Portabello Road, Portabello Road,
Street where the riches of ages are stowed.
Anything and everything a chap can unload
Is sold off the ‘barrow at Portabello Road.
…Bedknobs and Broomticks
I admit that I adore open air markets. However, Portabello Road Market is not simply an open air market – the term just doesn’t do it justice. This Market was incredible and like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was filled with amazing shops, quaint places to eat, open fruit/vegetable markets and unique carts selling all sorts of knick-knacks…and lots of antiques! However, let me be clear, these are no ordinary antiques – they are literally the “riches of ages”. There are items from great estates, from the glorious times gone by…lovely silver tea sets shined up to perfection, display cases of glorious costume jewelry spanning through decades of style, elegant cameos (some authentic and some knockoff), and historical items from WW I and WW 2. It was such fun experiencing the eras of history through people’s former treasures.
Listening to the advice of several travel blogs, (Even Wandering Bastards do their homework!) we got up really early and took the tube to the Notting Hill Tube stop in order to beat the crowds. It was excellent advice and we were able to arrive as the shopkeepers and cart owners were setting up their wares. Walking down into a basement full of treasures we were surprised to find a wonderful non-toursty spot for breakfast where we enjoyed scones, hot chocolate and some delicious sausage. We then spent the rest of our morning sharing adoration for the items that caught our eye.
(And yes, in total Wandering Bastard style, I may have walked up the street singing the Bedknobs and Broomsticks Portabello Road song…a few times.)
My first impression of London was a good one. With a combination of the local’s charming accent and willingness to help three wandering bastards, it was absolutely splendid! When we first got off the plane we headed to check in to our room so we could start exploring. Let’s talk about Airbnb for a minute. Has anyone booked a room through this company? If so I would love to get feedback on how your experience went. I think I was a little confused on how it worked and which filters to use while booking. It ended up being twelve people in one apartment including us with ONE bathroom. I shared a bedroom with my Dad and Sister and then there were three other bedrooms with three girls in each room. We had to get up super early or stay up late to shower. You had two choices of water temperature scalding or arctic chill. I’m so glad this was at the beginning of the trip when we were a bit more spry. My dad and sister were troopers mentioning it was “just like camping”. First world problems I guess. I would be willing to give Airbnb a second chance now I understand how it works a little better. They have a convenient app you can download which connects you with the host of the apartment. This allows you to communicate and ask any questions. Do your research before you book, here is a video to help you understand how to use Airbnb.
Our Airbnb room. The excitement is real!
We stayed in Shoreditch which happened to be one on the most amazing parts of London. It was a romantic mix of old and new architecture. It has shopping and great restaurants. With the help of Yelp we found this cozy little pub. We enjoyed fish and chips and indulged in my new favorite bread and butter pudding!
Our Dad looking at a passerby thinking “don’t be hating on our selfie skills bro” or even kind of like Liam Neeson when he played the Dad off of “Taken”.
What is the difference between bread pudding and bread and butter pudding you say? Bread pudding is made by mashing older bread with milk and dried fruit, and adding copious amounts of spice. Bread and Butter pudding on the other hand is soft and custardy. It is made by arranging slices of buttered bread in a dish, making a custard and baking in the oven. I searched for a recipe and this came pretty close I will share it here from http://www.bettycrocker.com. It’s also great way to use your leftover French bread!
ENGLISH BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
8 slices French bread, each 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups milk, scalded and cooled powdered sugar, if desired
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter 1 1/2-quart casserole. Spread one side of each slice bread with butter. Layer bread slices, buttered sides up, in casserole; sprinkle with cinnamon. Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl; mix in granulated sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in milk; pour over bread.
- Place casserole in pan of very hot water (1 inch deep). Cover casserole loosely with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes; remove foil. Continue baking 35 to 40 minutes longer or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of casserole comes out clean. (Cover with foil if top gets too brown.)
- Remove casserole from hot water. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Store covered in refrigerator.
Tomorrow we will be off on an exciting adventure! My Dad, Sister and I have plans to visit some historical sites, places where my Grandpa Joe served in the military and we will be spending time in some places that our ancestors lived. We are so excited to share this experience with you. We will be posting daily please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @diaryofthewanderingbastards. (We will also be going FBLive!) Below is our itinerary As we wander through Europe these plans are subject to change after all we are a just a couple wandering bastards. Come and wander with us!
March 2 Thursday Las Vegas to London
March 3 Friday Check into AIRBNB hotel – Sightseeing
March 4 Saturday Portabello Rd. Market
March 5 Sunday Ivinghoe and Floore Day Trip (Where our ancestors are from!)
March 6 Monday Eurostar Train to Paris (UNDER the English Channel…gulp)
March 7 Tuesday Day Trip Tour to Normandy
March 8 Wednesday Fly from Paris to Venice – Day in Venice
March 9 Thursday Day in Venice
March 10 Friday Train from Venice to Rome – Day in Rome
March 11 Saturday Day in Rome
March 12 Sunday Last Day in Rome and Fly Home
Traveling is expensive you say – well, yes and no. No, it’s not free…but yes there are ways of doing it that make it more affordable.
