Last Day in Phoenix

My last day in Phoenix got rained out, but the rain was a welcome reprieve from the heat. I’m sure the locals would agree.

I will have to visit Phoenix again one day soon, during the winter months, when I have more time to plan and more things will be open.

But, to make the most of the day, I decided to go out anyway. I did not go out for very long; the rental car that I was driving was very small and I’m nervous about driving in the rain in foreign places. In Houston, where I live, it floods a lot, so I am always concerned about street flooding, no matter where I am.

To start the day, I decided to go out of the way to get lunch. I ended up at the In and Out Burger, a place that I’ve heard a lot about!

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I cannot recommend the In N Out burger, though. The menu is very limited and the burger wasn’t that great. Perhaps there’s something that I am missing? Maybe that’s the fun of it, having fewer choices and eating a small burger? I’m not sure. Like the media  always does, I’ll blame the hype of this establishment on the millenials. Sorry Millenials. Ha, ha, just kidding. No, seriously, what’s so great about this place? The bun didn’t even have sesame seeds on it. A disgrace!

The rest of the day, I just drove around, somewhat randomly, taking photos and looking at things along the highways.

Whatever this thing was, it was the highlight of my drive. I had never seen anything like this. It is a, ummm, I have no idea. It’s like a very large hill, but the sides have big holes. It’s like Swiss cheese had a baby with a mountain, or something like that. Perhaps I should Google it and get a proper name for it. Whatever it was, it was majestic and very, very interesting!

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The most surprising thing about Phoenix was the architecture. I really liked how lots and lots of the buildings were one story; many had flat roofs. Then, there were these really, really interesting buildings, like this apartment building, that kind of shot up along the roads. Many of the newer apartment buildings were, what’s a good word…fantastical! Very interesting designs, colors, shapes, etc. And, I love how the folks in Phoenix incorporate greenery into the landscape in interesting ways. This was an apartment building in Scottsdale, which isn’t very fair from downtown Phoenix. Look at those bright red patios and hanging plants over every balcony! GORGEOUS.

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This is the shirt I wore to drive around. It’s a glitter skull. I was going to wear it to the John Mayer concert and look super cool, but I found the other shirt and wore that one instead.

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The photo below will only be humorous to the folks in my hometown of Shreveport. I saw this place, named Kokopeli’s and laughed out loud. In my hometown, Kokopeli’s is a very rowdy and often times fatally violent night club. To see this quaint little gift shop baring the same name was like an inside joke that I shared with myself.

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I saw these horse sculptures while riding around in Scottsdale.

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This video shows a short detour that I took through a residential area. Look at the short houses and the really, really nice roads. I also found Phoenix to be very, very clean!

This video shows more of the very nice and well kept roads in Phoenix.

 

And on to my last Phoenix related story!

Take a look at these two gentlemen.

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These two probably nice, but definitely ANNOYING gentlemen were in front of me at the airport. Goodness!

These two guys were German, and I think they came to Phoenix to buy every, single used electronic item in the whole damn city.

Do you know how nowadays you have to take out your “larger than an iPhone” electronics and place each one in a separate bin? These guys used probably 10 different bins, I’m not kidding. They very methodically took out every, single, damn, item, oh, my, GOD.

I am glad that I’m usually at the airport very early; I was able to wait behind these guys and still have time to eat a salad and walk leisurely to the gate and make a restroom stop before boarding started.

Also, these two guys also had two of their bags searched. I also had my roller, carry on luggage searched because I had found some super discounted bath bombs at Ross and purchased them. They were only $2! But, they set off the TSA agents, so I had to be searched. When the guy asked me what they were, I had the intelligence and common sense to call them “bath soaps” instead of “bath bombs”, because, well, you know, I was in an airport. I would probably be in a holding cell right now if I had made that mistake.

The flight home was better than the one going there, except for the terrible landing and quite a bit of turbulence. It’s 9 hours later and I still feel queasy, but I’m glad to be back home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures in Phoenix.

Until next time, my friends…

London Days 8 and 9 aka JOHN MAYER IS LIFE 

I have not written in two days for good reason. 

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, I got to check off one of my biggest bucket list items: I got to see the incomparable John Mayer in concert.

My life is now complete. Go ahead and throw me from Tower Bridge because the rest of life just HAS to be all downhill from here, right?

Let me share some photos and snippets. The concert was at The O2. Leave it to the Brits to design such a lovely and beautiful and well organized venue.

View of The O2 from afar.

I have loved John Mayer for over 12 years. His song, “Why Georgia” inspired me to move from Louisiana to Texas all alone. The quiet joy that he sang about in “leaving it all behind” is what I thought I would experience when leaving Louisiana.  I felt those feelings and so many more.

Over the years, he has remained my favorite artist and I own all of his recordings except the last album, which I didn’t buy because I thought it’d be nice to hear those songs first while he played them live. I was right. It was such an amazing experience to hear so much of his new music live.

Here are a few snippets from the concert.

Here, he’s playing one of my favorite songs, “Gravity.”

More clips!

The phone audio and video cannot do him justice. His guitar skills are absolutely masterful.

Once I told a colleague at work that I wanted to learn to play the guitar like John Mayer and he laughed and said “Uhhh well you would have to become REALLY GOOD.  Do you think you could get that good?”

