Tower of Terror

Yesterday Mum (you like that?) and I went to the Tower of London, saw the Crown of Jewels (including a 530 carat diamond) and heard the bloody past of royal executions from the beef eaters.

Tower of London, off with your head
Tower of London, off with your head
My Beefeater Friend
My Beefeater Friend

After hearing about all the gore, we got a bit ‘peckish’ as they say and decided to go for some traditional fish and chips, with the obligatory pint of Carlsburg. After all, it was my birthday and on my birthday it seems totally ok to eat enough fried goods to kill a prize horse. I thought I could handle the fish and chips, but just to be on the safe side my mom and I split an order after looking around and seeing how extremely large the portion sizes were.

Fish and Chips mixed Platter, with mushy peas
Fish and Chips mixed Platter, with mushy peas

Grassroots 009The photo above of me eating the fish and chips was about the last time my stomach felt good for the rest of the day. After consuming my plate of fried delights my stomach was completely shot for the rest of the day. Despite the fact that I made my mom walk the 7+  miles back to our hotel from here, I still felt like someone slapped me with  a bag of bricks. The waitress laughed and told me I needed to develop an ‘english stomach’ which to me translates, ” you need to welcome coronary heart disease with open arms lovvie!”

We WERE going to get indian food last night for dinner, as there are almost more indian folks here than brits, but we decided to pass on that for fear of….well, you get the idea.

oh, and by the way, these are my new cars.

RR phantom or some insanely custom italian car, each about 1,000,000£ a pop.
RR phantom or some insanely custom italian car, each about 1,000,000£ a pop.

Cheerio!

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Lunch? Sure let me just take out a second mortgage..

Dinner Menu
Dinner Menu
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Upper Class Cabin Bar.... yeh
Upper Class Cabin Bar.... yeh

So here’s the skinny thus far.. London is a fun town, reminds me of NYC with a Euro flare… but in these tough economic times for us American folks, by no means is it a good time for us to come and visit this city. Regardless of the exchange rate… which is something like 1:1.75 EVERYTHING here is ridiculously overpriced, to the point of unbelievability.

For example, Yesterday, after walking around for what seemed like hours, from Buckingham palace (we took the tour which was quite cool because it is only open to tourists in the summer months when ol’ Queenie is on vaca at Windsor, mom and I decided to grab a quick bite to eat at Harrod’s. (A world-famous department store equipped with clothes, and food items for the masses) We each ordered a simple reuben sandwich and a diet cola, a seemingly humble lunch in comparision to other options we might have entertained.

Mom enjoying some Extra Cold Fosters
Mom enjoying some Extra Cold Fosters

Sitting at a bar stool in the middle of this chaotic department store, youd assume that the price of the meal would be relativel to the surrounding environment. Despite the sensical, the meal ended up costing 35£ which for americans translates to upward of 60$!!!!! FOR LUNCH?!??! This city is ridiculous. It is very hard to find anything cheap, a one way underground ticket that took us 4 stops cost 4£ each, a total of around 16$. Great.

The Famous White Lion Pub
The Famous White Lion Pub

Despite the financial concerns, the city is wonderful, everyone here is very very nice and there are a surprising number of Italian folks, which is helpful because I have been able to brush up on my language skills before my Parma return in about 3 weeks time.

Today is my birthday, the big 2-2…. so I am opting to take a ride on the famous London Eye, maybe see the Tower of London (where Anne Boleyn was beheaded) or perhaps take my chances and go shopping in the Camden (which for local folks seems to be the seedier part of town).

Will update again as soon as I can, unless of course we run out of funding and I hve to resort to vagabond living for the duration of the trip (a distinct possibility).

Gates of Buckingham Palace
Gates of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, Garden View
Buckingham Palace, Garden View
London Eye
London Eye
Me and my friend Ben
Me and my friend Ben

Love from the land of Fish and Chips,

Michelle

Buzzed in the Lounge

For those of us that are not lucky enough to get a ridiculously awesome 2 month vacation, albeit the unemployment, I thought I’d give everyone a play by play of my time so far… even though I am technically still in the country I have not hesitated to take advantage of the free booze in the Air New Zealand lounge, compliments of American Express.

Apparently Virgin Atlantic was too good to have its own lounge at LAX so they had to share with Air New Zealand. I can be ok with that, especially because within 30 seconds of entering the lounge I have been ‘accosted’ by 2 very attractive men with incomprehensible accents asking me what type of beverage i’d like.

Normally I would not accept drinks from men with accents, but in this case….I’ll take what I can.

My mother came up with the brilliant idea of leaving our hosue with 6 hours to spare before our flight, which leaves at 9pm, so most likely i’ll just drink myself to oblivion and wait for my “upper class” virgin atlantic experience. I’ll be taking photos of the accomodations on the aircraft, you know, so all of you can get a taste of the high life… Maybe I’ll sit next to George Clooney and join the mile high club.. Why? because I have class god dammit.

Alright, Cheers to a much needed (though completely unmerited) vacation in Europe.

*downs cheap champagne*

Off and Abroad

Not much to write, I think I have lost my ability to be interesting.. But not for long. Starting tomorrow evening (8pm sharp) I’ll be embarking on my journey through Europe.  It should be a truly amazing trip. Don’t worry I’ll be taking a lot of photos, and describing my experiences….which, in many circumstances might be somewhat surprising.

Nonetheless, If I don’t kill my mother and/or myself from too much familial proximity, then this trip should be life-changing. My mother even offered to allow me to move back in with my Italian host family hahaha! I guess she’s trying to pawn me off to the ex-fascists.
That’s all for now. I’ll be back in the states on October 7th, until then, we shall speak from abroad!

As the Brits would say, Too-de-loo!

Upcoming World Travels!! Pack your bags!

Well hello again folks, long time no talk… or eat..
Again I apologize for the abysmal lack of posting, but something really exciting is coming up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starting August 27th (until October 8th), I will be going on a 2 month Europe trip to some really exciting places including: (but not necessarily in this order)

1) Russia

2) England

3) Estonia

4) Finland

5) Denmark

6) Belgium

7) The Netherlands

8 France

9) Germany

10) Italy

11) Sweden

While I am on this amazing trip I will be going out of my way to seek out some really amazing eats, as I’d like to fulfill my Anthony Bourdain prophecy.

Amazing pictures and grassroots gourmet are coming, and I am getting ravenous just thinking about it! But not to worry, you can all live vicariously through me (and maybe even learn something new) as soon as this trip commences. Here are some shots from last year’s excursion!

Hangin' in Montenegro
Hangin' in Montenegro
Relishing in Pompousness in Italia

Casa di Prosciutto, Parma Italy
Casa di Prosciutto, Parma Italy
Making Pizza with the Host Fam
Making Pizza with the Host Fam

So buckle up, put on your bibs and dig in! Grassroots Gourmet Style!