Travel Log: Days Five and Six

Wednesday, May 22nd

Today we had our second day tour. I was determined to not make it at the last second. However, Huff the Hubs and the Underground had a different idea in mind. HtH was being pokey and there were major delays on the Tube. I was getting scared we wouldn’t make it in time. But, thankfully, we did!

After we boarded the bus, we met a couple from Michigan. We chatted with them for a bit—mostly about tornadoes and Oklahoma—but it was nice to have some entertainement. Our tour guide on this day wasn’t as chatty as Jess from a few days earlier.

Our first stop was Warwick Castle. I was excited because we had almost two hours at the castle. Our other tour didn’t allow such long stops. We saw some awesome stuff: where the day-to-day operations of the castle would happen, where the court would meet, and where they had “bear baiting”.

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Huff the Hubs went through a bunch of towers (530 steep steps, according to the sign) while I waited below.

That's HtH way up there!

That’s HtH way up there!

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After Warwick, we went to Stratford Upon Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace), one of my favorite places in England. We toured ole Billy the Bard’s childhood home and ate lunch at a small café.

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Then, we went to one of my favorite shops—The Creaky Cauldron. Its basically a rip off of Harry Potter (they even had Hedwig’s Theme playing as we entered) but its awesome! They asked if we were HP fans and I said, “Well, we’re naming our daughter Hermione, so…” and they said: “Brilliant!” and “That’s a great name!” (I love them.)

The shorter of the two men said: “She’ll be the brightest witch of her age.”

To which I replied with: “I hope so. She’ll need to get scholarships to help us out with the cost of college!”

The taller of the two said: ‘We can admit her into the school of witchcraft and wizardry, can’t we?”

So they signed a piece of paper and Hermione is already admitted!

After leaving S-u-A, we went to OxfordUniversity. The campus is beautiful! We saw the hall that the Great Hall in HP was modeled after, and bought some Oxford shirts and hoodies. After we got back to London, we took a short nap and had dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant.

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Thursday, May 23rd

This morning, since it was our last full day in London, we decided to do all the “little things” we hadn’t been able to do. Our first stop was King’s Cross to see Platform 9 ¾. It had changed so much since the last time I was there in ’10! I think because of the Olympics. After popping into the Harry Potter shop there, we went to the London Eye. We had lunch at the McDonald’s nearby and overheard some people talking about sending donations to Oklahoma.

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After lunch, we went to Westminster Abbey. Evidently, you aren’t allowed to take photographs…well, they didn’t count on Jessie the Pregnant Ninja to be in town. HtH kept saying we were going to get thrown in the stocks, but I wanted people to see the Abbey! After all, we paid over 35 quid!

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After the Abbey, we were both in need of a rest. We went back to thehotel and took a 2-hour nap. Then, we went to Baker Street.

I was so excited! I have been to London twice before and always wanted to go to Baker Street to see Sherlock Holmes’ house. We decided to go into the museum; it was so interesting! HtH and I couldn’t help but giggle, knowing that this museum had been set up in honor of a man who hadn’t even lived! It was odd though, because with all the things in the house, it was as though he had.

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After Baker Street, we went to KensingtonGardens and saw KensingtonPalace (AKA, where Princess Diana lived and where Kate and William now live). After that, we went into a pub and had fish chips, did some shopping, and went back to the hotel.

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After I took a shower, I wanted to blow dry my hair. Unfortunately, when I plugged my blowdryer into the adapter, sparks flew from my dryer and the electricity shut off.

HtH said, “Way to burn the castle down!” (in reference to the scene from Just Married). Thankfully, the fuse was fixed quickly and my hair was dried.

We were sad to say goodbye to London, but ready to get back to Oklahoma and help out our friends in Moore.

Travel Log: Days Three and Four

Monday, May 20th

Today we went on our day tour to Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Bath. Our tour guide’s name was Jess. She was short and spunky; like Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music but with more sass.

 

In Salisbury, we went to the cathedral and saw The Magna Carta; very cool! And when I say “cool” I mean we were freezing our butts off! (Note to future traveling self: 60* in England is NOT the same as 60* in Oklahoma.)

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After a quick peek at the M.C., we hoofed it to a local Marks and Spencer (England’s posh WalMart) and searched for coats. We were nearing the end of our time there and hadn’t eaten lunch. So, yet again, we were late for our departure because we were waiting on food. Needless to say, everyone on the tour bus clapped for us when we arrived late (granted, it was only 3 minutes this time).

