Sunday, August 28, 2011

wandering thru london....

The week that we were flying over to London, the riots broke out.
So many people were telling us not to go, especially since we had
tickets to go to a football match in the same area  that the riots
broke out.  Good thing we didn't listen to everyone, as we had
a FABULOUS time wandering thru London.

As we were driving thru London on the way to our hotel, we
soon noticed that it was "business as usual"  The way the media
was showing London on our news stations - you would have thought
the whole entire town of London was on fire and completely looted.
It was nice to see that life was going on as usual and it felt so good
to be back! 

The first order of business after dropping our luggage off at the
hotel was to hit the ground running and head out to explore.  It
was early evening when we arrived, so we had a Italian dinner in
Covent Garden, dropped into a pub or two before retiring for the night.

While on vacation my early morning ritual is to get up super early
head out to do exploring on my own, get some coffee and by that
time my guy is usually starting to stir and we then head out for the
day.  Regent's Park was first on my list, as I didn't make it there
last year.  The weather that day was threatening rain, so we brought
our trusty umbrellas and set out to enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Love all the signage

and the gorgeous flowers

and fabulous lighting fixtures

It's funny that wherever we travel to, I am very drawn to parks
and gardens, but I rarely go to the ones in my own backyard,so
to speak.  I need to make that a priority!

As we left the park, we then entered the area around Great
Portland Street (loved it!) and just started wandering down the streets.
It started pouring rain soon after, so we stopped into a pub to
dry off for a bit and have a drink as we were a bit parched
from all the walking we had been doing.  As you might notice,
we get parched quite a bit during our vacations...haha...

I also have a thing for taking photos of pubs, I just love all the
flowers that they have everywhere and the comfy, cozy, homey
feeling inside the pubs that makes you feel like you are in someone's
living room. 

This was outside of a flower shoppe

As we were exploring a few different neighborhoods

I came across this cool looking piece of urban art!

For my birthday we decided to go see We Will Rock You - and it
sure did!  What a fun, fun show.  This theater is right around the
corner from our hotel, so we didn't have far to go to see it.

This looks like a cool show too!
Maybe I will be back to see this one too! 

We stopped in one night to see the Blues Jam
and had a wonderful time - so many talented
people in the world!

On my birthday I got a cute text from my niece with
a photo of Mason "singing Happy Birthday to me"
He is just the cutest, of course I am not biased or anything!

After coming in from an afternoon of touring London, we would
stop into the outdoor patio at our hotel to relax for a bit. 

Here I go again, with the pub shots!

One of my early mornings had me wandering around Covent
Garden and taking photos of shops - Shrek is made of jelly bellys

St Paul's Church

and pretty restaurant exteriors

Fresh fruit is always welcome in my life and I am so glad
that I came across this yummy cart!

One afternoon we just hopped on the Tube with no idea of where
we were going and I just picked a stop that sounded appealing

We ended up at St. Paul's Cathedral and went inside,
it was such a pretty church!

Loved their gardens and it's also a pretty popular place to
eat your lunch if you work in the area, so many people were
sitting around the edges of the garden enjoying their lunch

It was a nice, warm day too - an extra added bonus.

One place I was really looking forward to going
again was Hyde Park. 

We took a little rest on the park bench near the Police Station

and we found our way to the lake, we were very proud of ourselves
as we came into the park in a totally different direction from last year.

After enjoying a nice stroll and some time people
watching, we hopped back on the Tube to head

to yet another pub....we were definitely parched that day!

The football match that we were supposed to see in Tottenham had
been canceled a couple days before the match, so I had tentatively
decided to take a train trip to Cardiff, Wales.  However, our fab
concierge friends at our hotel asked if we still wanted to go to a
football match and since that was one of the main reasons, we stopped
off in London, we couldn't pass it up.  And we are so glad we didn't!
But I'd still like to see Wales, yet another reason to come back!

