Sunday, February 25, 2018

Vegas, Y'all

Every January, Rico's company holds their annual Manager's Meeting, where all of the region & department heads get together to discuss yearly initiatives and plans. This meeting is always held in a city with a warm climate, and spouses are always invited. Past years meetings have been held in San Diego, and Cancun, but this year, the location was Las Vegas. I was not upset about this.

I've never met anyone who had a neutral opinion of Las Vegas. When I told people where I was going, I was either asked if they could come along, or was told "Ew. I'm sorry." I am firmly in the "Love It" category, but I can see why others may not. I just like a place where you can let your freak flag fly.

We left Cincinnati on Tuesday morning & miraculously, had a direct flight from CVG to McCarran. We landed in Vegas at around 10:15am, collected our bags, found our ride and were whisked away to Planet Hollywood. I'd never stayed at PH before, but was excited about the location. Paris & the Bellagio are my favorite Vegas hotels, and I was excited that PH was so close to them. We dropped our luggage off at the lobby, as it was way too early for check in, and made our way into the hotel to try to find some lunch.

We wandered around a bit, trying to kill time until the clock struck 11, and lunch spots opened. We decided on Gordon Ramsay Burger in PH. Since I'm allergic to wheat & gluten, and am currently adhering to the Keto way of eating, a burger without the bun is usually my best option.

I ordered the "Anniversary Burger" which was essentially ground steak, short ribs, frisee, and pickled shallots. It was amazing. I couldn't have any of the sides, but the burger was plenty. Rico ordered the Forrest Burger, which had DUCK BACON, and fries. Did I mention the DUCK BACON? because it was DELICIOUS.

After lunch, we wandered over to Paris and hung out until about 2, when we thought a room might be ready. We headed back to PH and were given our room keys. We made our way up to the 34th floor, and were treated to a room with a view of the strip.

Day View
Night View
We hung out in our room for a bit, then headed into the Miracle Mile shopping center. I can't say I was too impressed with the stores, but there is a Sephora, so I was clearly in heaven. The Sephora also has the Pat McGrath collection in store, so I spent a good amount of time making googly eyes at the palettes and lipstick. I also needed to find a shoe store, since I'd only packed my Aquatalia ankle & knee high boots and Uggs. Totally forgot my tennis shoes.  I wound up with these Blowfish "Shanghai" shoes, which were amazingly comfortable. And I love the maroon velvet!

We then went to meet Rico's manager so they could talk business, and eventually had dinner at The Strip, the steak house in PH. The steak was great, but had a little too much pepper in the crust. Pooped after a day of travel, we headed back to the room & called it a day.

Day 2, I was going to be on my own, so I ordered room service for breakfast, and scheduled a massage at the hotel's Mandera Spa. I lazed around the room for most of the morning, but then it was time for my treatment. A couple of years earlier, I had booked a massage at the spa in the Bellagio, and was delighted at the fact that when you book a service, you have use of the spa for the remainder of the day. I took full advantage of the steam & dry saunas, whirlpool, and lounge, and was expecting to do the same at the PH spa.

The spa entrance was beautiful, so I was super excited to see the rest. I was checked in by two super nice spa employees, and was lead back to the locker room. I was told that I could use the jacuzzi tub and the dry sauna, but that the steam sauna was out of order, which was disappointing. I enjoyed an 8o minute Swedish massage, and then sat in the dry sauna for a bit. I enjoyed my massage, but the spa was definitely not the Bellagio. The carpet at the spa was really, and I mean REALLY dingy, and the wicker furniture in the lounge was not comfortable, but what the spa lacked in amenities was more than made up for in the quality of service & the friendly desk employees.

After my massage, I headed up to my room to get cleaned up and then went down to to the casino to try my hand at blackjack. My parents are blackjack masters and had given us a few sessions before we left. I couldn't get my confidence up enough to try a table, so I found a video poker machine at the sports bar in PH. I was able to keep the game going for quite a while on the same $20, so I played until Rico was finished with his meetings.

Bellagio Entrance 

Rico came to collect me around 5, and we headed over to the Bellagio to grab a snack at the Petrossian Bar & spend some $ at the slots. Of course, we also has to step into Hermes, so I could  ogle bracelets and Scarves.

Eventually, we wandered over to the Cosmopolitan, and found a couple of machines to entertain us. Note to bourbon drinkers: when you order a Four Roses at the Cosmo, this is what they bring you. Not bad!

