Thursday, June 28, 2012

Part III...The Tale of Three London Trips....Mine, Theirs, Ours!

Lucky for me our UK trip to see the girl coincided with the Fat Quarterly's  first Quilting Retreat and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee....I don't know, I guess the stars were in perfect alignment!:)  Although I am thrilled I was able to go to the Retreat and meet so many lovely online peeps I did miss a few things!
 While I met up with  Mandy (Mandalin18) and Marguerite (Rafael's Mum)...(Marg was totally surprised!:)...
...the girl introduced her dad to Big Ben!
While I had a great time with FQ peeps at Tikki Patchwork in Kew Gardens...
...the Palace put on a practice light show for them!

While Marguerite and I laughed at TrashaLou as she flirted with a Tube passenger...
....they watched another fabulous show!
The next morning I was thoroughly entertained by the Fat Quarterly Gang....
...they were entertained by this gang!:)

I admired my surroundings...busy, busy quilters getting to know each other and  learning new crafts.....
....they were admiring some serious stonework! The girl modeling a new Hold Tight! tee....they dropped a new LP the other day...go check them out!:)
While I finished my dinner purchased at the local Waitrose and enjoyed the company of the lovely Jo (Bearpaw)....
....they were partaking of coconut milk and paella!!

The next day we were to enjoy everything together and started things off with a bang....the Pageant on the Thames!!  We were at the beginning of the Pageant between Chelsea and Vauxhall bridges on the south side of the river.  
How about that?:)  The Royal Family....we think Her Highness was still below.  It was the beginning of the floating pageant!
My favorite was the barge carrying newly forged bells.  As they pealed down the river all the churches along the the route tolled in response! I still get goosebumps thinking about it!
The Gloriana lead the manpowered section.  This is a new boat that was commissioned as a tribute to the Queen....nice!:)
Every kind of rowboat was out there...even kayaks!
They just kept coming....over a thousand boats, Dunkirk little ships, work boats, steamboats, tugboats, sailboats, barges, service boats, recreation boats, narrow boats, passenger boats...

...and there were buntings and Union Jacks and revelers galore!
Luckily for us, since we were at the beginning of the Pageant, the rain didn't start until the last few sections went floating past.
Dinner that evening at The Hereford Arms was a gastronomic delight!  Bangers and Mash, Shepard's Pie and of course Fish and Chips.....divided by three.  I really could have eaten it all by myself!
(King's Cross Train Station)
Alas...I do believe I need to go back to see all the places they experienced...and it was way more than all the above!:)

Next up....Scotland

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Part II of UK fun....Bath!

Several days after our eyes returned to their sockets from the loveliness of Oxford we ventured out on our first train Bath home of the only Hot Springs in all of England!
 (The Royal Crescent...29 parts private homes,1 part hotel...this show only 6 parts of it!)
Unbelievable!  I guess we just didn't think about the fact we were going to see the Roman Baths and the WHOLE CITY would look like we were in Italy!  Another very walkable city too.
 First thing we did after dropping the girls' (Maria's roommate Rose came along for the fun) stuff at their hostel and ours at our hotel (we weren't ready for a hostel yet!) was walk to the Botanical Gardens.  Part of the Gardens is called The Great Dell which is in an old quarry and has an amazing collections of conifers.....BIG conifers!
 All of the city looks like this. Bath is a World Heritage Site. The hills surrounding the Valley of the River Avon lent it's stone in the making of this amazing place.
In Bath Abbey square you can sit and be entertained all day long...the Roman Baths are just to the right of this photo.

 The girl and hubby looking at the mineral rich waters....Bath Abbey looking down watching  all the visitors.  You can't touch the water....old pipes and all....not safe anymore but there are other safe places there where you can enjoy the waters.

 This is just a small view from our went on an on to the left and right!
 The Pulteney Bridge there on the right is one of a few bridges in the world built with little shops lining both sides.  One of those windows is a lovely tiny...and I mean tiny... jewelry shop.  You might be able to put two queen sized beds end to end in there...but you would have to walk on the beds!  Nigel Dando Jewelers has the best view in the city overlooking the River Avon.  We bought a few things!:)
(No, the girl is not that much taller than Rose, she's standing on a step!:)
But the best part of Bath was being with the girls.  Boy we miss them!:)


Next up...London and the FQ Retreat

Thursday, June 14, 2012

She Owns This Place.....Part I of our UK Adventure!

Yes, she owns it...Oxford....home of Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Iris Murdoch, J. R. R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman.  This storied place of 007, 101 Dalmatians, Harry Potter and of course X-Men!
But she owns it!
Walking us about the schools of the University of Oxford...

...and the Radcliffe Camera ...

....Christ Church College...

...and the Bridge of Sighs....she showed us her home away from home!

While in the UK we had the joy of meeting up with lots of online peeps.  Our first meetup was with the lovely Jo (sewjo) and her equally lovely Mr. D!

The wonderful Mrs and Mr took us to our first palace, Blenheim Palace, home of Sir Winston Churchill and now the current 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.
Here is just a wee shot of it....not to big right....wrong!!
How about this shot?  OMG!! 
But really...the best part of it all was meeting Jo and hubby...I can't do the meeting justice...I get all choked up thinking of it.  Jo said it better...go visit her blog post and tell her I said hi and send hugs and kisses!!:)

One of the things that we will always remember about Oxford is all the bikes...they are everywhere...thousands and thousands of them!
But this one was my favorite.  Maybe my favorite photo of Oxford too....
...other than this one!  The girl and her roommate/best UK buddy holding the Fairy Tale quilt that we were finally able to deliver to her!  I gave up packing more clothes for that puppy but it was worth it as she is wearing it around the house....because since we left it's been cold and the skies haven't stopped weeping!:P
Bird's eye view of Oxford... heart marks the spot where the girl works....lucky, lucky girl...we heart you so!!
Next up ~ the city of Bath

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Do you know where John (Quiltdad) is today?

He's at the 1st Fat Quarterly Retreat in London, England....

London Tube Humbug Bags with a little LOVE from VIRGINIA!! 

Oh I am going to have stories to tell!