Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Not in Texas

Sometimes, I forget that we are living in another continent. The UK is hands down one of the most similar countries to the US. Other times, it is quite obvious that I'm not in Texas anymore!

Today started off BORING. I had to do one of my least favorite tasks as Daniel's assistant and wait for packages to be delivered at home ( our groceries and his new desk). It was raining all morning so I don't know what else I would have done, but I was dying to get out of our little flat by the time it all arrived at 2.

Around then, the skies finally changed from pouring to a light sprinkle and I needed to move. I'm one of those people who cannot stay at home on my butt and watch tv all day. I laced up my running shoes, repeated to myself that I won't melt if I get wet, and set out to explore.

I decided to head towards Regents Park. Previously, our older landlord told me she walks to Regents Park daily, so I knew it couldn't be that far away ( not to judge, but if a grandma who doesn't know how to use the Internet can walk there, than so can I!). It was a 5 min jog from our flat!

And let me tell you about the weather... Cool enough for passerbyers to be in jackets, but warm enough for me to break into a light sweat while running in a tank and shorts. Yep, not in Texas.

As I ran towards the park, I passed the Lord's Cricket Stadium, white and ornate neoclassical buildings, random gold leafed statues in the middle of roundabouts. Tree lined streets full of cabs facing the wrong way in my humble opinion, pubs older than Texas, people from all corners of the world speaking what could have been gibberish. It's all so different than what is normal to me.

And then I made it to the park. Flocks of geese left their ponds and pitterpattered towards me, hoping that someone was braving the rain to feed them bread. I ran past a long haired hipster, playing the clarinet on a wood bench. His song eerily seemed to follow me as I ran along the paved trails, becoming softer and softer with every pace that I took.  Rows upon rows of perfectly planned out and manicured gardens demanded my visual attention as I turned on a hidden trail, boasting flowers from every color of the rainbow.

There's a zoo in the park, too. It's on the canal and you can take a boat to it if you choose. From my run, over the low gates I could see giraffes, penguins, and reindeer. Little children were jumping in puddles, wearing their polka dotted rain boots and oversized rain coats, telling their "mums" what they wanted to see next. Really, there is NOTHING cuter than a child with a British accent.

As I ran through the park and the rain started to come down harder, I passed older couples hand in hand, one on a cane and the other hunchbacked. Dogs off of their leashes, bathing in the new scents that the rain offered, their owners leisurly walking several paces behind them, making one wonder if they really were the pups owner or just a passerbyer like myself.

 And all along, I had this overwhelming feeling come over me:

This is my neighborhood. 
This is my new home.
 I'm in London.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tate museums

Like clockwork, on Saturday morning Daniel and I were awoken at 7 am by the stomping around of our upstair neighbors. We are convinced that they where either clogs or tapshoes and just pace for hours on end. We made the most of our early morning and met our friend Damion in his neighborhood, Pimlico, to check out the Tate museums.

We first walked to Tate Britain. It features British paintings from the past several centuries. Honestly, I can only take so many classical paintings before they all start looking the exact same. Mostly head shots of royalty, depictions of heaven/ hell, or landscapes. I'll spare you from any pictures. 

We took a Thames river boat from Tate Britain to Tate modern. Beautiful views of Westminster Abbey, Parliment, St. Paul's cathederal, and the London Eye. Good way to spend £5! 

Tate modern was very whimsical and I think it would a child's dream to cross the sensored lines to go play with the art. We might have been asked to please not cross the lines a few times ourselves. A lot of the art literally looked like crap, and I think some of my 6 year old students could make masterpieces more noteworthy than the featured art, but it was still interesting to look at. And, museums are free here!

Daniel hates being in pictures, so Damion took a pic with me. 

It was raining as we were leaving, so we stopped into a nearby pub and split a bottle of Prosecco, then met our friends Sadia and Keith in Whitechappel for the BEST Indian food ever at Tayaab. Mmmm just thinking about it makes me crave more!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday, and I'm excited to check out more of the museums that London has to offer! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

SJW/ Little Venice Pub Crawl

Yesterday, I had to walk into town to mail some Postcards to some very important 6 year olds. I decided since I walked the 7 minutes to get to the high street, might as well stay for awhile! 

