Category Archives: England

Abigail’s Market

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early again on June 29, 2012.  I guess it doesn’t help that the blinds in the apartment we’re staying at arent very good and let in lots of light.  We should be sleeping more since we’re jetlagged. 

We headed into the city at 12 pm.  It was an overcast day.   We started walking over the famous Tower Bridge and it was raining hard.  The gods were certainly not very happy today!

We met up with Neal at The Draft House Tower Bridge.   Ivan and I shared a tasty, fruity Belgian beer and which was passion fruit flavored. For lunch, we shared potted smoked mackerel, ratatouille salad with toasted pine nuts and goat’s curd and chili crab linguini. 

The weather couldn’t make up it’s mind and it was now sunny. I guess we had done something now to please the gods…

We said bye to Neal and headed to the bus station.  It was time to head to Covent Garden.  Ivan and I noticed a market happening at Southbank Centre, so we decided to get off the bus early and walk to Covent Garden later.

We walked through the new Jubilee Park which has a wooden playground.  We saw the purple upside-down cow Udderbelly. 

The Real Food Market is a great farmer’s market filled with stalls of food.  Ivan said we should check it out on Sunday for lunch.  There was lots of good food, but we were stilled stuffed from lunch…Didn’t stop us from getting a few free samples though. I mean you just cant say no to some free cheese can you!!

We walked around the River Thames and saw Rainbow Park which is an installation with colored sand in a big sandbox. 


Why didn’t they have cool stuff like this when we were kids?!  Lil Dave played awhile in the sandbox with the kids.

We walked towards the bridge and saw The Poetry Takeaway


You can get a poem created for you on the spot for free.  Unfortunately, there was a long line so we didn’t get one made.

We started walking towards Covent Garden.  Ivan noticed a place to get a haircut – I’ve actually seen 3 new shops like this in London.  I read the Standard newspaper while Ivan got his hair cut.

We walked around Covent Garden and noticed a few of the cool BT Artboxes. 


It was time for ice cream!  Ivan mentioned earlier that we were getting Breast Milk ice cream.  I thought he was joking! 


They actually sell it at The Icecreamists.  We got three scoops of it for a hefty price of £20.  The breast milk ice cream was creamy and tasted really good!  I like the hats the staff wears – the girls wear patent leather policemen hats while the guys wear black French berets.  I think the guy who served was being French himself – a bit rude when he didn’t understand what Ivan was saying to him.

I was sooo very tired with jetlag.  Ivan found a place for chocolate espresso.  It was naughty – like drinking a melted down chocolate bar.  I don’t think it had that much espresso in it. 

Ivan wanted to check out the art at Somerset House.  We walked nearby and got free entry with our student cards.  Ivan and I checked out the artwork.  I’m glad that Ivan isn’t the type of person who spends hours admiring the fine details of one art piece.  Some of the pieces had a glass over the art.  I’m surprised this picture of Van Gogh didn’t have a glass over it.


We were still tired so we headed to Pret a Manger for an espresso.  I was sitting in a comfy sofa chair.  I could have fallen asleep at any moment that’s how tired I was.

We walked to Wyndham’s Theatre to see Abigail’s Party.  It’s an old play written by Mike Leigh.  The play is set in 1970’s suburbia. Beverly and her husband Laurence host a cocktail party with their neighbors Angela, her husband Tony and Sue.  At the same time, Sue’s 15 year old daughter Abigail is throwing a party across the street.  It was funny in some moments, but awkward in other moments which was part of the play.  There’s always a few tense moments with Beverly and Laurence fighting.  It wasn’t the best Mike Leigh play we’ve seen.  It was definitely gritty and real which is typical of Mike Leigh plays.


Lovely London

I woke up at 7 am on June 28, 2012 and Ivan was already up.  We were up way too early since we were jetlagged.  I still felt a bit weird.  I worked on the blog.  Ivan did some laundry. 

We left the apartment at 11 am and went to London Bridge Station to meet up with Ivan’s brother Neal at 12 pm.

It was a hot, sunny day which is strange since lately we heard it has been rainy and gloomy.  It was lovely, but a bit humid out.

Neal was on his lunch break.  We walked to Borough Market (a great farmer’s market) and walked around to find food.  Ivan and I shared a vegetable panini and a veggie burger.  We sat nearby and chatted.  Neal saw a stand selling goats cheese ice cream and everybody was wanted to try it.  Ivan and I shared a lemon and basil goats cheese ice cream which was light and tasted good.  Lil Dave got a banana goats cheese ice cream which he said wasn’t banana-y enough.

We had planned to see Noises Off, but they werent offering discounts..luckily Ivan knew of another play nearby – so we went to go see the play What the Butler Saw


It was good thing that the theatre is air-conditioned, but it was still a bit stuffy.

I am familiar with Omid Djalil (from the movie The Infidel) who plays the funny Dr. Rance. 

The play is about the psychologist Dr. Prentice.  He tries to hit on the girl who’s interviewing to be his secretary.  He tells her that she must be examined and she must remove her clothing.  Dr. Prentice’s wife comes in and she has run into her own problems by sleeping with a pageboy from the hotel she was staying at.  Dr. Rance is a corrupt official who starts questioning Dr. Prentice’s office and everything gets out of control. 

It’s really funny.  I love farces since one misunderstanding seems to lead to another and there’s always tons of hiding or characters dressing as the opposite sex. 

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were really tired.  We walked to Leicester Square and took a short nap.  There’s a clock that plays every hour and plays ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ on the bells.  It’s a really long song and kind of loud.  It woke me up. 

