Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympic Park - London 2012.


Today I visited the Olympic Park. The park itself is huge, and incredibly spacious with loads of room to walk around, grassy areas to sit and watch the events on big screens, eating places, and of course the stadiums and arenas. We had a picnic, watched Tom Daley and the synchronized diving on the big screen, and then stood and watched them filming for NBC, where we met Ryan Seacrest and Bruce Jenner. 






 NBC Today Show filming English foods (except they filmed them with no vegetables, just meat and carbs. So instead of bangers, mash and peas...they just had bangers and mash :S)

 I love how Ryan Seacrest looks so happy...bless him. Also he actually looks really different in real life to how he looks on TV!

My brother and I with Bruce Jenner, Olympic Medalist and step-father to the Kardashian sisters.
Sorry these photos are in black and white, but I had no make-up on (my parents were rushing to get me out the house this morning and I completely forgot until we were on the train and I freaked out before having a sulk :/)


The biggest and most exciting part of the day though, was meeting Andy Lee, from The Hamish and Andy Show. The Hamish and Andy show is an Australian radio show, and we used to listen to them everyday on the way home from school. 'Hame' and Andy are so unbelievably funny, and they have two CD's with their pranks and funniest moments on, and I always listen to them when I'm driving. 

Anyway, so we were just walking by the Velodrome, when we saw three Aussie men, and one of which looked like Andy Lee. My brother, mum and I were standing there casually looking in their direction trying to work out if it was him or not, and couldn't decide, so we all closed our eyes and listened to his voice to see if it was the same as on the radio show - it was! We must have looked like complete idiots, and my Dad was a bit confused, but we were so excited so went up to him and started chatting to him. He was so nice! And he even introduced himself and asked what our names were and shook our hands before posing for a photo. He and his friends were in their way to see Australia play France in the basketball for Andy's birthday.


My brother was also in this photo, but he ruined it by having his eyes closed...so I cut him out.

We had a fantastic day at the Olympic Park, but if you want to go I think all of the Olympic day passes are sold out now :( 

Oh, and we also saw the Prime Minister, David Cameron!


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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Granger & Co.


I told you all ages ago that I would eventually get around to reviewing Granger & Co in Notting Hill, and well, months later, I finally did it! I've been going there quite a bit lately after a friend took me, I've become a liiiittle bit addicted to their Ricotta Hot Cakes and Courgette Fries.

Situated on Westbourne Grove, this trendy brunch spot in Notting Hill is a must if you love casual dining and delicious food! Started by Bill Granger, an Australian, he's brought the Aussie 'cafe culture' from Sydney to London with Granger & Co, and because of this, he is my hero. I've been missing the Australian cafe culture ever since I moved back to London from Perth three years ago, so when my friend took me here, I fell to my knees in thanks. Not literally. That would be weird.

Granger and Co London

Granger & Co London
I had my usual; the ricotta hotcakes with fresh banana, honeycomb butter and maple syrup drizzled over for good measure, along with my favourite courgette fries with lime and coriander mayo...

Granger & Co Ricotta Hot Cakes
Ricotta Hot Cakes.

Granger & Co Courgette Fries
Courgette Fries
My friend Mr H had the fragrant fish curry with jasmine rice and cucumber relish, he said it ws delicious, and he loved the fact it was quite a sweet and fruity curry.

Granger & Co Fragrant Fish Curry
Fragrant Fish Curry.
Granger & Co London
That empty looking corner of the counter is usually filled with huge creamy cakes and delicious home-made muffins. Sadly we had a very late brunch (4pm), so they had all gone from the afternoon coffee rush by the time we got there :'(

If you feel like popping in, expect to queue first thing in the morning and around lunch-time, Granger is a very popular place. But just wait patiently and they'll get you seated as soon as possible, and I promise it's worth the wait. Also, I've never tried the burger as I'm a creature of habit, but it looks amazing! If you try it - let me know...if it's good enough, maybe I'll break my habit next time I go there ;)

Thank you Granger & Co, for bringing Aussie style food to London! I <3 You.