Day 3 was more of the same. Breakfast at the Henry in the Cosmo, lunch at Hexx in Paris, where I had the BEST chicken BLT with a bib lettuce and coco nib salad.
View from my table at Hexx.

"Unwich" at Hexx. SO GOOD!
I bummed around Paris for a while and then decided to take advantage of the sunny day and go for a walk on the strip.

Oh, hello Prada!
I have been in love with fashion for as long as I can remember. I used to read Vogue, Allure and Marie Claire the way my friends read The Baby Sitters Club books. It was so exciting to me that I could step into so many designer stores in Vegas. Even though I can't buy anything, being able to look at design & feel the fabrics is amazing. And I love the wonderful associates who indulge my wish to just be around the clothes, especially the ones who walk with me and talk about the designs. I went into the wrong field, y'all.

When Rico was finished with his meetings, we headed over to the Mirage for a dinner reservation at Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak. The space is beautiful and the food was amazing.

Heritage Steak
We'd been to his other steak house, Craftsteak, on a previous trip to Vegas, and it too is fantastic, they just have different vibes. To me, Craftsteak was more formal, whereas Heritage was slightly more laidback. I didn't take a lot of pictures because the people sitting next to us were a bit odd, and literally stared at us through our meal, and asked us about everything we were talking about and everything we were doing... not the best environment to take a pic of your salad & steak. If you ever go to Heritage, you HAVE to get the baby arugula salad. The candied pecans and goat cheese were magic together.

Day 4 was our day to leave. I always hate leaving vacations, especially when we don't have another one planned. We grabbed a taxi to the airport, made it through security quickly, and headed to our gate. I had to restrain myself from purchasing one of these beauties for a friend.

Didn't buy because I want my friends to still like me. 

I get that Vegas isn't for everyone. Personally, I love the lights, the shininess, and the absurd opulence. I love that I can order a bourbon at 9:30am, and nobody bats an eye. But Vegas can also really depress me. I hate the idea that people are gambling with money that they don't have. I hate watching people hit up the ATM's in the casinos. And I'm not blind to the underbelly of the city, but I will always love a place where at 9am, you can be decked out in head to toe sequins and glitter, while eating bacon & eggs, and it's totally normal.

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Useless Organ Is Still An Organ

Guess who had an appendectomy??

Me!! Photo Courtesy of Glamour Shots.
Super fun times. I normally stubborn myself out of going to the doctor, but after 2 days of what I thought was burning indigestion, I decided to put my insurance to work and go get a prescription for a heavy duty antacid. The doctor poked around at my abdomen for about 2 minutes and then told me to go to the emergency room because he thought I had appendicitis. Of course, I didn't believe him, I mean, medical school, schmedical school, right?? Nevertheless, I made my way to the ER... and y'all, he was RIGHT! Imagine that...

My valentines day was spent with a surgeon and narcotics, and it did get Rico to come home from his work trip early. I got to come home that night, and have been taking it super easy.

It's amazing how many actions you take for granted, until you can't do them. I alternate between feeing utterly useless and super thankful that I have the most patient husband in the world. I'm also practicing not being the most stubborn human on the planet, and have not been pushing myself to do things that I know could possibly cause injury. I also had a very wise friend remind me that even though appendectomies are routine surgery, I still had an organ removed, and I need to slow the hell down.

So, big thank you to everyone who has checked in on me and has offered support, to run errands,  bring meals, etc. It's much appreciated and really good to know that I have so many wonderful people around me.

Big, BIG, thank you to Bryan and Sam who hung out with me at the hospital and kept my mind off of the situation, so I wouldn't have the opportunity to completely freak out.

Also, someone please come to my house & force me to stop reading London blogs. It is making me so sad that I'm not going this year.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

London Love

*Apparently, I completed this post, but never published it... Oops.

We woke up early for our 7:20am flight to London. I am NOT a morning person, and usually hit snooze a number of times before dragging myself out of bed, but if a flight to London is involved, I am downright bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30am.

Our taxi was waiting for us when we got to the lobby of our hotel, and
after a rather quiet ride 15 minute ride, we were at the Cork airport. Our flight had been delayed a bit, so we had plenty of time to grab some coffee. We were flying Aer Lingus to London, which was a first for both of us. We paid extra to have advance seat selection & checked bag. I think a lot of airlines are moving toward a "day of" seat assignment, but I prefer to be able to pick my seat, so the extra $ was worth it.

