Sunday, June 27, 2010

Le premiere jour à Paris, la cité de l'amour.

C'est vraiment la cité de l'amour, non?  Et la tour Eiffel, c'est magnifique.  Voyez notres fotos ici, s'il vous plait.

We were sad to leave our hotel in Amsterdam.  It was probably the nicest place we had to look forward to.   It may have been a bit off the beaten path (Priceline likes to lie about things like location), but it was worth it.  The TV knew my name.

Getting to Paris from Amsterdam was incredibly easy.  Being total geniuses, Sophie and I are finally starting to get a hang of the European rail system.  That or continental trains are way better.  You decide.  We arrived in the Paris Gare du Nord, or "Park of the North," where the nine-hundredth person gawked at my toe shoes.

This particular lady gawked at my shoes while she was letting her dog piss all over the platform, which was sort of disappointing.  "Yes!  They are cool!  No!  I don't want your dog to piss on them!"

Sadly, that was not to be our last experience in Paris involving urine that was not ours.  After a bout of confusion with French signage (does the down arrow mean forward or backwards?) we made it to the platform of Metro 4, where a homeless person laying on a bench, apparently not sleeping after all, pulled out his package and started peeing into the crowd of people walking by.  If I had stuck with physics, I would have been awed by the purity of the urine's parabolic arc towards the concrete.  If I had gone into medicine, I would have suggested that the homeless man drink more water.  I have never seen people move faster.  I think it's the cigarettes.  Sharpens the reflexes.

Those of you who have used Priceline before know that the absurdly low prices come with weird caveats.  Sometimes it's a smoking room.  Sometimes it's a water-damaged room.  In our case, our room in the Best Western Aida Marais was on the sixth floor, meaning it was not accessible by elevator, but only creepy stairway, there was no air conditioning, the thief-accessible window didn't close and we had no shower curtain, or even a place to put a shower curtain.  Based on the smug faces of the hotel's other visitors, I am quite sure that the other rooms had all of these things, as well as private masseuses and jewelry buffets.  Oh well.  We got a really good deal.

We didn't really expect to get much done our first night in Paris, but the train travel was so fast and easy that we had loads of energy and so set out to do Things that Tourists Do.  First stop: Notre Dame!  Wow! Cool!  We didn't go in, though, 'cause it's free on Sundays.  Second stop: Les Jardins du Palais Royale!  Hooray!  Je voudrais un petite verre du cidre, et un salade des fruits, s'il vous plaits.  Le cafe, c'est super!  Third stop: L'avenue des Champs Elysees!  Not as cool as the other two!  Listen to the song.  Final stop: La Tour Eiffel!  Magnifique!  But you already know all about that.

To top off the night we ordered crepes from a street vendor in le quartier latin.  Sophie had hers with confiture framboise (raspberry jam), and I had mine with confiture abricot.  The End.


Drunkity Drunk Drunk in Drunkblin. Dublin?

Joe told me I should write the entry on our day in Dublin, for reasons that will soon become clear.

We woke up early in Galway in order to catch the first train to Dublin. I was hoping beyond hope that the delightful bakery we ate at previously would be open at 7 am on a Sunday but alas, it was not so. After searching for a bit we found a little cafe that was open, though they seemed alarmed to have customers. Joe ordered a sandwich and after pondering the menu, I asked if the porridge could be made to go. "Of course!" the pimply Irish youth told me.

When we settled ourselves on the train shortly after, I examined my breakfast. My to-go porridge was packaged in a huge dish and closely resembled the container a "family sized" frozen lasagna comes in. And inside was about a liter of porridge. I was a bit dumbfounded.

Joe's sandwich verged more towards the normal side of things in that it came wrapped in a sensible paper bag instead of say, a body bag.

The train ride was uneventful except for the exceptionally drunk group of twenty-somethings that were busy shouting a minute by minute playback of their drunken night and laughing crazily. A few of them were passed out. We quickly switched cars.

From the train station in Dublin, Joe decided we should walk the hour long walk to our hotel. My legs protested greatly. Our hotel seemed like a sweet, sweet palace compared to the barracks of our hostel room in Galway and I had difficulty leaving the room. "I'm sure Dublin is just like the rest of Ireland! Let's stay here and find some Irish reality tv to watch!" I pleaded. No success.

