For whatever reason, my site isn't pinging Weblogs.Com even though the settings tell it to. This in turn doesn't show me as updated in everyone's Blogrolls! Argh. I am even having trouble manually pinging it... Double argh!
Hello everyone - It's only Tuesday and I am actually getting out a weekend re-cap this early in the week (LOL). The weather was lovely here in Houston as we got our first cool front which made the temperatures drop down a couple degrees - enough to make a difference and make you start feeling that summer may actually be on its way out and fall was making its way in. The weekend was even nicer because we did not spend it in bars or bed but actually with friends at some of their special occasions...
Friday night: Kenny & I met up with EJ & Sherry to watch Gelli dance at a high school game half-time. Afterwards we all went to dinner. It was an early night for us.
Saturday: We woke up at a decent time and ran errands. We bought our gas logs (they'll be installed this coming Saturday - I'll take pictures), had lunch, bought some fall flowers at the nursery (pictures forthcoming as well) and took some prints to be framed at Hobby Lobby (they had 50% off framing so I saved a lot). Afterwards we attended a friend's surprise 40th birthday party. That didn't end too late so we went home and vegged the rest of the evening.
Sunday: we woke up early and headed to Jennifer & Erick's wedding (whose relationship I saw grow from the very beginning). Can I just say that the bride looked beautiful!! Congratulation guys!
(and for those counting - that was my 6th wedding this year and I have one more to go this year, much to Kenny' delight...)
After the wedding & reception (which was short and sweet since they had to catch their cruise ship at Galveston), Kenny & I headed home and took a nap. When I woke up I planted my flowers (zinnias, mums and pentas) and then together we tidied up the kitchen (finally). The rest of the evening was spent on the couch eating take-out pho and watching Kevin Spacey's latest film, The Life of David Gale.
Here are pictures from our 1st major stop in London, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. A few comments below...
-- Some of the better looking wax figures were Cybill Shepherd (her face), Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon.
-- The "tourist" was also so well done she fooled many of us as we waited for her to finish taking the picture. LOL!
-- In my jet-lagged state, I completely forgot to take pictures of the Queen and Lady Di!! Ack! I walked right by them and missed them. The crowd of people was partially to blame too - it was hard to make out the wax figures among the throng of visitors in the larger rooms.
-- Overall, it was fun but I really wished there had been more!!
I'll start you off with some general photos from London. I divided the rest into specific sites we visited but these were just general shots around town that I took. I have added captions and identified as many as possible. Enjoy!
A few comments:
-- We mastered the London Underground subway system and British Rail. We have also learned the city of London better than most Londoners.
-- Along the same lines, don't ask Londoners for directions. They can't give them because they often don't know themselves.
-- Near the Clapham Junction subway station is a wonderful little restaurant called Fish in a Tie. Highly recommended. Great prices.
-- The Portobello Road Market was an unexpected highlight of the trip! We went the Saturday before we left and bought all of our souvenirs + more there. Wonderful weather made it even more enjoyable!
-- The Texas Embassy Cantina is a fun place for us Texans (decent frozen margaritas too and great bartenders).
-- Wagamama is a not-to-be-missed noodle house (thanks for the suggestion Mike).
-- It's fun to get lost in the Soho area.
-- An original Mini truly is tiny inside!!
-- David Blaine looked like crap after only 5 days in his box (I have pictures of him). No, we did not throw eggs at him.
-- Susan and CJ are great to travel with... looking forward to going to Boston with them next month. This is my favorite groups shot!
I'll leave more comments on my other London entries...
...and back at work. Yesterday was a tiring day. Flying back and forth from New Orleans was easy. It was running around trying to get things up in the booth that was tedious as miscommunication with hotel personnel and just plain logistical and set-up issues inevitably happened.
It didn't help that the flight was out of the second, smaller airport here in Houston (Hobby) that is in the southeast - I live in the northwest. The hour drive down there from home was as long as the hour flight to New Orleans. At least traffic was lighter on my drive home in the evening.
I made it home fine though and the flights were completely trouble-free and remarkably easy. No long security lines, no check-in hassles. I am beat though. Kenny had pool league last night so it was just me and the dogs. After checking my e-mails and taking a shower, I settled down on the couch to watch TV and work on a scrapbook (the prints I ordered had come in). I fell asleep out on the couch for a few minutes and only moved to the bed when Kenny came home around 11 PM. I just wish I had had more energy to stay up and talk to him about the day. *sigh*
Today I am dragging. I could feel it as I walked into the office. It's slightly overcast and half the office including my boss is out today at the conference. Everyone who went is in the chartering department which is who I sit next to so it's is unusually quiet (nobody talking, no phones ringing). They only left one guy behind. Maybe I can surf a little more than usual today. We'll see. I'm just glad it's Friday! T.G.I.F.
