28.5.07

Paris Pictures

These are a few of my favorite pics from my trip. I didn't take masses but if you want to see more there are some more in my Flickr folder. They are of Montemartre, the area around my hotel in the left bank, Batignolles and Marais.

Paris when it Drizzles

J'adore Paris--so much so that James and I go at least once a year minimum. We've been so many times now that we don't spend our time doing the tourist spots anymore and just relax. Sitting in cafe's, running 'round the parks like the locals and eating bloody amazing food is what we like. Don't get me wrong, we still love to grace the top spots occassionally and catch the odd museum but there's not the pressure anymore to get any of it in before leaving.

You could say we were looking forward to this trip for Bank Holiday weekend a bit. We bought the Eurostar tickets in January and booked our hotel in February. We're weird this way I guess as we like to save up as long as we can for things and have things to get excited for when other things in our life are difficult. Its our way of plodding through.

The Eurostar was its usual excellence of amazing food and a really quiet train journey. I love looking out through the windows at the French countryside on the way and not having a care in the world. When we arrived the weather was hot and humid and it was great to be back in the city that feels so much like a second home.

Of course we took advantage of the weather and walked around. Our hotel is near the Notre Dame and on the way to do some shopping and getting icecream at Berthillon (the best place for icecream in like all of France) we stopped by to light a candle and look at the rose windows. The rose windows are one of my favorite things in Paris, so beautiful and humbling at the same time. We did loads of shopping at Sephora, Galeries Layfayette, Comptoir de Famille and L'Oliver and explored the area around our new haunting ground on the left bank. Thank goodness shopping was on our to do lists because the good weather only lasted only that afternoon. It rained a heck of a lot for the remainder of the weekend. Even when it rains though, Paris oozes with romanticsm.

We were limited on places to eat the first day because of the rain but it managed to be bearable enough the next couple of days we could at least get out to some of our favorite restaurants. The second day we went to Aubergine--a place near our old hotel and on the last night we went to Le Comptoir, near our new hotel we switched to this trip. The food at both places can only be described as intense exotic pleasure. You seriously don't think food could taste this good and then they exceed any expectation you may have. Its a complete experience and the crazy thing is that its reasonably priced. My favorite was the grilled salmon & cheese sandwich from Le Comptoir and the Chocolate fondant from Aubergine. Definitely one of the best things about Paris is the food and we try to do our best to eat as well as possible whenever we go.

We never managed to get out for a run due to the rain. Thank goodness the hotel was nice and we could catch up on reading, writing postcards when it was unbearable. Despite the weather, we did get out enough to enjoy ourselves immensly and as usual Paris never is disappointing. I could go on forever about the trip but it was great to get away for a long weekend. I'm always sad at the end of my trips especially leaving Paris cause I never want them to end. However, there will always be next time though and I guarantee you that I'll be brimming with enthusiasm until another trip comes our way.

16.5.07

Congratulations!


My sister had her daughter apparently yesterday--Kasera Lin Owen (not sure if correct spelling of this!). Anyway--she's probably kill me when she finds out I posted a picture of her on the web, but I think its a nice shot of this new family and things like this should be shared. So congratulations Miranda and Adam and I hope that you don't have too many sleepless nights in the near future!

5.5.07

Knick Knacks and Dinosaurs

Today we had a glorious day out in Central London. Its Bank Holiday weekend (no work on Mon.) and we figured heck lets do something different. So we went to the Natural History Museum and Notting Hill. Never been to this museum before and Notting Hill never when the market on Portobello Road was open.

The building the Natural History Museum is in is incredibly beautiful. It is very Victorian, has stained glass windows, lots of carved animals on the outside and grand wooden floors. The inside was even better. We went to see the Dinosaurs and the ecosystem section. Particularly for the Dinosaurs it was great to see all the little kids so darn excited seeing everything and even some making growling noises. The best part of the entire section was a life-size robotic T-rex and it seemed a bit too real if you know what I mean!

Notting Hill--very posh part of town and incredibly cute. Portobello Market is actually featured in the movie Notting Hill and you can definitely see why as its one of the best markets in the world! It was so much fun to look at all the incredible antiques, the quaint boutiques and smell the outdoor food being cooked for the masses. Things like this is why I love London and don't know how I ever could leave!

(The Natural History Museum)

(Notting Hill)


4.5.07

Shopping

London is one of the best places in the world to shop. Some of the most amazing designers, quaint boutiques and high street shops can be found throughout the city including places like Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Bond Street and around High Street Kensington and Knightsbridge. Its a fashionista's dream to be at the center of such a place home to Burberry, Paul Smith, Top Shop, Hackett and others. Many trends have been born (as well as died) here and its hard to ignore the fact the influence London has had on the world of fashion.

This reason I believe is a huge fact to why so many Londoners dress well. Another reason is I think it must be down to the European thing (Italy in particular--my gosh even the babies wear Dolce and Gabbana!). Most wear suits and ties to work and you will never find people wearing baseball caps and if its T-shirts and Jeans they will look amazing. Never a wasted moment for a chance to make a fashion statement!

The downside to London's world o' fashion is the price and the sizes. Sizes for clothes are rated a lot bigger than in America, for example: A UK size 18 is a US size 14/16. Shoes--I love what they do with shoes because they make you feel like you have tiny feet. In the US, I wear a size 9--here its a 7! Why can't they do that with the regular clothes? Anyway, price-----now this is the hard part. I seriously cannot get away with getting a decent shirt for cheaper than £30 ($60), pants/trousers usually average around £35 ($70). These are the cheaper options as most things are more than this and by the time your looking at entire outfits you're at least set back about £150-200 ($300-400). This would all be great if your job paid well and you are skinny enough to fit into the clothes!!

As you may have guessed, shopping is a bit of pain in the ass for me in London because I don't have an endless supply of money and I'm not yet (still working on it!) a size that is "easily accommodated to." What I would give to be able to walk into a shop and buy something I like and not have to worry about whether it will fit and if it costs more than my monthly grocery bill. I know that I should focus on my triumphs particularly in the weight arena as I've come SOOOOOO far and I'm so much healthier and happier. I also know that self-confidence comes from within yes, but I do think the clothes should help you get there a little as well. In the end all I really want is a chance to be a bit of a 'girl' and be able to get clothes that exemplify the person I am on the inside. Unfortunately we live in a superficial society and although its wrong you are judged by how you look.

Anyway, nuff said on this. Everyone is entitled to a little whinge session and today is my turn. I know that sometime very soon I'll get my weight down even more so I can fit into some of the amazing clothes you can find in London. I'm doing everything possible to make this happen and its just a matter of just smiling, putting one foot in front of each other and plodding along one day at a time.