I brought my iPad along and went to the Duke of York pub to take advantage of their wifi (still no Internet at our flat). I couldn't believe that their special of the day was Lonestar...don't get me wrong, Lonestar is my beer of choice when I just want a cheap beer, but I feel like London shouldn't use that to represent Texas beer. They should have gone with Shiner! And $6 for a Lonestar?!? You've got to be kidding me! 

I stayed there, waiting for Daniel to get off work. Once he did, we walked around our neighborhood, on a mission to find th best pub in our area.

First pub was The Wellington. Although the pic doesn't show it, the place was hopping. Everyone was enjoying the beautiful weather outside. I give it a 7/10.

Next pub was my absolute favorite and I can't wait to take visitors there! It was called King Alfred and the place was so quaint...the quintessential pub. I loved the woodworking and tiny hobbit sized doors that you had to lean under to get through to find a table. I had a pint of French beer called Kronenbourg and it was delicious. 

Next pub was called Warwick Castle. It had gorgeous stained glass windows, antique and very well used furniture, and funky purple wallpaper that instead of vertical stripes, had images of tree trunks on it. The merging of the different styles of old and new in the pub just gave it such a cool vibe. 

Last place...well, can't remember the name, but there was nothing special about it so I didn't take a picture. Although all of the other pics make it look like it was day, the sun doesn't set until about 10 here, so we were very in need of food. We ordered some pub food, and let me tell you, bar food here ain't nothing to write home about. You can pretty much count on it being overpriced and disgusting. 

So, that was our fun night and I have a headache today to prove it! I love the weekend and getting to explore with my favorite partner in crime. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

That time I quit yoga

Warning: this will only be interesting to my yoga buddies. I'm going to post pics that I found online of the poses I'm referring to.

I've been taking advantage of new student specials at yoga studios, and this week I tried a new studio.  I went to a class today that was mislabeled as an Ashtanga class, but it was actually dharma mittra. Never taken this type of class before, so I have no idea if my experience is similar to others, but holy cow...

The teacher was Mark Kan. Have y'all heard of him or taken his class before?

He instructed us to start with a strap. In my head, I'm thinking "ha, a strap. Ok. This will be an easy class.

Then immediately, he says "crow".

I'm thinking, "woo this is a whippersnapper! So happy for a challenging class!"

Next, he instructs us to "warm up with three forearm stands." This is a pose that I work up to, not warm up with! I can do it 50% of the time without a wall. Often I get so scared of falling that I can't even get into the pose 

Then, it all goes downhill from there. 

Imagine every hard pose. Ok, now imagine transitioning with a handstand. Splits directly to handstand. Crow to handstand. Firefly to handstand. I can do splits. I can do a handstand. But I can't go directly from one to the other! 

Next, he asks us to do forearm stand with funky arms (yemike!!!). I modify and do this In a headstand, which is ridiculous to think that a beginner modification ever has a headstand in it. Then, he asks us to go from this...

Straight to this...

Other poses: straddle handstand. Straddle forearm stand. Wheel to headstand. Chin stand to wheel to handstand (?!??). Flying pigeon to...you guessed it....handstand. Most I have blocked from my memory. 

And the most discouraging part?

I was the only one in class who couldn't do this s***! I literally just sat there and watched, mouth agape. If I had a camera, I would have been recording it. I actually apologized to the instructor for going to his class without reading the description, bc I had no idea that he was going to be asking for us to basically levitate. 

All I wanted was to go home, open a new bottle of wine, and eat cheese twists.

And that is the time I quit yoga. But not really, because I want to learn how to do all of that crazy stuff!

By the way, yogis, did y'all know that there is a championship for yoga? The national champion was practicing next to me in that God forsaken class...