After an uneventful 1.5 hour flight, we were at Heathrow Airport. Since we had our big suitcases with us, we elected to get an Uber from the airport as opposed to taking the Tube. I love the Tube, but it was really cool to see the drive into London from aboveground.

Entrance to The Georgian House Hotel 
The driver dropped us off at our hotel, the Georgian House Hotel in the Pimlico/Victoria area, but our room was not yet ready. We left our luggage and headed out to find some early lunch.

The Marquis 

After a 5 minute walk, we found ourselves at the Marquis or Westminster pub, which we had dined at a number of times before. We realized that this had been our 1st lunch spot on our previous trips to London, so clearly this needed to become tradition.

We enjoyed our lunch and some cider (me) and beer (Rico), and talked about what to do until we could check in to the hotel. It was about 11:30am, and check in was at 3. One of the cool things about staying in the Victoria/Pimlico area is the proximity to Buckinham Palace.

We normally travel to London in October, which means that Buckingham Palace is closed to tourists. Since it was still September, we decided to take advantage! The palace was busy, but the line to get in moved quickly. Unfortunately, you weren't allowed to take pictures, even in line, so I don't have much to show. I can tell you that the Palace was amazing. We got to meander through the throne room, ball room, formal dining rooms, and the reception hall. It was unreal thinking that I was standing where some of the worlds most powerful people had once stood.

After we were finished with the tour, we stopped for tea on the back terrace, like you do.

After the palace, we decided to get some shopping out of the way, and headed close to Piccadilly Circus to find a shop to purchase Chelsea & Arsenal gear for our nephews. 


We wrapped day 1 with more shopping at Covent Garden & then dinner at Dishoom... If you want amazing Indian food, and don't mind waiting in line for an hour, Dishoom is the place for you.

Day 2 was slow going in the morning, since we had a full afternoon/evening. After breakfast at the hotel, he headed over to Harrods so we could look at all of the amazing things we could never afford. We picked up some souvenirs, splurged on a Burberry scarf, and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for afternoon tea at Claridge's.

Oh, Claridge's. This was our 2nd time having tea there, and it was just as exciting as the 1st.

Rico perusing the tea menu.

We were sat next to the floral display in the middle of the room, which was absolutely beautiful. I didn't take too many pictures, since I didn't want to be obnoxious to the other patrons. Rico had the standard tea service, and I had the Gluten Free tea service, which was fantastic. There were even Gluten Free scones! And they weren't dense and crumbly! I was really impressed. I could also eat tea sandwiches all day and never get sick of them.

Little Claridge's selfie action.

After tea, we headed to Trafalgar Square, where we were going to see Apologia at the Trafalgar Theatre. The performance was great, and I was so excited to see Stockard Channing & Laura Carmichael perform live. 

Day 3 was a trip to Hever Castle, but that may be a separate blog post. 

Day 4 was a stop to the V&A for tea and so Rick could spend quality time with DaVinci's notebook. 

My new hat!
We also headed to Fulham, where my favorite hat company, Penmayne of London, was having a farewell event. Claire, the founder of Penmayne, had been offered her dream job, working with Cancer Research UK, and her goodbye party just happened to be scheduled for when we were in town. We stopped in, sipped on some sparking, and I tried on every hat I could find. She was selling her current stock at ridiculous prices, so of course, I had to take one home. I am so sad to see Penmayne go, but I am thrilled for Claire, and her new endeavor! 

It was cool going to Fulham & seeing a different, more residential, part of London. 

We stopped into a restaurant/pub for dinner, and I was excited to see that they had Gluten Free fish & chips on the menu. Of course, I ordered them, and they were delicious! 

How cute is this place?
Outside of the Pub 
We then had to head back to the hotel for the night, as we had to prepare to leave the next day... ugh... I hate leaving London.

Have you ever visited a city and just felt at home, the second you hit the pavement? That place for me, is London.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lost Luggage, Irish Whiskey and London Love... Part Something... I've Lost Track.

We woke up early to catch the train from Dublin to Kilkenny. I LOVE train travel, and wish we had a better rail system in the US. We got to Heuston Station about 20 minutes before our departure time, which gave us plenty of time to grab coffee, have a seat, and watch the boards for our platform announcement.

The train ride was nice and quiet, and gave me the opportunity to get a little more sleep. When we arrived in Kilkenny, we discovered that from the station, it was only about a 10 minute walk to our hotel, The Club House Hotel, so we decided against calling a cab. The walk through Kilkenny was easy, and it is an absolutely adorable town. We dropped our bags off at the hotel, found some breakfast and headed to Kilkenny Castle. 