Joe and I took a tram into town and wandered. We somehow stumbled upon the Street Performance World Championship and watched a particularly funny and attractive man from New Zealand whose name escapes me. Such things happen when foreign boys with tattoos take off their clothes in front of me.

Mostly kidding, sweetheart. Love you!

(Just googled-- name of the street performer: Sam Wills. Above is a picture of him with an inflated rubber glove over most of his head. Cheers!)

After that we wandered more, aiming for Trinity College. Luckily we were in the area and didn't have much difficulty finding it. Gorgeous place! Step 2 was to find The Book of Kells, which is kept at Trinity. I didn't  really know that The Book of Kells was, other than the guidebook said we should see it. Don't tell my European history teacher.

But it turned out that The Book of Kells is an insanely decorated Bible and the exhibit was definitely worth seeing. It also turns out that some strange man made an animated movie about the Book of Kells that looks totally awesome. All history lessons should be presented in cartoon media.

Further wandering took us to the apparently famous Temple Bar. It was busy and not playing Irish music as we had hoped. Instead, I bought an ice cream and Joe wandered into another bar, determined to have a pint a Guinness before we left Ireland. You can perhaps see where this is going.

The one Guinness turned into the epic hunt to consume all Irish beers. Joe would like to inform you that his favorite beer was Beamish. I would like to inform you that I have never seen so many elderly women consume such large amounts of beer as I did in the bars of Dublin.

At one point Joe decided we should have Irish coffee. I had Bailey's and coffee, though I ended up liking the Irish coffee a bit more. Here is a particularly attractive picture of me consuming said beverage:

Once Joe had consumed many Irish beers, we headed back to the train station to catch a train back to our hotel. We had missed the previous train and the next one was to come in 40 minutes or so. "Screw that!" Joe slurred. "We can walk back to our hotel in that amount of time!" To which I said, "Are you sure you can navigate us back to the hotel? I really don't want to get lost." Joe said, "Of course I can lead us back!"

And that is how we ended up in the slums of Dublin at nightfall.

I should've known, it was much like when Joe and I picked up my sister after she had her wisdom teeth removed. When we went to the pharmacy to pick up her pain pills, the pharmacist asked if Mia could sign for them. I glanced back at Mia, who was slumped over and drooling. "I don't know... Mia, can you sign this?" I asked. Mia perked up and said with great conviction, "Oh, I can sign. I can sign like a DEVIL." And then she scribbled illegibly on the receipt.

I hate getting lost. Oh, how I hate getting lost. I especially hate getting lost in dark and dingy places in Ireland that smell of urine. After an hour we were in the complete opposite direction of our hotel and I was approaching Very Pissed Off and also Freaked Out. Joe wisely hailed a cab in order to save our relationship.

I liked Dublin and it has some neat stuff to see but all in all I enjoyed the quieter bits of Ireland better. The parts in which I didn't feel I was going to be knifed by some drunk Irish street kids. Just kidding, love you Ireland.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Because Ireland has no north-south railway on its west coast, in order to get to Galway Sophie and I had to travel practically all the way back to Dublin, to a sleepy little town called Portarlington.  The train station was a gorgeous old building that was probably a house for leprechauns in the way-back-when.  They covered all the clover with a car park.  Sigh.  Progress.

We made it to Galway at about 5:00.  In spite of the fact that Cork was having its midsummer festival at the time that we were there, Galway was much, much busier and seemingly more touristy, although it is supposedly primarily a college town.  The Irish say that Galway is the most Irish of Irish towns.  Lots of shepherd’s pie and tin whistles.  I particularly liked Galway because it is on the ocean, and has an extremely mild climate.  The temperature rarely goes above eighty or below thirty year-round.  The only rough weather that Galway does get is wind, because of what scientists call Atlantic depressions, which means big old low-pressure areas, which is sort of just a fancy way of saying wind.

Thanks to my obsessive planning and printing of maps prior to our departure, and my trusty compass (his name is Red, although his body be Black), Sophie and I found the Salmon Weir hostel without any issues.  I actually booked the Ireland portion of our trip last, which meant that I was tiring of spending my future dollars, and so the quality of our accommodations was set to be a wee bit lower on the Emerald Isle than elsewhere.  The Salmon Weir was pretty much the bottom of the rung for us: tiny room, bed made of springs reclaimed from World War II, shared bathroom, etc.  It’s not that Sophie and I actually have a problem with any of those things; all that we really want out of a room is that it be clean and quiet.  We mostly like to avoid other people as much as possible, and a true hostel is designed to make sure you are constantly bumping into people who want to be your friends because they came to Europe all by their lonesome.  Also, the walls were thin as paper.  We slept poorly.

