Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I know I've said it before but what an epic weekend.
So on Thursday night after I finally finished packing I tried to lay in bed but couldn't sleep with such anticipation for the trip ahead of me that my friends had prepared.
I fell asleep about 45 minutes before my alarm to wake up!

We all met up at 3:30 am in a parking lot to catch the mini bus.
We drove up and it just started to kick in that all these girls and I were headed for a weekend of fun.
Where I still had yet found out.
We said our good byes to those who came to see us off and stepped onto the mini bus.
I would also like to quickly state I had NO idea this weekend was going to be as thought out and caring as it was. It wasn't just a little mini vacation, it was way more personal and touching than that.
Emma, Louise, Abbie, Carla and Mark (who both sadly could not come)  had prepared little goody bags for each individual.
But before I was allowed to look in mine Louise and Emma handed me something but said not to look at the back of it. (It had a picture of where we were going)

It read as followed :
It's time to say goodbye to the past,
Its time for you to get married at last.
Men have come in and out of your life
Now its time for you to become a wife.

Tanja, you've been such a good friend,
Enjoy yourself this is your weekend.
We have all tried so hard to keep this trip a surprise,
and everyone knows we are no good at lies.

I know this trip will be one big game.
But let's remember us british girls have no shame.
Your one of us now and this makes us so happy.
Even if sometimes we seem a bit snappy.

I can't believe you're soon to be wed.
From Heffner to Aden after your vows have been said.
On this hen do you'll have a laugh with friends,
who are all more than happy to be your hens.

So I'm going to bring this poem to an end,
But I just wanted to say my friend.
How much you mean to all of us,
This trip will give us such a buzz.

It might involve getting high,
I'm sure we will give a sex show a try.
Amsterdam here we come
Girls on a rampage having fun.

Lots of love
All the gang

Ofcourse I was an EMOTIONAL wreck after about the first paragraph as I couldn't believe these girls had done this for me.
Also in the goody bags were
Fuzzy handcuffs
a shot glass
blind folds
a bag of happiness which had an eraser so your mistakes disappear a coin so you can never say 'Im broke' a marble in case someone says you've lost yours, a rubber band to stretch yourself beyond limits a piece of string to tie things together when they fall apart and a kiss to remind you that someone loves you.
Also a card with a poem :
As we're about to start our trip we just wanted to say,
How grateful we are that you could attend this special holiday.

This hen do is for all the girls to share
To let Tanja know how much we care.

This trip is sure to be messy but lets get our priorities right,
The days are sure to be fun but they ain't got shit on the night.

From Germany to America to sunny Rainhill,
Shes jumped across the pond on her friggin bill.

Since arrive here she fitted in so well,
She's not been here for long at all not that you can tell.

From this time last year things have changed a lot,
The times we've shared will never be forgot.

THrough good and bad times we've all stayed so strong
with us all being so close we will never go wrong.

Enjoy it Tanja it's just for you and after this you'll say I do.
Then you'll be David's wifef.
And that will be the end of your single girl life.

But don't be jealous we wont let you down,
We will continue to paint the town.

So Tanja I hope that you're up to this
A full weekend spent out on the piss!

Which ofcourse was nothing short of the emotional wreck of the first poem.
Also Vicky M made everyone a ring with their initial out of scrabble pieces and in addition she made me a ring with the button I tied her invite together with. I plan on wearing it on the wedding day :)

So the journey began.....
We got to the airport all checked in had a little breakfast and headed out on a jet plane.
We arrived in sunny Amsterdam which Adam thought was an island.
Somehow found our train and headed into Amsterdam Central.
We then got off the train and onto a tram.

Day 110 Of 365:

 When we got ON the tram we knew we had 7 stops.
You would think out of 14 of us one of us would have counted correctly.
After we felt we had gone to far we decided to ask the tram driver where we were on the map.
Ofcourse we had gone to far, things had gone WAY to smooth for something not to go wwrong.
So we got off at the next stop walked with our suitcases and got on another tram which we were told to take 3 stops. So after three stops we got off. Were we near our hotel? Ofcourse not.
So we asked someone and we walked in the direction they told us. Someone felt like we were walking to far so asked someone else they told us the opposite direction so we walked THAT way. We asked a store clerk just to see if we were headed in the right direction. I'm sure your seeing where this is going. WRONG WAY. Sooooo here we are 14 of us hand luggage and every other person has a suitcase trying to find our hotel. We don't look like tourists in the slightest.
In the end we finally found our hotel and have some banging biceps to show from it.

After we checked into our hotel and freshened up we decided to take a wander around, and finally get some grub in our tummies.
We also didn't realize that the little path by the sidewalk is not just a little side road it is the bike lane.
And BELIEVE they will run you over if you dont move.
I'm surprised not one of us either got squashed by the tram or malled by a bike, because we would forget and one would wiz by scaring the life out of us.

