Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big Fur Hats and Necessary Boots

After hosting a Thanksgiving day meal a few days after Thanksgiving (my British co-workers actually had to work on Thursday), I spent some more time touring with the family.

We saw the changing of the guard this week. As my sister-in-law stated 'it was extremely boring'. Per my brother, it was 'filled with ritual and large, unexplained time delays'. It didn't help that it was raining. I just liked the big bear hats.

Speaking of raining, I've invested in a necessary piece of equipment now that I'm living on the British isles. I just had to share my new Wellington boots. a.ka. Crazy Fish. Yeah! I've already taken the dog for a walk to try them out and I must say - I'm liking the dry feet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two More Things Off the List

I've got family in town for Thanksgiving so that gave me an excuse to do some more touring. I've checked two more things off the list.

A vist to the London Eye with beautiful views of the city (better pictures when I get them from my brother's camera)

And a trip to the Royal Opera House. We saw a wonderful opera last night with a world famous tenor.
Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What To Do In Winter

The temperature dropped this week and it is quite cold and dark in England. But what can you do -it's winter. As promised, no more biking photos because I'm spending a bit more time inside.

Good friends Rick and Karena came in town and we ventured to the British Museum for the day. I think the Egyptians stole this copy of the Joe Louis fist. (If you've ever been to Detroit or watched a Red Wings game on TV, you'll know what I am talking about)

Does this remind you of any particular four legged mutt?

I liked this piece from a 500+ year old chess set. The Bishop looks like he is stressed to be a part of the game.

Rick, Karena and I finish off the museum tour at a nearby wine bar. After two nights at the pub we thought we'd mix it up a bit. Thanks again for coming to visit! (and look for more cool photos that I am going to steal from Rick's camera after they finish their European vacation)

Amazingly enough, when I took Tucker for a walk this morning, it started to snow. Good thing the Dogloo is built for these conditions.

Since I'd planned on biking today... and now that it is snowing (which I'm sure will turn into freezing rain) I've decided to embrace my winter conditions and relax by the fire. Well, not really - I'll probably hit the gym, grocery store and clean the flat today in anticipation of my Thanksgiving guests. But a nap by the fire will be mandatory today. Whahoo!

Have a wonderful week everyone and a lovely Thanksgiving. Please don't forget to enjoy life and remember family and friends this week. KKC - my thoughts are with you and your family. I'll be remembering your wonderful mother and thinking of you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frankfurt and Amsterdam

Sorry for the delay in adventures - I've been swamped with work and work travel. I'm just working on keeping my head above water for the moment so here's what I did recently, but without fun commentary. Lame!

Two weeks ago I traveled to Frankfurt for work. I stayed in this hotel and ate at a very cool restaurant - both sites that did not turn out well on my camera. So, I had to steal the photo from the web instead. Hopefully next time I'll return with the new camera to show great photos of the castle's interior.

I also went to Amseterdam earlier this week. Canals, windmills, lots of people on bicycles and this sign everywhere. (Again, all the photos were at night and just didn't turn out) Would it be a post from me if it didn't refer to alcohol at least once?
I'll be going back to both cities so look for improvement in the future. Don't you just hate it when work gets in the way of your blogging??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not a Princess

From an earlier post, you might remember my box spring that wouldn't fit down the stairs. I finally got it taken care of and I'm happy to say that I'm back in my fabulous bed!

Umm... but it's kind of high. I know this picture can't really give you a good idea so I created a picture to help. British mattresses are meant to sit directly on the bed frame (think IKEA beds) or, the box spring - or as they call it, the divan - sits directly on the floor. Well, I wasn't about to give up my wrought iron bed frame.

Think 7 inches off the floor with the bed frame

....Then add the divan (about three times the height of my box spring at 13 inches)

....Then add my oversized mattress (about 12 inches)

....Next comes the mattress pad

... sheets


and down comforter!

The finished product! Again, the scale kind of stinks but if you'll notice the mattress is several inches ABOVE the stacked books on the bedside. Okay, so it is funnier in person and I probably shouldn't be showing pictures of my bed but it really is quite hilarious. I could use a step ladder to get into my own bed. Just picture The Princess and the Pea but without the princess.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I had my first official visitors a couple of weeks ago (this means they got to sleep on the spare bed and not on the air mattress!) and wanted to share the fun. Good friends Jed and Radhika left the twins at home and flew all the way over from Madison, WI.

Look kids, Big Ben.. Parliament!

Amazing architecture

Big Ben

Me and Radhika in front of Big Ben and the London Eye

How to dress up a London city block? Use greenery!

Westminster Abbey

The Westminster Abbey courtyard

Jed and I standing in the streaming sun.

Another photo from our visit to Chelsea's stadium (see earlier post)

Windsor Castle

The big hat must be to keep him warm!

Jed and I in front of Windsor Castle

A self portrait of all of us in front of the castle and the Long Walk

And lastly, just a good photo of the three of us from another time - we have been good friends for so long. I can't imagine a time without you. Thanks again to Jed and Radhika for making the trip across the pond.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fun with Fire

November 5th was Guy Fawkes day here in the UK. It's a holiday of sorts (like Valentine's Day is a holiday but you don't get off work for it) where the British celebrate Guy Fawkes' attempt to blow up Parliament in 1606.

The celebrations center around either

1) Large bonfires (as this picture was supposed to depict - sorry, not my camera phone)
2) Burning dummies in effigy
3) Fireworks

The celebrations have been going on for a week with countless firework displays, bonfires and just plane old fun with fire. It's a good thing it is raining this week, I feel for the poor fire firefighters. On my evening walk with Tucker on Wednesday, I passed at least 3 separate backyard bonfire parties. On Friday night, I ventured to a nearby town for a huge bonfire, cold beers, sparklers and fireworks. It was fun - but nothing like the good old Fourth of July....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pooch at the Pub

In honor of British Sausage Week, the elections and Champions League play (poor Chelsea), Tucker and I went out to the pub last night.
He was one of three dogs joining their masters for a pint and not surprisingly, the least well behaved. I blame the smell of sausages....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sunrise and Peace In The Mountains

I connected through Colorado on my way back from a trip to the U.S. As usual, not the best photo but I had to share the sunrise over the valley.

To breathe in the clear, cool air has been wonderful.

I also spent time with my wonderful, courageous, amazing friend Holly. The visit was too short but worth the extra logistics.