Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vacation Report: Part One

Note to self: when planning a trip, for own sanity, book a morning flight, or at least take the whole day off. My flight was at four, so I worked until 2, running around like the proverbial beheaded chicken, trying to accomplish last-minute tasks. I had a hopper flight to Philadelphia, where I witnessed the bizarre sight of Philly P.D. cruising through the airport on Segways (kinda like these guys--apparently it's not an uncommon phenomenon).

Then it was on to London. As usual, I couldn't sleep on the plane, but watched School for Scoundrels (not recommended) and did Sudoku to pass the time. When I arrived I navigated trains both above and below ground to get to my friend Celia's apartment (also one bus, due to a fire which briefly closed the Jubilee Line). I was met at the apartment by our other friend Sylvine. I met Celia (who is from France) and Sylvine (who is Belgian) in Argentina, more than two years ago. It was with them that I experienced a rain-soaked, wind-blown (and eventually aborted) patagonian trek. Good times.

After catching up with Sylvine and catching a quick 2-hour nap, we headed out to meet Celia after work. London is a ridiculously expensive place. At $2 to the pound, the exchange rate absolutely sucks. It's hard not to fixate on the prices!! We had a drink at a bar, grabbed a quick dinner, then headed to a Brazilian bar/club. Celia's Scottish friend Robert joined us to share his samba skills and lovely accent and together we imbibed a number of caipirinhas and mojitos ($11 each!) The funny thing about going out at 5:30 PM is that by 10:30 you feel as if you've had a very full day and are ready to turn in for the night! But thanks to the great band that was playing a mix of brazilian tunes and party favorites, we stayed on until the wee hours! No jetlag for me!! After that it was time for a wander through the streets looking for a late-night snack. We wound up having quarter pounders ($5!) at a completely packed McDonalds at 2 AM, then rode home upstairs in a double-decker bus. Ah, London!

I hadn't brought my camera with me, but luckily Robert had his phone with fancy camera (with flash) and also luckily, he had no objections whatsoever to behaving like ridiculous tourists! Thanks to him, I have these classic photos to share:
Danger mouse Girls with dragons Telephone box Celia, Sylvine & me

Stay tuned for the next installment...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Longest Birthday Ever!

Due to time zone differences and the European switch to Daylight Savings Time which occurred this weekend, my birthday this year (today) lasted 29 hours!! How about that! I may perhaps be more than reasonably amused by this fact because I'm a little delirious due to lack of sleep--I woke up nearly 25 hours ago in Geneva. Unfortunately, all of those hours, minus two during which I enjoyed a nice dinner with my brother and his girlfriend in Philadelphia, have been spent in airports or on airplanes. Also unfortunately, airport employees and customs agents do not seem to notice when it's a person's birthday, and it by no means helps one escape from the tedium of travel nuisances, for example, waiting in line in Gatwick airport for 4 hours.

No matter, none of it can spoil the excellent vacation that I have just finished. It was brilliant! Das was zehr toll! C'était génial! Updates and photos to come soon. But for now, I'm off to bed.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

One of those kinds of days

It's one of those know, the kind of day that you spend at home, just puttering around, cleaning up, listening to music, etc. I've been doing laundry, finishing up my taxes, playing my share of hearts on the computer (suck it, virtual rivals Pauline, Ben and Michele! I just shot the moon four times in a row!) and otherwise poking around. The only difference is, for a little while, I did it all wearing a floor-length cocktail dress. I was going through my closet, getting my suitcase out for my vacation which starts this week, when my eyes fell on my selection of dresses. It's a small collection that never gets worn, especially a very fancy one I bought a few years ago and have not worn once. Anyway, I thought I would try a couple of them on, just for fun, and one was just so pretty that I decided to leave it on for a while. It was fun, and gave my household puttering a little bit of glamor. Maybe I'll watch a movie in it later. I rented Marie Antoinette, and I think wearing a fancy dress seems fitting.

I hope you all are amusing yourselves this weekend, too.