Road Trip! Leicestershire to Scotland, here we go!

I know, you are excited. The very thought of sitting in a car for around 6 hours driving to another country is enough to make me squee with glee.

Wait, let’s think about that last statement for a moment. There aren’t many places in the United States that you can get in your car and drive to another country in under 6 hours. Sure, it doesn’t help that we have two very large bodies of water to either side of us. So does England, however you can still get in your car and, from most places in the country, be able to drive to another country altogether in 6 hours, including putting your car on a ferry or train to get across a channel or sea. If you live in Kansas, in 6 hours you are likely still in Kansas.

But I digress. Or do I? Because on this gorgeous, sunny Wednesday in July, me and my dear husband (DH) were packing up the car for a week in Scotland.

And it went something like this (warning, I do utter a curse word or two in this video):

 

I know, right? Sorry about the cursing, but I think the SUV driver forgot he was towing a bloody caravan!

Back to the road trip. Having done the drive up the A1 before, we decided to let the time lapse camera do the shoot for us, with the occasional video from myself.

And until those time lapses are finished, here are a few more of the videos, complete with singing, countryside and lorries.

Does it get any better than this? Windows down, music playing, sun shining. It felt like we were finally on holiday. And, because we were making the most out of the drive we’d done before, why not stop in Richmond… again?

Riders on the Storm may have been on the radio, but there was nary a cloud in sight as we pulled into the same car park as our last visit by the lonely, overcast cricket field.

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But this time…

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Again, the charms of Richmond overwhelmed us, and this time, with only one hour to spend in town… well, we had a castle to see.

Watch this space!

(Oh, and if any show up, sorry about the adverts. Photographd does not endorse any posting of ads by WordPress. But since she’s too cheap to upgrade, that’s what we’re going to get.)

 

And so we left NYC and landed in London (Hooray!)

Raise your hand if you suffer from serious jet lag.

Right? After a 7 hour red eye flight, spending easily up to minimum one hour navigating Heathrow’s hallways, immigration queues and baggage carrousels to then wheel all your goods to the Heathrow Express, then off at Paddington, then into a cab… frankly I’m exhausted writing about it.

That’s why we stay in a lovely hotel for one night before collapsing at the family pile. Just one night of sleep. Starting at 1:30 in the afternoon, please.

As we do when we get to town, we checked in to the Zetter Townhouse… just in time for their Bastille Day celebrations which, although utterly charming and inviting, we were wary of. If we weren’t so tired I’m sure we’d have joined in the Boules, getting sand in our flip flops and spending too much money on Kronenbourgs, because the weather was glorious. It was what summertime in London should always be: bright blue skies, warm sun, people out on bicycles, pubs overflowing into the streets.  Happy, smiling Londoners filled with mirth and ale. What more could you want?

A nap, actually.

Then food. And that’s where I snapped all these lovely photographs you are about to look at.

Ready?

We jumped on the bus to TCR.

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And that’s when we made our way back, not having found the cheap electronics we were looking for. Instead we sought out sustenance.

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We found plenty of sustenance at Sicillian Avenue. But it looks like everybody got there first.

Perhaps we should follow these cyclists.

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That’s when we found ourselves at Exmouth Market. Although the market itself had already shut for the day, a restaurant/roastery called Caravan. It’s lovely.

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It’s windows open up to get an outside indoors feel and on a day like today, the restaurant was ours.

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And so are these saddles. But I digress.

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We found the Michael Palin Centre on our walk back to the hotel.

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And down this little walkway, we found a park I didn’t even know about.

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Apparently in this spot of beauty, called Spa Fields, was once a neighborhood of ill manners. “Rude sports” were conducted here like duck-hunting, prize-fighting and bull-baiting.

Now one finds lavender, kids drinking and hanging out and office workers on their luncheons.

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Someone once told me that this area is also full of plague pits. Spooky.

One of the cool things for an American who lives in Los Angeles with its wide roads and concrete are Clerkenwell’s alleys and passages of brick and glass. I can’t get enough of them, even when I lived there I’d take a passage if I could.

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Whilst fooling around with my black and white setting, we went down a passage and found one of Wren’s churches, St James’ Church. So many green spaces! The Southwood Garden, as it is called, was recently replanted in 2012. I might have a colour photo of it around here somewhere.

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The Southwood Garden provides a lovely cut through to Aylesbury Street, its square often filled with afternoon revelers.

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But we had only one thing in mind as we went down another popular passage.

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Our hotel. Complete with Bastille Day celebrations…Day One London-35

The elevator…

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And this.

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Goodnight!

I promised you a post about Eataly…

So I’ll keep it brief. After all, it’s been two months since we visited NYC, and my memory of it may be a little faded, but the photos I took keep it fresh in my mind. Like the daintiest of fresh pastas, it didn’t take long looking at the photos to bring it all back.

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Eataly is a gourmet Italian food market just next to the Flatiron Building at 23rd Street where you can not only have a meal or a glass of wine, but you can stand at a coffee counter, a la Italy itself, or take a delicious gelato on the go. There are areas for all delights: pizza (la piazza) meats (manza and rosticierria), fish (il pesce), paninis (panini), and vegetarians (le verdure), where we found ourselves on our last day in New York City.

We’d been walking around the 911 Memorial all morning, taking in its somber atmosphere and enjoying a moment of silence for those who lost there lives. We also enjoyed a few photographs to keep it fresh for us;

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When completed, the 911 Memorial is going to be a lovely public space. Though I wonder if they’ll have the kind of security we had on our visit. Queue after queue, ticket check after ticket check, bags searched and x-rays performed. But a lovely visit nonetheless.

Oh, did I mention it was freaking hot? Not much shade in the memorial queues, so it made our decision to get gelato instead of go to the Natural History Museum that much easier. We escaped into the air conditioned subway for a quick ride to 23rd Street and transported ourselves back to Italy.

It’s easy to spend a good amount of time at Eataly, and with row after row of imported Italian goods surrounding us, it’s not surprising DH did a little jig:

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Nice.

Our immediate thought was la Piazza. But after a look at the busy dining area we made a bee line to il pesce where the prices gave us a fright. And upon looking at the vegetarian menu, Le Verdure was the spot. Fresh, seasonal ingredients filled every dish. I had the Farrotto, Faro cooked a la risotto, and in my memory (because it didn’t last long enough for a photograph) it was filled with peas, parm and a little mint. It was delicious.

Top marks to the guys behind the counter.

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And, since you asked, here is the rest of our Eataly experience, in photo:

**warning, photographs of meat to follow**

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I wanted to take everything home with me, including the guys making homemade gnocchi. Surely they’d fit in my suitcase, no?

But alas, I could have none of it, for I was leaving later that day for England, and part of me knew that if I really wanted fantastic Italian goods, what better way to get it than in Europe?

I have one last thing to say to Eataly: come to Los Angeles!