 

Stonehenge was neat. Last time I came to the stones, we didn’t pay to go into the park area, we just took pictures from the other side of the fence. It was interesting, but after a while it was like, “Oh. Okay. Lots of rocks.”  (Also, the whole time I kept thinking about the episode of Doctor Who that they filmed at the ‘Henge.)

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Bath was what I was most looking forward to. I love, love, LOVE Bath. Its incredibly gorgeous and full of history. We toured the Roman Baths (we didn’t just sneak into the museum via the bathroom like last time I was there). We saw the hot springs and the rooms where the people would bathe. Before we left, Huff the Hubs and I both got ice cream and then he got a pork and apple Cornish pasty.

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When we got back to the hotel, I was searching through Facebook and saw that there were tornadoes in Oklahoma. I was freaking out; I saw the path was going toward my family’s (and our) home. I told HtH, “I don’t care if phone calls are $2 a minute, I’m calling my family!”

 

I called Mom; no answer. I called my sister, and somehow, I got through. Thankfully, they were all safe and so were their homes. It was a very tense night’s sleep.

 

Tuesday, May 21st

Today we went to the Tower of London. Before we left for the trip, Huff the Hubs asked if we were going to any castles. I told him, “Yes; the Tower of London is considered a castle.” He threw a fit, thinking that the Tower was going to be lame and nothing compared to the castles he’s seen on TV. When we got to the Tower, he had to eat his words. He was in awe! We walked around, talked to some Beefeaters, saw the Crown Jewels, and ate fish chips.

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After the Tower, we went to The Globe Theater over in Southwark. It. Was. Awesome. I’d never been before and I couldn’t wait to see it! It did not disappoint. When we went inside the theater, the guide asked if there were any questions. I asked, “Have any television shows or movies been filmed here?” she said, “Sadly, Shakespeare in Love was not filmed here. But! Has anyone ever seen Doctor Who?” {I clapped with excitement} “Yes, an episode of Doctor Who was filmed here; David Tennant has stood on THAT stage!” (HtH had to restrain me from licking the stage.)

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After we left, we walked outside and I saw this! (My Harry Potter friends know what this is from!)

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After The Globe, we went back to the hotel to rest, email family, and check up on the status of Moore through Facebook. After a short nap, we went to Harrod’s and had dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant that my sister and I frequented during our trip in ’08. All in all, a good day. 

Travel Log: Day Two

Sunday, May 19th

 We’re in London, baby!

During the 9 ½ hour flight, I slept off and on. Huff the Hubs, however, played Minecraft the ENTIRE time. Needless to say, he was tired.

According to our tour package, we were supposed to get a driver that would pick us up at the airport and then take us to the hotel. He was supposed to be waiting for us at the arrivals hall and holding a sign that read: “Huffman”.

We got to the arrivals hall. There was no guy there with our name on a sign. We waited. And waited. And waited. We weren’t sure what to do or where to go, when FINALLY I saw a guy holding a sign with our name on it.

I told him, “We’re ‘Huffman’.”

He replied, “You’re who?” with a weird look.

“HUFFMAN,” I replied, pointing at his sign and trying not vomit at the smell of bourbon coming from him.

He turned it around and looked at it, “Oh. Wait over there,” he said, pointing to a cafe.

Sigh.

“He smells like booze and cigarettes,” I told Huff the Hubs when we sat down at Costa Coffee.

“That’s comforting,” he replied.

After the hour drive to our hotel (during which HtH slept) we dropped our bags off and went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. We took the Tube and HtH did great! (I was a little worried because he’s super pokey—see yesterday’s post about “Huffman Time”—so I thought he may get trampled in the busy Underground. But he was on top of things!)

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By the time we got to Buckingham Palace, my feet and lower back were killing me (an almost 10 hour flight is hard on a preggo) but I didn’t say anything because I wanted the trip to be enjoyable. We got our spots in front of the palace gate, next to a German mother and her angsty teenage son who was in dire need of Chapstick and Proactiv. Normally I like hearing other accents/languages, but after standing there for an hour, I was losing my mind. It was like I had the television on, along with the radio, and trying to listen to a conversation going on all at the same time. It probably didn’t help that I was hungry (which, when you’re pregnant, is basically a constant state of being).

After the guards did their thing, we walked through Hyde Park—me, sans shoes. The grass was SO soft and cold! It felt so good on my feet! We took the Tube to Westminster and saw Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey was closed because it was Sunday, which was fine with us.

