Tuesday, November 30, 2010

track kitchen

My sister is home from New York for Thanksgiving break, and per her request we drove to Aiken, SC this morning to the Track Kitchen. It's a little breakfast place whose main purpose is to feed hungry jockeys early in the morning, and is known for having the best pancakes in all of america. That's what we believe, anyway. During my parents' divorce back in high school, my mother, sister and I moved to Aiken for a few years, and even though I don't see myself moving back there, it's nice to visit and remember how strange and chaotic life was then. Aiken is a "quaint" little horse town, and I absolutely cherish the memories of Christmases at our barn on the dirt roads of downtown, early mornings feeding horses, afternoons riding in Hitchcock Woods and late nights mucking stalls. It's also where I met Brian, so all around it'll always be a special place to me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

day seven. thanksgiving at stonehenge.

we spent thanksgiving at stonehenge. in accordance with the rest of this trip where nothing goes as planned, our ferry to dublin was canceled which pushed our return train to the holyhead port back 10 hours. so, we got creative and decided to catch the two hour bus to stonehenge, which is something i've wanted to do for as long as i can remember. it was freezing cold, which made it difficult just to stand in awe for very long, and there was a fenced path along the perimeter which was disappointing, but otherwise it turned out to be a pretty phenomenal thanksgiving. i'm always learning that sometimes it's best to let things fall where they may, rather than trying so hard to make things happen according to plan. you just never know what will happen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

day six. and john keats' house.

we woke up and made it to the camden passage antiques market early this morning. too early, i should say. my dad put it on his list of things i should do, as he used to frequent it back in his days of buying trips to london for his shop. since then, the dealers have become fewer and the selection smaller, but i did manage to find some little trinkets.
we made the hike to john keats' house to find it closed. fortunately, we were allowed to walk the grounds, but i was still sorely disappointed and felt a little teary-eyed looking in the windows without being able to go in. 
from ode to a nightingale--
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

   Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,                     
But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet                        
   Wherewith the seasonable month endows                           
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;                    
   White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;                       
       Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;                     
              And mid-May's eldest child,                          
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,                          
   The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.                    

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time                            
   I have been half in love with easeful Death,                    
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,                          
   To take into the air my quiet breath;                           
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,                              
  To cease upon the midnight with no pain,                           
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad                   
           In such an ecstasy!                                     
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain--                
   To thy high requiem become a sod.                                 

for breakfast/lunch we stopped into this little place called the elk in the woods (so cool), with awesome decor and delicious food. the hot chocolate was out of this world.

later in the day we made it to covent garden, where part of my fair lady took place (in the movie, eliza doolittle peddled flowers at the church here), and finished the day at the national gallery, followed by harry potter at the odeon leicester square cinema.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


this trip has forced me to think differently about things, to take less for granted, to love more, react slower, breathe deeper. i want to continue to see things the way i see them now, to strive harder to be happy and to remember how much beauty there is. of roses & hello comes from this e.e. cummings poem, which i think is so pretty and dark and lovely, and puts into words this feeling that i'm trying to define:

into the strenuous briefness
handorgans and April
darkness, friends

i charge laughing.
Into the hair-thin tints
of yellow dawn,
into the women-coloured twilight

i smilingly glide. I
into the big vermilion departure
swim, sayingly;

(Do you think?) the
i do, world
is probably made
of roses & hello:

(of solongs and, ashes) 

day five.

i think. i'm losing count and so tired tonight. 
today was a long day. we woke up and took the tube to see sir john soane's house, an architect we both believe was william in another life. my favorite part? the egyptian sarcophagus in the basement crypt. after that we took the train to brighton, where we toured the pavilion, king george IV's playhouse by the sea (awesome on the outside, a little too gaudy for my taste on the inside). we walked along the pebbled beach to a burnt out pier, had a snack at the coziest little pub, made friends with the sweetest siberian husky (why can't i bring my dog into restaurants in the states?), then went back to a friend's house to drink wine and head out for spanish tapas. it was the coldest day so far, and beautiful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

day four.


museum of natural history

my favorite.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

day three.

today we did the sail and rail to london, which added up to two hours of motion sickness on a rocking ferry, and close to five hours of train travel through english countryside, dotted with more cream and rust colored sheep than i've ever seen in my life. at times there was coastline on the left side and mountains on the right. it was surreal, to say the least. 
we spent tonight wandering aimlessly around these quiet little neighborhoods of london near our hostel. it's so comforting to walk these almost deserted streets in the cold night air. 

day two.

in the morning, we ventured out to eat at a restaurant william knew of, but instead found the best little outdoor market with fresh produce, meats, bread and smoothies. we wandered into the natural history museum, which is now one of our all time favorite things in dublin, and the art museum, and walked by oscar wilde's childhood home. We had dinner at shebeen chic, the most amazing restaurant/bar  decorated haphazardly with sideways paintings and mismatched mirrors. 
oh, and of course i had to include a photo of the bridge from leap year. couldn't help myself.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


our first night was rainy and cold, but lovely. we were ambitious and toured the entire downtown in the drizzle, but given the short amount of time here it was worth it. we had shepherd's pie and hot chocolate at the quaintest little local place called gruel. i don't know who said ireland had awful food, but they were sorely mistaken.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

sweet finds

I'm so completely enraptured by Danielle's jewelry at Dinosaur Toes. Ever since I bought my first necklace from her I've been itching to get something else. If not for me, I'll definitely be doing some Christmas shopping on her Etsy site. I love love this citrine ring.

I can't get over how pretty this dress by ouma is. And it's handmade!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my pretty friend eliza

shared this with me tonight. she said it was "bittersweetly beautiful," and i completely agree.

and here's eliza (to make you smile):

Monday, November 1, 2010

a little day at the beach

puts everything into perspective
"She had an unequalled gift...of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities."    [Henry James]