Wednesday, June 15, 2011

English Holiday-Part 4

Wow I feel like my vacation was months ago!  I really can't believe it has taken me this long to finish blogging about it.  I guess life has been busy!  I have noticed that work has been busier for me than usual which means I emotionally drained and exhausted by the end of the day and don't always feel like blogging at night.  I've also been dealing w/ some MS fatigue for the last week so that isn't helping.  On a positive note my friend, Noelle and I are walking twice a week.  She has MS too and we are motivating each other to be healthy and active.  It is great b/c there is no way I would do it on my own but since I know I have to meet her it makes me go.  I feel great and more energized afterwards!  Anyways what you really want to hear about is. . . London right!?  Here goes. . .

Have you heard of Primrose Hill?  It is a large park which is a part of Regents Park.  It is also a spot where you can see Central London!  Of course the day we were there was the one day it wasn't sunny!  We could see St. Paul's, the London Eye and a bunch of other things that I can't remember.  It was cool and also a place I had not been to when I lived in London so exciting for me to do something new.  Oh and yes I was out of breath by the time we climbed to the top of the hill - out of shape?  Nah.  It was a really steep hill. Ha!

We then walked around that area a little bit and had lunch at a cafe.  It was nice b/c we could sit outside.  Our next destination was Little Venice (aka - area where I use to live) so it made sense to walk through Regent Park to then get to a tube stop that was just one stop away from the one we needed.  We ended up spending a lot of time in the park.  We both like parks a lot and even though it wasn't a sunny day it was nice.  First thing we come across - 100s of little children dressed in white. . .what is the point of this game and are they having fun?  After watching for at least 10 minutes I still had no clue what was going on! 

We were almost to the roses when IT happen. . . Stacy spotted not one, not two, but three Cocker Spaniels.  Well let me explain.  Stacy had a Cocker (still does I guess but he lives in Boston and she lives in London).  Stacy is obsessed with Wallace and misses him very much.  So you can only imagine her excitement when she saw these dogs.  She about attacked the owner!  Ha!  She even offered to dog sit (he told her he works from home and was with the dogs all the time which translates to - who is the crazy dog lady that I just met that wants to come to my house and watch my dogs?!)  No he was very nice and I'm happy Stacy got her "fix" for the day!  But we had to keep going b/c gardens w/ many flowers were in our sight!

Who doesn't love roses?  There is just something breath taking about being in the middle of 1000s of roses.  I just can't help but smile when I look in every direction and see roses and all different colors.  I took so many pictures just trying to soak it all in and capture how beautiful is was/is.  I just couldn't stop every time I saw another "pretty one" I had to click away!  It reminded me of the rose garden at the park across from USC in Southern California which I also loved.  I wish Boston had a huge rose garden!  Anyways I digress.  Needless to say I liked it there and we had a nice time looking at all the flowers and hanging out.

Stacy and I both regret not taking off are dark jackets for the pictures!  It was a cool day but we could have been fine w/o them for the pics.  Oh well!  In additional to the roses there were so many other picturesque spots.  This was the point in the trip when my camera told me "low battery."  I wonder why?  Maybe a few to many rose pictures!?

The good thing about being there on a weekday afternoon is that it wasn't very crowded.  I love when you can have the whole place to yourself! 

Stacy and I in a sea of roses.  This time we remembered to take off our jackets!!

And then we FINALLY made it to my old neighborhood (a bit later than planned due to extended stay at Regents Park).  We walked down my old street, past my old flat and into "my" old pub, Robert Browning.  It looked the same mostly - new furniture which made it a little nice.  Still had the same neighborhood charm.  Stacy went to the loo and I ordered drinks and then the craziness started.  Let me back up and say that in general people in England don't chat w/ you in pubs and the men definitely don't buy you a drink.  It is not like Irish pubs where everything is friendly and chats your ear off and it is not like the USA where all you have to do is smile at a guy and you've got yourself a drink.  It is not like that at all.  But today, in my old neighborhood pub, while Stacy is in the loo, it happen.  An older gentleman talked to me, grabbed my hand and insisted I come closer and proceeded to tell me how lovely I was.  "Ok Stacy please pee faster and come rescue me from this man."  I'm forced to sit down.  Introductions are made.  They are friendly but an interesting crew.  Stacy returns.  More introductions.  We chat.  Stacy reads the paper.  New English friends think Stacy is "unfriendly" which gives us a good laugh.  They buy another round (for themselves).  We get a 2nd drink (really the only way we are going to survive this conversation/interaction).  The man tells us about his son serving in Afghanistan and then they start talking about politics, the war and Obama (who just so happen to be there and all over their media).  Conversation became more interesting.  We meet a woman in another group.  She is Irish.  Came to England to "start over" and is going to school.  Yes a friendly normal Irish person.  Haha!  Almost time for Billy Elliot.  Stacy and I start to plan our exit.  Man comes over and tells us for the 100th time how beautiful we are (good for a confidence boost if nothing else) and then tells us he is "pissed" which for those of you who don't know that means drunk!  Thankfully he wasn't driving home but he did plan to take the bus.  Scary!  Moments later Stacy and I head out as well.  I just laugh to myself and remember my college days when "the American students" would hang out there and all the locals would chat w/ us.  We loved it.  Some things never change. 

