Monday, December 22, 2008

Start spreadin the news...

We’re leaving today…. Well, tonight – but its sounded good anyways. In a few hours we’ll be at Heathrow checking into our New York (New York) bound flight which is part one of our adventure home. Boy, are we excited!!!! But first, lets catch you up on our last few days in ol’ blimey.

Hansel & Gretel
We recently bought tickets to what we thought would be a good panto for Christmas. Turns out we were wrong (horribly wrong). There was no “Booo! Hisss…. WATCH OUT!! He’s behind you!” to be called out. Instead we were ushered around the woods chasing two obnoxious kids in beanies. But in all fairness it was an interesting concept, which was done well – basically you are part of the show and instead of the scenery moving on and off stage you move from one scene to the next by walking around a large studio. But, in the end we were left feeling a little gutted for the above mentioned reason and the price.

Orphan’s Christmas
The following Saturday we had organised for a group of friends without family here in London, to get together to celebrate Christmas before we all took off in different directions. But London’s weather really turned it on for us! Having been nice all week (that’s London speak for overcast but not rain), a downpour Saturday morning meant our first planned activity of Ice Staking, left us staking around in a swimming pool. No Joke! But I’m proud to say (yet again) no falls occurred and we all left the rink relatively dry. After a sneaky pint (or two) in the festive bar at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland we dashed across the park to Lancaster Gate. We arrived at the pub shortly after 2pm and didn’t leave until midnight which meant we had to make a mad dash for the last tubes. At the pub we exchanged gifts, had Christmas lunch and played a few simple math games. All in all, we had a great day which ended drinking away the early hours of the morning with two good friends.

The Nutcracker
Last night we attended our first ballet production, the Nutcracker, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Although Jarratt was a BIT annoyed that the main performers got less of an applause at the end than the Prima Ballerina, who with her partner performed the grand pas de dux – the most impressive performance of the play, however significantly shorter than the main characters parts. Regardless, all of them got far too many claps in our opinion as they returned to stage time and time again leaving J saying “Get off already!”

Well,… that’s it, I guess we’ll see you all soon, xoxo

Swoosh, swoosh... at the swimming pool at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Orphans Christmas Dinner.

Simple Math Game... :)

At a fancy scmancy dinner before the Nutcracker.

Inside the Royal Opera House for the Ballet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In Brugge

Well its been a wonderfully festive weekend just gone. J and I made the mad dash across the channel and up into Belgium to live the good life of chocolate, sweet beer and waffles, as well as some beautiful Christmas markets. We left ye old London town at around 7am and arrived in Brussels (our first destination) a little after lunch. In Brussels we were treated to some pretty good chocolate, Frittes wrapped in paper (that's hot chips to those playing at home) and a rather cheeky little boy pissing in a fountain. We spent a few hours wandering around the Christmas markets and came away with some pretty ornaments and a major headache! It didn't take us long to deduct that the reason Belgium's created good beer and chocolate was too soothe themselves after a day shopping at their ridiculously stressful and crowded Christmas markets. We boarded our bus shortly after 7pm and headed for Brugge.

Brugge (in short) is AMAZING! We arrived in quite late but quickly dumped bags and made our way into town with 2 fellow couples. No sooner had we arrived in the main market square had J handed me my first (of many) Leffe beers - a traditional Belgium wheat beer. The late night quickly turned into early morning and we fell into bed at around 5am only to be awoken 4 hours later. Sunday was spent roaming the markets for more souvenirs and chocolate, hehe. We passed on the tranquil looking boat ride around Brugge's canals as (quite frankly) my stomach probably wouldn't have handled it well. We ended our day sharing a quiet hot chocolate and waffle before boarding the bus and ferry home.

Other than living it up in Brugge we have also been playing happy tourists here in London. We have done yet another ice-skating extravaganza, this time at the Tower of London. J is finding his feet and all this preparation seems to be paying off. By the time we hit Central Parks ice-rink in New York he should be able to land a triple axle.
We have also visited a number of museums, The London Transport Museum and The Imperial War Museum - both Jarratt's picks! As riveting as it was to find out about the omnibuses and creation of the underground *enter eye roll here* the saving grace was watching J reprimand a 9 year old for pushing in front of me when it was our turn for one of the interactive games.

Finally, London has truly turned on the festive spirit for us. Not only have we been lucky enough to wake to snow falling in the park opposite us one Sunday morning. We have also seen the Christmas lights of the most amazing tree (for 4 obvious reasons) be turned on by the Lord Mayor of Oslo and good old Borris.

Next up we have the Orphan's Christmas kindly organised by yours truly, a Christmas Panto (Hansel and Gretel) at the Barbician, The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House and of course the long awaited trip home!!!! 13 sleeps and counting.... love and kisses, Us.
Bec and her Frittes with Mayo - Did you know Belgium's claim they invented this lovely food?
One of the many window displays advertising their chocolate goods in Brussels.
Us at the Christmas Markets in Brussels.

"This one goes out to all my homies in Brugge"

J driving the train contently after giving a 9 year old a tellin' off...

Angel. ;)