Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Quite a contrast from yesterday, our Sunday is bright and sunny. Teresa and I, after consultation with Andrew, will be heading into Central London for a day of sightseeing. This is Teresa's first trip to London, so Andrew plots us a route which maximizes our exposure of the city.
I'm in it just for the ride. My only "must do" while visiting is to make sure I get to Fortnum and Mason. Because I'm all about the tea and biscuits. Forget about all the monuments, the history, the architecture, I'm here to eat!
Speaking about eating, did I mention Andrew is a major foodie and gourmet cook? Check out this morning's brunch - Boudain Rouge with Apples and Pine Nuts.
And yeah, "Boudain Rouge" is a fancy term for blood sausage. But it was delicious!
We took the tube from Hammersmith to the Tower Hill station, which brings you out to the Tower of London.
We walked around the Tower, and then across the famous Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames
This southerly walkway is called the Queen's Walk, and winds through numerous areas, museums and sights. These colorful baby elephant sculptures dotted the landscape wherever we turned. They are part of the Elephant Parade throughout London.
Since we've arrived in London, Teresa has been on the lookout for traditional fish and chips. We found some at the Anchor, an English Pub along the river:
In true UK fashion, the fish and chips are purchased at a counter inside the pub and then taken away to eat. We watched our fish come right out of the fryer and onto the plate. Served with malt vinegar. Yum.
Next on our walking tour - the Millennium Bridge. You know, the famous footbridge featured in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Teresa recognized it as soon as we got close.
The bridge spans from the Tate Modern on the South Thames to St Paul's Cathedral on the North Thames. We walked across and back.
Once past the Tate Modern, we start to see street performers and vendors. I found this blue man quite interesting:
And the most unusual skate park. Underneath the Royal Festival Hall, this skate park is covered with graffiti. Very unusual.
We passed the London Eye and started to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and Parliament.
We cross the Westminster Bridge and catch a great view of the London Eye and the London Aquarium:
One of my favorite shots of the day - The Westminster Tube Station with Westminster Abbey in the background:
We walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus, a little underwhelmed by the "original Times Square". It pretty much looks the same as it did 20 years ago, during my first visit to London.
It's almost 5pm now, and we have some serious business to attend to - shopping at my favorite London spot, the Fortnum and Mason! We know that the store is open until 6pm, so we have ample time to peruse the vast selection of coffee, tea, jellies and jams. I even ventured upstairs this time and had to tear myself away from the cute tea sets and china.
The last leg of our day entailed taking the Route 9 bus back to Hammersmith. We were instructed to be on the lookout for the "Special Route 9 Bus", aka the "Routemaster Bus". You alight these buses from the back of the vehicle. They run an abbreviated route - from Royal Albert Hall to Trafalgar Square. I spotted one of these buses as we departed Fortnum and Mason, and due to heavy traffic and us running down Piccadilly, we were able to board around Green Park.
Since this bus doesn't run all the way back to Hammersmith, we boarded another Route 9 bus (a modern double decker) and we arrived back at Michele's right on time, a little before 7pm.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
It feels like I'm back in the US.
Abercrombie and Fitch.
The Apple Store.
The Food Court.
Oh, wait, we don't have sushi going around on a carousel in the US.
Nor do we have falafel available at our food court.
The falafel platter was yummy. And despite the crowds (wow, was it ever crowded!), we had a good time.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Teresa and I finally made it across the pond to the UK, after "planes, trains and numerous delays". But we're glad to be here, hanging out with Michele, Andrew and (of course), nephew Felix.
I ran some errands for Michele, which took me by the closest Tube Station, Hammersmith.
Even though their house is a short distance from the hustle and bustle of a city borough, their street is so quiet. Like the city is far away.
There's nothing like having a baby sleeping on your chest. So much worth the trouble we encountered traveling.
We did finally arrive into Heathrow at 3:00 pm, only to wait another 45 minutes before getting to an open gate. An hour to get through immigration and customs, and we were on our way to Michele and Andrew's place in Hammersmith.
We are enjoying the clear, cool weather (55degF now). And, of course, our time with baby Felix.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We were on the plane when we learned one of the cargo doors had been damaged by ground crew loading luggage.
That was 10pm, and here it is, 1:30am and we're still waiting.
Hoping to get on the plane "soon".
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It’s my birthday and I get to meet up with one sister, Teresa, and travel all the way to the UK to visit our other sister, Michele.
The main reason for the trip - Michele and Andrew’s newest addition - little baby Felix, born just two months ago.
Teresa and I met up in the Philly airport and enjoyed a nice dinner before boarding the plane. Everything proceeding as planned... until we were informed that the cargo door had been damaged. We had to get off the plane and wait until 3am to board another plane.
At least by that time, I was so tired, I actually slept during the flight. More details tomorrow.....
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
We wrapped up a wildly successful soccer season tonight with a little celebration party with Erica's undefeated soccer team. The coach awarded each player with a small trophy along with kind, encouraging words from the season.
The best part - Erica will get to play on the same team in the fall. The 8th graders will move on, and new sixth graders will be added, but the current 6th and 7th graders who sign back up will be placed back with this coach. We were very impressed by the overall program and look forward to cheering on Team Green this September.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Just as Lilacs personified the end of May while I was growing up in Massachusetts, the Peony now personifies the end of May (and my impending birthday on Wednesday).
We have some busy days ahead of us, so I'm taking time now to pick and smell the peonies.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Hey, a shot of Scott at bat. No, it’s not baseball, it’s softball.