Kenny has signed up for his first flying lesson! He has been diligently reading his books, passed the physical yesterday and will be at the airfield at the painfully early hour of 7 AM this Friday morning. He must really want to do this to get him out of bed at this hour!!
I am so happy for him! This has been dream of his and he is so excited. I know he will be a wonderful pilot and I look forward to having the chance to go up with him! Congrats honey!
Busy, busy… we have a HUGE conference this week in New Orleans and I am part of the crew organizing it. I am not attending the conference per se because I am not a chartering broker and know nothing about the shipping business but I do have to fly over there tomorrow for the day to help set up. Today we have to pack the van with all of our promotional giveaways, brochures, and booth set up (including a cumbersome and fragile ships model). Hopefully the van will be leaving for New Orleans after lunchtime. I’ll be amazed if we get everything in…
Anyhoo, the London albums on-line are slowly coming together – I will unveil two of them today. The delay is in the fact that I want to actually add captions so you guys will know what you are looking at. I am almost done with the 2nd album, I promise!
And in other news, life has been good. I saw some good friends this past weekend, saw a movie, spent time with my husband, went shopping. I have also re-found an interest in scrapbooks due to a Creative Memories party I attended hosted by Hanna and led by my other good friend Pamela (a CM consultant). I don’t want to necessarily create detailed family-oriented ones with lots of cut outs and embellishments but actually want to make simple event books full of photos from our vacations and larger social events with a few stickers and page cutouts thrown in every now and then. I’ve taken the time to print out some digital prints and have bought what I need to make a book for London, San Antonio (Kenny and I like to go there as a weekend get-away so it’s special) as well as Renaissance Festival last year when a large group of us went dressed up. Maybe I’ll make a holiday album as well… I have some great pictures from last year from Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s. I think my biggest issue is that I take too many photos and the albums will be huge! LOL. Anyone else out there scrapbook as well??
Yes, yes, London update coming soon. In the meantime, here is the 1st album with captions -
Is this thing on?
Anyone out there?
I submitted some of my nicer photos from London to DeviantArt these past few days. Tell me what you think... click on image for full-size:
-- two *
-- six *
-- seven *
Sorry for the lack of updating. I came back from vacation with a head cold and no energy to write up long posts about the trip. I wanted to leave work early yesterday but was unable to do so despite being miserable so this morning I called in sick and slept in. I am now back at work (yeah, I usually only take half-days when I am sick) and although my body is still icky I am in a much better mood than yesterday when I was snapping at people. I also feel more energetic and my congestion is clearing up. Ah, my time tested remedy still works! Sleep + Thera-Flu NightTime always seems to do the trick for me!
The albums are s-l-o-w-l-y coming together... I will post links when they are.
For now I wanted to leave you with this cute shot of the photographer herself taken by her loving husband. Don't I look all photojournalistic and stuff with my huge wide angle? We were on a river cruise on the Thames.
We are safely back home - we arrived ~4 PM yesterday. I've unpacked but am still getting settled back in. I came back with a slight sore throat that started the day we left so I went to bed early last night (before 10 PM) and crashed.
I have to go to work today but I will be uploading pictures over the next couple of days and will start to give you re-caps this week... till then!
Actually, I am typing this at my friend's flat in Sutton (suburb south of London). We had wonderful Thai food dinner, just had some chamomile tea with them and are getting ready for bed. DId I mention Kenny and I have now been officially awake for over 32 hours straight (we only slept about an hour on the plane rider over) and really looking forward to some sleep?
We had lots of fun but I will save the synopsis for our return. I need sleep and I am on a dial-up so you guys will just have to wait. It did involve wax figures and shopping. Tomorrow's adventure involves a castle, a labyrinth and drinks with some good friends.
Till then - and try to stay out of trouble!
As I scurry around these last couple of days, I thought I would post our itinerary of what we hope to see and do...
Monday: Arrive 6:55 AM and meet up with CJ & Susan who are already in London since Saturday.
We hope to make it out to the infamous Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum that day then meet up my friend Paul for dinner (he is the groom-to-be and our host for 3 nights).
Tuesday: Spend the day at Leed's Castle.
Wednesday: We have 10:30 AM tickets for the London Eye and the Thames River Cruise. Rest of the day we'll hit the museums.
Thursday: Go up the Tower Bridge and really no other specifics. I figure we can take this day and see what each of wants to see. Whether we stay together or not is up in the air. Each person can do what they want... (maybe I'll go to the Tower of London since it is right next door to the bridge and I haven't been yet).