Side note : it want godforsaken, just way too hard for me. As I explained to Daniel, I need about 80 % success in a yoga class to love it and learn from it...this class, I might have had 40%? I don't even know which pose to begin with! I feel like I need to take a beginners 101 class now! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A bulleted Wednesday

No pics, just a hodgepodge of thoughts for today! 

* Despite the fact that our landlords, who live above us, stomp and move furniture at 7 am, we really like them. Today as I was leaving, I saw that they had discreetly placed a welcome mat in front of our door. They are always so warm and friendly and I'm thankful for that! 

* We have a new favorite store called Homebase... It's like a Lowes and Homegoods rolled into one. Today, I bought a mirror, command strips, lavender, and a Venus fly trap! 

* We have visitors BOOKED- tickets bought!  My aunt Laura and Dianne in September, mom and sis in november! So exited! I hope to get more visitors, too! 

* Our neighbor Is a complete biotech. Here's our convo, retold by me

Neighbor (as she pulls up in her Jag that actually says Jag on her license plate, as I'm walking all sweaty from yoga): excuse me, are you the one that just moved in?
Me: yes! I'm Chris-
Neighbor: yes, well, I live in the Garden flat. See the sign that says Garden flat by my door? I need you to stop putting Garden Flat as your address.
Me: Oh! We are specifying that we are the Garden Flat to the left under the stairs. 
Neighbor: yes, but you're not a garden flat. I've been the only garden flat here for the past 20 years. Are you just renting? Will you be here long?
Me (totally dumbfounded at her rudeness): well, it was listed as a Garden Flat. The landlords called it a garden flat. What do YOU think we should list it as? 
Neighbor: the basement (ok, that's the same thing as a garden flat!)
Me: well, I don't think we'll receive our mail that way. We just moved in, these are kinks that will be worked out with time. 
Neighbor: well, I'm very tired of my doorbell incessantly ringing for your deliveries. Stop putting your address as a garden flat! The previous tenant just shipped her mail to the landlord. 
Me:  ok, well, nice meeting you! I'm Christina, by the way ( she speeds off)

I get that it's annoying receiving our packages, but we live 5 steps away from her! How hard is it to redirect the delivery guy to us? Honestly, it's not or fault..I taped a post it outside our door with our names on it because our flat is so poorly labeled! When I addressed this to our landlord, he apologized, bought us a sign that says "rear garden flat" ( yeah, you're not the only garden flat in this neck of the woods anymore, missy!) and even mentioned that our neighbor has made a huge stink about this to him, too. *sigh* I understand her annoyance, but she could have been a little more considerate in bringing this matter up with us. 

Anyways, I just majorly vented ad my iPads nearly out of battery. Have a good night, and if you pad to have your car brand as a part of your license number, I might judge you now! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our flat and neighborhood

OHello readers! Not a lot happening today for me. As I said yesterday, I had to wait here all day for our tv delivery. The doorbell rang at 8 this morning and I was so relieved...only to find out it was the plates we'd ordered. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to receive those, but I was really hoping for the television. So up until 3:30, when the tv came, I drank lots of coffee, played lots of candy crush, and cleaned. Such an exciting life! 

Here are some pics of our neighborhood and flat.

From our flat, if you go right, you hit St. John's Wood, but if you go left, you end up in Little Venice. Not quite sure why they call it that, since there are no Italian food restaurants. Maybe it's because of the canals? Daniel and I explored the area on Sunday and we'll definitely be spending a lot of time there. We went to a pub that was across the canal for a pint. 

Our beautiful street! Compared to the rest of London, it is so clean and well kept. I've said it a million times, but I love how quiet it is. Yet, we can walk 15 minutes and be in the center of all the craziness London has to offer. We really can't believe that we were able to find a nice flat in our budget on this street- our neighbor has a BMW, Ferrari, and a classic Aston Martin! I'm guessing most of our neighbors own their whole home and live in something a little nicer than a garden flat. 

Our garden flat is literally called "the garden flat to the left under the stairs"...we actually write that as part of our address in lieu of a flat number. Reminds us of "the the cupboard under the stairs"!