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We walked across Westminster Bridge and ate lunch at a McDonald’s my sister and I frequented when we were in London in ’08. After lunch, we made our way back to the hotel. On the Tube, a pregnant British woman sat down next me with one of the cute buttons they pass out to preggos.

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She said she was in town from the Cotswold’s, visiting her “auntie”. She asked me how far along I was and I said: “About 5 1/2  months.”

“Brilliant!” she said. “I’m a few weeks behind you.”

I asked her if she had felt her baby kick yet and she said: “I’ve felt flutters; its lovely, isn’t it?”

We exchanged some more pregnancy stories and then she said, “The thing I wasn’t prepared for was how emotional I can get! A few teenagers ran me down at the Tube station and I started to cry!”

“I would’ve cried too, pregnancy or not!” I said.

“I just don’t care for teenagers,” she said.

I laughed, “Me either!”

We are now best friends.

We chit-chatted until our stop. When Huff the Hubs and I got back to the hotel, we took a 2-hour nap.

We ate fish and chips at a nearby restaurant–HtH fell in love with the fish!

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Then, we popped into a small shop to buy water bottles. We also bought a box of little pies called “Jammy Cakes”.

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It came with 6 mini pies: (2) apricot, (2) blackberry, and (2) raspberry. We ate the entire box in one sitting. I regret nothing.

Travel Log: Day One

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today. So much has been going on in Oklahoma, I thought that perhaps I should blog about the tornadoes, but then I thought that might not be the best. I feel a little over saturated with the media coverage of it. Plus, I literally live less than 1/8 of a mile from a totally devastated area. Its been rough driving around town. I figured we could all use some happy. So, you will get to see some excerpts from my travel journals from London over the next few days.

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Huff the Hubs and I got back from London last Friday! We had such a blast! I have this little tradition of, whenever I go on a trip, I take a small notebook and record the events of our travels and any funny anecdotes that may happen. I did this also for our Babymoon to London. Enjoy.

Day One: Saturday, May 18th

Well evidently, we’re running on “Huffman Time” (i.e., waiting until the last minute). We got to the airport at 10:30 a.m. First mistake. There was a short line for the self-service kiosk, so we went there. Second mistake. The check-in programs for ALL international flights was down. Finally, at 10:58 a.m. we were able to get our boarding passes and get in line for security. We board at 11:11 a.m. We hadn’t eaten lunch yet. I’m pregnant. You do the math.

Of course, security took forever because of all the furloughs/sequester. And, once we finally were able to get to the x-ray machines, they pulled my carry-on for an extra look. Evidently, my can of almonds resembled an IED. Sigh.

We finished at security at 11:10. We hadn’t eaten lunch. I’m pregnant. You do the math.

Huff the Hubs ran to Schlotzky’s to get a sandwich for us to share on the plane. We assumed that since we were boarding at 11:11 and we were the last boarding group that we’d have to wait forever to board. Normally, that’s what happens. The flight attendants will come over the intercom and say they’re about to board and you normally don’t get on the plane until about 5 minutes before takeoff.

I guess the folks at United Airlines at Will Rogers Airport were more prepared than we thought. While HtH was in line for our sandwich, I went to the gate. As I’m walking to the gate I hear: “This is a page for passengers Huffman for United Airlines flight…” and I freaked out. I started running to the gate. When I got there I said: “You’ve already boarded?!” It was 11:15 a.m. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 11: 35 a.m.

The man said: “Yes and I need to shut the door; they’re about to take off.”

“But we’re waiting on sandwiches!” I wailed, trying to show my protruding belly. “My husband is back at Schlotzky’s!”

“I’ll be shutting the door in 3 minutes whether he’s here or not,” the man said.

So I called Huff the Hubs and said: “Hurry up! Just leave the sandwiches; they’re going to leave without us!”

I told him to run, forget about the $20 we spent on sandwiches, and get a move on to the gate. The flight attendant paged Bryan again and, by this time, I’m sweating from the anxiety and shaking from the low blood sugar. After about two minutes the attendant said: “I have to shut the door.”

I’m fighting back tears and say: “My husband is running to the gate; he’ll be here soon.”

The man goes to look down the hall and says: “I don’t see anyone running.”

By this time, I’m ready to punch the guy. I go stand next to him and look. Sure enough; he was right. I see Huff the Hubs, walking to the gate. {Insert frustrated growl here}.

“Hurry up!” I holler to him.

