Saturday, May 30, 2009

London Trip Report and Pics

Finally got my trip report and pics done! Yay!


Left for London out of Detroit at 650 PM via Northwest Airlines, direct flight. Overnight flight with the time change……


Arrived in London at around 7:00 a.m., about an hour early! Whoot. I love shorter flights. We were pretty tired, having slept on and off, but not enough. Our luggage was there quickly, and our driver met us there right away. I found a driver that was cheaper than a cab, and it being so early, I did not want to try to figure out the Tube and find the hotel, I just wanted to be at the hotel. We got to the hotel, and could not check in as our room was not early. BOOO. It was not supposed to be ready until like 300 PM, so not the hotel’s fault, but I was tired…….So, we left our luggage and went and walked around the area of the city our hotel was in, and had breakfast at a buffet at the Millenium. We went back to the hotel at 1030 AM and our room was ready! Yay! They also upgraded it for us, since this was my bday trip! Yay for them. Oh, we stayed at the London Kensington Forum. After a long nap, we got up and took the Tube to the center of London in order to see some sights. We saw the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the area where the Prime Minister lives, Westminster Abbey, St. James Park, many awesome stautes throughout London, and so on. Got back to the hotel and decided to have dinner at a Japanese place called Taro. The food and service there was excellent. No wait for a table. We had miso soup, split two sushi rolls (shrimp roll and California roll), and had tuna and salmon teryaki for dinner. All good. Went back to the room after that and crashed, as we had to get up really early for our first tour.


Got up early to be picked up for our first tour, which was an all day tour of the city of London through Golden Tours. We were picked up at 655 a.m. and taken to the main station to get on our bus with others taking the tour. We went ALL over the place this day. We went to Buckingham Palace, where we got to see the Guards all lined up practicing for the Queen’s Birthday celebration. This was pretty kewl, as we were lucky to be there right at the perfect time to see this. There was a band marching, a ton of Guards marching and on horseback, some riding down the middle of busy roads in London. We then had lunch in Covent Garden, where we could eat anywhere we chose, so Kurt and I chose a traditional English pub called The Opera Tavern. Kurt had fish and chips and I had a tuna melt. The food was very good. Then, we visited the Tower of London, which is a former prison in London. Very kewl building, and inside we saw the Crown Jewels and a lot of old artifacts. The only thing I did not like about this place was the crowds--it was a little claustrophobic. After this, we took a boat ride on the Thames River, and ended up with a ride on the London Eye, which is a huge ferris wheel that gives you a complete view of the city and the Thames. Went back to the room after this, then headed out to dinner at a place called Pasta Brown. Got a table right away here, service was very fast and the food was awesome. I had a lobster linguine that was very tasty. Went back to the room as we had another early morning.


Got up early to be picked up for tour two through Golden Tours, which was an all day tour of Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor. Started out with the drive to Windsor Castle, where we got to tour part of the Queen’s country home, which was absolutely stunning. The “antiques” there looked new they were in such perfect condition, and we also got to see the Queen’s Dollhouse, which was the most extensive dollhouse I have ever seen. Headed to Stonehenge after that, and I was so excited to see this!!! I have always wanted to see Stonehenge and finally, I got to. Very, very kewl. I thought there would be a ton of crowds there, but there were not many people at all. Headed after that to Bath, which is a really gorgeous small town where the Roman Baths are located. We got to tour the Baths, which was awesome, then had free time to roam around Bath and shop. Such a cute town. Oh, we had lunch that day at a place outside Stonehenge called The Stonehenge Inn, where we had a traditional vegetarian pot pie. Got back to London, rested some in the room, then headed to dinner at The Spaghetti House. Food here was good as well, and service was quick. The place had a very laid back atmosphere, but the food was very authentic and portions were large. Went back to the room for another early morning ahead.


