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Anita Latte

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  1. I am very confused by your planning... Are you saying that you are planning to do a pre cruise tour up in Alaska but are considering a cruise departure port of Seattle? That seems very odd to me. I get wanting to just let someone else do the planning and so please don't misunderstand that my questioning has anything to do with doing a cruise tour...it completely has to do with the logistics. It just seems very odd to me to think about that almost 4 hour flight back to Seattle... I think a lot of time is wasted doing the RT Seattle. It's basically like being out to sea to get to Sitka. IDK how the viewing is and I know that you run the risk of rough seas. The port stop in Victoria feels like a big why bother and I hear about many people just staying on the ship when they have that late night 4 hour stop. Also the other port times seem to be a bit short... The downside on the one way is that FWD cabin. We had a FWD cabin on our one way from Vancouver to Seward and from Hubbard to Seward was a ROUGH day. DH is prone to motion sickness and so we sent him down to a lower deck midship to escape the packing chore that day because he was not doing so well at all. Depending on the time of year...I have read about the risk of not being able to get into Disenchantment Bay to have a closer view of Hubbard. IDK if that ship would offer a smaller boat excursion that would have a better chance. ALSO...your time in Juneau may be long enough to do the Adventure Bound day cruise which I've heard many good things about, which would be another way to have some glacier viewing. ALSO...if you leave from Seward and depending on your timing there, like if you have enough time there...there are several Kenai Fjords cruises available that will go out for some glacier viewing...or other excursions that can get you closer to glaciers. But are glaciers a big motivation for you? It could all depend on what it is you are really hoping to see while you are there.
  2. I like the whimsical option too. I have a jewelry roll that I've had FOREVER. Seriously, I think I got it when I was in high school... It's quite simple. It's about as large as a piece of paper...give or take...and it only has two pockets. One has a zipper and the other is open. I also have smaller little bags and I generally put my jewelry into those and then bundle them all together in that roll. I was trying to find something similar because you could definitely put your statement necklaces in my jewelry roll. The closest thing I could find was this one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/228862912/personalized-jewelry-rolltravel-jewelry?click_key=93b9b3bb47a4afce7e1550145068de0d6917db52%3A228862912&click_sum=2f308105&ref=shop_home_active_3&pro=1&sts=1 It has three pockets...so not sure about whether or not your necklaces would fit, but I wonder if they would make you a custom one with only two? If the size of the pockets was too small. Margaret I don't have a restaurant app for London. I didn't use one. We didn't make a signal reservation...I just used my Map apps to find local places if I needed too...but we weren't having a very planned vacation. DS was kinda sorta in charge on several days and a lot of our plans were made in the moment or just the night before...
  3. I wrote this post a few years ago. I haven’t been but the one time to ISP and I think there are updates to what you can do in the port area but I believe my description still holds true. Hope you find it helpful.
  4. So I took a look at the Toad&Co website and interestingly enough...they actually have a resale section! So if needs change or size changes, they have created a resale market for their brand. So the funny thing about the sash on my dress is that it is same fabric...I look terrible in a belt. I'm also somewhat short waisted...like my waist is right under my rib cage...and then a high hip...so belts are bad...but the attached ties on my dress...it just added a bit of interest there and what I especially liked is that I could tie it off center...and that just did a little something something that I thought looked nice. Even though I have little space between my ribs and hips...I find that I need something that slims that area...anything tenting from the bust line just adds unnecessary pounds. Margaret and Laurie, you both wear a shift dress style really well but that looks terrible on me...I do much better with fit and flare or A-line. I think you both have slimmer lowers than I do...My uppers and lowers are almost the exact same measurement. @neeuqdrazil I'm back in Florida now...I would have loved to give that breakfast a go. I'll tell DS about it...he's still there. I just bought his airfare for leaving the UK. I'm happy to see him again and have him be home for a while before the next chapter...but I'm kind of sad too. These 4 years have not been at all what I thought they might be and now that chapter is closing. There were things that I thought would have happened for me too that haven't...his graduation is just a milestone in time and again time has passed and things I thought would have come to pass haven't. This makes me sad too... Melody...where in Hawaii are your plans? I know you've seen the damage on Maui...so incredibly sad. We currently have no vacation plans on the horizon...it's time to try to vacation in place. We did go to a museum last weekend. The visiting exhibit was gorgeous. I loved the patterns created by the light shining through the dimensional art...it reinforced my personal desire to have what I've thought of as Moroccan light fixtures for a couple areas of our home...especially in what I call the yoga room. https://www.mennellomuseum.org/exhibitions/ This weekend I'm taking DH to a nearby dark spot to try to watch the Perseid meteor shower. I just learned about this yesterday...and I found this article to be very informative, if you are unaware: https://phys.org/news/2023-08-banner-year-perseid-meteor-shower.html I'm going to try to continue to try to plan something every weekend...like an excursion every weekend. Last weekend was the museum...this weekend, star gazing.
