Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture

Another lovely sign I've found in a hotel bathroom.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Me Gusta Tapas

As you may guess from the subject I'm in Madrid this week. Went out for tapas at lunch and had some amazing food. Thick & creamy gazpacho (made by the addition of bread) & Iberico ham - some of the absolute best I've had. I was very surprised and touched when my colleague bought me some to take home with me. Right now I am thinking it will be nice to share with my sisters at our annual vacation but then there's the devil in me that says "MINE ALL MINE!" We'll see who wins as July is a long ways away and the ham was mighty tasty. All this talk of food I'm getting hungry and even though it's early by Spanish standards I'm going to dinner.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

St George's Day

St George is the patron saint of England and today is St George's Day. Unfortunately unlike Ireland who get a bank holiday on St Patrick's Day England isn't so lucky. No day off no parades not really much of anything, just a lot of English flags flying around. This weekend however the mayor of London, Boris Johnson has decided that it has been too long since London celebrated St George's Day and there will be a free concert in Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Not the same as a day off but it's a start.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where Do They Find These People?

I don't normally write about a program I've watched on television but I just have to make an exception here. Last night I was watching a BBC documentary entitled Drinking With the Girls overall the program didn't bother except for one American woman that was interviewed. Her responses clearly revealed to me why people may have a misunderstanding about Americans. Now I'm paraphrasing here so please forgive me if I don't get this exactly right but basically she said...

"People in America don't drink unless they are an alcoholic. People don't go out with their friends for a drink socially and don't enjoy alcohol at holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas."

EXCUSE ME! This is so incorrect and not representative of America as a whole. I know it was a documentary and she is entitled to her opinion but to generalize all of Americans in this way is absurd.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cornish Coast

The past 2 years I've taken full advantage of the long Easter holiday with getaways to the Virgin Islands and Florida. This year was no different but instead of jetting off to an exotic location I decided to explore England and went away with some friends to Cornwall. We couldn't have better weather - beautiful blue skies and warm weather the entire weekend. We rented a cottage in St Tudy which is in the Moorlands section of Cornwall. The town
was charming and the people were all incredibly friendly. Everybody stopped to talk while I was out taking pictures asking where I was from and where I was staying, since it's a small town everybody knew I wasn't a local.

It is rumoured that this area is where King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table was based in this area. The river Camel runs through this region hence Camelot. On Friday we headed to Tintagel to see the ruins of the castle, breathtaking views of the ocean from the cliffs.

The other interesting fact about Tintagel is the hotel opposite the castle is the setting of the movie Dracula. After a few hours at the castle we headed out to the small fishing village of Port Isaac. While there we picked up some fresh mussels for dinner.

On Saturday we headed off to the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway for a ride on an old fashioned steam train. 70 minutes through the English countryside very relaxing. As we were leaving we got to see them refilling the engines.

Easter Sunday we went to the Eden Project. Biomes filled with Rainforest and Mediterranean flora. 5 huge domes to wander through with trees, waterfalls, flowers, and of course bees. Another little tidbit of movie trivia from Cornwall - parts of Die Another Day were filmed at the Eden Project.

To top off the weekend prior to returning to London we had lunch at Rick Stein's The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

Oh and in case you were wondering Ike came along too and had an wonderful time, riding his first Harley and meeting a wizard

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Break

Just a quick note before I head off for a long Easter weekend. One of the great things about living in the UK Good Friday and Easter Monday are official bank holidays. I decided that since I have done almost no exploring of England outside of London that I would take advantage of the long weekend and head down to Cornwall. I've rented a cottage with some friends for the weekend and plan on checking out the cliff walks, the Eden project and whatever else we fancy. I've packed all my camera gear and hope to get some nice shots while there. One thing I am not bringing is my laptop so I will fill you in on what Cornwall has to offer when I return on Tuesday.