Friday, July 29, 2011

Cool Kid

A couple facts about this dude:
1. He likes beer:
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2. He does jigs:
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[OMG I live with a boy now]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Differences v4

The 4th (and FINAL!) edition of the top differences between living in London vs. Phoenix, this one an ode to the English language in England:

1. Fries are chips
2. Chips are crisps
3. Biscuits are cookies
4. Brown bread is wheat
5. Cuppa means tea time
6. Bacon is pretty much ham
7. Ta means thank you
8. So does cheers
9. You’ll get money out at a cash machine instead of ATM
10. If you’re wearing a tank top it’s called a vest
11. A vest is called a waistcoat
12. Your pants are trousers
13. Your underwear are pants
14. Also known as knickers
15. You can cool off with an ice lolly (popcicle)
16. Restrooms are loos or toilets or WC’s
17. If you say restroom it likely means a room in which you rest
18. Garbage is rubbish which is placed in the bin
19. And Eastenders is rubbish TV
20. To-Go is take away
21. For here is eat-in
22. Football is soccer
23. Rugby is rugby
24. Cricket is confusing
25. A jumper is a sweater
26. Sunnies are your sunglasses
27. Your sneakers are called trainers
28. My galoshes are called wellies
29. (and I love them)
30. 911 is 999
31. Zip code is postcode
32. Mine was SW4
33. Movie theatres are cinemas
34. The Electric is the best one IN. THE. WORLD.
35. Mobile would be your cell
36. Your resume is a CV
37. Surname is last name
38. Dosh, quid, fiver and tener all belong in your wallet
39. Fancy Dress refers to costumes
40. The Brits love a good fancy dress party
41. Hen nights are for bachelorettes
42. Stag do’s are for bachelors
43. Vacations are holidays to you
44. Vacuum with a hoover
45. Shop on the high street
46. Erase a mistake with a rubber
47. The 1st floor is the ground floor
48. The 2nd floor is the first floor
49. You can get there in the lift and not the elevator
50. Z is zed which means this is the end.

(You can read the first volume of “Differences” HERE, second one HERE, and third one HERE)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bittersweet

Dearest LondonTown,
I've only just made it back after a week around the UK and have only a mere three days left to hang out with you before flying home to Phoenix.  With a view like this, I think we can call it going out in style:


From the bottom of my heart, I miss you already.

Love,
Anie

PS:  High-five to the Grange City Hotel for the upgraded room!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scotland Bound

Dear HairyCoo,
I’m pretty sure we’re going to meet during the Highlands Tour we’ll be taking whilst in Edinburgh this week.
Source:  TripAdvisor
Let’s be BFF, and make sure we get some pictures together, ok?

Love,
VacationMode

Monday, July 18, 2011

An island’s life for me.

Dear Jersey,
No, not YOU, this is not a GTL situation.  I’m talking about this place:

St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands - Tiltshift
Photo  by Nik Sibley

Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where I’m currently enjoying time with my boy and the beach. The first stop out of London during out 2 week holiday before flying back to Phoenix. Floating between England and France with toes in the sand – why more people don’t have this on their must do list is beyond me!

Love,
VacationMode

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Differences v3

The 3rd edition of the top differences between living in London vs. Phoenix (read the first one HERE  and second one HERE):
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London Eye (obvs)
1. The restaurant experience: Dining out in a London restaurant (along with other UK / European locations for that matter) is much different than in the States. It’s a more relaxed experience, which in many cases to Americans, can translate as: SLOW. I however, think it’s lovely and makes for much more of an “experience” versus simply going out to eat. In London, if you order water then next question you’ll be asked is “sparkling or still” and if you reply with either option you’ll be brought a lovely bottle of the H2O of your choosing, which you will then find you’ve been charged for. This has prompted me to get into the habit of proactively ordering “tap water” when I’m out. (Side note – the tap water in London is delish). Speaking of beverages, if you order lemonade it’s actually lemon-lime soda (Sprite), and if you order a soda there generally are no free refills. Ordering 2 or 3 courses seems to be much more the norm here than at home – which is true of restaurants at all price points. Starter? Main? Dessert / Pudding? End of dinner coffee or tea? It’s rare that you’d have just a main course and nothing else, my waistline is proof. Likely the biggest difference of dining out in London is you are never brought the check. You always have to ask for your bill which means there’s never a time you’re feeling rushed, or as though your server is more concerned with turning over the next table than he or she is with helping you. My absolute favourite thing that happens is once you’ve requested the bill if you’re paying with a card the server comes back to your table with a hand held credit card machine. THIS IS GENIUS. It’s efficient, they have no trouble splitting up the bill between several cards, and your card never leaves your site. I’m going to miss those handy machines. Why everywhere in the US doesn’t have them too is beyond me!

