Monday, November 14, 2011

Bye Bye London

It is always hard to say good bye and I find that as time goes by it never gets easier  up rather just takes on a different feeling.  Now, I feel that I have a lot more control over my good byes than  I have had in the past.  Maybe because I am now in a place that after I say good bye, if I want to go back, I can and I control that a lot more.  In any event, I truly love London - the energy, the feel, the looks, the shops, the great places to eat and just all the architecture.  And it helps that I have friends there that are always more than willing to either house me or entertain me - not that I need much entertaining.  I am sure that there will be a London trip or two in 2012, either as a stand alone getaway or as a passing through stop.

Last night I was on my own for supper as Tylor, my friend that I was staying with had to go to Scotland for work today, so he left in the afternoon.  I got home from shopping around 7ish - I am becoming very comfortable with certain parts of London, including where he is living now so I ventured out to see if I could find something to eat.  Needless to say I couldn't find anywhere that was open for supper other than a Pret Manger, so I ended up dropping in to the Sainsbury (like Safeways) which also happens to be a packaged food Mecca.  My body was in a definite need for some vegetables after al of the rich foods and drinking of the past few days, so I bought some along with some hummus and attempted to figure out the TV.  It took a couple of texts but I eventually figured out how to turn it on and got to a channel that had something that I enjoyed, and that was that! Overall a quiet night in.

Now in case you are wondering I am leaving on my next vacation in just over 5 weeks.  I am going to spend Christmas in Hawaii - The Big Island, with my parents.  After that, I have no other trips planned for a long while :-(. Gotta definitely change that. . .will keep my eyes open for a seat sale and am open to suggestions.  There is a good chance that I will be going to TO in March and if that happens, I will most likely use the opportunity to head to the Caribbean,  there are a bunch of places I haven't been to there yet but hey, who knows!

A London Sunday & a Bike Crash - Again

So I had another bike crash yesterday, although this time I was not on the bike but rather trying to cross a busy street by Oxford Circus. I went to step to cross the road and as soon as I looked right, I screamed as I saw a cyclist hurtling towards me and we both dodged in the same direction. He clipped my back and went flying over his handlebars into the curb and I think really hurt his shoulder. I felt so bad. I have to admit, I was fairly shaken out by the whole episode. As for yesterday's crash, I am pretty bruised up. I banged my hand and knee pretty bad, as well I noticed a good bruise on my stomach today - all class, all class!

Today is Remembrance Sunday in London- this is their equivalent to our Remembrance Day, although not a holiday. We watched the service on TV, I thought going down there. I thought that it might be a little crazy as the royals were down there. It was a nice ceremony and all, both solemn and celebratory and always brings a tear to my eye, thinking of all of those who have given and lost - we can never forget those who fought for our freedoms.

Tylor and I went for a late breakfast after watching the services, after which I left him and headed back towards Oxford Circus and Bond Street to do some shopping and I use that word loosely as I really do not care for shopping, however I needed to pick up my obligatory magnets for my team at work and I wanted to check out a shop called Liberty (oh my!), and we can't forget Marks & Spencer's. On my way to Liberty, I noticed the sign for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz and it looked like there was a show to start soon, so I went to the box office to see if I could get a ticket. For £25, I got a fabulous seat in the Royal Circle and what a great show! You always here about how great shows are in London and they are, so more quainter than at the Jubilee. It was however kiddyville, but that was okay. Of course I had my once a trip cry at the start of the show, thinking about how blessed my life is. I also realized that I deserve this and I don't mean it in a conceited way but rather, I work really long and hard and my job takes a lot out of me, so to treat myself to great experiences isn't necessarily a bad thing. I do realize how lucky I am though.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grilled Cheese Bliss

Ah, I found my little taste of heaven again today. This yummy grilled cheese sandwich is crunchy, salty, buttery heaven all toasted at the Borough Market in London. I tried to go back to this place in August but they were gone :-(. But maybe it was because they knew I was back in town they decided to reappear - yah okay. Seriously though, I love this sandwich and if we weren't going to The Ledbury this evening for dinner, I would have had 2!

Now to get to the market we decided to ride bikes there. London has this great thing called "Boris bikes", which are essentially these bike racks throughout the city where you rent a bike for a small fee. And cycle it to where you want to go and then drop it in the rack - they are awesome. And who would have guessed that London is so bikeable - I know that I didn't. It took me a moment to figure out where to ride (the other side of the street) but after that, people are very accommodating to cyclists. I only had one minor crash as we were traveling down a lane with some construction where I caught my handlebar on the fence and crashed. I have a few good bruises but other than that I was fine. I got an amazing tour of the City this way as the Mayor's Parade was on today in the city and we had to navigate our way around that. Still, it was a fantastic way to see London - who knew?!

So in case you are wondering why I am here, there is no reason other than the last 7 weeks at work have been insane and I figured that I needed a little treat. I knew that this hell was coming, so in mid-sept when there was a seat sales took advantage and booked a good fare over here. So no reason other than I love London (and to have a good grilled cheese :-))