For my birthday this year, my better half gave me one of the most thoughtful, enlightening, fun gifts that I have ever received - a trip to London, England. This gift is so thoughtful as for as long as I can remember, I have been an avid Beatles fan. Giving credit where credit is due to my amazing parentals, I saw Paul McCartney at the Astrodome in Houston, TX in 1993 at the ripe age of 8. I then saw him almost 20 years later at Wrigley Field this past Summer. After admittedly sending Paul numerous love letters as a child, I got the opportunity to see (and walk across!) famous Abbey Road, walk past Abbey Road Studios and even found Sir Paul's main house of residence! After 3 strides up and down the quiet, unassuming block, both in daylight and after nightfall (we HAD to see if lights were on to confirm he was home - he was!) we snapped a quick photo in front of the house and were on our way trying to mask our excitement and keeping our incognito demeanor.

The city is so deep with history and beautiful architecture, it took my breath away. With our tube passes in hand, we were hopping around the city making sure to see Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and The London Eye stopping in to good ole' English Pubs for properly poured pints of Guinness along the way.

No trip would be complete without some shopping in London's famous shopping district. London is, after all, the birthplace of Zapwater clients, Ted Baker London and Top Shop/Top Man. There was no shortage of Swarovski boutiques that shined with the same sparkle as the one here in Chicago on Michigan Avenue.

After 5 days of fish and chips, Guinness, bubbles and squeak, Notting Hill, waiting in "queues", and dodging black cabs driving on the wrong side of the street we were on our way back to sweet home Chicago with a whole new appreciation for the English language, pubs and history. I can't wait for our next adventure!

Mimi Clark