Sunday, October 30, 2011

a trip to the kingdom with pictures

i'm officially in withdrawal from my london vacation. it was an amazing time that would like to repeat often from the travel, food, culture, day trips, shopping and lounging in hyde park. all of the negativity created by the lack of sunshine and bad food choices from 2008 was wiped clean with this most recent excursion. we arrived to a long line at border patrol, grabbed our bags and snagged a ticket for the heathrow express. the mass transit system really is great but quite expensive - just an FYI. a very nice man was willing to help carry my bag up the long flight of stairs from the tube notting hill station. love me some brits and their courtesy. perfect beginning of our time in the united kingdom.

...sidenote, love that this land is literally a called a "kingdom". how cool is that? i was visiting a kingdom with numerous palaces. apparently all of those disney princess movies did work their magic on me...

here's a run down on what we did over the six days we were in the united kingdom:

went to the national museum. took an evening ride on the double decker tourist bus. ate some pizza express in notting hill. bought some groceries. arrived at london eye at opening time to wait in line for about 15 minutes. took lots of pics from the eye. found the awesome skate park full of graffiti. took more pictures. boarded a boat for our tour down the thames. took another ride on the tourist bus. ate dinner at a whole in the wall indian place. saw les miserables with alfie boe where i cried multiple times. hopped on a train to bath. fell in love with bath. took a lot more pictures. rode the tourist bus. ate at jamie oliver's italian restaurant - yum. enjoyed some ice cream in the bath abbey square. bought a magnet. went to the jane austen center to worship at her altar and try to remove the stank of singledom. twirled and danced within the assembly rooms. ordered pizza hut meat pepperoni lovers pizza on our return. ordered an amazing english breakfast with fruit, tea, hot chocolate and bread basket at the wolsley where the women next to us ordered a traditional breakfast including baked bean. hmmm. caught a train to oxford. took a ride on the tourist bus. walked around christ church college and magdalen college. absolutely stunning colleges. did some light shopping including a t shirt. took more pictures. ate at wagamama noodle shop. devoured left over pizza for dinner. took bus to harrod's department store. ate an overly priced breakfast on the fourth floor. wandered around. bought some macaroons from laduree. bought my christmas cards. netter bought earrings from tiffanys. jealousy developed. went to kensington palace gardens. sat on a bench to eat macaroons and enjoy the sunshine and atmosphere. learned the seven princess' names during the enchanted kensington palace tour. took some more pictures. waited in line for afternoon tea at the orangery. decided i want to move to london while drinking lemon ginger tea and eating an orange scone. dropped purchased and headed back to london eye for night viewing. took a whirl on the fastest carousel i've ever ridden.  walked across the thames to hitch a ride on a bus to picadilly. found huge tourist shop where picked up flex's christmas present and a few other trinkets. found a red phone booth for optimal picture taking. toured the royal mews which was awesome. joined light crowds at buckingham palace for more pictures. saw the most awesome mullet ever. stopped at EAT for lunch on the go. hopped in a cab to paddington station for heathrow express to airport. hung out at heathrow until flight back to the land without the word "kingdom" in it.

i know how lucky i am to be able to take these trips to far away places. even as a youngster i wanted to be adventurous and traveling was really the best way for me to feed the independent beast. i have never regretted any time spent in my travels. and am thankful that the opportunity is always there to pack a bag and head out for the next destination.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

photography class in central park

a couple of weeks ago i did a photography class with my buddy cara.  the instructor wouldn't let us shoot on any preset modes like "landscape", "portrait" or "sports".  instead we were only allowed to photograph using the aperture and shutter speed ranges.  it was so fun and very informative.

we then had to shoot a saxophonist playing under a bridge, poet's walk and the sun shining.  here are a couple of my favorite shots i took.

do you like?

