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26 September 2015

War Rooms and Clouds

This week has been so busy. Fortunately, it has been filled with lots of family, which we tend to have a shortage of 'round this part of the globe. 

Earlier this week, Mike and Debi (Jon's aunt and uncle) came into town! We all went out to eat at Macellaio's (along with Auntie Claire, Debi's parents, and their friends). We just dropped in for something small but were faced with fairly comprehensive menu (including basically every cut of meat from a cow in various forms). We indicated that we were looking for something light, maybe like pasta or soup. But the waiter was quick to insist pasta would be too heavy, and that we should opt for a multi-kilogram meat option for the table to share. This was either the perfect example of the differing American to continental European dining attitudes... or an attempt to get us to spend more. We'll never be entirely sure.
As we've mentioned before, Auntie Claire was Jon's (biological) aunt Mary's missionary companion. But she was also good friends with Mike, when he was going to Oxford. While we were riding the tube to the Churchill War Rooms, we decided to reenact this classic photo from almost 25 years prior. 

Unfortunately, just about the time we reached the War Rooms, I got hit with a massive wave of I-Feel-Like-I'm-Gonna-Passout grossness. But I couldn't miss the chance to go through the rooms where Churchill was bunkered down and fighting WWII. I really learned so much.

The rise and scare of Nazism felt much more real... especially when compared with the ascent of ISIS today. Of course there are some large fundamental differences, but it FELT similar. I noticed it particularly in the way the politicians were speaking and the reticence of the UK and US to fully engage. It was so compelling (and more than a little frightening) to feel those similarities. 

My favourite Churchill quote from the whole exhibit, "My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied by the best." What a guy.

It was so nice seeing all these beautiful people. Debi is so sweet and loving (the perfect person to have around when you feel ill, as I definitely did), and Mike is one of the sharpest guys you'll ever meet. I'm so glad I get to call them family.

Later on in the week, Claire and I met up at the Breakfast Club to get some of their legendary pancakes. We were in line for a solid hour! But it was worth it.

Look at those things! MMMMmmmmmmmmm.... The pancakes were thick and cakey and topped with a artery-clogging dollop of vanilla clotted cream and berries. I was one happy camper.

Now, if the pancakes and smoothie weren't enough to put us into a sugar coma, we decided to pop around the corner to the SOHO Hummingbird Bakery to get Jon a red velvet cupcake. 

Afterwards, we meandered toward Waterstone's at Piccadilly to do some book perusing and eventually landed at Fortnum and Mason for tea.  Golly, I love that place... everything inside it is beautiful-- from the packaging to the shelf stockers in tails. It feels like Christmas.

Later that night, we went out to eat with our friends Kate and James to celebrate (can't say what yet-- but no, I'm not pregnant). Celebrations in this house almost always mean Shake Shack in Covent Garden. Right now there is a massive cloud-like installation piece their by Charles Pétillon called, "Heartbeat." 
Afterward we went with Kate and James to the YSA dance. Jon and I love to dance, so that was great, but I have seriously never felt so old. I didn't even know half the songs. And there were a whole gaggle of girls that that I use to be the Young Women's youth leader for, rocking out on the other side of the room.

But I didn't let it get me down! Jon, James, Kate and I had a blast dancing like there was no tomorrow. Finally we left, sweaty, happy and full of food. It's been a pretty great week. 

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