Just before the main entrance to the castle, we noticed a set of stairs that lead to the castle grounds and a beautiful small garden. We decided to take a seat and take in the view before heading inside. 

It was a busy day at the castle, with a lot of tour groups, so I didn't take many pictures, but I did get the courtyard and the gallery. When we left the castle, we noticed a number of people in costume with numbers pinned to their chests. We learned that the Medieval Marathon was happening that day, and that a number of runners would dress up in period costume. It was amazing! 

I thought the castle's gallery was beautiful.
The Castle's Dower House... Had to get a pic for Cousin Violet.

We wandered around Kilkenny a bit more, and had a great lunch at a little cafe called The Fig Leaf. GREAT gluten free options, and the ability to substitute GF bread on sandwiches. After lunch, we decided to go back to the hotel, take a nap, and get cleaned up for dinner. On our cab ride from the Airport to the City Center in Dublin, our driver told us about a fantastic restaurant in Kilkenny called Langtons, so we decided to give that a go.

Langtons was only about a 5 minute walk from our hotel, which was nice, because it was raining, of course. We bellied up to the bar to grab a drink before dinner. We saw tables next to the bar, and figured that was the restaurant. Oh how we were mistaken. We were directed to a hallway behind the bar, which lead to the restaurant.

The place was beautiful. It almost felt like we were dining in an atrium. and the food... the food was incredible. I ordered the lamb stew, which was simple and delicious. I'm not usually a lamb fan, but this could turn me. 

After our leisurely dinner, we headed back toward our hotel to find a bar to finish the night. We passed by a statue of Hurling players, so I had to take a pic. Hurling is a really popular sport in Ireland, and one that we started to follow after our last trip. I was shocked that rico said that he wanted to go to Kilkenny, as our team is Tipperary (Up Tipp!) and Kilkenny is their biggest rival. 

We headed up to a bar called The Left Bank, which turns into more of a club in the evening. We grabbed a drink, and found a seat. What I thought was cool was that it looked like patrons ranged in age from 18-75. The bar was illuminated with red light, the music was loud and thumping, and everyone looked like they were having the best time. We finished our drinks and headed back to the hotel, because we were once again going to have an early day.

We woke early the next morning to catch the bus to Cork. The stop was about a 2 minute walk from our hotel, so we grabbed some coffee, and hung out at the stop for a bit before the bus came. An older couple joined us after a while and told us that they were from Newfoundland, and were traveling around Europe for an undetermined amount of time. Talk about goals! Our bus arrived, and we settled in for our beautiful 2.5 hour ride to the city.

When we got to Cork, the sun was shining, the weather was warm, and we were excited to see another city. Our hotel, Hotel Isaacs, was a very short walk from the bus stop. We checked in, dropped our bags, and headed out.

Hotel entrance, complete with waterfall.
Rico and I with the waterfall.

 Cork was stunning. We walked around for hours, looking at monuments, stopping for tea, and hunting for Irish chocolate. There was an football match between Mayo and Dublin that afternoon, so we found a pub where we could watch. Mayo lost (boo), but it was dinner time, so we ate at our hotel restaurant, and headed to bed, because of yet another early morning. I wasn't mad about it though, because in the morning we would be headed to my favorite place in the world... London.

Up Next: Some London Fanciness and Anne Boleyn.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Lost Luggage, Irish Whiskey and London Love... Part 3

Day 2, our last day in Dublin, started quietly with some coffee at the Starbucks (I know, I know) on Dame St. It was a rainy morning, and didn't look like the rain was going to break any time soon, so we wanted to sit down and plan our day. We love hop on hop off bus tours, and found that the City Sightseeing tour stop was just across the street. We made the plan to ride the full tour once, while deciding where to stop.

We finished our coffee, bought tickets in the tour office, also on Dame St, and waited four our bus. We elected to take the "blue route" tour, since it would take us close to the Jameson Distillery. This route also stopped at St. James Gate, but we had been to Guinness on a previous trip and decided to pass this time. The tour gave us the opportunity to look at the fall Dublin streets, without getting soaked. The ivy on the buildings we passed was a beautiful mix of greed and red, which, to me, gave the city a cozy feeling.

Sorry about the black window pane line.
We made our way to the stop for Jameson, just as the rain was really picking up. We hustled a couple of blocks to the entrance, and procured tour tickets.