Monday, October 17, 2011

heading on a jet plane

london here i come!  t-minus eight hours until my plane takes off for the land of the brits.  i'm very excited. 

last night i prepped my ipad and iphone for the journeying.  made the decision to include entertainment that was written, sung, set or performed by the natives.  my ipad only has british movies on it currently.  i filled it up with my jane austen fix of persuasion, pride & prejudice as well as jane eyre, the king's speech, les miserables 25th anniversary concert (which is technically french but produced by a brit so it's allowed).  the fabulous miniseries of north & south along with little known movies like the duchess and young victoria.  have grand plans for adele, snow patrol, coldplay and keane to sing to me.  my plan is to do as much british immersion as possible and watching and listening to these british artists starts the trip off right. 

i must confess that my boyfriend dwayne johnson's movie fast five also made its way onto the ipad.  so for my purposes, dwayne is an honorary british citizen.

i'm hoping to share pictures as often as i can while trapsing the tube stations, harrod aisles and roman baths.  until next time, cheerio govenor!

Friday, October 14, 2011

this week's simple moment

i'm bucking pinkymcg blog trend and only mentioning one simple moment this week.  this moment has been on my mind a lot recently as i walk the streets of my adopted home town.  a large number of my friends are leaving the city for locations distant and often considerably warmer during the winter.

the mass exodus from NYC seems to have begun in may with gooch moving to dallas to pursue her dream job.  then came clare taking her talents, VW beetle named daisy and contagious laugh to utah.  and then the ward friends are systemically leaving to go to london, san francisco, utah, baltimore, toronto, australia, miami, etc.  it seems that each time i walk through the doors of church there is another family who has recently announced that they are moving out of the city.  enough already!

i definitely don't judge these friends who are choosing to take their life's journey down a path away from the concrete jungle.  i'm just sad.  the simple moment of life in new york city is that eventually almost everyone leaves.

the only way i've tried to stem the pain of separation is to give these moving friends a charge to always think in the back of their mind when they meet an LDS single man - "is this guy a possible good match for my totally awesome friend pinky?".  if the answer given by their mind to that question is "yes" then it will make the long, short or miniscule time we spent together in nyc completely worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

thank you utah photographer

a lovely woman in utah took pictures of my brother coyote and sister-in-law sunshine's family recently.  sunshine was smart to send me via text a link to the photos on the photographer's blog.  i immediately used my iPhone for the purpose of tracking down the latest from their male heavy family.  these pics of their family were some of the best i've seen in a really long time.  of course i'm biased.  but seriously, how cute are my nephews?  the answer you're looking for (in true utah fashion) is "totally freaking adorable!"

all creative credit to the photographer as well as coyote and sunshine for making such amazing kids.

mckay, blake and jaxon
love reflection of coyote and sunshine making silly faces

the soundtrack to london

need to make a playlist for my journey through that other awesome island...england or the uk.  i've been in a bit of a rut with my listening choices.  as previously stated, my love for my BFF 4-eva adele has not wavered and i'm sure she'll sound even better when i'm walking upon her native soil.

please help me oh friends of mine.  share the wealth when it comes to good music that is propelling you through your day.  i'm open to all types of music minus twangy country, hard hitting hip hop (previously known as "gangsta rap"), and techno (also known as "house").  don't be shy...let me know in the comments section what is good that i'm currently missing because my devotion to adele and maroon 5's moves like jagger is currently blowing up my headphones.

i'm completely willing to give a shout out to anyone who increases the joy in my life by sharing good music.  i might even name one of my future children after you.  now that's a reward to aspire to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

economics, baseball & brad pitt

netter and i attempted to see moneyball on a saturday night two weeks ago.  we arrived at the theater with 20 minutes before showtime and learned the showing was sold out.  bummer.  last saturday we decided we wanted to see the movie so were proactive and bought tickets online as well as arrived at the theater a good 35 minutes before the five trailers began. 

