Monday, 22 June 2015


Another day at work, another destination. I'd never been to Washington before and I was determined to see some of the top tourist spots. Luckily quite a few of my colleagues had the same plan when we arrived so after waking up nice and early we met for an adventure into the political centre of the USA.
We stopped a lovely little deli and grabbed some brainfood for the day. I had a delicious homemade salmon and dill cream cheese on my bagel. Great start to the day.

Firstly we stopped by the White House which was mostly cordoned off by the Secret Service (who weren't doing such a great job of keeping a low profile) and after about 6 minutes there were a flurry of sirens and racing jeeps sporting the US flag. I had tried to take a video and thought I'd captured some american bystander shout "It's Obama, wave to Obama!" but on review of all my camera footage I had two 3 second clips. Fail.

Can you see that little black figure on the roof? It's a sniper.
It's a tough day at work for the men of the Secret Service and their facial grooming.
This guy didn't give two monkeys about the president's apparent drive-by and swung himself while amusing the men on duty.
Oh, I just love capturing other people's photo ops!

We continued towards the Washington Monument and it soon became apparent that we were not the only tourists to brave the blistering hot day. There were so many school trips who were travelling in what appeared to be groups of a hundred! Spot the school trip!

My team of the day!
The Washington Monument and I
Such a lovely view down to the Lincoln Memorial from the Monument too!
From inside the Lincoln memorial
Big Lincoln himself.
Heehee, I love catching people taking selfies too!
Memorial detail
After a stop at the nearest refreshment spot to get an ice cream and a fridge magnet we head to the mall to spend the rest of our US Dollars. I'll never have any trouble spending my dollars at the end of my US visits.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Going Solo in Hamburg

The rare unicorn of the workplace. The european standover. You look confused!? Let me explain.
The european standover is one of the rare trips you're likely to be allocated in my line of work. A standover is typically a trip which gets you into a destination on day one, gives you the whole day 2 to roam and takes you back to LHR AM on day 3.
Sure, the biggest drawback of actually winning one of these long european trips is that you'll be riding this unicorn solo. You'll be dropped off by one team and head back with another; You'll be left with no colleagues to share the experience with. Still, it's a day in a Euro city you've probably never been to!

On the evening of arrival I met our outbound team in the hotel bar where we get a really good rate on food and drinks. I enjoyed a few Riesling and later really enjoyed a third free of charge from the waiter. *Wink wink* Perks of being female I suppose!
That evening I agreed to meet the flight crew for dinner on day 2, hoping I wouldn't fall out with myself after all that time spent alone.

Friday morning, I woke up a little later than I planned and got my gym bits on, gearing up for a run around the Outer Alster Lake. Little did I anticipate that my run would be in 30degree heat. I alternated between light jog and brisk walk thanks to the heat and my crap lung capacity. Most infuriatingly, I was being "beat" by a woman jogging at baby pace. Now, I'm aware that you don't win or lose against anyone but yourself in the physical challenge of a morning jog but crossing paths and always ending up behind really got on my nerves.
Later, I took a walk to the town hall and took my baby camera.

Cafe around the Ratheaus
Man chillin' around the WW1 memorial
Mini Hamburg in brass
From the City Hall Square I decided to embark on a walk to visit St Michael's Church. The walk was scenic and the Church was magnificent. I paid €5 to climb to the top of the spire, awarding me fantastic views of the city!

St Michael's Church
Up the equivalent of 2 x Covent Garden Station stairs and you've arrived at the top!
World's crappest selfie!
On the way back through the city I stopped at Casa Rita for an antipasti and glass of wine. I deserved it!
As I found my inner Carrie Bradshaw I looked fondly on my belongings taking the seat of what could have been company *sigh* 

Oh well! Later that day the flight crew took me to their 'Club' room where we enjoyed free drinks (Pinot Grigio for me please!) before heading out to the sun terrace to soak up the last of the sun. Afterwards we went to this cool burger and cocktail joint nearby called Hans Im GlΓΌeck. Apparently it's a student hotspot. We ate outside but seriously how impressive is the tree interior!?

Straight to bed with digestive problems. Woken up with a 0330 GMT wakeup call on day 3. Who even cares. It was a pleasure Hamburg. SMOOCHEZ.