Saturday, January 24, 2009

London Trip

We're back! We enjoyed every minute of our trip to London. I'm listing our full itinerary below, but for now enjoy the pictures:

We started off Thursday with lunch at a little pub near our hotel, the Hog in the Pound. The traditional lunch of fish and chips was delicious! We did a little shopping, and then it was time for the evening festivities. We had a pint at the pub next to our hotel, the Barley Mow, along with some of the guys Nick had been working with over there. We moved on to the top of the National Portrait Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, for cocktails. It was a great place for a drink, as it looked out over the square - what a view! We finished up with dinner at Waggamama's, a favorite noodle spot from my time in London during college.

Friday morning we woke up early and started at Westminster Abbey. I'm glad I took lots of pictures last time I was there because now there are no cameras allowed! I've been there a few times, and it's one of my favorite spots in the city. From the breathtaking Lady Chapel, to the coronation chair, to, let's face it - my favorite, poet's corner, full of memorials to famous writers, it evokes such a sense of history. From there, we strolled past Parliament and Big Bend to the Cabinet War Rooms. I decided that these were a must-see for Nick since it depicts people doing his current job during WWII. From there we stopped near St. Martin's in the Field for some lunch, then on to Covent Garden. Then we walked over the Buckingham Palace. If you look closely at the pictures, the flag was flying on top of the palace, which means that the Queen was there! After that we took the tube over to the Tower, only to find it closed to visitors. We snapped a few shots of the London Bridge, and took the tube back to the London Eye (the big ferris wheel looking thing). We tried to get some good pictures from there, but it was moving too quickly and they are all blurry. We finished off the day with a traditional Indian dinner.

Saturday we started off a bit more slowly. We began the day at Harrod's which was terribly crowded because of the "January sales." From there we walked along Hyde Park to Kensington, where the Imperial College is located. I showed Nick where I lived during my study abroad trip, my favorite coffee shop, etc. From there, we headed over to a tiny neighborhood in the middle of Mayfair called Shepherd's Market. This spot has been preserved in much of its nineteenth century character, and we were definitely off the beaten path. I had traditional bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) for lunch, and Nick had pie, both of which were tasty. After lunch we headed back to the Tower, and this time we were early enough to tour it. We ended our touring after that excursion because we had theater tickets for that night. We went back to the hotel, got cleaned up, and went for pre-theater drinks and snacks at a little place in Chinatown. We saw a great production of Chicago - we really wanted to see Wicked, but at $100 a person we decided against it. After the show we had dinner at a little French restaurant in Covent Garden called Cafe des Amis.

We woke up Sunday and headed to Paddington Station to catch our train to Heathrow. As you can tell it was a whirlwind adventure, but it was enough to confirm for us that we can't wait to take another international trip together as soon as possible.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best of the Rest

Here are some pics from the rest of our Christmas visit to Texas. Enjoy!
With And and Drew at their wedding spot

All the Reitmeiers and Halls at Barkin Ball benefitting Fuzzy Friends Rescue
Mike and Ede enjoying themselvesThe kids

Feeling a little sheepish at the Baylor/South Carolina basketball game. We've got our bear claws and our spurs up. We're glad we went, but the game last year in Columbia was much better.

This is it from Christmas. Next week, look out for London pictures. Nick and I will meet up over there on Thursday for a fabulous weekend.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas Part Two

Daddy's new reindeer PJ's

Mom and Dad fixing Christmas dinner

Nick, me, and my new Canon Rebel!

The Halls, waiting on the food, the brother, and the sister-in-law

Finlay was worn out by the end of the day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Break, Chapter 1

We're baaack! After two weeks on the road, Nick, Finlay, and I arrived home at our apartment in Columbia last night. Two weeks of fun, family, and friends produced lots of pictures and stories so I'm going to take the break a few pieces at a time.
Chapter 1, Part 1: Sunday School serves dinner at Salvation Army
Sunday, December 21st, our SS class served dinner at the Salvation Army. It was fun to see everyone in action, and Nick and I got to wear hairnets as we worked on the serving line!

Chapter 1, Part 2: Fire at Kensington Place
On our way into town, on day two of our 16 hour drive from South Carolina, Mom informed us that there had been some "excitement" since we'd last spoken to her from the Texas-Louisiana border. Excitement indeed! Mark, my little brother, had narrowly escaped a fire at his and Lauren's apartment. Fortunately he caught it before things got really ugly, and, in what may come as a surprise to some of you, he took their cat, Rocky, to safety before he went for any electronics. These pictures are of us trying to repair the hole in their wall, in the dark.

Stay tuned for pictures from Christmas Day, our visit to Austin, and New Year's Eve!