Hiccup

I don’t think I mentioned that Quinn is a Brewer. I mean, that is his profession. Yes, I am serious. You can see why pubs were so carefully woven into our visit with J & Q. On Tuesday evening we had dinner at Tortilla before enjoying a round at The York in Islington. Hiccup.

york drinks

york story

york motto

We had high hopes for baking in my one and a half butt kitchen after dinner and drinks, but somehow became distracted by ice cream and wine. Hiccup.

The tube strike may have thrown a wrench in the plans of the happy vacationers, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to them. I am guessing that traffic was horrendous for their double decker bus tour, but when is traffic not bad on the bus tour route in London?! They have recommended The Alpino in Angel Islington for a tasty breakfast, by the way.

Wednesday evening we met J & Q at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. (I wish they could have met Kerry and Emily in our basement spot!)

cheshire drinks

We supped on vegetarian pie, macaroni and cheese, and (un)spicy chicken.  If we had stayed for another round the bar tender had promised to let me pull the beer.  Hiccup.  Nah, I’ll have to pass.  The night ended earlier than I wanted – I knew that tomorrow morning would come all too soon and our friends would be flying home. But I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted, back to wired, and then exhausted again. I think we managed to giggle a little while longer back at the flat before the big crash.

Thursday was a flurry of breakfast at Piccolo Deli and hugs.  I didn’t cry until the doors closed on the lift.  I did look forward to sleeping in my bed again – it’s been 23 days – but I wanted my friends to stay more than I missed my room.  I wasn’t sure I was ready to be alone with my thoughts and I could think of a very long list of things we didn’t do or see.  Alas, round two of guests had come to an end.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Gusty has Left the Building

It has been a wild week, but John Gusty has headed home. Jen and I accompanied him to the airport this morning for breakfast and a little more hang-time before saying farewell to our friend from the states. It was a blast having him around this past week. The echo Europe team really benefited from having him around as well. He may even be responsible for helping land a few new clients after joining Ade to quite a few meetings. Janita and I, of course, had to load him down with gifts to take back to the states for peeps in echo Nashville before he left (Jen and I even had to loan him an extra suitcase to get it all home).

While he was here, John wanted to get his boys something, so Janita and I took him to Hamleys, London’s biggest toy store. Walking through there made me feel like a kid. So much cool stuff. The basement was practically nothing but Legos. Check out some of these pics:
Lego Clone Trooper
Lego Indiana Jones
WALL-E
Dobby, from Harry Potter
Ben 10 display hanging from the ceiling

Was a freaking amazing place. Highly recommend NOT bringing your kids though, as they might have stimulous overload, freak out, abandon you and try to live out the rest of their lives inside the place – probably could too as there is a cafe on the top floor.

I have to say though, I was entirely disappointed in their Doctor Who display. They didn’t even have a model TARDIS.

Guess I should also give you an update on Jen, and apologize for you having to read my ramblings, as she has been too busy at work to post a blog entry. Unfortunately I cannot say that is a terrible thing. We are both VERY glad she found a job – and a good one at that. Hopefully I can get her to post an update tomorrow with a little more detail because I am not sure what she is allowed to mention to the outside world.

Jen had a late night out with her boss Tuesday night and they both joined John and I on Wednesday evening for a visit to a couple of really old pubs. Joining us first at Black Friar before moving on to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. I am thinking our preference would be The Cheese, but Black Friar was quite nice as well. Unfortunately for the Friar, there is nothing quite as awesome as descending the stairs of The Cheese down into the old wine cellar. Plus the food is amazing.

Jen has given me the impression her first week of work went very well. She is obviously getting along smashingly with her boss, and apparently has “passed the test” with a few others.

Wednesday was a bit of an interesting day for both of us actually as the G-20 protests were causing disruptions all around London – Jen’s office even had to “dress down” so as to not make themselves targets for protesters.
G-20 Protest Art
extra police around for G-20 protests
Apparently things did get a little violent, but as far as I understand it no one lost their lives. The talk of the town were the planned activities of the anarchist groups, which can I just say makes no sense whatsoever. It is an oxymoron – organized anarchist groups? Do you think they have bi-laws for joining? We did hear reports that one of their headquarters (again, really?) was raided and police riot gear was confiscated. Seems the plan was to engage the riot police while wear riot police uniforms to really cause chaos. Wonder if maybe the sign outside their offices gave away their hideout?

So, with all that said, I will leave you for the night as my lovely wife has already gone to bed, and while I love you all dearly, I think it is time for me to join her. Check back tomorrow for a few official news reports around the G-20 protests.