Saturday, November 29, 2008
Day three, a chilly Saturday
Starting with dinner last night: Indian food at Bengal Clipper near Betty's apartment. The food was tremendous, but the service was crap. (Betty did warn us that this was the case.) I hadn't seen Betty since she was in DC visiting, right before I moved to Texas. She hasn't changed! :) We took the tube to Tower Hill and walked across Tower Bridge. (Photos of this part of the evening did not come out well, because of my inability to hold 100% still when taking a photo at night. Oh well. You've all seen Tower Bridge before! Instead, I give you a photo of Big Ben that I took on the way back yesterday evening.) The food was very good, and we were part of a group of 13 -- Betty's oldest friend from high school and her husband were visiting from the DC area for Thanksgiving. Both of their sons live in London, too. And apparently the girlfriend of one of the sons went to Bryan's high school for a while, but was a year ahead of him. (did you follow that trail?)
So that was last night. We didn't get home til after 10. Bryan went out to dinner and a pub with some of his Aussie friends who are working here. He didn't come home til 3:30am... but I wasn't awake to hear it! I slept like a dead person.
Saturday is Portobello Road market day. Mom and Dad got up early and went to meet their friends around 9:30am... I didn't make it out of bed til 10:30. Bryan didn't even move a muscle. With a little effort, I made it up there by noon, and we battled the chill and the crowds looking for bargains for a few hours, and then found a nice Italian restaurant for lunch. Mediterraneo was crowded, the food was excellent, and it was staffed entirely by actual Italians (unlike most places in the States). I said "grazie" once and the waiter asked me (in Italian) if I spoke Italian. umm... no. At least I know my accent passes muster. Maybe I'll be able to pull it off when Dani and I go to Italy (someday). :)
We walked through the food stalls - they sell everything! - and bought some fruits and veggies. There was a paella stand with those giant traditional paella pans - three feet across! Amazing. Here's the guy setting up a third pan to make a new batch of paella.
Slightly off-topic... I've decided I want one of those giraffe handbags. Ok, so I'm six or eight months behind the times. Mom and I saw the giraffe bags at Dooney & Bourke in Vegas, but the real thing is very expensive. I saw one at Spitalfields market the other day, and didn't buy it, and now I can't find one anywhere! I hope they have them at Covent Garden on Monday.
The rest of the day was uneventful. We took the bus home from Notting Hill, and we haven't left the flat again. It got REALLY cold towards the end of the day -- like, "it's going to snow" cold. We cooked dinner at home - moussaka (they do a lot of pre-prepared foods here, it's great!) and vegetables, and Bryan made guacamole. Yes, it's a little random, but mom and I had bought avocados at the Portobello market (5 for 1 pound!) and dad went to the store and got us some salsa and chips. Well, not really salsa. He got us Old El Paso "fajita sauce" -- which has a "smoky" flavor. In other words, it has bbq sauce in it! ICK! We tried very hard to add only a small amount of the sauce to make the guacamole... it tasted kind of odd.
Tomorrow, we're doing museum(s) where we can be indoors and warm. Because this cold, rainy English weather is just awful!