Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Little Champion

Yesterday, J. had his last baseball game for the season.  He did such a great job, and we are so proud of him.   

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to London Town...with a True Brit

On Friday afternoon, I headed to London again.  I started my day in Notting Hill as I visited the market on Portobello Road.  The market is MUCH bigger than I ever dreamed!  There were blocks and blocks of antiques, fruits and vegetables, clothing, collectibles.  You name it; it was probably there.

From there, I went to Grosvenor Square (in the Mayfair district--referred to in Pride and Predjudice).  There is a statue there of Roosevelt, and the American Embassy is there as well.

After that, I went to St. Paul's and took a few pictures there.  I took the tube to Bank and met Katie at the Lloyd's of London building.

Katie and I then took the tube to St. Pancras, where we were staying at the Premier Inn that night.

We met her friend and co-worker Dave at Trafalgar Square that evening.  He took us
around London and showed us lots of amazing things that only someone who has lived there for a while might know.  I enjoyed meeting him and spending time with a true Brit.  He took us all through the busy Friday evening streets of London, and we ended up eating dinner at a place called Basuba.  It was kind of a cross between Thai and Chinese.  The food was good (especially the Chinese broccoli- YUM!).  He then took us around town  again and managed to wind us through the streets back to our hotel by St. Pancras.  Katie and I couldn't believe that he took us well over three miles back to our hotel.  

The hotel was nice, but they had no clocks...and no wake up calls.  Thankfully, Kates had a cell phone.  I kept waking up several times that night afraid that we would oversleep and miss our train to PARIS!  

Two Places at Once

On Thursday, I decided not to head into London, but to head to Greenwich.  Greenwich is where the Prime Meridian is located.  All of the world time zones are based from Greenwich. I rode the train to London, then took another train to Greenwich.  It was another sunny, breezy and beautiful day in England.

When I came out of the station, I headed towards the downtown area.  I love the adorable shops that line the streets!  I located the visitors center and got a map of the city as well as looked around at the shop and museum there.

The visitors center is actually located on the campus of the Royal Naval College and National
Maritime Museum.  The museum is quite nice, and the buildings of the college are lovely.  The clipper, the Cutty Sark is also being refurbished on site.

Through a beautiful park and up a massive hill is the location of the Royal Observatory.  The Prime Meridian actually passes through the building.  At night, they illuminate the Prime Meridian by laser light.  

The big silver sculpture actually shows the east and west hemisphere. In this picture, I actually have one foot in each hemisphere.  So I was in two places at once!
The world clock is located here, and it was used to count down to the year 2000.  Now it shows how many hours it has been since the millennium.

Anyway, at the top of the Observatory, there is a red ball on the roof that still drops to signify 1PM every day.

Greenwich was truly a lovely place, and I am so glad I spent the day there.

An Amazing Trip to London

I don't even know where to start to describe the amazing trip I took to London.  

First of all, just spending time with Katie was worth the trip.  No one makes me laugh as hard as she does!  I think both of us were in serious need of some laughter!  Plus, as you can read in the previous entry, it was Katie's birthday.  Yet another wonderful reason to visit her.

I will try to recap from where I left off in the previous entry. Wednesday, I went back into London for more sight seeing by myself.  I decided to just take the train to town with Katie when she went to work, but I did not buy a tube pass that day.  Though the tube is nice, you miss so much of the character of the city.  I started the day by heading towards Trafalgar Square.  I walked past Downing Street, just so I could say that I have been there.  

I went to Trafalgar with the intent to spend some time at the National Gallery, but it didn't open until 10, so I walked down through Oxford Street through Green Park and saw the Spencer house (Princess Diana's family home).

I spent some time again at Buckingham...saw the horse guards come through the area. I then went to watch the guards as they practiced for the changing of the guards.  It was quite amazing.  

Then I went back to Oxford Street and did a little shopping for Tim (french cuff shirts and cuff links were the order of the day).  Next, I headed for Bond Street.  Needless to say, I did some window shopping, but that is it.  Harry Winston, Prada, Gucci, Cartier, Mont Blank, Dolce-- a little out of my league, but it was fun to look. Every shop has a guard outside.  I have never seen anything quite like it.  

After that, I had a sandwich at Caffe Nero and enjoyed the beautiful day outside. After lunch, I walked through Piccadilly Circus, then headed to Covent Garden (I think that is the correct order...forgive me if I am wrong).  I walked through the cute shops there and enjoyed the street performers.  

My final stop for the day was to the National Gallery- an amazing collection of art...and the admission was free!  I spent several hours there; it is overwhelming! You cannot really appreciate the massive collection of great works all in one day.  I spent several hours there, then headed back to meet Katie.  What a day!

More to come in the next post!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Katie!

So today was Katie's birthday, and after a late start to my day, I decided to explore her town of Weybridge.

It is an adorable little town lined with quaint shops and cafes. I ventured into several shops, but I have to say that I enjoyed the grocery store the most. I spent an hour walking the aisles and looking at all of the unique food items. (Did you know they call cookies "digestives" and "biscuits"?) The bread aisle was amazing with all of the varieties of fresh breads. I had a hard time deciding on what to purchase, so I ended up with stuff to make tacos for Katie (I brought the seasoning with me on the plane because they don't sell it here). I also bought yummy dark chocolate melt in the middle puddings (molten chocolate cakes) to celebrate her bday.

I thought I would be adventurous for lunch and purchased a veggie pasty. It is kind of like a puff pastry with cooked filling inside. They sell them with meats and gravies, but I had the veggie kind. It was very good.

We enjoyed our night just talking and eating and laughing. It's back to London tomorrow!

Cheers! And happy birthday, Katie!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Loving London!

Well, it was my first full day in London. Katie and I had a lovely day...breezy and gorgeous and filled with a lot of fun.

We started out at the London Eye. It was amazing to see the city from so high in the air. I highly recommend it to anyone travelling here.

Then we went to Parliament Square and saw Big Ben and took about a hundred pictures. We went to Westminster Abbey. It was amazingly beautiful. It was hard to believe that many of the people who were buried there have been dead longer than America was a country. Poets corner was my favorite...the graves of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters along with so many other amazing authors. I literally got a bit teary-eyed when I read the inscription on the tombstone of David Livingstone.
I ate a lovely tomato and mozzarella sandwich on the lawn of Westminster. Yum!

Later in the day we visited Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace which was truly a sight to behold. I plan to go back tomorrow to try to see the changing of the guard.

We strolled through lots of gardens. We saw the Tower of London and walked across the tower bridge.

I cannot believe how much we did in one short day. My feet are complaining though.

Katie gave me my birthday present (train tickets), and we are going to go to PARIS on Saturday. How cool is that?! It is her b-day tomorrow, so we will celebrate somehow.

Well, that is all for now. And as they say here, "Cheers."

Friday, May 2, 2008

To my boys

When I am down, you lift me up.

When I am happy, you rejoice with me.

When I am bored, you make life fun.

When I am sad, you comfort me.

When I am tired, you allow me to rest.

When I am irrational, you make things sane again.

When I am silly, you laugh with me.

You are loving, forgiving, kind, patient, fun-loving, and more than I could ever ask for or deserve.

I love you guys!