Travel.

London II: perceptive.

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HYDE PARK, LONDON.

photoAfter what I thought was going to be a wash out week of “freezing” low 60s, my third day in the UK was graced with a gorgeous 75 { cue sun emoji }, finding a sweet card in my suitcase from my bff/ roomie, & a Facetime chat with some coworkers from the States!!

Obviously couldn’t pass up spending some time outside in this beautiful weather – so I hustled back to the city center, threw on some sneex and hopped back on the train to Hyde Park Corner. Decided to run around Serpentine Lake – which I believe is a decent chunk of the park. Don’t take a tourist’s word for it!

I’ll be honest, my run was more of a jog-stop-photo op-run-halt-click situation. Have you noticed that if British nouns (aka people, places & things) can easily be perceived as impossibly snobbish or undeniably majestic? Let’s just say this park redefines the latter.

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And they have a Peter Pan statue. PETER. PAN.

I ended up out of the park and “getting lost” for a bit until I found my way to the Kingston station (figured if I was going to explore, I’d at least do so towards my hotel :] ). Once I got back to Earls Court, I started bopping in and out of restaurants to see what their takeaway (read: take-out) menus had to offer. From walking awkwardly (read: sweaty) into sit-down restaurants to hole in the walls that did not take credit cards, I took an odd turn and found Orjowan’s Lebanese nummies.

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End of the night was straightforward: eating my chicken family, pajamas, & OITNB.

 

SOHO, LONDON.

Finally on this ridiculous time zone change! I didn’t think it was possible!!!! (read: I made it to work on time… they start at 9 here haha)

I continue to be blessed with fantastic 70 degree sunshine – but humbly admit this is most likely Mother Nature’s trade-off to my low 60’s in Ireland.

The Munch Box

The Munch Box

Grabbed lunch with one of my coworkers at this adorably small sandwich shop on London Rd called The Munch Box. Funny enough, on my first day in Twickenham, I actually stopped in front of it and made a mental note to grab a bite there one day this week – what do you know!? It’s actually a favorite spot of one of my US colleagues when he comes to visit our brothers across the pond. Travel tip: they take cash only, and the special salad deal is clutch, and overall a deliciously great value! Matthew and I left with a custom sandwich (Matthew – bap roll, chicken, mayo, onions, coleslaw, jalapeños), large custom salad (spring greens, couscous, green beans, peas, carrots, corn, tomatoes, spicy noodles, chicken, and jalapeños), 2 cups of their spicy soup – if you go, you must splurge for this – all for £8 ! I know. #How

We grabbed our takeaway & went back to Eel Pie Island to chat and ate in the office complex garden. It was nice to have one on one time with someone I see once a year. One of my personal goals for this trip is to foster better (read: genuine & sustaining) relationships with these coworkers, in hopes of a stronger sense of solidarity at BB – I finished lunch feeling a little more accomplished.

High spirits followed well into the evening. Q and I met up for dinner in Soho at this fab fab fab spot called Cookhouse Joe (more Lebanese food). I really do think that the aesthetics & ambiance of a restaurant is vital to its survival and CJ just nailed it. Think: wooden floors and walls, mismatched cushioned and metal chairs, and either a flickering tea light in a glass jar or a regal candelabra to accent your table. Tap water is served in a moss green bottleneck, and with their specialty being rotisserie chicken.

I’m going to day now that Q and I were either not properly firm with the waitress OR we completely misunderstood her hand signals for how big the hummus was. Needless to say, we left paying £13.25 for too much food. So we each ordered a personal slab of hummus (wrong but so deliciously wrong), and I ordered a quarter chicken (AFTER contemplating a half — I like to think I’m swole), and a fattoush (read: side salad).

Regardless, dinner was essentially a reward for traveling via tube to Q’s apartment on my own, without a phone, map, or given direction (since I took a different line. Oops.) I might be awful at following directions, but at least I’m perceptive, right? You might appreciate that my ‘landmark to look for’ was Shake Shack.

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2nd floor of Joe’s Cookhouse

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Personal-size-hummus-really-for-two

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Fattoush + 1/4 chicken with Joe’s chilli sauce

I think I was full upon smelling my appetizer/ starter / entreè that all came out at the same time, but I basically ate another chicken family. Again, If I come back to New York as buff as ever – blame it on the chicken. #nocluckingallowed

Amazingly, or sadly enough, dinner was the highlight of my evening. We got to walk around so much – even through Chinatown!

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London’s Chinatown!

I wonder if my perspective of London is as skewed as I think it is. Clearly I’m on some level of vacation mentality — is it translating over? Am I merely enjoying a new perspective? Or do I truly believe that all my hopes & dreams of the last 14 years is concrete? For the first time in a long time, I’ve genuinely wanted to be somewhere other than California. (read: humidity is fucking Satanic – ignore my plans to move to Vietnam.)

If London is bringing out { emoji heart eyes } in me, what on EARTH is Ireland going to bring?

Cheers! xx

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