Sunday, February 14, 2016

...and then I went to Amsterdam!

Hi y'all!  I just got done with a trip in Amsterdam for ISE 2016 (AV trade show) - and it included mostly work and a lot of boozing with the team, but here's a few snapshots of the trip!  It is horribly disjointed and out of order to give you the feeling that you're in Amsterdam too! ;)  Just kidding, it's actually that way because Blogger is really terrible at photo-handling and after multiple attempts to rearrange photos, it has bested me and my patience, so I opted for randomly ordered photos with captions.  Hopefully I'll have a better method soon, but until now, I'm just trying to provide posts and photos without throwing my laptop across the room.

VIP Treatment at the Crowne Plaza!
I squeezed in only a couple of workouts (this one is courtesy of Fitnessista, one of my fave bloggers)

Dutch sausage with apple chunks in it, mustard, and a zucchini mash with a dill cream sauce on top

One of the most beautiful cities in the whole world

Funky cafe with wifi and coffee - the perfect work environment

I seriously can't walk past a canal without snapping pictures

New favorite beer - IPA from Brouwerij't Ij (Nope, can't pronounce it, and yes, I had a gluten-induced stomachache afterwards, but it was worth it!)

Check out that sun!

Hey look, it's me!

Bikes everywhere
Alfa Romeo rental car upgrade is "GR-8"

Accidental artsy shot with the reflective bicycle wheels, haha

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Playing Tourist in London

Good morning from London City Airport! 

It is a stereotypically rainy day in London and my flight has been delayed a full hour, so I thought I'd try and make it up to you all that I've been a terrible blogger lately (it's the day job keeping me busy) and share what's been going on in my neck of the woods the past week!

As some of you know, I'm a colossal nomad at the moment - literally, I don't have an address or anywhere that I pay rent, with exception of a storage closet:

Home Sweet...Mess
That is coming to an end shortly and probably deserves its own post (so that I can look back and see in my own words exactly what I thought of it if I ever consider doing it again), but one of the benefits of it is that when I am in London, I get to stay in a different part of town every time.  I also happened to have a friend in town over the weekend, so I had even more of an excuse to be a tourist 😜

I rented a room from a coworker who is out of town (we have a mailing list for this sort of thing) and stayed in the very trendy hipster mecca that is Shoreditch and Hackney - which I unfortunately got very few pictures of, but this kind of sums up the type of places you'll find:
The Bike Shed - Motorcycle club/shop/gallery/cafe, all in one!
While I didn't actually go to The Bike Shed, I went to quite a few local cafes and pubs.  Including finally going to The Breakfast Club, which has been on various "Things You Have to Eat in London" lists and long ago featured on my Instagram when I was passing it while wandering London.  It didn't disappoint:
Huevos al Bene, aka eggs benedict with chorizo, guac, and chiles = it was rock your face off good, especially with a mimosa on the side ;)
Post-brunch, the touristy thang happened and we hit up all the London first-timer spots.
Tower of London (note: it's actually more "fortress" than "tower"

Tower Bridge (NOT London Bridge, which is across from Tower Bridge and much less cute, even as bridges go)

Cool mosaic wall!

South Bank, one of the prettiest areas to walk along the river!

Big Ben and Parliament at dusk

Kind of makes you feel small, huh?
I'll just provide pics and sassy descriptions and you can look up the historical deets on Wikipedia if you're so inclined. We ended the day with curry on Brick Lane (so good) and started Day 2 with the Brick Lane market - the two major things the area is known for.
Food Stalls at Brick Lane Market

We escaped London dampness by wandering the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman eras of The British Museum

enjoyed a Sunday Roast at a local pub (a tradition I think we should really adopt in the US!),
Roast chicken, duck fat potatoes, veggies, Yorkshire pudding (which is actually a flaky dough thing), all smothered in gravy (and a side of wine, obviously)
a nighttime stroll through Trafalgar Square (pics just for you, Dad!),

and then a little American-ness - NFL Playoffs:
We had mediocre seats on the side of the top level, but they still served buckets of cider, so it turned out ok
I found the elevator sign pretty funny:
Why do the Germans have towels???  If you get it, please explain to me in the comments...

The rest of my stay in London was all work and no play and 37,592 cups of coffee that I won't bore you with :)  If you have any London faves or wishlist spots, let me know in the comments and I'll check it out!

Until the next adventure! ✈️