We didn't leave much time for walking around my old 'hood but we did walk back to the Tube via the canals.  They look just like I remember!  The blue houseboat w/ all the plants is still there.  I have a similar pic from 1995!  So many good memories brought back to me as we made our way to the Tube. 

Short on time we run into the little Italian restaurant next to the theatre.  Thankfully they are quick.  We eat some pasta and made our way to Billy Elliot.  I really don't want to re-live this next moment but quickly this is what happen.  I bought the tickets online prior to trip.  Somehow bought they for the wrong night.  Find this out when trying to pick up tickets at window.  Oh shit.  Tickets were not cheap.  Not only did the date that I had bought for happen the week earlier but we had no tickets for tonight.  Go home or buy new tickets?  Ugh!  I had to suck it up and buy us new tickets.  You only live once right?  I had come to London w/ plans to see this show and I knew I would regret it if I let money be the reason I didn't see it (especially since I had made such a careless mistake).  Stacy and I were not impressed that even though the show had started (like 5 minutes prior) the guy at the box office would offer us no deals.  He didn't feel bad for us at all even thought I was about to cry.  AND there were a ton of seats still available!  There was no way there were going to sell out so why not give us a deal on better seats?  Not going to happen so bought tix in the balcony and in we went.  It was a great show.  Somewhat depressing story line but awesome dancing.  The kid who played Billy was awesome.  Oh and during the show there was some kind of "technical difficulties" so there was an unplanned intermission which was rather long.  Stacy and I decide to look for better seats.  We walk down back stairs and ooops emergency exit only.  There was no way to get to the main floor of the theatre.  I guess they are prepared for the likes of us.  Ha!  So back up to our seats (which actually were good) we go.  We stopped and got a drink at the bar and they had a 50 pound minimum to use a credit card.  Really?  Do you really think someone is going to spend that much on drinks at the theatre?  I had no cash but thankfully Stacy has just enough for 2 drinks.  We needed them by then! 

All in all it was a great day and great night.  Oh and this night was the latest Stacy and I stayed up my whole vacation.

We hadn't planned much for my last day.  The only thing on the agenda was a blog friend meet up!  This was the first time I met someone in real life that I only knew from blogging.  Nat lives in London.  She has MS too and I found her blog soon after I starting blogging.  Stacy and I met her for lunch and it was nice to learn more about her.  We talked about London, the Red Sox (unfortunately she is a Yankees fan but her smart finance is a Sox fan), MS, life, work and anything and everything.  It was nice.  Nat is a great girl with such a positive attitude despite having to deal w/ some of the struggles MS puts on our lives.  She faces it head on and doesn't let it slow her down!  Thanks Nat for treating us to lunch.  It was so nice to meet you in real life and if you are ever in Boston I'll take you out (and to a Sox game)!! 

That afternoon Stacy and I were low key.  We walked around a bit, went to a book store, a coffee shop (I had to have one last pastry) and then back to her flat to just hang.  We did venture back out that night for dinner in her neighborhood which was fun. 

As they say all good things must come to an end.  I couldn't believe that my vacation had gone so fast!  I did so much while I was in England and had such a nice time w/ Stacy.  

So that is the last of it!  Did you make it through this entire post.  I think I rambled more than usual.  I'm tired.  And distracted by Game 7.  By the way the Bruins are winning 3 to 0!  Yay!

So make sure you check out my other vacation posts b/c we did a lot more in England and you don't want to miss out! 

Oh and I didn't proof read this (not that I ever do) but this time I have a feeling there are more typos than usual.  Too bad!  Lol.


  1. did you run into Peter Pan?! Oh, wait. No, he played in the Kensington Gardens ;)

  2. It looks like you guys had a wonderful time!! I hear ya on how long it takes to document a vacation! If I don't document daily as I go, I feel like I NEVER get caught up again!!