Please believe me, after the initial cost of a passport you are well on your way. (For ideas on affording a passport/directions on how to get one see blog post here: https://wanderingbastards.com/2017/02/01/ready-to-wander-first-thing-is-first-get-a-passport/) I cannot stress enough how motivating it is just having a passport your hands! It’s amazing how much not taking this one simple step holds people up! I’m a firm believer that if someone really wants something, despite their circumstances – they will find a way. Having said that, traveling has become quite the science and here are a few tricks I’ve learned…
Credit Card Airline Points: Ok, so I’m not condoning going into debt in order to travel. That is a BAD idea and it will make your potential adventure into a stressful misadventure. (Not worth it!) What I mean by credit card points is getting a credit card that gives airline points and using it for everyday expenses…and then paying it off each month leaving NO BALANCE. You can pay for almost anything with your debit/credit card so why not put those everyday expenses to work for you? Expenses like: rent/mortgage, food, power, water, gasoline, electric, hair color/cuts, business expenses…the list goes on and on. As long as you pay it off each month and don’t get caught up in feeling like its monopoly money you will be AMAZED at how quickly your points add up. (Oh and an additional perk of this is you will be building your credit!) The Jedi Master of credit card airline points is this guy: https://thepointsguy.com/ . The Points Guy is so good at breaking down the science of Airline Points. Definitely worth checking out his website!
Start a Gelato Fund or aka Good Old Fashioned Saving: Boring right? Except it’s not. If you want something you go after it. Traveling isn’t any different. You’ve got a passport now start dreaming…once you start seeing it as a real possibility you will realize how much money you waste everyday! Put it out there – I’m saving for Europe/Costa Rica. (insert wherever your dream adventures). The next time you feel like splurging on eating out or supporting your soda/coffee addiction, stop and think about how much money you are really wasting. It’s a conscious decision – my sister calls it her Gelato Fund. “I would rather eat Gelato in Italy than splurge on fast food or a nice dinner out.” My dear potential Wandering Bastards…I’ve had Gelato in Italy and believe me when I tell you…it’s absolutely worth waiting and saving for it. Need ideas? I have a friend who wrote a great blog post about how she saves money for traveling. I LOVE her approach, check her blog out: https://cyndigrahamcracker.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/my-favorite-travel-sites/ It’s got an awesome travel site list too…seriously she is like the queen of travel deals. She inspires me every time I talk to her! (Oh and yay, she has agreed to be a guest blogger for us too so watch for that!)
Minimize: There is a huge minimalist movement going on right now. What is minimalism? Well, there is a saying…The first step in crafting the life that you want is to get rid of everything you don’t. News flash…we don’t need all this stuff. (I need to work on this too.) Every last bit of advertisement in the world has one purpose…to get us to buy stuff. Why not stop buying into it and start buying into ourselves? The next time you feel that urge to buy the latest phone/computer or find yourself splurging on something that you think will bring you happiness…think about your Gelato Fund. Gelato in Italy is real happiness folks…at least it’s more real than eating out/drinking soda. Need more motivation? I love Ted Talks…I just do. Here is a link to some great inspirational minimalist Ted Talks to help you clean up your life and get going on your Gelato Fund! http://frugaling.org/8-ted-talks-will-inspire-become-minimalist/
*Please note: Gelato Fund can be substituted for various motivational travel goals – the Paris Crepe Fund or Bavarian Pretzel Fund sound great too! (Both are also amazing by the way!) Oh and it doesn’t have to be food based either. For our gluten/dairy intolerant Wandering Bastards, how about the Costa Rica Zipline Fund, Grand Canyon Adventure Fund, Disneyland Fund or Malaysian Escapade Fund. You get where I’m going here…
Perhaps we should call it what it really is…a Wandering Bastard Fund! 🙂
I feel you. I get sick even when I am driving. I can easily say I am the most motion sick person in the whole world. After a trip to Puerto Vallarta I decided I was done traveling. I was tired of living in a Dramamine fog. Even the non-drowsy version would make me tired. I would always think I can’t go on this excursion or that trip there’s too much motion and I don’t want to be sick and miserable the whole time. But it’s no fun to be left behind. Here are some tips I have found to help.
-Ice Water. I can’t chew it during travel with my sister because she has “misophonia” For those of you who don’t know what that is let’s just say mealtime/snack time can be torture. The sounds of other people eating chomping, chewing, gurgling, slurping can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling rage. When we were little I would wake her up in the middle of the night to the sound of my teeth grinding. It was no Bueno. Sorry about that sister.
-Ice, Water, Salt, Lime
Traveling in Puerto Vallarta on a pirate ship I got so deathly sick and a kind pirate who saw me spending the majority of my time hanging my body over the side of the ship mixed up this concoction. Mix 2 teaspoons salt, half a lime in a glass of water and fill with ice. Sip
-Natural Motion Sickness Patches
I wear these behind my ears and they last 2-3 days even with shower or swimming.
These are a little spicy on the tongue but are calming to the stomach.
Basically ginger in a pill. NO DROWSYNESS!
-Pressure point bands
-Ginger Ale With Ice
On the plane be sure to order ginger ale with ice. Ginger helps to calm the stomach
-ZenTrip Motion Sickness Relief Strips
I love these! They are like the Listerine breath strips. They don’t taste super amazing but neither does vomit
I even use these products together if I get really sick. My favorite are the patches then I’ll pop in strip and call it a day!