Sunday, June 20, 2010

My summer weekend was...


Temps are up and humidity is on here in NYC. I had a great, relaxing but just-busy-enough-to keep-my-always-running-around-self occupied weekend. It was...
  • a Summer Friday of dentist, dance, dinner, done.
  • catching up with a great friend I don't get to see often enough and laughing about our embarrassing moments. (Like the time I thought I was being pulled over by a cop back in my So Cal days. Key word is thought.)
  • dancing to the new Lady Gaga (Not even out yet folks. That's right.) in my jazz class. Worked. It. Out.
  • hurting all weekend because I haven't danced since my trip to London.
  • babysitting my roommate's dog (who she shares custody of with her ex) for a few hours -lounging with her on roomie's bed while working on my Shutterfly book from my London trip and watching The Office on DVR. Seriously. I need a dog.
  • walking through Central Park to meet roomie with the dog and happening on the tail end of a marriage proposal. So cute I almost cried and I'm not a mushy person.
  • a night out with a great friend and roommate, dinner at one of my fave restaurants from my UES days, and realizing at a club that we are not club people.
  • promptly leaving said club to go to another really cheesy and college-type place.
  • looking around about an hour later and realizing we were over it for the night. It happens.
  • brunch at the Boat Basin (new fave place!) with roommate and the dog.
  • going crazy with the debit card at summer sales.
  • good conversation, new faces, great food, and precious time on our patio tonight. Humidity be damned!
It is SO GOOD to be back. Bring on the summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

London - Six Years Later, Part 4

Day 4, May 15th
Portobello Market & Leicester Square

On Saturday we decided to go to London's largest outdoor market on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. It was crazy, crazy busy but we made it through the tables of antiques, cheap mass-made dresses and scarves, food, and then finally to area by Ladbroke Grove tube stop where there were tons of original clothing and jewelry stalls.

I bought a scarf, two pendants and a necklace. We decided to bail on the crowds and took the tube to Soho where we went for Thai food (and I left my new purchases in the restaurant then had to go all the way back and get them when we were at the Oxford Circus tube station later). We went for tea and sweets at Mrs. Marengo's and then went back "home" to nap before our night out. We joined two other girls at a bar/club in Leicester Square where the European house music was plentiful.

A smattering of random pictures from the day:

Baker St. Tube Station - Sherlock was everywhere!

Love this.

Portobello Road

Portobello Market shop - super cute.

street performers at the market

at an antiques stall

London - Six Years Later, Part 3

Day 3 - May 14th
Bath, England

On Friday morning my friend and I boarded a train at Paddington Station for a day trip to Bath. The forecast wasn't the greatest so we crossed our fingers for decent weather. It turned out not to be that bad. We arrived at the Bath Spa train station around 11:15 am and immedi
ately set off on foot to find the Roman Baths.

Right next to them we saw Bath Abbey.

We decided to tour the Roman Baths, the only natural hot springs in the UK. It was really interesting to see the ruins. Probably one of th
e oldest things I've ever seen outside of a
museum collection. This is the view from the terrace. The statues date to the late 1800's when the baths were first discovered.

After touring the baths, we made our way up toward Bath Circus and stopped to take in the view at the Pluteney Bridge where I took this black and white.

We also happened upon this cute little maze. Not quite the hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace, it was still fun.

Here's what we found at the end:

We went to the Jane Austen Centre (which, honestly, I thought was a bit overrated and we could have done without the over-animated talk at the beginning that lasted 15 minutes). From there we finally made it up to the Circus and the Crescent. We then went to Sally Lunn's, the oldest house in Bath which is now a museum and restaurant where we had a famous Sally Lunn bun and some tea. We tried to do some shopping afterward but quickly found that all the stores in Bath close around 6 pm. Our train wasn't until around 8pm so we went into a hotel bar and had some drinks while we waited.

Up next, Portobello Market and random tube pictures!

Look for more London? Find it here!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

London - Six Years Later, Part 2

Sorry the pics are so small in the last post. I took over 300 (!!) so I want to share as many as I can without my poor little blog giving out. I've increased the size this time around since there are a tad fewer and it is easier to see them!

Day 2 - March 13th
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben & Parliament, & Billy Elliott!

