Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Went to England and All You Got Was This Lousy Blog Post

a few months ago, my friend, Ashley and i went to England to visit our friend, Sali. i had heard that airfares were fairly cheap (thank you, Recession! we are in the middle of one, in case you hadn't heard. the media has been very hush hush about it.) so i checked around and found a great deal on a round trip, non stop flight on British Airways. my mom offered to buy me the ticket as a very early birthday and xmas present. nope, not spoiled at all, thank you very much.

so, i called my favorite travel buddy, Ashley and asked if she wanted to go with me. she is always up for a trip and immediately said, "yes." we are on the phone sorting out which dates do and don't work for us and all those details. about 15 minutes into the conversation i said, "wait, shouldn't one of us call Sali and see if she even wants us to visit?" i just assume everyone welcomes the pleasure of company and has a guest room waiting for me at all times. just ask my friend, Vanessa. i invite myself to her house all the time.

Sali obviously said yes, and we were on our way!

prior to our arrival, Sali asked us if there was any attraction in particular we wanted to see. now, one of the reasons Ashley is my favorite travel buddy is that she travels like i do. we don't give a flying flip about tourist attractions. we travel to shop. she arrives at every destination with a list of outlet stores, maps and an American Express card in hand. and i just follow her. it's perfection.

i told Sali there was one thing i wanted to do more than anything. i wanted to go to a Tesco. now, if you don't know what Tesco is, just know that was akin to someone coming to America and saying, "i want to go to Target. now."

i love going to foreign places and shopping like a local. the products are always just different enough to fascinate me. and Tesco did not disappoint. they had a whole aisle of nothing but baked beans. shelves and shelves of different flavors of baked beans. i spent 20 minutes in that aisle alone.

we spent three hours there, staring at products and asking Sali inane questions. "filler? what the hell is filler? Sali, what's filler?"

"you put it in sandwiches."

"oh my god, pre made egg salad for egg salad sandwiches? England is SO MUCH BETTER than lousy old America!"

yes, three hours of that.

Sali drank heavily that night. we don't know why.

now, being the dork that i am, i HAD TO take a picture of myself outside of Tesco. the point being to capture me and the Tesco sign. those are the kind of vacation photos i take. i asked Ashley to snap the pic for me.

now, THIS was the picture i had in mind.

however, that was take two. this was take one. we all like to tease Ashley about being a stupid, illiterate gold digger because of some vicious lies an exfriend used to tell about her. but then sometimes, it's just too easy.

Sali lives outside of London. we decided to spend two days in London and Sali was kind enough to get us a really swank hotel room to thank us for coming out to visit. again, not spoiled at all.

on our first day in London we were headed for TopShop. if you haven't been there, it's a great clothing store that sells trendy, fashionable clothes at great prices. it's also the loudest place in the world. remember that tidbit for later. it will be important.

we walked thru Hyde Park on the way there and stopped for a quick snack. while we were sitting there, i mentioned to Sali that i had a headache, but no aspirin.

she offers me a Feminax, the British version of Midol. it's sold over the counter, but she promised it was really strong and asked me if i wanted one or two pills. the headache wasn't too bad, so i took one. thank god.

we set off on foot to TopShop. as we are walking, i start to get really tired and hazy. thinking jet lag had finally hit me, i just kept plugging along. i barely make it to TopShop. wandered around for a little, but could barely stand upright. i made my way to the shoe dept and found a chair. and promptly fell dead asleep. in the noisiest place on earth. i wasn't dozing, i was knocked the fuck out and surrounded by blaring music and about a hundred shoe shoppers.

one hour later (yes, one hour), Ashley came and found me and woke me up. she offered to let me sleep for another hour while they continued to shop and promised they would come back and get me. i seriously considered this offer. but then i looked at my watch and realized the store was closing soon. so i fought my way out of the haze and we headed to a pub.

slowly coming around, i jokingly asked Sali if she slipped me a roofie.

she said, "no, it was just codeine!"

needless to say, i bought two boxes of that stuff before i came home.

i was kind of pissed at myself because i love the shoe section of TopShop, dammit! but luckily, the next day i found two super cute pairs of shoes in Notting Hill.


a huge part of the appeal of these shoes is the fact that i haven't seen them anywhere in America. i knew people would ask me where i got them and i could very smugly, yet modestly, answer, "oh, i bought them the last time i was in London. i don't think you can buy them here." because i do so love getting my smug on.

and then these! my god, will the cuteness never stop? those are holes at the toes. so chic.

speaking of things you can't buy in America...

yes, you are reading that right. Cajun Squirrel flavored crisps (chips, for those that don't know). Walker Crisps is running their annual Vote For A New Flavor Contest. they release seven test flavors and ask people to vote for their fave. one of the other test flavors was Chocolate Chili. we tried that one and it was ok, but the flavors seemed layered. take a bite and taste chili. then chocolate. then back to chili.

i actually tried these. curiosity got the better of me. know how curiosity killed the cat? they fed it Cajun Squirrel crisps.

the first bite was ok. all i tasted was a vague spicy Cajun flavor. more Cajun. still Cajun. then the squirrel flavor kicked in. it kicked in. it was the taste of evil. these will be served at parties in hell.

and the flavor LINGERED.

so, after 5 days in England, i came home with skull shoes, codeine and squirrel flavored snacks. i bet the TSA had a BLAST looking thru my suitcase.


  1. I loved this post! I've heard tidbits of stories about your trip but this condensed everything and made it easier to process. The shopping thing is the same for me, last time we were in Montreal our hosts wanted to take us to a bunch of touristy places and all I wanted to do was go to the supermarket and Mexx.

  2. I do love the skull shoes; and when you finally get to Nashville we'll try to make certain you can go back to Cali as smug as possible.

  3. I heard that Feminax story in Jackson told by the other 2/3 of the participants. Still freaking funny. And I think we were all pissed at Sali for not bringing enough of it to share with the group!

  4. OMFG! I want those shoes, now. Pass on the rodent chips, however.

  5.!!! What a freaking hilarious post.

    I seriously want to travel with you girls. Y'all go to the best places.