A hotel, a restaurant and an airline

I have three, no wait, FOUR, fantastic recommendations for you. I went to London the other weekend (no, not for the wedding, my invite must have been lost by the Spanish Post) and thoroughly enjoyed my hotel, found a great restaurant and a free product from the hotel which I recently ordered a larger bottle of their fabulous pillow spray.

Let’s start with the airline since I needed one of those to get to London in the first place. This was my first experience with Easy Jet and I was happily surprised at how smooth the transaction was with everything. I thought I had paid for my small suitcase to be carry-on but when I got to the gate she put a tag on it for me to check it when I boarded. In the end the plane wasn’t that busy so I was able to just keep it with me. With the return I did check it in London Gatwick and it was a super easy, do-it-yourself process. Plus the flight was pretty inexpensive and the flight attendants were some of the nicest I’ve experienced in quite awhile. Thanks Easy Jet! I will be a return customer.

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Okay, what do you want to hear about next? How about the hotel. I met Jeannie at the Andaz London Liverpool Street hotel. There wasn’t a single thing I can complain about. The staff was delightful, the hotel was modern and hip, the room was spacious and clean. It’s a 5 star boutique hotel located in the heart of bustling East London, just next to the Liverpool Tube Station. We used the Central and Circle Line for getting around and getting back but it also connects with the Hammersmith and the Metropolitan. Perfect for traveling cheap!

The rooms have free Wi-Fi, a free (non-alcoholic) daily stocked minibar and we were welcomed with a lovely bottle of Prosecco in the room when we checked in. And in the room they also had a free sample of REN & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray. It’s a soothing natural perfume, blending floral notes of lavender with deeply restful Frankincense, to relax both the body and mind. I loved it so much I just bought two larger bottles for my bedtime routine. I’ve been sleeping like a baby.

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You also have free access to the Health Club, where we really enjoyed the steam room. And the free apples for after you have sweated everything out. The last night we were a bit tired and decided to try their sushi restaurant. Try the saki sampler!

But the best thing and maybe it’s just me but the hotel serves complimentary (that means FREE to me) wine and canapes (one night it was small sushi rolls and the other some bread with paté) from 6 – 9 pm. It was lovely to come back from a long day of sightseeing and relax in the lounge area with a snack and a glass of wine. Or two. 🙂 FOR FREE Y’ALL.

And now what I know you’ve been waiting for – FOOD. The restaurant. It was fabulous. If you love Indian food you must go. Dishoom in Shoreditch (they also have a few more locations around London) was where I had the best Indian food of my life. It’s a big restaurant and they only take reservations for parties more than 6. So arrive a little early, put your name on the list and head over to the bar for a tipple or two while you wait for your table. I highly recommend the whiskey sour.

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Jeannie doesn’t eat foods with gluten and they had a large variety of items that she could eat. So feel free to eat your heart out. We shared the Crunchy Pomelo salad (with fresh kale, pink pomelo, pistachios, mint and coriander) and the okra fries (not gluten-free but Jeannie had a few). I haven’t had okra since my Oklahoma days! For the main dish I had the lamb Sheekh Kabab and Jeannie had the Chicken Tikki. It did not disappoint. They are also open for breakfast and the menu and teas look totes amazeballs. Just go already.

And I actually have one more rec for you. The good stuff just keeps on coming! If you do go to the Dishoom Shoreditch locatation and you feel like going out and dancing a bit, stop by Momento Lounge bar for some drinks and good tunes from the live DJ.

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And there you have it. Great times are made even greater with a good hotel, good food and good experiences.

But nothing compares to GREAT FRIENDS. And when you have this kind of happiness and fun together, it doesn’t really matter where you stay or what you eat.

Happy weekend y’all!!

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Oh I Wish I Were A Pizza Hut Wiener

I just seriously cracked myself up with the blog title. Don’t you remember singing that song?

Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener

That is what I’d truly like to be

‘Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer wiener

Everyone would be in love with me

And I actually have some VERY good friends of mine dating all the way back to the high school years that are still truly in love with the Oscar Mayer wiener mobile. Have you seen that driving around the USA?

