I had a fun time converting these images to Black and White. The process is quite simple - I added a black to white gradient map layer and added a texture on top.
My sister and I were lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day to explore Central London on Sunday. We walked from the Tower of London, across the Tower Bridge, along the Thames, all the way to Parliament / Westminster, into Trafalgar Square, then to Piccadilly Circus and down Piccadilly to my favorite London store, Fortnum and Mason. A very full day of walking and sightseeing.
Quite a contrast from yesterday, our Sunday is bright and sunny. Teresa and I, after consultation with Andrew, will be heading into Central London for a day of sightseeing. This is Teresa's first trip to London, so Andrew plots us a route which maximizes our exposure of the city.
I'm in it just for the ride. My only "must do" while visiting is to make sure I get to Fortnum and Mason. Because I'm all about the tea and biscuits. Forget about all the monuments, the history, the architecture, I'm here to eat!
Speaking about eating, did I mention Andrew is a major foodie and gourmet cook? Check out this morning's brunch - Boudain Rouge with Apples and Pine Nuts.
And yeah, "Boudain Rouge" is a fancy term for blood sausage. But it was delicious!
We took the tube from Hammersmith to the Tower Hill station, which brings you out to the Tower of London.
We walked around the Tower, and then across the famous Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames
This southerly walkway is called the Queen's Walk, and winds through numerous areas, museums and sights. These colorful baby elephant sculptures dotted the landscape wherever we turned. They are part of the Elephant Parade throughout London.
Since we've arrived in London, Teresa has been on the lookout for traditional fish and chips. We found some at the Anchor, an English Pub along the river:
In true UK fashion, the fish and chips are purchased at a counter inside the pub and then taken away to eat. We watched our fish come right out of the fryer and onto the plate. Served with malt vinegar. Yum.
Next on our walking tour - the Millennium Bridge. You know, the famous footbridge featured in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Teresa recognized it as soon as we got close.
The bridge spans from the Tate Modern on the South Thames to St Paul's Cathedral on the North Thames. We walked across and back.
Once past the Tate Modern, we start to see street performers and vendors. I found this blue man quite interesting:
And the most unusual skate park. Underneath the Royal Festival Hall, this skate park is covered with graffiti. Very unusual.
We passed the London Eye and started to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and Parliament.
We cross the Westminster Bridge and catch a great view of the London Eye and the London Aquarium:
One of my favorite shots of the day - The Westminster Tube Station with Westminster Abbey in the background:
We walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus, a little underwhelmed by the "original Times Square". It pretty much looks the same as it did 20 years ago, during my first visit to London.
It's almost 5pm now, and we have some serious business to attend to - shopping at my favorite London spot, the Fortnum and Mason! We know that the store is open until 6pm, so we have ample time to peruse the vast selection of coffee, tea, jellies and jams. I even ventured upstairs this time and had to tear myself away from the cute tea sets and china.
The last leg of our day entailed taking the Route 9 bus back to Hammersmith. We were instructed to be on the lookout for the "Special Route 9 Bus", aka the "Routemaster Bus". You alight these buses from the back of the vehicle. They run an abbreviated route - from Royal Albert Hall to Trafalgar Square. I spotted one of these buses as we departed Fortnum and Mason, and due to heavy traffic and us running down Piccadilly, we were able to board around Green Park.
Since this bus doesn't run all the way back to Hammersmith, we boarded another Route 9 bus (a modern double decker) and we arrived back at Michele's right on time, a little before 7pm.
It's a rainy Saturday, on a holiday weekend, so we headed to the mall. The food court featured several ethnic foods, including this sushi bar, where the sushi dishes travel via conveyor belt, around and around the long bar area.
We didn't get to enjoy any sushi, because the bar was packed with people. Correction - the entire mall was packed with people. Apparently, the rest of West London decided to go to the mall, too.
We are staying about a mile from the famous Thames and enjoyed a short walk along the river this afternoon, enjoying the setting sun along the water.
That's the Hammersmith Bridge in the background. Garden by a very inspired Houseboater.
It feels like I'm back in the US.
Abercrombie and Fitch.
The Apple Store.
The Food Court.
Oh, wait, we don't have sushi going around on a carousel in the US.
Nor do we have falafel available at our food court.
The falafel platter was yummy. And despite the crowds (wow, was it ever crowded!), we had a good time.
I'm fortunate to be visiting my sister, Michele, in London this Saturday, and don't have a lot of time to spend editing the photos I've taken since arriving on Thursday.
So I'm sharing a SOOC capture I took Friday afternoon at the little cafe where we enjoyed our afternoon tea.
The other tidbit about today's post - I'm posting via my brother in law's brand new iPad. He managed to obtain one through his workplace on Friday. I'm just playing around with it this morning :-).
Teresa and I finally made it across the pond to the UK, after "planes, trains and numerous delays". But we're glad to be here, hanging out with Michele, Andrew and (of course), nephew Felix.
I ran some errands for Michele, which took me by the closest Tube Station, Hammersmith.
Even though their house is a short distance from the hustle and bustle of a city borough, their street is so quiet. Like the city is far away.
