Saturday, July 05, 2008

5th of July

We had a barbeque today, celebrating American independence a day late, and the requirements to attend were to:

1. Be named Sara or Sarah
2. Be American
3. Be married to a Brit
4. Be married to an American named Sara(h)
5. Be my brother

We did sing some American songs (tee hee!) and there was debate over the American revolution. I baked a cake from one of my favorite blogs The Pioneer Woman. It was decorated with a yummy cream cheese icing and raspberries and blueberries, and it was really easy to do!

and found sparklers in letter form, which spelled out USA. (Feel free to start up the chant: U-S-A! U-S-A!)

My brother did the cooking.It got a little smokey at times!

It's the last time we'll entertain at our Croydon flat, as it will soon be sold. We've agreed a price on a new house and hope to move soon! I'll keep you posted on that...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Adventure Holiday

Here are some highlights of the adventure part of my vacation in Utah.

I went rock climbing for the first time, and it was a real thrill. Adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, scared witless rock climbing. I loved it.

The climbing shoes were incredible. They were painfully tight, but the grippy stuff on the bottoms were SO grippy. Most of the first climb was about learning to trust that your foot would actually stay in that 2mm deep crevice when you put all your weight onto it. Wahoo! I can't wait to go again.

My dad gets some kudos for climbing. He's pretty old. Not too old. But, you know, old. (Tee hee!)

Sorry, I don't have video of me climbing. However, I do have video of The Husband. Unlike the indoor skydiving, Neil was so much better at climbing than I was. To make up for me being a little mean in that indoor skydiving post, Neil gets the video feature in this post. He was a real monkey.

I also went white water rafting for the first time. Any hard core rafters will mock my excitement, as these rapids were not very big. But it was exciting to me, and extra kudos go to my mom who came rafting, too, despite not being a fan of thrill-seeking. (I think she liked the thrill!) Next time, we'll go for bigger rapids.

We're all smiling there, but when the water splashed into the boat, it was COLD! Here's a video of our longest and bumpiest rapid:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grand Canyon (no The)

I am in Grand Canyon! (No one puts a "the" in front of it round these here parts.)

It is a stunning place. We woke up at ridiculous o'clock to get to a trailhead by 7am. Then, we hiked down a steep trail to Cedar Ridge for gorgeous views of the canyon -- though the river remained elusive. Here's me on the trail (in the white hat):

We had a fantastic guide who was so enthusiastic about the area; she kept us all in good spirits, which managed to last through the strenuous and sweaty trip back up. She taught us about the plant that tequila gets made front, how the Ponderosa Pine smells like butterscotch and Ooh-Aah Point. I don't know how long the trail was, but it was 1200 feet down into the canyon.

We got to see some sure-footed mules coming down the trail, though I think the wranglers didn't like having thier picture taken.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rained Out :(

I have no videos of chasing cheese to show you.

The pouring rain woke us up at about 7am and hadn't stopped by the time we were supposed to get ready, nor had it stopped by the time we were supposed to be leaving. We decided that, rather than swim down the hill, we'd wait until next year. So... stay tuned for next year! Rumor has it that my brother might be joining in on the fun!

So as not to disappoint my rabid fans hungry for entertainment, I can provide some footage of the practice runs. We went to Blue Bell Hill near Maidstone and the husband took a few tumbles. The idea is to use his Aikido ukemi to keep the speed momentum when falling... It's harder than he thought!

And, just for the fun of it, I tried running down the hill. It was scary, and I wasn't even trying to ukemi!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chasing the Cheese

If you are wondering what I'll be doing on my Bank Holiday Monday tomorrow... I will be filming my husband doing this:

I hope to put a clip up here, and the only reason I won't is if it turns out to be a film of him breaking his neck.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Flat is Finished Slideshow 1

The flat is finished, and now we're moving out. Actually, the flat is finished because we're moving out.

Here is a slideshow showing the progression of half of the kitchen. This is the sink wall before, during and after the DIY.

