weekend, we

Hi, how was your weekend?

We slept, lounged and watched lots of online TV and movies. Yet after a 1pm breakfast on Saturday we somehow mustered up the energy and enthusiasm to go out to Greenwich for the afternoon. By the time we left the flat and got to the river taxi it was nearly sunset. I was initially bummed to have missed the day's sunshine but quickly got over it as we cruised east on the Thames with a beautiful warm glow trailing behind us.

Greenwich was fantastic. Though we were only there for a few hours and didn't stray too far from the market, I saw just enough to fall in love with its village charm. The market was full of great indie designers and artists, the street-food stalls were just the right mix and quantity (I ate Ethiopian, Joe ate English), and the shops and restaurants around the market block were equally independent and intriguing. It was a mad house as lots of people were doing their Christmas shopping so I'd love to return on a quieter  day to take my time to visit each store (especially a vintage one that had an amazing coat in the window!). We didn't leave empty handed though. We quickly fell for the Arty Globe drawings of London artist Hartwig Braun. We're not really into traditional tourist souvenir items but 1) we needed coasters and 2) his cityscape drawings are awesome so if you're going to buy something "London-y" then this is your guy.

After a round of the best mojitos in town, it was back to the river taxi and onward to our local pub for a final night cap. They have a seasonal hot drinks menu and I'm taking all of the hot cider and hot toddies I can get. We've been spending a lot of time there lately but can you blame us? Especially this time of year when it looks and feels extra extra cozy? On the walk home (literally 45 seconds) we spotted exterior Christmas lights on a residential building - a very rare sight in London as I've only seen retail stores do anything outside. I'll be you anything that those flat residents are American but, I'll take it as it instantly put a smile on my face. Tis the season indeed.

weekend, we

breakfast at the tablemillenium bridge to st. paul's tower of london tower of london southbank columbia road market columbia road market columbia road market

Hi Everyone, how was your weekend?

We didn't waste anytime showing my mom the major sites of London. After an incredible brunch at The Table near the Tate Modern (you must go - cheap and good), we ventured out to spend the afternoon along the Thames River checking out St. Paul's, The Tower of London, South Bank Center, The London Eye, and of course, Big Ben. It was one of the coldest days we've experienced yet but we had smiles plastered on our faces nevertheless.

On Sunday we trekked east to Columbia Road Flower Market where I've been meaning to go since I moved here in April. It was totally worth the wait - what a charming and lively place! It was actually the most "English" setting I have experienced since it felt like we were in a little village market rather than a big city tourist trap. And the shops! This is exactly the type of street I've been looking for in London - nothing but beautifully curated independent boutiques and small cafes and restaurants. It was so awesome to experience that street for the first time with my mom. She's definitely a great excuse to get out there and see/do new things.

On today's agenda: Buckingham Palace, changing of the guards, and afternoon tea. I guess it was just a matter of time before I did the whole pomp and circumstance side of London.

thames tears (of happiness)

Along the Thames we strolled, taking in the gorgeous sun that gave way to picturesque views. After the first sight of Big Ben and Parliament I slowly took in the fact that we were really there. I stopped in my tracks and had a moment. Translation: I totally teared-up and here's why:

When I was 19 I signed up for a Europe "fashion trip" with my college fashion department. I was crazy excited because I'd never been to Europe and in addition to visiting designer houses we were going to have plenty of time to sightsee. When I arrived at the airport to meet the group and check my bags I was faced with the disappointment of not having the necessary visas to travel, hence I could not go forward with the trip. I was devastated and learned two valuable lessons 1) don't travel on a Colombian passport and 2) do due diligence when it comes to travel documents.

I cried and cried but my parents reassured me that there would be another and even better time for me to see Europe. I put it in my mind that I would go soon enough and that it would be with my special someone. I didn't know who that person would be but I was confident that it was in the cards for the future. Fast forward seven years and there I was, standing along the Thames River with Joe. It was surreal and I completely lost it. Not only are we here but we are now calling London, England...Europe, our home.

Joe held me tight and I pinched myself in disbelief that we were in this new magical place together. I was never meant to see Europe with a group of strangers nor visit before I was old enough to fully appreciate it. The time is right now.

Life is funny and marvelous but before this post gets any more philosophical click here for more photos of the day ;). Xoxo.