Sunday, February 10, 2008


I apologize for the long absence. We had an amazing time in London and Paris
only to return to a crazy busy week at work, and then a nasty cold that put me
into bed for the past few days. I'm feeling a little better now. So, things should
be returning to normal. The trip was filled with so many fabulous things that I'm
having trouble deciding what to start with.

We spent the first 4 days of our vacation in London. Here are a TON of touristy
snaps from that half of the trip.

This was an amazing cheese shop that we stumbled upon. I think it's Neal's Yard
in Covent Garden. There were stacks and stacks of giant rounds of cheese
and the smell as you walked by the door was pure yummy stinky cheese...

A few views along the Thames. It strikes me every time I go how much older
and more magestic the buildings are in Europe than the US.

Paddington Station and the Paddington Bear stand. Mmm I could do with some
marmelade about now.

The mecca that is the Harrod's store. I had never been inside before. It is HUGE!
Any department store that sells saddles and riding harnesses is ok by me! ;) I
didn't really purchase much on the London part of our trip, except a few souvenir
type things from Harrods and a few Paddington bears (more about this later). The
pound is just so strong right now and prices so much higher than in the US that I
couldn't bring myself to buy. I did do some browsing in TopShop and other high
street stores which was a lot of fun. I also went into Karen Millen on the off chance
that this cute yellow purse would be on sale, but no such luck.

I wandered by this display at Harvey Nichols. It was a bit of a romantic dreamscape.
Temporary tattoos featured prominantly on a bunch of the manikins.

I spent a few hours wandering through Hyde Park one afternoon. I loved that
there were lots of parks scattered through London. We rented a tiny little studio
apartment in Highgate, a rather posh area of London. Because of the time
change we woke up most days around 4am (only to feel like zombies later in the
day). We spent a few mornings jogging through Hampstead Heath. The first
morning was extremely dark and foggy and a bit eerie. Did I mention it was
dark? It was VERY dark and the sun didn't make an appearance until about 8am.
So, I'm not exactly sure what the Heath looks like in daylight, but from what I
could tell by moonlight it must be quite beautiful.

The requisite red double decker buses and telephone booths.

Outside the National Gallery. They were steam cleaning the square and I thought
that the steam rising up to envelope the lions looked rather cool.

Big Ben from afar.

The London Eye. We didn't go up in it this time, but we did about a year and a
half ago and it was a breathtaking view of the city.

More Big Ben pictures, at night.

One thing that was rather neat was that the first morning as we left for our jog around 6am
we saw a milkman making his rounds in Highgate where we were staying. He was driving
a little white truck, picking up empties and dropping off little glass bottles of milk. How
awesome is that?

As for the food, we had a few nice meals, including one rather yummy lunch at Mon Plaisir,
London's oldest french restaurant. They have a prix fixe that is pretty reasonable and the
desserts are scrumptious! We also had great fish and chips at the Flask pub, right down the
street from where we were staying. Unfortunately they were all out of the Sunday roast
which is supposed to be good.

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