Friday, 30 August 2013

I like to ride my bicycle

This weekend we hopped on some capital bikes (the Boris equivalent) and pootled around the city.  From home to Georgetown, along the Potomac river and across to the Eastern Market, it was great to be back on two wheels.









A few notables...

>25C is considered cool.  Even by me these days. I've changed.

>I'm starting to understand why so many Americans don't have a passport and i'm not judging them for it.  I know, I know, perhaps i'm going soft but seriously this country is HUGE.  We don't judge people in the UK for not having travelled outside Europe yet Hawaii is at least 9 hours from DC and still in the US. Now i'm not saying that you're gonna get even a comparable amount of culture here as you would in Europe, but coupled with internal flights that are that much cheaper than international flights, and a f*ck load of places to explore, i'm beginning to see why they stay within the city walls.

>Americans really are that nice.  I always thought it was fake, perhaps it still is in some cases, but i've been overwhelmed by how friendly everyone is here.  From the cleaner in the gym who I speak to everytime I visit, to getting in the lift (or should I say elevatorrrrrrrr) and having a chat, I can't help but feel this simply would happen back in the UK.  At least not everytime.


And finally, this week I attended the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington.  I queued for three hours, witnessed numerous people around me fainting (it was around 30C) and moved just 10 metres in those hours, but I met some fantastic people. Most rememberable was Roofus from North Carolina who had attended the original march back in 1963. What a dude. It was quite surreal listening to Forest Whitaker, Oprah, Bill Clinton, Christine King Farris and Obama deliver their moving speeches. There was a real sense of emotion in the crowd, and whilst i'm sure it didn't in any way match that of the original march, you really got the feeling that change still, and will, happen.  We will keep on marching on!  

My queuing buddies...that's Roofus top right
Peace out x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

N'awlins

New Orleans (or should I say N"awlins), you did not disappoint.  What an incredible place.  
(just don't make the mistake of making top tourist attraction Bourbon street your first spot...you'll think you've ended up on the strip in Magaluf and wonder why on earth people rave about this place).

We lucked out massively...they were having a cold summer.  The humidity was still at 90% but instead of 40C is was only 30C.  Thank the lord! 

Strolling around the French Quarter you can't help but notice the beautiful balconies adorned with flags and stunning plants.

And of course we indulged in a few 'must-do' activities...

#
Eat a beignet (a fried choux pastry ting covered in icing sugar) at Cafe du Monde.  These things are a 'mare to eat, but forget queuing for ages at Cafe du Monde...it's trading on past glories and really was meh.  Cafe Beignet on Royal Street is where the real gems are (thanks Nat!)

#2
New Orleans is the most haunted city in the USA so this is the place to take the ghost tour.  I swear Bot spent the entire time rolling his eyes at the stories but I loved it. And it was a nice to learn a little American history...note to self:must brush on the civil war.

#3
Learn a little Voodoo and tap into your spiritual side.  I took the opportunity to have my palms read which i've not done before...when in Rome :-)  The guy looked like a bad mini Elvis but a few things were bang on; stubborn, a worrier; creative and organised. He also saw twin girls and a boy...hmmm

#4
Take the street car to the Garden District (full of stunning houses) where you'll find the Lafayette Cemetery, the oldest in New Orleans. Graves in most cemeteries in NO are above ground because the water table is so high - unpredictable flooding still causes some coffins buried above the water table to pop out.  Can you imagine?!  



#5
And of course you can't visit NO and not listen to some live jazz and blues.  We were hooked.  Fritzels in the French Quarter was our #1 choice...set aside a good four hour chunk and sing and sway the night away.




street art


The lazy way to get home


We'll be seeing you again NO.  Laters x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Are you picking on crabs today ma'am?

This weekend we took the opportunity to explore a few local sights.  We headed north to Annapolis, the capital of Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. A quick internet search beforehand informed us there was only one place to go for lunch; Cantlers. This is the place to indulge in this state's #1 food; Maryland blue crabs. "Will you be picking crabs?" we were asked on arrival. Hell yes!  This place is rustic and that's part of its charm. Brown paper is laid down on your picnic table and a bundle of crabs thrown down. And then it's time to pick! I'm salivating just remembering the experience.  







































The breakdown 
Playsuit: Oasis / Bag: vintage / Shoes: Primark / Sunglasses: Ray-Ban / Watch: Olivia Burton

