SJ on the Move

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Flashback : SJ at Piccadilly Circus

This was one of our first stops when we visited London. SJ had a lot of fun walking up and down the steps of the Eros fountain. This was a recurring theme in our trip to London, as just about everywhere we went SJ would want to go up and down the stairs.

Flashback : SJ in London

My trip to London has reminded me that I never posted the pictures from our trip to London this past September. This is an oversight I plan to rectify over the next few days.

Science Museum

After my late night of watching Star Trek, I got a decidedly later start this morning. I still wanted to hit a few more museums in London, so I took the tube into South Kensington to visit the Science Museum.

It is a pretty nice museum, although it is pretty similar to most other science museums - planes, rockets, cars, large machinery, etc. However, the exhibit on energy certainly did make me chuckle.

The thesis of this particular exhibit was whether human 'poo' could be a valuable energy source, and therefore a valuable commodity in the future.

So, when you send your kids to school they would have a special lunchbox with their 'Lunch' on one side, and their 'Poo' on the other. Thankfully, well labelled so as not to mix the two.

They also talked about how when you went over someone's house, you would collect your poo and give it to your hosts in a special gift bag, as a polite way of saying "Thank you for your hospitality". Hmmm....I don't think so.

After the Science Museum, I walked next door to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which in a continual theme, is absolutely enormous. I didn't even try to walk through half of it - it was just too large. The V&A had a lot of great sculptures, and a lot of fancy china and exquisite linens. However, overall, I wouldn't say it was exactly my cup of tea.

I then continued up the street to Harrod's the world famous department store, made even more famous by the death of Princess Diana. It's an interesting store, but it was much too large and too crowded for my taste.

Jet Lag

I don't have many complaints about my home away from home for the week. My room is pretty nice, with a nice work area, and surprisingly - they even have the Patriots game.
The big disadvantage is the fact that there is absolutely nothing around the hotel. Not a single store, place to walk around, or most importantly - get a bite to eat. After I bought a sandwich from the bar last night for $22, I figured I needed to make sure I got away from here as much as possible.
So, I decided I needed to try and adjust to UK time, since I'll be here almost a week and that will make enjoying things in London a little easier. Unfortunately, I find going from East to West rather challenging in terms of jetlag. I was able to wake up early on Saturday and spend a full day outside, but I found that at 11 p.m. that night I was exhausted, but unable to fall asleep.
Unfortunately, there is not very much on British television in the middle of the night. Amazingly, Brits seem really addicted to Big Brother. Even more amazingly, they have live feeds of Big Brother on all night long. So, at 3 a.m. in the morning you can turn on Big Brother and watch people snoring in their bunks. I'm not kidding. So, I ended up watching a couple episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation, which I guess was better than Big Brother - but not by much.

"Art" appreciation

After the British Museum, I headed over to the Tate Modern Art Gallery. It certainly is an interesting place, atlhough I have to admit some of the "art" was completely lost on me. Is there anything really artistic about a toilet bowl, a curtain, or a giant electrical plug? In some of the rooms, you weren't always sure what was supposed to be art and what wasn't. There actually was a handrail mounted on the wall in one exhibit.

Here was another one of my "favorites". I think I saw art like this in college dorm rooms.

However, that was nothing compared to this exhibit which was a looped video tape of two elf-looking guys jumping up and down and yelping. Hmmm....interesting.

On the other hand, there was one really cool exhibit, and that were a bunch of giant tube slides they had set up in the main hall. The slides went from the 3rd, 4th, or 5th floors and went all the way down to the ground floor. While it was certainly one of those 'once in a lifetime' opportunities, the queue for the slide was at least an hour long, and I didn't feel like waiting. Oh well.

After the Tate Modern, I strolled along the Thames until I came across a Wagamamma noodle bar. Enjoying chicken ramen noodles was really a blast back to my college days, although certainly the ramen noodles at Wagamamma were a lot better than the ones we would buy for $0.20 back in college.

Off to London

With meetings on Monday and Friday near London, it was necessary for me to return to the UK for the weekend.

They say that "When one is tired of London, one is tired of life". While I won't say that I am tired of London, I will say that I find it very tiring. I think it is how enormous everything is here - the city itself, the museums, the department stores, the restaurant bills, etc.

One of the really great things about London is the amazing collection of free museums. I'm not aware of anything like it in the world. I began my off-day with a trip to the National Gallery. It's sheer size doesn't allow you to ponder for too long at any one painting, unless you want to spend the whole day there. I will say that after you've seen one dozen paintings of a half-naked Mary with baby Jesus, the next 2 or 3 dozen don't seem as impressive. I also found it interesting that I actually recognized some paintings from watching Little Einsteins with SJ. So, i guess it really is educational.

After the National Gallery, I walked up to the British Museum, which in a continual theme of London museums, is absolutely enormous. They have a really great collection of Greek and Roman artifacts, as well as the Rosetta Stone - which was a lot bigger than I had always imagined it. Some of it does get a bit old, however, as ancient pots from Mesopotamia are certainly of historical interest - they aren't much for visual interest. Many of them look exactly like pots kicking around my parents' garage. Before they were buried for a few thousand years, they were probably old pots kicking around someone else's garage - err - stable.

Monday, January 15, 2007

SJ Rides her Bike

Our little Monet

Martin Luther King Day seemed like an appropriate occasion to blend all the colors together to create something beautiful.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Uncle Ben!

Uncle Ben's birthday is coming up, SJ's Uncle Ben, that is, not the quick rice icon. To celebrate, Uncle Ben and Aunt Ruthie came over along with Gami and Papi and we all watched the Patriots-Chargers playoff game.
While SJ played with her Noah's ark playset, the rest of us watched the Patriots pull out a come from behind, upset victory and advance to the AFC Championship game. A good time was had by all

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

All dressed up with no place to go

Unfortunately, Ohio State's performance in the National Championship Game was about as sour as SJ's pickle. Oh, well, she's got a lot of years of football ahead of her.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Go Bucks!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Toddler bike rally

This recent stretch of really nice weather has given SJ a chance to rider her bike quite a bit. Her good friend, Tomas, also has a bike as well - so they had great fun chasing each other around the park.

Together again

This past summer, SJ made a really good friend in Bonn, Tomas. They had a lot of fun together - playing at the playground, kicking a soccer ball, and just general silliness.

Unfortunately, Tomas had to leave Bonn in October. SJ and Tomas were both very sad. For months afterwards, they would ask for each other.

However, like one of those romantic comedies - this story has a happy ending. Because although SJ met Tomas in Bonn, Tomas actually lives in Cambridge. So, this weekend SJ and Tomas were able to see each other again for the first time in about 5 months. When you think about it, 5 months to a 2 year old is nearly 1/4 of her life. They were a little cautious at first, but after awhile they were running around and playing like no time had passed at all.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A day at the park

This weekend SJ had a special treat, as her Gami and Papi came by and brought along her Aunty Em as well.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Splish splash I was taking a bath...