Trail of Crumbs

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St. Albans is incredibly charming, and it’s a very short train ride from London, and there are plenty of other reasons to visit. All of them, however, are being crowded out of my memory because during our visit we ate at a place called The Cock Inn, and I find that to be utterly hilarious.

I wish to make many jokes. Though they are, essentially, all the same joke.

 

I am fairly sure that half of all the establishments in the country are named by a bunch of American middle schoolers who can’t stop laughing at how silly those words sound when someone has a posh English accent.

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I tried to do a street art walking tour when we were last in London. I’ve always wanted to take one, to have someone point out the Banskys that I’ve walked by a dozen times and failed to notice. When we were there in the fall, the weather was unseasonably warm (the last day of October it reached an unheard of 70-degrees in the city. I wore a sundress. Rand had on short sleeves.) – perfect for wandering through the East End and admiring the works of not-quite-unknown artists.

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At some point, all of the cities on the Amalfi coast started to blur, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I resort to describing all of them as “lovely” and “charming” and “like a tower of colorful stone blocks precariously piled one atop the other.”

Positano. But it could be anywhere on the coast.

 

But, see, they all were.

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Inside the Schrannenhalle Marketplace in Munich’s Old Town.

 

As an American, it’s often weird going to Europe, because their consumer culture isn’t anywhere near what we have at home. There are shops, sure, but there isn’t the same onslaught of … stuff.

In the U.S., we understand that you haven’t really had a proper vacation until you’ve purchased at least three shot glasses, four shirts, one bottle opener, and a teddy bear all emblazoned with the name of the place you visited. If you don’t have those things, how will anyone know you went there three summers ago?

They won’t. And that’s just tragic.

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I was in Boston a little more than a week ago. It was a brief trip – two days and two nights in the city. It’s a place that I have few ties to (save for some dear friends and a couple of in-laws) but, holy cats, do I love that town.

When we were there, the city was already preparing for the marathon, which will take place this weekend. The year-anniversary of the bombings (which was this past Tuesday) was still looming large on the horizon.

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Rand and I have been on the road for a little while, so blog content has been a little thin lately (sorry about that). I’ll be back next week with some brand new posts, but in the meantime, I’ve been perusing my Flickr stream for any photos or stories that I haven’t yet shared with you.

That’s when I found the following set of photos, that Rand took in Vancouver and Bowen Island last August. As we were walking around, he kept noticing some wonderful signs outside of shops. Some were clever, some were strange, some were utterly confusing.

I find them all delightful – not just in and of themselves, but also because they give a little insight into Rand’s psyche. How he’s so hell-bent on enjoying life, that he can find amusement and wonder in just about anything.

I hope you like them, too.

  1. Wait, when did we open this shop again?

    I like it, because it works for virtually any establishment (you just need to change your definition of recently).

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  2. Hey, at least they’re direct:

    After we saw this, we kept walking everywhere, and then calling one another a “chump.”

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I love Portland.

A familiar last name on a street sign in PDX.

 

I think it’s because Portland doesn’t seem to care whether or not I love it. I find that sort of apathy-fueled confidence appealing, I think because I lack so much of it. I really, really, at all times want people to like me, and if they don’t, I spend way too much time obsessing about it.

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Salvation Mountain, California.

 

Unless we’re talking about poltergeists or the healing power of cupcakes, I could not be described as a believer. I can’t even claim that I’m spiritual and not religious, because I’m not even that. The only thing that comes close in my life is my tendency to say “HOLY CATS” when I’m shocked about something, which brings to mind a rather delightful image of a higher power of the feline persuasion.

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