Jun 25, 2011

Hard Rock Calling 2011

Hard Rock Calling is a big music festival at Hyde Park in London. It's a 3 day event with about 50 different bands - the Kills, the Killers, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Mike & the Mechanics, Bare Naked Ladies, Kaiser Chiefs to name a few. 
I wanted to see Bon Jovi - he was supposed to start at 7:15 pm.  We left the house at 5:20 pm - thinking we would have plenty of time but due to unforseen circumstances we were running late.  Thankfully, there was someone waiting at the gate with our tickets & VIP badges.  Someone who was large & tall - who in his former years was a bouncer!  Why was I thankful - because there were 65,000 fans already in the park and we had to weave thru them to get to the front.  This was my 1st real concert & my 1st thought was this is not for the meek or clausterphobic :)  We finally make it to the barricade and he says we get to go infront of the barricade - 65,000 people smashed like sardines & we get to be in our own section right in front with a few hundres people (very cool).  Then he continues to take us behind stage - where the have the vip station set up.  Okay - this was amazing.  They have an outside bar, tables & chairs and a huge screen - so you can relax & watch the show.  They have a tent - when you walk in, it looks like anything but a tent - there are tables & a bar & a stage (where the kills had just performed a private show), the have food & desserts & tv's and chandeliers.  We hadn't eaten all day - so we sat down & ordered (everything is on the house).  I look up & we are sitting next to the kills on one side & the local band that opend for bon jovi are 2 tables over (super cool).  I decided to go to the bathroom - yes, you guessed it.....private bathrooms - clean, they flush, there is a sink & a mirror.  Do you need more - they have a spa area where you can go & get a massage (free).  you can get your picture taken (free)  They gave out t-shirts & bandana's (free).  Okay - so after all of that we finally go out to see Bon Jovi.  It was crazy fun - a sea of people singing together, jumping up & down. The energy is contagious & before you know it I'm singing & jumping & having a fantastic time.  They went 3 hours straight - their words were "we are going to play until the police drag us off".   It was an amazing show & I had a brilliant time!  I can't wait to do it again :)

Jun 24, 2011

Wimbledon 2011

I've never been to Wimbledon or any professional tennis match for that matter. I was excited but had no idea what to expect.  The event we were attending was being held at a home directly across from the Wimbledon gate. Stan Smith & John Loyd (past winners) were their to greet us & give us their insight about the upcoming matches.  After a fabulous brunch, we walked over to the park - it was spotless & beautiful.  There were purple & green flowers every where (wimbledon colors).  The Queen was there but I didn't run into her :)  We had tickets to court 1 - currently playing was Anderson & Djokovic.  The energy & excitment of the crowd was tangible - it only took a few minutes before I was totally hooked!  Djokovic is a very fun player to watch.  In basketball we'd say he was scrappy.  He literally goes for everything - twisting & throwing his body.  I didn't want it to end! Day two -we had tickets for Center court.  It was bigger & more impressive than court 1 but not nearly as intimate. I got to see Roddick & Lopez play.  I was routing for Roddick (being American & all) but I have to say - I was not impressed.  He has a terrible attitude and by the 2nd set - I was routing for Lopez (who was giving everything he had & wiping the court with Roddick). This is one sport where being there in person makes a huge difference. If you get a chance to go - I would highly reccomend it. I had a brilliant time and can't wait to go back next year!

Jun 19, 2011

1st train ride into London!

There is a train station right across the street from my neighborhood.  We (myself, my husband & 2 daughters) decided to ride into London & visit the aquarium. Tickets were very easy to buy. Train was on time.  It was pretty full but after walking a bit we found 4 seats together.  There was trash all over the floor - evidently someone had a party the previous night & forgot to toss out their empty champagne bottles & snack wrappers.  We got off at the Waterloo East stop - it was fun, I've never been in a train station before.  There were people, trains & shops every where. The London Eye & the SeaLife Aquarium are both right down by the water front.  It was a short walk from the train station.  Once there - we took pictures of the bridge, eye, big ben etc...  The line to the aquarium was quite long unless you had bought tickets online (which we hadn't), so we jumped in line & enjoyed the sun.  Then the sun went away & it started raining - now let me tell you, this isn't Seattle misty rain.  I'm talking real rain.  I had 2 umbrellas for us to share, unfortunately one had broke.  By the time I got coats on everyone & the umbrellas out - I was soaked.  I was standing there with wet, wind blown hair. Water running down my sunglasses, holding a floral umbrella that was floppy on one side.  I look up & my husband is just laughing - he takes out his camera & takes a photo. Thanks honey! The aquarium itself was pretty standard with the exception of the penguins.  I've never been to an aquarium that had penquins before -very cool.  I would like to go back during feeding time, I bet that would be even better.  We pretty much closed the aquarium down & headed back to the train.  We grabbed sandwiches from one of the vendors - ham & fresh mozzarella on a baguette, super yummy.  I sat on the train - my shoes squishy with water, eating my fabulous sandwich, thinking I couldn't of had a better day out with my family :)

Jun 8, 2011

Doors & Steps; Steps & Doors

Day 2 - I spent most of the day unpacking and cleaning.

I found out a couple of things. The English like doors,  I have 23 and I'm not even counting closets.  You have to go thru a door to get into every room.  We also have a lot of steps -  63 to be exact.  By the end of the day even my 6 year old was complaining her legs were tired. 

I also found that no matter what country you live in the cable guy is going to be late.  He was supposed to be here between 10 am - 1pm, he arrived at 2:30 pm.  I now have internet & tv, although he wasn't able to get to the phone - so hopefully he'll be back tomorrow.

I drove a little more today, I did okay but I'm still pretty nervouse.  I just went to the grocery store - it's only about 7 minutes away.  Well - that's about it for the day, hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting.  

Jun 7, 2011

We arrive!

We arrive London on June 7th, 2011 (my 41st birthday).  The trip started out great, they let us go into the Brithish Airways lounge to wait for our flight (they've never done that before).  They had yummy snacks & drinks, free wifi  & private bathrooms :)  Then we moved seats so that the girls & I had 3 bulkhead seats together.  John sat in a bulkhead aisle but across the way.  It was going well until Amber got sick - she threw up for hours.  It was serious stuff too - I went threw 4 waste bags, the stewardess had mercy on me - she brought me a bigger, plastic bag & said here this should hold you a little longer.  The only other thing of annoyance was they kept giving my kids meals to the lady next to us. She would eat her meal & then ours - who does that!  I wasn't upset more annoyed because we really weren't eating but it's the principal of the thing.  It took 2 rentals to get us home - we had 9 bags plus our carry on items.  Everyone was pushing or carrying suitcases - in hind sight I should of taken a photo, it would of been cute. 

We got home & everyone ran to check out their bedrooms.  The house has 4 floors & the ceilings on each floor are extra high - so I would guess we have to walk about 7 flights of stairs to get to the top floor.  That's a lot of steps, especially when you forget something on the main floor :)  The house seems smaller than when I saw it orignially.  I'm still waiting for our things to arrive, once they do - I'll take a video & post it.   There are no screens - my realtor said he made them for his house.  I think I'm going to ask him how & make some for this house.  I've already vacuumed up dead flies & bees and killed a couple spiders - yuk! 

We met the neighbor to our left - an older English gal (maybe 70) named Pamela.  In the 5 minutes I talked to her, I found out where everyone in the neighborhood is from, where they work & if they do anything annoying (one guy walks around outside in his pants (aka underwear) trying to get a phone signal).    Evidently that's frowned upon :0  She just sold a house in France & is back here to get knee surgery.  She did reccomend the Crown & Roses Pub - which is right down the street.  Being my birthday - we decided to give it a shot.  It's a lovely old pub with great food.  I'm sure we'll be dining there often. 

Well - it's 11:00 pm here, my 1st offical day in London is over - my family is sleeping.  I must say - I'm very excited about all the fun adventures we are going to go on in the next 3 years.

Note - tried the Twinings Peppermint Tea tonight.  Very mild, not super flavorful - on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best.  I would rate it a 1