Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chelsea Flower Show

If you are not in London you may not know that last week was the Chelsa Flower Show which is a quintessential British event.  This year I got a ticket to attend in the evening on Thursday 26 May.  Also, if you aren't in London you may not know that all last week the weather was beautiful except for on Thursday 26 May. We had the most bizarre weather on Thursday, I would look out the window at one moment and the sun would be blazing and 30 seconds later the heavens would have opened up and it was pissing rain. This was all day. Every moment the sun came out I would get super hopeful that the terrible weather was gone and I would blink...rain again.  At the point when I was to be getting out of work to meet Tom to head to the show it was still raining, but when I walked out the door the sun was back with avengence.  We walked to the Tube and when we got off at Sloane Square the weather was Biblical. I was half expecting to see Noah floating down the Kings Road in his Ark.  At this point I had pretty much thrown in the towel, we met Tom's mom for coffee and shelter and while we were caffinating the rain started letting up.  COuld this be out chance, we all were wondering.  Ok, umbrella's up and off to the show we headed. W had been in the show for about 10 minutes at most when the rain stopped and the sun came out for the final time...and stayed out! It was fantastic.  The weather was cool but it was all worth it. I saw some of the most beautiful arrangements and displays ever. It was so hard to believe that this was all just shipped in for the show. Some looked like it had been there for years it was amazing!  See for yourself...

I was so happy the rain let up and I got to go to the show.

Monday, May 30, 2011

If We Took A Holiday

I've been back from my trip almost 3 weeks now and have been extremely lazy about posting anything.  However, thats not to say that I didn't have an amazing time.  Honestly, a week was not enough time for this trip, I kept saying "but I need one more week!!!" I had packed in so much stuff to do and it went by so quickly.  This was Tom's first time to Boston so I wanted to do as much stuff as we could in a limited amount of time.  The trip was a whirlwind but so wonderful.

Upon arriving in Boston we we greeted by pretty much my whole family. My aunts and cousins were flying back to Ireland and England that same day but only a couple hours after we arrived so I was able to see them albeit briefly. After the mini reunion we headed to pick up our black Chevy Caliber, Doug. Doug was our trusty steed for the week bringing us everywhere from the South Shore to the North Shore of Massachusetts.   We immediately headed to my sisters house where I got the best welcoming of my life. My nephew Braden (7) ran out onto the porch and jumped up for me to pick him up then Cameron (4) climbed up on a chair and jumped on Braden's back.  I turned to my mom, who beat us back, and said "how am I doing this?" They were so happy to see me and I was so happy to see them.  Our 1st night there was pretty low key, hanging with the family and having a quick dinner before heading to my moms, where we were staying.

The following day we headed into Boston as Tom was meeting a friend to attend a lecture at the Harvard Business School and I was meeting Laura and Maurice in Harvard Square. I hadn't seen Laura in almost a year so this reunion was long overdue! While we waited for Tom to get out of his lecture we ate, drank and the proceeded to sing and dance out in front of the Business School Library...as you do.  We met up with Tom midday and grabbed a drink before heading to Fenway Park, in pouring rain, in hopes to see the Red Sox play. By the grace of God the game started!  I was so disappointed in the weather b/c I really wanted Tom to be able to go to s Sox game. I mean you cant get more "Boston" than heading to see the Red Sox play.  The game began but was halted in the 5th inning due to rain. We waited a while but the rain wasn't looking like it was going to let up, so we called in a night. Come to find out the next morning, the game began again later on and went until 3am...the Sox lost.  It was ok that we didnt get to see the whole game, I just wanted Tom to experience it and he got to.

On Thursday we headed back into Boston to do some sightseeing.  I took Tom through Boston Common and The Public Garden, we saw the 'Make Way For Ducklings' statue, meandered along Comm (Commonwealth) Ave over to Copley, went to Legal Seafood, walked through the Pru (Prudential Centre) then headed back down Newbury Street before calling it a day. We had plans to meet some of my friends for dinner closer to home so we had to get back for that.  Heather, Suzanne, Dave and Laura met up with us and we heading to Burton's Grill for a delicious meal and lots of laughter!  It was great to catch up with everyone and everyone got along famously which is always nice.  After dinner I took Tom to one of my favorite places I used to go all through my teens and early 20's...the Scituate Lighthouse in Scituate Harbor.  We walked down the jetty to the end and on the way back, being as graceful as I am, I fell. Im talking, I hit rock, hard and am still feeling the pain weeks later.  I was ok, a few scrapes, bruises and a sore ankle, but Tom to the rescue and he helped me get off the jetty and safely back to the car. In the car we then both confessed that we were really freaked out on the rocks out there, expecting to see a body of something. Now I have been climbing that jetty for about 15 years and never have I felt that way until this last time...weird! After a really freaky ride home we were both safe in our little flat. Phew!