Third tour! This time of Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich, Leeds Castle was spectacular. I wanted to purchase it as my second home, however, the nation does not have it up for sale. Haha. Anyway, we were the first group in the Castle, so I felt like Kurt and I got to explore the Castle alone. It was awesome. There are 500 acres surrounding the castle, with a ton of birds and water. Beautiful. After that, we headed to Canterbury, where we had lunch at a place called Café Venezia. It was a little café, and the food was good, service was quick. I had a really yummy banana milkshake there. We walked around Canterbury and walked through a really kewl church called Canterbury Cathedral. We then went to Dover, where we got to see the White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle, and took a walk on the stone covered beach there. Really pretty coast town. After that, we had another Thames River cruise, and got back to the hotel. Had dinner that night at an Indian place called The Delhi Brasserie. The food here was incredible! I highly recommend. Service was perfect and everything we ate was awesome. The place was packed, but we still felt like the service was attentive and great.


No tour today! Except the one we conducted ourselves. We went shopping at Harrod’s where we found a really kewl sink for $68000 pounds (haha), then headed to Portobello Market to do more shopping. Kurt bought a little statue of George Washington from an antique store, and we walked around there for quite a while. After that, headed to another area to shop, and found a place to get massages at, that had appointments available immediately! Yay! Had massages, then headed to dinner at Wahaca, a Mexican place I had been wanting to try. Big mistake. This was some of the worst service I have EVER had. We were sat, and the waiter did not come to our table for like 20 minutes. Once he did, he took our order. Our order started to come out in weird pieces, and we still did not have drinks after 20 more minutes. We sat with two of our ‘sides’ and no meals and no drinks, and finally, a manager came to the table to ask how things were and we told him. He started to figure things out, and eventually our meals came. One was made with chicken (since we don’t eat meat, HUGE problem). Anyway, once everything was right, the food was very good. We ended up getting all our food for free. But, it was the second time in my life I did not tip. The waiter did not come back to our table, after taking our order, until he cleared out plates. It was horrendous. If the service were better, I would recommend this place, but I personally would not go back because it was SOOOO bad. Went back to the room after this and crashed, as we had an early pick up for our flight back to the States. Boooooo.


Got picked up for the airport and our flight was great and left on time.

Click here to see all the pictures. Warning, there are a lot! :).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Questions from Lisa

Still working on London stuff, things have been crazy. In the meantime, a fun summer survey from Lisa.....Fill it out on your blog and keep is going! :).

Summer Questions:

1. Any vacations planned this summer, if so when/where? Nothing major. We just got back from London, we are going to Vegas for Labor Day to celebrate Val's bday, and I will prob take some side trips with rebecca and to manistee to see my mommy, maybe a trip to Orlando for shopping with jessica, who knows.....

2. Any home improvement/landscaping projects planned for this summer, if so what? we are always working on something here. Or should I say, Kurt and Kory are always working on something, LOL. We already planted a lot of new trees this year.

3. Did you purchase flowers to plant yet? Or is that not your thing? No, but I prob will this weekend.

4. Do you plan on hitting the beach this summer? Maybe. I am not a huge beach person, although I do love walking on the beach.

5. Have you got any new summer wardrobe items? If so what? Not anything major. I did buy some short sleeve shirts and capri pants, but thats about it.

6. Flip flops or wedges? flip flops all the way.

7. Do you tan or burn? Burn, then tan a tiny bit. I prefer neither and wear a lot of sunscreen.

8. Any good summer reads you care to share? Nothing yet. I prefer magazines, trashy novels, and stuff that does not make me think.

9. Favorite summer beverage (alcoholic or non)? diet rock star

10. Do you enjoy any summer sports or activities, if so what? HIKING. Photography. Being outside.

11. Any goals your working towards this summer? working out more outside.

12. Favorite summertime food? stuff on the grill. corn on the cob. yay.

13. Favorite summertime fruit? pineapple

14. Favorite summertime song/music? no different than the rest of the year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So, I am not going to post much now, but, we had an AWESOME trip. We both loved London, and this is saying a lot since neither one of us are really big city kinda people. I took over 300 pics (shocker there), so I will post when I have time to edit them and cut out the ones that are not good........I will also do a trip report, but I will do a quick breakdown here, for fun.

