Friday, July 30, 2010

Putting Ourselves On a Pedestal

Home Sweet Temporary Home

We rented apartments in London and Rome.  It was so much easier to have all five of us in the same place and to be able to cook when we wanted to.

The London flat was in the Holland Park area.  We were near the Shepherd's Bush tube station, and close enough for the hardy to walk to Kensington. 

We took the express train from Heathrow to Paddington, then tube to Shepherd's Bush, then walk past this church...

to this flat.

Our Rome flat was just north of Vatican City.  It was probably a 15 minute walk to the Lepanto metro station.  We took a car service from the airport to the apartment.  The apartment was in this vintage building, right next to the RAI television station.

Just kidding!

Six Things That Always Look Terrific

Big Ben

The Colosseum

These guys

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Street Art

I think I may have recommended the film Exit Through the Gift Shop.  R and I loved it, and have been keeping our eyes peeled for great and not-so-great street art ever since.

We lucked out in Rome and saw this work by Space Invader just outside the Vatican wall, on our way into the Vatican Museum.

And then there was this not-fantastic but not-too-bad bit of art on the wall of the restaurant we visited across from the Colosseum.

Thanks, Jeweled Malicious Barbie!

Three discs of vacations snaps arrived today.  Prepare for several photo posts!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Future Adventures

Rowdy, his sister Tory and I are planning on running a half-marathon in Las Vegas in December to support the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.  I ran four miles today in preparation.  I'm slow but steady. 

My younger sister, Kiki, and I are thinking about a bike tour of the Nile in the spring.  We could do Solvang or some other ride, but I have always wanted to visit Egypt.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"You'll Never Guess What I Dreamed Last Night!"

R had me literally rolling on the floor, laughing today.  He was describing a dream he had last night:

"I had an army of ferrets and a major domo, so-to-speak, who was a badger.  The badger had a girlfriend, who was an evil skunk.  I also had a special power--when people licked me, they tasted their favorite food.  So the badger's girlfriend turned him against me.  The badger got the ferrets to tie me up at La Jolla shores, with me wearing just a speedo.  Then they charged $5 for people to lick me."

Uh, no.  I never would've guessed that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Cooking In Rome

We rented apartments in London and Rome.  The beauty of that was threefold:  1)  it was about half as expensive as two hotel rooms, 2)  we were all together, instead of having the boys in one room and the girls in another, 3)  we could have occasional meals in, which was a wonderful thing considering that it was about $100 every time the five of us went out for a meal.

We did have some fantastic food out, though.  I had the most delicious peach gelato and a lovely spaghetti all'amatriciana (sp).  And great pizzas, too.

But one night in Rome, I just had to make burritos.

Surefire Way To Induce Vomiting

One of the interesting things I tried on our vacation was dandelion and burdock soda. There were huge bottles of it in the soda isle at Morrison's supermarket in London, so we figured it must be a delightful, well-loved libation that we must try. After all, I've had an elderflower drink before, and it was tasty.

According to Wikipedia, "Dandelion and burdock is a traditional British soft drink, drunk in the British Isles since about 1265. Traditionally it is made from fermented dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) roots, and is naturally fizzy."

Hmmm...I think that it is something that would be appealing to someone who enjoys Marmite. R described it as, "a cross between prune juice and cough syrup", which just about covers it.

And for the record, Cherry Diet Coke in England tastes like cherry cough syrup + DC.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


People have been asking me what my favorite part of our trip was. It's hard for me to say. I love London and Rome, but we just weren't there at their best times of year and with just a month to plan, some things weren't ideal as far as our lodging was concerned. I felt very responsible for everyone having a good experience, and so much was suboptimal that I just didn't think it was the BEST TRIP EVER. But here are some good things:

1. Fourth of July in Salt Lake was the most fun I've had on the 4th in a long time. We went to a SL Bees game and watched the fireworks after. The day before was spent at the swimming pool, eating good food and having fun together.

2. Two new things for me--the London Eye and actually going inside the Colosseum. I don't know why I'd never been in the Colosseum before, but this was my first time. It was quite cool. They had an interesting exhibit about gladiators. The London Eye was much more fun than I thought it would be.

3. It was fun to be with the kids and see different aspects of their personalities. J has a great sense of style. She was our photographer, taking 2,000 photos. K was paying close attention to how we made transitions--buses, trains, etc. He's becoming more independent and figuring out how to find his way around, in many ways. M has R's sense of humor and ability to entertain. I wish I was filming him when he was reading out of our Italian phrase book or when some random Roman came up to us on the street and, without missing a beat, Max said, "Can't help ya. Don't know what you're sayin', Muchacho."

So, you know, I wouldn't say that it was a terrible trip, but I feel bad because I know that it could have been better.

Monday, July 19, 2010

When In Rome...

I suffered through 98 degree heat, no AC, long walks, no internet or TV, mosquitoes, arriving at church just as it finished, fighting the crowds but generally having a good time with four lovely, patient, fun people. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dinner at the Beach

I was pleased to have dinner at La Jolla Shores this evening with 4/5 of the SWELL gang. 

So I was able to summon four, five, if you count our friend Ravi and his friend Darby (don't know him so he doesn't count in the summoning) just wandering serendipitously along the beach just as Rowdstar was joining us.

It's just a 20 minute drive from my house to this beautiful beach.  Why do I not go there more often??
My Rad Life!