The reflecting pool & Lincoln memorial
A lazy start to Sunday meant it was time to experience a favourite American pastime; the bottomless brunch.  That's right you just keep on eating till you can't eat no more - the bottomless mimosas really help. And this isn't a quick in and out job...brunch ran from 10-3pm.  That's right, five hours!  We then hit some of tourist spots in Washo...hence these slighty squiffy pics :-)

We're off to New Orleans this week (i.e. i'm tagging along on the Bot's business trip).  I cannot wait. Ever since we found out we were going i've been recalling memories of trying to spell Mississippi at school and images of the steam paddle boats. Expect a picture heavy post next week! xx

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Isn't it ironic

I also strike this pose 3 times a day, but let's not split hairs

Ah the irony.  Feeling cocky about my departure to a guaranteed warm and sunny summer I purchased this tee from Primark which boldly states, "Meanwhile, in rainy London...".  Well when we took these pics is was 32C and sunny in London and just about to pour with rain in Washo.  That'll learn me.

So this is our balcony and likely to be the background to many a future outfit post. I'm LOVING being so high up (we've always had ground floor flats in London): watching the planes fly across the horizon into Raegan airport, helicopters zooming overhead and seeing the Monument gleaming like a beacon in the distance.  It's rad.

New things to note: 
- my hair will be up until October and thus I am frantically researching new up dos (the top knot can only be done so many times)
- neck tattoos are all rage here (in fact tattoos in general are everywhere)
- all cocktails should be made in a slushy machine
- lemon meringue cupcakes from Sprinkles in Georgetown are to die for
- I'm finally on Vine thanks to my new phone which actually allows me to install apps - what I can't figure out is how to share these vids with you if you're not on Vine...you can see them on my Twitter feed if you're at all interested

That's all for today folks, laters x





The breakdown
Top: Primark
Shorts: Oasis
Shoes: Primark
Watch: Olivia Burton
Glasses: Karen Millen

Monday, 5 August 2013

picture editing via picmonkey

We're now two weeks into our American adventure and getting in the swing of things. It kinda still feels like a holiday, but one that we've sort of wasted so far.  By that I mean we've spent both weekends furnishing our flat and buying mundane things like a bathroom bin. And I can navigate round our local Ikea store with my eyes closed. But we're almost there. After 12 days with just a bed our beautiful new sofa from Macys finally arrived and CABLE COMES ON TUESDAY, wahooooooooooooo! Can't wait to check out all the crap American tv!

The new sofa and a glimpse of our balcony and view


OBSERVATIONS THUS FAR:
  • A suit paired with a baseball cap is acceptable atire
  • A new restaurant/bar seems to opening on our street every week (check out this Washington Post article on our neighbourhood, 14th Street)
  • I've discovered garlic salt.  It's the nuts.  Best served on chips late at night
  • I don't get hangovers here (i'm very aware i've just jinxed myself on that front)
  • Whilst i'm missing work i've adjusted very well to being a housewife

On Friday evening we were given a wonderful opportunity to attend the Marine Barracks evening parade in the heart of DC. The parade takes place every Friday evening during the summer and features the President's Own band, US Marine drum and Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon amongst others. Thanks Koops and Christine!

Notice anything unusual about the flag...




Till next time xx

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Touch down

14th Street and U, our new home
Well remind me never to get married, buy a flat, furnish said flat (and then re-furnish it for tenants), emigrate and furnish the new apartment in the same year!

So, it's finally happened.  We have crossed the Atlantic and landed slap bang in the middle of Washington DC.  And we're loving it. 

We quickly realised that you need make a big life choice when you decide to live in this country; accept obesity or exercise hard.  We've gone for the latter...but our decision is subject to change at any time.


























So what have we discovered so far...

  • Sting was right when he described himself as a legal alien...until we get our social security number we are aliens and pretty much can't do sh*t
  • This town is full of fakes...food that is.  It's imitation city.  'Real' food can quickly be identified by labels such as "all natural" or "in the raw"
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road is bloody hard.  Thanks god for wide roads.  Some road signs would be appreciated however
  • We are the only straights in the village (ref. first picture above)
  • Everyone has a dog - seriously.  We live in a big apartment block and i'd say 90% of the residents have one.  And we're not talking miniature dogs here, we've got full-sized dalmatians and one dog so big I swear he can kill with his eyes
  • Rooftop pools are the NUTS. We've got views all over the city...i'm not entirely sure how we've managed to wangle an apartment with a rooftop pool but i'm going with it until we get kicked out
  • A British accent gets you noticed



Now i've got one, albeit rather random and scatty, blog post under my belt you'll be hearing from me a lot more.  

Until then, y'all have a nice day now x