm with tourists walking through! I’ve been in Belgium for five days so far and still haven’t had a waffle so I just had to indulge in one today and it was soooo good. It was fresh, warm, crunchy and covered in Nutella and fresh strawberries - I’d even go as far to say it was better than the Nutella crepes I’ve been obsessed with! It’s been a great day trip to Bruge and I’m glad I’ve seen another bit of Belgium.Read more

  • Day169

    Antwerp, Belgium

    October 22, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    I’ve spent the past week in Antwerp with Oli and Anouk which has been great! They’ve got a beautiful apartment and put me up in my own room. After too many hostels and shared bathrooms, this luxury is amazing and perfect timing for someone who’s starting to really miss home comforts. Oli had foot surgery a few weeks before I arrived so unfortunately we weren’t able to do much together but it was cool to see him nonetheless. I hadn’t realised it’d been 18 months since he left NZ but everything felt so Normal and comfortable, as if he was still in NZ. I didn’t see much of Antwerp as the weather was miserable but I was really content just chilling at home each day and working on my travel movie and images. Highlights definitely include learning how to make oats with egg, milk and honey - delicious!! Plus receiving the most beautiful bunch of white roses from Nickolas - for someone who hates buying flowers, he really couldn’t of chosen anything more special! I also took a day trip to Ghent which is really pretty with lots of old buildings, castles and rivers.Read more

  • Day167

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    October 20, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    I jumped off the from Werkendam bus and was consumed in the smell of weed - WELCOME TO AMSTERDAM!! I definitely expected it but I totally didn’t expect it to be right in my face the moment I stood foot in Amsterdam. I caught up with my friend Melanie that I’d met in Lubljana a few months ago and we had a few good laughs over some delicious pancakes and tea. While I was there I had to take a moment think how cool it was to be sitting in a cafe in Amsterdam with a new friend I’d met on a pub crawl in Lubjlana, and that we got on so well! I went on a great walking tour of the city with one of the best tour guides I’ve had in Europe. He went into so much detail about interesting things like the red light district, the origin of the canals, why the buildings are leaning and tilted forward plus more. I also sampled some delicious Dutch food because you have to try local cuisine!! Stroopwaffels are two thing wafer waffles with caramel toffee in between and bittenballen’s are a cross between croquette, aranchini and meatballs - they’re both bloody delicious! Lisanne then met me in town and we spent the rest of the day being typical tourists as she hasn’t done much in Amsterdam despite only living an hour away! We cruised along the canals seeing the city from a different perspective then visited Museumplein where the infamous iamsterdam sign is, along with hundreds of other people! I’ve been carrying some Tusker Cider with me since leaving Nanyuki four months ago to share with Lisanne and we opened them in the middle of the park in front of the iamsterdam sign. It was such a cool moment, drinking Tusker Cider all the way from Kenya with my new good friend in one of the most iconic places in the Netherlands. This is what traveling is all about!! After our Cider, burger and Dutch apple doughnut, we braved the weather and made our way to the Anne Frank house. I’m really glad I went and saw for my own eyes the place where Anne and her family hid, after reading her diary through school, but it was a little underwhelming, especially after being to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sachsenhausen. That night we went to the Amsterdam Dance Festival and saw some iconic DJs playing like Don Diablo, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike! I didn’t know what to expect cause I’d never been to a DJ festival like this and had never partied with Lisanne before but it was SO much fun!! We had the best time dancing the night away just the two of us and the cool thing was everyone around us was on this that and the other but we only had a couple of drinks and that was all we needed to have an epic evening, and still remember everything in the morning! It’s been a jampacked day full of everything a tourist could do in Amsterdam and I’m exhausted but so glad I made the most out of my time here!Read more

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