“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong, is to think you control it.”
– John SteinbeckAnd here we are, on our third wedding anniversary, writing the Centennial tribute of our first 100 days in London. Ironic, don't you think? A little too ironic....we don't think so! In the words of John Steinbeck, control is something we have very little of. Whether in our marriage, the London train schedule, or the weather, we are learning to let go, let God, and enjoy the ride.
We thought it fitting to take a look back at our journey so far and create a list of our 100 favorite things, or moments, or experiences. So without further ado, in no particular order, the Centennial tribute list of our journey across the pond...to date!
1. Free wine on the plane ride over the ocean. If only we had known that they had Gin and Tonics in the back!
2. Our first meal in London. We were so lost and confused...where are we? How do we pay? Do we tip? HELP!
3. Open mic night in Southwark - classic!
4. Realizing that our corporate housing would probably be our nicest accommodations throughout our entire stay in London city.
5. Stonehenge: Man, those are some nice rocks!
6. Our first load of laundry. What a heat bomb! Check this out - so funny :)
7. Eating cheese and jam every morning for a month.
8. Instant coffee. Those who are visiting, get excited.
9. Figuring out what 'coffee white' is. FINALLY...cream!!!!!
10. The Culture Grub - our local Chinese joint when we first arrived. Those potstickers were seriously yum!
11. The miracle on Almeida - our flat!
12. Our Christopher Wren tribute double-decker bus tour.
14. Keston Lodge
15. Our stuff arriving...two months late.
16. The Ye Ol' Cheshire Cheese.
17. The London Roller girls - GRRRRRR!!!!!! WOMAN POWER!!!!!
18. Hacking our DVD player so it plays U.S. and U.K. DVD's.
19. Opening our washing machine to find a floating tortilla chip.
20. Our Arab plumbers arriving in time for tea. Thank you so much for restoring our water pressure. If it weren't for you, Jake would still be bitter and we might have needed to move.
21. Sunday Hyde Park football.
22. The Kernal brewery - our secret warehouse beer distributor.
23. The Angelic Pub.
24. Ben and Margaret.
25. Sophie and George.
26. Carly and Mike.
27. Jake and Pramit :)
28. Lou and Erin.
29. Kerchak - our giant silver backed TV - for 20 quid on Gumtree.com
30. Jake's specialty, old school candy shop on Upper St.
31. Finally figuring out the buses.
32. Tesco Extra - amazing.
33. Friend's DVD's...they were great live, they were great in college, they are great in the UK, there is no improper time for a little Rachel and Chandler. They are a taste of home.
34. Brick Lane Indian food...and realizing that, when eating it, Ben hiccups and Marge sweats...a lot.
35. Gordon's Wine Bar.
36. Seeing Van Gogh's Sunflowers!
37. Cass art supply store and realizing the biggest one is just down the street. Yet another miracle on Almeida.
38. The Diner - our American style eatery within two blocks of our house. It ain't quite Johnny Rockets, but it sure fills the void.
39. Care packages. Highlights so far: Taco Bell sauce, Mexican fiesta fixin's, Easter candy, Sporting News magazine, Shayne's cute Euro shoes.
40. The Church of England Easter Service. Run Forest Run.
42. Compact umbrellas.
43. Comfortable work shoes.
44. Learning that Shayne could get to work without switching tubes.
45. Reading on the tube.
45. Book club.
46. Poker night.
47. Salisbury and the world record hike to the steeple.
48. Bath (the city... not the act of).
49. Rye. Surprise, surprise...church steeple hike.
50. Seeing Paul.
51. Prestbury and Becky's 33 birthday.
52. Jake driving on the left...LEFT!
53. The all night kebab stand.
55. Butterkist popcorn.
56. Beers: Staropramen, Brew Dog, Honey Dew, Kronenbourg, Samuel Smith's, The Kernal, anything Lou recommends.
57. Ciders: Aspall's...after that, it's all secondary.
58. Meat pies - good ones.
59. Master's Super Fish and the Master's special.
60. Free museums.
61. Seeing Genna.
62. Milk and Honey - members only speak easy.
63. EY leaving drinks for Stuart and Jason.
64. Ladies of Leisure (short lived, but great while it lasted).
65. Pub lunches.
66. Shayne and Sophie's day of fun.
67. The Royal Wedding and our thirteen hour pub crawl (ok...we didn't crawl, we stayed at one place...but, crawl home we did).
68. Stuart and Kate's free furniture.
69. Bank holidays.
70. Once a quarter Saturday edition of the HPAFL (Hyde Park American Football League) and post-game pub crawl.
71. George's movie collection.
71. Screen on the Green.
72. Project Free TV.
73. Cask beer bar.
74. The London Eye.
75. The Saatchi Gallery and the swarm of miniature soldiers on bugs.
76. Shayne painting again.
77. Hilarious British kid stories.
78. Jake's new and exciting work challenges.
79. Skyping with the Keith's and meeting baby Liam for the first time.
80. UK pub quarters. Tournament coming soon to a pub near you.
81. Nature/bird watching walk in Salisbury. Shout out to the Mute Swans of the UK.
82. Shayne acting like a sheep with the preschoolers.
83. The Bourough Market and the broiled cheesey potato heaven.
84. The Bath and Body Works socks that Laura gave to Shayne...it's the simple pleasures.
85. Running - to a Glee mix of course.
86. Harry Potter tour - HP7...July 15!
87. The Lion Man. Our favorite U.K. TV show.
88. So You Think You Can Dance: Season 8.
89. The Libertine.
90. UofA's run in the 2011 NCAA tournament - Elite 8 baby!!! BEAR DOWN!
92. Looking forward to travel (2011 remaining slate: Scotland, Ireland, Oktoberfest, Croatia, Cophenhagen, Paris)
93. amazon.co.uk (it's like Vons, Target, and Wal-mart all in one - except they won't ship you kitchen knives).
94. TFL.gov.uk (journey planner).
95. UK cheese selection (you just can't find this stuff in the states).
96. Coming to terms with the 7:1 ratio.
95. Starting to feel a little more at home (i.e. not super out of place).
96. One word: Jizdenky.
97. Counting down the days til our next set of visitors arrive (Kristyn and Mike - 2 days!!! Mama Kim - 20!!!)
98. Hearing American accents, and making fast friends.
99. Walking out the door, and not knowing where the day will take us.
100. Spending each and every day of it with our best friend.
Well folks, thanks for taking a walk down memory lane and sticking with us so far! We will keep the blogs coming and hope that all is well at home :)
Lessons learned: 1) Time absolutely flies here, there's just no way to describe it (you blink your eyes and 100 days are gone, yet you've done so many things); 2) There's so much more ahead of us!; 3) You have to laugh when things get tough, because pretty soon those moments will end up on your top 100 list; 4) Three years of marriage, and still going strong!