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:

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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.