The morning we arrived in London from Bangkok, our sisters where supposed to pick us up at 7am, but unfortunately they got stuck in good old London traffic and didn’t get to us until 9am. Sud was then running late for work, so Raj had to drive us back from the airport (good thing he got some left hand driving practice in NZ). That day was Maha’s 16th birthday and Su had prepared a BBQ feast for her party. Nearly 50 people came to Su’s house to celebrate that night and Raj had the privilege of working the BBQ and fighting with the three coal BBQ’s; he clearly missed his gas grill at home, but he got some much needed practice for our return nonetheless. Ande and some other old friends of Raj’s showed up that night so we had a great time catching up with everyone.
As if Maha’s sweet 16 wasn’t fun enough, the next day was actually her prom! During the day we did a bit of shopping with her and then went to have her nails done. Then, of course, we helped our beautiful niece get ready for her date (who we were assured was JUST a friend). After an hour or so of madness, we tried to take a few pictures and saw her off in her black cab. While she went off enjoying her youth, we met up with Gavin and his girlfriend Carla, as well as Ande and his girlfriend Sarah. We had a lovely time with them as usual and tried to last into the night, but the jetlag caught up with us and my eyes would only stay open with a great deal of concentration. When we got back, we managed to stay up with Su until Maha returned from her prom and although we probed relentlessly, we were disappointed to discover that Maha had absolutely no gossip to share regarding her momentous evening!
The rest of the week we alternated shopping, hanging out with the family and going over each picture of our trip (there are over 2000) and visiting with friends that we rarely have the pleasure of seeing. One day we decided to go into central London and do a bit of sight-seeing – we went to the changing of the guard, the British Museum, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, met up friends for lunch and again for happy hour, and then, spur of the moment, we went to the London Eye, which neither of us had done before. We could not have timed our visit to the eye better if we had tried; we ended up seeing an amazing sunset as we went around the huge Ferris wheel style capsules and saw beautiful views of the Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace as the sun set slowly behind them!
This trip we were also amazed by how much our nephew Corey has grown! He just turned 10 and we are already seeing the markings of a young man. He is much changed from the last time we saw him and even has a new haircut – or lack of haircut depending how you see it- he has a a very impressive afro that he refuses to cut (and he has my vote to keep it, sorry Su)! As always, the Choudhury family could not have done more to make us feel welcome and we had a wonderful time seeing them. Thanks again to Dipali Mum, Sud, Su, Maha, Corey, Sasha and Princess- we love you!