london: new vancouver

We’re staying in an area of London that is both new-ish, and new to us. It’s a little further from Central London than our previous visits, and it feels very much like home. Seriously, tell me if this doesn’t look like False Creek and BC Place:

all aboard the mount pleasant gondola

Most of the buildings in the area are new, and built of concrete and glass. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but .. it feels like home. Specifically, Vancouver home. When I visit London, I want it to feel like UK-home: history and wainscotting and ridiculously ornate buildings fit for nobility but are actually a corner grocer and torture chambers and and and. The last place we stayed was right next to the University of London, with all the accompanying Britishness you might expect – but the flat was tiny and uncomfortable for the two of us, and wouldn’t work for the four of us this time around. I did a ton of research before selecting where we are now, but didn’t really look into how London the area felt. It’s not a big deal – as Ed says, we traded charm for comfort – but something feels off about the area, and I think that’s what it is.

But! It’s where we sleep and store our underwear, so it’s all good. We’ve settled in, and have worn ourselves out running all over town exploring new things and revisiting old favourites. Our adventures on Tuesday took us to Canary Wharf for SIM Cards and an accidental high end car show: we made our way through Maseratis and Bentleys and Land Rovers on our unintentional romp through London’s financial district, and once we were fully equipped with internet, I took Ed to Buckingham Palace because it is shiny. We wandered through various Parks, stopping to rest our feet and people watch. Everyone was very fancy – Tuesday was Prince Phillip’s birthday, and some sort of party was happening at the Palace. Hundreds of people were queued up to get in, and everyone was dressed to at least the 8s – top hats and tails on the men, and the FANCIEST HATS on the ladies. St. James’s Park has a huge collection of interesting birds, and I spent a long time looking at baby ducks and geese and swans and this fat squirrel:

it’s hobbes, in squirrel form

We spent some time laying on the grass, then made our way back to home base for sleepings.

On Wednesday, we decided to hop the gondola to London Bridge and walk for a million miles (or 17000 FitBit steps) – all along the South Bank, over multiple bridges, and past my new favourite places in London:

adorable shops in gabriel’s wharf

more 'ffiti

south bank skate park

south bank skate park

more ‘ffiti

The Skate Park was *covered* in graffiti, and was wonderful – I could have spent hours in there (but didn’t, because I killed my camera battery). More South Bank will happen later, as I think it’s my happy place .. so much to do and see and walk and also this old thing:

big ben at seven bong

big ben at seven bong

We wore ourselves the fuck out yesterday, so today was much less exciting: a trip to the mall (because it has the closest M&S that isn’t fucking invisible). We stocked up on groceries and desserts, and are simply resting up because the fun is about to begin: Heather and Renee will be here tomorrow, and then we’re off to Portobello Market and Brighton and Oxford and the V&A and castles and haunted pubs and bus tours and eeeeee!

My feet are gonna hurt so much.

and and and

getting high

Last weekend when Ed and I were at the Vancouver Lookout, I activated my membership. At any point in the next year, I can go up the tower and see awesome views of Vancouver like these:

vancouver harbour

east van

stanley park

I enjoyed looking down on the world from above so much that this weekend, I’m going to do it all over again .. in Seattle. Ed and I are heading to the Sparkle Castle for some fun and visits, and while we’re there I’ve decided we should go up some really tall buildings and look around. I bought us passes to the Smith Tower (35th floor with an open deck), and to the Sky View  Observatory (73rd floor) for weekend good times. The second tower is open past dusk, so there should be ample opportunity for some great night time photos. I am excite! And glad I don’t have a fear of heights!

I have three solid weekends of Adventure coming up (and the fourth weekend is earmarked for Hardcore Adventure Planning). I am happiest when I am outside experiencing things exactly like this, so I couldn’t be more pleased that things are happening. It will go a very long way in ejecting me from the funk I’ve been in for the past few months!

As an added bonus, here is a Nerd Totem Pole!

not to be confused with a shame pole

not to be confused with a shame pole