Wednesday, 31 July 2013

"Hop On-Hop Off" around London

We picked up our tickets for the "Hop On-Hop-Off" bus tour around London.......and we hopped on!!!!!!

What a treat.....this is the most awesome way to see the main attractions of a city in a short time.  The weather was fabulous....sunny and about 18 C in the morning, climbing to a nice 24 C by afternoon....just right for cruising about the city on the top level of a double-decker bus.

The architecture in London is very beautiful.  I just love to stand back and look at the buildings and bridges, so it was 'eye candy' overload for me-----take a look at just a few of my favorites, starting with St. Paul's Cathedral......

In the photo below, note the building at the right......a building of this style was my favorite building in New York City's flatiron district.   I can only dream of having an apartment in at the very tip of this building and having a view of both streets from my windows.

Here is a landmark of London for sure----Big Ben...............

I was surprised to find out that the name of this bridge is The London Tower Bridge.....I always thought it to be The London Bridge.................. (absolutely stunning, whatever the name)

Here's a shot as we drove onto The London Tower Bridge.................

Here is a picture of an old castle---you can even see what used to be the moat ........

Couldn't resist posting this one......(No, this is not the hotel we stayed in while in London....ha ha)

Wish we had more time to take in a show at this beautiful theatre......................................

I was pretty excited to see the Canadian flags flying at the Canadian Embassy in London .......

Royal wedding, anyone?????  The line-up to get inside this cathedral was very long.   I was quite happy to catch a snap of it from my comfy seat on the bus.

Hope you enjoyed the few pictures I chose to post.  It is hard to decide when I have so many.......stay tuned for the London Eye and a river cruise on the Thames River.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hello London!!!

Well, the big day had finally arrived.  My sister, brother-in-law, niece and her husband, along with myself and hubby set off for our much anticipated vacation!!!

Our flight left St. John's Newfoundland at 10:00 pm as we set off for Heathrow airport in London, England.

We had a smooth flight, (which is so good as I am not a big fan of flying....just seems so wrong for a huge airplane filled with hundreds of people and all their luggage to get up in the air and actually fly....oh well) and arrived in London at 6:00 am.  I thought it would be a nice quiet time of the day to arrive and get settled in..............silly, silly me.  Is there ever a quiet time in London??

Everything ran like clockwork though, our pre-booked 9-passenger van (you do need a ton of stuff when there are six people traveling for 3 weeks!) arrived and brought us to our hotel.  We stayed at Doubletree by Hilton on Southhampton Row.  I'm always a bit apprehensive when booking hotels online, but we were not disappointed as we checked in.  We were all hyped so we went out for a bit of exploring in the morning before our double-decker bus tour that afternoon.....and of course, some tea and toast.

We loved what we saw as we rambled about....the street signs made it a reality.......we are in London!!!!.. surer way to detect a tourist in London than when you see her going all "gee-gaw" over a phone booth.....but, it is pretty London-ish.....don't you think?  

This is just a little peek today.  I am so looking forward to sharing more of the magnificent photos that I have taken over the past three weeks.

But......there is always a "but", isn't there???.....Hubby is replacing our furnace today, so my back entryway and laundry room looks like a disaster zone.  However, do stay tuned, I'll be back in a day or so with more!!!


Saturday, 6 July 2013

From Dover to Dover

Well, just five more sleeps and we're heading across the "Big Pond" to England!  I am so excited, this is my first time to any European country.  Here in Newfoundland, I live about a 15 minute drive from a place called Dover, which is one of the prettiest little towns in our province.  The big deal about this though, is that I am going to spend two nights in Dover, England on this trip. 

I went to Dover yesterday and visited my friend Tony, who also happens to be the mayor.  I took a few pictures to give a sense of what Dover, Newfoundland looks like.

What do you think??........

These pictures do not do justice to the fabulous view, from almost anywhere in Dover.  I used to drive Roger's Mom and Dad down there often before his Dad got really sick--he used to love to have an ice-cream and just look at the view.......I can understand why.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Black Forest Trifle


I went to a surprise potluck Farewell party for one of my old work colleagues who has taken a new job.....I made Black Forest was yummmy!!!!  One of the girls (Tracy) volunteered to have this gig at her house----thanks Tracy, that's a lot of work!  Even though it's potluck and everybody brings awesome food and's a huge thing for the house owner.....and a fab "hostess with the mostess" she was!!  S|he was busy as a bee barbequing and fetching ice, cold beers, etc......awesome stuff ;O)

Well, here's the trifle and the recipe.........

Black Forest Trifle

chocolate cake mix (baked, cooled  and chopped into bitesize pieces)
1 can cherry pie filling
1 chocolate pudding (prepared)
3 cups whipped cream
In a large glass bowl, place 2 cups cake chunks
Add 1 cup whipped cream, then a layer of cherry filling
Add a layer chocolate pudding, 
then alternate layers, ending with a topping of whipped cream..

I grated milk chocolate chunks and sprinkled over top

Here's how it looked........

This is a simple recipe...I actually froze half of the baked cake for another time.  I made this last summer, replacing the canned cherry filling with fresh raspberries.  What's your favorite trifle recipe??


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Yard Art

I love yard art!  I don't actually have any of my own, but whenever I see it, I get a nice feeling. I don't know, it sort of makes me feel like a kid again.  

There is some pretty nice yard art around town, so today I took my camera and set off to capture a few "yard art" snaps----here's what I came back with..........

These three shots are from the same yard.  This guy has these fabulous sculptures all over his property!


This is pretty neat---one end of this old log looks just like a dinosaur head, don't you think??!!?? 

I thought this was so cute too---they've created a whimsical little house out of an old tree trunk.


Last, but not least, these are just adorable !!!!!!
Is there lots of yard art in your neighborhood??  Do you have any??


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Orange-Patridgeberry Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze

It was beautiful here today, with a fresh cool breeze, so it was perfect for making muffins........

I tried a new recipe today

Orange-Patridgeberry Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze
 In a large bowl, sift together:
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a separate bowl whisk together until well combined
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of one large orange ( or 2 small)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in well. During the last few turns of folding add:

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen partridgeberries
 Mix only enough to incorporate the dry ingredients. Spoon batter into greased or paper lined
muffin tins, and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 large muffins.

Cinnamon Glaze

1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tbsp milk

Sift together the icing sugar and cinnamon. Add enough milk to bring the glaze 
to a thick but pourable consistency. Drizzle over baked muffins.