I was quite obsessed with all the bikes tied up everywhere. Some bikes looked like they havent seen their owner since bikes were invented.
Everywhere you go you cross over these lovely little canals. Some are a bit more quiet than others. Some have large barges like yesterdays picture and some just had little foot boats. It was seriously the most gorgeous city I have ever been to. I havent been to all that many but for now it's definately top prettiest.

After our lunch and wander round we headed back to the hotel for a little siesta; I think I speak for all of us, it was much needed.
We stayed in a little quirky quaint hotel that had a cute little bar; which is where we began our night.
The bar tender gave us a few complimentary shots seeing as it was a celebration. We later realized these free shots that everyone hands out in the Dam are hardly shots. They are like juice and really dont contain much alcohol so although we thought it was going to be a crazy night, we had no hang overs the next day.
We did get 2 free bottles of champagne at a night club that we went to which was pretty spiffy.

We woke up the next day and headed into the heart of Amsterdam for breakfast.
We then decided to go to the Sex Museum.
This is about the only innocent picture I have from there.

We all have pretty foul minds and this museum went down as a treat. I will admit though there were even some rooms that made some of us cringe and we couldn't even handle. Some of us were also immature and couldn't help but laugh.
We then headed to the Vodka Museum were we learned how Vodka originated and yada yada. Then we got a free shot. Nothing like a shot at 2 in the afternoon.

Sex on the beach was the one with the least alcohol so us Soon to be Mrs. Adens chose the pansy one.

After our naps of the day and dinner time, we headed to the Ice Bar.
Which I've always wanted to go to one!! We had 20% off coupons from our hotel, which included a 4d ice show, and two free cocktails in the bar. It was like so many degrees below 0 and we got these big white puffy coats, 4d glasses and gloves to keep warm.
Emma, Vicky M and I.

After that we didnt completely have a plan but just headed into the part with the bars and clubs and played it by ear. We found a place with some promotion of wine and beer and decided to park it there.
It was quite empty so it was good for accomodating all of our crazy dancing selves!
Me and Miss Events coordinator over here.

Everyone pitched in and bought a round of real shots and funnily enough after we took it there was one left over. Guess who it was for.
This picture pretty much somes up 2 euro wine and the jager shots.
I know I know cliche drunk pictures... but it was a HEN weekend so what did you expect? :)
And Plus I had this lovely tag to carry around.

Day 111 of 365:
Isn't it just so peaceful and quiet looking? It's amazing how it's a pretty big city but you don't feel rushed, overwhelmed or that it's to noisey. Everywhere you looked it was beautiful. I just had this image in my head that with legal "coffee shops" and the red light district it would just be filled with quite scatty people. It was so far from it. The was no one fashion and alot of the people were quite quirky and unique. I loved seeing people in suits but on their bikes. Women with funky glasses and bread in their basket, manly men with their children in a big wooden crate in the front of their bike and elegant ladies and their pooch.
It's fabulous. You have such a sense of peace and calm when walking in the city. Even if all you did was walk it would be worth it, the fresh breeze against your face, the quiet calm and the whisper of the bike as it goes past.

I also think although its vandalization, graffiti gives certain objects a sense of character.

The next morning was a very rough wake up call.
I woke up in the clothes I went out in and massive puff bags under my eyes.
Oh what a messy night.

Here is Emma getting a head count and making sure everyone is together :)
We decided to head into town and go to the Anne Frank house and just have a peaceful quiet day.

 Couldnt take pictures inside so I got one before we went in. Omg the Anne Frank house was unreal. Ironically enough we went on the day of Anne Frank's birthday.
The house is still for the most part the same as it was when her family was there in hiding.
The wall clippings that she had glued on the wall were still there enclosed in glass casing. Original diaries and short stories were on show. There was video footage that just made you sick to your stomach of concentration camps and interviews of Anne's friend. It was heart breaking and such a shock. You know it happened but it just makes it that much more real when you see how dark of living space they lived in and the quotes on the walls out of her diary.
I liked a quote by her father Otto Frank; "To build a future, you have to know the past." I think that applies to anything in life and has such deep meaning.

After the Anne Frank house we just went wandering around and here are some things that I saw along the way.
You know me ... sucker for street music. Once again the man with this big cello like thing had these eyes I knew would just be so kind to my lens.

After the street band I came across this talented man painting his heart away.

Day 112 of 365:

Remember my wishful wednesdays about the vespa? This is the place to have one! I just loved seeing the bikes and vespas everywhere!