There's nothing like having a baby sleeping on your chest. So much worth the trouble we encountered traveling.
We did finally arrive into Heathrow at 3:00 pm, only to wait another 45 minutes before getting to an open gate. An hour to get through immigration and customs, and we were on our way to Michele and Andrew's place in Hammersmith.
We are enjoying the clear, cool weather (55degF now). And, of course, our time with baby Felix.
We were on the plane when we learned one of the cargo doors had been damaged by ground crew loading luggage.
That was 10pm, and here it is, 1:30am and we're still waiting.
Hoping to get on the plane "soon".
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
It’s my birthday and I get to meet up with one sister, Teresa, and travel all the way to the UK to visit our other sister, Michele.
The main reason for the trip - Michele and Andrew’s newest addition - little baby Felix, born just two months ago.
Teresa and I met up in the Philly airport and enjoyed a nice dinner before boarding the plane. Everything proceeding as planned... until we were informed that the cargo door had been damaged. We had to get off the plane and wait until 3am to board another plane.
At least by that time, I was so tired, I actually slept during the flight. More details tomorrow.....
We wrapped up a wildly successful soccer season tonight with a little celebration party with Erica's undefeated soccer team. The coach awarded each player with a small trophy along with kind, encouraging words from the season.
The best part - Erica will get to play on the same team in the fall. The 8th graders will move on, and new sixth graders will be added, but the current 6th and 7th graders who sign back up will be placed back with this coach. We were very impressed by the overall program and look forward to cheering on Team Green this September.
Pretty simple, but still lovely.
Things might get a little scarce here over the next several days as I am traveling to visit my sister, but may get a chance to post something interesting during my trip.
A collection of some pictures I took while visiting the large State University. Lots of neat architecture to choose from.
I'm linking to Mary at Little Red House this Mosaic Monday. Lots of other mosaics to enjoy there.
Just as Lilacs personified the end of May while I was growing up in Massachusetts, the Peony now personifies the end of May (and my impending birthday on Wednesday).
We have some busy days ahead of us, so I'm taking time now to pick and smell the peonies.
Hey, a shot of Scott at bat. No, it’s not baseball, it’s softball.
Buck asked Scott to play on his team of “mostly doctors” from Carle, and here we are - watching grown up softball on a hot Sunday evening. The Team’s name - the Medicine Balls. Appropriate for doctors, and goofy enough for Scott to appreciate. The best thing - these games are quick - an hour, tops.
Today's big event (for me) - the violin recital where I performed the First Movement of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14. Held at the Smith Memorial Hall on campus.
I tend to shy away from solo performances, as they bring out severe jitters and nerves for me. But I know that I will never overcome these jitters if I don't perform. So I do it and each time it becomes easier.
Last night's baseball game was canceled, and as I dropped off Erica at a band concert in the rain, I watched the baseball players scrambling off the field. But the rain was short lived and gave away to sun.
We're taking things easy tonight - off to bed early as both Brian and I aren't feeling well and we have a full day tomorrow.
I knew this theme would result in an unusual diptych.
I know Lee's work is centered around home (and the computer). While I spend a lot of time at the computer, too, I specifically walked outside the office and to the Maintenance shop to capture some hands on activity. I found two maintenance guys putting together some pipe.
On Thursdays, I team up with my friend, Lee for Team-Up Thursdays, a creative venture started by Melody and Megan. Each week, one of us picks a theme, we each take a picture and combine the two into a diptych.
You can view the other great diptychs at the Team Up Thursday Flickr group.
Erica gathered this collection of flowers to enjoy inside.
I took a picture of her cutting the pink flowers, but she didn't want me to take her picture, so it will remain hidden (if you are a Friend / Family Contact of mine on flickr, then you'll be able to view it).
A lovely bouquet for us to enjoy at the kitchen table.
A little note about our May weather. It seems as if Mother Nature confused April and May this year - April was totally warm and sunny, while May has been cool and rainy. I guess in the end, it all balances out.
I am a little behind on these weekly summaries. I like to post them on Tuesdays, but last week I didn't finish it in time. I don't have Week 19's mosaic pulled together, so you get last week's instead. Hopefully I'll have time to post two weeks' worth next Tuesday.
On Tuesdays, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life. You can check out the other Project 365 participants there.
A little bit of fun for today - the contents of the fridge.
I know it may seem odd to take a picture of this, but think about how food trends, appliances and even food storage quickly change. I bet in 10 years another snapshot of the fridge will reveal these changes.
On the top shelf - tonight's chicken noodle soup and spicy black bean soup in containers. On the lower shelves, you can see the wedge of watermelon (first of the season - it is quite good), strawberries, yogurt, milk, cherries and water. Just some of the highlights.
The last soccer game of the season, and Erica's friends came out to support her [actually, they slept over last night and didn't have a choice, but I think they had a good time watching her play, even at 8:30 in the morning!].
They spent some time texting.
But they showed their support of the Green Team:
And the team played a great game.
A little storyboard I made of Erica stopping, setting and kicking the ball:
Their team won and remained undefeated for the season. The girls celebrated by dousing their coach with their water bottles. A fitting end to a great season.