Sunday, March 9, 2008

London Bridges

I'm back from London - it was a quick, whirlwind trip but fun nonetheless! Here are a few highlights:

-Arrive in London during the afternoon and score a f-r-e-e facial and massage in the Business Club World lounge!

- Exchange my US Dollars for British Pounds. I gave the clerk $600 and why did I get less than 275 pounds in return?!?

-Get lost walking to hotel.

-Still lost walking to hotel. Do they not believe in street signs in London?!?!

-Work, rest, work - BORING ;)

-Meet coworkers for low-key dinner at local Thai restaurant near the London Bridge.

-Wake up dragging. I guess the time difference caught up with me.

-Work Hard.

-Play Hard. Me and my coworkershead to hot-spot Guanabara, a Brazilian club and restaurant near Covent Garden. The website listed over 10 varieties of Mojitos and tons more of the authentic fruit cocktail, Caipirinha, so we knew were in for a good time. My UK coworkers visit at least 1x a month, so they knew exactly what to order. I was a little leery at first because the outside of the club looks like a warehouse and we had to be searched going in, but once we got seated on the wooden picnic tables and the cocktails and Brazilian appetizers started flowing, it was good night for all! The club has free Samba lessons and a live band on Thursday, so watching the locals party was comedy in itself. London's appreciation of different cultures is amazing - they don't see color or race. All ages and races were out on the dance floor, having a ball!
After Guanabara, we walked a few blocks to another "pub" for a more quiet setting for conversation and "pints" (Pints = beer). After one mojito too many, I'm strictly water at this point ;)

-Wake up DRAAAAGGGGING. Definitely one mojito too many.

-Work not so hard. We've pretty much wrapped up our meetings at noon, so I spent most of my day reading CNN's website and political blogs, counting down the minutes until my coworkers' flights leave.

- Coworkers leave and I take a cab back to hotel. Yippie!

- Meet up with a friend, that's been living in London for 4 years. She brought her London-local friend/tour guide and we hopped on the tube for dinner, sights and adventure. Of all places for us to find to eat, we luck upon "The Texas Embassy", where we enjoyed American style Tex-Mex. After days of "foreign" food, it was good to read a familiar menu! The chips and guacamole were tasty.

After dinner, we headed over to Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square, so we could people watch and pick up a few souvenirs. Downtown London definitely reminds me of New York in every way - diverse culture, bright lights, crowds and cabs everywhere.

- Cold and sleepy, I head back to the hotel to pack before my Saturday morning flight. Somehow the cold, and long walk and tube-ride make me hungry, so I call the front desk to order room service. NO room service at this hotel. WHAT!?!?! Oh well - I'm just hungry enough to walk upstairs to the hotel restaurant ;)

- I take a cab ride over to Paddington Station to catch the Heathrow Airport Express train. I feels weird driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Picture Union Station in Washington, DC and that's what Paddington Station feels like.

- Spot a familiar sign, Krispy Kreme, at train station! I must buy one to see if they taste the same. I decide to save it and eat it on the train ride to the airport.

- Get settled on train and go to grab my donut....but it's gone?!?!? I am greedy enough to actually get OFF the train to see if my donut bag fell out along my walk....NO donut. Oh well :(

- My plane ride back was fantastic and relaxing. I finished up my book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, watched Michael Clayton and Juno, and plenty of sitcoms. I'll admit though, that after reading, 2 movies, 2 sitcoms AND a nap, and still hours remain until landing time, I get pretty restless. Champagne please, so I can fall asleep! Uh-oh, I spill my 2nd glass of champagne all over my seat and pants. $%&(*@*$!!!

- Home Sweet Home to hubby and the kids.

Check out photos from my London adventure:

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