Valentine’s Day 2012

Valentine’s Day was so much fun this year! We helped plan and host a Velocity party at a venue in the Chelsea FC Stadium.

Walking from the Entrance to the venue inside Chelsea FC.

The venue was Under the Bridge.

Here’s a pic from the night.

There were DJs, live performances, games, drinks, and a whole lotta dancing! Very Fun.

We finished up the night with a late night run to the nearby Bodean’s.

Y’all, this place is as close to home-cookin’ as we’re going to get in London.

Grant had a BBQ plate and a slab of ribs with sweet corn, cole slaw, and baked beans (yum!!).

I had chicken enchiladas and praise the Lord it’s the best Mexican I’ve had since we moved here (making it one of my favorite meals!).

Then we headed home! Very fun day. Grant is amazing.

Everyday is like Valentine’s Day with my honey. What can I say? I’m a cheese ball, but I love him! Hope you were able to celebrate with the one you love.

Keepin’ it Real

Life here is certainly an adventure. We have some fun trips and great pics to show for it. But the day-in, day-out stuff here really sucks.*

Exhibit A:
The Post Office
We received a package while we were out and got a slip to collect at the local post office. We could not locate this local post office on google maps. The phone number listed on our slip rang and rang with no answer and no voice mail; we were instructed to call back four separate times. Grant maps out the post code, walks in that general direction, finds the post office (victory!) only to have the lady not even check for our package. She takes one look at the slip in Grant’s hand, says she’s sure it’s not here anymore (?) and walks away from Grant as he continues to ask her questions about the location of our package. Grant leaves empty handed. He said he’s not sure he’s ever had any one treat him like that–ever.

Exhibit B:
The Bank
City University attempts to take a large sum of money out of our account–so large that it’s way more money than is in our our little account (despite my parents wiring the money to school). As a result, there are insufficient funds that affect our account and card use for days. I’d love to be able to check this online, but I can’t because the bank has not texted me a special online banking code, so we are in the dark about recent transactions. Now, there are over-draft fees (unbeknownst to us, having been assured that we would not incur fees from the university only days before). I run to the bank this afternoon at 4:30, arriving around 4:40. The banks here conveniently close at 4:30 not 5:00. I get on the phone where it takes four representatives and two different security people to answer one simple question.  I’m honestly still not sure if anything was resolved.

There’s an expression: “It’s been real. And It’s been fun. But it’s not been real fun.”

*I know the bank and the post office can suck anywhere.  I know they probably frustrate everyone everywhere. But there are things that are in general more difficult here and things that are in general more convenient at home. I’m not wishing our time away or complaining too much, but if I can’t keep it real on here, where can I be honest? This is my safe place to write–when it’s great and when it sucks, and everything in between.

Plans vs Reality: a rare but perfect day

I don’t have class on Fridays and Grant gets done with his by noon, so I’ve been dying to plan some fun outings for our Friday afternoons off together.

This morning, Grant skipped out the door on the way to his last marketing class ever (!) and I got up to straighten up a bit and plan our day. I had decided on going to Greenwich to explore and discover the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Old Royal Naval College, Royal Observatory and see the famous Cutty Sark. The highlight of the Greenwich trip: The Prime Meridian.

We’d make our way back by waterboat on the Thames, but not before attending evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral. We’d finish up with dinner afterwards at a favorite little Italian place near Embankment and catch the Jubilee line home.

That is not what happened.

Instead, we were both so hungry when Grant got home that we decided to try out a little Italian place close to our flat in Hampstead, then head out to Greenwich. Luigi’s was amazing and had unusually large portions (we had spaghetti and lasagna). Before we’d even paid the check, a food coma came over us–the perfect comfortably-full-but-not-stuffed feeling that demands sleep.

What could we do?

As we headed home to lay in bed, snuggle up with two hot water bottles at our feet, and watch movies all afternoon together, I didn’t regret tossing our plans aside. It turned out to be a rare but perfect day after all.

Christmas: Catch Up in Pictures

Ok. It’s been a little ridiculous that I haven’t posted in so long and have left out the best part of our time here in London so far: Christmas with my fam. I can’t fully explain all that we did (I was posting obnoxiously on fb, so check there if you’re curious). But here is a bit of our Christmas Experience: London Edition 2011 in pictures.

Our Christmas Tree (or shrub)

Mama at Oxford Street

Mama at The Georgian in Harrod’s
Me and Mama in the Harry Potter section of Harrod’s
Harrod’s at Christmas
The Heaths at Heathrow
The Heaths at Heath Court (just by our flat!)
The Eagle and Child
This cracks me up.
The Church-turned-Library outside Mimi and Syman’s place
{thanks for letting us stay!}

These 3 Gentlemen and Scholars 
The Radcliffe Camera


The Perch

The Perch
The Perch
The Perch


Hungerford Bridge

Hungerford Bridge

Hungerford Bridge
Holiday Downtime
London (our flat)
Went to ZSL London Zoo and found these two meerkats.

Camden Market
Camden Lock 

British Museum
St. Paul’s for Evensong
Had Evensong on the steps out front after a bomb threat forced an evacuation of St. Paul’s
Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park
The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre

Methodist Hall
Westminster Abbey 
Tower of London
Tower Bridge

Oxford Street
And after my family left (and I cried the entire way back from the airport) Grant took me to
The Nutcracker at the English National Opera’s London Coliseum. 
English National Ballet
{it was fabulously done}
The End!