ickaimp: (Kidgrin)
Since people have been asking, figured I'd sit down and see how much London actually cost. Click the links to where I bought things.

Air Fare: $840
Place to Stay: $550
Transportation: $108
6 Day London Pass: $149
Insurance: $79
To & From Phoenix: $80
Cash in Hand (food, gifts, misc): $1200 (approx £730)

-I came back with £100($165) in hand, so about $2850 total. For 12 days of International travel.

In retrospect, would not have gotten the London Pass. Most of the places I wanted to go were free or ended up not being included in the London Pass, although there were a few places that I went to that I wouldn’t have otherwise. *shrugs*

The Insurance was a safety net, and very nearly needed it with getting sick and a 7 hour delay back, so glad I had it even if it wasn't used.

Missed the Shuttle back from Phoenix, so that was $40 lost.

All total, pretty pleased. ^__^

Currently have three trips in tentative planning stages, kinda hoping to get one solidified soon. Am feeling somewhat off balance without travel looming in the future. #^^#
ickaimp: (milkshake)
*yawns* sorry, been kinda brain dead once I get back to my room to crash the past couple of days. It rained all day today, and that certainly didn't help. >P

So yesterday I did the 'Tower Bridge Experience', and also re-visited the Tower of London, finally got to hear some of the Yeoman Warder stories of EXCECUTION!, as the Yeoman phrased it. Heard that they'd changed things around in the White Tower/Armoury, due to the Military Museum opening in Leeds.

Translation - same stuff as last time, except the 'Line of Kings' horse armour was removed, because some of the wood horses are the original 1600s ones, and they're concerned with breaking them.

Was told the Wallace Collection is the place to go for period swords, and the Museum of London for armour other than plate. Since the latter also currently has an exhibit on Surgeons and Graverobbers, it was on the list anyway. May also have illuminations.

Not-Tweets from Yesterday:

Sometimes riding the Tube reminds me of rides at Disneyland. You're on a track, can see the car ahead, and colourful adverts blurring by.

Some of the boats docked in St Katherine's dock are from the 1800s. The one at the end is from 1806.

And randomly, a police van drives over the bridge, playing Beatles Christmas carols.

The Mayor's Building is directly opposite the Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London. Coincidence?

Yeoman Warder taunting two small boys in the front of the crowd with the story of the two dead princes. Riiiight about their ages. Ish.

-Second Yeoman walking past is Executioner of the Day, he has an opening at 5pm for two small boys.

Yeoman just warned us that there's still an active torture chamber at the Tower. It's called the Gift Shop.


Today, went to the British Museum and took nearly 600 pics, most of them with an eye towards future A&S projects, either for myself, or things I know friends are interested in. Placards with explanations are usually within a couple of photos. Couldn't get it into Picasa easily, so those are up in Drop box. The first 70 are out of order, then they're pretty much linear as I went.

Will have to go back, saw about 2/3rds of what I wanted to before screaming kids, teenagers pretending to drop kick cases of 3,000 year old artefacts, and footie score discussions did me in. Egyptian mummy room gave me an annoyed vibe, so didn't lurk there, although I'm wondering if it's better when emptier.

The debate is if I return tomorrow and catch the last day of 'Shakespeare's World', or do I go elsewhere and come back on a weekday?

22 Nov

Nov. 22nd, 2012 09:34 pm
ickaimp: (Default)
Should be writing today up and uploading pictures, but right now I'm sewing. Sewing?, you may ask. Y'see, it's like this, I noticed what kind of coats people were wearing and noticed that while most were mid-thigh, there were a few that just came to the waist or went to the ankle. But either way, there was one major theme.... fitted waists, usually flairing out. Very flattering, no matter the body type.

My baggy trench? Getting a lot of weird looks. So I found a coat. Told myself that I'd open the budget up a bit if I could get a leather one, for riding the scooter in Tucson. Found a leather one that goes mid-thigh for £50, but it's.... awkwardly tight in the hip after fitting over the bust. So I'm fixing that. Have leather needles and thread, will add gussets.

