London, England-July 2017

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London with my Ladybug, yes please!

After Brussels, I headed over to London to meet up my cousin and her family. We had grand plans of attending Adele’s final show at Wembley Stadium. The concert that cancelled. Ok, moving on.

On my previous trip to London, my friend Katy and I took tourist shots with red umbrellas. I thought it would be fun to take tourist shots with my favorite bug.  And well it was not raining and she’s 2, I was lucky she even took the umbrella from me in the first place. IMG_2940

Despite the fact it was sunny and the concert was cancelled, we manage to have quite a nice visit in London. We took a boat cruise along the Thames and tried to pop into the Palace to Hello to the Queen, but she was just not receiving visitors that day.  And of course we had the requisite fish and chips.

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And somehow, I managed to do even more shopping then I could have imagined. This resulted in me having to purchase a new tote bag to get all my loot back to the States . #travelfail ( one should always leave enough room in their bag for spare purchases).

All in all, London was great! Especially nice to to experience it with family. I hope to get to have more trips like this again in the future.

But sorry Adele, not sure that I will fly over again to attempt to hear you sick. Oh who I am kidding, of course I would!

Until next time………

Scotland-June 2016

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I am super lucky to have amazing friends in all over the world. One of my favorite friends, Katy, lives in Scotland and well it’s just not that easy to get to from Australia. I had planned to be back in the States in June and had this insane idea to drop off my bags in Chicago and continue on to Scotland. In theory it made sense, in actuality I was tired! But getting to hang out and chill with Katy and her friends (my friends), was worth flying to the moon and back.

I flew British Airways, well because I had a coupon. It should have been a simple connection in Heathrow, since it’s their hub. It was a NIGHTMARE. I only made my connection because the flight was delayed. The worse part is I normally avoid Heathrow at all costs. I arrived on the day that United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union. And the day the pound dropped to it’s lowest value against the dollar in over 30 years. It was interesting to be there on that day.

Katy surprised me this time at the airport. Even though I knew she was picking me up, it was nice to see her at baggage claim.  The Royal Highland Show was right by the airport, so we decided to check that out.

I think Katy just wanted a excuse to play with the tractors….. And I don’t recommend eating a burger in front of the cows. I got some pretty ugly stares and moo’s.

Then there may have been some drinking, dancing in the rain and pakora…

There were grand plans to go the Highland Games the next day, but it got called on account of rain.  So we did something unprecedented for Katy and Flo Adventure, we just chilled out. We went and saw the movie, “Me before You”. I warned Katy to bring tissues, man did we cry.
The next day we headed off to the Gleneagles Spa . I was always hearing about how Katy and Helen would go to the spa. I wanted to spa too! So I got to spa with Catherine, Helen and Katy. It was AMAZING. I could make a annual spa trip. It was just as I imagine including getting kicked of the quiet room.

I am so thankful to have had that weekend away. I needed a break and a break is what I got. And I finally got to meet people who I’ve only known virtually,Catherine and Helen,who are just as awesome in person.

The pre-birthday celebration was pretty fantastic!

Now it’s time to prepare for the big birthday celebration in Germany.  Stay tuned.

London, England January 2016

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Fare Sale, London, Done.
I love me a good coupon. What I can I say, I am a sucker for bargain. So last October, when some airline started a fare war, I jumped on it. I showed restraint and only booked 1 trip to London. I figured I would pop up to Edinburgh to see my friend Katy. Lucky for me, Katy was willing to pop down to London ( I am not sure I would have survived connecting international to domestic at Heathrow).

I was scheduled to fly out of O’hare at 4:10 pm. I boarded the plane at 3:55 pm. I did a “Flo-Jo” thru the airport.  Not sure what my issue is as of late,but I’ve been cutting it close for boarding.  I was flying United, which I was oddly excited about since I had not flown them in months. Well that excitement disappeared as soon as the grumpy flight attendant offered to hang my coat. He asked me for my ticket, I said I don’t have a paper one, I used my phone. I got a weird look, I think he thought I was a standby.  The flight was fine, until I landed. My phone would not turn on. When it finally did decided to cooperate, it had a factory reset. COMPLETE RESET. I have no idea why. I could not get it back to normal until I was able to get it on wifi. Luckily, United has an arrival lounge in Heathrow.  I was able to refresh while my phone was restoring.  I checked my email on my iPad and had a message from my bank. My credit card had been stolen. Great it was the credit card I had brought to London.  ** My American Express card had been stolen earlier week and their crappy customer service took 5 days to replace my card, so I had a Chase Visa with me.*** Chase customer service as 5 stars. They left the card turned on for me to use in London and sent me a new card, overnight to Chicago.