Buck asked Scott to play on his team of “mostly doctors” from Carle, and here we are - watching grown up softball on a hot Sunday evening. The Team’s name - the Medicine Balls. Appropriate for doctors, and goofy enough for Scott to appreciate. The best thing - these games are quick - an hour, tops.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Today's big event (for me) - the violin recital where I performed the First Movement of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14. Held at the Smith Memorial Hall on campus.
I tend to shy away from solo performances, as they bring out severe jitters and nerves for me. But I know that I will never overcome these jitters if I don't perform. So I do it and each time it becomes easier.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Last night's baseball game was canceled, and as I dropped off Erica at a band concert in the rain, I watched the baseball players scrambling off the field. But the rain was short lived and gave away to sun.
We're taking things easy tonight - off to bed early as both Brian and I aren't feeling well and we have a full day tomorrow.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Erica gathered this collection of flowers to enjoy inside.
I took a picture of her cutting the pink flowers, but she didn't want me to take her picture, so it will remain hidden (if you are a Friend / Family Contact of mine on flickr, then you'll be able to view it).
A lovely bouquet for us to enjoy at the kitchen table.
A little note about our May weather. It seems as if Mother Nature confused April and May this year - April was totally warm and sunny, while May has been cool and rainy. I guess in the end, it all balances out.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I am a little behind on these weekly summaries. I like to post them on Tuesdays, but last week I didn't finish it in time. I don't have Week 19's mosaic pulled together, so you get last week's instead. Hopefully I'll have time to post two weeks' worth next Tuesday.
On Tuesdays, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life. You can check out the other Project 365 participants there.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
A little bit of fun for today - the contents of the fridge.
I know it may seem odd to take a picture of this, but think about how food trends, appliances and even food storage quickly change. I bet in 10 years another snapshot of the fridge will reveal these changes.
On the top shelf - tonight's chicken noodle soup and spicy black bean soup in containers. On the lower shelves, you can see the wedge of watermelon (first of the season - it is quite good), strawberries, yogurt, milk, cherries and water. Just some of the highlights.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The last soccer game of the season, and Erica's friends came out to support her [actually, they slept over last night and didn't have a choice, but I think they had a good time watching her play, even at 8:30 in the morning!].
They spent some time texting.
But they showed their support of the Green Team:
And the team played a great game.
A little storyboard I made of Erica stopping, setting and kicking the ball:
Their team won and remained undefeated for the season. The girls celebrated by dousing their coach with their water bottles. A fitting end to a great season.
Friday, May 14, 2010
A very exciting yet stressful day of baseball. Brian was scheduled to pitch an inning for the first time. We have been practicing and based on our practice sessions, I was filled with worry. Worry that Brian would hit the batter, the umpire and the sideline coach.
Even during his warm up, he was giving Conner, the catcher, a real side to side workout. But then the batter stepped into the batter box and he started throwing strikes.
Of course, I couldn't watch. All I know is that he allowed one batter on base, struck out two, and the other out was a great play by George, covering 3rd, who threw to first base for the out.
The team continues to improve and it's been great to watch.
Outside my window is the inside of the office! I am sitting outside in the courtyard, where wispy clouds hang overhead.
I am thinking about the weekend activities.
I am thankful for the nice weather and the much needed rain.
From the kitchen - it's leftover night, although the amount the kids eat nowadays, there aren't too many of those!
I am wearing blue pants and a cream top, embellished with curlie-cues
I am creating entries for Project 365.
I am going to baseball tonight to watch Brian pitch for the first time.
I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I am hoping to get enough sleep tonight to effectively run early in the morning.
I am hearing the hum of motors from the compressors at work
Around the house - things aren't too messy right now, but that will change shortly
A few plans for the rest of the week: Horse riding, Baseball, Book Club, running, soccer, musicals, the Preakness and church
Here is picture I am sharing...some pretty yellow Columbine planted in the courtyard:
Have a nice Friday!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I returned home from running Brian around to find Erica lounging comfortably on the couch with Hannah resting on her back. After I took some pictures with her cell phone, I had to take some with my camera for today's P365.
She's texting the pictures I took of her to her friends. Because that's what they do.
Monday, May 10, 2010
It seems the only time I am in any of these pictures is when I set up the remote release. And when I get a haircut, like today.
I had it cut extra short. Well, I instructed her to take it off up to my shoulders. I didn't realize how short she would layer the back. But I like it. I think I look like my sister, Michele.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Who knew chives produced beautiful purple flowers? I planted the chives last year and this spring they sent up these heart shaped buds which opened up:
Just a little something pretty this Mother's Day.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
A freezing cold day at the soccer pitch. Today, I was prepared - I wore my winter coat, with the warm, fleecy hood, fleece gloves and a big wool blanket around my legs. And I was warm.
The girls stayed warm by running around the field.
The Green Team remains undefeated. We are so excited for the team!
This month's Gratitude theme is "Body", something I know we need day in and day out, although sometimes it doesn't want to get out of bed!
I blogged a little about running on my other blog last week, and every time I go out for a run, I am always grateful my knees and feet still allow the constant pounding of the pavement. Not everyone is so lucky.
Friday, May 07, 2010
That's what I think of when someone says "little baby chicks". These cute little guys are getting lots of attention at Brian's school. I was there this afternoon for a poetry reading event and had some time once school let out to check out the first grade classroom with the collection of cute babies.
Isn't he cute??
The kids get a true hands on experience with these guys in the class. I don't ever recall doing anything this cool in elementary school!