Showers to the left. Happy our bathroom has just been updated before we moved in. Could do with more counter space. See that wood shelf thing? Absolute and complete rubbish, a waste of £9. If you sneeze on it, it will come crumbling down. Londoners sure do know how to completely rip you off. 

Our flat has tons of little nooks like this, where we've been putting plants and other knickknacks. This is in our kitchen. 

Kitchen again. One of the largest we saw when flat hunting. Actually works pretty well too! 

Our very white bedroom. Need to bring in some color with throw pillows and art. Next to the bedroom is our private patio. 

No pics of the living room yet because I'm not a fan...it's very dark. Daniel calls it his cave and there's only one window. Hoping a mirror across from the window will brighten it up! 

After the tv was delivered today, I went on a walk. Several shops had signs posted in their windows congratulating the royal family. Not sure if you can read it, but this is champagne called Baby Royal and the note on it says " Congratulations to the Duke and dutchess of Cambridge on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy." 

I think that does it! Have a great Tuesday! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Life lately

We don't have any Internet in the new flat, (and won't until August 7th?!?!) so my bloggin' might not be as often as it has been. I'm tethering to Daniel's phone to use the internet, and it aint workin all that well. I have so many pics to show and stories to tell, but unfortunately the pictures that accompany them refuse to load, so I'll sae them for later.

1. We took time from our unpacking and went to an awesome bar in Islington on Saturday night for our friend Brittany's going away drinks (she's moving back to CA). The decor was set to make the bar look straight from the 20's. Drinks were some of the best that we've ever had, although they were pricey. I had one drink that was champagne, cognac, verbena and another that was rose vodka and lemon. A lot of their mixers and spirits were homemade at the bar. I'd definitely want to bring visitors there, but you'll go broke if you have more than a couple drinks!

2. This, my friends, isn't just some ordinary fan...it is one of the last known fans left to purchase in London during this heat wave, and therefore went from being around $40 to $100. That hurt, but at least we aren't sweating to death! And guess how fun it was carrying it half way across London, along with a mattress pad because our new mattress is about as comfortable as sleeping on sharp rocks, a shelf, and sussies I found at the resale shop? My biceps are going to be SO swoll- I'm truly not missing my gym membership in London. 

3. I tried posting a bunch of pics of the new flat, but this dinky picture is the only one that loaded. That's our kitchen table...I actually really like it. We keep it compact most of the time and then when we eat, we open up the leaf. To make more space, we moved it from our kitchen to a large hallway off of the kitchen. Hopefully I can post more pics tomorrow, because this one desnt do much justice!

Speaking of tomorrow, I have to wait at our flat all day for the tv delivery with no tv to watch or Internet to surf. I have no idea what I will do all day...clean? Read? Drink wine at noon? Do handstands on the wall? Should be exciting! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Making London home

This morning, we woke up bright and early to start packing up our temporary flat. Daniel had it made up in his mind that we were going to lug all of our 5 suitcases on the tube...but after realizing that that entailed the 10 min walk to the tube, loads of stairs and escalators, a 20 min tube ride with more stairs, and a 10 min uphill to our new flat, he thankfully reconsidered and called a taxi.

We wanted to get to our new flat early because we had basically ordered all of amazon's stocks of home goods and wanted to be there when they were delivered. Upon arriving, it became very clear that our landlords did not honor the part in the lease agreement that said the flat would be cleaned before we moved in, so we decided that Daniel would stay, wait for packages and unpack while I walked to the "grocery store" to get cleaning supplies.

I call them "grocery stores", but they are nothing like the 100s of brands, aisles for miles, one place shops we are used to back home. It is more like a convenience store. They don't sell almond butter or Siracha :-(

I have a side story that will soon be relevant to this. My freshman year of college, I had a car but had to park several blocks from my dorm. One time, I went to the grocery store and bought 2 huge cases of water, not thinking anything of it. About 2 minutes after leaving my car with the water bottles, I started to freak out. "I'm not going to make it! I'm drenched in sweat! What are all of these students going to think if I drop them now? Omg now I'm walking uphill." it was awful and my arms were sore for days.

