Time flies when you are having fun

Whoa, I didn’t realize that it had been two weeks since my last post.  The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind with work, friends and relatives coming to town, celebrations with friends, and exploring the best that Oxford has to offer.  Unfortunately we didn’t use our camera very often, so some memories will be difficult to share, but this past weekend I did remember take a few pictures of a bunch of us gathering in suburban London in Kingston.

Our friend Pari invited a bunch of people to her house in London for a dinner party on Saturday.  We were excited to visit that part of London, but also to see Pari in her natural habitat.  Plus she commutes to work here in Oxford everyday, so we wanted a chance to experience what her trip was like.  I’ll end the suspense, traveling to Oxford from Kingston through Reading is nothing short of painful, and took about 3 hours, one way.  I can’t believe she’s managed to make it work for so long.

Anyway, we started with a driving tour of Richmond park, which is a 2,360 acre park within London.  As a frame of reference, its almost three times as large as Central Park in New York City.  We opted for the driving tour, as this is England, and it like to rain here, so we wanted to keep ourselves dry prior to the dinner party.  The park looked like a really nice place to have a picnic, take the dog for a walk, ride your bike etc.  The park is also famous for being home to Fallow deer (above), and I would guess that we saw about 300 of them during our drive around.

As we expected, Pari really went all out with the food, fine crystal, and 100 year old cutlery that her husband got from the Welsh guard.  Below we are enjoying one of the many courses.

And after our delicious meal Chelsea and I were introduced to a really funny game.  I’m not sure if it has an official name, but it is played with chocolate covered After Eight dessert mints.  The idea is that you lick the back of the mint, stick it to your forhead, and then try and get it in your mouth without using your hands.  We made it a bunch of pairwise contests, and really had a good laugh at everyone.  It produced tons of silly facial expressions, and even some funny chocolate streaks.  Well, you can see for yourself what I mean below, I’m caught in the action of my winning effort:

And of course I managed to capture some on video before our memory card filled up.  My personal favorite method would go to Mark on the far right.  It makes me laugh every time I watch it.

We finished the weekend with a walk into Kingston from Pari and Tom’s house, one leg of which is along the Thames.  Kingston seemed like a really nice little suburb of London, and reminded us a bit of home.  We were walking through the almost-pedestrian malls, and an actual mall and looking around smiling thinking that it was a lot like suburban Detroit.  Who would have thought?

Anyway thank you to Pari for inviting us and putting on a fantastic evening/weekend.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves.

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