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Semi-Annual Post

Since I last checked in here, lots of stuff has happened. Six months worth of stuff. For example: We released Issue No. 7 of Anthology in April, and we’re just about to drop Issue No. 8. I know! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been at this for two years now.

And there have been a lot of trips, some small and some big. The most recent was a vacation that Jon and I took to Dublin, Edinburgh and London. It rained every day. But that’s why I packed four pieces of outerwear that were rainproof. (Boy, were they put to the test!) We still had an amazing time — despite the rain, despite a train cancellation, despite our London hotel botching our reservation (finding out that you don’t have a room pretty much sucks when you’ve just arrived after a five-hour train ride), despite the three-hour delay for our return flight.

We did quite a lot in our ten-day trip. Below are a few highlights from each city:

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Francis Bacon's studio at the Dublin City Gallery

Dublin

  • On the least rainy day of our vacation, we walked all over town — including to the Dublin Writers Museum and Dublin City Gallery, which are just a couple of doors apart and definitely worth checking out. The latter includes Francis Bacon’s art studio, which was moved from London and installed in the museum. It is amazing.
  • Whenever we travel together, if possible, Jon and I try to set aside some time for afternoon tea; it’s just a nice respite from the usual pace of things. We made a reservation for the Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel, and it was exactly what we needed after a big downpour that caught us off guard (i.e., Jon did not have an umbrella).
  • I’m not even going to pretend like we’re too cool to visit the #1 tourist attraction in Ireland: the Guinness Storehouse.
  • While we were wandering around Trinity College, there was a cricket match going on. So we sat and watched for a while, and I have no clue what was going on. But how often do you get a chance to watch a cricket match? Not often in the States.

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Heart motif on the grounds of St. Giles' Cathedral

Edinburgh

  • When traveling, I love finding shops that carry the work of local artists and designers. Red Door Gallery is just that.
  • We had a fantastic dinner at Restaurant Martin Wishart. We opted for the six-course tasting menu, and I’m so glad we did! The portions were just right (meaning, I didn’t feel ill afterwards), and everything was delicious. The service was incredibly friendly, too.
  • The shopgirl at Swish recommended that we check out the new-ish National Museum of Scotland, so we did. She was right about the crazy diverse collection; there's something for everyone. We also visited the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

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Folklore in Islington

London

  • Our time in London coincided with the final days of the Louboutin exhibit at the Design Museum, so of course I dragged Jon there. The museum is usually on our agenda, but we had never seen it so crowded! The Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery are also must-visits for us. Ditto for the V&A; they've got some great exhibits right now, including one highlighting the work of Heatherwick Studio.
  • Liberty of London. I love love love this place. And they were having a big sale, so I loved it even more. The display for their Nike collaboration was pretty sad — with just three lonely shoes on a platform. Luckily, they had a pair in my size; the shoes were one of the things on my wish list when we set out on the trip.
  • Another was some fabric to reupholster a stool. We took advantage of the sale at Designers Guild and picked up some fabric there. (The stool is at the upholstery shop now, and I’ll have to post again once I get it back.)
  • Food-wise, Borough Market and The River Café simply do not disappoint. And after a walk through Portobello Market, breakfast at Tom’s yielded my new obsession: peanut butter + jelly + banana French toast. Though it wasn’t really French toast because the bread wasn’t dipped in a milk-egg mixture (merely grilled), but it was so good!
  • We also went to Ottolenghi for dinner one night, and it was a great excuse to check out the Islington neighborhood. There are some super cute shops over there, including Folklore (which carries Anthology).

Oh! We almost had a Royal Family sighting! Prince William was getting knighted at the church next door to our hotel in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, we had to get out of town right before he and his crew arrived. If only we had known our train was going to get cancelled, we could have been among the throngs waiting for them.

One more thing: While walking on O’Connell Street in Dublin, we came across Dr. Quirkeys Good Time Emporium, which we had never heard of. Jon thought it was like a Dave & Busters. I suggested that it was a porn palace. He was more right than me. But, c’mon, it could easily have been something salacious.