I didn't do any museums or palaces on this trip.
My goal was just to walk the city, visit as many of my favorite sp
ots and new ones I hadn't gotten to see. I decided to start out in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park as I only went once during my semester in London six years ago.

Kensington Palace
(I almost went in, since this is pretty much the only of the London palaces I haven't been in yet, but decided to explore the gardens instead.)

Swan in the Serpentine (Hyde Park)

A gosling! He was so cute!

It is touristy but I loved seeing Big Ben again...

and the Houses of Parliament.

That night we went to see Billy Elliott on Broadway. It was awesome, especially those boys. Such talent! Outside the theater in Victoria we met Little Ben! I didn't even know he existed.

Little Ben

Little Ben's Apology for Summer Time reads: "My hands you may retard or advance. My heart beats true for England as for France."

It's OK, Little Ben. You're forgiven!

Monday, June 14, 2010

London - Six Years Later, Part 1

Here it is! The much-delayed recap of my lovely trip to London.

I left for London on the May 11th out of JFK airport on a morning flight. The flight itself was delayed TWO HOURS because they were waiting on a piece of paper to be signed by the powers-that-be (or so they told us). This meant I watched an entire movie on the tarmac: Did
You Hear About the Morgans? (Trust me, skip it). Once we were finally off the ground the flight went smoothly. I was able to stretch out as I had a row to myself and I watched two other movies: Extraordinary Measures (with Brendan Fraiser and Keri Russell - it was pretty good.) and The Messenger (with Woody Harrelson - which was excellent!)

I arrived in London much later than I had anticipated and because I do not have a fancy phone, I could not call my friend. She and I had planned to meet on the platform at the Earl's Court tube station, however, I had emailed her to tell her I was delayed. Turns out that e-mail never got to her. To make a long story short, I ended up using a pay phone and finally got a hold of her after I took the tube to the Hammersmith stop and we agreed that I would take a taxi to her flat. I arrived after 1 am. Poor girl! She had to go to work the next day and since it was 5 hours earlier in New York, I hung out downstairs with her roommate's cat and perused my guide books while watching British telly.

May 12th: Southbank

Fast forward to day two. I rose bright and early because I couldn't wait to get back out and see London. I decided to take the Tube to Embankment and walk along the Southbank by the Thames. I crossed the Jubilee Footbridge, walked down past the Globe Theatre, Millenium
Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral and then across the Tower Bridge. I walked along the opposite side
of the bridge toward Big Ben and Parliament but had to head up Oxford Circus instead to meet my friend after she got off work. We then met some of her friends to play Pub Trivia. We were a team of Americans, an Australian and one Welshman who didn't arrive until 3/4 of the way
through the game. Needless to say we lost as we weren't exactly up on our British pop culture and trivia.

Books along Southbank. No surprise that this is one of the first pics I took.

The view from my restaurant table during a stop for lunch at Gabriel's Wharf.


The Millennium Bridge with St. Paul's Cathedral

The elephants are on parade all over London. This guy, who had a tube map on him, was my fave.

Walk along Tower Bridge

Best pub name ever

London Eye in the background

View of the Thames from South London

Saturday, June 12, 2010

by the sea

Today my roommate and I packed up her boyfriend's car and got the heck out of dodge. We pointed ourselves toward Jones Beach on Long Island and boy did it get this little California girl's heart goin'.

As much as I love this city and the fact that I can get practically anything and everything I want here all hours of the night and day sometimes I feel like just another cog in the machine, a rat in the race. So the chance to ride in a car (that wasn't a cab) and head to a place I'd never been to (and a beach no less) was thrilling. I even brought my camera along.

I bought a Nathan's hotdog, marveled at the color of the water, the roughness of the waves, and probably drove my East Coast-born friend nuts with my excitement and picture taking. I also discovered that the sun and beautiful water are good for my soul and getting away and seeing something new (no matter how small or insignificant) is really important to me.

I've decided to make it my summer goal to go to the beach often even if it means trekking there alone. I also want to continue to explore as much outside the cityscape as I possibly can. I'm up for anything!

Locals, I need day trip ideas!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Friday, I'm in love...

The It's Friday, I'm In Love Series

I'm participating in my first Friday I'm in Love, brainchild of the lovely Summer at B is for Brown (who I will be meeting soon!) Here goes nothing!

