Wonderful Weekend

The last three days were completely ordinary, and yet the weekend felt extraordinary.

Happy Katie

Katie had no school on Friday, and we decided to head to Borough Market together in the morning.  There is no better companion than Katie, and we had a great time exploring in the market, visiting our favorite vendors, and sampling the delicious food along the way.  Our bags were heavy as we headed home, weighed down with pumpkin seed oil, caramel salted fudge, assorted candied nuts, 20 year old parmigiana cheese, mangoes and other fresh produce.

fudge extravaganza

The afternoon felt like a typical errand-filled suburban day.  Katie and I went out to lunch together, Katie had a doctor’s appointment, I had a meeting at school, and then Katie got a haircut.  These events were quite mundane.  What was remarkable is that everything took place within within a 5 minute walk in our neighborhood.  No driving, no coordinating plans, no frustrations — all of which still gets me excited when I recall my days putting 50+ miles on my car just driving back and forth endlessly.  My joy at the convenience of life here may never grow old.


garden pot!

That night, Jeff and I crossed Abbey Road to meet friends at their house for drinks and then walk to a new, gourmet restaurant at the end of their street.  We sampled a very creative eight-course meal.  Our appetizer was a mini “garden” — a pot arrived containing a carrot, a radish, califlower, and greens perched upon “soil”.  The soil was actually a yummy dip covered in crumbled egg that was dyed brown to look like dirt.  Somewhere in the middle of the meal, we had a “popcorn drink” – a small glass of liquid that tasted exactly like movie buttered popcorn.  We ended with what looked like a delicious chocolate tart and ice cream.  My inner chocoholic was both surprised and a bit disappointed to realize it was actually prune ice cream and a prune tart…yum??

popcorn drink!

Katie set out early Saturday morning for the Thames where her crew team had their first race of the season.  The weather was warm and seasonable, a perfect day to be out on the river.  Jackie, Jeff and I headed over to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibit just before it closed.  The collection of award winning photography was stunning, and I loved the explanations of how the photographers captured the unique shots.

Busy Portobello Road

We then headed over to the bustling Portobello Road market in Notting Hill.  Saturday is quite a happening:  the streets are clogged with people; bands are playing on every corner; and antique merchants, Tshirt shops, and art stores are overflowing with merchandise.  The candy-colored townhouses provide a perfect playful backdrop for all this activity.

It was then back to our neighborhood that afternoon.  Jackie met friends for gelato on the High Street, and Jeff and I took Lucy on a walk  down the hill to  Maida Vale where we enjoyed a late pub lunch al fresco.  Lucy particularly liked the fried zucchini, though as we all know, she is not exactly discerning when it comes to food!

That night the girls settled in for a movie at home, and Jeff and I ventured into Chelsea to attend a party at Tom’s Kitchen, purported home of the best margarita in London (though no match for Bar Taco back home).  It was fun to be among a group of seasoned expats who have lived in London for 5- 10 years.  I have to admit that it gets exhausting telling our tale over and over: … “we just moved in August”…”settling in”…”girls doing well at school”…”yes, we truly love it“…and on and on.  I look forward to the day when we are settled enough that we can enter a room full of people we know well and engage in conversation beyond the usual introductions.

Sunday morning we made our way to the American Church in London, a great congregation where we knew quite a few families from school.  After weeks of unsuccessfully trying out different local churches of all denominations, we finally found one that fits.

We left church to find the sun shining and a truly Spring-like day unfolding.  I took Lucy on a long walk through Primrose Hill and Regents Park to admire the sunny daffodils and magnificent magenta blossoms on the trees.  The parks were bursting with activity — people out on the lawns picnicking, children playing sports, and dogs running free. 

Lucy and I encountered a French Pug “Meet Up”, if you can believe such a thing exists.  I found out that owners and their dogs congregate once a month so that the breed can play together.  There must have been over 60 pugs running around!  Lucy joined in the fun, and definitely looked like odd dog out.

Happy Lucy!

We ended the day with a family stroll down the hill to Maida Vale and the luxurious Everyman Theater to see a movie in the late afternoon.  Jeff and I ordered some pints, the girls got some snacks, and then we sank into the plush sofa loveseats in the theater.  Jackie and I cooked dinner when we got home.  It was a great lazy Sunday filled with family time.

Jackie the cook

It’s the little things that made a big weekend.




Share on FacebookShare on Facebook

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: