Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall TV {2014}

I love TV, and for those of us who love TV, there is nothing better than premier week.  Those casts we love are back, and maybe we are even looking forward to meeting new characters on some new shows.  I've made my spreadsheet of what comes on when, and when each show premiers.  Here are the shows I'm most looking forward to seeing again:

Returning this week on Fox for it's 3rd Season is The Mindy Project
To say that I LOVE this show, doesn't go far enough.  I watch each episode at least 2 times.  Last time I did that?  We are talking Sex and the City people.  I'm serious about this show.  It makes me laugh so hard.

And as an aside, I desperately want to be friends with Mindy Kaling!  But back to the greatness that is the show... Season One was good, Season Two was great, and I cannot wait until Season Three starts this Tuesday.  If you haven't jumped onto The Mindy Project train, get onboard...NOW!  Catch up with the first two seasons while DVR'ing the new season until you are ready to watch.

Of course I'm also ready for some Scandal!
Where on Earth is Olivia Pope?


Parenthood  is another one I'm really looking forward to.  This is the finale year, so it is bittersweet.  I'm so glad that NBC renewed it for a final, albeit shorter season, but I hate that great ensemble cast shows are so hard to keep running.  I love the Braverman family!  It is a show that makes me laugh and cry through every single episode without fail.

I also can't wait for The Good Wife.  It is great TV
And if you watch, this promo probably makes you have the same reaction that I did!
(If you don't watch, you should!)


There are several new shows I plan to give a shot, but one of the new shows I'm really looking forward to is Madam Secretary.
It seems to have several things I love on it's side: Washington, D.C., Great cast... 

What about you?  What are you looking forward to seeing on your TV?



I've excluded cable shows from this post.  I LOVE my cable shows, and am greatly enjoying those that are currently running, and eagerly await the return of some others, but since they don't fall into the typical network premier dates, I did not cover them here.  


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

London & Brussels 2014 {My Trip in 15 seconds}

Here is a flipagram video of the instagram pics I took while on vacation.  Essentially, my vacation, as captured on my iPhone, in 15 seconds.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

London & Brussels 2014 {Day Six}

Sunday was my last day in London.   I had been on the fence about whether to go to Buckingham Palace or not, so I weighed out the Pros and Cons.


Pros:
The Royal Childhood Exhibit
You Only Have the Opportunity to Tour for a month every year
I haven't done the tour since 1996

Cons:
I did the tour in 1996
It isn't cheap
I could spend the time doing something I haven't done before

Then I got in a twitter conversation with Victoria Arbiter, CNN's & ABC's Royal Contributor, and daughter of Dickie Arbiter, the longtime Press Spokesman for Her Majesty the Queen, about the Royal Childhood Exhibition.  She highly recommended it, so I booked my ticket for a 9:30 tour.  

I'm so happy that I did!  It was really great.  The tour has come a long way since 1996 (of course that was only the 3rd year that they had done the tour, so they may have still been figuring it out).  I really enjoyed the tour of the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, and I thought the Royal Childhood Exhibition was charming.  Photos of the interior are not allowed, and I wasn't going to risk taking illegal photos in the palace, but if you want to see some pics of the Royal Childhood Exhibition you can click HERE.  

As soon as I was done in the palace, I hit up The Garden Cafe
I didn't really have a game plan for lunch, and figured that the Queen wouldn't serve dodgy food, so I decided to eat there.
I had a Ham & Cheese sandwich, tea, and dessert.
And it was really good!
P.S. How adorable is the Garden Cafe?  The pink and green color scheme? LOVE!  And that tray was so cute.  I had hoped they were selling them in the shop, but sadly they weren't.
{all food pics are iPhone pics}
This Strawberry Fraisier was to die for.  Yep, I was right...no dodgy food here!
After lunch, I hit up the gift shop and I tried buy them out.  Not really, but I did buy an adorable ornament and Buckingham Palace advent calendar that I can't wait to bust out during the holidays!

They have you walk through the palace gardens, and exit way in the back.  After that, I walked back around to the front to take pics.







Turns out the Mall is closed on Sundays!  It was super cool to walk down it and be able to take pictures and glance back and absorb the sights.
Big Ben peeking out over St. James Park.
And then the bottom fell out and it started raining cats and dogs.


I sought shelter under some trees for the worst of the downpour, and then continued on to Trafalgar Square...
Nelson's Column and the Lions


I had really been wanting to take some great photos of Big Ben from Trafalgar Square, but the rain kind of thwarted my plans.
I went down into the underground right there at Trafalgar Square to get out of the rain.  I took it toward Oxford Circus.  My afternoon plan was to get my shopping on in London!

Liberty of London was one of my stops...



