Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brighton Redux

We've been having amazing spring weather the past two weekends! Londoners have come out of their winter hibernation, shedding layers, sporting new macintosh jackets (no, not the computers, but the classic trench coat), debuting spring dresses, and my favourite, wearing Californian-style flip flops! Every patch of green space and parks across London were occupied by sun-deprived and pasty (if not slightly lobster red Londoners), soaking up the sunshine whilst enjoying the quintessential English summertime drink -- Pimms. We've been taking advantage of the beautiful blue skies and the longer days, that is when we're not stuck behind our desk!

Two weekends ago, on our first weekend back from South Africa, we joined five friends up in Hampstead for a lovely picnic. The spread of picnic food was great: pasta salad, nicoise salad, pesto chicken wrap, hummous, bulgar wheat salad, and of course guacamole and tortilla crisps. Great fun! We also had an impromptu boozy picnic the following day in Clapham Common with some of Keenan's friends. It was great catching up everyone as well as meeting new friends and finally seeing sun in London!

Ice Cream in Brighton:

This past weekend, Keenan was originally scheduled to go up to St. Andrews, Scotland with his Dad. With the hubs out of town all weekend, I organized a girls-weekends, starting with dinner on Friday, followed by a day trip to Brighton on the English south coast. However, thanks to the volcanic ash cloud, which left thousands of people stranded around the world, his Dad decided to postpone his trip until October, so needless to say, Keenan's weekend plans foiled. But he couldn't really complain with the beautiful weather and 23C temperature!

So last Saturday, my friend from Oxford came down, and the three of us - one beach-loving Portuguese and two sun-loving Californians - took the train down to Brighton for a day of lounging by the sea. It was the perfect day to spend on the English seaside – gentle breeze, 22C/72F, and clear skies. About one year ago, Keenan made the same trip to Brighton with his guy friends so I won't get into details about this English seaside town. It's fairly compact, so before you hit the pebble beaches of Brighton and the Brighton Pier (it really is tacky), be sure to visit the Royal Pavilion and meander through the Lanes.

Our day in Brighton consisted of three things: lots of eating (beachfront picnic, ice cream, and Jamie Oliver), sunbathing (in our bikinis if you can believe it!), and laughing (and some ethnographic observation of British drinking culture) with awesome friends…what better way to spend a sun-filled Saturday!

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