Thursday, May 19, 2011

London V

"Can you possibly drag this London thing out any more", you ask? Well, yes. Yes I can.
For example, have you ever laid eyes on storefronts so cute and quaint? I love these. They make me want to shop in them though I don't need any candy or magic supplies.

I did not get a photo of the outside so this is your intro to the British History Museum.
Hercules. Brittney needs a strong man in her life.

The Queen.
As you can see Brittney was my entertainment. I made her pose everywhere.
The [replica of the] Rosetta Stone. Apparently Brittney can read hieroglyphics.
Waiting for her dad to read every single inscription for every single artifact.
That's Jordan on the other side of the case facing the camera.
This was one of my favorite parts of our trip-Jordan and Brittney trying to figure out our tube routes. I loved it because navigating is usually Jordan's field of expertise but on this trip his daughter out-navigated him-hands down. If they each turned a different direction once inside the subway station-I followed my daughter. No offense, hon.
London landmarks.
Years ago we got a print of a Carl Mydans photo of Winston Churchill. I have been quite fascinated with the man ever since.
He was greatly revered and maybe even more disliked.

Some of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes:

Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”

Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

A sheep in sheep’s clothing. (On Clement Atlee)

A modest man, who has much to be modest about. (On Clement Atlee)

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

London IV

Some Favorites:

So..more London love. I loved this orange juice. I think it was the "bits" that made it so good.
I loved Kensington Palace! We went with a tour, but if I had it to do over, I would do it on our own. We were so rushed. There was so much more I wanted to take in but not enough time to do it in. Not to mention the fact that there was a Cath Kidston store I noticed as we were rushing to catch our bus. Tear my heart out, why don't ya?
We spent a lot of time with the guided tour headphones on. Some of us more than others. I wont mention any names but he felt he had to listen to every option available. Which would be why we were rushing to catch our bus.
Gorgeous! Everything was in bloom and so bright! I loved it.

The changing of the guard. You did know this was the Queen's main residence-no? It would be my first choice as well.
Stonehenge. So, yes. It's cool. Again, Jordan loved the headphones. I asked him for a brief synopsis when we got back on the bus.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

London Love Part III

Paddington Station to Oxford
What is it about Paddington Bear that I love? One of my regrets in life is that I don't have anything that I collect. I have friends that collect the tiny spoons from each place they visit, one that collects tea cups and napkin rings, and one that collects a Christmas tree ornament at every location and everything Lucille Ball. Can I collect Paddington Bear?
If Brittney could, I think she would collect a cookie, a cupcake or a chocolate bar from each location. Oh wait. She did.

Brittney's study abroad group took a day trip to Oxford. I skyped with her the weekend after her visit when she was still on an Oxford high. She mentioned that she thought I would love it. I held out hope we would go back. We did. And I did. Love it. From the minute we stepped off the train to a station that was filled with more bikes than I've ever seen in my life. We caught the double decker tour bus and with Brittney's suggestions picked our stops along the way. The first stop was the Alice in Wonderland shop. After a stop in this fun store I thought that maybe I should collect all things Alice.

My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan so it came as no surprise to me that she loved Christ Church college where much of the movie was filmed or used in their repicas. This is the..something...
And the Great Hall (a.k.a. Hogwarts Hall). With paintings of all of the Oxford Greats on the walls. Including Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Caroll). Dodgson used Alice, the daughter of the Dean, to inspire his Alice in Wonderland stories. By the way, students still eat three meals a day here. (I asked because there was salt and pepper spilled on the tables).
The Cathedral is the college chapel.

Really, really cool but hard to walk on.
We climbed some very skinny stairs to get this view...the locals claimed it was their warmest April on record. Lucky us!

I loved the colors. I need an excuse to come back here. I wonder if we can get Christian into Oxford? With a scholarship?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

London Love Part II (Camden Market)

Considering our sleep deprived state and the fact that we couldn't get into our hotel room for several hours, we knew we needed an activity that would be high energy and involve all of our senses. Camden Market was just the place. Staying awake was not a problem. I was practically on sensory overload.
Brittney effortlessly led us through the process of buying subway (tube) tickets and guided us straight there. Her dad was a little surprised at her new navigational abilities and had to double check every one of Brittney's directions-only to find that she was right on every time.
It was still early. Never again during the course of our trip did the tube station look like this. "Standing room only" would be the new normal.

A couple of weeks before our trip I committed to taking "sweets" out of my diet. Pathetically, that is the subject of most of my photos.
For example...donuts.

...and Brittney's carmel filled churro!
I promise you I have never heard so many languages spoken in one place! I had no idea that London was such a melting pot. Obviously one of the perks is that you can get just about any type of authentic ethnic food. I tried the Indian lunch special. But I really just wanted a churro.
I did have some of this fresh squeezed orange juice. And I dare say it was the best I've ever had.

Here again we have food. I'm not sure what Jordan is eating. Maybe I should make this a cooking blog considering almost every picture on this post is of food.
Notice the wall to wall people. And this was just a warm up. Think..Royal Wedding.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

London Love Part I

A little over a week ago Jordan and I landed at the Heathrow London airport. It was 7:30 a.m. local time and 11:30 p.m. for our home body clocks. We were exhausted and knew we had a full day ahead of us but we were giddy with excitement. We got through customs and immediately began to scan the crowds for a familiar face. One we hadn't seen for four months. Our oldest daughter was nowhere to be seen. So we waited. And waited. Jordan had her paged over the intercom but the accent was so thick that I missed it and I knew it was coming. I had very little faith that Brittney heard it.
In the meantime I soaked in my surroundings. Since my camera was packed away safely in my suitcase, I pulled out my phone and snapped this image of a proper English bloke enjoying his morning tea. About this time I looked up to see Brittney casually walking toward me carrying a huge backpack, a Krispy Kreme donut, and a People magazine. Totally Brittney. No rush.
There was a flood of emotion as Brittney made eye contact and then melted into my arms. Four months of growing pains and gains came rushing to the surface. We were 4.000 miles away in Great Britain but it felt so good to have my daughter home.
The first stop the cab driver made on the way to our hotel was the London Center where Brittney spent the last quarter of the year. It was a gorgeous old walk-up just a few blocks away from the notorious Hyde Park. There was not a soul inside and so I pulled the phone out again to document for myself where my girl had been as she created so many wonderful memories.
Her bunk room that she shared with 7 girls. And this is the same girl that has a hard time sharing a hallway with someone.
The dinning hall. Many a not-so-memorable meals according to Britt.
The view from the upstairs window. Would you look at that window!
The library.
The Home Teacher's room. Or in their case, the Devotional/Fireside room. Fabulous!
It was now 8:30 a.m. and the fun was just beginning....

Monday, May 2, 2011

The girls are back in town!

Woohoo! All home. Together again. Under one roof. Sharing one bathroom. Bring it on.