  5. I'm hoping to curate a smaller wardrobe. I realize that I have many clothes but I don't wear all of them...and some of that is because of weather. I keep a stash of cold weather things because it seems we prefer to travel to cooler weather...but I have many things I purchased for a specific reason and then haven't really wanted to wear them again...that's fine for a special occasion dress...but not for things that should or could be everyday things. So one thing I've figured out...after looking at body type stuff again...is that dresses are more flattering on me when there is the indication of a waist. I don't have an hourglass shape...I have more of the 8 shape...so it's a bit of an indent...and while there is no denying that I could lose a few pounds...I feel more attractively curvy when you can see that I do have something of a waist between my generously proportioned uppers and lowers LOLOLOL. So that dress is a winner for me. It's a knit fabric. Cotton blend. NOT made in China LOL...and it has the waist sash. Color is great for my Soft Natural Earth self. It's very comfortable and did great in the warm weather...and it packs well, being a knit. I haven't looked at Toad&Co's website...I've seen them at Mast General before and I think REI. I should take a look...maybe see about some sales. Thank Melody about my hair! I was keeping it in the shorter messier pixie-esque style there...my new hair dresser did such a good job with this last cut though...it's been growing out nicely and not being too frustrating...I think I'm going to let it keep growing... Laurie...if space isn't an issue for your packing, definitely take an extra outfit...especially if your things all mix and match, which they seem to do.
  6. Idk for sure but I would say that everything outside the inside passage has a chance to be a bit more rocky...that is, everything between Sitka and Victoria/Seattle. The one sailing I've taken was Vancouver through the inside passage which was all protected waters...but when we left to go into the Gulf of Alaska to access Hubbard Glacier...MAN...DH got sea sick...we were rocking.
  7. Alright. Wimbledon! We're BIG tennis fans. DH played in high school...and before that obviously. My FIL was a tennis pro once upon a time ago...he has played his entire life and has a deep abiding love for the game...he plays in his age group currently and last I knew was a top 5 ranked player nationally. DS started playing when he was younger...but ultimately, he didn't want to continue... But around that time...elementary school age...we started watching tennis. DH and DS were able to go to some tennis tournaments in Houston, complimentary tickets. And we started watching tennis...and we just kept watching tennis. I think with all the moving around we have done...it can be hard to continue to follow your team...players retire, get traded, etc...and IDK...there's something a little more constant about following individual players maybe? I can easily name more tennis players than current football players right now. EASILY. I can recognize players...I know what country they're from...or region anyway... All this to say that going to Wimbledon is a BIG DEAL for us. Not just because it's a big deal in general...as some would say...it's a major bucket list item. It was a late realization that we were going to be in London during Wimbledon. Our hope was to be able to go earlier during our visit, in the hopes that there would still be singles matches on the outer courts, as we would likely just be able to get grounds passes and not tickets for any of the show courts. An eye on the forecast and all the rain, as well as DS's concert ideas, postponed our attempt until this Monday morning. We did a bit of reading up on the Queue before going. My favorite line from an article read something along the lines of, if the idea of joining thousands of other sports fan to purchase day of tickets strikes you with fear and horror, then you likely use the word "line" instead of "queue". Maps did not have the best directions for getting there. The transit plan was fine, but the stop would have been the wrong one. Just sayin'. From where we were, we made 2 transfers to get to Wimbledon. It was quite clear who all was going to Wimbledon...and we all got off at the Southfields station...follow the crowd. Up the street just a bit and you will see that one side of the road says has signs directing you to one side or the other depending on whether or not you already have a ticket. There's a park where the Queue takes place. It's all set up and very orderly. There are workers there who are directing everyone...you get into your queue and then someone follows along and hands out your queue card which is dated and numbered. I was 3495. And now you are officially in the line. We were also handed a guide to the Queue, a multipage little booklet that also had Wimbledon information. There were venders at the edges of the park. Very handy because we were in need of morning caffeine...DH and DS took off for those queues LOL...and I took this little one minute video to show what being there was like: We had arrived around 7AM... There are luggage holds available so that you can bring supplies for the Queue but not have to deal with them in Wimbledon. People had blankets, chairs, full picnic supplies. You can bring your own alcohol into Wimbledon...there is a per person limit...but still. We didn't bring any supplies really. We brought some reading material... The rough thing about admission using the Queue is that tickets begin to go on sale just a little bit before the matches start...so with so many people to process through ticketing...it can take time to get into the grounds. We had a vague hope of being able to be around to see the first match of the day...but that was soon dashed as we realized the full magnitude of the process. If you noticed the tents in the video...people were already lining up for future days. There are instructions on how to camp in the queue...you can actually leave the queue for up to 30 minutes and not lose your place in line. There's instructions for things like pizza delivery...and there ARE toilets. There's