More to come! Including snazzy photos using a wide angle lens...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Lovely Song

To get me back into the habit of posting, here is a lovely song for you to enjoy. I loved it the second I watched it and had to share it with you.

If you are my grandma, you don't need to watch the stuff after the song. That stuff is a bit silly.

The girl in the video is an incredible musician and you can find more of her music here:

More posts soon!

Love you ALL.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm a winner!

At first, I thought it was another spam email. But it wasn't. I have actually won a competition. About four months ago, I filled in a survey about my trip to the Forest of Dean. I lvoe taking surveys and this one was really interesting. It asked me to click on photos that I thought represented my experience in the Forest of Dean, as well as lots of questions about what I did and what I wanted to do. The survey was run by the official tourism website for the Forest of Dean and they were clearly doing some thinking about how best to get people to come and visit. I was happy to offer my opinion, and never really thought about winning the prize.

But I did.

The prize is... a trip to the Forest of Dean!

We get to stay in this gorgeous-looking B&B for two nights, free.

I can't wait to go back.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We're moving!

My lovely hubby has just got a new job (yay, Husband!) and it's not in London (collective gasp). While he'll avoid being packed into a commuter train, he will have to battle with traffic instead. I will still be commuting into London, and the places we are looking at buying a house all have good transport links into various London stations.

We have to wait a little while for all the official paper pushing to happen before we can go on full on exploratory missions and actually loook inside houses but, while this was brewing, we've done a bit of driving around in the area.

If you work with me, please forgive me for being scattered (for the past few weeks and) for the next few weeks. If you are related to me, I may be a little ball of crazy when you try to talk to me. It's all going to happen pretty quickly as hubby will likely start his new job in four weeks. But we're both really excited to be moving away from London to the green, green hills of England.

For an example of some of the green, green places we like so far:

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm back!

I'm back from New York and from my long absence from blogging. There has been so much going on, but I'm back now. I'll use this post to tell you about my New York trip and will wait to catch you up on other things later. I don't have much on my schedule at the moment, so I can blog about all the interesting things that I've been doing, rather than the vegging out that I plan to be doing for the next few weeks.

For the past week, I've been on my first real business trip. I was sent to New York to represent my company to people who we haven't worked with before. I felt like a travelling saleswoman even though I wasn't really selling anything besides the good reputation of my company. I have decided that in every meeting I was successful in getting across that we are a great business to work with -- because we are! Hooray!

It was a real thrill to be back in New York on my own and working, but all the adrenaline and scheduling and bouncing around the city, I did get worn out. I'm not as young as I used to be. Luckily, I got to go to several interesting restaurants and cafes with my business meetings like CraftBar, a casual place with brown paper tablecoths and gorgeous healthy food, and Alice's Tea Cup a place for proper English tea with an Alice in Wonderland motif.

I also want to make a special mention of the hotel I stayed in: the Hotel Mela. It's a boutique hotel in an awesome location and is more reasonably priced that is neighbor competitors. Great rooms, great service (everyone is so happy!) and free streaming wifi. If you're ever going to New York and need a place to stay, try this hotel.

I also happened to be in New York on my birthday and my wonderful parents came up to hang out with me for the weekend. On my actual birthday, they took me to a great Mexican restaurant recommended by one of the agents that I met with called La Palapa. They had some really interesting dishes like cooked cactus and a rice dumpling smothered in a tomato salsa. Yum.

We also went to see Spamalot (which I have seen before and have a bit of fun history with) and I loved it all over again. Clay Aiken was in it (yes, I'm fan -- don't mock) and he was great. He was just as funny as the professional actors, with his fantastic voice to top it off. Interstingly, the Lady of Lake was the same Lady of the Lake that I saw in London, because the US and UK Ladies switched places for a time. She was just as awesome the second time around.

Lastly, my trip was awesome because I got to see so many friends: singing karaoke and trying to get free drinks (and embarassing myself a couple of times with my song choice), spending an evening with an old friend and it only felt like a couple of weeks since we'd seen each other, and hanging out with my family, shopping and walking around New York despite the freezing cold wind.