Anyways I am getting away from the true statement of my blog which is, hotdogs in the Pizza Hut crust! Does anything sound wrong with that statement? In Palma there are hotdogs in the Pizza Hut crust! Check it out. Is this for reals? Is this in the USA too? Bleh. Thank you but I will stick with my personal pan pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers.

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Get yer souvenirs hereeee, only two more days

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am a hoarder. But I do like to collect things that I think will gain in value. My poor parents have taken the brunt of my obsession by keeping boxes of stuff in their garage, until I decide to actually schlump it all to Europe. My latest random purchase was the Toy Story 3 Mr. Potato Head that I found here at the grocery store. So at least that future million dollar collectible is safely here in my midst.

Do you collect anything?

Once I saw the Kate doll, I wanted it immediately! But alas, I am not going to fork out 200 pounds for it. Even though they are only making 5,000 of them and it will definitely be on the most wanted list in …..20, 30, 40 years? Here are some other souvenirs that are out there for your choosing.

  This one is my favorite. If only I knew how to knit!

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding has a cast of characters including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Harry, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a variety of wedding guests plus, of course, the happy couple themselves – and even a corgi – this is one wedding souvenir that will be a must-have for any keen crafter.

There is a backdrop of Westminster Abbey included, so that you can display your creations in authentic surroundings. For sale on Amazon.co.uk  £9.99

   The Kate Middleton Engagement Doll. The hand-painted, limited edition collector’s item – only 5,000 will be produced worldwide – will be available for £195 and comes with a display stand and certificate of authenticity. The 16-inch Kate figurine comes complete with a miniature silk jersey dress quite similar to the blue Issa she wore when she and Prince William announced their engagement in November. The doll will also feature a replica of her sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

A second Kate doll will be available after April 29 featuring the bride’s highly-anticipated wedding dress, jewelry and tiara. That doll retail for £295 and will be available this summer.

  Awwww, how “sweet”. PEZ’s commemorative pair of his-and-her candy dispensers in the likeness of the betrothed couple. The limited-edition item will be auctioned off on eBay from April 7–17, with proceeds going to a charity supported by the couple.

Looks like the auction date has passed, so start looking to see them for sale again online – for more money, of course! That is how those collector items work.

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   Not invited to the royal wedding? You can still raise a pint to William and Kate with one very royal brew:  Kiss Me Kate beer. Created by Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham, England, the tipple is described as “elegant, tasteful and British to the core” – I’ll drink to that!

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  And for all you wackos out there – The Royal Refrigerator.

GE is coming out with a commemorative refrigerator, dubbed “The Ultimate,” which certainly is fit for a king … or one with a king-sized appetite for royal memorabilia. Standing at 5 ft., 9 in. and emblazoned with the Mario Testino engagement portrait of William and Kate, you’ll most certainly impress freakout your friends with your royal dedication.

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Raawwrrr

   Time to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Feb. 14, 2010. And it is the year of the Tiger, the metal Tiger, to be exact. The last time it was a metal Tiger year was 1950 – Assertive, competitive and sharp, once Metal Tigers set their sights on their goals there’s no stopping them.

That means, this year is your time to shine, time to be your own personal cheerleader. This year you are going to reach those goals you have set to such high standards. BE AGGRESSIVE BE BE AGGRESSIVE! Okay, so I was never a high school cheerleader.  But I was for the Green Machines in Middle School. BE (clap) AGGRESIVE (clap clap) BE BE (clap) AGGRESIVE (clap) GOOOOOOOOOOO SELF! Okay, I think I have embarrassed myself enough, even as an online cheerleader.

But I do love some of the ads and promotions U.S. companies (Coke, Southwest, MetLife) are running to recognize the growing importance of this holiday to their Asian and Asian-American/Canadian customers. Now if I could only find a job in that field…… yes, I know. BE AGGRESSIVE. Rawr.

Dallas is sooo 1998

I would religiously camp out in front of the TV every Friday night in my pj’s to watch Dallas. The soapy backstabbing shenanigans of the Ewing gang. From ruthless J.R. and Sue Ellen to the loveable Pamela Ewing, the matriarch Miss Ellie and the slutty wispiness of Lucy.

I couldn’t get enough. I would kiss the back of my hand with thoughts of Bobby (but he still couldn’t hold a candle to John Travolta) and didn’t understand why Sue Ellen couldn’t just shoot J.R. for good. I think all the characters died at least once and then would remarkably come back to life. Didn’t it end up where season eight was all a dream of Pamelas with Bobby returning in season nine? Maybe that is where they jumped the shark.

But this isn’t about the TV show Dallas, sorry. If you are interested let me know and I could go on and on. See, lately the dashboard in my car has been on the fritz, doing crazy things. It used to tell me the date was July 9, 1998. But now, I rarely even have a flicker of lights, I have no idea how fast I am going, no idea how full the gas tank is and the most important for me,  no clue on what the outside temperature is. But the date always made me think, July 1998 where was I then, over ten years ago, and can you guess where I was? That’s right, Dallas.   

It was the carefree days of my first job outside of a mexican restaurant that actually required my Bachelor’s degree. I was making 20K and living off lower Greenville, the heartland of cool bars and restaurants. Snuffers for cheeseburgers and cheese fries, Blue Goose Cantina for mexican and margaritas and Stan’s Blue Note to just hang on the patio and watch the bikers drive by.

My days at the office of soft drink and snack promotions went something like this:

9 a.m.  Roll into the office, grab a cup of coffee in a cancerous styrofoam cup and head over to Abby’s desk for the latest gossip.

10 a.m.  Run a few work orders around and hide in my Creative Director’s office for a quick nap.

11 a.m.  Smoke break (sorry mom) with Abby and Fred while we scanned the five star hotel valet area across the fountain for celebs. Bono was there once. yay.

11:30 Call my account management team on the east coast to discuss what I already should have done that day.

12:00 Lunch either consisted of cheap Texas BBQ down the street or Ramen noodles with a side of free company coffee.

1:00 – 5:00 Was a blur of running between Abby’s desk to hide, art directors, copywriters, legal, scheduling, print production and smoke breaks. I had more caffeine and nicotine at this time in my life than ever before which resulted (at least in my hypothesis) in a few panic attacks. What fun!

5:00 Or sometime thereafter it was drinks downstairs at the bar with the drinking group of TLP (which was pretty much everyone). We would usually stay there for an hour or so and then head up the street to the fabulous dive bar, The Grapevine, where I developed a taste for dirty martinis.

LATHER. RINSE. REPEAT.

Where were you in July 1998? Please tell me! I really want to know. REALLY.

school house rock coming home

Gosh golly gee HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU! I hope you missed me.

While I try to capture all my USA adventures to share with you, here is a little School House Rock for you. Did you know the PSA spot for the strange yellow dude from the Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese blog was called Time for Timer? I had no clue he had a name, thought you would like to know. But to be honest, SHR was always my favorite, I own a greatest hits CD! Not surprising actually if you know me.

I found No More Kings from SHR to be appropriate for my trip to the grand U.S. of A – this one is dedicated to the Causley girls: Susie, Barbie and Ellie, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU! Enjoy my friends.

Hanker for a hunk of cheese

 

Helloooooooooooo….. is anyone still out there?

 

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These past two weeks have been a whirl of Madrid, cruising in the car AND A BOAT around Mallorca. A friend came into town on a spur of the moment trip to bypass her 40th birthday and we have been livin it up! So, while I get my next posts in order here is a little nostalgia for you.

 

One of my favorite PSA announcements at the tender age of six, huddled around the afternoon tv in Madison, WI and my snack du jour – crackers and cheese. There is nothing better! A time before the PSAs of alcohol or drug awareness, we had cheese awareness. A slab, a slice, a chunk a’ ….

 

One quick observation from my “older” viewpoint …… what were these guys smokin who made this??