“You don’t have to be rude,” he says, handing me a bag of chips. Yeah.

I bite my tongue and hand the grumpy flight attendant my boarding pass and passport. Finally, we board. We’re the very last people on the plane. I sit down, fatigued by hunger, anxiety, and anger. Suddenly, the scene from an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Robin just finished a 3-day cleanse and never gets to eat pops into my head and I calm down a bit.

Needless to say, I inhaled the bag of chips, ripped open my explosive-resembling almonds and prayed for good food at the Houston airport.

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*We did get to eat lunch at the Houston airport. Here’s a pic of Huff the Hubs, enjoying the Chinese food at the food court:

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Update

Hey guys! I’ve got some updates for you!

1. I’m back from London!

Huff the Hubs and I got home on Friday around 9:30 that night. We had a blasty blast. I’ll post more about it later.

2. Our home is still standing. 

We heard about the tornado while we were in London. Very nerve-wracking. Thankfully, our apartment and cars are safe and sound. The only thing we had to fix/replace was the food that was in the freezer for three days with no power. But, my thinking is: if our biggest problem from this tornado is that we had to replace frozen chicken, then we are very blessed.

3. Our families are safe. 

Huff the Hubs’ cousins and aunt lost their homes. However, they are all alive and well! Praise the Lord.

4. If you want to donate, please do so by clicking the link below:

Donate here: Red Cross

5. I’ll be back to posting regularly tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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Fan Girl Friday

Its Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday!

The sun is (somewhat) shining, the birds are chirping, and Star Trek: Into Darkness is finally in theaters across the nation. Ah, what a day.

And, I’m about to make it even better with the gloriously geeky finds I’ve gathered this week!

 

Have I mentioned how much I love Grumpy Cat? I’m pretty sure he’s my spirit animal. And, you also know how much I heart the folks over at Big Bang Theory. What do you get when you mix the two? This awesome tee from Think Geek:

Even Sheldon would like this.

Even Sheldon would like this.

 

Since Huff the Hubs and I have a little padawan on the way, we really need to get ourselves prepped for her arrival. I think I should’ve registered for this from Fred Flare:

Popsicle molds and a cookbook for your little wookie.

Popsicle molds and a cookbook for your little wookie.

 

I don’t have any tattoos -not because I have a “thing” against tats. I have a “thing” about needles. We don’t get along. So I’ll stick to the temporary ones. However, just because I don’t have any tattoos doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate them. And while perusing Pinterest, I found an awesome list of book/literacy-related tattoos! (I think my sister will LOVE the Boxcar Children themed one!)

 

Narnia: through the wardrobe and beneath her armpit.

Narnia: through the wardrobe and beneath her armpit.

 

Do you know what happens on May 26th?! Other than the fact that there will probably be some Memorial Day weekend sales going on… Arrested Development is BACK. I. CANNOT. WAIT. I have missed my cracked-out friends of the Bluth family (especially Buster: “I’m a monster!”) Have you seen the trailer yet? NO?! Then wait no more:

 

 

 

 

 

Try It Thursday

Hello, all!

So, I did something for the first time yesterday. I got a spray tan.

I’ve used sunless tanning foam, Jergens Natural Glow®, and (gasp) even used the tanning beds. But, I’ve never had a spray tan. And, since we were going on vacation (and I wanted to look nice in the pictures) I wanted to have a glow. So I hightailed over to the salon.

It actually went okay; a lot less awkward than I thought it would be and not at all smelly. However, I did not pick the best day to make my appointment. You see, as soon as I left, it started raining. Which meant I got wet. Which left me with spots on my arms and legs. Sigh. 

Because of the spots, I tried to rub in the tan to get it to blend. And after, I looked at my hands and saw that my fingertips were stained with spray tan. Bah.

Its like I ate too many Cheetos or something.

Its like I ate too many Cheetos or something.

 

I Googled: “How to get spray tan off my hands.”

I tried EVERYTHING:

~I scrubbed my fingers with a Magic Eraser®

~I used a nail brush and makeup remover

~I put hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and rubbed my fingers

~I soaked them in lemon juice

~And I also used nail polish remover

 

When I was done, this is what I was left with:

The only difference is the fact that this picture is more blurry.

The only difference is the fact that this picture is more blurry.

 

Sigh. 

I guess I’ll have to try the only option I hadn’t considered: patience.

Every website I read said that the tan will fade and eventually go away. I just have to wait. In the meantime, I have to keep my hands in my pocket.