Monday, June 8, 2009

Off to London, New York City & Netbook Chatter (Samsung NC10)

Well, I'm off to the land of the Union Jack tomorrow. Wrapping
up things today at work and then packing. It's sort of funny that
I've trekked to many far off places but haven't really had a chance
to tour London yet. I'll be going with my mom for a week before
stopping by New York City for a few days (a family friend's
wedding.) I'll be back on June 24.

I'm always super excited when I'm
getting ready to travel.

I think I've done enough research to be an expert at
London's transportation system. This is by no mean's
going to be a leisurely vacation as I often get very
ambitious when hitting a place I haven't before.

I always want to try everything I can. In fact, in planning the
itinerary out - I can already tell I need another trip back to
London already because I couldn't fit in everything I wanted
to this time around.

Since travel deals are so awesome this year, I did manage to
score a great deal on air fare and hotel. $1200 for round trip
tickets from New York City to London including 6 nights at
the Intercontinental Park Lane in London. Of course the not
so great thing is thath the flight has a stop over and is a
red-eye. I think staying at the Intercontinental will make
up for this. The Intercontinental Park Lane is in sight of
Buckingham Palace.

Items on the itinerary include Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton,
time at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew Gardens), going to Bath,
England for what else but the hot spring, lunch while cruising down
the Thames River, Borough Markets and more.

We'll also be going to Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's
hometown), visiting Warwick Castle and having lunch in the

Of course there's also the city of a thousand spires, Oxford
and Christchurch College where Alice in Wonderland was
imagined and written.

I thought this was a pretty fun picture from the Daily Mail
of cleaners on Big Ben. I don't even want to imagine what
it's like that far up because I'm afraid of heights (strangely
enough I have no issues with flying at all - but if you put me
on the edge of a precipice with no railing...)

I hope you don't mind if I deviate from interiors to some
travel posts instead. It's my other great love in life.

Prior to this trip, I was looking at netbooks including
the beautiful Vivienne Tam designed HP netbook. Sorry,
I'm going to get a bit geeky now. It sort of comes with the
territory if you live in the Silicon Valley.
This little netbook is less than 3 pounds and the red
lacquer on it is to die for! It's like red nail polish!

Feature include the following:

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 3 Cell Battery
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 60 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can buy a 2GB RAM chip to upgrade)

HP Mini 1140 NR

The HP mini goes for just under $600 at Amazon. I've
seen prices range from around $600 -$700 with an
occasional one that's been refurbished in the $500 range.

There is a separate mouse that you can purchsae that
matches the netbook. It's available at Amazon for $69.

Before making my decision, however, I checked another
netbook by Samsung. Samsung has sold laptops for a while
now in Asia but they never released any laptops here in the
U.S. until recently. Their entry laptop was actually a netbook
and it's made a killer impression because of it's great design
and value.
It comes in 4 colors including pink. Girls, how can you
Not like this color? It's the perfect Bubble Gum Pink.
What's even more impressive are it's specs. When you
compare the specs of this pink babe with the HP Mini,
you'll see that it has twice the battery power and twice
the hard drive space for a much lower price. To top things
off, I'm really picky when it comes to my keyboards and the
Samsung NC10's keyboard is 93% of a regular keyboard
which makes typing a joy.

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 6 Cell Battery (8 hours of battery life
    and a 9 cell battery is also available)
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 120 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can upgrade to 2GB RAM)

The pink netbook is fashionable with white on
the inside. It's got 3 USB ports which is also
more than the HP Mini, built in Wi-Fi card and
a built in web cam which is pretty cool.

The Samsung NC10 also comes in blue, black and white.
If pink isn't your color then perhaps this cool blue will
do isntead.
The white is actually pretty slick too.

Samsung NC10 Pink Power

But in the end, I couldn't resist the pink. I've compared
many sites for pricing and ended buying it at Amazon
because it had the best price. The ones I found on Ebay
for less were refurbished ones and not new. The Samsung
netbooks go for between $389-$420 on Amazon and shipping
is free.