Pros of Trip:
Leeds Castle (my soon to be second home, haha)
Easy city transportation
Food, with the exception of one place
English accents and phrases, i.e. "Mind the Gap" (which was a fav of Kurt's)
the city of Bath
All the tours we did

Cons of Trip:
How long the flights were and my neck pain after such flights
Me getting a HORRENDOUS cold 3 days into the trip
Exchange rate of money (their money is worth a LOT more than ours)
Getting up early for tours
The Mexican place we ate at our last night--service was HORRENDOUS
People who took screaming babies on tours
Rude, pushy tourists

Anyway, I am sure there is much more than the above, but that's just a glimpse into it. Sneak peak into my nonexistent trip report, which will be forthcoming.

The pugs were super psyched to see us when we got here, and although we stopped briefly into the office to look thru mail and the like, we spent most of the afternoon at home resting. Which I needed. In our brief stop at the office, I needed to not be there, as I had a headache from the flight and was kinda out of it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Packed, or Not?

I am all packed.

Kurt, on the other hand, has not started. This is normal in our household. And, it always results in Kurt forgetting something. Like, for our Galapagos trip, he forgot short sleeve shirts. Who needs those anyway? It was only 80 degrees every day in the sun on a ship (luckily, he got some at a mall in Quito). Let's all predict what Kurt will forget to pack on this trip! Or, how heavy his luggage will be! :).

Today, booked three tours in London and found another one I want to do that does not require a reservation. I am excited about those. Also found a really cheap (well cheap for London anyway) airport transfer to our hotel. So, like everything is set. Oh, I made a last minute hotel change too, as a lot of the tours embark from hotels, but not the one I had reserved before. So, I wanted one where we could just walk downstairs and into the tour vehicle, since they embark pretty early for these tours. We are now staying at the London Kensington Forum.

Anyway, I will try to post while there, but if not, expect a really good trip report when I get back with 8 million pics! :). We are taking one computer with us, but will prob just check email and stuff late at night since our phone internet will not work overseas without paying insane charges.


Monday, May 18, 2009


I leave for London in less than 48 hours.

Yea, I have no idea how this trip snuck up on me! We have to pack tomorrow night, as we leave on Wednesday after work. Insanity!

I have looked at some tours and such and have some picked out that I am going to call on tomorrow. I also think I am going to get a car to pick us up at the airport so I dont have to figure out the exchange rate and stuff with cabs while we are half asleep. It is not that much more than a cab, and so much more convenient.

anyway, night all!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Turning 32

Thursday night, Kurt and I attended Honors Night at the high school to hand our our scholarship. We have given it the past 4 years, but this is the first year we could actually attend. Anyway, it was an awesome experience. The kids don't know which awards they are getting. Kurt gave a little speech, and I announced the winner. I was very happy for her to get the money. She is going into wildlife biology, and is very into nature and helping the environment. We went to dinner afterwards. Stuff like this makes me feel good about myself, and makes me feel like I am making a difference in a young person's life. I loved it. Meeting the person we gave the award to was pretty kewl as well. Her parents seemed really appreciative.

Friday, we were planning on going to dinner after work for my bday, just Kurt, Kory and I. Kory worked at home that day, so he was meeting us at Crave that night. We headed there, and I walked in to a surprise party! The entire office was there, as well as Britton, and Misty's husband, Joe. I was shocked. Never expected it in a million years. Dinner was awesome, as usual at Crave. Misty made awesome cupcakes for dessert and it was really nice that the office planned this for me. Afterwards, we went to Bailey's for drinks and hanging out. I think this is the first time anyone has done something like this for me, a surprise, and normally I hate surprises, but this was really nice and not bad at all! :). The office bought me a really kewl photo album, with pages and stickers for my London trip. I can't believe everyone kept it a secret.