Another stop was Hamley's toy store.  I went to see if they had any unique gifts for little people in my life, but I didn't find much (and honestly, it was so loud and crazy, it was kind of torture even being in there!).  They had life size royal family lego sculptures though!
The Queen was fun, but the corgi...I just about died over that cuteness!
After that I hit up Cath Kidston (I mean I hit them up hard, but then you know that I just about bought them out if you follow me on instagram), and Fortnum & Mason.  These hydrangeas were outside of F&M, and they were killing me with their beauty.  I have never seen ones these colors before!
{iphone pics}
After shopping hard all afternoon, I took a cab back to the hotel to start packing.  I had some plans to go to the observation deck of the Shard, but it closed earlier than I thought.  I was really worn out by that point, so I decided room service sounded like a fine idea.

I got a burger with grilled onions, streaky bacon (that's normal bacon over on this side of the pond), and Stilton cheese (a strong British cheese).  It was actually divine!  Great decision!

And just like that, my trip was over.  Much too soon.  I left the next morning on the 11:55 a.m. flight to Dallas.  The flight home was it's own special kind of hell, but I'm choosing to try to block that part of the trip.  I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to indulge my inner anglophile for a week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

London & Brussels 2014 {Day Five}

I didn't have a ton planned for Saturday (or Sunday for that matter).  I had figured that I would be a bit tired from going full speed several days in a row, so I planned on the lighter side.

I did get up early and headed to Nottinghill.  This was a cute and bright cottage I saw.

The plan was to hit up the Portobello Road Market.  
I had read that you should get there by 8:00 to avoid the crazy crowds.  I think I got there about 8:30, and boy did I miss the crowds!  The vendors hadn't even finished setting up completely.
I really drooled over these silver vendors, but I didn't buy anything
I managed to escape the market and only purchased a couple of onesies as a baby gift for my friend Abby who had given birth to her 4th baby the day before.

I walked a while and found more pretty flowers at a Pub
I kept walking until I found an underground station, and took it to Paddington Station.  From Paddington, I took a cab (because I didn't want to do two more train changes to my next destination). I headed to 45 Park Lane, to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, Cut.

After a diet of chocolate, fries, and a waffle on Friday, I was starving!
{iphone photo}

After some sustenance, I walked up the street to Marble Arch, stopping briefly to drool at the Aston Martin dealership on Park Lane.  From Marble Arch, I took the underground to The British Museum.

The British Museum is a huge museum where you could easily spend a week, if not longer.  

In addition to all the artifacts to look at, the architecture is quite something.


I knew I could wander around for days and I still might miss something important.  So I found a guy that worked there and said, "what are the 3 must see exhibits?", and then I hit those up.

(1) The Ancient Egyptians Exhibit...

(2) The Rosetta Stone...
{iphone photo}

and (3) the Parthenon exhibit, which I really loved...

Outside of Athens, there are only 3 places where you can see pieces of The Parthenon (the Louvre in Paris; the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen; and the British Museum in London)




I embarrassingly walked right off a step after I took this photo because I was so enthralled with the room...
I took a cab from the museum to Kensington Palace, because my feet and bum ankle were getting really tired at this point in the trip.  
I didn't do the tour of Kensington Palace because I had done that before, but I walked through the sunken garden there, because I remembered that I really liked it.  On the way, I noticed some changes that they had made including a gift shop, restaurant, and new entrance for the tour.

The statue of Queen Victoria had been cleaned up as well







Then I walked through Kensington Park toward Hyde Park 





The Serpentine

Prince Albert Memorial
I spent lots of time walking through the park, enjoying the flowers, and soaking up the cool weather




I walked all the way through Hyde Park, back to the restaurant Cut.  I had spied a really yummy sounding Lobster Club Sandwich on the menu that I wanted to try for a late lunch
{iphone pic}

After lunch, I took a cab back to my hotel.  I was really tired, and decided to take a nap before I got ready to head out for the evening.

I had tickets to see a play called "Skylight", so I took the underground to Leicester Square.
I had been toying with the idea of seeing "Skylight" when I started planning my trip in early June, and then I saw Hugh Jackman tweet that he saw it and it was one of the top plays he had ever seen, so I quickly booked my ticket.
Luckily, I was there one week before it closed.
Carey Mulligan was great, but Bill Nighy, who I love in all his movies, was beyond brilliant.

I had great seats (as you can see I was the first down in the stalls)
The play was wonderful.  I'm so glad I got to see it.  It's one that you are still thinking about many days after.

When I got home, I noticed that there had been a write up in June's Vogue Magazine about it, but I had totally over-looked it!

Stay tuned for my last full day in London!

 

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