I say all of this, because it leads me to my story.

I go to the first "grocery store" in search of cleaning supplies, about a 7 min walk from our flat. No broom, no mop. Go to the next "grocery store" and wouldn't you know? No cleaning supplies. I walk to the only other "grocery store" in our neighborhood and you guessed it, nada.

At this point, I'm irritated. It gets back to something I think I mentioned before: nothing is convenient in London. I'd been walking around for about 30 min trying to find a freaking broom, something that would have taken me 5 min in Houston. I finally go up to a worker and asked, "Do people even clean here? Where would a Londoner go to find cleaning supplies?!" he instructed me to go to a store called Sainsburys, 2 tube stops away.

I go, and it's like Walmart, and I've never been so happy to see a store similar to it. There's food, clothes, housing, furniture, mops (but no brooms...turns out people don't use brooms here, but little brushes and dustpans. They seriously don't know what they are missing out on. See what I mean? Not even the tools that they use to clean with are convenient!)

I go overboard, buying everything in site. Pillows, towels, duvets, duvet covers, sheets, sandwiches, water, a water filet, hangers, everything. As the cashier is ringing up my items, I start to eye my bags and think, "Oh s***, I have to carry this all the way back!" Because I don't have a car. Because that would be way too convenient.

As I walk to the tube, I start to think, "ok. I got this. I work out. It's just like carrying heavy weights around. I bet I'm not even carrying 25 lbs per arm. This isn't bad." Then about one block in, I start running into people with my bags on accident. It's bulky. I'm sweating. I start praying that there are no stairs in the tube station.

Make it to the tube, try to casually drop my bags on the ground next to me and hope they don't go sliding everywhere once the tube stops. I accidentally hit a girl sitting down with the mop handle.

 I get off the tube and thank god that the escalators are working. I somehow maneuver my tube pass out of my purse without dropping anything, and I just know people are looking at me, thinking "rookie mistake".

I start walking towards our flat while secretly cursing all of the families I have to dodge and walk slowly behind. Do they not see that I'm carrying more bags than I can manage? Move!!!

I'm half way there and my arms start shaking. A handle breaks on a bag, and I'm done.

I call Daniel and tell him to meet me half way, which he graciously did. But my arms are still shaky, 12 hours later. 

So, today I learned why no one should ever use a cart when shopping. Because that causes you to buy way more than you can carry home. 

Anyways, this is what I came home too. And they're still comin'! 

That's my pile of crap that I dropped on the side of the street. And then I called Daniel and he met me to help me carry the rest :-)

Friday, July 19, 2013

We got it!

Today after yoga, I had to take Daniela's MacBook pro to the apple store because it has decided not to turn on in London. On my way, I got a text from Daniel instructing me to scratch the apple store off of my to-do list, and instead go pick up our keys to our new flat! Woohoo! Especially because we were told that it would be another week, it was such a surprise! I still managed to go to Apple, and then I turned around and went back to SJW (it's easier to type that then St John's Wood...from now on, I'm just using the acronym).

SJW was wild today because of the cricket tournament! I was early getting the keys, and tried to go grab some lunch as I waited...every restaurant was packed and reservations only! Our new flat is a block from the cricket stadium, so we will have to go watch a game, regardless of the fact that it is an impossible sport to understand.

ANYWAYS, I got our keys and met our landlord! It is a Hungarian couple in their mid 50's- 60's and they live above us. Super sweet, even left us a card on our counter!

I mean, really? Have you ever seen a cuter key? It only took me 10 minutes to shimmy it into the lock and turn without breaking it in half...

So, now we are ferociously buying plates, pots, fans, rubbish bins,towels, blankets, irons, tvs...the house is furnished at its bare minimum. I'm really sad that our vacation budget is taking a beating, but we gotta feel like home in this new place! 