a whole bunch of typical port a potty types and then portable buildings that have what I heard were really nice more "normal" toilets. We entered the grounds before noon...headed to get some Pimms...the classic Wimbledon drink... And then we headed over to see a ladies doubles match. One team had an American player on it...I think they were the second seed? We were front row in the corner...most of the outer courts are very intimate setting... Court 12 is one of the larger grounds courts...we headed there to watch more Americans. There was an American on each side of the net...we were actually rooting for the underdogs, USA/South Africa duo...we had been really impressed with the South African player who made a name for himself with a surprising deep run in whatever tournament it was... The ladies behind us were also rooting for the same players, and they were vocal which was a lot of fun... From this court we could also see over to the grounds courts on this side of Centercourt: There were juniors singles matching happening on these courts. The near court was an exciting game with a local lady coming back from a 2-5 deficit to take the first set and ultimately win her match. After this match concluded...we went over there to see the end of that match. DS was in communication with a friend...and so we have screen shots of us that they captured from the broadcast. I edited this one to show the players and our location. The gentleman is a beloved doubles UK player and the lady is USA: At some point we had a sit down meal...but we also had to do the other Wimbledon tradition of Strawberries and Cream: It was getting on to evening so we took our treat up to Henman Hill where grounds pass people can sit on a grassy hillside and see large screens that are showing the matches on the Show Courts. It was getting to be later in the evening...the only matches on now were the Show Courts...so we decided to head out. We got this photo on the way out: This is a Toad & Co dress I picked up at Mast General in NC on our trip there at the end of May. We did get sunburns...Sigh. Unbelievable that the Florida residents went to London and got sunburned but there it is. Because we were traveling with carry ons only...we didn't have aloe...and DS was out because he used his all up on his Finland trip...sharing with his friends. Here's the thing about London. The stores CLOSE. Here we are after 8PM and it was like...how can be get our hands on some aloe? So I remembered the Super Tesco store that was next door to us where we stayed the last time we went to London...and they were open. It was kinda sorta on our way...less than half a mile from one of the stations we would be passing through...so DH and I made a detour to there while DS continued home to figure out his outfit for graduation the next day... As I mentioned previously...we had taken 2 transfers to get to Wimbledon...but one of those lines was experiencing SEVERE delays...so we actually backtracked one station to make a transfer to an overground line. It was crazy seeing all the packed trains after the show court matches were completed as we sat on the overground tracks waiting for our train. We stopped by DS's flat to hand off some aloe and headed home... Graduation was the next day...
  8. I hike in the Athleta joggers all the time...the only problem I've had with them and the bugs is around the ankles. I find that even with socks covering my skin, I can still get bites if the joggers ride up. I think they're a great choice. I get not wanting to rewear clothing when traveling with warm weather. How long is your cruise? One week? Where does it leave from again? I can't recall your itinerary.
  9. I love my overalls!! I got some for gardening from Duluth Trading that are so lightweight and handy with pockets everywhere. I love how they don’t bind at the waist…for that I would think they would be handy for travel.
  10. Oh it’s definitely extreme. Feels like this event is what that article from 2020 was warning about. Like the article says, it’s an annual phenomenon, but conditions in Suicide Basin have been worsening and so one of these years, it would be much worse. The previous “worse” one was 2016 which has been referenced in all news accounts.
  11. Laurie...regardless of heat, I always wear long pants here when we go hiking to help deal with bugs. Lightweight and loose...anything fitted can usually be bitten through. I will also wear long sleeves. I have loose fitting lightweight merino wool long sleeved shirts that I wear to cover my arms. I also invested in this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ANQVZE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Which you could also use to treat your clothing before going on your trip. It's clothing only there's something about the chemistry of directly in skin usage that renders it ineffective. I'm still loving my Alpenglow repellent, a little goes a long way...I have a small spray bottle on a small carabineer that I hook onto anything to take with me on our hikes to apply to my neck and ears and backs of my hands. The skeeters really attack me...one got into the house last night letting kitty in and out and feasted on me...😡
  12. Apparently, it is a phenomenon that happens ever year, typically once or twice. They call it jokulhlaup, which is Icelandic, because this is also something that is observed in Icelandic glaciers. A very good description of how the seasonal glacier release and consequent flood waters is here for anyone interested: https://alaskapublic.org/2020/07/28/a-glacial-dam-near-juneau-could-burst-any-time/
