Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café" ~ Oscar Hammerstein

Introducing friends to some of my best-loved cities is my favorite.
Since shopping and eating are two of the easiest ways to pass some really pleasurable time in Paris…
the Ya-Ya and I squeezed as much in as possible.

We discovered my new favorite place... 
for multi-purpose purchasing.
Merci manages to make you feel like you are attending a trunk show
 at a friends home where lunch is served.
At the top of my list for future visits.

If you want to enjoy the best French Roast Chicken in the city…
head to le Coq Rico in Montmartre.
Amazing.
That is all I have to say about that.

There is so much more to share about our adventures in Paris,
but alas,
'the foodie' is in town 
and we have some traveling to do.

Meanwhile...
and enjoy the Love and Hope it represents.
Be back with you in a few weeks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." T. S. Eliot

There is nothing quite as annoying as having to move in the middle of an expat assignment.  
I mean, we move quite often already,
so a move within a move is the pits.

Meanwhile,
as I am realizing how much stuff we have 
I am wishing I had a cuppa this amazing coffee we discovered while 
Ya-Ya was visiting.
She and I traversed across London to an…
through the uber hip area of Shoreditch…
on our way
for an amazing cup of coffee...
worthy of planning a day around.
 Our journey continued on to Brick Lane
for some window shopping before making our way to the River Thames.
Showing London to visitors,
 while enjoying a sunny day
 is priceless.
And it was the best stroll 
for a cup of coffee…
 ever.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Aberdeen Monday...

After our Winter like Spring last year...
my eyes are singing the "Happy" song…
as we drive around Aberdeen,
 veiled in creamy and bright yellows 
on a backdrop of green.
"And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with daffodils."

~ William Wordsworth

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Loves in London…(cont'd)

...and now for our tasty discoveries while wandering about.

#5
After our lovely time viewing London from 72 floors up,
we wandered back over to the area where we had been earlier for the Secret Cinema 
and found a small intimate… 
An awesome day in London ended with amazing pasta and pizza
necessary to fuel our next day of visa renewal,
which promised to be a marathon.

#6


Being from Texas where burgers rule…
we have challenged the UK to provide some type of substitute for our time here.
I think we may have found it at Meatmarket.

While Ren Man may have ordered incorrectly and remains luke warm,
I am here to tell you...
and more.
In fact, Texas needs to start working now on something that compares.
I am still licking my fingers.
Nuff said.

#7

This discovery was shared with my visiting Ya-Ya who is a self-described picky eater
 and she will confer on our love for the original location of this Chinese restaurant.
The minimalism almost caused us to miss it,
but wow are we glad we were hungry enough to persist.
Any restaurant combining Dim sum with a tasting menu is worth my time and money.

Ya-Ya had just arrived with preconceived notions about London's food scene
 as a result of misinformation from well meaning friends 
when her eyes grew wider with every course.

I have already booked a table 
for 'the foodie's' visit later this month.

Every visit to London is truly…
so diverting.



Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Loves in London (cont'd)...

#4

Referred to as Europe's first vertical city,
The Shard, at 1,016 feet, is spectacular 
and most definitely has changed the London skyline.
photo source
The inauguration video gives some insight into its unique qualities.

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door 
and once through security, 
you will greet no less than twenty friendly faces 
who will guide you through the maze of elevators necessary to ascend to the 69th floor…
where enclosed glass provides a panorama of the city.
You can make your way up to the 72nd floor…
for a sense of adventure and some fresh air.

In order to explore the restaurants on the 33rd floor,
you must go all the way down,
exit the building,
and around to another entrance where you enter yet another elevator.

Out of the three,
we chose Hutong Restaurant, for a taste of their cocktails  
made with ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine. 
Although the drinks were interesting concoctions,
the toilets steal the show.
You know my obsession with public toilets 
and how they can be deal breakers of an otherwise tasty restaurant.
Well, this, hands down, 
is the best public toilet I have ever set foot in.
From the view when you walk in, 
to the colorful stall doors 
and the London Bridge twinkling at dusk below while washing my hands, 
it is breathtaking.

No visit to the Shard should take place without eating or drinking at Hutong 
just to visit the ladies room.  
Ren Man informed me the urinals face outwards 
and it took every ounce of restraint not to see that for myself.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Loves in London…

#1
Although it felt a bit like cheating on our long time love of Borough Market,
well, new to us anyway.
Brixton Market offers some amazing foodie finds, and a bonus
you can actually sit down and enjoy your goodies.
We will be back.

#2
Since we had only recently returned from Venice, it was quite amusing when we realized 
our One Fine Stay home away from home was a few steps away from London's own Little Venice.
These canals meandering through London
 are another charming aspect of one of my favorite cities.

#3
Because there is sooooo much to see and do in London,
I always forget about the coolness of the River Thames,
and how a walk along its banks calms the soul.

At sunset…
even with runners weaving around me like a traffic cone,
fail to distract from the fact that…
life is good.

Happy Tuesday.

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