Friday, May 3, 2013

Visitors like to eat

The Hesters, having spent most of the week touring landmarks, museums, and gift shops, were ripe to take a food tour through some of our local markets. I took them to Borough Market on Saturday and Brick Lane on Sunday. They were eager to get their hands on everything. 

In the meantime, Kenz was locked away in the library, finishing a major essay. 

Casey, mid 'cross one eye at a time' demonstration.
Casey tries Lucozade; the two of them try 'mozzarella cones' in Borough Market 

They loved it all: full English breakfast, mozzarella cones, duck sandwiches, emanadas, and sausages
Going out on Saturday night, "Who let me leave the house with a scrunchie in?"

We got to see how poorly Robert handles chopsticks
I took Casey to Selfridges on Sunday morning. She wanted to shop. Robert wanted to sleep in. We met him later in the day at Brick Lane. 

Clock at the Bethnal Green tube stop
Selfridges is a department store on steroids. As Casey noted, it's like a cathedral to shopping. It's about the size of the British Museum; it's full of high-end merchandise set at laughable prices. I'd been once or twice before, so I didn't mind returning. I figured an hour of scoffing at prices would be time well spent.

There's nearly an entire floor dedicated to women's shoes.

Mr. Selfridges made out of jellybeans

They have 'foods of america' in their food hall. Lucky Charms - 7.49. 
We eventually caught up with Robert and proceeded to jam ourselves into the overflowing mass of people. When you live in a city that hasn't seen the sun since September, you brace yourself for the first week of sun. Everyone leaves the house. 

Two nights ago, I ran into a friend who was completely sunburnt from head to toe. We're talking already peeling sunburnt. Painfully sunburnt. 2nd degree burns sunburnt. I asked him if he'd been to the beach. "No, just went out of the house and walked around for an hour." British people, ladies and gentlemen. They know how to handle the sun in about the same way Knoxvillians know how to drive in the snow. 
three abreast when two is crowded
At restaurants I go to on a regular basis, I usually don't even open the menu. I know what I want and I rarely stray from it. The food hall at Brick Lane is the exception that proves the rule. There are about 20 food stalls, all featuring different cuisines from various places around the globe. When I'm there, I try and get something from a stall I've never visited before.

Robert got Szechuan; Casey got Moroccan 
I got Latvian

A meatball with a hard-boiled egg inside? Sure, why not? I broke my fork trying to cut into it, though. Laughter ensued. 
Robert had sneakily bought a custard-filled doughnut before we'd even sat down for lunch. After eating, he pulled it out and started in on it. It was likely the funniest consumption of a doughnut I've ever witnessed. He was constantly battling Casey's attempts to get a bite, all while half-asleep.

We toured around a bit more, saw a bunch of hipsters, and they ate more food.

Dude just selling his glasses on the side of the street; London coffee festival had a line around the block; birds in hats

They had to try a crepe

We got tickets to see Iron Man 3 at the IMAX theatre. I had no idea the UK got the movie before the US (apparently that's happening with the Star Trek movie as well). Of course, another snack was needed before leaving the house...

I can't even remember what they were eating

3D Glasses make everyone look good.

Casey and Robert went to Paris on Monday, returned Tuesday evening (with more snacks/candy/McDonald's macaroons), and then went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour on Wednesday. Kenz and I returned to real life, working as usual.

McDonald's macaroons

Robert eats like a caveman. He just sticks his fork in meat and gnaws on it till it's gone.

We took them to our local fish and chip shop for their last dinner in town. They'd had the delicacy once before during their visit, but hadn't been to our secret spot. They agreed that our place was better than the random pub's they went to earlier in the week.

The last supper
Thursday morning saw them trying to get everything back into their suitcases as Kenz suffered the frustration of framing a poster I'd bought on the Internet. Nobody was really all that happy in their work. Nobody likes the end of a visit or vacation.

All in all, a successful trip for the Hesters and a delight for us. They've safely returned to Knoxville, and we're experiencing a touch of empty nest syndrome.

22 of the past 32 days have been spent with visitors. Would you believe we're only halfway through the 'season'?

Thanks for making the trip, Casey & Robert!
Thanks for reading. Maybe next week I'll get through an entire post without pictures of food! Have a great weekend. 

P.S. Kenz's old roommate, Sara, is writing a blog re: her New Year's Resolution. She's trying something new each week. You can check it out here if you're interested.

P.P.S. If you want to check out some old pictures of the Thames, do so here.