Reasons why I love this picture:
a) Primrose Hill is one of my favorite spots in London and where I plan to watch the fireworks this year on Guy Fawke’s Night
(Guy Fawkes Night: otherwise known as: a terrifying experience for a first timer in London who thinks all of London is being set on fire. Again. This is followed by total over-excitement where one starts thinking about it in July to make up for the fun she missed last year when she didn’t understand what was going on.)
b) Look at the adorable family the foreground. The mom jumped on the dad’s back and he started running around the lamppost with her, leaving their little girls to chase after them, squealing because they thought it was so hilarious. It was one of those days in London where you feel like the whole city wants to burst. It is so happy to see the sun. Everyone is outdoors cycling, reading, picnicking, eating ice cream, sunbathing, playing football/soccer (I’m being neutral while the World Cup is still on).
Admittedly, much of these last two weeks has been composed of touring the English countryside with my mom, chasing the sun or yelling at my TV screen (again, World Cup, people). But I did manage to scrounge up a few internet favorites:
This roadtrip playlist from Darling Magazine
And this song
And this book
How to think about writing
The funniest thing to come out of the World Cup last week
I can’t remember if I already posted this, but it still looks delicious
Wonderful thoughts on patriotism
All of this
The summer edition of Porter Magazine
The loveliest, friendliest shop in London
At The Table
Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy = this looks amazing
The lovely Kelly, Emma & Rebecca have been running a Travel link up on the 1st of each month and true to style, I am a day late to join…
My favorite photo is far from perfect. Taken from the front seat looking back through the dirty rear window of our little 4 x 4, it is of the moment we found ourselves surrounded by giraffes on safari in Kruger National Park.
We had been lucky since the moment we entered the park. We saw two drunk-from-the-sun lions within 5 minutes. We spotted a rhino ear through the bush shortly after that and then it was a pack of wild dogs. Just before pulling into camp, there was an elephant, trudging across a hillside as the African sun set behind him.
Fast forward two days later, and we’d set off expecting the same extraordinary finds. And we didn’t see anything. For what seemed like hours. We turned off onto increasingly smaller paths, hoping we’d find something.
And then in the distance, we saw three tall waving heads – walking right up the dirt road towards us. We slowed the car and waited for them to reach us – three huge, graceful, curious giraffes who ended up wandering around the car. We were so focused on them that we didn’t notice we were being circled by the rest of their tower (isn’t that a great term for a herd of giraffes?). Each way we turned our heads, there were giraffes out of every window. There had to be at least 20 of them traveling together. Some of them stopped to look at us, their giant eyelashes waving like palm fronds as they peered down at us. Others just strolled on by, too busy munching on the tops of bushes.
I could not look around fast enough (evidenced by my scrambling around in the front seat like a crazy person). I couldn’t take pictures quickly enough. I could have stayed there for hours.
Being on safari was fascinating in that way. Sometimes your heart pumped so loudly you felt like it was going to jump right out of your chest – like when you found yourself face on with an elephant in the middle of the road. And other moments were incredibly peaceful – like being surrounded by curious giraffes.
I’d go back to that moment in a heartbeat. And I’m happy I have the picture to remember it by.
Londoners, you failed me. So many of you told me how lovely Greenwich was and that I absolutely must visit – but none of you told me how much awesomer (yes, that’s a technical term) it is if you take the Thames Clipper on your way back to town.
The Clipper only costs £4.50 one way if you have your Oyster Card on you and the city looks completely different from the water. Stay towards the open back of the boat so you feel that fresh, watery air on your face. You won’t be sure which way to turn your head because there is so much to look at on both banks. You’ll start to piece together landmarks that you didn’t imagine to be so close to/far away from each other. Those famous curves in the Thames you see on all the London maps start to make a little more sense. And it is just lovely.
For more information on how to take the Thames Clipper to/from Greenwich, read up here and plan to board or get off at the Greenwich/Cutty Sark stop. It is very popular during the summer months and you cannot book ahead on weekends, so plan ahead and make time to wait in line for tickets. It is worth it.