Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So I'm moving to DC. I was a bit flighty for awhile there, but in the end I'm just way to excited to start this program and live in DC. Do I have a place to live: NO. Well not exactly, I have some prospects. But I'm pretty much going in blind. Do I know anyone out there: NO. Well sort of, I superficially know a few people. So I'm about 1/5 the way through the drive from LA out there. We're in Salt Lake right now, and we'll probably leave here Friday (I want to stay through Iron & Wine and the Galivan). I'll let you know how it turns out.

PS I still really want to see SE Asia and India...I'm going to try to make that work too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Stop 1 started after an 11 hour flight from LAX to Heathrow. We stayed in London for 4 days, and it was a first for me in so many ways. It was the first city abroad I've been too, the first time I used my Passport, the first time I stayed in a hostel (with 3 hot Frenchies fyi)...the start of everything. London was great...super expensive, but great. Melissa and I just about killed each other (you know how it is when you haven't been in close proximity for a number of years), but I think it eventually brought us closer. Plus I was SOO excited for everything. We traveled on kind of a tight budget apparently (it really helps when you're not spending $20 every night on alcohol though). So we would spring for pricey tourist things if we thought it was really worth it. But you definitely can't do that all day or even everyday. We ended up wandering the cities, checking out local scenes, street markets, parks, a lot of things that are a bit off the beaten track. It was pretty important to us to get a feel for real life in the places we were going also, which wasn't too hard in a lot of the places we went as tourism was not very big. So we walked alll over London, at the time we didn't know about the 5 pound day passes on the tube, only the 4 pound per ride tickets...which yeah, pretty expensive. So we walked everywhere, like miles to get places. It turned out pretty cool...I think walking though a city is a really good way to experience it. Okay, enough said. One last side note, we flew into London and out of London, so these are from our first few days and our last few days :( Pictures:

First place we wandered in our jet-lagged stupor: Westminster Abbey

It cost 16 pounds to get in!!! Yeah, okay Newton's tomb and a lot kings and stuff are in it, but really. So we opted to just wander the outer grounds. The Abbey from the back.

Then we noticed the backdoor open, and strangely not guarded...so we walked on into the 16 pound exhibit, through the back entrance.

It is very beautiful inside, and full of cool things, tombs, statues, coronation halls, etc.
Plus it's still a working church, so they held a mass while we were there.

Big Ben is just across the street. Just like in Peter Pan.

This one is in Hyde Park, but there are soooo many lovely gardens. Probably because it rains soooo much - like it did this day.

Another park, I really enjoyed having so many places to sit and eat, read, think, etc.

Piccadilly Circus, pretty cool, plus right by SoHo, the theatre district, Chinatown, Oxford circus, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace

We decided to see Les Mis our 2nd night in town...it was actually one of the only things I really really wanted to do in London. Melissa got so excited she had to do the robot dance.

It was so good, and at the Queen's Theatre!!! Plus it cost less for these (yes, upper) seats than to get into the Westminster Abbey.

The Thames. We didn't go on the London Eye.

Trafalgar Square from the National Gallery. Most things are a bit pricey in London, but most of the museums with all their incredible collections are free. That is very cool.

The National Portrait Gallery. I really loved this one. Especially because one of the special exhibits was Photos of Bob Dylan! That's the room I'm in.

The changing of the guard. What a crazy show, everyday! We had a good view, bc I made Melissa leave a bit early...but as people filled in they really were pushing us flush against the fence. It was pretty ridiculous.

I carried around this 20 pound note from the US until our last day in London at the very end of the 2 months...as sort of emergency money. So everyday, I would see the queen on this bill; by the end I think we were like...friends. So I have a special place for the queen.

Greenwich, the plaque says something like this is where Henry VIII, Elizabeth the I and Queen Mary were all born.

The Tudor place from the Thames.

Borough Market, the outskirts

Remember this pace from Love Actually? You know, in the beginning when Sam is explaining his problem to his dad: that he's in love.

A proper shot of Big Ben, right at dusk.

Camden Market...we came back here on our last day and spent all our money.

London was perfect for us, because most of the time we were there is was so SUNNY! Which apparently never happens.

The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Some Victorian Style Park with a really cool fountain.

We saw 2 Hare Krishna gatherings. This was the first, a big dancing festival where everyone was getting involved. The 2nd would be almost 2 months later in Bosnia.

Our tube station just happened to also be KING'S CROSS station!!! Like from Harry Potter.

An antiques market we went too.

London fashion

At the old horse stables, turned into a market but with a lot of statues of horses around

Across from the Tate Britain, another cool, free museum in London

Yes, we did see Harry Potter one rainy night, opening weekend.

Our return plane, it was a Boeing 747 which I thought was a little cool.