Last week in London

Posted on February 8, 2011 by rrettenmier

After returning from Egypt, we realized we only had a few days left in London. Saturday night was Debbi’s birthday so we joined her at a bar in Kentish Town known for their cool atmosphere and delicious cocktails. On Monday, we decided to head out to Windsor Castle, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, which is over 1000 years old. We toured the castle grounds first and then entered the official state rooms where The Queen entertains a lot of her guests. The Royal Collection was also amazing including fine porcelain, old weapons, and crowns from India and Ethiopia. While we were there, the staff was setting up for a banquet and concert by the Philharmonic (the place settings were palacial – as they should be). We also saw Queens Mary’s Doll House and St. George’s Chapel where Henry VIII is buried.

Afterwards, we strolled around the streets of Windsor and over to the suburb of Eton, known for their all boys college. That evening we had a quick bite in Hampstead and then watched the English film, Brighton Rock, at the Everyman theatre(where they have couches to laze on as you drink wine during the movie).

Today was one of the most beautiful days we have had here recently in London. The sun was out and the sky was blue so we thought it would be a great day to get a good view of the city on The London Eye.  Reaching 135m, the “Eye” is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. A great way to get a panoramic view of the city including St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. We had a fish and chip lunch afterwards along the Thames.

We are sad to be leaving London but look forward to seeing friends and family back home prior to starting our new adventure in Albania.

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Big NewsPosted on February 6, 2011 by rrettenmier

For those of you who haven’t heard the news through the grapevine yet, here it is. Dan has found a new job and surprisingly enough it is not in the United Kingdom! After we returned to London at the beginning of January, Dan started actively applying for jobs. There was good interest-a few calls from recruiters and for jobs in Denmark and Sunbury, UK. However, one Monday evening we were sitting on the couch watching tv in the flat and we received an email from a Canadian firm in regards to an opportunity in Albania. By Saturday night we were celebrating acceptance of the job offer at a friend’s place. The job is a one year contract to start on Monday February 7th so we decided to book a last minute vacation to Egypt to get some sun before work started. Check out our new Egypt page to hear about it and see some pics!

Plans have changed slightly from the start date of February 7th. Instead, the company wants Dan to come to Calgary for some initial training before transitioning to Albania. So low and behold, we are off to Calgary for 10 days on Wednesday, February 9th. Hope to see you all there! Stay tuned to hear more details about where we are relocating.

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Hampton Court PalacePosted on January 22, 2011 by rrettenmier

Another week here in London. Last Friday night, we made our first Kosher dinner for our flat mate Debbi. Saturday morning, we went for a longer than planned run through Hampstead Heath. Dan took us for a planned 5 km but turned out to be more like 10 km. We then had brunch at a nice spot in the area called The Horseshoe.  On Sunday, we joined Debbi at her gym over in Cricklewood. We spent 3 hours there – they had a gym, pool, sauna and steam room. Monday and Tuesday were pretty chill so on Wednesday we decided to take the train out to Hampton Court, where Henry VIII spent a lot of his time. We saw the Great Hall where he threw his parties, the kitchens where they prepared the lavish feasts and the immense Gardens.  They were also setting up to film Sherlock Holmes 2 while we there!

That evening we watched Elizabeth I and on Thursday we watched Elizabeth the Golden Age-trying to catch up on our British movies while we are here. Yesterday’s excitement included having a plumber install a dishwasher in Debbi’s kitchen then heading into Golders Green to the Starbucks to use their internet.  The router in Debbi’s flat is on the fritz so we are not very connected. Tonight, we are having dinner in Finchley at a friend of Debbi’s.  Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK and Debbi has invited us to her Synagogue to listen to a speaker. It should be very interesting.

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Movie Day in Covent GardenPosted on January 13, 2011 by rrettenmier

Yesterday, we stepped into our new running gear and ran from our flat in Brent Cross, through Golders Green, past many Kosher shops (Golders Green is a well known Jewish community), and back through Hendon Park. Later that afternoon, we ventured into Central London to watch a film. Dan finally finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and the only theatre that was playing it was in Covent Garden. Covent Garden is a touristy area which normally has live music and street performers. There were periods of light rain but Dan left his umbrella on the tube. This is the second one he has lost since being over here.

Today, we went for a hot yoga session in Chalk Farm and Dan was stuck beside the radiator where all the heat was coming from.  Dan applied for 7 jobs today, he’s hoping to do more job searching tomorrow and then we are going to have a Kosher dinner and wine with our flatmate Debbi.

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Week OnePosted on January 11, 2011 by rrettenmier

Well we left chilly Canada one week ago today. The jet lag this time around has been killing us. We are sleeping through the night only to wake up for 2-3 hours at about 3:00am. Trying to get on a regular schedule has been a work in progress still. Dan has been spending a lot of time on the job search and has been finding good opportunities all over Europe. We have been doing our grocery shopping at the nearby Tesco supermarket and are really loving our new neighbourhood. On Saturday, we went to see The Kings Speech with our new flatmate, Debbie, and it was brilliant.  We then stopped to pick up some sushi take away.  We enjoyed the sushi with a bottle of wine while watching a movie at home.  Sunday was a beautiful day so we spent a few hours exploring Hamstead Heath park which is popular with runners and has some amazing views of the city. The park also had a little zoo with ring-tailed lemurs, deer, birds, and a few others.  This coming week, we hope to get into the city to do some London type things.

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New Year in LondonPosted on January 7, 2011 by rrettenmier

Well since it is the start of the New Year we thought we had better start blogging now or we never will. We hope to blog regularly and update friends and family back home on what we are up to. We arrived back in London, England on January 5th and are staying with our friend Debbi in North London until we can get a few things sorted out. Dan met with a recruiter this afternoon to discuss some potential employment opportunities. We are planning to focus on the job search over the next few months while living here in London. Hopefully something will turn up soon enough!

Happy reading and let us know what your thoughts are.

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