Skip to main content

Want a great way to lose a few pounds?

Visit London!

(Ha ha ha, get it? Pounds?)

IMG_5016.JPG

London was the last stop on our trip and we knew it would be pricey, but we're used to paying San Francisco area prices so didn't think it would be too bad comparatively. You think at first, "Okay the 3 pound cappuccino, same as the 3 dollar cappuccino at home." Nope. Everything was actually double. The exchange rate was such that 1 pound equaled 2 dollars. So that 3 pound cappuccino was a 6 dollar cappuccino.

What really killed us was going to the movies one night. If the movie had been better, we might not have minded so much that the tickets were 9 pounds, i.e. 18 dollars, each. No popcorn and sodas for us! We were well above our entertainment budget for the day. And the movie was terrible. It was Eagle vs. Shark, a New Zealand film that I don't think has opened in the U.S. yet. It's gotten rave reviews from some pretty credible sources and won awards at festivals and all. And it started out sort of funny and charming. But then it got grating and annoying and I wanted to rip my eyes out by the end. Then you're sitting there thinking "When will this movie be over?" and your mind wanders to the fact that you just paid $18 each to see this, so you don't want to walk out on it. After the movie, back at the Tube station near our hotel, we ran into one of the Lebowski Fest organizers, Will, and his special lady. They had been in the same movie! And he had liked it! (And they were staying at a hotel near ours. We ran into them several times in the Tube station and around the city.)

IMG_4929.JPG
Going to Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross to catch the Hogwarts Express

We're not really ones to harp on the prices of things too much. We weren't on a strict budget but couldn't exactly just throw money around. When the 5 pound lunch special is really costing you 10 dollars though, you have to reign in the spending a bit. By the last day we were so tired in general that even going to a restaurant seemed exhausting. We bought fruit and cheese and snacked all day long.

We took a tour on one of those double-decker open-air busses, which was really fun. If you're on the top you can see a lot and we had a hilarious tour guide. It was a great way to rack up the sights without spending too much time and energy. Our guide also included the spots where various members of the Royal Family had their stag parties and many celebrity apartments. And of course the "Parliament, Big Ben" roundabout from National Lampoon's European Vacation.

IMG_4941.JPG
Our tour guide pointed out this restaurant, The Texas Embassy, saying that many confused Americans who've lost their passports end up there.

We definitely plan to go back because there's so much to see and we just scratched the surface. And next time it should be at the begining of our trip rather than the end, because we were just too tired to appreciate everything. Oh look, another castle, another old church, another pub... yawn.

(Clicking on any photo will take you to the full size on flickr.)

Comments

sfgirl said…
Yeah...I got it (only after you told me, though! LOL!) I thought you meant the food is so bad you lost weight! HAR! Actually the food's good. I did get way tired of their breakfasts though...fried tomatoes, fried beans, fried sausage, and fried bread! I could feel my arteries choke in objection!
Travel Betty said…
Brick Lane has good, cheap Indian and Bangladeshi food.

We did a quick stop in England on my way back from South Africa last year. I hadn't been there since college and that pound to dollar conversion really made me feel like I was 19 again!

Sounds like a great trip, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to go back to see the Hogwart's platform. Too cute!

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…