My new water bottle - People at work make fun of me for it but it helps me stay hydrated throughout the day and I don't have to fill it up as much! Plus I bought it at CVS and it is cheaper than a Camelback or Nalgene and BPA free.

HonesTea White Peach Tea - I heart this. So yummy. I'm embracing summer and drinking lots of iced tea lately.

Not being able to decide between a few career paths. - I have been complaining about this lately but last night I was thinking about how lucky I am that I have several ideas and options readily open to me as opposed to no options as is the case with so many women in this world.

Going to the beach tomorrow. East Coast beaches kind of rock my world a bit because the sand and waves feel different and you tend to have to pay an entrance fee but I'm excited for a bit of sun. I will be bringing my SPF game though!

The Bells by Richard Harvell (out in September) - Wonderful historical fiction with a gothic feel. Unlike anything I've read in this genre! So good!

What do you love today?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ballerina or astronaut? If only it were still that simple.

I am in my mid-twenties.

This is not so old. At all, really.

Yet I feel as if I am going through a quarterlife crisis.

OK, don't laugh.

I'm calling it What Color is MY Parachute (after the best-selling book of the same name of which I procured a copy through work). I mentioned disgruntled feelings a few posts back. I'm not really sure what I want but I know the status quo isn't cutting it for me. As detailed on my recent bucket list post, I want to do a lot. In fact, I kind of want to do it all and then some. But I can't exactly be a career woman AND write a novel or go for my Master's and become a publishing big wig while living in London or some other foreign country. And I can't have this all and have kids in five years or can I? Scratch that last one.

My point simply is I'm still figuring it all out. I hear some of you right now and what you're saying is to the tune of "Duh!" If you were standing in front of me you'd surely be telling me that no one has it figured out, that I am young and have time to make choices and make mistakes. I know I will figure it out. What I want to be when I grow up, that is.

Do you know?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

a list of the "bucket" variety

I've been thinking lately about all the things I'd like to accomplish. I thought about making a 30 before 30 list but that seems like a lot of pressure. So I'm making a pretty standard "bucket list" here. I've included all the major things. I'd also love to learn to play guitar (though I can't sing to save my life), learn to really cook, and, of course, get married and have children but I focused this list on things that I think are more major (and a few smaller things also). When I look at it as a whole it seems like so much but I guess that's why I have a lifetime to do it all!

1. See more of Europe.

2. Go on a volunteer vacation to South Africa.

3. Write a novel (or two).

4. Take on a cause I really believe in.

5. Live in London.

6. Get a Master's degree.

7. Trace my family's ancestry.

8. Be "director" of something.

9. Make a difference in someone's life.

10. Organize something for a charity or non-profit.

What is on your bucket list?

Friday, June 4, 2010


OK, first things first.

My apologies for the drive-by post by the nut job the other day. I have no idea who that woman was but she's gone now. Thank God!

I've been writing. I signed up for a fiction writing class and have a few ideas in my head. A few!

I'm not sure what direction I want to go with this blog yet. I'm toying with the idea of going completely public, putting my name and face on everything and really establishing myself that way.

It is so hot out. After a rough couple of weeks, the sun is breaking through.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

two for two

I'm sick. Again.

A bad chest cold this time.

I have no energy for new blog stuff. I have no desire to hide my frustration with the fact that I am sick. AGAIN.

I am pouting because while many a friend barbequed and beached it up yesterday, I took a massive dose of Mucinex and PM medicine and watched an all day marathon of Tori and Dean.

Today I feel worse. I'm feeling all sorts of sorry for my sick self and don't really give a flying kite how ridiculous I sound. My friends are off doing normal healthy people stuff like obsessing over paint colors, getting pedicures, and seeing boyfriends. The guy who owns the bodega on the corner practically hands me the Gatorade as I walk in the door.

It. Is. June. I'm supposed to feel light and summery. I'm supposed to rejoice in wearing skirts. I'm supposed to get up the nerve to hit on the cute guy who ran the 401k seminar at work today instead of muffling my cough every three seconds and wishing I would have given a crap enough to put on make up this morning. OK, maybe I wouldn't have hit on him anyway but he WAS cute. And he was young. And he had no ring on his finger. Yes, I leaned over ever-so-far to the right to check it out when he was explaining the difference between Roth and Traditional.

Soon the phelm will vacate my chest (gross image, I know. I'm sorry.) and I will remember what it is like not to feel like a mess.