... May have to put a dart in the back too... hmm...

It's really confusing my hosts. "You're doing what?!"

So the original plan for today was to be ironic and visit Buckingham Palace and either Westminster or St. Paul's Cathedral in honour of the American Thanksgiving.

But to paraphrase Eddie Izzard, it's a good thing I'm not the Church of England, cause I changed my mind.

Went to Leicester Square to redeem my London Pass so I could get into those places and realised it was familiar. The Tube let's out right next door to the Wyndham Theatre, were Megs and I saw David Tenant and Catherine Tate in 'Much Ado About Nothing'. And the place to redeem is next to the National Portrait Gallery.

Which much to my surprise, is across the street from Saint-Martin's-in-the-Field, and the Cafe in the Crypt.

Guess where I had my morning tea? ^__^ It was a lot brigher than I expected, not gloomy at all.

From there, I followed shiny object to shiny object, until I was suddenly in front of Big Ben. And across the Thames from Big Ben? The London Eye.

It's my birthday gosh darnit, I went on the London Eye because I've been wanting to go on it for YEARS.

Brb, shower.

-Wow, came home at the right time, it's raining out.

Anyway, on my way from Big Ben to the Eye, ended up getting my fortune told, except the wind kept stealing the woman's words. Prolly a good thing, she kept going on about a man in my life who gives me money-? O_o

The Eye was great! The ride was so smooth, couldn't tell when we stopped or started for the wheelchairs except through observation. Was very cool.

From there, got really lost, Embankment past the Ministry of Defense, until suddenly I was at Charring Cross and really confused. Stopped by a coffee house and asked about their Mocha, not sure if I wanted the caffeine or not. Dunno if I looked like I needed it or not, but the lady told me sit down, it was on the house, and no one would tale my money. So I put it in the donation box for the homeless that they had. Good mocha too.

From there, wandered in circles in Convent Garden, finding a place that makes gorgeous embroidered Swedish clothing and Bolongard Trevor, who in addition to carrying some really odd vinatge stuff (birds in jars) does some interesting things with digital prints, like taking photos of pinned moths from an antique collection and using it as a print on a dress.

From there, tried to find z place that sold wool or yarn, and was directed to John Lewis Department store 'just up the street' to Oxford, which is always a bad sign. Got lost around Tottenham Court, was directed to go 'under a building' (totally true) before finally finding it.... on the faaaaaaar side of Oxford Circus.

After which, I took a double Decker bus back to Whitechapel. FYI? Bus MUCH slower than the Tube.

.... Which brings me back to sewing. ^__^
ickaimp: (PervyKaitouFancier)
So in addition to the frantic flurry of tweets on the way to the airport, if I had the access, further tweets would have sounded something like this:

Lady from Warsaw now calling me 'Magic Girl' after I explained the symbolisms on her Maori necklace. Now have the blessings of God and Buddha.

Taking longer to find where to get my rail pass than to go through immigration. Counter #5 is the lucky charm!

I'm sitting across from a blond, French version of Janine from Ghostbusters on the Tube.

Swear the Tube announcer lady is pronouncing 'Upminister' as 'Up N' Stuff'.

Stepped out of Whitechapel Station and into a Bangladesh Market. Awesome!

Hee hee. They have a full sized poodle at the B&B. Utter sweetie. Like it here!

I'm a block away from London Hospital! Dude, building looks like its got either a space probe or a giant amoeba in it. Photos later.
ickaimp: (Kidgrin)
I leave Tuesday for London, so put a post on FB and Twitter asking if there was anything I could bring back from England for people.

Thus far the responses are:
Matt Smith
Photos of things in Museums
Crazy stories
A Corset
Alan Rickman
The City and Buildings of Liverpool
Photos of me in a Corset
A Doll in some sort of UK clothing
Photos from the Royal Armouries of "rapiers, hilts, and any armour that's leather lookin"
-Why didn't you take any photos of swords last time?
We Will Build You A Corset.
Prince Harry

I also have requests for a pin/lanyard from Hard Rock Cafe, a rock from somewhere in London, and real Cadbury Chocolate, a jewel-toned scarf, and a mug of the London Tub that says 'Mind the Gap'.
... And my boss wants "Genetic material from the Queen".