Today, I was hung over. Sadly, from one drink and one shot the night before, LOL. I am so pathetic. Anyway, i lounged most of the morning, then headed into town to buy Auntie a bday gift. I went to Kohl's and Elder Beerman. Bought Auntie a really kewl ring at Kohl's that I found in the clearance section. The gemstone is ceylon, which is this gorgeous blue shade. I had a 20% off coupon for Kohl's, so I ended up buying myself a pair of capri jeans, and various other short sleeved shirts for summer. Stopped at Elder Beerman next, and ended up buying a suit and two pairs of dress pants. Got amazing deals there too, the lady at the register let me use a coupon code she had that was supposed to only be for people with the Elder Beerman charge. Really nice lady. Went to dinner tonight for my bday and Auntie's bday at Eastside Mario's in Livonia, and dinner was yummy. Gave Auntie her ring, and she loved it. She got me a really kewl digital photo frame that holds 6400 pics! I have been wanting one of those, but never bought myself one, so this is a great gift for me. She also got me some cute pug note cards and a nice robe. Grama got me two really nice photo albums, so now I have like 5 I need to order pics for. Don't ask me why I have not. No idea. These are incentive though, right? :). She also got me some lottery tickets, so if I win, I can retire! Whoot!

So, I turn 32 in one hour exactly. I was born at 12:01. I have had an awesome bday weekend thus far. Tomorrow, if the weather is nice, I plan on getting out with my camera and taking some shots.

Go Tigers! :).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

nothing much here

Weirdly, i feel like updating, but i don't really have much to say! :). Nothing ultra exciting is going on in Loriland......Been really busy with work and stuff with the Board.

On an off note, I cannot believe that Jennifer Granholm is on the short list for Supreme Court candidates! She has done a horrible job, IMO, with this State, and now she might get my dream job? Totally not fair! :).

I am really happy right now with work and the addition of employees. I am really starting to feel like I have a life again, and am not annoyed because I have to work every weekend. I can't even remember the last weekend i worked, and I used to work every weekend. So, that is awesome. It really makes my mentality about working better that I get the weekend to chill.

I can't believe London is 7 days away! Actually, our plane leaves in LESS than 7 days. It is going to be a really interesting trip. I really need to spend some time this weekend researching if we want to do any tours or day trips while there, and BOOK them. I am such a procrastinator.

A friend of mine from high school, Lisa, and her husband, expressed interest in our Uganda trip. I sent her all the idea if they will be able to come or will be interested in the slightly crazy things we do, but if so, it would be kinda kewl to experience it with someone else! :). They would be awesome to travel with, as they are really similar to kurt and I. I thought Cassie and Ken would be interested since they want to go to Africa, but Cassie told me Ken is more of a "5 star resort in egypt" kinda guy. I guess neither one of them have been hiking or anything! I can't even imagine. Although, Cassie really wanted to come.......I wish my Aunt could come, but some of the hikes would be impossible for her, so she will have to live through my pics.

Right now is weird, I am up alone, watching the Tigers, which NEVER happens. Kurt got really tired and went to bed. It's usually the opposite.

I would really like to go shopping....I so want some summery work clothes. I would love to find some short sleeve suits, but I despise suit shopping. I would also like to find some cute summery shirts to wear with my dress pants, but I really have no desire to shop right now. I have some great New York and Co and Kohl's coupons though, so I should try to get there.

Anyway, I am rambling, so I am going to close. Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

8 Things

From Sarah and Rebecca.....

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:

1. London Trip (leaving in less than a week!!!)
2. Uganda Trip (Dec 09)
3. Las vegas Trip (Labor Day weekend trip 09)
4. Any visits to my Mom's or Maga's this summer
5. Photography this summer
6. Weekends this summer
7. Our Mediation Course in Aug 09
8. Any time I get to see my nephew, Nick, this summer.

8 Things I did Yesterday:

1. Attended a board meeting
2. Made myself inner
3. Forgot to eat lunch
4. Returned phone calls
5. Drafted legal documents
6. Copied stuff
7. Talked to my staff
8. Met with clients

8 Things I Wish I could Do:

1. Play the piano
2. Play the Guitar
3. Be a travelling photographer as my job
4. Retire
5. Spend more time with my Mom
6. Relax more
7. Have no stress in my life
8. Help more animals

8 Shows I watch

1. The L Word
2. The Hills
3. Tigers Baseball (not a show I know, I am cheating)
4. Parole Board
5. Intervention
6. Beverly Hills 90210
7. Desperate Housewives
8. American Idol

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Monday!