  13. Alrighty then...so here we are on the morning of the day that we are going to try to attend Wimbledon. I can't express to anyone the impact that this has for our family. DH is one who has a story about playing tennis in high school. My FIL is one that has had...and may still for all I know...a national ranking in the tennis world. He has played in tournaments now for his age group...national ranking tournaments...and last I knew, he was ranking in the top 5 for his age group. It's like a thing...he has traveled based on where certain tournaments are held, etc. When DS was younger, he played tennis. Like...we PAYED for him to play tennis...having lessons and participating in local tournaments and in team tennis, etc. It was the phase that followed soccer...and these are compatible sports...footwork being largely similar...and something that DH did in high school... And tennis is probably the professional sport that we watch more than any other on TV...on a real...we don't watch football or whatever else...when the majors are on...we are figuring out a way to see whatever court we want with a short term ESPN+ subscription. We are familiar with all the players, names and histories etc...we can definitely cheer for our hometown, or USA! players...because we follow tennis more than anything else. We aren't fanatics...but we are fans...and we have talked about going to a major tournament or grand slam for years... And here we are... It just so happens that Wimbledon is happening while we are traveling to London for DS's graduation. And this is completely unplanned...and had we known a few weeks...a few months earlier...no difference this makes...because of the way that tickets are sold for Wimbledon. So because we did not enter the lottery for tickets by the end of the year before for attendance for the next year...we could join the Queue to get some tickets...because Wimbledon is the only grand slam event that reserves however many tickets to sell on the day of the event for anyone who is willing to get in line to get them. And because this is a long standing tradition...where the peasants LOL have the opportunity to gain admission to the sacred green grass grounds for tennis LOL...for which the very proper and orderly UK citizens have a long tradition of queuing to do...let's just say that it is ORDERLY...and without drama...and that you can calmly arrive when you do...and deal with whatever your number in is line...because you will be handed a number upon arrival...and you have no need to fear that you can't be an ordinary human being patiently, or impatiently, waiting for admission to a beloved sporting event...having gained your status in line...that so long as you don't leave the premises for longer than 30 minutes...you will lose said place in line. This is The Queue. Our aim was to be at the Queue by about 7 AM, give or take. The word was that so long as you were there by 9, you could probably be good...but we figured we might be there a little earlier than that. It was Monday and we were hoping that the crowd might possibly be thinner due to work obligations...and this was to be one of the first days where rain wasn't in the forecast...so all combined...we were feeling pretty optimistic about attending Wimbledon. Now truth be told...DH would have loved for us to be able to get tickets for Court 2, I think it was. This is the third court in the hierarchy of courts...and it so happens...an American was playing in each of the two matches to be played there. NO WAY...we would have had to be there MUCH EARLIER than when we were...and so, we were happy to get to go at all...grounds passes...which means that we could attend any of the outer courts...waiting for appropriate time to be seated...as all such seats are first come...find an available seat during breaks in play...and at this point in the tournament...that meant that we would be looking at doubles matches....because all the singles matches had progressed enough to be held only on what they call the "show courts."...which required a ticket that was one level about the grounds pass level for the third ranking court...and so on. But this did not matter to us, because regardless...we were going to get to go to Wimbledon! WIMBLEDON!!
  14. Melody...you look absolutely stunning. That ensemble is so flattering...and your DH looks so handsome. And together...you just look like a couple that anyone would want to know...you look so relaxed and comfortable with each other. How wonderful it is to see such photos...on a real...as DS would say. Margaret...I'm so glad that you are enjoying my reflexion on our trip...I find that writing here helps me...I haven't made too many photo books...but somehow...there's something about sharing here that helps to cement the memories...and so it's almost a self indulgent thing to do...but I do hope that what I write is interesting enough...I think of myself being stuck at home and wishing that I could travel and so I write for myself and hope that it is entertaining enough. I totally get going to the museums...especially where you are coming from...where museums could be something of a regular thing for you. And that's what I am talking about...having a reason to see whatever it is you are going to see. So when we were about to have our first visit to the Animal Kingdom here at Disney...we were still living in Houston and DS was in kindergarten?...we were big fans of Kim Possible...and there was this exhibit in DAK (Disney's Animal Kingdom) on one of the trails...naked mole rats...OMG...he was so excited to see the naked mole rats and it was like so NOT a thing for anyone else. ALSO...we had learned about Sue the dinosaur...and if you know anything about Sue...she was found in South Dakota...and basically, when it was all said and done, it took the combined effort of the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, McDonalds, and Disney to keep the fossils of Sue out of the hands of private collectors. IDK if it's the actual bones or a cast on display in Chicago, but definitely a cast on display in DAK and on display in a traveling exhibit sponsored by McDonalds to show the most complete skeleton... I don't recall all the details, but DS was excited to see the bronze display in DAK when we went. I guess my point is that whatever your interest is...for whatever reason...there it is. And if you can satisfy that...then you have a job well done if you will in terms of travel and sites and sights to see and whatever floats your boat, if you will. And that's really what it is all about. I can't wait to hear about your travels to London...because I know it will be different from mine...and really, again...that is what makes the world go round...KWIM?!?