A better day

Lately,  I'll wake up thinking, "Ok. It's happening. Here's the day where I have nothing to blog about, the day where it sets in that this is my new normal, the day where I am bored and and don't know what to do." But then I go outside, take a new turn, and voila: something else new and wonderful is stumbled upon.

Don't get me wrong, I realize I've only been here for nearly 3 weeks. There are still plenty of PLANNed things to do and see and experience. Museums, palaces, parks...I'm not really talking about that. I more mean everyday routines and occurrences that y'all probably would get bored if I wrote about.

Example: "Today's hot. I went to yoga, sat in front of a fan for hours while watching bbc, and did 5 loads of laundry because our washing machine holds max 3 shirts and 2 pairs of trousers (not pants. Pants are underwear. Never tell someone you like their pants in the UK)." See? No body wants to read that.

So, back to my point. I thought that today wouldn't merit blogging about. But, I stumbled on another neat thing about this city.

It was such a beautiful day (we are back in the 80's woohoo!) and I knew it had to be enjoyed. There is a grassy area (too small to be a park) a block away from our flat, so I took my yoga towel and Rick Steve's travel book down to it to read, expecting a quiet and peaceful afternoon. 

Lo and behold, there was a mini festival going on for the Tour de France! People were watching recaps on a huge outdoor movie screen. Food trucks and bar stands were set up offering refreshments. I got a Pimms with lemonade, mint, cucumber, and strawberries, and enjoyed it while reading Rick's tips on traveling through Europe and soaking up breezy yet sunny day. 

I know it's small, but it's things like this that make me happy and show me that even in Canary Wharf, there is always something new to discover!

Today was a better day for me and for Daniel, too! We declared today his birthday do-over and are trying to plan a few trips now that we are getting a tad more settled.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Daniel's Bday

Yesterday was Daniel's birthday, and I wish it could have been a better one. I was too grumpy to blog yesterday about it, but today is a new day, and I am choosing to be happy and positive.

With that being said, I still need to blog about yesterday and I know family wants to know how Daniel's birthday was.  I apologize in advance for not making it a better bday!

Let me start out with this: it is friggin HOT. I know I have been so redundant, but really. This is the worst heat wave the UK has had in nearly a decade. People are dying. And there's no shelter from the heat, unless it's in a cold shower. So there's that.

Secondly, we are still not in our permanent housing and received notice yesterday that this might not work out. We were supposed to move on Friday, now if it works out, we will move next Friday. However, the landlord might not have full ownership of this flat, which makes it a no-go for Total. Which means we have to start this whole process over and PRAY that our temp housing can extend our stay, because our time here was supposed to come to an end next Wednesday.

Thirdly, the AC broke at our house back in Houston. Happy birthday, Daniel! The system is only 3 years old and has never given us any problems, but breaks within a week of our tenants being in our house. Typical, huh? On top of that, there are just some kinks being worked out with our tenants realizing they are in an old HOME, not a shiny and new apartment. I do have faith that this kind of thing is normal within a couple's first week in a new place, and hopefully they will love our house like we did. Regardless, Daniel had to deal with them all day ( they are very nice people and all is ok, still not want Daniel wants to do while he has so much work to do. I don't have my US #, so they call him instead of me).

Thirdly, Daniel didn't get off work until 7 pm last night. I had decorated the flat with balloons, a banner, and a cake...and I was just waiting, laying on the couch and playing Candy Crush all sad that he had to work so late. I had planned on us going to a dumplings restaurant (one of Daniel's favorite
things).  At 7, Daniel texted me that he was going to go to the pub by work with coworkers and I should join. And I'm going to humble myself and let y'all know, I was not a good wife about that. I was very upset because I wanted things to go according to the plan I had: him come home from work and see my decorations, us go to this restaurant I had found that I knew he would love, come home and eat cake. 

So, lastly, Daniels birthday wasn't as good as it could have been because I wasn't a very flexible wife. I knew I was in the wrong, but just couldn't get over my plans being ruined (instead of just going with it and enjoying our time together). So I went to the pub, but when we left, we got in an argument about it. Thankfully, after sharing how our miscommunications caused the argument, things were back to normal. I just still feel bad for the way I reacted...on my husband's birthday! 