Granger & Co on Urbanspoon Square Meal
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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Zion National Park, Utah.


Firstly, I am so sorry for being so awful at these holiday posts! Only two left (this one and Vegas), and then I'll do the reviews of my favourite eating places in the US, as well as a review of the Vegas hotel and Warner Bros. Studios.

Secondly, Zion National Park was probably my second favourite place we visited after Beverly Hills. Zion is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and magical places I have ever seen. It was truly humbling to stand amongst the running streams, green trees, and stare up at the huge canyon of rock, knowing how lucky I am to be a part of this crazy and incredible world. It was paradise.


This is pretty much the image I used to have as a child of what Heaven would look like, except I imagined it with a few more clouds (with Angels on the clouds of course) and waterfalls everywhere :P teehee



We found a friendly critter or two along the way

 I just couldn't get over the sense of peace in this place. As you can see I decided to test out the shutter speed with the GF3...


This was at the end of the 'easy' path for the trail called 'The Narrows', sadly we didn't have the right equipment to cross the river and go any further on to the harder part of the trail.



Personally I preferred Zion National Park to Grand Canyon National Park, but I think maybe it would feel a lot different if you stood at the bottom of Grand Canyon and stared up - it was just too overwhelming to grasp how huge and great Grand Canyon was, whereas Zion had the perfect mix of overwhelming, humbling, and awe-inspiring beauty.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Graduation.


Yesterday was my Graduation from University, where I officially got my degree! I also now officially have letters after my name; Catherine Lux BSc Hons. YAY!

The day was wonderful, and thankfully the sun shone! It was a little too warm in our huge thick gowns though, and my make-up pretty much melted off in the 33 degree heat. We were also really lucky in that the Olympic Torch passed through our campus just an hour after the graduation ceremony finished, with Katy B and Mark Ronson carrying it! I saw Katy B, but Mark Ronson was over the other side of campus waiting for it, and there was no way I was running across campus in heels! 

Me with the moving Isambard Brunel Statue!

The Korean Olympic team are staying in my old halls!

The back of the gown.
I wore my Yull Primrose Shoes!

Olympic fun!

Katy B with the Olympic Torch!

Rosa and I throwing our caps in the air - mandatory photo.



Thanks for the amazing memories and incredible friends Brunel - toodle pip!

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Grand Canyon, Arizona.


Everyone has always told me that I would feel 'humbled' by the Grand Canyon. Did I? No. I felt really overwhelmed! It's so huge that it was so hard to grasp the full scale of it, and I ended up feeling very overwhelmed, and not humbled at all. In fact, it was Zion National Park that humbled me.

We had a full day at Grand Canyon, but if you want to do some hiking you'll really need two full days to explore. There wasn't much to do in the Grand Canyon hotel/town strip (outside of the National Park), so I think if I were to go again, I would stay in Flagstaff and then get the train to Grand Canyon, and it's one of those gorgeous old 1950's trains with the verandah on the back, as right by Flagstaff is a stretch of Route 66 that has apparently been preserved and still has all the old gas stations and diners with the old 1950's cars outside them. Unfortunately when we drove through Flagstaff we couldn't go and see it as we just didn't have time. Also if you take the train you get three hours at Grand Canyon, which is the perfect time for the kinda thing we did - just hop on and off the shuttle's at the various view points. 


An absolutely beautiful place!


My brother and I being daredevils and standing right on the edge!

 Just casually swinging my legs over the edge, with a one and a half mile drop below me!



We saw five California Condors, which are completely incredible and truly breathtaking birds, not to mention, absolutely huge!






 There's a small settlement part way round the trail with a hotel, a couple of shops and cafes.



Grand Canyon is definitely worth a trip, and I really wish we had done a Mule ride down to the bottom of the canyon, but you had to be there at 9am, and we just didn't get up early enough to go. We spent quite a bit of time walking around the route just taking it all in, every time we walked round a corner with some trees obscuring the view, the scenery above would just suddenly come into view and my breath would catch in my throat. So awe-inspiring, so overwhelming, so...just...wow.

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