Merry Christmas (Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc.) and happy New Year! I’ve been so involved with my side project, Mystery Tricycle, that I haven’t gotten to put much content on shutterBURGH recently. But it was a fun Christmas at the Smarto household, so here are some highlights.
Going to our family’s traditional vacation destination, Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, MD was a great way to wrap up the summer.
Mom, Doug and I traveled down, rented a boat, and visited our all time favorite watering hole, the Honi Honi Bar.
I’m proudly as close to a brother-in-law as I will ever be.
Last weekend, on Sunday, August 15th, Sarah Singleton became betrothed to one of my best friends, Michael Skvarla. I was proud to be a member of the groom’s party, and dare I say, I looked rather dashing in my tux along side of 5 of my best friends. 😉
Our annual journey to the Sirna family reunion was a little longer than usual. Typically, we have the reunion at Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland, but this year’s coordinator lives in the beautiful, quiet (and remote) town of Rock Hall, MD.
Mom, Doug, my grandmother and I made the journey to Rock Hall in my little Toyota, and got in town just in time for an all-you-can-eat crab feast.
Valerie heard from a website about West End Live 2010, so we thought we’d take a jaunt down to Leicester (pronounced “lester”) Sqaure to check it out.
The West End Live show happens in an area of London that houses most of the major theaters and shows, and highlights some favorite songs from almost every show playing. It’s a bit of a preview for all the shows, and every act gets about 15 minutes. Wicked, Lion King, Hair, etc, all show up and drop a few songs. This is all for free.
In the states, its inconceivable to plan an entire day around a trip to the grocery store, but Friday morning, the whole point of our journey was to take a trip to Harrods.
Harrods is a luxury department store that sells everything. The everything I refer to includes: clothes, puppies, candy, produce, meats, stereo systems, cigars, laptops, 150,000 pound chandeliers, jewelry, wine, photography equipment and so one.
Thursday was a voyage to London’s east end. The main goal of the day was to get to the Borough Market, but we stopped at a few places on our way to and from the market – like the St. Paul’s Cathedral, pictured above.
In the morning, we crossed a bridge and looked east to the Tower Bridge, knowing we’d eventually end up there. We stopped in at the Tate Modern museum next.
Wednesday, our only goal was to have martinis at a martini bar Valerie recommended, the Dirty Martini. But, we were in no rush to get there before happy hour, so started out Wednesday with a jaunt to King’s Cross station. It’s one of the primary hubs of public transportation in London, with access to the subway system, trains across the country, airport services, taxis and busses.
Okay, I admit it. I had no idea what weather to expect in London. I should have looked on the intertubes, but my failure in foresight led to a pretty fun adventure.
Saying London is chilly doesn’t really explain it. The weather here changes quickly. It seems like so far, I’ve experienced all four seasons. In the sun, you feel sweaty in a T-shirt, and in the shade, you are reaching for your jacket. Unfortunately, the typical Smarto wardrobe selection of plain-colored-T’s and jeans didn’t cut it.
Dateline: London, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom. I’m still not really sure the difference between all of these yet.
I’m here to visit Valerie as she continues her long boycott of the United States (she calls it studying abroad).
London is a wonderful a city full of culture and things to do. It’s bustling with people and activities and I don’t think a person could ever get bored here. The greatest thing about London is that it’s a full European experience without the language barrier… mostly. Although the average person here speaks English, the UK English dialect is spoken so fast that it’s often hard to perceive anyways.