...let me back up real quick before i tell you my impression of moneyball - as an 10/11 year old my family had season tickets to oakland a's games.  my favorite professional athlete is mark mcguire (i still remain true regardless of any doping allegations) who spent the majority of his professional career with oakland.  my field of business is finance.  i think brad pitt is incredibly handsome and endearing plus he generally dresses really well.  i picked up the book by michael lewis and proceeded to read a majority of the book but just couldn't make it to the end...

the movie was fantastic!  probably in the top tier of movies i've seen this year.  i thought jonah hill and brad pitt made a great duo and the baseball wasn't so heavy that i felt i was rewatching ESPN sportscenter.  plus it had the added bonus of making me burst into laughter out loud on multiple occasions. at the conclusion of the movie i immediately called joani to tell her she HAD to see this movie.  i think she would really enjoy it.  the content had action, suspence, emotion, comedy and last but not least, brad pitt!  that's what i call a winning combo.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

giving him the benefit of the doubt, it's not working...

this past weekend there was a singles conference for LDS singles age 26 and over here in my own backyard.  it was my first conference ever.  the main motivation for my attendance was my really good BBW (bath & body works) friend T was in town from salt lake.

she and i met up on saturday morning to catch up and talk about our adult lives of home ownership, setting up 401k accounts, making sure we are the favored aunt and plan amazing vacations.  it was so great to spend time with her.  i miss her especially when she shares her insights and life experiences.

during a slight lull in the activities of the conference T ran into a friend and former home teacher from DC.  during the course of the conversation with this dude he mentioned more than once that there is no one to date in new york so he looks forward to moving somewhere to finally find someone to date and hopefully marry.  i wanted to punch him in the face.

let me clarify...i didn't have the immediate reaction to punch this guy because i had suddenly and completely fallen in love with him.  no, my motivation for inflicting bodily harm upon his jaw line was because he obviously needs a swift reality check that physical pain could provide.  saying there are no women to date in new york, whilst standing in front of eligible women who have numerous eligible women friends, was a load of (pardon my language) crap.  what does this guy want in a wife?

i left the conference with a sour taste in my mouth because i know this little philosophy is not exclusive to this dude.  so i ask the single men of the world, regardless of religious affiliation, to please open your eyes and look around you.  i can with absolute certainty promise you that you are surrounded by amazing women who have all the qualities (and probably more that you can ever imagine) you want or desire in a companion.  stop thinking that perfection exists, because honestly, there is a very good chance that you are not perfect so expecting it in a wife is just plain ludicrous.

good luck to T's friend from DC in finding that special someone outside of NYC.  i'm sure he's a great person who has a desire to do what's right and built a righteous family.  i'll try to give him the benefit of the doubt as long as he promises to never again complain about having no one to date in the area he is living like it is a problem not of his own choosing.

was i wrong to have the immediate motivation to punch this guy?  please friends be brutally honest.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

welcome october

welcome to the first month of the fourth quarter of the year.  october is one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons.  here are a few:
this october has the added bonus of absolutely gorgeous weather, a singles conference complete with a halal lunch and devotional by member of the seventy, vacation to LONDON and fall photography class in central park with my friend cara courtesy of groupon. 

october really is the final moment of bliss before the misery and woe of freezing temperatures, bus stop closed due to rock center tree, planning biggest annual RS event, barren trees in central park and need to wear five layers to combat the wind tunnels.  thank goodness for thanksgiving, christmas and disney world as event to look forward to once a month from november through january.  if only i had something to plan  to get me through the bleakest month of the year - february.  i'm sure i'll think of something to get me out of town and into sunshine & warmth to combat the february doldrums.

so welcome october.  it's always nice to welcome back an old friend.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

oh sweet riley nelson

a facebook friend posted this video today and it just made me absolutely giddy with joy.  as a background, riley nelson plays football for the byu cougars.  he came into the game in the third quarter on friday to lead the cougars past a very good utah state team.  well done riley and his teammates.

feast your eyes on the come from behind with a 96 yard last minute drive skills of riley and most important, his luscious locks.