It took us a long time to find a place for dinner.  Not because there weren’t enough choices, but because there were too many and we had no way of knowing which were tasty and which were bunk.  We ended up eating at a restaurant called the Malt House, which was very expensive but also very delicious, at least by the standards of Irish fine food.  Sophie ordered nettle soup and salad, and I ordered a fillet of beef with blue cheese and a port sauce.  We shared a dessert of marinated strawberries and homemade frozen yogurt.

After the Malt House we decided that we had better save our dining dollars for the cities and towns with a higher baseline of tastiness.  That is to say, we decided not to waste any more money on fancy Irish food so we could indulge it in France, Spain, and Italy.  After dinner we headed back to the Salmon Weir and fell promptly asleep.

It should be noted that a weir is some sort of civil engineering device for the control of water and fish flow.  The largest one in Ireland was apparently quite near our hostel.  So when I say that we went to sleep at the Salmon Weir, I mean, of course, that we went back to our hostel, and not to sleep on what looks at first glance like a broken dam.

The next morning we wandered around Galway.  Our first stop was a bakery.  We needed to have Irish soda bread.  We needed to.  I had heard that it was a lot better in Ireland, both because they know what they’re doing and because the quality of the butter and buttermilk is much higher, and a meal of soda bread sounded right in line with our new cheap food philosophy.

We enjoyed our breakfast immensely.  Sophie liked the soda bread best, and I liked the sweet yeasty raisin rolls best.  Yum.

After breakfast we continued to wander.  First we wandered into their grand, Romanesque cathedral.  Sophie got mad at me because I didn’t see the sign that said “No Circulating During Services,” and proceeded to circulate.  Didn’t even get any good pictures.  Bad light in cathedrals.  Especially during services.

Following the cathedral we found a canal and decided to follow it to the ocean, which we hoped wouldn’t be too far away.  As it turns out, it was just a little bit past an unbelievably cute family of swans.

Baby swans make just about the cutest noise known to man.

We continued to wander and wander throughout Galway until 1:00, when we met Sophie’s friend Breige and her boyfriend Eoghan.  Sophie met Breige on the interwebs, which is the very place that you read these words. Coincidence?

Sophie, Breige, Eoghan and I all decided to go to a very traditional Irish restaurant for lunch so that Sophie and I could have some real Irish food before we left Ireland.  We laughed and socialized.  Sophie had traditional Irish vegetarian lasagna, and I had the shepherd’s pie.

The food was good, assuming appropriate expectations.  The Irish aren’t exactly known for their food.  It was sort of like cafeteria food with a big ol’ dose of love.  And a healthy dose of culture.

After lunch, Eoghan led us around on an impromptu tour of Galway.  We saw in turn: the Spanish Arch, a Pig Made of Sand, and the Creepy King.

Near the Creepy King was a cupcakes etc. store that Sophie and Breige, bound by their love of baking and sweets, decided to stop inside.  We ate our cupcakes on the steps of a nearby church.

Breige and Eoghan were lovely, and we are happy to have met them in real life.

Immediately after Breige and Eoghan left us for their home, on the coast near Shannon, I realized I was starving (I metabolize potatoes like nobody’s business), and we headed to a famous fish and chips place (McDonaghs?) that Eoghan recommended to us.  There was a picture of Terry O’Quinn on the wall.  I ordered cod, which is the traditional fish for fish and chips, being quite fatty and so resistant to overcooking, a favorite pastime of traditional chefs in Ireland and the U.K., and it was really, really good.  I mean super good.  Part of the deliciousness was the garlic sauce that I ordered alongside, but the rest of it was the fried fishy goodness.

The garlic sauce proved to be so powerful in its tastiness that the man sitting across from us outside kept whispering to his wife things like, “My God, dear, but I wish I had ordered some of that garlic sauce.  It looks fantastic.”  I only ended up using about half of the sauce, and so, being the good Samaritan that I am, I offered him the rest.  “Would you mind?” he said.  “I was coveting it a bit, wasn’t I?”  As we left, I overheard him again.  “My God!”  he exclaimed.

