Exploring New Lands

Well, friends, I have finally decided to put off cleaning my dirty, messy house and blog on my last day before Kevin returns (again).

Just so you know that I haven't forgotten about my few readers, I want to let you know what has happened since my London trip that has kept me from writing. I got back from London and prepared my house for my mom, Aunt Debi, and Miss Kim to spend several days with me! So, once I got back to a normal sleeping schedule, I cleaned the house and got ready for them to take a peek into my new place.
During their visit, I had my interview for my current job. They agreed to being dropped off at the Cherry Hill mall while I did this. It was like pulling teeth to get them there!! Ha, that's a big fat joke. They were thrilled to explore the mall for me, having not been inside myself.
While they were here we went to New York for an overnight trip. While we were there, we shopped at Saks Fifth Ave., Tiffany's, Bloomingdale's, H&M, Forever 21, and plenty more. We were able to see PHANTOM!!! I was thrilled to see it in New York. We saw Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Today Show set, Good Morning America set, American Doll, F.A.O Schwarz, and SO much more. Sadly, this trip was cut short, due to the wonderful hurricane. I got them to the airport just in time, and then I prepared myself for a night with a friend, so I wouldn't be alone. I'll have you know, the damage done around my neighborhood amounted to a few leaves on the ground and puddles in a few potholes. Good thing I bought the last waters and tuna at the store! We never lost power.

The Monday after the hurricane passed through, I had my first day of work as a preschool teacher. I am the head teacher of the 3 and a half year old class. It took a little adjustment, but I am enjoying each day......... even with the temper tantrums (from myself and the kids!).

A couple weeks into my job, Kevin came back from being deployed! It was so good to have him back in the house. Again, I had someone to talk to when I got home, and noise that wasn't my own.

Within the week he got home, we decided to get a puppy. Long reasoning and story short, she came out of her shell once we got back to the house, and we soon realized she needed to have a place to run and play during the day - a place we couldn't provide.

Soon after we took our Reese back, Kevin left for a week and a two days for a trip over seas, oceans, and lakes.

And that brings me to where I am now. Saturday, the day before he comes home, I am sitting here thinking of the long list of things to do and putting it off to blog!

I guess the biggest post that needs to be done is of my London trip; a place I've never seen before!

So, here it is!

 Carol came to my house to fly to London with me. Our first leg of the trip was on the New Jersey Transit at Hamilton Station to Newark Airport!

One of my favorite differences between here and London was the phrase "Mind the Gap." What made it so much better was the British lady's accent as she warned the passengers entering and exiting. It sounded so polite compared to "Watch your step."

Once we got there we took a cute little taxi cab to the house and went straight to sleep, after saying hello to the lovely host (Jason) and hostess (Cristen).

Our first day started with greeting Margaret and heading out for breakfast at Peter Jones. I had my first Eggs Benedict, and LOVED it! From there we made our way to Clarence House for a tour. They didn't allow pictures once inside the walls, so I had nothing to show for this place. But, I'm sure you can look it up online! :)

It's always sooo incredible to see the interior details of fabulous buildings and homes. I kept thinking of all the different decor ideas I want to have in my house when I become rich and royal.

From there, we had Tea at the St. James Hotel. It was our first tea of many for the trip. We had a room all to ourselves and couches to rest our little bodies from jet lag and walking all morning/afternoon.
 We had DELICIOUS desserts on top. Let me just tell you. Do you see the chocolate cake square right there, I call it death. It was So good. After eating all the sandwiches, scones and tea, I had a hard time fitting in dessert. But, I made room for this. I rejected the shot glass dessert; just couldn't handle it.

 Of course we had the smoked salmon, egg salad, and cucumber sandwiches, all of which were good.
I must say, I have taken a love for scones. I prefer a sweet scone with creme fresh and preserves!
When we finally decided we could move again from stuffing ourselves, we got off those couches and made a trip to Fortnum and Mason and got a snack from Laduree. Let me just tell you, these people are picky about you taking pictures of their yummy and delicate foods! I tried the vanilla macaron. There is nothing like this fluffy, crisp, airy, moist delight of a treat.

That night we met up with Jason to take him out for his birthday, which was just days before. We went to China Town and ate at a wonderful restaurant for dinner. It was refreshing to be able to sit and drink water. Favorite moment of the dinner, the employees not believing that we could use chopsticks. We may be from America, but that doesn't mean you can judge our Chinese abilities! Okay, maybe our ONE ability. But, we conquered and showed them up.

Saturday brought a day of pure bliss, for me. It was a day preparing for WICKED!!! The entire day my mind was gearing up for the wonderful Elphaba and Glinda :) But, before our show that evening, we toured the Duke of York Square (market). It was a fun place to walk around. All kinds of treats, sandwiches, cheeses, fresh fruit, and much more. I didn't take any pictures, afraid to look like an insane tourist. (I care too much about drawing unnecessary attention to myself.) So, imagine with me, people walking around with strollers, coconuts in hand with straws, machines blending almost complete oranges into juices. Ahh! And now I've found that there are places like that RIGHT HERE IN NEW JERSEY every weekend! The farmers' markets. (I've been told there are some that have fresh produce and everything for sell, like a flee market.) Anyway, after we circled that a couple times, we made our way to Harrod's!
Harrod's. Who knew there could be such a HUGE place that carried anything and everything you could possibly need!! Levels and levels, sections and sections of shopping!

After our big adventure there, we had lunch at Laduree. After getting our food, we all realized we should have shared our meals. The sandwiches were HUGE. To top off the meal, I got another macaron - coconut!

We floated our way through Harrod's a bit more, and made it to the Pet Palace of all palaces! Jif would have a blast in this place! But sad to say, he would not be walking out with any souvenirs. For a small collar, he would have to pay a pretty penny.
After going back to the house to change, we walked to dinner at The Orange, a pub and restaurant a few blocks from the house. The bread and pizza there was wonderful!! If you ever pop in, I recommend the tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza!
When dinner was complete we made our way to see WICKED!! I was excited to see it in London so that I could compare it to the shows in Houston and New York. It was so different seeing it in London. The talent was beyond amazing, except for Fiyero - wished we didn't have the understudy. I think my favorite character to hear was Nessarose. She was flawless and sounded so pure. But, the fun part was hearing the accents in their voices. It made the play come to life an entirely different way!

To finish the weekend, we went to The Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels. If only they would sell those, we could solve world hunger and maybe some of the debt in the US. Only kidding, but really. Come on! When we got outside, Cristen and I attempted to take a picture in front of the Tower Bridge without extra friends, but it wasn't incredibly successful.

We also went on a walking tour around Westminster Abbey. We got to see the Parliament, Big Ben, and back roads to where famous people lived. By that point I was super tired, couldn't understand the tour guide, and a bit weak on my feet. But, here are a couple pictures I was able to capture.
Westminster Bridge

Big Ben and a man on a Horse

 The tour guide talked about this man and horse, but I had NO idea what he was saying. His accent was soo strong. So, Aunt Debi, what can you tell me about him??
 Different view of Big Ben :)
There he is!! Big Ben!
 Did you know "Big Ben" is not the entire tower. Big Ben is the name of  the bell, which extends to the clock and tower.
Westminster Abbey
 There you can see Carol and Margaret making their way to the doors!
 This place is HUGE! And way to long to fit into my lens, from where I was standing.
 See what I mean??
Westminster Abbey
 Look familiar?? Here comes the Bride!

Everyone needs a picture of this, right?

I believe I am going to have to say "And, Scene" to this post. The house is yelling for me to clean it.
There is much more to come!