So, there you have it. Between the heat, our flat, our houston home, a late day at work, and me being a brat...it won't go down for being Daniel's best birthday. And he deserves it more than anyone else. He actually told me ON HIS birthday, while I was being a biotech (family inside joke we use in place of biotch), that everything he does is for my happiness...that's what makes him happy. Yah. I wish I could have made yesterday a better day for him. We are having a do-over today, and hopefully it will be! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One Singular Sensation...

Last night after work, Daniel and I went to the Palladium in Soho to see A Chorus Line. We got an excellent deal off Groupon- £19/ ticket! Usually it is impossible to find theater tickets for less than £50, so I was happy and knew hat even if we didn't like it, it was a deal we couldn't pass up.

The Palladium was beautiful AND only two tube stops away from our new place (which we still don't know if it is actually our new place...) but was about 20 minutes from where are now in Canary Wharf. Since we got there a little early, we got drinks and enjoyed them in the lobby.

Once we took our seats, we were very happy with the groupon purchase. We were in the bottom section, very close to the stage! 

The theater was over 100 years old. Its walls were made of beautiful orange marble and dark wood paneling. Something I love about London is how old everything is...feels so different then back 

I have never seen a play that I didn't like, so I really enjoyed the show. I loved the opening number and it's my new song for finding a job in London. "Sing" and "I can do that" have kind of merged into one song and keeps playing over and over again in my head. I of course loved "One" and might have almost cried when all the actors came out in their shiny gold costumes and performed it. 

Daniel on the other hand...

When we came out of the theater, he was very quiet. I could tell he was thinking about something, but didn't want to say it in fears of hurting my feelings. 

I kept asking him what he thought about the musical, and instead of answering, he would reply, "Well, what did YOU think about it."

Me: "I loved it, how about you?"
Him: "Really? You liked it? Well that's good."
Me: "it wasn't my favorite. But I still enjoyed it."
Him: "Good!"

Daniel hates bursting my bubble and was worried that I would be sad that he didn't enjoy it, but I finally made him snap after my millionth question about his feelings towards A Chorus Line. 

Evidently, there was no plot. 

There isn't supposed to be a plot! It's not a story! It is more a snippet of the life of a of an audition and the dancers participating in it.

Supposedly, it was too predictable. All the male dancers were gay blah blah.

This musical was made in the 70's , when coming out was still not as accepted as it is now! Back then, that wasn't predictable! 

And, to top it off, that girl singing about her tits and ass was annoying and redundant. We get it. You got a boob job and now people hire you for jobs. Go you. 

I had to agree with him on that, but singing about your butt and boobs does make for an unforgettable song! 

Ok, so Daniel didn't quite say it like that, t that is how my brain interpreted it :-p

We decided that next play needs more theatrics and more of a story. I've seen Chicago, Wicked, Lion King...if you have any other suggestions for man friendly musicals, let me know!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Walk Through the Park

Today after an AMAZING yoga class, I decided to pick up some healthy grub and green juice and walk to Hyde park.

Before I got to my destination, I was distracted by a park that's name I don't know. There were games there, huge trees to picnic under, and even a lady singing opera. I decided that I was hungry and wanted to stop there to eat my lunch.

There was both a statue of FDR and one of Ronald Reagan at the park. I then realized that I was right next to the US embassy. I walked up to it, and it was guarded by a bunch of men with huge guns. Let me note that the Canada embassy did not have this...

I made it to Hyde park and the gardens next to it. Most of Hyde park was under construction for an event, but I loved the gardens! Better than the gardens we had to pay £16 to see yesterday! 

I then started walking through Green Park to get to the tube.

Tonight we are going to see A Chorus Line and I can't wait! We found a groupon and got a great deal on tickets! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kew gardens and the Helltrain

Today we took advantage of the warm, sunny weather and made a trip to Richmond to see the royal Kew Gardens. They are the oldest gardens in the world and a world heritage site. 

