Wednesday, November 30, 2011

... And I'm Back

Oh, it feels nice to be home again! I had a lovely time in London with Chad and Cousin Kat. I avoided the requisite tourist sights and we pretty much spent time eating great food, drinking lots of beer, catching up on old times, and preparing for our international "American Thanksgiving" in London.

Our Thanksgiving guests included:
-2 Americans
-2 English
-2 Hungarians
-1 Turkish
-1 Estonian
-1 Japanese
-1 French
-0 Kitties

My primary responsibility, besides consuming copious amounts of alcohol and saying outrageous American things, was to cook the 1st turkey of my life! Furthermore, it was the first poultry I've ever cooked before. It turned out delicious as well as all the other traditional dishes Chad assigned to his friends and our dinner guests. And, just like traditional Thanksgivings, we all argued during the preparation of the meal, went through bottles and bottles of wine, watched football (1997 Superbowl: Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots), and had a lovely time. Afterwards we headed to the local pub for more boozing followed by dancing at what was deemed the worst place in London. I couldn't have wished for a better Thanksgiving.

Here are some photos and captions:

My 1st morning started off with an English breakfast courtesy of Chad. Granted, I've had many of these before since my dad is English, but this is the 1st I've ever had in England! Also, it is really special for me when men make me food. It was yummy and the perfect hangover meal!

Much of my trip was spent exploring markets, which I simply adore. Unfortunately I was on a pretty tight budget, so I didn't get to buy any of the many things I wanted. I found some fancy sweatpants in the Brixton market and lots of kitchsy gifts in the Camden Town market. The Camden Town market has huge horse sculptures throughout that are anatomically correct and therefore humorous. I also was surprised to see a booth that offered fish pedicures! They eat the dead skin off your feet and massage in between your toes. I'm dying to try this!

Horse's ass

Fish foot station

Beer at Charles Dickins' favorite pub,  Ye 'Ole Cheshire Cheese  

KFC! There was also a Dallas Fried Chicken and Ribs

Looks like my turkey was a success!

Sexy face post turkey dancing

Cousin Kat, LD, Chad

The best thing about the pubs in England, besides the beer and food, has to be dogs! I remember this from my last trip to the UK. So many have resident dogs. The White Knight, where we ate our post Thanksgiving English breakfast, even had instructions on the menu telling you not to feed George. I need a bar with a dog!

With Taz at the Priory Arms in Stockwell

My favorite experience was hearing good 'ole English folks being outrageously blunt. At a pub that had been recently renovated, a regular bar patron flat out said she was leaving because the charm was gone and it looked like any other old pub. After a waiter took a pint glass from another patron that still had one last sip of beer in it, the grumpy man yelled, "Oy! I'm not finished with that." The waiter apologized and said he would bring him another full pint since he had already put his thumb in the glass and the old man yelled, "Right, but I want both!" I feel fond about a country so devoted to beer.

Two more incidences happened during rush hour on the tube. I had a man grab my ass for 4 stops. I was flattered and didn't want to scare him off by turning around to see if he was cute, but was pleased at my stop to learn that he wasn't a gross bum with English teeth. On the same train a posh bitch complained that a man in a business suit was standing too close to her and she could feel his weight. She was certainly being melodramatic because it was impossible to not cozy up to the 100+ people smashed into a small space. His response was, "If you have a problem with it maybe you should have waited 2 hours for another train." BURN!

On my first trip to England in the 8th grade I kept a diary with all the strange words, terms, and slang I heard. This time around, having lived with an Englishman since I was 13, I didn't go in so blindly. However, the strangest thing I heard was "sidewalk burger" which referred to vomit on the street. Oh, and trust me, there were sidewalk burgers everywhere! I think it would be fun to just go around pretending you were English making up outrageous phrases like "aunts a pickle" or "mushroom slam" for normal things.

My flight home was a bit of a nightmare with customs checking my luggage and saying that my face didn't look the same as the photo in my passport, but after 16 hours of travel all I wanted was a bubble bath and a snuggle with my kitties. Now to just catch up with all my favorite girlies!!!

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