Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh But You HAVE To....

Next time someone tells me that, tells me what I just HAVE to see on my vacation I am going to turn around and reply, “You just have to blow me”.

So last night after posting and taking down a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the hubby and I headed down to Covent Garden to stroll around and have a bite to eat. We walked a bit and watched a most amusing street performer; there are lots in the area but this guy, what a show. He was wearing nothing but hot pink shorts that looked more like underpants, you know those boxer brief deals…he had augmented his form, that I know for sure, dude so stuffed his stocking of you get my meaning. I kept thinking he must be freezing but this guy was really busting his ass, riding on a 8 foot unicycle, while juggling no less then he popped down and did more juggling, this time with knives and a chainsaw, the whole time being very funny and engaging the crowd the circled him in the square. We clapped, we laughed, we tipped him and settled into a little outdoor café called Fuel.


We ordered up some cheesy garlic bread, a plate of olives and freaking insanely good tapenade, (green olive and tons of lemon) and a couple of drinks. We chatted, greeted some folks that asked to share our table and watched the street performer breakdown his elaborate lighting system, the whole while his French Bulldog was running around the square chasing this giant exercise ball, damn ball was three times his size. The air was cool but we were seating next to a heater, the noise level was high but we could still hear ourselves talk, the drinks perfectly mixed and the food…fantastic. We sat there for hours, never felt rushed, I noticed that every table had bottles of wine or cocktails on it, no iced tea or soda like back home….ordered some of their wood fired pizza and just let the night settle into us. Pretty cool to see the hubby melt into Europe, there is just a feeling here unlike any other place, a freedom, a lack of pretension or judgment, everyone just out enjoying the evening with friends and family…quite lovely. Call-o could have sat there all night, he kept ordering more drinks and seemed more comfortable in his skin than I have ever seen, I knew he was going to love it.

We strolled back to the hotel; I answered some emails, drank more wine and took a long hot bath in a very long but very narrow tub…dude, I was like wedged in there pretty good, so didn’t care, the night was lovely, I was getting buzzy and the warm water on my flesh felt fan-fucking-tastic. The hubby crashed into a very blissful sleep and I stayed up until about two in the morning puttering around on our now working Internet before crawling into bed and drifting off into a seven hour sleep..hooray!

Woke up at nine, ordered some in room coffee, again…hooray, and got ready for our day. Headed out towards the train station that Call-o wanted to take to get to our, “big” destination for the day…so here’s the thing, my husband has a remarkable sense of direction, the guy can look at a map and pretty much just know a city and which way to go, this is simply amazing to me but, the one thing he lacks is instinct, especially when it comes to finding food. We walked past all the coffee shops, restaurants…the smell of food hanging heavy in the air, and in the direction of the train station which was in a very industrial looking area. After walking for a long ass time we met a bridge and I could see that there was nothing, no buildings, noting for about half a mile. Now I never like to question the hubby, like I said he has that sense of direction thing down but I was beginning to wonder just where the hell we were going and donde…donde the food dude?


Just as we began to walk on the bridge Call-o says, (pointing in the direction we just came from) “The train station is back there” and just keeps walking forward…away from the station, away from anything. “Um, then where are we going” I asked, to which he said, “Dunno” my face now getting a little tight, “Well, do you see something I don’t?” he didn’t. We had to walk all the back to where we came from to get something to eat…see, no instinct. Found a cute, rather new looking café, I ordered a glass of house Sauvignon Blanc, Call-o a beer and settled on lunch, full English breakfast for him, steak frites for me. The music was funky, kind of R&B mixed with mellow jazz, the food was great, the vibe convivial and I was so freaking happy. We had refills on our drinks and ended the meal with coffee, I so didn’t want to leave, could have chilled in that spot, sipping on wine and listening to the music…watching the crowd bustle by through the tall front windows but….”we just Had to” go.


