Cab's coming at 5:40 tomorrow morning.
Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro upcoming.
Talk to you in May.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.
Ah, our strong dollar policy.
Perfect time to visit countries where everything is quoted in euros.
Given that so many of you financed your mansions with jumbo, no doc, interest only, 2 and 28 mortgages, it's not likely that the USG will do much to actually have a strong dollar policy besides stating that 'we have a strong dollar policy'.
But, a weak dollar helps US exports, right?
But it hurts ME!
Those Ukrainian brides certainly are creative.
Kiss me, Stella, kiss me!
Loving the water....
Future rock stars?
Jack with Auntie Maren, Leah & Emma
Kyiv vs. St. Paul...
And with Auntie Sarah
With all the homecoming excitement, I forgot to note Jack and Katherine's return to...er, from paradise.
Jack and Katherine met me on the landing as I stepped off the elevator on Thursday. Jack remembered me, was excited to see me and mess with my tie...for about 40 seconds, then it was time to get down and try on new rainboots and shoes.
Given the time change, Jack is currently running and dancing around the apartment and otherwise telling us in his own way that, even though it is 12:17 am, it is NOT time for bed.
So yes, London.
We even went to a museum, and saw Katherine's favorite building in London, the Gherkin. See, I did more than just visit pubs.
That said, soon after this picture of my big head was taken (with the gherkin in the background), we retired to Gordon's to get out of the cold and into an old wine bar in a very old wine cellar. No electricity, candles on the table, vaulted ceiling about 5 feet high, nice wine list, old, stooped English lady calling the shots.
Fortified, we braved the cold again to meet up with Cob, Gita and Rick to tour the Cabinet War Rooms, the series of reinforced rooms below Whitehall that served as Churchill and his war cabinet's headquarters during the Battle of Britain. Very cool.
We stopped by a pub afterwards (why not) to figure out what to do next, then had an early dinner and continued on to yet more pubs throughout the evening, ending at Ford's local, The Cock & Bottle. It's open until midnight so, you know, a good time was had by all.
It was left to Ford and I to brave multiple Tube zones, but we had an ace up our sleeve. We knew about the Cock & Dragon, 4 out of 5 stars for their delicious thai food surrounded by a pub-licious atmosphere, and all right there .3 miles from the Cockfosters stop.
So after a visit to Holland Park for tea with Amanda, Blair, Bex and Gus, we headed out on our adventure...to Cockfosters.
Ford was a trooper, even though she too had her reservations about traveling so far outside of her comfort zone (that would be Zone 1).
Her mood didn't improve much as we waited to (gasp!) transfer to the Picadilly line at Holborn.
But we made it without further incident. In fact, Ford and I had a bet as to when exactly we would arrive at Cockfosters. 2:14 pm, I said. 2:23 for Ford. As we walked out, the clock read 14:14:10. I totally rule on timing trips to Cockfosters.
And Ford's mood was much improved, even though she lost the bet.
And just down Chalk Lane, past the cricket and lawn bowling fields and tastefully decorated suburban homes, sat our Shangri-La, the famed Cock & Dragon...of Cockfosters...
...where sustenance awaited. Just one thing, though. While perusing the menu, Ford noticed that they serve food from 12:00 to 2:30 and 6:30 to 10:00. It being 2:25 when we arrived, and having settled in slowly, I decided I better run to the bar to order. In response to my question regarding the possibility of ordering food, the bartender craned his neck, looked at a clock and said we had made it just under the wire.
Hooray, now we could have Thai food with our delicious English ale.
Nummy Thai food.
Ford accomplished tasks A. and B. quite effectively.
He and the first lady and a few hundred of their closest friends and colleagues (and all their stuff) came to Kyiv Monday night for a day full of activities on Tuesday. My friend Cliff had the unenviable task of being the 'Airport officer' coordinating the dozens of flights and hundreds of people moving through.
And again, I'm back by the photographers in the background.
Working with the White House advance and the Secret Service was very interesting. An amazing amount of work goes into the President's travel.
AND, in even BIGGER news, our new computer power cord arrived yesterday and was waiting for me at my desk this morning, so I'm typing this from home.
I'm off Friday for a long weekend in London. Staying with Ford and planning to eat curry day and night.