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Rule Britannia

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Over the course of the last, oh…month (yeah, sometimes I am a big blog-neglector), much has happened. But today, I realized that it was Wednesday, so we’re reaching into the themed days-of-the-week post bag o’ tricks and pulling out… Where in the World Wednesday! We got back from London about a week and a half ago, and while all the pictures have been dutifully uploaded to Flickr (as well as a smaller set to a Facebook album by GP– I’m on the “pretty annoyed” side of Facebook use right now, but that is another post), I want to share a little sampling of my favorites. Good thing I noticed it was Wednesday, right?

While we were in London, we stayed with friends (who are doing various academic things in and around London– one is a postdoc and one is pursuing a couple masters degrees) on the east side of town, which was really fun and interesting because it felt much more neighborhood-y than my previous stays near Russell Square, the West End, and Kensington. One of my favorite ways of experiencing any country is through food (surprise!), and this was no different. When in London, we had this breakfast a total of three (maybe four?) times:

Full fry-up at Gardiner's

What’s not to love? An egg with a yolk begging to be destroyed by perfectly crispy toast, beans for piling atop the remainder of toast, and proper back bacon (an important component of the bacon-egg sandwich that I would opt for the next couple times we visited this cafe). The sausage, I will admit, is not my favorite– I think there’s more bread/bread-like sausage filling in their sausages, so the texture was weird. But the tea! Ohhh, the tea. I floated away on a sea of tea when we were in England.

With so many museums that were admission-free (don’t worry, we always put a little into the “suggested donation” banks), I couldn’t resist dragging GP to a couple. On our first day, we hit the V&A, where he got into a staring contest with this enormous dog sculpture:

Staring contest

the British Museum, and the Tate Modern, where I became art in a fricking mirror that was mounted on the wall:

A mirror

Until finally GP had had his fill of art. Note the disdain for what is essentially a solidly-colored panel (what can I say, the dude’s not a Rothko fan, either):

Greg is unimpressed

Our friends kindly showed us around their part of town, which is home to some delicious salt beef (seriously, how did I not know about salt beef before? It is miraculous), adorable mini cupcakes (plum and lavender-flavored frosting) with a Chez Panisse connection,

Minis from Violet

and an urban farm complete with some immense ginger pigs, who I petted despite signs warning me not to.

Ginger pig!

We also passed by one of their local public libraries, which is cleverly named. (U.S. public libraries, get on this! It could be a thing.)

It's a library, really

Other wanderings around the city found us enjoying some lovely and typically British scenery…

Millenium Bridge and St. Paul's

Because GP is a roller coaster enthusiast, we made some side trips to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, home of what may well be the last operating steeplechase ride (and numerous other thrills and bone-jarring attractions)…

Steeplechase

…and Alton Towers, which has many more roller coasters nestled into the woods surrounding a hundreds-of-years-old estate.

I’m slowly climbing out of the post-vacation malaise, mostly with the help of copious amounts of tea and a renewed interest in the type of reading that so enthralled me as an English major undergrad (read: nerdier than I already gravitate toward). Tell me, friends: how do you get over the semi-disappointment of returning home after an awesome vacation?

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About Megan

I read, I write, I drink wine while watching way too much tv. Let's be friends.

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