It's not commonplace now that I have two nights in a row of going out and doing something heavy. To be honest I've gotten to an age now where most of the time that simply doesn't appeal. But sometimes, just sometimes, there come times where that sounds pretty awesome. And the opportunities are just too good to miss.
This was one of those strange and rare weekends.
And there were no regrets.
First night: Friday night at yet another Internations get together.
This one was being held at Funky Buddha; one of London's hottest bars and the venue where Two, Churches, and I were going to try our hand at meeting more new people and have a night out on the town after long and stressful work weeks.
It was a resounding success. The bar was hot, the conversations were on, and we were all feeling the effects of living in London - surrounded by successful people from all over the world doing crazy different things (salsa dancers who are involved with Russian metal miners, Chinese-British business relationship negotiators, and my personal favorite, jet engineers who work for Rolls Royce). That last one is a rather good looking Irish Icelandic man I've bumped into more than once at these events, but I'll talk about him some other time.
We all had a good night out and figure it will not be long before we hit another Internations event. I'm really starting to enjoy my membership.
The second night: celebrating Ozzie L's 30th birthday up in Milton Keynes.
Pretty exciting stuff. My friends are starting to hit their 30s and all of them are taking it in stride. First it was German K and now Ozzie L. I'd have to say that pretty much all of them have said that once you get there, it isn't so bad. All of them have also woken up with hangovers the next day, so it's possible their memories were wiped in the meantime.
The party was held at Ozzie L and British C's lovely house in the suburbs; BYOB and gifts and the food, music, and venue would be provided. It was beautifully decorated and a fantastic photo book of Ozzie L throughout his life was on display for all to see him in his lifetime of glories. The best quote while flipping through the book? "Then he met girls..." Hilarious.
It was a night of seeing neighborhood friends and meeting a few new ones. The music was a wonderful mix of oldschool hits and modern club hits. We partied deep until 2:30am before collapsing from old age. I stayed the night and was thankful for the quiet that can only be heard outside of the city.
The next morning we were up at a surprisingly early 9:00am. The couple who joined us at Creamfields had also stayed the night and had seen an American diner in town on their drive in. This prompted the plan to go to said dinner in the morning, which apparently opened at a strict 10am. Not wanting to wait in line, the entire troupe was up at 9:00am, including the very unhappily hungover birthday boy. Impressed, I'll have to say. I would never allow such a thing to happen after the amount of drinks I'd seen him consume, but well, to each their own. And I do agree that American breakfast food is nothing to joke about. It's serious business.
So we all ran out into the rain and drove our way to breakfast diner glory. And it was seriously tasty, though in my opinion not particularly American.
It had all the right elements - black and white tiles, silly cartoons and artwork on the walls, even a toy train that drove around the border of the cafe...but there were little things that made it strange.
Like the service was painfully slow. American diners would never allow this to happen. You ever go to a Denny's or a typical mom and pop American diner and your food is out 10-15 minutes after you've ordered it.
Also your food will never come on just one place, no matter what you've ordered. The beauty of American diner food is that you have so many sides they're on separate, smaller plates. Understood that our portions can never be compared to anyone else (not even the British, who have caught onto our gluttonous ways), but still, this is part of the experience, and it was clearly missing. When I order the grand slam breakfast and it comes with pancakes, a biscuit, toast, eggs, sausage, bacon, and hashbrowns, I expect at least the pancakes, biscuit, and toast to be on separate plates. No dice here.
But I'm just being nitpicky. This place was actually pretty wonderful and I was very happy for the large amount of greasy food after our night:
My breakfast was more British than American, but this was also intentional. I just couldn't get myself to order American food in a psuedo-American diner. So I went with what I knew would be probably pretty good. Plus I'm on a pretty good British fry up run right now - I've had them two weekends in a row, including the previous morning after my Internations night. Second weekend in a row I've had the small English breakfast at Cafe Oink...I'd have to say: it's delicious and totally worth its price. I'm so happy I live so close to a cute cafe.
Back to this breakfast though. This one was pretty tasty. Great crispy hashbrowns, wonderfully poached eggs. The sausage is vegetarian in this case (which was what I ordered but they were odd in general, as vegetarian sausages always seem to be), and the beans were lackluster (I've found this to be true about generally all British beans...so this wasn't that surprising...merely disappointing...I think I keep wanting to find Campbell's pork and beans, which are richer, sweeter, and thicker). The mushrooms were nice and the tomatoes were a bit flavorless but complemented well the greasier options.
All in all it suited my needs and I felt fulfilled after. I didn't finish the whole thing by a long shot, but I rarely do nowadays.
After we went back to the house and helped clean the rest of the mess up. We had done a pretty good job the night before so it didn't take long, nor a huge amount of effort. I headed to the train station soon after and made my way back to London, where I caught up on my week's worth of American television and did a full apartment cleanup.
I'm happy to report that I can still do two nights in a row and still wake up for work the next morning without feeling like dying. Granted I did pace myself so it wasn't nights on full tilt, but I think this is what aging is: wisdom. Knowing when to call it like it is. It's more enjoyable this way. I can remember everything, still have a good time, and look forward to future times as well.
Great weekend, all around. I look forward to so much more.
Now just a short week at work and then off to Boston for Rhinda's bachelorette party festivities for a week.
tSH, travelling once again.