Sunday, April 08, 2012

rakka and leff do europe 2012, days eleven and twelve, london


leff and i had the flat to ourselves as our slumlord had hopped it to spain the night before. did we have breakfast in the rancid stenchpit? nope! we practically ran with giddy excitement (we were leaving the flat!!) to patisserie valerie, a place that jme had recommended a million years ago. we took our coffees (here is one of them) to a nearby park.

i don't have evidence of our lovely croissants. mine had hazelnut filling, leff's had cheese? idk, was too busy GORGING ON HAZELNUTS AND BUTTERY, FLAKY PASTRY to take a photo. you will just have to deal with looking at this macaroon that i split with leff.

it was also delicious.

while we feeding frenzied ate, we watched the many au pairs and puppies. i was sad 'cause i realized that i'm too old to apply for au pair positions now (ed note: i don't really want to be an au pair.). but this scotty dog cheered me right up. he was so well behaved! such a polite puppy! if he had had the audacity to bark, i'm sure he would have done so with a posh scottish accent! awww! wee puppy!

we lazed in the park and then internetted at the flat of despair until 11 am which is when we could get to our next place in islington.

fun fact! some addresses in islington will stump the cabbie! BUT NOT FOR LONG!

sidebar:  i <3 british cabbies. THEY HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE!! (bwah-ha!) they also do not mind when you mangle the names of streets if you preface things with an apology: "sorry! i am going to say this wrong, i KNOW IT! BUT I HAVE THE ADDRESS WRITTEN DOWN!" heh. actually, that is a PRO TIP! prefacing things with an apology will go a LONG WAY in the uk.


can i just say how much i love this neighborhood?

there is a lovely mix of people. and, you know what, THERE ARE NOT MANY TOURISTS YET!! also, this fantastic bed is located there.

that is where i spent the next 13 hours sleeping. well, after grabbing a couple of pints and a spicy hot thai curry at a pub (where the barkeep dude told us that he had been stationed in wa state while he was in the military.) and then taking the hottest shower ever. man, this new flat was heaven. (the bed was like sleeping in a bird. *happy sigh*)

i did wake up long enough to make it to the local waitrose which had THE LARGEST PARKING LOT IN THE WORLD!! OMG!! (leff thinks i'm daft for being so impressed by this but MY GOD, THE MONEY IT WOULD REQUIRE TO JUST HAVE A PARKING LOT THAT SIZE IN LONDON!)

anyway, i got a lot of drinks because sleeping in a bird bed will make you thirsty. this still ginger beer is THE BEST! also, LOVE THAT LABEL!

also the best is this canned pimm's. i may have mentioned that before though. heh.

now HERE is the proper greenall's. DELICIOUS!!! it is a good thing that we don't have canned g&ts in the states otherwise ALL of my lunches would be drunken ones.

and so ends day eleven. NOW YOU KNOW WHY I COMBINED THESE TWO DAYS!!

day twelve! the day that we had been waiting for! why? BECAUSE OF THE CHEESE BOAT! but i am getting ahead of myself.

in islington there is a che pub. it was opened by some guy for his friends but the public is welcome. leff and i were thinking about going there (i have a cousin named che, and i am a honky ass appalachian person. true story! so places like this interest me.) but we ended up not having time.

instead we headed toward the fish and coal buildings because...


oh yeah, and also the new guardian offices. the cheese boat was there in conjunction with the guardian open house weekend.

we were too early for the cheese boat (my excitement over curdled milk knows no bounds or time zones, apparently.) so we walked around the area.

here is the fish and chips sign that was located near the raised part of a pavement where i sprained my damn ankle. OUCH!

leff and i played like we were looking for the house that was used in "the ladykillers". (we both knew that it was just a film set.) this place looked like it might have worked! also! HOLY SHIT YOU CAN SEE BT TOWER AGAIN! IT WAS STALKING US LIKE A RED TROUSERED MAN!!

near the guardian offices is the canal museum. no one had removed the "c" from their sign, otherwise, we might have found ourselves at a very different type of place!

were you aware? there are ice and ice cream exhibits at the canal museum.

this is because the building used to be an ice house. also, the guy who ran the business also introduced ice cream to london. MULTIPURPOSE!!

they also had canal boats which, honestly, is why leff and i were there.

i could live on a canal boat. maybe. these plastic people were certainly dressed as if they had at one point. look at this kid. he's all "please, sir, i want some more OF YOUR SOUL!!!"

his sister was no less oliver twisted.

but let's knot (ba doom chick!) forget about the interactive parts!

