London – Day 4


We got off to a slow start this morning after going to bed fairly late the night before (ended up staying up late watching more of Dead Set). Our original plan was to head to Borough Market, but alas it is closed on Sundays. So instead, we headed out to a very busy Spitalfields Market. Our late morning was filled with eating crepes, muffins, spinach rounds, and a variety of salads from a vendor called Rainforest Creations (Ryan would eat there about once a week when he lived in London, see below).

After Spitalfields we headed to the Covent Garden area and walked around doing some shopping (both window and actual purchasing). From there we headed closer to our hotel and went to the Tate Britain to see the Richard Long exhibition. We stayed there until close, walked back to our hotel, and sat a spell pondering what to eat for dinner.

Ultimately after being exhausted from walking all day we made a plan to head to a nearby Pizza Express to grab some dinner. On our way (practically 2 doors down from Pizza Express) we came across Pimlico Tandoori, the food was good, the place filled with lots of locals, and the service was excellence. We also saw this adorable pup waiting for its owner outside the restaurant.

It was a great trip, can’t wait to come back again. Now it is time to pack and get to bed a bit early for an early trip to the airport and back home.




by Valerie | 09.06.09 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

London – Day 3


The day started early with a train ride to Hertfordshire so that Ryan could present a paper at the Design History Society Conference. Short of a parched mouth and lots of fidgeting, his paper presentation went well. Afterwards we went to the Hatfield House with Leslie Atzmon (Ryan’s colleague and panel coordinator). The Hatfield House is Queen Elizabeth I’s childhood home.

It was quite a beautiful day which made the gardens extremely enjoyable. No photos were allowed inside; but, the house, labeled “quaint” in a guidebook of ours, was quite the site to see with some amazing woodwork throughout the home. The gardens were also extremely pleasant to walk through. There was also a small, tiny display of historical toy soldiers on the site.

Afterwards we returned to London, grabbed a quick bite at a Mark’s and Spencer’s and headed to the hotel for a break. Dinner was more tapas and this time we had some delicious veggie paella at La Tasca (a spanish food chain we ate at in 2007).

The evening finished with delicious drinks (martinis, bourbon, and scotch) at the hotel bar/lounge.

Hatfield House-02-sm


by Valerie | 09.05.09 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

London – Day 2


We started our 2nd day in London with a ferry ride to Greenwich. We stumbled upon the Greenwich market where we grabbed lunch; I had a falafel wrap & Ryan had rice with vegetable tempura – we walked a short way & enjoyed our lunch in the park that was close by.

We then headed to the Royal Observatory where we stood on the Prime Meridian, browsed the displays there, & saw a show at the planetarium. Before we left Greenwich, we also managed to squeeze in a trip to the Queen’s House to view the painting collection on display; we wanted to stop at the Maritime Museum, but time got the best of us and the museum was closing.

So, we headed back to London & stopped at Tapas Brindisa for tapas and drinks, had a drink at the Royal Academy of Art (where Ryan thought there was an exhibition of Anish Kapoor’s work, but didn’t open until later this month), & ended up eating noodles at Cha Cha Moon and making friends with some locals before heading home.

At home, instead of sleeping and resting for his lecture, Ryan proceeded to stay up until about 2:00AM watching the TV series Dead Set – a zombie short series which aired on E4 in 2008 which has an interesting take on Big Brother as being the safe haven from the zombie invasion.


Ryan has started two flickr sets of this trip, one taken with his iPhone the other our regular point and shoot. And there is also my flickr account. Cheers!

by Valerie | 09.05.09 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

London – Day 1


Ryan & I have safely landed in London & survived our first day here. It’s now 9:32pm, London time, & 4:32pm Ann Arbor time &, except for about 2 or 3 short naps between Wed. at 7am when I woke up from my last full night’s sleep in Ann Arbor & right now, I haven’t slept & boy am I feeling it; everything’s been great so far though, except for the lack of sleep of course & I intend to remedy that shortly.

Our hotel, City Inn Westminster, is located in a nice, central location in the city & is easily accessible via the underground rail lines; the rates were reasonable & it’s a simple, clean place – no frills, but nice. The hotel is very close to Westminster & the Tate Britain Museum & a decent, but not too far walk, to the Hayward Gallery & the Tate Modern (both which we visited today).

Our first day in the city was made up of a stop at the Hayward Gallery & then the Tate Modern (where we had lunch at the Tate Modern Cafe). We intend to stop at the Tate Britain as well in the next day or so & possibly some others while we’re here. There were some really interesting exhibits, although I must admit that my brain was mostly fried from lack of sleep & by the time we neared the end of our walk through of the Tate Modern I was both physically & mentally exhausted.

We took the ferry on the Thames River between the Tate Modern & the Tate Britain to get back to our hotel as this was the easiest, closest, & most relaxing of our two options & much less hectic than the tube ride would have been. It was great to float down the river on a boat that was almost empty of passengers & both of us closed our eyes & took a short nap during the 20 minute stretch.

This evening, we enjoyed dinner out at a fantastic fish & chips place we visited last  time we were in London – The Golden Hind. This place is very small & family owned, their food is simple & their menu is small, but something about the way they fry up a fish is magic! I had the fried cod with “chips” (fries) & Ryan had the fried Haddock with “chips” & we shared a bowl of “mushy peas” & for dessert a chocolate sponge cake with custard on top (warm, steaming chocolate cake in a bowl swimming in a generous helping of vanilla custard that’s poured over the top of the cake).

We’ll try & post our activities each day we’re here, so check back for updates!



by Valerie | 09.03.09 | For Funsies, Travel | 2 Comments »

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