The tour started just a few minutes later, and walked us through the history of Jameson, and the distilling process. The tasting at the end of the tour consisted of a comparison of Scotch (Johnnie Walker Black Label), Irish Whiskey (Jameson, duh), and "Bourbon" (Jack Daniels). I say "Bourbon", because JACK DANIELS IS NOT BOURBON. IT IS TENNESSEE WHISKEY. It says so right on the bottle.

I know it is splitting hairs, but it is important to me, because I love Bourbon, and I don't like Jack Daniels 👸. Jack Daniels is so sweet to me, whereas a Makers Mark or a Knob Creek would have been a better representation. The Dutch couple next to me asked if I drink this, and I explained that this is way sweeter than what I would drink. The gentleman said that he could see mixing it with Coke, but not drinking it on its own, and I told him he was spot on. When the tour was over, Rico told our guide, Eoin, that they really needed to get a better Bourbon representation. Eoin agreed, and said that he had mentioned it to their head of marketing, but kept getting shot down. I know I just ended with a rant about the Bourbon, but the tour was really good, and Eoin was really entertaining.

The tour ended with a complimentary beverage, either a Jameson Cocktail, which I think was Jameson, Ginger Ale and lime, or a Jameson neat or on the rocks. We both went for a Jameson on the rocks, and found seats in the packed bar area. We were quickly joined by a young Dutch gentleman who explained that he lived in Amsterdam and was in Dublin for the weekend. He asked us if we had any recommendations on what he should see next, as he had never been to Dublin. He said that he was trying to hit a new European city every few weeks, since it was so easy to travel in the EU. We asked him about the European airlines, and he told us that his flight was about €30, and he was staying in an Airbnb, while Airbnb'ing his apartment while he was away. He then laughed as our jaws hit the floor, and our skin turned green with envy. We explained to him where we live in the US and pointed out that to fly to Chicago, which would only be a 4 hour drive for us, would cost roughly $500. We grabbed a couple more drinks, chatted a bit longer, then our new friend had to take off. As we sipped our second round, I contemplated home redecoration, and decided I needed a couple of candids of Rico.

This would look great in our tiny 1st floor bathroom.

We finished our drinks, and headed out. The rain had let up, so we decided to head to O'Connell Street to find Beshoff's, which had gluten free fish and chips.

View of the Spire from O'Connell St
We found Beshoff's, I thoroughly enjoyed my GF fish and chips, and we decided to take the night tour of Dublin that came with our hop on hop off tickets. The tour didn't start for another half hour or so, so we ducked into a pub for a drink. We we were enjoying our beverages, when we were "treated" to a woman loudly sing/screaming the University of Wisconsin fight song. Seriously, people, don't do this. Time came to board our night tour bus, so we headed over to the stop and were lucky enough to get seats on the upper level, where to our delight, our tour guide was sitting, with a guitar, and explained that between commentary, she would be singing traditional Irish folk songs. Everyone on the upper deck seemed really happy about this, with the exception of the woman behind me who loudly said that she hoped our guide's guitar would break. Delightful. This woman also spent the majority of the tour loudly complaining about anything she could think of, so that was awesome. Our guide had some great stories and facts to share with us, and was an incredible singer. She encouraged us to sing along with her, which we did, and I got to hear some beautiful songs that I wasn't familiar with. The lady behind me had finally stopped talking, except to tell her date that she was glad he made her come on the tour because she was really enjoying it. Our guide said that she had time to sing one last song, and began to strum a few notes, when Swishy McJackass behind me started to loudly tell her date that she hadn't eaten much that day, and went on to list her entire Taco Bell order, with detail on what she didn't like about her chicken soft tacos. I don't think she was talking directly into my ear, but she had to be damn close. I heard someone sitting behind her politely ask her to lower her voice so that they could enjoy the song, and she finally stopped. Our guide then surprised us with one additional song, Carrickfergus,which was so sad but so beautiful.

We wanted to catch the 7:20 train to Kilkenny, so we knew we'd have to head back to the hotel soon after the tour ended, but we wanted to have one last drink, and we wanted to do it in Temple Bar. We found a couple of seats at a nice pub, where Rico could order a Guinness and I could get a Cider.

We sipped our pints, and listened to some more music, and chatted up the bartender who told us how much he loved Kilkenny. We also met a couple who lives about 30 minutes north of us, and laughed about how small the world can be sometimes. We stayed a bit longer, relishing the last few moments of our last night in Dublin, and then headed back to the hotel one last time.