The walk alone from the Tube station to the Fulham Football
Club Stadium - Craven Cottage, was so beautiful!  I wanted to take
a few photos but since it was a game opener, there were quite a few
people on the path, so I kept moving.  The trees covering the path were
a few different variety's of weeping willow trees and they covered 
 the path like a canopy!  There was also a beautiful rose garden
not to mention another walking path along the river.

As we were sitting in a small park near the stadium watching the sailboats go by and waiting for the game to start, I noticed a statue of Michael Jackson inside the stadium - truly baffling to me, until I learned that the owner of the team was a friend of Michael's...although truth be told, I still find it odd for him to be in a football stadium.

Our last night in London, we stopped into a Mexican Restaurant/Tequila Bar and had a fabulous time.  My other half is Spanish, so we had fun talking to all the bartenders about where they were all from (they came from the same part of Mexico as my guy's grandparents) and they made us some pretty tasty drinks.  We then stopped into our hotel bar to say good bye to the best bartender/conversationalist in the world and ended up chatting with him until 3 am!  We had the best conversations with him and alot of other hotel guests every evening after we came in from exploring. 

We didn't go to many tourist attractions this time, as what we truly love to do is explore what another blogger calls "the museum of life, the everyday of another country."

The absolute best parts of our trips are the people that we meet along the way.  This trip we met so many funny and friendly people and spent hours conversing with them all about our trips, our lives, where we come from.  No matter where we are all from, we are all the same!

If you are still with me, after this long drawn out post, I thank you for your patience and kindness!  I didn't have my camera out everywhere we went, but you get a feeling of what we did!  I'll put up my Rome & Florence photos in a few days! 

Wishing you all a beautiful week!



Simone said...

Who knew London had so many pubs!!!!! Glad to see that you still have plenty for your next visit tho ;)

Friends of mine live by the river near the Fulham stadium, it's lovely round there. Glad you got to see a match....I seem to remember Michael Jackson going to Fulham to watch a match or unlikely visitor I agree :)

So glad you enjoyed London so much. The parks are beautiful I agree. Great photos Cathi X

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

What a great post of the best city in the world Cathi !! ..... I'm a bit biased, I know.
Mohamed Al Fayed was chairman of Fulham football club and when Michael jackson died, he was going to put the statue in Harrods but, he sold Harrods so he put it in the grounds of Fulham. Quite a lot of Fulham fans didn't like it as Michael Jackson only went to one game ! The game you saw was 0-0 wasn't it ?
I love all of your photos and, there's nothing better than a drink at the pub !
I've seen Pricilla, Queen of the Desert and it's brilliant. Try and see it if you can one day.
I'm looking forward to your photos of Florence and Rome, Italy being my favourite holiday destination. XXXX

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time on our neck of the woods. So glad you did not listen to those who encouraged you not to go! Just curious, what Mexican restaurant did you go to? That statue of Michael Jackson was really controversial when it was erected--many thought it was entirely inappropriate for the location!

Cathi said...

@Simone - There a definitely pubs galore all over London, definitely plenty for my next visit!

The Michael statue belongs in Encino, California in his mom's front yard...haha...

Loved the parks - my fave places! xxoo

Cathi said...

@Jacqueline - I love your town, thanks for sharing it with me!

I'm with you - Italy was a dream come true for me! Loved every minute of it! Photos soon! xxoo

Cathi said...

@Debi - Thankfully, I don't listen really well to others, especially when I have my heart set on going someplace...haha...

The restaurant was Cafe Pacifico - sit at the bar, order drinks and appetizers, chat with the staff and the surrounding locals and you will have a GREAT time! xxoo :)

Lori said...

What a gorgeous time you had and never stop taking those pub shots ~ I love them! I love how you got on the tube and just got off wherever ~ what a brilliant idea. Cannot wait to see and hear about the rest of your trip. xo

Anonymous said...

How awesome, Cathi! I gave up waiting for pictures on Facebook, but remembered this blog. Loved your commentary, as well. Looking forward to seeing pics and hearing about Rome. Glad you had a marvelous time!

Love, your SIL, Sandy

Cherry Blossoms said...

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. Sounds and looks like you had a fun time.
Did you make it to hummingbird bakery?!


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