Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Spirit!

We have definitely got the Olympic Spirit here! 

It's 5:12 AM and we're heading to Weymouth (in Dorset, a 3 hour train ride) this morning to watch Sailing. Last night Maria, Laura and I cheered Great Britain's Women's football team to victory over Brazil along with 70,500 fans at Wembley Stadium. So fun! 

Post-victory shot

The rest of our Olympic schedule includes a visit to Olympic Park on Thursday. Then Friday it's Beach Volleyball is at Horse Guards Parade, just down from Buckingham Palace. Saturday is the big one for us... Tennis at Wimbledon. It's the Gold Medal Women's Single and Men's Doubles Matches! 

The city is alive. What a thrilling time to be in London! Pictures and commentary to come soon. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

Let the Games begin!

Laura arrived Friday morning from Raleigh. After a nap and freshening up, we went to a friend's flat near Hyde Park for an American pre-party. Our hosts were fellow Miami alumni. Allyson had quite the American spread... homemade fried chicken, adorable cookie and pretzel dumbbells, Chex Party Mix (harder to find that you would think) and mint juleps. Leave it to me to bring British alcohol, Pimm's, a Summer staple! We really got into the spirit courtesy of an American medley of "Born in the USA" and "Proud to be an American".

Then a quick stroll down to Hyde Park for the BT London Live Concert. Each of the 4 musical acts represented different countries of the UK: Paolo Nutini for Scotland, Duran Duran for England, Sterophonics for Wales and Snow Patrol for Ireland. At 20:12 at Olympic Park, the RAF Red Arrows flyover took place. A few moments later, they soared across Hyde Park leaving in their path a stream of red, white and blue.

The Opening Ceremony was broadcast live on numerous big screens. During the Parade of Nations portion, Snow Patrol performed. We missed Team USA's entrance (but caught that online this morning). Snow Patrol did take a break for Team GB's parade to be shown and the remainder of the Ceremony was broadcast live. Amazing energy to be with 80,000 people celebrating the start of the Games!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Another reason I love London - celeb sightings. 

Today I actually spoke with Helena Bonham Carter. I had seen her a few weeks ago in my Bikram yoga class. As if improved flexibility, balance, meditation and all the rest of the benefits of Bikram yoga weren't enough, I now had additional motivation to attend class!

Fast forward to this morning. After class I walked out behind her and noticed her slip on a large wet spot on the lobby floor. I said, "Oh let me clean that up before someone slips" using my yoga towel to clean the floor. She replied with "Yeah, yeah ... (mumbled something about slipping), Thanks."  I wish I was able to make out the mumbles. Thankfully she only lost her footing for a split second.

Other encounters over the last couple months include Mischa Barton walking with friends on Primrose Hill; Creative Director of the Opening Ceremonies, Danny Boyle popping into a corner store on Marylebone High Street and Parks & Recreation's Rashida Jones sticking her fingers in her ears to silence the sound of jackhammering in Soho. 

Just waiting to run into Gwyneth or Madge one of these days. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Olympic tickets

My Olympic tickets have arrived! My great friend, Laura, is coming from Raleigh, North Carolina to visit for the Games. 

It only took a massive spreadsheet, a few international phone calls and two bank accounts to make our Olympic Dream come true. We managed to get tickets to Football (soccer), Sailing, Beach Volleyball and Tennis. Laura, an avid equestrian, will go to an Equestrian event. We also secured tickets to Olympic Park. It's a ticketed event to gain access to the Olympic venues there such as the natatorium, basketball stadium, athletics stadium, Olympic Village, etc. 

This will be the greenest games in history so Travelcards are included for spectators on the day of their event.

Can't wait for the festivities to begin! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Holy Matrimony!

Saturday I was a guest at my friend Louise's beautiful wedding. My first British wedding didn't disappoint. To use a common English phrase... "It was epic!" 

Louise was absolutely stunning in her Jenny Packham gown. Handsome groom James wore a morning suit, traditional for British weddings. There were fascinators and hats!

With the gorgeous bride
Thankfully, the English weather cooperated never dampening the events. 

I wish I had taken better pictures of the 13th century church, St. Thomas a Becket. Here are a couple courtesy of the internet.


The reception was a five minute walk down the road at Hammonds Green Farm. The perfect setting for a country wedding isn't actually a wedding venue but James' sister and brother-in-law's home. The marquee (big white tent) was expertly decorated with English garden flowers and vintage vases.

Cocktails (Pimm's and champagne) on the lawn led to a four-course roast dinner. The speeches were amusing, long and sometimes inappropriate. A great band, Welsh bride and cheeky Englishman meant the dancing was fabulous! The dance floor never stopped rockin'!

When you have a few minutes, enjoy my slideshow. 99 photos strong! You can pause, go back or skip ahead.