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Near Westminster
2. Transportation: Phoenix is nearly 100% a driving city – we have the light rail of course, but it doesn’t get you everywhere you need to go . . . at least not yet it doesn’t. The HOT weather in Arizona also has an affinity for not allowing people to be outside too long in the summer, meaning walking places isn’t always practical. London however, is the opposite. I’ve loved taking public transportation and figuring out my own tips for getting from place to place. It’s easy to navigate, and that means A LOT coming from me as I have the worst sense of direction in all the land. I’m going to miss the tube, double-decker buses, overground trains, DLR, and even riverboats! (Except when it comes to grocery shopping or carrying loads of stuff, I will then be very pleased to have my vehicle back)

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Camden Town

3. Holiday Time: This little ditty I’m going to keep brief as I’m attempting to stay in denial about it. Coming over to the UK meant an increase of 6 extra days vacation, and 10 extra days for sick time. In the states, vacation and sick time for me was all the same allowance. If the flu hit it meant paid time off was coming out of the same balance as if I was at the beach! This is going to be tough to go back to.
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Portobello Road

4. Tips: It didn’t take long to realise once being here that the US culture is one that LOVES to give tips for everything! Here, not so much. You rarely tip cab drivers (maybe a couple pounds if they carried luggage), hairstylist = no tips, service at restaurants is almost always either included in your bill or you can leave a few pounds and call it square. There are of course exceptions and tipping is far from frowned upon, but it’s nice to have whatever you leave to be seen as generosity and appreciated instead of expected.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Journal Day

Dear SometimesSweet,
Your new “Journal Day” series is such a fun, motivational idea and I’m excited to participate! It’s not farfetched to guess most bloggers have some passion to write, or at least would like to explore it, and this is a perfect way to do just that.

For those that haven’t read SometimesSweet first pop over and check it out, it’s a lovely blog, and has recently become one my favourite additions to the Google Reader. Danielle’s concept for “Journal Day" is to provide a prompt which serves as a writing topic to get the creative blood pumping, narrative style. As the daughter of an English Teacher, I wish I would have thought of it myself!

Prompt: “The older we get, the more certain we get about who we are and what our purpose is. For me, a lot of it is still unknown, but as I make my way down my own path, I have begun to realize that there are indeed some inevitable truths that I know for sure. On your own blog, write a post that talks about "the one thing you know for sure."

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© Letters and Lists, 2011 

I wholeheartedly agree that as we get further into our own life’s story, whilst the unknown never fully subsides, you become more confident in what you do know FOR SURE. For me, I know without a doubt that however things in life continue to unfold I will always have support. Support in this context represents a couple things. . .

Firstly, my people – the amazing friends and family that I’m ever so lucky to have around me which are my support system no matter what. Sometimes that means a friend to give me the go ahead to spend frivolously during a shopping trip or concurring we should order the second bottle of wine. Other times it’s the friend who will drop whatever they’re doing to help in any way I might need, no matter how seemingly inconvenient, even if it’s just to listen. I have a family who tells me constantly how proud they are and support my choices even if they don’t always agree with them. The faces of friends might change once in a while, and I may not get to see family as often as I’d like. . . but I know for certain that I will always have these people around me who are my rocks I can turn to for anything.

Second, it’s me – part of becoming older has meant becoming more confident and realising how important it is for me to be in a really good place as an individual. I have faith that I’m smart enough to make good decisions, and because of that am supportive of myself. What a concept! I have the confidence that I am going through life the best that I can, and for the times that I struggle I try and learn, grow, and become better with each mistake. Oh boy, trust me that there are struggles, and most definitely a lot of mistakes. I certainly don’t hit a speed bump then stop to reflect on what I can learn immediately, it’s quite far from being that ideal, and is always much easier said than done. I do however know I’m capable and I believe in what I do in all aspects of life. I feel VERY strongly that I can be a better girlfriend, friend, employee, colleague, creative, daughter, sister, etc. because I’m in the best place I can be for myself.

Thanks Danielle, for the great inspiration to write away this week!

Love,
Anie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I’m from the desert.

1. People think I’ve never seen snow.

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 2. Clearly I wouldn’t know a thing about bundling up and layers.