Never covet thy neighbor’s garlic sauce, lest it be so delicious that the Lord, almighty in his somnolence, might hear his name cried out in vain.  See more under Commandments, Lesser.

For the last bit of the day, Sophie and I decided to walk to the somewhat nearby district of Salt Hill (a mile or two walk along the stark Irish coastline) to see Ireland’s National Aquarium.

It’s a good thing that the walk was totally gorgeous, because the aquarium was a bit of a laugh.  I know that Alaska is about nine hundred times bigger than Ireland, but seriously, the Alaska Sea Life Center is much larger and way, way cooler.  It took Sophie and I about a half-hour to walk through the whole thing and the entrance fee was E10 per person.  The only two perks were the touchable manta ray exhibit and the story about the Salmon of Knowledge.  Seriously.  The Salmon of Knowledge.  Look it up.

This is how the Irish teach their children not to litter.

After the aquarium we walked home and laid in our tiny bed and looked out our tiny window and shut our tiny eyes and had a good, long sleep.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Corkity Cork Cork

Getting to Cork from London takes a long-ass time.  Thirteen hours, to be exact.  Sophie and I woke up at 5 AM to make our way by the Tube to London’s Euston Station in order to catch a 7:10 AM train.  We arrived in Cork at about 8 PM that night.

SailRail is an incredibly good deal.  It costs only E34.50 (E in this case being pounds) to get from London to Dublin.  The first train leg, from London to Chester, is a bit boring, but the ride from Chester through Wales to Holyhead is gorgeous and fine.  The ferry from Holyhead to Dublin is like most ferries: boring, but otherwise just fine.  We ran into trouble, however, getting from Dublin to Cork.

Dublin Ferry Port is sort of hell-and-gone from the city center.  Our only real option to get there was a bus that the ferry provided.  Another 5 euros each.  More than ten percent of our original fare.  Oh well.  The bus dropped us off at Connolly station, which was conveniently not the train station that we needed to get to Cork.  Heuston station was a half-hour tram ride away.  Another five euros.  Sigh.

We missed the 3:00 train to Cork by about two minutes, but we weren’t particularly worried because the train runs every hour basically all day.  We grabbed some train station food (Maynard’s wine gums, etc.), hunkered down on a bench, and waited to see what platform the Cork train would be assigned.  We waited,

And waited,

And waited,

And at about 3:52 I thought, “Jesus Christ, I’m just going to ask somebody,” and did.  The guy I asked, stand up Irish Rail employee that he was, was pretty pissed by my asking.  About twenty other people had asked him in the last minute, you see.  Perhaps that was because THEY DIDN’T POST THE INFORMATION ON THE BOARD AND WE WANTED TO GET ON THE TRAIN TO CORK.

Platform 10 had, to our great dismay, about a hundred thousand people lined up to get on the train.  Fortunately, the train’s capacity turned out to be about a hundred thousand people.  Sophie and I couldn’t find seats together, but we sat close to each other, and sat down expectant.  We had heard great things about Ireland’s scenery, you see.

Unfortunately, Irish Rail put the train tracks in possibly the most boring part of Ireland, so the scenery was nothing special.  Flat.  Trees.  Flat.  Cow.  Trees.  On top of that, we were informed by the commuters that the train was traveling about half as it should have been.  About an hour later we found out that the reduced speed was a result of broken engines, and disembarked about halfway to Cork to wait for a train that actually worked.

The train we got was the 5:00 train from Dublin, which was already completely full of people, so Sophie and I had to stand by the door with our giant backpacks and hope that people would get off soon so we could sit.  Eventually we just sat down on the floor and started to read.  We got up when we heard a commotion across the way.

Naturally, the commotion had been caused by a giant poisonous spider.  No one had been bitten, fortunately, but the presence of said ferocious beast (Its body was the size of a two euro piece! Its legs were the length of my little finger! Its malice was unmatched by the fiercest of salads!) forced Sophie and I to cling to each other like orphaned children with our four eyes locked to the tiny hole near the door that the spider had crawled into.  You know the saying, “It’s the icing on the cake?”  This wasn’t the icing on the cake.  This was the tarry mess that BP spilled on the cake.