Yup, that’s right, The Tower of London, it’s one of those places that everyone tells you that you, “have” to see while you’re here….blow me. What a boring and dreadfully arranged place this is. The maps, stupid and impossible to follow, the little signs kind of point to nowhere and once you do get inside one of the towers you are forced to walk up flight after flight of teeny, tiny, windy staircases, fuck. Now the space in those staircases are tiny so my giant purse kept getting caught on the handrail, the steps are almost too tiny for your feet and when you finally reach the room that you are climbing up to, freaking four thousand degrees, you know just in case you were not already sweating your ass off to get there, once you leave…back out into the chilly London air, fantastic. So by the second or third tower everyone is basically just moving through the room, no one was really looking at anything, climb the stairs, fall into the balzing hot room and get the hell out before you die…I just “had” to see this?! By the time we left I was seriously pissed off and telling my husband, “I will not have someone else’s vacation again. Next time someone tells me, “You just HAVE to see such-and-such I am going to tell them they just have to blow me” he agreed.

I mean if someone came to LA and wanted some suggestions on where to go, I would be more than happy to tell them a few places that I think are cool but I would never, never ever tell them they have to see like Hollywood and Vine, or Mann’s Chinese…if they wanted to then sure but would I tell they, “HAD” to? Hells no…those places are dives, not to mention I would never tell someone what they must do on their vacation….and from now on, never going to let someone tell me what to do on mine.

Other than that, having a blast and we are off to Chinatown for dinner this evening….bringing travel buddy just in case!


Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Wasn't the Tower of London where they used to send heretics for punishment? Guess it still is.

If I'd known your response to travel advice I'd have been the first in line! Sign me up!

And what's wrong with a little padding in ones pink hot pants. I used to always stuff a cucumber in my bathing suit and got lots of stares. Then I found out you're supposed to stuff it in the FRONT of your suit!

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

TWG said...

Phew, I thought I had overstepped my bounds and dictated some sites. We usually skip some of the mandatory tourist sites.
One should only lead their spouse off on a surprise trip, if they know said spouse will love the unknown destination.

John M. Kelly said...

Doll, I love following your travels, though I am a little jealous. Honestly? A LOT jealous, but what ya gonna do? I never get to travel this time of year, anyway.

I am totally with you on the "skip the places someone tells you that you HAVE to see." Hell, if I went to Egypt I would probably skip the pyramids. All I need is a little cafe with decent food and drink and a good view.

Anonymous said...

Love the travel buddy:) While your in London you have to go to.....just kidding never been. Hugs and kisses to you. Glad you are away from work and having a wonderful time.


Anonymous said...

Love the travel buddy. Oh yeah, while your in London you have to see....just kidding never been. I am glad you are away from work and having a great time. Hugs and Kisses.


Samantha Dugan said...

Never thought of it that way, well I have been punished for all my sins, time to start over. So about that cucumber...

My sweet friend, so nice to hear from you! I've been having a was, um..different but on the whole, it has been fantastic. Nope, so over being told where to preparing for the fight I am going to have with my Mother In Law, she is gonna crap when she sees the pics of my little travel partner rather than us, and I KNOW I am going to hear..."How you have not gone HAVE to". Ughhhh! Of course this is the same person that would give me crap for spending my vacation in pubs, "You wasted all that time"...really?! I think it was perfect.

Travel Buddy is my new best friend, Call-o hates him, that is until he sees the photos then he laughs his ass off.

Nah, loved your sites. Thanks so much. You, well you seem to understand what it is I like, anyone sending me to like the Tpwer of London, so does NOT

Anonymous said...


You're so my kind of traveler. I often feel guilted into visiting specific sites that I "just have to see" and then wonder silently to myself if I'm some kind of tasteless dope for not feeling totally enthralled. Thank gawd I'm not alone! I'll travel with you any day lady!

Anonymous said...

That lemon might be my favorite thing ever!


Amy said...

No comment on the Tower of London.

Samantha Dugan said...

Lets plan a trip and pack our bags and junk...let's think of somewhere super historic and not see anything besides, oh I don't know...the people actually living there and stuff. Making a place all about its history is like expecting the prom queen to be beautiful forever, not fair, not real and really kind of sad.

Dude, I'm serious.

My dear girl many people told me I had to see the Tower of London, if that's what people are into then cool, so not for me. I spent the day today enjoying a proper Sunday Roast in the most charming little bistro, families coming in, staff bickering, music, (fucking awesome music by the way) those couple of hours I feel like I got a true education about what London and it was perfect for me.