Thursday night: Go to a theater show.
Friday: Paul & Michelle's wedding is at 3 PM. We'll meet up with Susan and CJ in the evening.
Saturday: Open day - probably shopping!
Sunday: Fly back home at noon, arrive Houston ~5 PM.
Expect me to come back with several hundred photos! Kenny is bringing his laptop and he has bought all the necessary electrical converters. Last night he installed a great photo editing program we both like to use as well as the software for both of my pencams. This way I can download pictures every day and keep on shooting. I think between the two pencams, two digital cameras (with 128 MB and 512 MB compact flash cards) and a digital video camera, the trip should be well-documented!! LOL!
Well, the house refinancing went relatively pain-free. The only glitch we had was when the underwriter left our closing paperwork without a signature while they went out-of-town because one little box was not checked off (specifically, the one that said our house had not been on the market in the last 12 months). With some scrambling the paperwork was completed and this morning we signed the inch tall stack. Just in the nick of time too - the rate was set to expire early next week and we are leaving on vacation in 3 days.
One immediate advantage is that we have some spending money for our upcoming trips because we don't have a mortgage payment till November. More long-term advantages include:
--> Our rate went down 1.375% (a big deal when it comes to mortgages)
--> We have a fixed rate now for the entire term of the loan (our initial loan started off fixed but became adjustable after 7 years)
--> Our monthly house payment went down a whopping $270!
So we are happy and just glad we got it all over with! Yay!
My dear husband just called me and the first thing he asks me is "How do you feel"? I tell him I feel fine and then proceed to ask him why does he ask? ...Because he just got back from the doctor's office and he has been diagnosed with strep. Ack!!
He has been sick for the last week but his fever went away quickly and his throat wasn't bothering him till the past few days (that is why he went to the doctor now). Now he is on antibiotics and I am paranoid because just last night I noticed I was unusually fatigued and now, here at work, I feel warm and fatigued as well. It could just be the results of a long, busy day here at work or could it be that he passed it on to me since it's relatively contagious.
*Sigh* Just a few days before we leave for London too... I may use my family doctor connection and get a prescription for antibiotics so I can take some with me on the trip in case I do get sick. I would hate to have to wait a week before getting treatment. And I have soooo much to do to but I should probably try to get some rest and stay healthy...
I had a great time catching up with you at lunchtime Kathy! I also want to thank you for the postcards and the floaty pen from the Shedd Aquarium - it is one of the more unique designs in my 250+ pen collection! :D See you Friday night!
Friday night: Celebrated Sherry's birthday at Hugo's with a nice dinner party (there were 12 of us). The food and company were nice but we were all pooped from a long week so we retired early and went home afterwards.
Saturday: Ran around as the hostess for my friend Jennifer's bridal shower. It was a huge success and surprisingly, the house and my photography got rave reviews! It was all very flattering and I was like a proud momma basking in all the compliments. Jennifer received some great gifts and it was a pleasure to meet her family and friends. Here is the photo album...
Saturday night: A few of the girls stayed behind and we took Jennifer out to a local club for her bachelorette party. Needless to say, she had quite a night! No more details here in order to protect the innocent...
Sunday: I was exhausted since I didn't get home till almost 4 AM the night before but Kenny dragged me out of bed and we went to brunch at Baba Yega's with Susan and CJ. Kenny was unusually cheery while I was mopey but we had a great time! We went over trip plans with them (they are traveling to London with us) and afterwards we did a little shopping (I bought some great shoes for the trip, better than the others I bought a couple of weeks back).
Sunday night: Vegged at the house and watched TV.
Monday: Vegged all day. Went out for a quick lunch and a quick trip to Home Depot only to return to sleep some more in front of the TV. Rewatched Reality Bites*.
* I had forgotten how much this movie represents my generation and how much I enjoyed re-watching it! It was even more fun to watch because it is set in Houston and you can see familiar sites throughout the movie! It's strange to think Winona & Ethan walked through Tranquility Park in Downtown Houston and shared a kiss there...
Now I should have cleaned up around the house on Monday but laziness set in and we did nothing. At least I have next Saturday too...
So how was your Labor Day weekend?
D'oh! Starting the week on Tuesday has thrown me off! I completely forgot this morning as I got ready for work and didn't bring my aerobics clothes. Ack! In my head I never have class right after the weekend.
And I can't go tomorrow and make it up either becasue I already made a haircut appointment after work. *Sigh* At least I'll go Thursday. I've got so much to do anyway maybe it's a blessing in disguise...