Monthly Archives: May 2007

Halfway point

I am over half way through my trip to England, so it is about time for another update. London continues to be a very fun and easy place to be, aside from being extremely expensive, as everyone knows. This past weekend was tourist weekend, and fortunately the weather cooperated.

DSC05873Friday night, after a long week of working and drinking, we needed to get out and relax. So we headed to the Leicester Square area, which was full of theaters, tourists, and people out for a good time. We stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant, Pacifico, which Aaron remembered as being great. I was very skeptical as I had heard about so-called good Mexican food in Europe, but I was pleasantly surprised. It had a great bar where they made some of the best margaritas I’ve had (and they made them without measuring out the alcohol like they do everywhere else), and the food was as good or better than any I’ve had in California. It was a little taste of home, and we had a great time.

Me at Tower BridgeSaturday, Aaron and I went down to the River Themes and got a boat to the Tower of London. He had never been, and The Tower was one of the few things that I had wanted to see here since I have seen it in so many movies and I have read about so many people dying there. The Tower of London turns out to be a full day. There are tours to take, lots of towers and exhibits to explore, and the crown jewels to see. The weather was sunny, and we had fun wandering around the huge complex, always mindful of the time as there was a 3:00 FA finals game too watch as well.

After we were castled out a bit, we got back on the boat and continued to Greenwich, passing the few tall buildings in London and lots of fancy condos, and then found a (smoke-free!!) pub to watch the game. Since the Tower took longer than we expected, we didn’t have too much time to see Greenwich, especially since the football game went into overtime. We wandering through the market and then got back on the last boat towards London.

Very very big statueSunday turned out to be an equally nice day, so we stopped by a Lebanese grocery store to pick up food for a picnic lunch in Hyde Park. We past Speakers Corner, where all the crazys shout about all sorts of nonsense (just like in The Life of Brian). Then it was off to the British Museum where we saw all of the highlights: Elgin marbles, the Rosetta Stone, mummies, etc. I was surprised that there was no security, not even someone looking in your bag, and that you could take pictures with a flash. Museumed out, we wandered slowly back to the flat, stopping for a pint along the way, and then settled in for a quiet evening at the flat.

This week we are working again, and we are trying to figure out what to do with our long weekend ahead of us before I have to fly home. Then we have to figure out what to do after that, but that’s a whole other issue…

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First week in England

View from Aaron's flatIt has been just under a week since I arrive in England, and I have seen just under an hour total of sunshine. And I haven’t been so good about blogging, but thanks to everyone who has emailed to check up on me! I posted pictures of my trip so far on Flickr, and now I am trying to catch up on some writing.

Here is a quick rundown of my trip so far:

  • Arrived at Heathrow without any problems Thursday afternoon. The passport lady asked me so many questions about the purpose of my visit and who I was visiting that I thought I was going to have to go into personal details that even my friends don’t know.
  • The next day, surprisingly not jetlagged, I went on a customer visit in Yeovil, which is a town west of London. We drove right past Stonehenge, which was right there on the side of the road with a little sign at the exit. It is really just sitting there with nothing around it, but it must be only 50 yards from the highway.
  • On Saturday, we went to the market at Portobello Road before catching the train to Leeds. There were train delays, but we made it in time, and had fun at the wedding reception that night, dancing to a great funk/rock band.
  • Sunday morning, we had a traditional English breakfast with the newlyweds (well, I had poached eggs on toast) before continuing the whirlwind tour of Yorkshire.
  • We caught a train to Hebden Bridge, where we hopped out, rain through the rain, played a few games of pool at the pub with Aaron’s friend, and then hopped back on the train towards Manchester.
  • Then in Manchester we hopped off the train, had some pints at the pub (well, I had tea because I was so cold) with Aaron’s sister, and then hopped back on the train to London. Yet another train delay meant that we didn’t get back until after 11, so after that weekend, I was ready to relax in London for a while.
  • This week, I have been here in London, working at the flat, talking walks to see the sights, and doing some shopping.

That should bring you mostly up to date! More to come!