sightseeing in london

day two of our trip to london, we got out and saw the sights!
this is st. paul's cathedral.
 next, we headed to the millennium bridge. you could still see the cathedral all the way across the thames!
 this guy's costume made my brain confused.
 here we are, walking across the millennium bridge.
 at the other side we disembarked and headed for the tate modern.
 the bridge is so pretty, i think.
 greg paused for some field notes,
then we went in to see the lichtenstein exhibit.
i took zero photos, but if such exhibit ever finds itself in your neck of the woods-
i highly recommend it!
it totally blew me away and gave me a whole new appreciation for an artist i thought i already knew plenty about.
 everyone was starting to get sleepy.
after all, jet lag plus staying up all night equals terrible things.
so we stopped for a pint!
 these weirdos got guinness with shots of espresso.
i don't think there is much of anything on earth that i find more distasteful than
this mud disguised as a beer.
i'm not sure where the shot of espresso moves it on my hate scale,
but i suspect it's still in the high ranks.
 i, however, am quite fond of a pimm's cup.
 suddenly, the sun popped his little self out of the clouds!
 we walked along the river, and soaked up the view.
 we passed this little skate park that was totally covered in graffiti.
 it was fun watching people skate.
 and of course we had to pose for a group photo in front of big ben.
 we contemplated a ride on the london eye, but the line was insane.
my father pointed out, "the queue is quite long!" (in his best british accent).
 the sun did make for quite a view.
 after our touristy stroll along the thames,
we strolled back over to marylebone,
and settled down in a pub called the marylebone!
 they make their own infused liquors and put fun twists on all of their cocktails.
i noticed a large bottle on the top shelf labeled
"chili vodka"
and was quite intrigued...
i asked the friendly bartender what he could make with that.
he made a suggestion and i agreed, but told him i wanted it very spicy.
he muddled like 5 chili peppers and stirred in the chili vodka.
i couldn't tell you what the other ingredients were, but there was a lot of spice!
he tasted it with a straw and his eyes got bigger,
"are you sure you like things spicy? because that's quite spicy!"
he was right.
but so good...
 actually, two photos up, you can see my dad's face while reacting to my drink!
but i loved it.
 and killed it.
if you ever find yourself in marylebone,
try this pub!
we had such a fun time, and everyone's drinks were amazing!

and so ended day two in london.


springtime in london

last week i was lucky enough to tag along with my parents
as they traveled to london!
their documentary film, rising from ashes, was making it's
london debut.

we stayed at a little hotel just outside regent's park.
so we spent our first day wandering through the park and looking at all the flowers.
they are really something!
 there are plenty of ponds,
complete with weeping willows dangling their long flowy branches.
 here's a babbling brook.
and a bridge.
and my boots.
 these tiny little flowers made the most beautiful bouquet,
 and these let their petals fall and twirl around in the blustery breeze!
 these reminded me of christmas lights,
 and these looked just almost edible!
 at the north end of the park is the london zoo!
i love a zoo, and we had some time to kill, so we checked it out.
i'm not one to take zoo photos
because they usually come out bad and silly and useless.
however, this exhibit really made my day:
 they are leaf cutter ants!
they chop up little bits of the plants and carry them all the way home.
some of them carry pieces that look way too heavy.
the exhibit had their little home encased in a box and the plant encased in a box,
then they were linked together by a big system of exposed ropes!
of course, stupid little british children plucked a few of the ants off...
but i thought it was so cool.
 i watched one tenacious ant carrying a huge piece of a leaf.
just as he was crossing the highest point of the rope bridge-
he dropped it.
i watched the little leaf flutter to the ground,
and seriously contemplated trying to get it back to him.
 after our day at the zoo, we headed back to the hotel to get changed for the premier.
if you have seen the film, you are familiar with this guy:
(hint- he's the one on the poster)
 it was an evening of great celebration and excitement!
and there was an abundance of champagne.
 here's the group of important people:
 and here they are with their tag-alongs:
 at one point i got a great vantage point on the crowd and decided to snap some photos.
i tried to get one with the crowd, plus the balloons, plus the stairs.
it wasn't until i got home that i realized i accidentally photographed
mr. clive owen entering the premier!
 he is a huge fan of adrien and team rwanda.
he flew halfway across the globe to be there that night!
we were so appreciative!
after the film, we got a massive standing ovation!
and there was a q&a afterward.
the night was perfect
and ended with the crew sliding into a late night restaurant for some
post midnight fish and chips!

thanks, london friends, for making the night so special!