Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing Tourist

My brother Bob and sister-in-law Tara came to town and we did some London touring.
Here Tara and I are SUPER excited that we are going to watch the London Eye 3-D movie. Don't we look like rock stars?

Look kids, Big Ben... Parliament! It was a gorgeous day and great views from the London Eye.

Walking along Regents Park I was a big fan of the colorful flowers. Ooh... pretty!

I'm also a big fan of statues. I feel like no one makes impressive sculptures any more. Well, none of things you'd actually recognize. I wanted to ask the guy in front if he was guarding the big lion.

Statue of Queen Victoria opposite Buckingham Palace. She's a little imposing. I guess you need to be like that if you are a queen.

Loved the fountains in Kensington Park.

Again, more statues. This time it is of Peter Pan. It is such a lovely fun walk in the Park.

Also in the park is the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. You'd think it would be cheesey but it's actually quite a nice place to be. It's very relaxing and encourages people and kids to play in the fountain. Tara and friend Holly are in the distance with their toes in the water. I followed suit of the people next to me and had a bit of a snooze. ZZzzzzzz.....

The Sunken Gardens next to Kensignton Palace. Yep, still liking the pretty flowers. Not much exciting but something a little different and very relaxing. We also went to see the show Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre and that was fabulous. I highly recommend. We spent some time touring the War Cabinet Museum/Winston Churchill Museum and I'd also recommend that. No pictures though. I know you are sad.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Jugs

My apologies for the lack of posts but I've had some fun visitors and then some work travel get in the way. I'll have some more British pics soon. In the meantime, I went to Germany this week for work.

We were encouraged to try the apple wine so we ordered a pitcher. What we got was an enormous jug! Not sure if you can see the salt shaker in the background for size. It was an excellent drink to complement our schnitzel, bread pudding and apple streudel. I'm now on a diet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Need a Name

I need a name for my flat. In England, when you fill out a request for your address it asks for House Name or House Number. I'm just a plain old number. But other people get to name their houses cool things.

The only downside is if you don't live in that town, you have no idea where you are going. I recently went to visit a friend with a really cool address of

Meadow Cottage
Christmas Common

Yeah, cool. But where the heck is it? is the driveway just past Field Cottage and before Pasture Cottage? Turn left at the intersection of No Name Street #1 and #2? Do you just make it to the town centre and drive in concentric circles until you find the right flat? Mapquest can only get you so far.....

I bet these guys live next to a river.

One of the more creative ones I have seen.

What is quince, anyway?

So -I'm taking nominations for what to name my flat. You just have to change it with the Post Office and then voila! People can get lost when coming to visit you. I think it is called English charm.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Alicia & Carey's Wedding

This post is about people - and some good looking people at that!

Alicia and Carey at the rehearsal dinner. (I know, you are saying FINALLY, pictures of the bride and groom) In the background Alison is doing her best 70's backup dancer move.

The bridesmaids and bride looking beautiful after a trip to the salon for hair and makeup. Oh yeah, I needed the professional help. Me, Lyrna, Treadway (Alicia), Allison, Mimi

Ooohhh... pretty!! 75% of the bridesmaids. Allison was busy helping Tread get ready for the big day.

Congratulations! Alicia and Carey after they have officially tied the knot.

Artistic.. yet also displaying that I have the palest legs on the planet.

The wedding party braves the wind for a few pictures on the lake.

The bride has lost her shoes.

Time to celebrate the happy couple!

As the evening wore on, I found myself hugging all the boys in white shirts. Pat, Michael and Mark are all kind enough to submit to my happy hugging spree.

Okay, so it wasn't only the boys. I got some lovin' from my old roommate Radhika. This is what happens when she leaves husband Jed and the twins at home. She's mine! All mine! Okay, whatever. At least I can claim that if it wasn't for me she wouldn't be married to Jed.

Another of my best mates (as they say in England), Holly. She comes to visit in 8 days so look for more random photos to appear. YEAH!!!!!!

And lastly, another picture of the sunset over Lake Michigan. A wonderful weekend with some genuine and fantastic people. Thanks to Alicia and Carey for having such a special weekend. And I mean that in the most intelligent, non- bus size, way possible.

Moving older brother and his lovely wife are in town to visit starting this weekend. Therefore, this blog will return to exploring the English countryside and culture. I know you will be riveted to your seats.....

Monday, September 7, 2009


You know your friends are full of love for you when they steal your camera and show you their best sides. I thought I would post these before the 'formal' wedding photos.

Rubin, Jessica and Stewart pose for the camera. Where do you think the Artist, PR Director and Anthropologist learn these poses? Who am I kidding? I love these gals and it was great to see them even if they did get to drink more than I did (I was driving, doh!).

Dave, Radhika (the instigator) and McQuaid partake in some fun.

Marcia and her man also get roped into the festivities.

The Michigan Women's Soccer team never turns down a challenge. Can you believe I've known these ladies for 18 years. Crikey! They shall remain nameless to protect their anonymonity. And they will beat me up.

And lastly, Lyrna and Mike thought they could hide in the corner and blissfully ignore the camera. They were wrong!
It was wonderful catching up with this crazy bunch at the wedding. One more set of photos to follow. I think people might actually want to see the bride and groom at some point.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This post is for my British friends (all 2 of them who read my blog) and for some individuals who need a reminder of what you can find in small town America. Well, mainly northern Michigan but it's about the same thing. Wedding photos to follow in another post....

First stop on my trip down memory lane (oh yeah, forgot to mention I went home to see Mom and Dad for a few days) was The Hot Dog stand. I was craving a hot dog and since I wasn't heading to the ballpark, I went to the next best place, the drive-in hot dog stand. I met my friend Shelley there who I now have known for 30 years. Yikes! I can't believe we are so old. She will be coming to visit next April along with our other friend Jeni and I'm already excited even though it is months away.

Another reason to go to The Hot Dog stand. Tuesday is coney day. Oh yeah. That's a hot dog with Chilli and Cheese on it for my foreign readers.
Another staple of my youth, Big Boy! This restaurant icon often made it to the roof of my high school during our formative years. Try the Big Boy burger if you happen to make it in.

While home, my mom received some zucchinis from the neighbor. These are called courgettes in England. As they are absolutely enormous I had to use the TV remote control for scale. My mom made zucchini bread for days....

On the shores of Lake Michigan, where the wedding and rehearsal took place.

Now this is what I am talking about. Carmel apples at the chocolate shop! Go America!

Most innovative use of a dinghy: as a beer/wine/soda cooler. This was used to keep the drinks cool during the rehearsal dinner/barbeque. You wouldn't see that in England. Probably cause it is not warm enough here to need ice. Just kidding!

Views of Lake Michigan across from our cottage.
We rented a cottage for the wedding weekend. Ten adults in 3 bedrooms. It was like summer camp but now we could legally drink. It was a gorgeous house and perfect for the weekend.

Part of why I loved the house so much - my rest spot for a Sunday afternoon nap. It was heavenly to rock in the sun listening to the breeze and the water. I think I may have even snored.

I coudn't decide which view from my hammock was better. The one where I could see the water?

Or the one of the rest of the porch? Nice wide porches for chatting and relaxing. Now this is a staple of small town U.S.A.

And finally, it isn't small town northern Michigan without a cheesey souvenir shop. How can you not love the ginormous carved bear?
So that's my trip down memory lane and small town America. Wedding and friend photos to follow soon.