  15. Back in London...DS has in mind to go to an area where he thinks there are many restaurants...and an atmosphere that we will like. So we take off walking... We leave Tate and make our way across the Thames and over to the area around St Paul's Cathedral. There are often odd little buildings like this one... I find the mix of materials and styles on this street to be so aesthetically pleasing: This is the Millennium Bridge...in the distance. We did not cross it or walk any closer to it because we were on a food mission. This is the bridge that was filmed for Harry Potter movies that was referred to in the books at the Brockdale Bridge. We ended up walking and walking...looking at menus along the way...continuing walking...we thought about a roof top tapas type place but we weren't dressed appropriately for that. There was an Asian restaurant that looked almost theatrical in it's choice of Asian theming and because of that, it felt so Disney-esque to me...so touristy...and expensive. Here is where it would have been nice to have a bit more of a plan. The plus side to all the walking around we did is that we got to see all around St Paul's Cathedral. There's a lovely small garden with a water feature. An excessively groomed patch of grass that was golf course green like in its appearance that people were relaxing on. And I could admire all sides of the Cathedral...while we ended up going back to a French restaurant we had previously rejected on the grounds that we had eaten French the evening before, Cafe Rouge. It's located on the ground level of the building on the right on the far side near the green space. Much more casual than Cote...which had white table cloths and a more elegant atmosphere. Cafe Rouge is definitely more of a French cafe...it actually reminded me a bit of the cafe in the France pavilion at Epcot. It was a bummer that the four top table at the window finished just after we had ordered drinks. I was thinking how lovely it would have been to sit window side. This is something that seemed common to me...open windows everywhere. I miss that...living now in a place where it's just not advisable to have open windows for the better part of the year because of humidity even when there is less heat. In previous years here, there has been several weeks where such a thing was welcome and possible...no need for either heat or air conditioning, but that hasn't happened for the past two. You can see the open window behind DH. Also you can glimpse some of St Paul's, which has a large footprint. And LOVELY clock chimes. We heard at least two hours struck while we were in the area. It also strikes on the quarter hour. It very much reminded me of the Grandfather clock my Grandmother had in her home. I was vacillating between drink choices and so our server recommended a strawberry brew. I decided to give it a go. One thing that I appreciate about the ales and such over there is that they usually don't have too high of an alcohol content. So many of the craft brews that we enjoy here in the States can have be anywhere between 6-9 ALC Vol...and so many of the choices over there are under 6. It was tasty. DH ordered the duck confit because he debated it the night before. I didn't taste it but I thought the accompaniment with the Cote version was better. I had a goat cheese tart which was fabulous. The long days in London really through me off...sunset was later than Florida so I would always be so surprised by how late it really was. We decided to just head home and call it a night because we would be going to Wimbledon the next day and we wanted to get there somewhat early to have a decent spot in The Queue.
  16. I haven't gone to museums much while traveling. I tend to avoid while traveling actually because I'm usually more interested in something that's either more active or is more in line with experiencing more of the place where I am. I feel like museums can take you out of where you are and while it can be culturally enriching to visit...it's almost like visiting a franchise...while you're inside, you could be anywhere. Most of my museum visits have been where I live. I do end up wanting to visit museums or museum like places (the Yoda Guy museum like place on Saint Marteen IIRC comes to mind) when I have a longer visit to a place and/or repeated visits to a place. There's a free museum in my little historic downtown. It's a local history focus. Space related museums too...I've been meaning to go. I've been to the Science Museum in Orlando when visiting Orlando from GA...they had a special exhibit of Star Wars models and other props and costumes from the series. That was fascinating. I haven't taken as much advantage of the Museums on Us benefit with BofA. Usually I have something else going on but the few times I have have been worthwhile. I realize that this weekend is the free weekend for participating museums and I took a look around. There's an exhibit at one in Orlando that I'm interested in...I'll talk to DH about going this weekend.
  17. Many colors in that pant too! The front pocket style seems more flattering than the Wool& pant but no back pockets...not that use back pockets normally but having some sort of detail across the back can be nice to do what I think of as "breaking up the space" lol.
  18. I just got an email advert from Wool& for business casual pants make with heavyweight ponte fabric and thought I’d share here. https://wooland.com/products/rosso-straight-ponte-pant-black?goal=0_798fc90fa9-64bc909daa-96811101&mc_cid=64bc909daa&mc_eid=e17b246214 I don’t have person experience with their pants but I bought one of their dresses, specifically the Isabelle wrap dress, and I LOVE my dress. If the pants are of the same quality, they would be great pants IMO. Merino wool is such a great fabric for travel. I took several pieces on my recent London trip and was quite pleased with how well they held up for being worn multiple times.
