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Category Archives: Travel

Highlights from NYC trip

NYC view from taxi

A view of the NYC skyline from our taxi

Earlier this month, we took a weekend trip to NYC to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We took the red eye on Jet Blue Friday night and flew back home Monday evening. It was a fine time to visit – the weather was unseasonably warm (high 60’s) and bright and sunny.

Some of the highlights:

1. Staying at Courtyard Marriott Manhattan/Soho (on hotel points alone!) Great hotel and location for exploring the area. Very clean with a really friendly and helpful staff. Added bonus of having a Starbucks inside for an early morning caffeine fix.

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New London tube map for walkers

London Tube walking map
Transport for London has just unveiled its new London Tube map, which shows how long it takes to walk to stations (so you can finally make an educated decision on whether it IS faster to walk versus take the Tube.) As a side note, it’s been my experience that it’s ALWAYS faster to walk when you’re up against the Circle Line, but that is neither here nor there …

Here is the full map for your viewing pleasure!

Teignmouth at sunset

I’ve blogged before about the idyllic little Devon seaside village, where my husband grew up – Teignmouth.

For those who haven’t been, check out this drone video taken at sunset – it’s a little moment of zen.

Straight Outta Teignmouth

Oh, Interwebs … you are a true time suck, but so many gems abound.

Take, for instance, this little beauty I found on my Facebook feed.

For anyone who has passed through the west coast of Devon, you may know Teignmouth. It’s a pretty little seaside town, where my husband grew up, and I find this video so amusing and evocative – I feel like I’ve just visited. Amazing.

And … I’m back!

It's a Small World
How was your holiday season? I hope you had a wonderful one! Apologies for the radio silence these past couple of months. It’s been an incredibly busy time for me and my family — like most holiday seasons — but I haven’t been able to quite find the time to add blogging into the matrix.

My mother-in-law came to visit in November from Cornwall and we had a great visit. One of the highlights of her trip was taking her to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for the first time right before Thanksgiving! Our kids had a blast and if you’ve never been to Disneyland during the holidays, I’d highly recommend it! It was my first time visiting when the park was completely dressed in holiday splendor and we had a lot of fun seeing some of our favorite rides like It’s a Small World and Jungle Cruise get redone for Christmas.

Other Disney highlights:

* Seeing “Aladdin” stage show at the Disney California Adventure
* Watching the holiday parade at Disneyland
* Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan and Soarin’ Over California
* Fried chicken dinner at the Plaza

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some other adventures I’ve had over the holiday break. Stay tuned! In the meantime, have a wonderful three-day weekend!

101 things to do in London – how many have you done?

Waterlily House in Kew Gardens

I always wanted to visit the Waterlily House in Kew Gardens but still haven’t been.

I liked Time Out London’s collection of 101 things to do in London – and the quiz that accompanied it, based on a list of destinations under Museums, Galleries, Parks, Shopping, etc.

But sadly, I only scored 29. 29?! Yep. It seems that when we lived there, we never did go to the Globe or the Royal Opera House, the London Zoo or the Science Museum. We did hit most of the parks, but were pretty light on the eating and drinking spots that they listed (to be fair, many of these didn’t exist back when we were living in London). And so it goes …

Take the quiz and see how you do!

Cherry blossom in St. James’s Park

We spent last weekend visiting Washington, D.C. and was just in time to see all of the beautiful cherry blossom in bloom.

But … nothing was quite as stunning as this image shot by photographer Patrizia Ilaria Sechi in London’s St. James’s Park. Positively gobsmacking!

Cherry blossoms in St. James Park

Do you know how to take the Underground like a Londoner?

London Underground dog

Well, first of all, apologies for the radio silence! I have been super busy at work and juggling the being a present parent thing and trying to keep the laundry done and the dishes washed and so on and so on, all while keeping up with watching the latest episode of “Girls.” It’s a struggle, let me tell you!

Anyway, I’m back on board and wanted to share this Buzzfeed quiz, assessing one’s ability to take the Underground like a Londoner. Go on and take it and let me know how you do!

I was very proud to have achieved “Tube Pro” status. “You’re either a Londoner, or just a great human being. You have a healthy regard for personal space, but also the patience that comes with travelling long distances underground. Well done you.” *sigh*

I’ll tell you once a London Undergrounder, always a London Undergrounder! It’s still in my blood so many years later! (But thankfully my nose is clear and not packed with black soot like it used to be from my daily commute!)

Best-selling music artists by London borough

London Borough map

Love this London map, which lists the best-selling music artist from each borough! Thanks to Tory for the tip!

Rude street names

Fanny Hands Lane

Ah, Britain! Land of rude street names!

It appears that if you don’t mind living on a street named Crotch Crescent or Slag Lane, you might be able to get a deal on property!

Here are the top 10 streets with the most embarrassing names, along with the percentage of people who voted each name as embarrassing followed by the price of a property on the street and an example of the price of a similar property nearby, courtesy of a study by Needaproperty.com. As you can see, it doesn’t pay to buy on an embarrassingly named street:

1. Minge Lane, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, 31%, Detached house – £253,389, Detached house in Longfield – £325,000

2. Slag Lane, Lowton, Lancashire, 26%, Semi-detached house – £112,620, Semi-detached house in Fieldfare Close – £141,297

3. Fanny Hands Lane, Ludford, Lincolnshire, 24.9%, Detached house, £157,200, Detached house in Magna Mile, £236,987

4. Bell End, Rowley Regis, West Midlands, 22.5%, Semi-detached house, £126,409, Semi-detached house in Uplands Avenue, £187,027

5. Crotch Crescent, Marston, Oxfordshire, 19.6%, Terraced house, £238,250, Terraced house in Ouseley Close, £280,500

6. The Knob, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire, 17%, Semi-detached house, £245,000, Semi-detached house in Glebe Rise, £249,000

7. Turkey Cock Lane, Stanway, Essex, 10.8%, Terraced house, £177,527, Terraced house in London Road, £166,840

8. Cockshoot Close, Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, 10.1%, Semi-detached house, £286,536, Semi-detached house in Longore, £304,794

9. Cumming Street, Islington, London, 8.9%, Flat, £292,768, Flat in Britannia Street, £358,419

10. Cock-A-Dobby, Sandhurst, Berkshire, 6.5%, Detached house, £456,481, Detached house in Longdown Road, £615,000