It was time to get some dinner.  We walked to Satsuma.  Ivan got a tofu vegetable udon while I got the tofu vegetable yaki soba.  Lil Dave got a banana ramen. 

Later, we walked to Princi which is a great Italian cafe.  The restaurant has expanded to include restaurant seating which is great because the café seating is first come, first served and is always busy. 


Ivan and I shared a tasty raspberry and walnut linzer.  We each had an espresso to keep us going.  Lil Dave decided to get a banana pie. 

We walked to Soho Theatre.  Ivan picked up tickets and was given a piece of paper to fill out.  He had to write a celebrity, place and an entertainment occupation.  The doors to the theatre wasn’t open yet – so we went to the bar to get drinks.  Ivan and I each got a tasty Swedish strawberry-lime cider. 


We got seats in the second row for Chat Show Roulette.  They’re testing a game show before they bring it to television.  The chat show host was Justin Edwards.  He would be bringing out David Schneider, Adam Riches, Katy Brand and Matt Lucas (Little Britain, Alice in Wonderland).  The guests don’t know who they’ll be playing until when they’re sat in front of the host.  The host pulls out suggestions (names, places, everyday objects and celebrities) made from the audience members to add to the story.  It was really funny.  Matt Lucas was definitely the best by playing a crime novelist who set all his detectives solving crime in Afghanistan.

I love London since there are always so many different events like this happening everyday.


Frankfurt Tour

Hi ho, Jennifer here!  Ivan and Lil Dave were already up at 9:30 am on June 26,  2012.  I woke up at 10 am and went to shower.  We got a taxi to the airport.

Today, we are flying from Anchorage, Alaska to Frankfurt, Germany.  We used the free internet at the airport.  I think all airports should offer you free internet…it seems this is mostly an American thing. Same with hotels really – loads of hotels in America offer free internet, whereas its quite rare in Europe.

Our plane left at 12:55 pm.  I fell asleep almost immediately on the plane for some reason even though I got enough sleep last night.

We watched Worst Week on the plane.  We recently watched hilarious British comedy tv show The Worst Week of my Life and finished it and found out there was an American version.  It’s funny, but not as funny as the British show.  Ivan and I both fell asleep for 2 hours.  Then, we watched an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Our plane landed about 9 am in Frankfurt on June 27, 2012.  We got the train to the main train station where we stored most of our luggage.  The train is run on honor system – there are no gates or even places to validate your ticket.  If you’re caught though, you’ll be fined 40 Euros. I guess those German really are a trustworthy bunch! If they implemented this scheme in London, I think revenue would decrease by about 90% overnight and the system would totally be abused (and I would be at the front of the line!! ha ha)

We met at square for the Frankfurt on Foot Walking Tours. We had decided to do a walking tour, rather than just hang out at the airport all day, which is what most people would do.  Our group consisted of 6 people (3 Canadians, us and an Argentinian woman) and 1 monkey.  The tour guide was an older American guy named Dave.  When we met him, he looked like a homeless person holding up a sign for money. Turns out everyone else thought that also. His excuse was that he said he knows how much it costs to get a hair cut and shave yourself daily…hence he doesn’t!

One of the Joerg Ratgeb Frescos

Our group stopped at many sights in the city including City Hall, Alt Nikolai Church, St. Bartholomew, Jörge Ratgeb Wall Paintings in the Karmeliter Cloister, Book Burning Memorial, Jewish Holocaust Memorial Wall, Jewish Ghetto Wall, Bull and Bear and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Goethe House.


It was interesting seeing the old buildings right next to the modern buildings.


It was a great 4 hour tour which flew by. 


Dave really knows his Frankfurt history!! He’s very knowledgeable and funny.  It’s great when a tour guide talks about a city’s history and makes it interesting and Dave did just that!  If you’re ever in Frankfurt, you MUST check out this wonderful tour!

We walked back to the Opernplatzfest which was a festival right by the old Opera house filled with stalls with many different cuisines like Thai, sushi and German.  Ivan and I shared a tasy apple wine with fresh strawberries and a flammkuchen (which is similar to a pizza) with cheese on rucola. 


It was delicious!

Ivan, Lil Dave and I took the train back the main station to retrieve our luggage.  Then, it was off on the shuttle to the small airport where Ryan Air flies out of.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  Ivan and I both fell asleep on the bus.

We had liquid in our bags and the stupid lady at the X-ray machine wouldn’t let us through without the liquids being in a plastic bag.  How dense can you be?  Does it really matter if it’s in the bag? It’s only there to make it easier to see that it’s liquids.  She was so by the rules that she wouldn’t let us through even though I said I’d put it in a plastic bag – but it had to be a ziploc bag.  I told Ivan that I bet they’re in on it with the store so that they get a kick back for sending everybody there to buy a ziploc. 

I felt like a zombie – so jetlagged.  I couldn’t wait to take a shower and get some decent sleep.

Our plane left at 9:40 pm from Frankfurt headed to London, England.  Ivan and I both got an hour’s sleep on the plane.

We arrived at 9:45 pm (the time went an hour back).  Thank goodness, Ivan pre-arranged a taxi.  We would have been so knackered (tired) if we had to take a bus and then a train.

The driver took us to the airbnb place we were staying at.  The place is right between a Gordon Ramsey restaurant and a pub owned by Gandalf.

We arrived at the place at 11:17 pm. 

Later, Ivan and I ate some baked beans before showering and then going to bed.

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