Jan 19 2013
0

The not too long flight home…

Ahhh the last post about Europe! It is strange when you are on holiday. You don’t want it to end and then, when it does you just want to get home RIGHT NOW. We got to Heathrow early enough so we could have a relaxing time in the Lounge and do some last minute shopping at Boots and just take it easy.

The American Airlines lounge at Heathrow was ok – nothing like Qantas Club. We are so spoiled when we are at Tullamarine at the lounge there, but it was nice for some quiet time at Heathrow as that airport is just crazy!

We took off on time and then I realized that I had packed my headphones in my checked luggage. So being headphoneless meant being angry with myself for ten minutes and then back to back reading of Hello! and OK and reading my Royal Family special edition book. It made a short flight longer but I survived.

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for… the plane food! Much like the journey over, it was pretty average but it did the job.

Our main meal was this generic creamy pasta with salad. The salad was really fresh and better than Qantas salad –

AA - LHR - LAX - Dinner and Snack

The attendants then came around with a snack about two hours out of New York. Now seriously, we had just come away from eating copious amounts of awesome pizza and pasta in Italy and then we were confronted with this…

AA - LHR - LAX - Dinner and Snack

Oh dear. When we opened it, this is what we got –

AA - LHR - LAX - Dinner and Snack

It was as bland, rubbery and as awful as you could imagine. Yes, we definitely were not on holidays any more!

Landing at JFK was horrendous due to long long immigration lines. The US Citizen line was just as long as the visitor one and they were both moving slow. It took us two hours to get through so it was a crummy way to end the holiday but the blessing was an easy cab ride home. Within 20 minutes of exiting JFK, we were walking into our building. We were home and our vacation was well and truly over. Ahhhhh!

Now… we have under three weeks to go until we are back in Rome and we are literally counting every single hour until we are back there!

Jan 17 2013
4

New Baby! #happy365

Via Flickr:
My MacBook Pro is only 18 months old.

Bill’s old HP laptop is about to die. Problem is that he only wanted a Mac to replace it even though he is not a heavy user and nothing to the level of how I use mine. Solution? He takes my mint condition Mac to play on and get used to the OS and I get a new Mac.

He left work at 5, was in Soho by 5.30 and was home by 6.20 with the new baby in hand. Now for the hours of fun transferring data over all of these computers and getting everything nice and Jenellified!

Jan 13 2013
1

Strawberry Choc Milkshake from Mega Bites #happy365

Via Flickr:
Bill made a lovely turkey breast for dinner tonight. We eat dinner really early on Sunday night and tonight was no exception – we were all done by 5pm!

Bill turned and said "What can we have for dessert?" I told him that I’d do anything for a Mega Bites milkshake. Mega Bites is our local diner – we hang out there once (or twice!) a week and we love it!

Anyway, fast forward 20 minutes and there is a knock at the door. A milkshake for me and a small sundae for Bill. If you want something here and you don’t want to leave the couch – you can get anything delivered. Now that is enough to make anyone happy! Happy Sunday!

Jan 13 2013
1

European Vacation – the last day

Our last day in London was another busy one.

We got to Kensington Palace before it even opened. We were about third in line! Even though they aren’t even living there yet, I just wanted to say “Yoohoo.. Wills? Kate? We are hereeee!”

Hyde Park was a flurry of activity –

Hyde Park

Getting to Kensington Palace early meant that I could show Bill where I lived in South Kensington as well!

South Kensington

South Kensington

South Kensington

I spent half of my life in this phone booth when I would call mum and dad using dodgy phone cards –

South Kensington

Our block.. awww I miss it!

South Kensington

Our old place! The bright blue door has now been painted –

South Kensington

Inside the Palace itself, the new museum was really well done. Our Royal Historic Palaces membership came in very handy again and we were able to spend time quickly getting through the displays (that were really quirky and original) as we had so much planned for the day.

Palace Gates –

Kensington Palace

Bill beside ‘his’ statue –

Kensington Palace

Peace in the middle of London –

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Will and Kate’s backyard –

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

We then went down to Buckingham Palace again for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. This was the biggest waste of time compared to what we saw earlier in the week and also there were so many (very annoying) people. We just wandered through the crowd and jumped on a bus and thought we’d go on a bit of a ride. There were massive traffic jams everywhere…

Traffic jams..

We were watching the world go by when little did I know, we ended up near Shepherd’s Bush – the Australian expat capital of the world. When I lived in London, I remember Fiona and I coming down here one night after a cricket win and then… never again.

But, when we got off the bus I saw a place called ‘Jumbuck Pies’ I ran so fast into that place and immediately shrieked. REAL pies, REAL chips, REAL gravy and Australian groceries. STOCK UP TIME!

I had a pie with chips and gravy and washed it all down with a Solo. I bought Samboy chips, lollies and chicken salt to bring home. It is so awesome knowing I can fly just 7 hours away get chips and gravy that tasted real. YES! This was just awesome –

Jumbuck Aussie Pies

Jumbuck Aussie Pies

Jumbuck Aussie Pies

Jumbuck Aussie Pies

Jumbuck Aussie Pies

Being sidetracked at Jumbuck Pies meant that we then had to head back in a hurry for our tour of Parliament. Due to a car accident, we were a little late but they just put us on another tour.

The tour of Parliament which was absolutely fantastic – no photos allowed so I cannot share any with you. If you are in London, a tour of Westminster is a must. I don’t know why I never visited there when I actually lived there, but we loved every moment of the tour.

Afterwards, we relaxed in the cafe for a bit, where we enjoyed Official Parliamentary Water. Oh yes indeed!

Proof that we visited Parliament

We then got to marvel at Big Ben one more time –

Untitled

Big Ben

Before we knew it we had jumped back onto the tube to get out to South Kensington.

South Kensington Station

Getting off the train at my old station, everything seemed different. I was kicking myself for, what I felt, not really getting into London when I lived there. But then again, that was over 10 years ago. I was so much younger, so I guess, I was how any other 21 year old would be.

I would love to go back there and work for 12 months now as a ‘grown up’. I think it would be just fantastic.

We deliberately got off at South Kensington and we officially wound down the end of our trip with Mass at the Brompton Oratory. It is a lovely church that is well suited to South Kensington. That bit of downtime was very much needed before we realized that it was time to get back to the hotel and try and pack all of our stuff.

Packing :(

Our European vacation was now, nothing more than a few pages of my typed itinerary sitting in a hotel bin. But, after what was easily the best vacation ever, it was great to know that we planned so well, we walked far and… we were heading back to New York. I still pinch myself when I realize that is where I get to go when I think “It is time to go home..”