Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Duck and Crabs...

One of our complaints recently has been that we really haven't seen as much of America as we wanted to. That was the point of being here, exploring all those places that you wouldn't ever go to if we lived in London. So a wedding in North Carolina provided the perfect opportunity to visit somewhere small and off the beaten track called Duck. It had all the traits of a seaside town, sun, beach, wooden houses and an abundance of seafood. Activities included traditional good clean family fun including mini golf and go carting. I have to say that this is not somewhere I would have chosen to go to but I fully enjoyed my experience there.

Now let's talk about the people of Duck, I couldn't get enough of their sense of humor. As we approached the town we had to do our best to ignore the names of the food establishments that included  signs saying "we've got nice legs" for crabs, "try my nuts" which is the actual name of the nut company. The amazing sign declaring "I got my crabs from Dirty Dick's Crab House" and where we ended up "I got your crabs". Hipster Dufus was obsessed with fresh seafood and insisted on getting a bucket of boiled seafood. Nothing else would do except maybe the delicious Duck Doughnuts, I had a beignet style powdered sugar and of course rufus went for the calorific maple and bacon (which had real bits of chopped and fried bacon sprinkled on top, check out the photo below).

I also played my first ever game of mini golf and came away with an impressive two holes in one and yes that is a photo of my first hole in one below. Hello! I am a geek! Finally I wouldn't be a super geek if I din't manage to find a museum or two to visit…. I am a little embarrassed, actually I'm NOT. I love it, I even started the hashtag #museumoffthebeatentrack so that I could track my adventures. Don't hate me.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Vacationing Upstate

While I sit here and wait for the apartment to get fixed, the lack of my usual attractions has made me revisit old favorites. Mainly letting my friends and family know what we're up to and really because it gives me an excuse to take photos. I REALLY MISS IT! I've been so useless recently with picking up a camera but will definitely make more of an effort. I usually rely on my poor iPhone, which is where these photos came from. 

So we recently tried to get away from the city (before all the drama) and I have to admit stupidly thought the weather would be warmer. Yeah it's called upstate for a reason and we went to the bloody mountains. While we freezed our butts off we discovered a new favorite place to escape the city. Phoenicia was beautiful and picturesque. We went hiking and Paco obviously loved it the most. The town was teeny but what was there was perfectly formed and of phenomenal quality. Including wood oven pizza, the most incredible fudge that I had far too much of and the Phoenicia Diner was absolute yum. There are also options for sporty activities, which we kept away from as we went to relax. The rest of our time was taken up with making fires to try to stay warm. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Damage Control

I have literally been sitting here and thinking about how I just don't seem to be updating the family blog as of late. We need something to happen. Well I guess you should be careful what you wish for because something DID happen. It's around 2:00am here and I'm sitting up worried to bits and pissed as hell.

This afternoon we were hit with heavy showers. Nothing new there it's happened before. Hipster Dufus and I were watching TV and working when I heard what seemed to be water dripping into the apartment. I quickly ran to get our computer (which lives by the window) and suddenly the drip started moving. I went from the window to small drips on top of Dufus and I and before long it was a shower until we narrowly missed having the ceiling collapse on top of us. Worse still it filled the floor, and worryingly it started pouring out of the electrical sockets with us standing there! We ran for cover and Hipster Dufus went to get help.

I had to stand at the door and watch as the water poured down onto all my work. Years of notes, gathered documents, example activities and completed works drenched in seconds. While I know that the main thing to remember is that we are both safe, it pains me that all my hard work will suffer. Tomorrow I will appraise my work, having placed most of it out on towels to dry. 

And now to try to sleep...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Riding High

So last week Tuesday, as you well know, it was my birthday. On the Tuesday I spent the day exploring the city filling the space between the mooching/shopping with eating. I started my morning in the Flatiron District with a gorgeous brunch at Nomad. Followed by afternoon tea at the new Laduree Teahouse in Soho, ending with dinner at Tertulia in the West Village. It was a fantastic day.

The Saturday before Hipster Dufus' friend very generously offered to take us on a plane ride to celebrate my old age. However it turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. While I'm starting to settle in very well, every so often the city throws me a curveball and reminds me that I still have a long way to go. So what happened? Well I allowed myself to think that I could invite enough people to my house for drinks. This gathering was supposed to follow a quick whiz in the plane, making for quite an epic day. The morning of, it decides to snow. So the plane was out. And during the day the inevitable cancellations started pouring in. Feeling like a Susie-no-mates and NOT dealing with the whole "it's my birthday" thing very well, I decided to do everyone a favor and cancel. By this point I was waiting on 3 people...

However this weekend Hipster Dufus' friend followed through on his offer and off we went. This time the route would take us all around New York. Starting in Coney Island, circling the Statue of Liberty ending up in a full on approach towards Manhattan. I think the photos really speak for themselves, there 's no better way to see the city. The view from up above is breathtaking. It's like seeing your very own opening credits to a film set in New York except this time, after two hours the screen doesn't fade to black.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

My unnecessary apology to the ones I love

I did have another blog post all set and ready to go for this weekend but then something happened that made me want to write about the most painful aspect of being abroad. That feeling of helplessness and being left out. I miss you guys. Yes it's soppy but only when it's because I want to hang out in all my favorite bars, cafes, pubs, restaurants. When it's painful, is when it's attached that feeling of helplessness. I hate not being there. I hate not being able to share your high and more importantly your lows.

Friends, I want to apologize for not being there for your achievements and special moments. The worst being those who are getting married. It bums me out that I can't make it back for your special days. It's something that you never think of, it's all about what you're going to wear and how much the train ticket is to wherever it's located. Not so when there's a seven hour flight beforehand. Money literally is not growing out of my butt. I would love to hop over every time there's a celebration but after the third engagement I realized that I have to let go. I don't live there anymore. I'm only here for a short while, but during that time I can't live with one foot in London and the other in New York.

This post also doubles up as an open letter to my little brother. I loved being there for you. Being your rock and someone that you could turn to. I'm sorry that I'm not there right now. But only physically. My thoughts, my heart, my mind is alway with you. I want you to take a breath, take a minute and give me a call. There's no difference in calling me here or in London. Take advantage of the positive side of technology. The one that allows us to communicate for free. I'm from the generation of calling cards and this new world makes communicating so much easier. Technology is really a beautiful thing, it takes the big wide world and transforms it into a close intimate moment. I'm always available to take your call.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Back to the Island

Antigua, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama. Actually they say Aruba but we went to Antigua. So here are the digital batch from this amazing holiday. Hipster Dufus and I are city people I'm sure you've heard me say many times. We love exploring new places and being able to see landmarks, history, artifacts etc. We've actually only taken 3 beach holidays together and of those only this one included not a single element of exploration. I took one book and a sketch pad. Our daily activities included deciding where to relax. The beach? The bar? The Hammock? The bed with a view? Ooh the choices, it's so hard! Five glorious days of crazy hard choices.

We also did happen to go because it was Hipster Dufus's birthday. We celebrated by, uuh, mmm, choosing which location to relax in. Followed by a massage. And then finished the day with dinner at a cliff side restaurant with cocktails at sunset. And that really sums up Antigua, at least the way we did it. Relaxed, quiet, laid back. Just wonderful.