I would put a really long story about how we got lost in here but pretty much we tried to find a supermarket since the usual one we were going to was closed, we walked way off the grid, got on a tram sat down and then realized we weren't recognizing anything, asked the rude tram driver who was not impressed with us where we were. NOT ON THE MAP. Told us to take the next 9 tram the opposite direction. We got off next stop waited at a deserted tram stop got on the 9 in opposite direction and guess who was driving that one... THE SAME GUY. what is going on here? So we get back off and walk and walk and two hours later finally find our hotel. VIOLA!

That night we decided that since we were in Amsterdam, we wanted to see what the red light district really consisted off. We were all still recovering from the night before so we were just going to be going for a little walk anyways might as well ey?
What we saw, was unbelievable. I genuinely didn't expect it to be as full on as was. It was just window door after door with some prostitute at the window doing sexual movements trying to lure in her next pay. There was a canal inbetween two streets. The streets were filled with just cringe worthy creepy guys and young boys looking to brag. Every prostitute looked proud of what she was doing. We had a discusion about it that night what we thought. Some thought it was empowering of them and most thought it was degrading and made you feel just a piece of meat as a female. What is your opinion?
If just seeing the women in the windows as items of purchase wasn't enough we witnessed some men haggling and bargaining for what they wanted. After she decided yes, you saw the men go in the door and the curtains closed. Was this really happening? As casual as going into a pizza place and ordering your choice of toppings etc. Unbelievable.

The next day Gemma, Nicola and I woke up early and headed to see if the flea m arket was open. My fingers were crossed, I had been saving my money all weekend to go crazy on this flea market.
Just my luck, Monday was some kind of holiday and they were closed.
The man at the bike shop said oh but it vill be back open ztomorrow if zu want to come bahck.
Oh yeah about that. Ill be gone.

So we went and gathered everyone and all of our luggage and trotted it back into the town center for our breakfast that took about 2 hours to get handed out. I would understand if it was busy. BUT WE WERE THE ONLY ONES THERE. Most people only ordered toast and when it came out it was cold. Or the bacon was burnt to crisp.

To make a Long story shorter we made it home. All in one piece, feeling rough; but one piece none the less.
In conclusion of my hen weekend, I have realized not only moving to England because of David was the best decision of my life but also because the friends here are lifetime friends. I have never had a group of friends like these. ( I have friends back home; you know who you are, they are just individual friends not part of a group.) When I first got introduced to these girls I thought they were going to be unaccepting and caddy.
They have been far from what I've ever expected or dreamed of in a group of girls. It's not the kind of friendships that you only go to party with, they are the kind that actually care about you. Go above and beyond to make you feel loved and accepted. I won't lie it was so hard moving over and I was ever fearful of making friends. I thought I would make one or two but I've made a family of friends who stick together through everything. Ofcourse we have upsets, but nothing is completely perfect, otherwise it would be boring. We are like one big puzzle piece each bringing a different sense of character and color to the big picture. We have made so many memories and had so many laughs over the past year that I have known them. I couldnt have planned a more eventful fun weekend, let alone hen do. Abbie, Adam, Alex, Clare,Emma, Gemma, Hannah, Helen, Kerry, Louise, Nicola , Vicky A, Vicky M (in alphabetical order so no one felt they were before or after someone else) you all have a spot in my heart, each an everyone of you bring something different to my life. You have all made this a weekend to remember in preperation to marry the man of my dreams. I live in a surreal world where I have the fairytale relationship, best friends who would never walk out, loving parents, amazing in laws and I'm healthy. What more could a girl ask for? I love you all from the bottom of my heart. I can't stress enough how loved and special you have made me feel after this weekend.
The last travel destination on flight as a Heffner and you all shared it with me.

Day 114 of 365:

As my weekend filled with memories, laughter and tears of joy came to an end, David leaves for his WEEK away in Magaluf. We went for a little walk to just chat and be us. I will miss him ever so much this week but I know that when he gets back the next big thing is becoming his wife.

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful Tanja! I could not be more happy for you. Friendships like these are so very hard to find and worth treasuring, and there is honestly nothing in the world better than marrying your very best friend. I am so thankful to have met you years ago and so glad that nowadays we have things like FB that let me keep up with you a bit. I hope your wedding is beautiful, I can't wait for the blog post& pictures! :) Congratulations dear!!
    Becka (from AR Buckle)


About Me

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Liverpool, United Kingdom
I'm a former Arkansan who followed her heart to England. I began blogging to keep my family and friends back home up to date with my life and wedding preparations. Now I plan to explore further into the blogging of projects, inspirations, aspirations and just a look into my life. I am a photographer who is also trying to break through in this fast paced demanding world of photography. I love taking pictures, diying, blogging, running, baking and cooking getting caught in a good book and music that touches the soul. Thanks for stopping by.