Sophie has absolutely zero faith in my ability to successfully navigate us to any destination by foot--and to be honest, I can’t blame her--so when we arrived in Cork she immediately decided we were lost even though my map said that our hostel was a half a kilometer away on the same street as the train station.  The map was right, Thank God, and we arrived at the Windsor Inn with no real issues beside gnawing uncertainty for the better part of ten minutes.  The Windsor Inn, it turns out, is more of a pub than a hostel, and in order to get the keys to our room at the top of the stairs we had to inquire at the bar.  Lucky for us, the room was clean and had hot water and so we had no complaints.

A block or so from a hotel was a restaurant, Isaac’s, which claimed to have been voted the best in Cork.  We were totally exhausted at this point and probably would have stopped there even if they had instead claimed to have not killed anyone this month.  Sophie and I decided to share a salad to start.

Sophie’s main was a tasty Indian-spiced lentil soup.  I ordered the fish cakes.  The minute they arrived, I realized something.  “Don’t the Irish like smoked fish?”

I smelled the fish cakes.


My worst enemy in the form of a fried cake.  My appetite suddenly diminished, we paid the bill (bitterly, I might add) and walked the block or so back to our hotel, tails between our legs.  Once in bed we quickly fell asleep, haunted by dreams of fish and smoke.

The next day we mostly just wandered around Cork, which is really a lovely town.  It’d be a nice place to live, I think.  Things to do, and all, but generally quiet and quite beautiful.  Cork is also the foodie capital of Ireland, which basically means that there isn’t a whole lot of Irish food around.  We had lunch at a burger place with strong Indian influences.  I had a Paulaner, which is my favorite Hefeweizen, with my burger but staged the following photo to make it appear as if Sophie is savoring a pint.

Cork, it turns out, doesn’t drink Guinness.  Cork drinks Murphy’s.  Verdict: Murphy’s is stronger than Guinness.  Tastes a lot like coffee.  Less mainstream.  Like Cork.  Humm.  If you want to know the difference between Guinness and Murphy's, try to imagine the difference between Downy toilet paper and this, the premium toilet paper of Cork.

That's right.  KittenSoft.  Softer than ever.

Before Sophie and I left on this wonderful trip, I had a crazy idea.  “My time here is valueless, but my time in Europe will be quite valuable,” I thought.  “Instead of being jetlagged there, I should be jetlagged here!”  So I stayed up all night a couple of nights before our flight to Frankfurt.  One of those nights I booked a bunch of random shows for us to see in various places abroad.  One of those places was Cork, which was having its Midsummer Festival at the time we arrived.

We had tickets to see Mike Daisey, a self proclaimed “monologist.” What that means in real life is “hyper-dramatic storyteller.”  Luckily, he was good.  Really good.  Like Ira Glass on methamphetamine.  And without interviews.  So not really the same at all.  But meth’d out all the same.

I enjoyed Mike Daisey’s storytelling so much that I decided to take a picture of him which turned out to be  a huge mistake.  After sneaking off to the bathroom for totally legitimate reasons, I stood near the door in a sneaky position and snapped a picture.  Being a conscientious audience member, I made sure that the flash was off.  As I was (still) sneaking back to my seat, Mike Daisey, monologist extraordinaire, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Don’t take pictures of me.  It shines a light.”  Except it was more like this: “DON’T TAKE PICTURES OF ME OR I WILL KILL YOU.  IT SHINES A LIGHT AND I WILL KILL YOU.  I WILL KILL YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE INTERRUPTED ME AND I AM MIKE DAISEY RRRRUUUUUUURRRRGGH.”  Later in the show, Mike Daisey mentioned that he wished that he could remit people for their ignorance.  I would remit to you if I could, Mike Daisey!  I’m so sorry.  So very, very sorry.

I did get a picture, thought.  Here it is.  Was it worth it?

Once again, after the show Sophie and I went promptly to sleep.  Well, that’s not strictly true.  Sophie did try to call the human resources lady at Providence for a while.  But then we went to sleep.  Next up: Galway and Sophie’s friends from the interwebs.  I leave you with a picture of Sophie peeling an orange in the Windsor Inn and LV Bar Breakfast Room.  A full Irish breakfast is just not for her.

Friday, June 18, 2010

London, Day 2


The next morning we managed to sleep in just a touch, to about 7:30. Progress. We decided to spend the day in Chelsea. On the list: Harrods, Lebanese Food With Jenny, the Science Museum, and Dinner At A Gastro-Pub With Jenny And Pricey.