The greenhouses are also the oldest in the world. They were very pretty and Victorian. 

It was so hot and humid in the greenhouse- the perfect place to be in to remember the the summer we left in houston! 

The gardens are huge- 200 acres and several miles of trails. Plus, we were tired from the heat, sun, and previous night's festivities. 

More greenhouse action. One little English boy was next to us, looked at his mom, and yelled in the cutest accent "bor-ing!". Really, probably only interesting to a select niche of people. 

This was my favorite. We are actually 9 stories up, in the trees. There were tree top bridges there that offered wonderful views of the park. We were pretty tired from all of the stairs!

We got tired. Again. This park was so quiet and relaxing, we just couldn't help ourselves but to rest in the nice breeze under the shade of the trees! 

We got to tour the palace and it's kitchens. I didn't take many pictures, but it was nice. We've seen better, but I'm still glad we got to see them.

I would recommend these gardens only to those that ever live in London or would be visiting for longer than a few weeks. It is quite a hike to get there, and there are so many parks in London that are free and half as nice as the gardens. I think I was a little under whelmed, but I'm still glad hat we went. We had a nice relaxing Sunday....

...that is, until we got on the tube to return...

Let me start with this...It normally takes about 50 min to get from where we were to the gardens. 

As soon as we got to the station, I realized I had lost my tube card, along with my hotel key and yoga pass. Thankfully, there was only about £7 left on my tube pass, but I was still upset with myself for losing it. If only I would have known that this was just the start to our tube ride from hell.

Y'all, the tube is HOT in London. Not enough to normally make me break a sweat, but enough to be pretty uncomfortable. Usually, there is somewhat of a breeze when it moves which makes it bearable and if it is underground, at least it is shaded.

The tube came to a screeching hault while being in the sun, as opposed to underground or in a tunnel. The driver came on the intercom and said the signal wasn't working to go in the tunnel, it would be 5 minutes.

30 minutes later, we are still stuck, waiting for the signal that no other trains were approaching and we could go in the tunnel. It is scorching hot. I'm drenched in sweat. It is so unbelievably stuffy, I'm starting to feel claustrophobic and like I might faint. I'm literally shaking and just wanting to pry the doors open and get Air. There were older people on the train complaining that they thought they were getting heat stroke.

Finally, after maybe 40 minutes, it goes. The train cheers! We make our next stop, some get off, some (including us) stay in, while more people come into the train. One of these new passengers is a man wearing a long, thick trench coat. I think he's Eastern European. He sits by us and immediately starts speaking unintelligibly, but I heard him say the F and C word, and Daniel heard him saying "Yankee". We are pretty sure that he's drunk, but I'm freaked out. No one else is around us. We get up to move, he follows us.

And then the helltrain stops. Again.

We are sitting there, now with a crowd of people, and this man just keeps going on and on in what we think is either another language or he is so drunk that we can't understand him. It sounded like he was putting a curse on us, he had SO much anger in his voice. Everyone is ignoring him, but looking at each other like "wtf get me off this hot train with this crazy man who is probably putting a curse on us".

10 minutes go by, and we decide that we are gtfo-ing next stop, no matter what. We'll figure out a new way to get home once we are there. Thankfully the train starts and as soon as it stops, we do indeed gtfo of that train.

Along with a million other people.

A sea of people are pushing and shoving to get there way out. A woman falls. Daniel is holding on to me, and I am feeling weak and legitametly scared that I am going to get trampled or pushed into the subway. 

We figure out how to make it back to canary wharf, but miss the first trains due to them being literally crammed with people. We finally get on, and I don't even need to hold on to the rail, there are so many people surrounding me that I am being held up. 

We finally made it back. The trip, all together, took 2 sweaty, nerve wrecking hours. I needed another nap under the trees after that one!

And that, my friends, was my worst experience of London so far. The train was hot as hell, contained  the traveler from hell, so we concluded that it was, indeed, the tube ride from hell. I wouldn't be surprised if the driver was Satan himself. I'm just thankful this happened while I was with Daniel,


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