Au Revoir Europe!

Today ends my 31 day stretch of writing and I'm celebrating.  Not with tricks or treats, but hopefully with an early bedtime.  I started The Nester's 31 day challenge in an attempt to be more disciplined in writing.  To be honest, writing two or three times a week is going to feel like cake.  And that's exactly what I was hoping for. As much as I've loved writing about our London & Paris trip, I'm ready to get back to the everyday stories, crafts, and cooking.  Mostly because I completely missed the month of October.  Fall is my favorite season, yet I have bought no pumpkin, carved no Jack-O-Lanterns, eaten no candy corn, and pulled out nary a fall decoration bin from the garage.  And I'm slowly becoming ok with that….for this year at least.  Because instead I became a better writer & got to spend time remembering the making of memories with this guy.

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IMG_8783

I love traveling & seeing new places, so I'm sure there will be "Best Of" posts from future trips.    But 31 days about one trip?  I can promise you never again.  So hopefully you had a laugh or learned something in the last month of posts.  But today I want to thank you for reading & sticking with me in uncharted travel blogging territory.

And in honor of your faithfulness I'll give you something to look forward to …..

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be49e0c3c308ccb09ffe753c13c042eb

You may have seen this beauty floating around Pinterest from the blog 'Tatertots & Jello'.  I'll be making & tutorial-ing my version of this number next week.

Happy Halloween!

The Best Part of Vacation Is The Food

I'm not gonna lie - there's a lot of truth in that title.  Or maybe I just grew up in a family that was deciding where dinner would be before we even started on lunch.  But it's not just about the need for tasty treats, but more so the memories that get connected to those foods that end up sticking with us for years to come.  So I figured why not share some of our favorite morsels from London & Paris and the memories we made at those meals.  Today we'll chat London, tomorrow Paris.

The Castle Portobello Road
The Castle Portobello Road

Our first London meal was at a pub called The Castle on Portobello Road.  Now I've eaten fish & chips many times.  Mostly at the England pavilion in Epcot.  But its still fried fish and french fries.  But my first taste of the real deal?  Even better.  Probably because there was rosemary in the breading.

Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips

Let's pause here for a minute and talk about smashed peas.  What kind of society feeds on baby food?  As adults.  It was tasty after all, but it was a little too Gerber for my taste.   Forever when the little jar of mashed peas make an appearance, I'll remember this meal.  Fondly.  Take a peek of the menu - it was a little more "refined" than some of the other pubs we tried out.

The Castle Menu Portobello Road
The Castle Menu Portobello Road

We had desert down the road at a Wafflemeister.  Not sure if these are just in the UK, but this was my first run-in.  Literally a waffle.  With ice cream. Potentially with Nutella.

Wafflemeister
Wafflemeister
Wafflemeister
Wafflemeister

Yeah.  So this is awesome.  And I can totally make this at home.  Except I haven't bothered to try.  But since my mouth is watering looking at the pictures, this weeks menu is going to include a homemade version.  Done & done.

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IMG_3823

While shopping in London, we stopped at the Leicester Arms Pub in Picadilly.  Another British staple was on our 'to-try' list that day.  Meat pies.  Andy tried a beef & ale pie, while I stuck with chicken & mushrooms.

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IMG_3824
Meat Pie Leicester Arms
Meat Pie Leicester Arms

Despite the beautiful look to these pies, they actually remind me of my childhood and $1 Stouffer's individual pot pies.  But of course these tasted loads better.  Remember my spiel about memories?  This brings back the nights of taking orders from the family on their choice of beef, pork, or chicken and then putting fork holes in the top of each pie like a champ.  And a non-talented chef was born.

Red Lion Pub
Red Lion Pub
Red Lion Pub Fish & Chips
Red Lion Pub Fish & Chips

 Our third and final pub stop was at The Red Lion in Westminster.  We climbed a super skinny and steep stairwell to find an even tinier table on the second floor.  The food wasn't my favorite of the bunch.  But it was good enough for Charles Dickens to hang out in - so it must be good enough for me.

Let's talk about snack foods for a minute.  Even the candies that you recognize from home taste different. The chocolate is just smoother.  Even the M&Ms are different colors. See?

England M&Ms
England M&Ms

Not only are the colors lighter, but there is a graininess in their colors.  But good news. They eat just the same.  But my favorite find?

Kinder Bueno
Kinder Bueno

It's way bueno. It's hazelnut and white chocolate goodness.  If you run across a the British Sam's Club counter part, mail me a box or three.  I made sure to grab a last minute one for the flight home.

Press pause on your tastebuds - we'll dish on Paris tomorrow (pun intended)!