For a Monday, today did not totally suck! Except that I worked kinda late, but other than that, a prety calm day the office! Whoot!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

**Pic above is of flowers blooming next to my grandparents house in Glennie.

Friday night, Kurt and I chilled at home. We normally have sushi night that night, but we were both kinda zonked after a busy week, so I just made dinner instead. I wanted to get a good night's sleep since I wanted to get a good start on my drive in the morning......

**View from my grandparents' yard in Glennie, MI.

To surprise my Mom for Mother's Day! I knew she was going to my grandparents this weekend (they just got back from Florida to spend the summer in Michigan), and I have never seen their home in Glennie, which is odd, since they have lived there a really long time. So, I left the house around 930, stopped and picked up a prescription, got gas and some snacks, and got there around 1240. Long drive, but it was a pretty drive. Glennie is a gorgeous area, with a lot of lakes and trees and scenery.....M-65, which is the road to Glennie, is just a pretty, scenic drive. Anyway, got there BEFORE my Mom and Ronnie, so i got the tour of the house, set up their new phone and answering machine, and talked....Then my Mom and Ronnie got there and my Mom was very happy to see me! :). We had a really nice day and night, made dinner together (well, my Mom did most of the work, LOL), then played cards and hung out. It was really nice. This morning, we had breakfast, and then I was off for home.

**Pic of an adorable chipmunk in my grandparents' yard. I was taking pics of flowers and he kinda startled me, and then I photostalked him, heh.

It is really feeling like the hiring of new employees is paying off. This little weekend getaway showed me that. I normally would never be able to just jet off to Glennie for the weekend. I would normally have to work at least one weekend day. So, yay!

**View from the new dock in my grandparents' yard.

So, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! :). I had a great time with my mommy, and then Kurt and Kory and I went out for Mexican tonight at a place that just opened in town! We were celebrating my being a Mommy to 3 pugs and a kitty! Hope everyone had a nice weekend and enjoyed the pretty weather.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Kory introduced me to this site online for listening to music. It is awesome! You type in musicians or types of music you like and it customizes mixes of artists for you, etc. For example, I typed in "Journey" and they so far, have played Journey, Bon Jovi, and The Eagles. And, best of all, it's free! If anyone already has an account, add me! My user name is loridz.

Click here to go to the site.


Secret post, my friends.....

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


The baby geese, and their parents, are gone!

We went out tonight to stalk them again, and they were nowhere to be found! Kurt then read online that the day after birth, parent geese take the young to a particular area (not near the nesting area) to meet up with other families and hang out until the babies learn to fly. So, I guess I only get one day with the sweet babies. Glad I got my shots the day I did! :). Hope they are doing OK at their new home! Still think they should of stayed here though, right?

Started watching The Hills tonight while working out. Needed a new show to rotate with The L Word. I have to say, thus far, I like it! I love mindless TV, and this def fits the bill. Heidi is already annoying the hell out of me, and I am only on episode three! No Spencer yet, she is dating a guy named Jordan or something.

Tigers kicked ass tonight! Whoot! And Kory was at the game, so I am glad he got to watch a good one. We all went to lunch today for Cinco de Mayo and had a fun time. Yay for holidays!

Not much else going on, work is busy, and I have to go to court tomorrow morning, which means my afternoon will be slammed. Ugh. I am pretty slammed the rest of the week too (board meetings two nights, dinner for Auntie's bday, etc.). Am hoping to go shopping at some point too. I would love a couple summery suits since the weather is getting nicer.

Miss California


As I was stating in an earlier post about religion and being hypocritical, this article came through to me via email about Miss California that truly made me chuckle.

