Mary and Colin (Ben’s adventurous aunt and uncle, remember their first visit) were in Glasgow for a weekend getaway and they invited us to visit for the day. This was my first visit to Glasgow and it was too short (another post about our visit).
We had a flurry of art at GoMA, they had an exhibit by the artist Nikki de Saint-Phalle. The art had a very familiar quality to it, I had seen this before and then it hit me- Ms. Saint-Phalle’s art is featured in the fabulous fountain at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. My favourite is the spitting lips!
(Full lips are a theme)
(Mary and Ben reading up on the exhibit)
(Colin, a man after my own heart- straight to the video)
(Shadow and colour- nice!)
(We are so arty)
We hit the trendy art and music venue The Arches for lunch- we had some great giggles and tasty food- a ground pork and haggis burger for Ben and a spicy veggie burger for me.
Glasgow is supposed to be the place for concerts and art but it is a city also renowned for the unhealthy influence on its residents- it is called the Glasgow Effect and makes me relieved we live in Edinburgh.
In Sao Paulo, I had been relaxing and checking emails by the oval pool and just decided to move myself under one of the flimsy tents to avoid the harsh equatorial rays- redness comes fast. No sooner had I settled in when the sun was covered by thick clouds and the staff of the Tivoli São Paulo - Mofarrej, started a flurry of Brazilian activity- gathering all the lounge cushions, the stray stripe towels and piling them into the cabanas- one of which is where I was now stationed. Getting the non-verbal cues, I headed back to my 11th floor room.
This was the perfect vantage point to watch the Brazilian storm move into the city. It was cool watching the streets fill with water and people rush from the neighbouring park to the nearest cover. The power of the rain made the thick leave coverage a no go.
I filmed some of the excitement on my phone- I should get around to posting it soon! To help bring you a bit of language assistance for your future trips to the world’s fifth largest country.
D.C. AT DUSK… Yesterday, I mentioned the warm weather in D.C. at the start of my visit, well it made for a lovely wander and some great pictures of a mild and misty evening.
The National Gallery of Art has a little sculpture garden which was open. There was a little out-door skating rink and to see uniformed school kids in short sleeves skating through the puddles in January was a bit surreal.
Remember back to January when I was in the U.S. for work-related recruitment activities (proof)? Here is the photo recap of this visit. This was my second trip to D.C., the first circa 2001, was a trip with my mom to see Charlie (the actor here and here) perform at the Kennedy Center- amazing to see him on that stage (another funny performance which was filmed at the Kennedy Center, Tina Fey accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Comedy, here is the video). It was a great trip, strolling around Georgetown, a memorable visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
This time I arrived to 70 degree temperatures and when I left it was 35- welcome to D.C. the giant swamp with crazy weather. I did not spot Josh Lyman either, such a disappointment, I am a Lemon Lyman (there is actually a tumblr to devoted to him).
I went for an almost 6-mile sight-seeing run one morning in the extreme wind and hit the major sights, but wanted to capture them better-than-iphone-3GS, so walked my running route to see it all.
(Thomas Jefferson resides here)
(TJ and me- he looks excited to see me- see the corner of his mouth-slight curl)
(I love a self timer- proves I was there- bad example)
(Visiting Daniel Day Lewis- he is always in character)
(See the wind?)
(Look very closely- you can see Mrs. O doing some tricep push-ups.)
I ventured out for some ‘American’ fare a spinach pizza and a can of posh White Rascal, a Belgian White Ale from a fun little place in Penn Quarter- District of Pi, how cute is that name?
I also tried the Cowgirl Creamery for a light lunch and the best made-to-order drip coffee I have had. The Cowgirl Creamery is owned by life-long friends Peggy and Sue and they have been producing their fresh artisanal cheeses in the Bay Area since the early 90’s. Their D.C. shop is the only one located outside of California- a real find.
D.C. is one of those places I think I could live if it weren’t for the pi-polar weather and the crazy number of American flags the city flies. Who lowers them to half-mast when someone dies?
(This is a shot of the National World World II Memorial.)
(Flags are everywhere- I could never forget where I was)
(The menu- only in Spanish)
(First impressions are everything)
(So welcoming and love the colours)
One of our fabulous MBA students from Chile gave me some recommendations of things to do/see/eat while I was in Santiago. As you have probably realized, my priorities tend toward the eating variety, so first up is FOOD!
There is a lovely, albeit, touristy place called Patiobellevista, which houses numerous shops selling Chilean handicrafts. Think copper and a blue stone which can only be found in Afghanistan and Chile- lapis lazuli (according to the open-top bus tour commentary). Patiobellevista also hosts some inviting restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating- which for a girl who rarely sees the sun living in Edinburgh, al fresco dining was a must.