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wow, sexy.
3. Snow angels? Is that like a sand angel but colder?

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reflective snow suites = all the rage.

4. Northern lights? Uh, you mean street lights in Flagstaff?

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5. SLEDDING?! WITH DOGS?!

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6. I’ve walked across a border before. Oh wait, to Finland? No.

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7. The Arctic Circle . . . must be some new ice cream shop.

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8. Pet all the dogs I want = heaven!

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9. I did not request ICE mascara!

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10. I’m sorry did you say -13 ºF. . . that sounds made up.

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Please mother nature, PLEASE help remind me of this amazing trip to Tromsø, Norway when I’m melting in a few weeks.

Friday, July 8, 2011

“All the world’s a stage. . .”


source
 I was packing a box up last night to ship back to Phoenix, and started looking through all the tickets I’ve kept from shows I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in London over the past year:

1, Merry Wives of Windsor: September 2010, midnight show at Shakespeare’s Globe, with Ryan, lovely B+

2, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: November 2010, The Palace Theatre, with Nicole (official theatre going buddy!), B for the show A for the costumes

3, We Will Rock You: January 2011, Dominion Theatre, with my sister, B for the show but A for the Freddie Mercury gallery in the theatre lobby

4, Cirque du Soleil, Totem: January 2011, Royal Albert Hall, with Nicole, A+ though technically not theatre it had to be on the list

5, In a Forrest Dark and Deep: April 2011, Vaudeville Theatre, with Jenbabe / Lee / Nicole, C- for the show but A for Matthew Fox being hot.

6, Dream Boats and Petticoats: May 2011, Playhouse Theatre, just me, B for the show but A for a £10 ticket in the 3rd row

7, Much Ado About Nothing: June 2011, Wyndham Theatre, with Nicole, A++ BEST SHOW EVER (and not just because of David Tennant)

8, Wicked: July 2011, Apollo Victoria Theatre, with Nicole, strong A+

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tres.

Warning: Today’s letter brought to you with an unusually large helping of the MUSHY-LOVEY stuff.

Dear Handsome,
WHOA - it’s been three years. I’m amazed each and every single day at how lucky I am. It still makes my tummy flip when you call me beautiful. I get the goose bumps when you say I’m the love of your life.
We’ve beaten some odds you and I. Things started out in a way that normally, does not a relationship make . . . but us, we worked. We finally saw what was right in front of our noses and realized it was more than we even knew we wanted.
Of course then came the distance:
source
The long distance relationship: that for which everyone has an opinion. Many of which include “well that’s not going to work”. I’ll say it again, it is undoubtedly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but we’re getting through it, together. We make sure we know the next time we’ll see each other and we communicate each and every day even if only to say hello or goodnight. It’s far from perfect, but it is worth it, because we know it’s what we want. You once told me that on the Dr. Who, Rory waited 2,000 years for Amy Pond to come back and that makes 1 year seem not so rough to you.  I think about that every day that I’ve been gone, and guess what?  Now, there’s only 10 little sleeps left.
Happy 3rd Anniversary, my love.
High-Five,
A
nie   

Monday, July 4, 2011

“Gimme back my money, you pig!”

If you shook my head out like a piggy bank this is undoubtedly what you would find jingle-jangling around in there:



1. Whoa, it’s JULY
2. How the hell did that happen?
3. Time goes by way too quickly
4. Especially as you get older
5. I’m not ready for the Arizona heat
6. What if I melt?
7. What if I actually melt into the ground wicked-witch-of-the-west style
8. Do you suppose it’ll just be my clothes remaining on the sidewalk?
9. Note to self: sport cute underwear that day
10. I can’t have my legacy left with run of the mill chonies on the ground
11. I miss London already
12. Though I can’t wait to be home
13. I’m anxious
14. And nervous
15. But excited
16. Overwhelmed
17. I know it will be a transition
18. Bittersweet
19. But that’s good right?
20. If it was easy, it means I did it wrong
21. I’m not tired of London
22. Let’s be clear on that
23. The love affair will never be over
24. Cliché, cliché . . . but, fact
25. I’ll keep travelling
26. Friends that’ll last a lifetime
27. Lucky, SO flipping lucky
28. Without a doubt the hardest year of my life
29. Also, the best.
30. He’s the one
31. Odds = BEATEN.
32. Title of this blog . . .
33. 10 points to whoever can name that reference
34. Ready, GO!



Just a bit of randomness for your 4th of July. . . Happy Independence Day America, all the way from jolly ‘ol England! (awkward)