  19. So Tate. Tate Modern, that is. There's more than one Tate museum. Anyway...I didn't do any research into anything for London, as I said. I figured that DS would have a bit of an agenda and I counted on him to take us to places that he wanted to share with us. Apparently, he has been to Tate Modern more than once. I don't know how other people go to museums. I haven't gone to too many in my life. I'd say that I've gone to Natural History museums more than any other type. For art, generally, I have found out about a specific exhibit that I'm particularly interested in seeing and I go to see that exhibit. When you have free admission to a museum's collection...and you're facing a HUGE collection...how to narrow it down? I've learned to be content to pursue what is appealing to me and not to worry about whether or not I've seen the thing to see at any given place. If I pursue my own interest, then I usually end up satisfied with whatever it is I have experienced. So for Tate Modern, the first thing we explored were the cafes. Because DH has a serious caffeine dependency and if he doesn't get his daily allotment, the resulting headache is something else. We were fortunate that his body clock was still on Florida time, so while it was much later in our day than when he would normally have had his 2-3 cups...because we were in London...his body was holding steady, waiting for more. Immediately upon entering Tate, you find yourself inside what feels like a giant empty atrium type area. It FEELS like there is nothing much in front of you or directly above you...but off to the sides are higher floors which is where you will be exploring. Close to the entrance, up to the left was a cafe of sorts...it seemed more focused as a cafeteria style eatery that also had some coffee beverages. DS said this isn't the one...and we wandered over a bridge to the other side and through a bookstore (what I learned is one of several shops) to find a cafe that was more of a coffee house style place. Free self service water was available. DH enjoyed an espresso drink of some sort...no "coffee" in sight...we had some water...and I looked at the different titles of the different areas in the museum to see where we would begin exploring. I was most interested in "Media Networks: See how artists in Tate’s collection have responded to the impact of mass media"...mainly because I was very interested in Babel (2001) by Cildo Meireles. Funny thing about this is that I could recognize so many of the individual components...I had either owned or still owned or my family had owned any number of these electronics. This is the only display in this room...for good reason. If you can imagine multiple audio sources playing at the same time...and this would change...with individual components playing and not playing. It's strange how such a thing can be emotional? I know Margaret is planning on going to Tate Modern when she's in London prior to her Northern Lights cruise in the fall and I'm eager to share notes with her. There was A LOT in this collection that I found compelling. What I will say now...having GONE through the collection...the Tate Modern website is very thorough. You can refresh your memory quite easily there...as I am doing post touring. I have to pick and choose where I'm going to spend my attention because there is only so much attention that I have to give...so I may gloss over some things and then spend time somewhere that really does grab at me. I spent quite a bit of time in the Guerrilla Girls room looking at every single piece there. I admit that I'd never heard of them before. The rooms weave in around and you find yourself in another gallery... We watched several film presentations. The one I found most compelling was Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File (2010) by Wael Shawky. https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/display/artist-and-society/wael-shawky Soon...it was getting close enough to closing time that DS took us around to see a few things in particular. One was in "Materials and Objects: Discover artists from Tate's collection who have embraced new and unusual materials and methods"...Marcel Duchamp's, Fountain 1917, replica 1964, which is basically a urinal. Another was the room featuring Gerhard Richter and a few of his very large, abstract artworks, which I enjoyed tremendously. We had time to look in a couple shops before leaving...but unfortunately, while there were many different things that I would have loved to own...nothing screamed Tate Modern to me and so I didn't end up buying anything. DS bought an odd card game 'Sh*ts and Sausages', which we ended up playing at some point...and is pretty darn funny. I decided that the thing I could do for a souvenir of Tate Modern was to try to take an artist photo of the building, which is distinctive. These are my faves from that effort: I think I might explore framing one or two...or they'll just be representative of the visit in the photo book I'm planning on making. It was time to figure out dinner...
  20. Info on cruise tours is rare...thank you for taking the time to share.
  21. I enjoyed all your photos. Wonderful report. Lovely to take a virtual trip to AK...thank you for taking the time to share.
  22. Back in London... It's Sunday morning. After a lazy start to the day...we decided to meet at a Turkish place for breakfast. When we were doing our wander around looking for coffee and towels the morning before we had noticed a Turkish restaurant that had a "full Turkish breakfast" that was priced per person. It was a pretty good deal...and when you have 3 people, you feel like you can do it all justice. DS had been wanting to go, but again, you need to go with something of a group...and so that's what we did to break our fast. In the window, they're making a flatbread... And at the counter is bakery fabulousness: A full English Breakfast is like a thing...so we were intrigued by the idea of a Turkish one. The menu says: Scrambled or fried eggs, Turkey Sausage (Sujuk) Halloumi, Cheddar Cheese, Feta Cheese, Sigara Boregi, Pisi, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Salami, Mushrooms, Aubergine, Olives, Butter, Kaymak, Honey, Jam, Season Fruit, Turkish Tea and Traditional Turkish Bread. Turkish Tea! Everything in made in house...and it was all SO TASTY. A word on ordering eggs in London...there are far fewer egg orders. There's no such thing as over easy, over medium, over hard, etc...it's called FRIED eggs. Period. You can have scrambled, fried, poached...but you don't get to specify the doneness of your eggs. At least...in no place that I ate. If you are a runny yolk lover like myself...your best bet is a poached egg...but more often than not...you will just be dealing with a not fully hard but not runny egg yolk type egg. It took a while to eat all this food... Our destination today was Tate Modern.
  23. Those earrings are beautiful but they're also FUN. I could see all of those with that dress. I think that is a very versatile dress...it would be something you could wear a lot...a good base for playing with accessories for sure. I am feeling more at home with myself. It's been a lot of thinking and self discovery, if you will, but I'm finding myself more and more understanding the things that are fulfilling and satisfying with life. And also just feeling a bit more comfortable with this body I have...and learning what actually looks good and not worrying so much about what other people are thinking...or rather...it's in context. I have a care what people are thinking...but not looking for approval I guess. There are cars all over London. You deal with them as a pedestrian but pedestrian access is as important, if not more important than vehicular transport. I happen to know that the fees and regulations governing the usage of a car in London, whether you live there or not, meaning commuting in vs being more local, is very high. It's like the government makes you pay through the nose if you really think you need your own car in London. When DH traveled to London for business years and years ago, he took taxis everywhere he needed to go. He didn't have to go far ever...I don't really remember much about the travel but he said he didn't ride the tube when he had gone there for business. I have yet to take a taxi in London...granted, I've been there 3 times. I just like tasty beer. A lot. We've been into craft beers since we lived in Colorado back in the late 90s and it seemed that that was at the beginning of the new wave of this whole craft beer and microbrewery scene. Interesting to know your background...have you ever done one of those DNA test things? I feel like I have too much conspiracy theory, 1984, don't want anyone to have such info on me fears to do it, but I am curious myself. Some people have shared their info with me and I find it so interesting, but IDK... I've been wearing dresses around the house since coming back from London. I'm working on culling my wardrobe again...I feel like I have too many things that I just don't wear and I'm tired of the space it takes up in my dresser and closet. It's funny because a dress is the easiest thing to wear but I feel like I'm getting all dressed up with no where to go. LOL.