I was instantly attracted by the outdoor porch setting of Cebichería Constitución,and understanding what this was, I was in. For you non-hispanophones- it is ceviche and it was the freshest tasting seafood I think I have eaten. This mixed-fish ceviche was served with fresh lime juice, a bit of yam, onions and white beans. I also tried some of their fresh octopus with an amazing black olive ‘dressing’ of sorts. I would love to try to recreate these dishes now I am home, hopefully Ben is game. We just need a Mercado Central* in Edinburgh.
*Mercado Central is a huge fresh seafood market in Santiago. I popped in for a look and smell (so fresh, there wasn’t one)! I was kindly asked several times where I was from- I the wide-eyed lost look always gets me in trouble. They make a famous eel broth here- I gave this a pass.
I seem to be working in reverse and am SO BEHIND, soon I will be back to Thailand and all the photos, until then we have NYC and D.C. to get through- at least Boston is finished. But now since I have a two month lag- I will have to add Santiago to the mix.
In NYC, I was able to catch up with some fabulous people- my brother, Audree, Charlie’s former roomie and whom I might even say is a friend and Nina, a former GGSB MBA recruit turned fun-friend.
My brother Charlie is way cooler than I am- always has been and imagine he always will be. When I told him the dates of my work-trip to NYC, he said this is great because we could go see the Lumineers. Until that moment I had not heard of this up and coming group- now I see them everywhere including the Grammy’s! It was a great concert even though I was the only one who knew none of the songs.
(Here they are on stage at Terminal 5)
(Charlie looking good in buffalo plaid)
(The fun and lovely Audree- hopefully she won’t be upset!)
Brunch at a new restaurant- Mambo with Nina- unfortunately I do not have any photos from our memory-making-cathc-up session. It was great to see Nina- she is a hoot. NYC was super chilly so we passed on our plan for a walk through Central Park- next time Nina, next time! We tried a new restaurant, Hey Mambo, when our original choice Good Enough to Eat had a line out the door! Next time I look forward to the biscuits and strawberry butter.
Fancy spin class at Soul Cycles- have you heard of this place? It is all the rage at the moment in NYC and beyond. They have plans to open a gym in London. Charlie had never spun, but now is hooked. We looked like hobo spinners when we arrived- old t-shirts and I was wearing Charlie’s giant Adidas track pants because it was so cold. The other spinners decked out in Lululemon and other highly coordinated outfits. As someone who does spinning regularly, I was sure I could handle it, I did until we grabbed our hand weights and started pulsing while riding- ouch!
Post spin, it was back to Charlie’s for chicken chill- he is quite the whiz in the kitchen. We were joined by Audree who generously brought several bottles of wine- it was perfect for ‘watching’ the SuperBowl- who played again?
MONDAY: Off to Boston.
Thanks Charlie for the fun times. I look forward to frisbee in Central Park and jamba juices!
After Winter Storm Nemo hit, Boston started to show signs of life on Sunday. It helped there was sunshine and the temperature seemed to increase by fifteen degrees overnight. I left the confines of room 536 to see what was happening out of doors.
Most everything was still closed except the occasional Starbucks and thankfully my local Wholefoods. The metro was still stopped, museums still empty and it was up to the proprietors to decide if they wanted to reopen.
I was completely unprepared in the footwear department and lucked out as Charlie had given me one of his (many) scarves as I left NYC, the stylish Bostonians post-Blizzard wardrobe is Hunter Wellingtons and leggings. By the end of my walk I had wet running shoes and my wool socks needed a day and a half to dry out!
Here are some some of the shots from around the Back Bay- the area where I stayed.
Little Nemo followed me to Edinburgh, the day after I got back we had some ‘snow’ a light dusting probably about 2 centimetres, it was gone by the afternoon as the rain had moved in.
After almost a week in the U.S., I arrived in Boston last Monday, I was going to be joined by my mom, but my amazing grandmother passed away and my mom quickly had other priorities. I still had the pleasure of spending a week in Boston and then some more time.
I popped out to enjoy the scenery of the city. It was a sunny day and Boston Common was sun-dappled and very chilly. Can’t you just see the cold?
I enjoyed a birthday meal at Atlantic Fish Co. where I enjoyed the Maine Lobster Roll, it was delicious, so good in fact, I went back to Atlantic Fish Co. for some lump crab, where they put it into a sandwich with brie cheese and pistachio pesto. How could I make this at home- how do they perfectly grill the brioche?
We are back from Thailand- we had an amazing time. I will be posting photos soon and recounting some of our adventures. We returned on Saturday.
And now I am on the move again, in Washington D.C., then heading to NYC, followed by Boston and ending in Toronto. I arrived last night and posting this from the Dulles Airport Hyatt.
What time does my body think it is?
Stockbridge is a lovely little pocket-sized neighbourhood full of restaurants, charity shops and history. Plus you can get cheese, who does not love cheese.
Ben tells me the Chest Heart Stroke Scotland charity shop in Stockbridge is where the top-of-the line donations go to be sold. Just a few weeks ago a pair of Christian Louboutain heels were donated. A rare find.