Monday, August 25, 2008

Bank Holiday Weekend

This past weekend we enjoyed our first UK Bank Holiday. For those of you who are not familiar with the UK, bank holidays are essentially random Mondays off that are observed by many businesses. We initially tossed around the idea of escaping the country (like most people) but decided to use the time to both explore London and continue to organize our lives.

Friday- Schlopy had a big adventure out as I took him on the underground to meet Jignesh and his co-workers at Borough Market for lunch. Borough Market is an amazing food market near the Thames River. In fact, it is the oldest food market in London and has occupied its present site for 250 years. Many of the over 150 booths sell some of the freshest products in Europe which serve both restaurants and the general public. It is a bustling area with just about every food item imaginable. Although I opted for a chicken wrap instead of my favorite paella, I did still manage to score a sangria (ummm…I could drink that stuff all day)! Jignesh, meanwhile, selected a North African lamb sausage wrap garnished with spicy mint salsa (whew…that was a mouthful).

Saturday- We decided that we needed to finally see a famous London landmark. So, off to Buckingham Palace we went! For just a few weeks each year, Buckingham Palace opens its 19 stateroom doors to public tours. Using the free audio guide, we got great insight into Royal life. We even saw the ballroom set up for an official state dinner. (How does one score an invitation to that gig?). Typically, close to 200 hundred people are invited to one of the two state dinners held each year. Our audio guides informed us that state dinners are held on Tuesdays and set-up usually begins on the Saturday before. The Queen sits in front of a huge U-shaped table with her husband (the Duke of Edinburgh) to her right and the guest of honor to her left. Every detail of the dinner is extremely precise and choreographed Using a ruler, they even measure the distant between each place setting that includes 6 glasses (water, pre-dinner champagne, white wine, red wine, post-dinner champagne, and port). After the tour, we enjoyed walking around the area outside the Palace and watching the festivities as it was the day before the Olympic flag would officially be handed to London 2012.

Sunday- This was our day of organization. We spent the majority of the day ordering some furniture, booking a trip to Barcelona, and just relaxing. Of course, no day with us seems to be without its adventures. Late in the afternoon, we decided to get out of the house and headed to the Heath with Schlopy. Jignesh and Schlopy found a field the size of three soccer fields and promptly chased each other until exhaustion. As were returning home, Jignesh turned to me and asked “Do you have my keys?” After seeing that I had nothing but Schlopy’s leash, a panicked look overcame Jignesh’s face. Realizing that the keys were gone and we were locked out, Jignesh sprinted back to the field for the insurmountable task of searching for the keys. Schlopy and I followed behind convinced that it was going to be a very long night. Just as Schlopy and I walked up to the field, I saw Jingesh told his hands up triumphantly! He had found them. It was undoubtedly like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack! We celebrated later that night with some good ole’ English cider.

Monday- We started the day by checking out the Notting Hill Carnival. This Caribbean themed event is the second largest street festival in the world. It is 2 days of complete craziness filled with outrageous costumes (or no costumes at all!), loud music, dancing, and lots of alcohol. (See picture for evidence!). After experiencing more carnival than we could handle, we headed to the peaceful Kensington area of London where we met some friends at a pub for fish and chips.

Overall, we had a great weekend. We were able to spend some time together and experience some of what London has to offer. We are both looking forward to many more weekends like this!


suzanne dorosz said...

Where are the pictures of the street carnival

Curly said...


wow.. you figured out how to lave a comment!????

Lynne said...

Sounds like Bank Holidays will provide some great opportunities to continue exploring your new environment. Glad "the keys" incident ended without too much stress and anxiety! Sounds like the Shroff family is happy together. You both look great. Look forward to future blogs/pictures.