Saturday, 28 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s posting, today I had the opportunity to visit a part of London that was new to me. Shoreditch is towards the east end of London and is known to be artsy with a variety of places to eat and drink. I was to meet up with Prean and Viktor to see Prean’s new venture, and 12-year dream, of operating a food stand for event catering and markets. I was going to sample one his offerings of duck confit served on a brioche bun.  But first to get there.

I walked about 30 minutes to a Northern Line underground station, rode it for 20 minutes, then a 15 minute walk to the market where he had set up his stand. The brioche with duck confit was excellent and he was getting steady business even though the weather was cold and damp. I could see that he and Viktor were busy so I left and walked back to the station. To be honest, I couldn’t see the excitement of the area. True, there were a number of interesting looking places, but perhaps I appreciate something that is more established? So I got on the train to Soho.

Soho is one of those places where you see something interesting around every corner. And much more “established” than Shoreditch. After about an hour I headed back for a nap. I got off at the Victoria Station and walked back to Battersea. By now I had walked nearly 14,000 steps.

After a nap I received a text from Miguel asking if I’d like to meet for a beer. He suggested Soho. We agreed to meet outside the Oxford Station and walk around to find somewhere to grab a pint. Seemed that every pub was crowded, but finally settled on a place where we could see an open space at the bar.

After talking for awhile and enjoying our beer, we got ready to leave since he was planning to meet a friend at Victoria Station at 9:30. This was convenient for me, so we both took the train to Victoria Station and said our goodbyes and I walked (again) back to my flat.

I checked how many steps I walked for the day and saw that I had almost 30,000 steps. No wonder my legs felt like lead! I had no idea I had walked that far.

Tomorrow I have a number of things to do to get ready prior to my flight to Poland on Monday. But first, I need a good nights sleep.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Friday, 27 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

After walking so much this past week, I needed a rest. I also needed to follow-up on my duties as a Personal Representative for my cousin’s estate, which seemed to take most of the morning. Just have a few more accounts to transfer and then I’m mostly done.

I invited Prean and Viktor over for tea in the afternoon and in the meantime I continued to load pictures into the new site where my travel pictures are now located. (See the CLICK HERE link at the bottom of this post.)

I hadn’t seen Prean since I returned to London, so we talked mostly about my visit to the U.S. They had to leave at 5:30 and we agreed to meet up again at 8:00 at a local restaurant downstairs. This area where I’m staying reminds me of South Waterfront, where I lived in Portland, though much bigger and more construction projects currently underway. The new construction will probably result in quadrupling the number of people living in this area over the next couple of years.

We met at Fiume Restaurant and continued to talk over a shared bottle of wine and a light dinner for the next couple of hours. It was fun to practice our Italian with the staff who work in the restaurant. By the time we parted, I was very tired and I went upstairs to get some sleep.

Tomorrow we’re meeting again around noon at a market in Shoreditch. This will be a new area of London for me to explore.


To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Thursday, 26 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

I’ve done very little sightseeing while in London. Mainly visiting with friends while I’m here. Viktor called on Tuesday and we had tea, walked around Battersea Park, got haircuts, then had afternoon tea. I ended up walking over 16,000 steps that day. We walked through a section of Pimlico that I hadn’t seen before and he showed me “Little Ben” located near Victoria Station which is a replica of “Big Ben”, currently undergoing restoration.

Yesterday, I worked on my blog to get it current. I also selected a picture storage web application that should eliminate my storage concerns. After posting some pictures, I think I’m going to like this new system. The Tumblr application will allow me to quickly upload and label pictures, which had been a time-consuming part of writing the daily blog. It also has the ability to add notes to pictures.

Last night I walked to the local Waitrose and bought a chicken to roast for dinner. I had been working so much on my blog, it wasn’t until 8:00 when I put the chicken in the oven. Today I’m making chicken noodle soup.

Today I walked to Buckingham Palace and sat on the steps of the Victoria Monument admiring the palace and watching the tourists. I’m finding that I use my phone’s GPS in London. I seem to know my way around the central part of the city quite well now. From Buckingham Palace I walked to the Green Park Station and took the underground to the station near where I’m staying and walked the rest of the way to my flat.

Also purchased a ticket to my new friend Dmytro’s concert in July. He has written a score to the old silent film Nosferatu that he performs as the film is shown. I saw him perform his score to the silent film Metropolis last October in Glasgow. This performance will be in London in July. My friend Csabi will be working in the London area at that time so will see him as well as Dmytro and his partner Hazel.