upstairs there were even more exhibits. i particularly liked this horse?

because it helped me to created the most DYNAMIC AND INTERESTING VIDEO IN THE WORLD!! I AM NOT EVEN BOASTING!!!

i had to try REALLY HARD to not laugh while i was filming that.

oh!! luther took a canal boat ride! HE IS ALMOST TO SCALE!

leff will have the super edit of that canal ride at some point, i am sure.

these 3d glasses have nothing to do with leff's super edit but were part of a photo exhibit that was at the museum that we viewed before leaving for...THE CHEESE BOAT!!

these are some things that we saw along the way.

but, really, i was thinking about curds the whole whey. HAHAHA! ok, i'll stop with the cheese jokes now.

we bought three kinds of cheese (leek and white wine, a super double strong kind and uh, one that was cheese and pickle. CHEESE AND PICKLE WAS MY FAVORITE!! (you are not surprised.))

cheese boughten, we decided to have a circle line adventure. HAHA! YOU DO NOT DECIDE TO DO THIS! THE CIRCLE LINE DECIDES IT FOR YOU!

see, circle is not a circle anymore. it is confusing to everyone, even londoners, so i didn't feel too stupid when leff and i realized that we had been sitting on the wrong train. we just laughed and ran out the doors before they closed. fun!

after we found the right train, we were off to belgravia. destination:  taschen books! on the way there, i remembered that the saatchi gallery is in the same shopping complex.

not that i really care. i mean, ybas? bfd! still, i took a picture of the outside because it is hard to break habits like that.

taschen was incredible! SO MANY AWESOME BOOKS! i flipped through one volume of the modernist cooking set.  it was nice BUT NOT AS NICE AS THE GALLERY IN THE BASEMENT!

look, if someone rich wanted to make me really happy, they could 1) move me to the uk and then 2) buy taschen so that i could live in their basement. THANK YOU, ANONYMOUS RICH PERSON!!

oh, here is a british egg that was located outside of taschen. i do not think that most british people are hatched this way BUT YOU NEVER KNOW!

on leff and i trudged through the back streets of belgravia. (ok, technically, i was limping because i had sprained my ankle YET AGAIN somewhere along the way.)

where were we going this time? TO ROCOCO CHOCOLATES!!!

i got a spiced hot cross bun!

and TO OTTOLENGHI!! both at the suggestion of chotda! THANK YOU, CHOTDA!!

an aside:  outside of ottolenghi, i helped some lady with a  pram pick up the bag that she had dropped on the sidewalk SHE WAS SO NICE ABOUT IT that it made me sad? see, when i help mothers in seattle? they are snarly bitches about it. SEATTLE MOTHERS!! I AM JUST TRYING TO HELP YOU! stop making me feel so fucking lonely, assholes. i am just trying to be a nice person.

anyway, i was not sad for long because the food at ottolenghi is beautiful!

leff and i got our food to go so that we could eat it at hyde park.  here's leff's chicken and broccoli

and my roasted veggie puff pastry thing. it was so oily and roasty and delicious!!

oh! right! on the way to hyde park, we saw some belgravian yard art. just as tacky as normal yard art, but you know, more expensive because it is made from bronze.

anyway, back to hyde park. here is where we ate lunch.

it was ridiculously crowded that day but i didn't mind. i know that i have mentioned this many times before, but crowds in public parks in london don't bother me. this is because people mind their own business. IT WAS SO NICE TO BE IN A REAL CITY!!!

i will still have trouble identifying guards though, even with the help of this little guide.

it had been a long day, so leff and i hopped the train to cockfosters. (YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE that "terminating at cockfosters" has entered the lingo! bwah-haaaaa!)

we thought it would be a quiet tube ride home STATION WAS CLOSED?!? and then, WE HAD TO EXIT AT ARSENAL?!? AND, OMG WHY ARE THERE SO MANY POLICE?!?

because there was an arsenal match. DUH!!! thankfully, we arrived after the game had started.

it still took us  a while to get back to the flat though. and we could hear when arsenal scored. (three times?!? it was crazy.)

i had to stay off my sprained foot for the rest of the day, so we stayed in, ate thai sweet chili crisps

and contemplated the fact that we would be leaving the isles britanniques in two days time. *dagger to heart* it was too depressing to think about!!

tomorrow on rakka and leff try not to cry too much because they are getting ready to head back to the states: we get ready to head back to the states. but first! british summer time starts! we have a sunday roast at a pub where russell brand stared at us! (it was not really russell brand.) this might be fun to read! i am not sure! check back anyway!

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