  24. What great pictures Melody! Looks like you're having a great time and eating yummy food! Laurie...those joggers are what I wear in lieu of shorts. As I said, I have the 3 pairs. I didn't take the ecru ones with me to London because I knew that I'd be dealing with public transport the entire time and I figured that they were more likely to show the dirt and grime that can happen...and also not disguise any mishaps as well for being able to rewear them. I'm really glad you are appreciating my sharing about our London trip. I'm sorry there haven't been as many photos yet... So today's share about London... I didn't plan anything in particular for our London visit because I figured that I'd allow DS to show us around London. He could pick out the different things that he'd think we'd enjoy as well as select performances for us to go to. The only things that we had on our radar to do were the Queue for Wimbledon and going to Mia Momma. Figuring out which day to do the Queue was really weather dependent. We didn't want to go through all that rigamarole to attend Wimbledon if matches were going to be rained out. DS had wanted to go to a performance on Saturday evening...weather was looking like rain...so we didn't attempt Wimbledon on Saturday. Our plans were entirely in DS's hands... Despite the fact that London is 5 hours ahead of us time wise, DH and I were up earlier than DS...and DH was needing coffee. Here's the thing about coffee and London. It's RARE. VERY hard to find. What you can find are espresso based drinks EVERYWHERE. Just about every single restaurant has an espresso maker and an offering of espresso based drinks. But no coffee. If you are looking for coffee as we know it here in the States, then you want to look for what they call Filter Coffee. DH and I packed up reading material, rain jackets, waters, put yesterday's clothes back on (you'll see why in a minute) and headed out to one of many coffee places that I could see on Maps. Which didn't exist. Maps is out of date on what businesses are still in business...but we managed to find a local place that had buttery, flakey croissants that we could enjoy with our espresso drinks. In London, I end up ordering Flat Whites everywhere. Normally, I have a milk alternative latte with some sort of added flavoring (sweetener). In London, there's something about the milk there...doesn't bother me like it does here...and the ratio of milk to espresso with the flat white just hits for me and I don't need any additional sweetener...Probably because the lactose in the cow's milk is enough sweetener for me there. IDK. We had had an issue with towels at the AirBnB. As in, there weren't any bath towels left, no towels at all. So we had been quite a while without showers. It was getting sorted but in the meantime...we desperately wanted a shower. We hit a store called Savers which is a home and beauty type place and were able to purchase a pair of larger microfiber kitchen towels. Big enough to dry us off effectively...inexpensive. We headed back to our flat to get ready for the day. Today I wore the other Athleta jogger and one of my short sleeved merino wool shirts from Icebreaker. DS wanted to take us to Camden Market. Camden Market is a shopping mecca. The shops there can be artisanal in nature...for instance, there are many, many leather shops. But there's a difference in that some of them have the same merchandise as the others and business/sales people running their shop...and some of them have the leather workshop in house and the leather workers working. This is true for all the stores there... It's a permanent place with the feeling of a Renaissance Festival. Historical stables and other buildings have been converted into hallways of shops. It's a decent thing to do on a rainy day because you can hurry between all the different areas, which are sheltered. It's quite large and you could spend a lot of time there. One of the first stores we encountered was the kind that we often see at our music festivals. There's a lot of trinkets and do dads...but also some things that we really like. I got a tie-dyed festival appropriate shirt in great Earth colors (I'll wear it to Phish over Labor Day and share it then), a fun wall tapestry, and a pair of harem pants: I LOVE these pants. They have olive green, burgundy, black and gold in them. They are a lightweight woven fabric (body is silhouette in backlighting). They are one of those one size fits all kind of pants with the shirring at the waist. I've worn them several times now since being home and I get compliments on them everywhere. DH was on the lookout for a leather cuff...and I have been searching for a hip satchel for a long time. Basically a nicer looking waist pack...but something that is more edgy than that and looking more like a cross between old west meets biker chick. I found one which I'll have to share at a different time. I haven't used it yet, so I'll take a photo when I do. I should note that to get to Camden Market from where we were...we took the overground. The tube is technically the underground...but there are trains that are basically the same that run above ground and this is called the overground. If you pay attention as you come out of a station, there may be directional signs for a nearby station. Where we were in Kilburn, the underground and the overground were maybe a quarter mile apart directly down the street. There may be directions like this for getting around. We made a transfer between the underground and the overground where the two were actually at the same station and we just had to cross a bridge to get from one set of tracks to the other. Sometimes, the easiest way to get where you want to go will be to walk between stations/lines. It was still a bit of a walk to get to the market. It just so happens that under the bridge at the overground station at our destination was a coffee shop. They had protected outdoor seating and a teeny tiny inside with two tables, one of which was available, which was handy because it had started to pour rain. DH