My friend Miguel stopped by and we went for a long walk through Battersea Park while we visited. When I returned to the flat I saw that I had walked over 22,000 steps. No wonder my legs are tired. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll take a break from walking. Though good to know that I’ve exceeded my goal of 15,000 steps a day on three out of the last four days I’ve been in London.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

Time to resume the daily travel blog posts. I was going to start writing again when I got to New York City on the 15th of April but changed my mind. To get caught up, I’ll summarize as best as I can and leave it at that. If this were school, I’d burn the midnight oil to get an A+ grade for this report, but I’m willing to settle for a “C” given the circumstances.

Oregon Visit (20 March – 15 April)
After completing the Oregon visits and reviewing my tracking spreadsheet, I realized that I managed to arrange and complete at least 49 visits in a little over three weeks time. This included a dermatologist appointment and several visits to an attorney’s office and financial institutions to close out my cousin’s estate since I’m now the estate’s Personal Representative (new name for an Executor).

My visits to relatives and friends were well worth the effort and glad I made the trip when I did. I was able to see everyone that I wanted to see, except for two cousins who live out of state. I made my list of who I wanted to see before traveling to Oregon, and except for a couple of former co-workers, I was able to arrange visits with everyone on the list. (I’ll give myself an A+ for this effort.)

I made several trips to Hood River, drove with my brother to visit our uncle and aunt at their Grass Valley ranch and visited my cousin Steve and his family in Corvallis. I stayed with Scott most of the time except when his boys were staying overnight and then moved to my friend Gary’s place in Lake Oswego for a couple of days here and there.

(Note: I’ll add pictures and more detail in the next couple of days when I have the site set up where pictures will be available.)

I was asked if it was difficult to say good bye when I left Oregon where I saw many familiar faces and sites. I guess it was a little difficult in some respects, but I know I’ll be back in a couple of years. Time goes by fairly quickly as we get older.

Visiting New York City (15 April – 22 April)
I managed to wake up at 3:00 a.m. at Gary’s place to catch the flight to NYC. I still had to return the car to Alamo and check-in for the flight. While getting packed, I uploaded a few programs to watch on my PC and iPad to pass the time during the flight. Was able to use points to sit in First Class, so it was a comfortable flight. I had arranged for a town car to drive me from the Newark airport into the city and was dropped off at the hotel where I checked in and immediately took a quick nap. Later I met up with my friend Karl for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant.

I needed to get back to walking. After eating so well in Oregon, I knew that I gained a few pounds. Having a car at my disposal in Oregon gave me an excuse to not walk everywhere. Karl took off some time from work to show me around places I hadn’t seen before, like Roosevelt Island, and other places on the upper East side of NYC.

While Karl was at work one day I took the train up to Oyster Bay and visited Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill home. I did my best to let the guide conduct the tour but added a few comments of my own along the way. After awhile the guide looked at me when she talked about the home, knowing that I probably had something to add. After all, I’ve been researching the Roosevelt family (both Theodore and Franklin’s families) for over 30 years. And this was my second visit to this home.

I moved to another hotel (Hilton, of course) halfway through my visit and enjoyed being on the 36th floor until it was time to leave for London.

While in NYC, I saw some other friends, walked through Central Park a couple of days, rode the Staten Island ferry, and visited the Dakota. Karl and I got tickets to see Book of Mormon one night and Rossini’s opera, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), performed by students from the Manhattan School of Music.

I knew it was time to leave NYC when I felt a need to see London again. I had been in NYC for a week and knew that I’d seen everything I had wanted to see this time around.

Thankfully, my flight was mid-afternoon so I had time to pack and eat a good breakfast before leaving for JFK. I arrived at the airport with time to spare and bought food for the flight. It was a 7 hour flight and would have liked to have used points for an upgrade, but my seat was in an exit row and so I had plenty of leg room, no one was sitting next to me, a rest room was a few steps away and I could watch movies from my seat. The 7 hour flight went by relatively quickly.

The flight arrived in London at a little past 6:00 a.m. and I took the underground from Heathrow to the Green Park station where I transferred to the Victoria line and rode to the Vauxhill station that was nearest to my Airbnb flat. I was going to take a taxi, but decided to walk with my suitcase. Since it was too early to check into the flat, I sat in a nearby coffee shop and drank two cups of coffee to wake up.

I could only drop off my bags at the flat at 11:30 since it was still being cleaned. After being shown around the flat I met up with Viktor and had tea with him before going back to the flat for a well-deserved nap. After I woke up I checked how much I had walked. The app on my phone said I had walked over 17,000 steps! Thankfully there was a grocery store on the ground floor of the building and bought some ground beef to cook for dinner. And went to sleep at 10:00 p.m.

Felt good to be back in London. I don’t have anything planned. I’ll just enjoy the city one day at a time until I leave for Warsaw, Poland on the 30th.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE