Saturday, December 4, 2010

J&A's Visit: A Recap in Pictures

The day after I moved into my new flat, I had visitors! Maybe not the best timing given that the place was a mess and I had no TV, but hey, we made it work! Jill (former roomie from Chicago) and Alison (college friend of Jill’s who I had met a couple times) came into town the week of Thanksgiving. It was great to see them both and to spend time with people I’ve known for longer than two months.

We did a lot while they were in town and the two of them did even more considering they spent three days gallivanting while I was (sadly) working.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Jill arrived on Saturday and instead of letting her catch up on sleep or wallow in jet leg, I took her to Selfridges! I love this department store (as mentioned in a previous post). It was decorated in shiny balls on pulleys for Christmas:


We spent a few minutes in the deluxe shoe department:


And after searching through the entire store, we finally found the fish pedicures. Why would they be located in the men’s underwear department? These little fish peck away at your feet eating away the dead skin. More of an experience than a really good pedi, I'd say.


Tubed over to Borough Market for some lunch. Pub crawlled our way back.  Final destination: Maple Leaf, a Canadian bar that was playing the OSU game. Jill & Alison both went to OSU and are still dedicated alum. We met up with my American friends there since really Canadian, American….it’s all the same, eh?!?


The next morning, we picked up Alison from the nearby tube station and headed out for brunch. Up to Hampstead - a cute, pricey neighborhood-on-a-hill to check out the view of London below.


Afterwards, we roamed around the Knightsbridge area, passed by lit-up, legendary Harrods:


Next night was wine, dinner and then Victoria Theatre for Billy Elliott, a great performance. To get home, we hopped on a traditional red double decker bus and sat top level, first row for a nail-biting ride home.

Tuesday after work called for milkshake cocktails, an Indian dinner in the famous Brick Lane area followed by more cocktails at a trendy bar called Sketch. At Sketch, the bartenders make drinks in a sunken level in the middle of the room and the bathrooms are individual rooms that looked like huge eggs and each play a different kind of bizarre music. Hard to explain....obviously.

I took off work Thursday and Friday so we could get out of the city and take a trip to the English countryside. We stayed in Bath, a small, charming city known for its natural hot springs and Roman baths. When we visited, it was also the starter weekend of Bath’s Christmas markets and below-freezing temps.


 






To get out of the cold, we took a bus to Stonehenge. It really was pretty interesting / impressive, but given the crazy low temperature, the experience was basically a freezing 20-minute run around the rocks with a couple stops for photo opps. Probably need to go back some day.
                        








Given that it was Thanksiving night, we asked around for a place that was serving turkey.  We failed to find anything besides these:

So we opted for Thai food instead. Oh well, what can yo do when you're in a country that doesn't celebrate the holiday? Luckily, the thai was the best I've had since I moved away from my beloved Pot Pan in Chicago.


Alison managed to find a turkey and cranberry sandwich for lunch:

Our last day in Bath we spent at the Thermae Spa. Best. Idea. Ever. Here we spent hours in steam rooms, rain showers and naturally-heated pools. Photos were prohibited, but below are some pictures from the website.

 Steam rooms and rain shower:

Outdoor roof-top pool overlooking the city of Bath. It was a great view and a cool experience with the steam coming off the water. If only it wasn't so painful getting out…. it was 20 degrees outside!

By the last night, Jill had caught my cold and so we scrapped our "big night out" plans and instead tried to enjoy dinner in between sneezing. Yeah, that's us.



Jill headed home and Alison and I spent her last day in town outfitting my new flat with groceries, bathroom accessories, electricals, etc.  I even purchased an electric kettle so that I can offer tea (would be a sin in England to invite a guest over without offering tea). At home, this would require one massive trip to Target, but since they don’t have Target in London (why isn’t there a freakin Target?!?!) we hit up a grocery store, department store and a hardware-ish/catch-all store and still managed to squeeze in the first half of the Ohio State game at an “American-style Barbeque” joint.  Thanks, Alison, for being such a trooper on your last day!

J&A, thanks for being my first visitors! You’re welcome back any time. And so are the rest of you!

6 comments:

  1. That was a much better recap than what I emailed to people! I'm going to send my dad your blog link. Miss you!

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  2. Great pictures and comments. Almost feels like we were there. Bath reminds Wayne of Banff. Have you gotten invited to THE wedding yet? Thanks for sharing,
    Wayne and Shirley

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  3. I love Banf! It does sort of remind me of it too. Still waiting for my invitation to the wedding, I'm sure it's lost in the post.... :)

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  4. Love it, Shannon!!! Looks like you girls had a great time. We miss you lots, and hope all is well.

    xoxoxo, Shawn

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  5. You look like a fabulous tour guide! Makes London even more inticing! Hope you are enjoying your holiday season in Europe!

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