We got lost on the way to Harrods because I forgot which color represents north on a compass and guessed wrong. We only ended up about ten minutes out of our way, however (practice for Florence), and arrived at Harrods in time for a good romp through the food halls, which were totally awesome. Harrods is the Tiffany of food. They sold chocolate shoes!

I repeat. Chocolate shoes!

Aside from chocolate shoes they sold all sorts of fancy items that are hard to get most places, like passion fruits and foie gras. The pastries were really beautiful. Sophie was drooling. We didn’t buy anything both because we were about to eat lunch with Jenny and because we wanted to have some money left for the rest of the trip. The prices were, well, less than reasonable. Like Tiffany. Minus the magical blue box.  But they did have incredibly tempting biscuit-like scones at the bakery.

Lunch was at Al-Dar II with Jenny and Griffin. The food was really delicious all around, but I made the terrible mistake of ordering the “spicy salad.” Let me tell you: never order “spicy salad” at a Lebanese restaurant. The Lebanese are serious about their spicy food. At first glance it was a normal salad. Lettuce, onion, tomato, olive oil, a bit a of lemon… but peppered throughout were thousands upon thousands of fresh green chili seeds. Now, if you know anything about the anatomy of a chili, you know that the seeds themselves don’t actually produce any capsaicin, but they are attached to the most capsaicin-laden part of the plant: that white membrane on the sides of the pepper. And these peppers must have ranked about sixty gazillion Scoville units, so it was sort of like the seeds had been rubbed down by a fiery goddess of chili spice. In spite of all this, I forced myself to eat the whole thing (I was paying for it, after all). Sophie wouldn’t touch it. The mouth-blisters weren’t worth it to her.

Griffin is an extremely pleasant lunch-mate. He only ever has two things to say. One of them sounds like the word “shush,” but apparently can mean anything from the word “juice” to the word “more.” The other word is “yeah.” Sitting across from Griffin works out a lot like this: “SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH, SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH: SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH yeah.” The rest of the time he’s drinking juice like it’s the best thing he’s ever had. And you know what? He’s two years old. Maybe it is.

After lunch Sophie and I decided to go to the science museum. Science museums tend to be hit or miss, as you may or may not know. They tend to fall in one of two categories: boring and not-boring. Luckily, the London version is not boring, and on top of that, it’s free! Socialists.

The very first room you walk into contains about ten giant nineteenth-century steam engines that each have little computers with moving diagrams that explain to you how they work. Sophie, not being of the boy persuasion, breezed through the exhibit in about five minutes. “Engines!” she thought. “Huh!.” I, on the other hand, had a pressing need to understand exactly how each steam engine worked, so that I could build one if I ever really needed to.

“Oh!” I thought. “The steam goes in there.” My favorite piece of engineering was the type of governor the later engines used to regulate the steam supply and prevent blowout. The engine’s rotational motion was transferred to a little thing that had two weights connected to a valve. As the engine sped up, the two weights’ distance from the rotating shaft would increase (like an ice skater), partially shutting the steam valve. As the engine slowed down, the opposite would happen. In this way a feedback loop was set up that mostly kept the engine at a certain speed, depending on how the governor was tuned. Look it up. It’s really clever and exciting in a very dull kind of way.

This particular science museum also had a pretty giant hands-on section. For you Alaskans, it was like a giant Imaginarium. Unfortunately, it was densely populated by about a hundred fourteen-year old English schoolboys who were trying desperately to break everything in the room when we arrived. The museum people anticipated the presence of schoolboys, of course, and so built everything in the room out of forged steel, but they were noisy and not very accommodating and so Sophie and I decided to browse the museum’s rather large medical history exhibit. I won’t bore you with any of the details. Instead I’ll show you a picture of this castle, made entirely out of pills.

For dinner, Pricey and Jenny had hired a babysitter so we could all go out to a gastro-pub in Chelsea. Since I’ve forgotten the name of the place, and Sophie and I conveniently forgot to take pictures, I am not very motivated to tell you about the meal in detail. The highlights were:

Sophie’s obligatory Pimm’s and Lemonade,

My pea mousse,

And the sticky toffee pudding that we all shared for dessert. Yum.

Rest of night uneventful. Next up: traveling to Cork for the Midsummer Festival and being told off by Mike Daisey.