Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday in the Swamp

Well it's officially hot here, hit 100º on Friday, though, surprisingly enough, the humidity isn't too bad.  We could use some rain and they're saying we might get some this week.  Haven't had any in a couple of weeks.  Mac has been watering everything in pots to keep them alive, even our citrus trees were drooping.  The Weather  Channel says by Thursday we'll only reach 89ª, oh be still my heart.

Reading  other blogs it seems that there are a lot of foodies out there traveling, the focus of their traveling is to have food experiences.  I liked learning about about the Food Tours that Rowan at Circle of the Year took in Seville, Spain and Berlin, Germany.  If we hadn't had the dinner cruise in Budapest we would have done a food tour there. Do hope to do one next year in Berlin or Prague.  Mac and April are threatening to do one in Cambodia, you know I'm not doing that one.
But for the most part we're not that much into searching out fine meals when we travel, just looking for decent food at a decent price.
Other than our dinner cruise in Budapest and a quick stop at what was a Turkish Lokanta (self-serve, Mac ate the egg, I ate the fries and who knows what the rest of it was.) we didn't eat out at all.  Our room came with access to the Executive Lounge and they served a full breakfast in the morning and what they called appetizers in the evening---I don't call double lamb chops, fresh shrimp, soups and salads an appetizer, that's a meal.  There was no extra charge for this it was included in the room rate.
In London we opted for breakfast at our hotel, for a fee you got an all you can eat English breakfast every day.
Running around the city we noticed that every place seemed to be offering up hamburgers of one sort or another.  So for lunch one day we had one at the Lord Nelson Pub across the street from our hotel. Holy, moly that puppy was 10 oz. of meat.  If we'd had any idea how big it was going to be we'd have ordered one and shared it.  Neither of us could finish one.

For lunch another day we found a Spanish restaurant--Andalucia (Mac's father was from Andalusia) near Trafalgar Square.  Hard to find Spanish restaurants at home, people seem to think that Mexican food is Spanish food, well it's not.
They were offering a 3-course meal at a decent price so we ordered.  Mac had Judias Verdes, Lamb and Flan--an egg custard.  I had a Tortilla, Roast Chicken and Ice Cream.  Except for the jackhammers in the street outside it was a great meal, I got to practice my Spanish and did it well.

Surprisingly some of the best meals we had were on our flights.  Either airline food had improved or the stewardess running up to keep you wine glass full has helped.

And of course each flight begins with a glass of Champagne.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday

It's time for Five on Friday, the last of summer, Amy at Love Made My Home is taking August off.  Hope everyone has a great August.

My Five have to do, mostly, with a guided walk we took in London, a Rock and Roll Walk that was included in our Hop-on Hop-off ticket.  It was a hot afternoon and our guide was a long-legged fella and I all but had to run to keep up with him, but it was so worth it.

First was our stop at the club where the Beatles and Stones use to hang out in the wee hours.  It's under going renovation with scaffolding all over it so I didn't bother taking a photo, but right across from it was the Art gallery where John Lennon met Yoko Ono.  Turns out that Paul McCartney owned an interest in the gallery and that was partly why John had gone there.
The guide told an amusing and who knows how true story about how John went in and wanted to view one of the art installations, you hammer a nail into the wall,  but Yoko, the artist said he had to pay to hammer the nail .  He said he was a Beatle and didn't carry money.  She said she didn't know what a Beatle was (unlikely).  So he said he'd give her a pretend guinea and she could give him a pretend hammer to use.

Second we then went to see one of two blue plaques dedicated to an imaginary person---Ziggy Stardust (the other is Sherlock Holmes).  It is at the site of what became one of David Bowie's album covers for Ziggy Stardust and was shot at 23 Heddon St. The building at one end of the street and around the corner the red telephone booth.
First the album and then my photos.

Third we visited some Jimmie Hendrix sites including The Bag of Nails where he played with the Jimmie Hendrix Experience and is also the club where Paul McCartney met Linda Eastman.

Fourth we saw where Paul McCartney had recorded Hey Jude.  They had to take the legs off the piano to get it through the door and take the door off its hinges.  After recording the piano was left there.  Our guide said many other groups had recorded there too including The Who, The Animals, Super Tramp etc.

Next we went to Apple Corp, and the site of the Beatles last live performance on the roof top.  We'd actually found this site once before when we were tracking down Beatle sites in London.  Had gone to Abbey Road and of course had our picture taken going across the zebra crossing.

Apple Corps

The fifth is a mixture, the site of where Mozart lived when he was a child touring in London, the last place Glenn Miller played before he died in World War II and some Stones tongues by the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square where they're having a photo retrospective of the Stones.  We thought about going to it, but they wanted £21 a piece which is more than we paid to see the Stones in concert so we didn't  go in, but we loved the mouth/tongue pieces.

The walk was wonderful, maybe the highlight of our London trip.

You may have noticed that I have a newer header.  Mac painted a couple of Basque Shepherds and I fell in love with one and talked him into hanging it in the computer room.

