Monday, August 18, 2008

European Vacation - London

I went to London and Italy this summer with my sister and a bunch of other family members. It was a blast. Someday I'll get my London pictures posted. I even took a couple pages of notes which I will transcribe here:

July 4th
TIRED!!!!! Flew from LAX EARLY in the morning. Stopped at New York for a couple hours and got our first beers of the trip (Blue Moon) at DRINK! (it's a bar at JFK).

July 5th
Still tired! Flight cloudy - couldn't see anything although rumor has it that we flew over Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, etc. Took the Tube from Heathrow - look at all the old row houses on the way into the city. Very impressed by the Underground - nice trains and every train has a route map. Lots of lines around London and very easy to navigate. Went to Borough market with Mo and Nathan. Bought a pig butt and saw them butcher and wrap it right in front of us (would this place get a C in LA?). Also had some beers, mmmmm.

July 6h
Not tired. Saw Assassin in some neighborhood (can't remember). Also went to Borders and it was totally packed! Evidently everything in London closes by 6pm even though there were a ton of people. We went around some crazy shops that were unfortunately closed but did go to a bar with several animal skulls on the walls. Kronenburg beers is yummers and English appetizers are very fried (did I mention delicious?).

July 7th
Walked from Mo's apartment to Tate Modern (on the south side of the Thames). Kind of raining otherwise weather has been great. Was Judit Reigl (' Mass Writing'), Karl Schmidt Rotluff, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse ('Then Snail'), Fernand Leger ('Acrobat'), Max Beckman ('Prunier'). Took a ferry to have lunch with Mo near her job at Canary Wharf (go boats!). Saw Covent Square (lots of kitsch), had some pints and pics w/ Evan. Walked to Picadilly in the rain. Tried to go to the Cheers bar but their tap system wasn't working. Went to Chequers pub instead and were definitely the only Americans there. Fortunately I bought a Tube map T-shirt to really look like a tourist. For dinner we went to a Tapas bar. OMG it was so good. We got Chorizo but it was in sausage casing. Also had champaign with dinner which was a first. The Flamenco guitar guy was a trip - he sat on a stage over the door and played down to us.

July 8th
Adventures in the Tube with no tickets. Visited St. Paul's cathedral. Looked inside but didn't take a tour. Saw the standard London stuff - Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey. Walking toward Buckingham we stopped at a pub and got Fish & Chips and Kronenburg. I could really get to like London. All 400 pounds of me. Stopped at a Post Office to mail postcards - the employees were SO FREAKING HAPPY. I guess there's something to be said for a socialist welfare state? Walked to Buckingham where they were having some crazy party (also saw a Duck boat!). Ever single lady had on a crazy hat. Some of the foreign guys had military uniforms on with all kinds of crazy medals. But the hats. Wish I had some pictures. Some were big, some small, they all had feathers and were of varying colors. Walked through Green Park and got ice cream and coffee. Then walked through Soho and Canbury Street (FANCY PANTS). Stopped at a Blue Posts pub and got some Leffe's (best beer ever). Made it to the British Museum right before it closed so no Rosetta Stone for us. Did see a cool exhibit on masks from around the world (southeast asia were probably the scariest). Did some HW back at the flat (ugh). For dinner met some Raytheon people (hi Janet) at Village East. I got the hamhock thing. We also had some really good scallops. Went home and got ready for Italy.

July 9th
Left London by Tube to Heathrow. To be continued on next post.....

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