As I already posted about, I spent this Thanksgiving in London. I hadn’t been to London in quite a while, and was so excited to go back. I was a little nervous, because traditionally I spend Thanksgiving in America with Katie’s family, and I was worried I’d be homesick and surrounded by Brits on one of my very favorite holidays. That said, it was amazing!
The perfectness started after Gareth felt last minute guilt and agreed to pick me up from the airport. It’s so nice when someone is waiting for you at the gate, and even nicer when that isn’t followed by an hour long night bus (hint, hint x forever). I got in late the first night so we pretty much grabbed some food and went right to bed. Can I say again HOW MUCH I love to, on occasion, eat non-Spanish food? It’s pretty great.
On Friday we had breakfast at one of the best coffee shops in Peckham, and then headed into Greenwich. I used to spend a lot of time there when we were all still in college, but I can’t remember having gone anytime recently at all. It was almost the same as I remembered, except the got rid of the Tex Mex place which breaks my nostalgic Mexican-loving heart.
We wandered around the park, which was gorgeous. I caught a few pokemon, because I’m cool. Then it got too cold and we headed to a pub nearby for beer and mulled wine (guess who ordered what). After that we went to the market where I got a really old map of Massachusetts, and for quite the deal because apparently Gareth is an expert negotiator. We got lunch and an 8 pound bottle of Rioja wine (on sale from 16 and still about quadruple what you’d pay in actual La Rioja), and then went back and tried to sneak in a nap before meeting up with all our friends.
It was a chill night, we had a few rounds, played some pool, and caught up about everything I’d missed in my nearly 10 month absence! Just to put this out there, I have the best friends.
Saturday was our stand-in Thanksgiving day, and what better way to start stretching your stomach than with a classic fry up! After joyfully eating something other than a pastry for breakfast, we headed to the big Sainsbury’s in the hopes they would have all the American stuff I needed for my recipes. Which they did, apart from corn syrup (which I need a disgusting amount of for my chocolate bourbon pecan pie). I substituted golden syrup which was actually a pretty big step down but it worked in a pinch.
I spent the morning cooking the pie and helping (aka watching and criticizing) Gareth prepare the turkey. I met up with some friends at the pub to watch England defeat Argentina, and by the time we got back the kitchen was set up and food was nearly ready. (Thanks, G!)
I’ve never properly hosted a Thanksgiving before. I’ve had one at my place, but never was in charge of making sure everyone had assigned foods and knew what they were making. That said, because my friends put so much effort in, it was all perfect. We had enough for everyone to have seconds, the food was delicious, and I even got like two British people to say what they’re thankful for, which was the biggest surprise of all.
After eating we went to the park and spent about an hour playing 6 on 6 football. It was excellent (and not only because my team won by a lot). Eventually we wandered home and attempted to drink even half the wine that was brought. We played cards and talked about all the new engagements and had a perfect end to the night.
The next morning we watched Gilmore Girls (I want another season!), went to another great coffee place for breakfast, and then I had to leave for the airport. The trip went so fast. It mostly just reminded me how much I love London, and my friends there, and how much I miss it. It’s so nice seeing Gareth all the time, and exploring so many new places, but it was a reminder about how much I love the old ones too. Right now I’m deciding what to do after New Years, because in Spain we have the week after off too. I found cheap flights to Budapest and back to Spain from Vienna. Really cheap. But I could also spend like 5 more days in London, which I know I would love too. It´s hard to make decisions!
I’m writing this on my break before my lass class, and then I rush home, pack, and head to Barcelona. I fly out at 6:00am tomorrow morning for Berlin, and from there will visit Amsterdam, Prague, and Wroclaw. I get back Sunday morning, 10 days from now, and my mom arrives for the holidays on that Wednesday. I am so excited for all that’s coming up. Just once more, in case I’ve not made it sufficiently clear… I love the holidays!