That's my five, do join in with Amy and all the other bloggers at Love Made My Home.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All Outside Activity Will Cease

It's going to be 99º here today and tomorrow, then 100º over the weekend.  We've been walking every morning before breakfast, but it has become a mighty struggle for me, the heat just wipes me out even though I get to jump in the pool when we get back.
So for the next few days, until it cools down, you know, like into the lower 90's we're going to skip the morning walk.  I will do an extra set of aerobics and Mac will do more time on his treadmill.
Hate to be a woosie, but I've never dealt well with heat and as I've gotten older I've been even less able to deal with it.
On a lighter note, saw my Retina Specialist yesterday and all is well, the laser treatment helped the pressure in my eyes.  Always glad to get that appointment over with.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Next Stop, London

The Shakespeare Hotel in Stratford, had a room
with a four-poster bed one year
We've been visiting England since the early 70's, probably gone there more than 30 times.  It never loses its charm for us and each time we go we see something new.  For years we visited castles and stately homes.  We've rented cottages and stayed in historic hotels.  We had walking books for every region and spent our time getting lost and loving it.  Met people in country pubs who took us to stately homes that weren't open to the public or home for a cup of coffee while they told us stories we'll never forget.
We had a pub book and searched out hidden ones and had the publican sign the book.
One of our favorite pubs is a haunted one, The Fleece in Bretforton

Love this country, never worry about the weather, it's usually chilly and that's ok, in fact that's part of why we go, to get away from our oppressive summer heat.  But this year London was suffering from it's own heatwave.  Many times we give London a miss, but this year our whole time in England was spent in London.  Though we've visited most of the tourist sites we decided to play tourist anyway.  We had prepaid for the Hop-on Hop-off bus and though we'd only bought a one-day pass they upgraded us and gave us a 2 day pass that included the bus, a boat ride and our choice of a couple of walking tours.

I still get a kick out of all the tourist sites, though we didn't get off till Trafalgar Square where a giant screen was set up, the National Opera was going to be screening an opera.

Walked across Tower Bridge, first time we'd done that in awhile

And we walked, miles, 5 or 6 miles a day, and city miles on hard concrete are so much harder than country ones.

I'm not sure I'll ever tire of England, I always say that if we hit the lottery that we'll buy a place there, till then we'll just keep making annual journeys.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Lingering Look At Budapest

Now that we've been home a few days and had time to look at our pictures it reenforces just what a beautiful city Budapest was.  Wish it had been a bit cooler because it's such a walkable city with lots of pedestrian areas free of cars.  For a city of a million people it had almost a small town feel.
There were many huge squares lined with cafes, interesting looking shops, statues, ornate lamps, all in all a delight.

A World War I Memorial on the Buda side of the river, looked so very Soviet to us.

After hopping off the Hop-on Hop-off bus which had no air conditioning and the windows wouldn't open we went in search of a beer and something salty.  Mac ate the egg, I ate the chips.
We then found a corner cafe, drank some beers and did lots of people watching.  We were in search of antique stores, but they were all closed.

One of many squares

Love the Lamp Posts

A shopping street, no traffic

A few thoughts about money in Hungary.  We debated buying some Forints, the local currency, but ended up buying Euros.  They worked just fine and we got a great exchange rate when we changed the in England for pounds.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday in the Swamp

My Lifesaver
It's almost noon, going to be about 95º today, so what have I managed to get done.  I walked about 2 miles before breakfast and then jumped in the pool, did a load of laundry and pegged it out, made a loaf of bread and "waxed" the family room floor with Mop and Glow.
Now I'm off to Amazon to find some small lampshades, one of mine has bit the dust.
Then it's exercise time, piano practice, sort out the laundry from yesterday and jump back in the pool. Not too bad for an old lady.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five on Friday

I missed last weeks Five on Friday, we were traveling, and I almost never blog or write when we're away from home.  We traveled to Budapest, Hungary and from there to London, England. Hit them both in the middle of a heatwave, it was 99º on one day, just what we needed after the summer we've been having here.  We thought London would saved us, but it was very warm and muggy there too.  It always feels so much warmer in a city.
Great trip though and I'll share a few highlights for my Five.

First:  We loved walking along the Danube River.  There was a pedestrian friendly walkway that went forever and was dotted with  open air restaurants and bronze statues.

Second:  There were many beautiful bridges
crossing the Danube, our favorites were  the Chain Bridge (Szchenyi Bridge) and the Liberty Bridge built for the Millennium  World Exhibit in 1897 and is the shortest of the bridges over the Danube.

The Chain Bridge

Liberty Bridge

Third:  The view from our hotel room.  Day or night it was beautiful and we kept the curtains open at night so we could see the lights.

Fourth:  Is the view of London from the air.  It's been a long time since we flew to London from the continent and got this view of London.  Coming in from the States you land before reaching London.  If you look closely you can see the London Eye.

Fifth:  I've finally come to terms with London's new skyline.  When I first started seeing the new skyscrapers I hated them and thought they were an abomination.  But I've changed my mind, modern as they are they fit London.  It's such an energetic city.  Every where you look there are cranes with more and more building going on.  And somehow the new, strange as some of it is, fits in with the old.

That's my Five, do visit Amy at Love Made My Home and check out the other bloggers who participate in Five on Friday.

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