Holidays and vacations, two things that always take forever to begin and then ironically fast-forward and disappear seemingly as soon as they arrive. Some British newspapers refer to today as “Blue Monday” because it’s the day most people begrudgingly return to work after several days off for the holidays. According to the article, it’s also called “Divorce Monday” – apparently the holidays really hit some people hard. That puts my rough first day back at work into perspective! Moving on.
Although the last three weeks sped by I’m so thankful I could spend two of them with my main man Tim exploring London and traveling about Paris and Ireland. We also celebrated Christmas and New Years with wonderful Seattle friends here in London.
On Christmas Day we rented Barclay’s bikes (like I described here) and rode around the city with friends while the roads were quiet. Public transportation completely shuts down on Christmas Day (no bus, no tubes, no trains) so it freed up the bus lane for us to tour around the city for several hours at only £4 per person. It was my favorite way of seeing London yet.
- My coworkers and I had Christmas cocktails at a bar on the 32nd level of the Shard, the pyramid-shaped building in the skyline below. The views of London were gorgeous and completely compensated for the pricey drinks.
- While Tim was in London we toured the Tower of London and the Churchill War Rooms. It was my second time at the Tower of London but I never tire of seeing the Crown Jewels, swoon. I like it so much I bought a year-long pass so I can return with all my many future visitors, come one come all. The Churchill War Rooms were equally fascinating, they give a peek into life in London during WWII and the command center of Winston Churchill. There’s also an exhibit all about Churchill’s life – living here is helping me enjoy history more than I ever expected.
- Seeing the Eiffel Tower, loved it, loved it, loved it. More pics here.
Upcoming travel plans:
Hoping to nail down plans this week to visit Prague in February with my favorite flatmate. January weekends are open so I’m going to put the next few weekends towards exploring London and consider a weekend destination later in the month. This British Airways Holiday Finder site is a new favorite for perusing weekend discount travel packages in Europe.
Finished The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank after visiting the house her and her family hid in while in Amsterdam. I can’t get over how eloquently she wrote about a horrifying situation, and how wise beyond her years she was. Now reading The New York Times. 36 Hours. 125 Weekends in Europe
after receiving it as a Christmas gift from a generous friend.
Homeland Season 3 left me speechless – it was SO GOOD. My sister recommended the BBC show Sherlock so I’m going to give it a try. Other than Downton Abbey I haven’t converted to watching British telly yet, perhaps it’s time.
Coming up this week:
It’s always difficult to adjust back to a structured routine after eating, drinking, exploring, eating, drinking, sleeping in & repeating for 10 days straight. But it’s back to the office, gym, and eating the occasional salad…until the next trip.