Up Next: Kilkenny is Awesome.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lost Luggage, Irish Whiskey and London Love... Part 2

After a 20 minute taxi ride, we arrived at our hotel. We were going to be saying in Dublin for 2 nights, and I tend to be a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to short hotel stays. Unfortunately, Dublin hotel rooms tend to be quite pricey, but I found one that didn't seem too outrageous.

I booked two nights at the Lombard Pub and Townhouse on Pearse St.

When I booked, the reviews on Trip Advisor seemed promising. After checking again a few days before our stay, the reviews had taken a turn for the worse. The rooms are actually housed in a building next to the pub, but you have to check in at the pub. When we entered, we were greeted by a very nice woman who said she could check us in, but was also waiting tables. We waited a few minutes to let her run orders, which gave us some time to take a look around the pub. One of the things I love about Ireland and England is the pub culture. A number of people were enjoying lunch, and the staff at the pub seemed to be familiar with almost everyone in there. We checked in, and got the key and the entry code to the building next door. We made our way up to our room, and were surprised at how large it was. The room was equipped with a king sized bed, table and chairs, and a bathroom that looked like it had been recently renovated. The reviews on Trip Advisor mentioned dirty sheets and filthy bathrooms, but I'm happy to say that our room and sheets were extremely clean. We noticed a sign that said that the remote for the TV and a hairdryer were available for a €10 deposit, which later gave me a chuckle since the dryer I was given sounded like it was on its last legs years ago and was about as effective as someone gently blowing on my hair. The room was more like a private hostel, but it suited our needs... except for the bed. The bed was TERRIBLE. Sleeping on the bar in the pub would have probably been better. Plus, I would have been close to alcohol when I couldn't sleep due to jet lag.

After about an hour of situating ourselves and cleaning up as best we could, we went back down to the pub to grab some lunch. We let the staff know that our bags were enjoying a leisurely journey from Paris, and to see if someone would be able to sign for them if they were delivered. They assured us that they would be able to help, and would take the bags to the room for us when they arrived. We ordered burgers for lunch, which were great, and they even had an allergen list for me to be able to make sure what I was ordering was gluten free. I actually found that nearly everywhere in Ireland, even back alley pubs, had allergen information listed on their menu for each item, or had celiac specific menus. The US seriously needs to catch up on labeling.

After lunch, we decided to head to Trinity College, which was only a few blocks away. Being a huge Oscar Wilde fan, Trinity always gives me goosebumps. Just thinking that Oscar could have walked on the same stones I was standing on, or looked at the same building I was makes the hair on my arms stand on end. We wandered through campus, when, of course, it started to rain, so we took cover near the entrance on Grafton St. I took the opportunity to try to call the airport to see if there was an update on our luggage, since the flight that it was supposed to be on had landed about two hours earlier, but couldn't get ahold of anyone. I left a message, and we decided to head out into the mist.

When we hit Grafton Street, we saw a sight that brought a slight tear to my eye; The Irish Whiskey Museum. If I couldn't have my luggage, at least I could have whiskey! We made our way into the museum, and decided to take the tour, which would start in about 30 minutes. This gave us plenty of time to grab an amazing Irish Coffee from the bar.

The tour was great, our guide Kate, was hilarious, and got a kick out of the fact that Rico had on his "Bourbon" t-shirt. We tried 3 great whiskeys, but I couldn't get my mind off of my missing belongings. We left the museum and made our way to the nearest Marks & Spencer, since my lack of undergarments was really getting on my nerves, and figured that buying toothbrushes, etc would also maybe be a good idea.

Items were procured, and it was getting to be about 8pm, so we figured that dinner should be next on the agenda. We found a nice pub with an upstairs dining room, and dug into some really tasty seafood. Dinner wrapped up around 10, and we headed back to the hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel, we pondered stopping into the pub to grab a drink before bed. I really wanted to check to see if our luggage had found its way to our room, or if we were going to be wearing our same super awesome smelling clothes the next day. I crossed my fingers, and headed up the stairs to our room. I slowly opened the door, because clearly opening doors slowly makes the outcome what you want it to be, and nearly jumped out of my shoes when I saw our luggage by the bed.

I have a weird thing about jinxing, so I informed Rico that our luggage came because we had bought replacement toiletries. As he silently contemplated why he, a reasonable, intelligent human, married such a nonsensical weirdo, we walked back down to the pub to end our night.

Up next: Whiskey, singing on a bus, and Newsflash: People do not give a damn about your Taco Bell order.