Why did I go with the Samsung over the HP Mini? I think a
little bit of practicality won out. I think the HP Mini is the
most gorgeous little netbook on the market, but I couldn't
bring myself to pay $200-$300 more just for the paint job
when the Samsung laptop was less money, more powerful
and had much better specs - not to mention the fab keyboard
an 8 hours of battery life. I bought a 2GB RAM chip and
it was super easy to install. When typing on the keyboard,
you don't even notice that it is any different from typing on a
regular sized keyboard and I LOVE that! The mousepad does
take getting used to but I'd trade a smaller mouse pad for a
larger keyboard any day. My solution is to bring along a small
ditigal mouse.

I'm trying it out on my trip so I will let you know how it goes.
Have any of you considered the netbooks above? Any thoughts?

In the meantime, my posts will not be as regular but I will try
to get in a couple posts a week while I'm away.

Photos from, Daily Mail,,, and


My Decor Style said...

I am going to London, too! I leave in 10 days - can't wait. It sounds like you are getting a great deal on hotel, etc. Have a fun and safe trip!

Kim Hambric said...

Oh, I envy you. Returned from London and Oxford two months ago. I really wanted to turn right back around and do it again. My favorite places in London (aside from the fantastic museums) were the lovely shops. The way things are packaged and displayed in the arcade shops and the beautiful Fortnum & Mason are as good as the views from the London Eye.

As far as Oxford goes, something as simple as a stone in the street is awe-inspiring.

Have a wonderful trip.

sunday mornings said...

You might want to prepare yourself. The tube is going on strike tomorrow so transportation will be a pain to maneuver.

Alkemie said...

Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to it and Praying for nice weather later in the week.

Sunday Morning - thanks for the tip. I did see the dates of the strike and it ends around 7PM on June 11. I get in early morning on June 11, so it looks like bus or other forms of transportation on that date. That's the one thing I always find frustrating in Europe - the many transportation strikes. It is going to be a pain :( oh well.

Yoli said...

Well I am wishing you a WONDERFUL trip! I love your choices in notebooks and please let us know how it pans out for you because I am getting ready to buy one for our trip to China.

Clarity said...

You're coming to my town. Well I have to give you some not so guidebook tips for places that are certainly an experience:

a) Camden Town - step out of the tube station and you are confronted with vintage, buzzing, by the river, colourful and a once is enough type of visit. Lots of Cafes, shopping. Walk down to Camden Lock and explore all the artists' stalls too.

b) Richmond Park - a bus ride away from Kew Gardens, beautiful and serene, prepare a picnic and explore it.

c) With regards to Kew, you could spend hours there, maybe have a picnic there too and clear your camera for the day.

d) The theatre, cheaper than Broadway, hugely enjoyable, avoid the musicals and check out really good productions you won't get elsewhere.

e)When in Bath, I would round the evening off with a production of "The Winslow Boy", which is touring there from the 15th to the 20th only. Theatre Royal Bath's number is 01225 448844 and the url is

Hope this helps,


Eden Rose said...

Have a great trip, i used to live in London but now live in bristol right near Bath! Bath is the most beautiful city in the UK, the shops are stunning and the architecture will blow your mind! village tips for in gloucestershire cotswolds is Bouton-on-the-water, stow-on-the-wold and if you can, make sure you go to cheltenham to the montpellier district for all the shops and boutiques it's gorgeous. In London make sure you take the bus everywhere as on the Tube you don't see anything and in the summer is terribly hot and crowded, always take the bus, it's fun too. Enjoy!!!

Topsy Turvy said...

Have a great trip & take lots of photos to share. I'd love to get to London one day - hear it's wonderful.


Lucinda said...

I hope you get pictures just as fabulous as these! Happy travels.

KINHA said...

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Beijo e obrigada

katiedid said...

Have a wonderful trip! I look forward to hearing about it!

Tommy Bahama Bedding said...

I just love that Vivienne Tam notebook - so pretty :)

Tempurpedic said...

Hope you have a great trip. Dont forget to take lots of photos and share with us.

Ryan Kay said...

I have two words for you:


Rachel said...

I just got the Dell netbook that comes with XP, webcam, built-in Wi-fi, 160 GB.... very much like the Samsung, except for a shorter battery life. I didn't see the Samsungs at Best Buy - but I really do like my netbook! It's really small and lightweight, but not too small to make typing difficult.

Hope you have/had a great time in London!

Nicki said...

Don't forget to visit Greenwich and Blackheath. Greenwich is often used by film makers so who knows what film will be in the making. Have Fund

M.Kate said...

Have a great travel Karen..

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