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Archive for March, 2011

Way Out

MIND THE GAP

This is going to sound dorky, but I really loved not driving in London. I love walking and biking and since moving to back to my parents’ house in the Austin suburbs, I’ve had to drive a lot more than I like. I’m sure if I actually lived in London, there would be things about the tube, buses and trains that would annoy me, but on the whole I loved it (even when I arrived back at the Waterloo train station at rush hour and was running for the tube so I could go back to the flat and change before going to the Oh No Oh My show in Brixton—WOW! there are a lot of people in London). I could read, write, go through my pictures or just sit and think without really worrying about how I was going to get to my destination.

Somewhere in Hampshire
On the train from London to Alton, somewhere in Hampshire.

Armed with a few aps on my phone, I managed to NOT ONCE get on the wrong tube line or go in the wrong direction. I will admit that due to poor planning on my part, I did get kind of, sort of lost when walking once or twice (once because I asked someone which way to go and they told me the exact opposite direction to go, lame!), but never for long and I never felt lost, so there.

Reading Dickens on the Train

Reading Little Dorrit on the train

Also, a special thanks to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film. Because of this scene, I knew how to use an oyster card and insert train tickets into the turnstiles without looking like Mr. Weasley, YAY!

St. James' Park

Also, I loved the parks. I wish I had time to pack a picnic lunch and just rest for a bit, but I did thoroughly enjoy walking through as many parks as I could. The snow drops and crocus’ were just popping out—I bet the parks are gorgeous when spring and summer is in full bloom.

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Tower Bridge

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” ~Samuel Johnson

I fell in love with London. I wasn’t planning on it—it just sort of happened. Maybe it was because it didn’t rain ONCE while I was there. Or perhaps part of it was meeting up with my brother & the band 48 days after I dropped them off at the airport for their 2 month European tour. Maybe it was the promise of meeting Kate, going to Jane Austen’s House and roaming around the parks, museums and touristy sights by myself. Whatever it was, it made me fall in love with London and I can’t wait to go back.

Why I Loved London: Part One

My Place in London


The basement flat where I stayed. I spent a lot of time researching hostels and motels in and around London—and honestly nothing (in my price range) looked decent or safe enough for a single female to stay at for three nights. Thank goodness one of the travel guides I perused at B&N mentioned Bed & Breakfast agencies, which led me to London Homestay Services. I sent an email inquiring about a single room with WiFi available and within hours I had an offer back for a private room in Chelsea for the same price as a shared room in a hostel. AMAZING!

Keys!

The lady I rented the room from was so welcoming and kind and full of helpful tips & hints and offers of tea when I came back in the evening—I would definitely stay there again next time I’m in London. I had my own keys (including a skeleton key!) so I could come & go as I pleased, the tube was a five minute walk away and I was staying essentially behind Harrods. Could a girl visiting London for the first time ask for anything more? YES…

Jane Austen Was Here!

…to walk by this every time I walked the long-way round back from the tube to the flat. Seriously, I had finally made from Heathrow, to the tube, dragging my suitcase along the sidewalk, hoping I was following the directions correctly to the flat when I saw this. It was like a sign from above: THIS WAS MEANT TO BE.

To be continued…

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A Case of the Blahs

On the Train to Edinburgh

HELLO DEAR READERS! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Oh well, that is how life rolls. It’s been ten days since I arrived back home from my trip to London & Scotland to meet Kate and I have only now finally unpacked my suitcase. I think I just liked having it in my room, pretending I was going to go off on another trip. But now it’s gone and packed away in the shed, awaiting my next adventure…whenever that may be. The first few days back home were actually pretty easy as I jumped right back into work and SXSW was in full swing, so I had loads of distractions. But now South By is over, Austin is back it’s normal weirdness (THANK GOD, because it was really annoying waiting half an hour to order a sandwich from my favorite little joint—a place that isn’t even really near downtown and all the SXSW madness) and I am left with a case of the blaaaaaaaaaahhhhhsssss. The blahs of working, paying bills, laundry & cleaning, drama amongst friends and everything else that goes along with “the real world” and “normal life”. I know this feeling is fleeting; I love my small, simple life. Maybe all I need is to slather on some red lipstick, have a chai and a good long ramble and everything will start to feel right again. I suppose if we didn’t have these moments of longing for adventure in the great wide somewhere, we wouldn’t appreciate the adventures when they do come around.

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