Apparently, it is OK to not stand behind your conservative Christian beliefs if it is for your job! I did not know that! I will have to read that chapter of the Bible over again. Some of the things that come out of her mouth are hilarious, and not in a "hahaha funny" kinda way. I love her "woe is me, everyone is out to get me now....." attitude.

While I could care less what her opinion is on gay marriage (as I agree with her that we are all entitled to our own opinions), it is somewhat confusing to me how she can judge people in the way she does, and then, in the same breath, say that people should not judge her. Ludicrous. Thank God she is not representing our country in the position of Miss USA.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Project Trees, Baby Geese and Graduation

Kurt and I had the honor off attending our friend Lisa's graduation from PA school on Sunday, at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. Lisa has been in school for the past two years for this degree, and it was extremely intense. I think I only saw her twice in that timeframe, and we usually do dinner with her and Cliff all the time. Anyway. The lunch and festivities were really classy and nice. The facilities were gorgeous. We had a really nice time. Lisa was very psyched to get her "white coat" and we are all really, really proud of her. Amazing accomplishment. The rest of the night, Kurt and Kory put in trees down part of the driveway.

The remainder of the trees went in tonight and it is pretty much done, with the exception of cleanup. Here are the before and after pics.

Guess who has come into the world? The geese babies! They are some of the cutest things I have ever seen. I played paparazzi and spied on them and tried to get some pics, while trying not to have the parents attack me, LOL. There are 7 sweet babies and being less than a day old, can already swim so well! :). I love them completely. Supposedly, they do not fly until 10 weeks, so I am sure there will be more pics to come.

Almost forgot, made a really good cajun ahi tuna tonight, and a red skin mashed potatoes from The Joy of Cooking. I highly recommend any of their products.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

reunion dinner

Had dinner tonight with law school friends at Fishbones in Detroit. Had a fabulous time. Over three hours FLEW by. I had seafood gumbo soup and sushi. Yum. Ralph paid the bill and would not let anyone argue, which did not make me happy, BUT, thanks Ralph! It was awesome to see everyone and catch up. It has been far too long. Let's see, who showed up--Ginger and her husband, Ralph and his wife, Jessica and Tony, me, Nancy, Amanda, and Julie. It was a great turnout. Hopefully next time even more people can make it!

Earlier in the day I went to Canton to buy necessities at Trader Joe's and Sam's Club, and pick up Lisa's graduation tickets for tomorrow. I was so happy to go to Trader joe's and pick up fresh fish. I have not been there in forever. So much cheaper and better quality than the regular grocery stores in Monroe. Auntie went with me to run the errands and picked up a few things herself.

Our driveway trees were delivered this morning, and Kurt and Kory started putting them in, but Kory had to leave early to install a ceiling fan at rebecca's, so they will have to finish the trees later. Thus far, they look awesome. I can't wait until they are all in.

Off to bed, I am exhausted!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Vaccine Queen

I think I am the most vaccinated person I know. I have mixed feelings about vaccines, in reality. But, I really feel like I need them with the weird ass places Kurt and I choose to travel to.

Anyway, today we went and had the third shot in a series of three for Hep A. Done with those now. But, we are going to have to go back for more for the Uganda trip. For sure we need a Polio booster. Our Typhoid expires in November, but since we had our first shot, a pill came on the market you can take that covers you for 5 years, so we will prob take that instead of the shot. We may get the rabies vaccine and some other too, as there is this one Chimp walk I want to do at a sanctuary and in order to do it, you have to have proof of some vaccines I do not have yet. We will see. Anyway, my arm is a little bit sore, so I took it easy tonight.

Speaking of Uganda, I wired my downpayment to them today. I had never wired money before, it was a new experience. So, the trip is set in stone now, and I already can't wait. :).

Went to dinner with Kurty, and watched the Tigers lose. Booooo.

Have a busy weekend ahead of me. Hoping for some nice nonrainy weather so I can maybe take a walk and take some spring greenery pics.

Hope everyone has a fun weekend! Safe travels to Jessica going to Orlando and Mindy and her boys!