I had originally planned on going a museum while I waited for Katy to arrive, but when I arrived at the hotel my room was ready. So I took a nap.  We spent the afternoon tooling around London, drinking and just enjoying the sights. I would post some pictures but honestly we are just had some much fun, I would hate to make others jealous.

I like to collect art on my trips, specifically street scenes with umbrella’s. I thought it would be fun if Katy and I were the “art”. So I hired a photographer to take tourist shots of us. I found Andrew with Simpson Shoots via google. I was able to connect with him over email and get everything scheduled.

I decided to make it a surprise for Katy. I originally started to tell her, but she said no a surprise would fun. For about 5 minutes and then she asked me again. I refused to tell her anything, but I did ask her friend Helen for help.  As the time got closer, she was trying to guess her surprise. She kept asking for clues. Helen had told her to bring accessories. I kept throwing out random things, like bring a pen, maybe some snacks, oh and some Ziploc bags.

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Katy and her Ziplocs

We had an absolute blast taking pictures for 2 hours with Andrew.

If you happen to be in London and looking for something different, call Andrew.  It was a priceless experience.

The weather was fantastic, it was sunny for our photo shoot, which was ironic given we had umbrellas. When were done, we had a coffee outside in January, in London. So bizarre.

We had to head back to the hotel to change our shoes. And then I made the mistake of introducing Katy to Ted and Muffy (formerly Duo Boots).  Oops…..

We met up with with my friend Michael for tea on Sunday. Katy asked how me met, and he was like oh we met in Germany, in fact I am going in July….. yes Michael that would be for my birthday in July.

As always the visit was too short. I love that my many adventures have brought me so many wonderful people all over the globe.  I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. From the pool in Dar Es Salaam to the Jetty in Hamburg, life is sure interesting.

Stay tuned for further adventures. Next up, a weekend in New York with Whitney and Jana.  Not sure if the old lady can hang……….

London-April 2015

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One the travel bloggers I follow, Nomadic Matt, was recently in London. Reading about his trip, inspired me to book a trip. Which seem like a good idea at the time I booked it, but in theory the timing was off. The trip fell in the middle of a seriously crazy stretch of travel. Like I’ve been at the airport every single week in February, March and April…..

After returning from Paris, I picked up a nasty sinus infection. I am pretty sure falling asleep on the plane, with my mouth open and the vent blowing recycled air might have had something to do with it. I felt well enough to pop into Boston and down to Dallas, though. But then somehow I picked a nasty influenza B virus. So nasty, it was questionable if I should have gone to London.  As the departure date arrived, I feel better, not 100%, but well enough to fly, or so I thought. I survived, but my ears were killing me. Lesson learned, just stay home next time. Flying with clogged ears is not joke.

My friend, Laura, was flying over from Cologne, to hang out. We arrived within 30 minutes of each other, and lucky for me, United, has a arrival lounge in Heathrow, including showers. So I was able to refresh before hitting the town.

Lucky for me Laura, had lived in London, so she played tour guide for me. I’ve been before but it has been years!

We started are day with Brunch, followed by some street food.

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And a little sightseeing

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But the coolest thing we did? Dinner at Duck and Waffle, the highest restaurant in London. I would suggest some elastic waist pants, if you plan to eat here.

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The view…..

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bbq-spiced crispy pig ears

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spicy ox cheek doughnut

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roasted octopus

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duck& waffle

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see the food options were so much better then the last time I visited London. Food trucks and stalls everywhere we turned. In fact, I would put London on the list of places to wear your elastic waist pants.  I am pretty sure I gained 5 pounds on this trip.

As always it was quick trip, but it was nice to hang out with Laura. And lucky for me, my ears unclogged for my flight home. I am now getting ready for my next adventure, down under to Australia… Stay tuned.