At the time, I took offense to his low belief in my abilities but both then and now I knew he was right. John Mayer is one of the best guitarists and song writers of my generation. 

We returned to the O2 on Friday. I bought more concert merchandise and saw the “Fast and Furious 8” movie. I think I have found my new favorite place in London.

Yesterday, I noticed this gorgeous, metal obelisk thing outside.

Here is the “cream tea” that I ordered at a place called Square Pie. I went there thinking they served square shaped, sweet pies, but I was wrong. They did serve savory pies, like kidney and onions pie, and cream Tea, which was black tea with milk and sugar served with scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Clotted cream is like if lightly whipped cream and butter had a baby.

Today, Saturday, is my last day in London. 

I am so thankful to have had the chance to stay here for so long. I have learned that I’m tough enough to survive in a big city, ride public transportation , and survive on poorly seasoned food.

But even with the cardboard food, London is still made sweet by its history and absolutely lovely inhabitants. 

I love London and Londoners!

See you soon, London…

It’s back to Lagos for a bit.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

London Day 7

Another exhausting but gorgeous day in London!

Since I’m tired again, I will write a post similar to the one from yesterday.

Today’s itinerary:

1) Took a black taxi to the tour bus pickup.  We had to be there for 7:45 am.

2) Rode the tour bus to Windsor Castle. The Queen was in, but if course we didn’t get to meet her. All of the exhibits we saw did not allow any photography inside, but believe me that Windsor is worth a visit. I’ve never been in a more grand place.



2a) We had a disgusting lunch on the bus. The sandwich was wheat bread, something like flavorless BBQ sauce with tiny onions, cheese, and cucumber.  Served with water, raisins, and cookies. They might as well just given us the cardboard box it came in and told us to eat it. 

Also, by chips, I mean potato crisps, for all the British people who may be reading this.

3) Rode the bus to Stonehenge. I wish we had more time there, but I enjoyed the 90 minutes or so.


4) Rode the tour bus to Bath.  What a lovely, English city. 



5) Rode the tour bus to Lacock, another lovely, English city.


6) Arrived back in central London at approximately 8:00 pm and ate at a terrible restaurant called Taste of China. It was the worst food and service I’ve experienced here in London. BLAND and uninspired good and an absent minded waitress.

One of the highlights of the trip was when a group of 5 people were 20 minures late getting back to the bus after one of the stops.

The tour director, Pete, directed us to clap for them as they entered because they had finally made it.

Although that would have been a cheeky and passive aggressive way to acknowledge their tardiness, I decided to be a full on American asshole. So when the men entered the bus, having walked a full minute ahead if the women and children, I BOOED. And got damn I BOOED loudly and with eyes on them and drew a second breath to continue my booing. 

I should be ashamed at the pleasure that gave me, but I am not and to hell with tbem. Let’s just say that the rest of the tour was timely and I’m still unashamed of my booing. I think I did a great service to the rest of the bus. 

The tour guide must have agreed because be gave me a fist bump at the end of my booing.

Needless to say, I didn’t make any friends today.

Until tomorrow, my (maybe?) Friends…

Traveling to London

The best part if being in Lagos is taking a vacation from being there!

Sorry if that sounds rude, but I am ecstatic to be in the United Kingdom for the next 9 days!

London isn’t home, but it’s closer to home than Lagos. Just driving down the street, I saw three of my favorite American businesses: Burger King, Whole Foods, and Starbucks!

If I had even one less strand of divinity than I currently do, I would buy a Whopper and a chai tea latte and go eat it in an aisle at Whole Foods.  But, I have some self respect, so I will visit all three establishments individually. 

The travel day was dreadfully long. We awoke at 4:30 am, took about an hour long drive to the airport, stood in a line for about 90 minutes to wait for a counter to open, navigated by some, ahem, interesting airport officials seeking “blessings” (read into that), and then waited the rest of the time in an air conditioned lounge that we have a subscription pass to use.

Thanks to a late departure, the time on the airplane ended up being about 7 hours.

I thought this menu from the lounge was funny because it had three exclamation marks next to Beverages for reason. The beverages we had were not that damn exciting!!!

We ate eggs benedict at the subscription lounge. It was  a nice and light thing to eat before boarding the plane about 9:30 am. R said the bacon was “sad and limp.”

We received snacks and dinner and something referred to as high tea while on the plane. High tea consisted of a beverage of your choice (I had apple juice), and a light sandwich box. Also, the milk for the tea I had earlier in the flight came in a little vertical plastic bag.

The most interesting thing was this lady’s hair. I am kind of sorry to photograph and make fun of a stranger, but I feel like I won’t go to hell (at least not immediately) for questioning this hairstyle.  Perhaps it’s a Nigerian cultural thing with which I am unfamiliar? I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere!

Ok, it’s been a very long day, so I will rest up and report on adventures from London tomorrow!

Oh, but I cannot leave without sharing this photo with y’all! Americans reading this, do you notice the brand on this trashcan? Yes, it is a Wally World brand! Seeing this trashcan in the bathroom at the Lagos airport was like seeing a little piece of home! It is not often that I see American brands of things in Nigeria!

Until tomorrow, my friends…

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