Friday morning Laura arrived and we were on our way to New York City! Road trip...woo hoo!  The sun was shining, we had good music on the radio and great company in the car, it couldn't have been more perfect.  We arrived in NYC around 1:30 went to Gantry Park in Long Island City (my old 'hood) Queens before heading to our hotel.  The view of Manhattan from LIC is stunning and one of my favorite places in all of New York.  Mid afternoon we checked into out hotel in Chelsea and wandered the city doing a little sightseeing and a bit of shopping before heading back to get ready for the night.  That night I had put together an impromptu "Im going to be in NYC and will be here tonight" gathering.  We went to Bookmarks Lounge at the Library Hotel and met up with about 12 people that night.  The place was gorgeous and the view was amazing at night.  We got a table outside and just kept adding more and more chairs as people came.  I was so so so excited to see everyone who came. They really made it a special evening.

However, the night didnt end at Bookmarks...when in NYC you must go to karaoke and we did.

On Saturday, before out trip back to MA, we went to brunch at Jane on W. Houston and then bopped around Soho for a bit. We picked up the car, picked up my friend Talia and drove back home. 24 hours in New York, but so worth every minute!

Sunday was Mother's Day and we had brunch booked at a place in Cohasset. The place is right on the water, has amazing views and delish food!  Tom and I drove Braden and Cameron to brunch and the boys were very excited that they were beating Mom and Nana (my sister and mother) to the restaurant.  The simple things :)  After brunch we took the kids back home and played with them for a while before heading out to do a little shopping and then heading back to my moms for a bbq!  While at my moms, Tom and I were playing with the kids but being that Braden is older and really quite athletic, any games we were playing were too much for little Cam-Man.  So I thought of a brilliant game called "Keep Away from Auntie" and the kids (and Tom) loved it.  Nothing like 3 boys throwing a ball to keep it away from me :) We had an amazing time with the kids but that evening it was time to do grownup things and met up with Laura and Maurice again for drinks and dancing!

Monday was the last full day to do anything as we were leaving in the evening on Tuesday. We spent some time with my mom and then took Cameron into Boston with us. It was hilarious!  Tom was great with him!  Cam-man get get a little hard to handle, he is an absolute character and gets excited, but he was in awe of Tom and they were like bosom buddies!  We went into Faneuil Hall and walked around the shops, Tom took Cameron on the carousel nearby and then we went to The Union Oyster House for lunch...you know, where you take any 4 year old :)  Oysters for Tom and me, ice cream for Cameron.  After Boston we drove Cameron to karate and then took both boys to Five Guys Burgers where we had this amazing burgers and then wrote and recorded a song about it *a song PETA may not agree with.

Sadly we were leaving on Tuesday so we packed up our stuff and hung out at home for a bit before heading off to drop of Doug at the rental car place and meet Laura and Maurice at Logan Airport for lunch before heading back to London and back to reality.  It was such a great trip. I was so pleased to be able to see so many of my friends and of course hang out with my family.  Also, I was really happy to get to take Tom home as he has taken me to his home so many times.  All in all...I give this trip an A+!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Quick One Before My Holiday

I leave tomorrow afternoon to head back to the US for a week, but I wanted to get a quick post up about my Royal Wedding experience.

I spent the day in Hyde Park with Tom and some of his friends. We arrived in Hyde Park to meet the group (who had been there since 7am) around 8:45am. They had gotten a great place close to one of the large screens set up to watch the event take place. Champagne was poured by 9am and we were all in high spirits to watch the wedding of the year (century?) take place.  It all took place right on schedule...but did you really expect anything less than perfect order? It was really quite the event and the patriotism was overwhelming.  There were no fights, no arguements, no tension, just happiness and good times all around. You could feel how proud people were of the UK at that time.  Even though everything was a little bit much leading up to the event, I am pleased to have taken part in it.  Its something that I may not see happen again.

When in Rome London, right?