Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tourists? You slander us!

Who us, tourists? Why, whatever do you mean?

We totally stayed away from the touristy stuff.

Played it cool.

Well, okay . . .

Maybe not.

But, dude. It's London.

The secret is: nobody is cool enough for London.

They're all just pretending.

(See the sign above? It would actually make a good story if you got bitten by the horse guard horse! Better after the fact than in the moment, surely :-)

Such a short trip. I tend to be the travel planner between us, and I had a kind of desperate feeling, knowing how little time we had, wanting us to have a good taste of the city. Also, wanting to spend time with my publishers and with my dear friend Lori, who came over from Amsterdam with her wee one, Fletcher, almost one year old, and her husband Maarten.

Lori and I were inseparable in high school. Then college happened, and we were a couple of hours apart, and then she up and falls in love with a Dutch guy and skedaddles out of the country. An outrage! She's been in Holland for, oh, at least fifteen years now. 

Europeans. You know what Europeans can do? They can, like, decide to go to Naples for the weekend just to eat pizza. Lori and Maarten did that. They also went to Spain for a meal one time. At El Bulli, no less. Their latest European antics, though, happened today, and makes me very very jealous. They drove to France to buy some Tolix chairs.

Tolix chairs! Blue no less!

And it's all my fault. In London we ate at this cool restaurant that had them, and I remarked on them. Here is Clementine becoming one with one:

And I guess the next day they saw some while shopping and thought, "Hey, let's make Laini jealous!" ha ha. No. Fair enough. But I want pictures. Pictures! Shouldn't be a problem, as Lori is an amazing photographer. She took this, though I messed about with it a bit. Just couldn't let photos well enough alone tonight. 

photo by Lori; altered by me

More London next time, but first, look closely at the below photo. Funny!

(Also, I love how my hair pops in that picture :-)



tone almhjell said...

Oh, I love the way your hair pops, too! And I love London. Since we won't be going to California this year after all, maybe a trip to visit Pan's brother in Covent Garden. All these photos are amazing, by the way. You and Jim look so in loooove <3

Emilie said...

LOVE London! Your pics are way cooler than mine were, even though they're of a lot of the same things:) Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Did you photoshop the twins in or were they for real?

Heidi said...

All of these photos are soooooo amazing! How do you do it???? ^______^

Really. Tell me.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Tone! Ooh, come to London in the fall when we are there! And hopefully we can visit you in Oslo too :-)

Emilie, thank you! These pics look way better than mine did too, because I may have, ahem, exaggerated them a bit :-)

Anonymous, NO! The twins were there! I didn't notice them in real life, not until I saw the photo and did a doubletake!

Heido, ha ha, Photoshop, of course :-) To be specific; a) punch up contrast, b) punch up saturation, WAY UP to the point of candy, c) apply film grain filter. Easy peasy. The square ones though are Hipstamatic (iphone) pics, and it's because they look so much cooler than normal pics that I futzed around with the others. They just looked so ... normal ... by comparison!

Anonymous said...

"did a doubletake"


If it isn't rude to ask, when will you be in Oslo?

Anon 7:29

Laini Taylor said...

Anon, don't know if I will be! Just hoping: late Sept/early Oct. But it's only a dream at this point!

KT said...

Oh my Goodness! I think I actually took the 3 several times to get home last semester! (I studied in London for a bit). This makes me miss it so much! My dorm was a ten minute walk from Waterloo Station.

Also, you definitely should go to Oslo. I didn't see much of the city, but the Norwegian countryside is simply gorgeous!

Amber said...

oooooh awwww!! I love how you made the pictures look. A couple of them would make for great postcards.


caroline said...

These pictures are great! Looks like fun. Do you have tips for traveling with a toddler in London? We are going with our daughter who will be 17 months in May...

Laini Taylor said...

K, lucky you to spend time there!

Thanks, Amber :-)

And Caroline, I keep thinking of maybe writing a post on traveling with a toddler, but I'm not *exactly* sure what I've learned! I can't say much specifically about London, since we were there so short a time, but my thoughts in general after our last few big trips are:

-- plan a few places into each day where you know your toddler will be able to get their wiggles out. A park if the weather is good, or castle maybe. In the rain one day in London we retreated to Spitalfields Market, which is covered, and it was a good spot to let her run free (while we shopped :-)

-- She naps wherever we are when she gets sleepy! I don't know if you're an Ergo user or stroller user, but either works. C has slept in some amazing places :-)

-- Have snacks and drinks on hand, obviously.

-- Don't attempt expensive restaurants.

-- Pubs can be very kid friendly!

-- Music and street performers = good :-)

-- We haven't had good luck w museums. We just end up chasing C and trying to keep her from grabbing stuff. Takes a lot of the fun out, but I suppose some museums could still be worth it!

Good luck and have a great time!

caroline said...

Thanks so much for these tips, Laini! I would love to see a post from you on traveling with a toddler--you do make it look effortless (even though, from experience, I'm not sure it possibly can be).

We're taking the day flight to London--too scared of doing an overnight with her on the plane. In July, though, we're taking her to Turkey, and that's a long haul. But I'm not complaining :)

Fletcher of the Day said...

Funny, I remember seeing the twins and looked around but noticed no one else saw them (Fletcher probably did, it's amazing what this kid sees and I imagine when he starts using words I understand he will burst forth with 'Remember the twins in London?' haha)

Anyhooo, the chairs are fab..very colorful and comfortable :)

Helen Peters said...

Hi Laini! I've been following your blog for a while but this is my first comment. Just found this post this morning - only 2 months late - and your comment that 'nobody is cool enough for London. They're all just pretending' rang so true! I came from a farm in the south of England to live in London 20 years ago and I STILL get a thrill every time I see St Paul's or Trafalgar Square! It's just the most amazing city. Mind you, Portland is coming a close second in my list of places I'd like to live, after seeing all your great photos.

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