needed more coffee...DS needed his first coffee/food...and so we got drinks and snacks (DS had a smoked salmon bagel) and waited out the rain. On the way to Camden Market, rain threatened again but fortunately there was a used book store right there. So we popped in there and picked up a couple book souvenirs. I ended up with A Sand County Almanac. I'm very excited to read it. A lot of walking around Camden Market and we were hungry. There are food venders GALORE and you can have pretty much whatever your heart would desire. Something to note...there are public washrooms (that or toilet is what they call bathrooms over there) at the Market, but DS couldn't recall if they were free or not. He said that some stalls have coins on them and you have to pay unless people hold the door or you snag the door to use the stall without paying. My men tackled this problem by looking like they were going to have a drink at the pub and using the toilet there that was for customers only. FYI. We ended up with Southeastern Noodles. Sitting is just about none existent so if you do use any of the numerous shops for your food, almost all of which is on display and ready to load onto a plate...you will likely end up standing to eat your food. Eater beware. A bit more walking around and we were getting done with the Market. It's one of those things that can turn into overload in the blink of an eye and when it does...you just want to find someplace to sit. And have a pint. Fortunately there is almost always a pub nearby. This is a very touristy area...so. many. people. So we went for a wander away from the Market and past many, many tourist shops, some of which had some of the same merchandise as some of the sellers IN the Market proper...and we found a pub with a covered rooftop patio area with an available table. Note...you will always want to find a place to sit first and then make your way to the bar. In the pubs, you are not served...you get your own drinks and make any food order at the bar. The except to this rule is if there is a QR code on your table. You might be able to use your phone to make an order and they will deliver it to your table. Sometimes this service can be used without creating an account first. Sometimes it can't. You will never run a tab. You will always pay with each order. Any outdoor area is a smoking area so if you are sitting outside, or anywhere near to the outside, you will likely deal with smokers. You can deal with it or not. We found that there was a mix of people like us who just wanted to sit...and enjoyed the outside...and some smokers. But we never didn't deal with smokers. I will say that I saw smokers more than vapers. And I would say that there were a fair amount of smokers that rolled their own. And it was tobacco they were rolling. We stayed at the pub we found for quite a while. We were in Camden and so one round was definitely the Camden Hells Lager. It's a full mouth drinking ale while still being really light. DS really likes Asahi. It's an Asian brew that is comparable to what DH and I call green bottled beers. I found it to be as common as Guinness over there. We had previously tried the Brixton at the RAM pub...definitely recommend that AIPA if you like IPAs. Time was passing it was getting to be time to head over for our evening performance. We were going to Wigmore Hall which is around the craziness of shopping on Oxford St. At least, we had to walk all around from the tube to the Hall. Again...toilet issues...and for real, a bit of flagging energy and so we popped into a Costa Coffee place to re-caffeinate and use the facilities. One thing to keep in mind when going around London...many places may appear to be small from the outside but they will often have a basement with additional seating...and that will often be where the facilities are. You will want to be able to go up and down stairs...often really tight, really awkward stairs...to get around. On to Wigmore Hall where Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet performed 5 pieces. They titled their performance String Quartet in New York City. The Hall is lovely and we enjoyed the performance. Afterwards, we had a wander to figure out what we wanted to eat. There are many restaurants in this area and they all have their menus on display. I picked Cote, with its French menu. I later learned that there are locations all over London, etc. It was EXCELLENT. We were in Marylebone. https://www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/marylebone/menus/ I didn't take any food porn. Sorry. I think I was too tired. I can tell you that we ordered baked Camembert and olives to share. They had introduced a rose wine flight...three 100 mil pours for 14 pounds...and we each got a rose flight. I took a photo of that menu item LOL so I could have a record of the wine. My men ordered the Breton Fish Stew, which looked amazing, and I ordered the Duck Confit which was outstanding. I didn't have room for dessert but DS had the creme brûlée, which he ooo-ed and ahh-ed over, and DH had creme caramel, which looked like flan to me. I think he was expecting a more caramel creme brûlée somehow? He said it was tasty. The night wasn't over yet...and so we walked back to Spoons for a nightcap...and then on to home. There was no one but us and a little black mouse in the underground station waiting for our train home. DH and I hit the store to restock our drinking water on the way to our flat. In just about every restaurant, you need to ask for water. It is not immediately offered, nor will they ask if you want some. If you order water, you can usually order TAP, still or sparkling. Tap is free. We ordered tap everywhere but we decided that we were not as confident in the pipes of our flat as we were in the pipes of a reputable restaurant...and so, while it was fine to drink tap from the restaurant, we would be buying water as needed for the flat. We went to bed with a wake up by time set with DS. We would decide what we would do tomorrow...tomorrow.
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