Any other requests? Preferably small and non-living?

Yay!

Oct. 20th, 2012 09:21 am
ickaimp: (milkshake)


My mood this past week. Been staying up way late to work on two illuminations due for this weekend, on top of recovering from the Zombie Walk last weekend.

The plus side is that it turns out my brain really really likes painting the woodcut style, since it's big and bold, with lots of lines. It's not subtle at all! \o/ Will post them as soon as I get pics.

Have also been a good girl and went to book a room through AirBnB to stay at in London. Did have to up my budget, but think I'm much happier.

The major concern I had is that the site wants clear photos of your face on the site (which makes sense, since you're renting people's spare rooms) and the most recent one I could find was me gothed up at the Zombie Walk, grinning manically and threatening Talia's BJD Cat with a pair of scissors.

Got word back today that my booking was accepted. The host couple participated in this year's London Zombie Pub Crawl, they'll show me the pics when I get there.

And best yet? It's in Whitechapel. ^_________^
ickaimp: (Seto_Dreamer)
Got an email from British Airlines saying my flight out to London was cancelled, they were moving it from 19 Nov to 20 Nov, which meant only 8 days in London and two travelling.

Called them up, they moved the flight back from 29 Nov to 1 Dec, which means an EXTRA DAY IN LONDON!!!! \o/ With no fees! And I still have Sunday, 2 Dec to get over jetlag before work on Monday!!!

Huzzah!!!

Holy Crap

Jul. 12th, 2012 09:54 am
ickaimp: (PervyKaitouFancier)
... 130 Days before I fly out to London for ten days. @_@

And I still need to figure out a place to stay. *flail* Suggestions?
ickaimp: (Seto_Dreamer)
Heading to a foreign country by myself again! why yes, I did fail my sanity check, why do you ask?

Tickets are booked for London. Flying out 19 Nov, flying back the afternoon of 29 November.

Still need to figure out where to stay, prefer B&Bs over hotels, but the tickets out are the big thing. ^__^
ickaimp: (Zim_Bored)
So there's this deal that's good until Monday. $815 roundtrip (including taxes) from Phoenix to London, flying between 26 Oct. - 16 Dec.

My birthday this year falls on the American Thanksgiving in November. Which is not a British Holiday. But it does mean if I go then, I have automatic time off anyway.

One of the big things I was bummed about last July was the fact that I didn't get a chance to explore that much of London's museums, and figured next time I went, would either just spend a week in London, or avoid it all together.

The airfare would be around half of the cash I have on hand for a scooter. Which means pushing back getting a scooter for another month or two. edit: nevermind, forgot to budget this week's cheque.

So it is possible.

The thing being is that there's other things/goals for the year other than running off to the UK again.
New Scooter.
New Place.
Visiting [personal profile] savvyliterate and [personal profile] gigabahamut666 on the East Coast.

The latter was originally planned for Oct, but could push that back to Sept to have time to juggle finances. If I can beg airfare from someone whose miles are about to expire, that would make budgeting that much better, since that's the big expense.

New Place, beginning to think that that's not going to happen until May/June, when the students clear out and more housing opens up anyway. Look for a studio or a mother-in-law's house, hopefully around $350 a month.

New Scooter... Well, I do have tax money coming in. Honestly, I miss the freedom of going where I want to go when I want to go, but I can schlup the bus for a while longer.

So.... The question then becomes, if I do go to London for my birthday, how long do I go for? Week and a half? What dates? If I book a B&B now, it'll be cheaper, although I don't know what the Olympics in London this July is going to do to the exchange rates....

Suggestions? Opinions? Beuller?

[Edit: *le sigh* Okay, checked out prices. It looks like the best dates are Monday, 19 Nov to Thursday, 29 Nov. Any closer to Thanksgiving and the prices jump.]

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