Tuesday, June 24, 2014

england : last day

This is always the saddest day, for obvious reasons, but it gets harder each time we see each other to have to say goodbye. Relationships in general are hard, and you have to work to maintain them. No relationship will survive if one or both parties are not willing to put in enough effort to keep them going.

Now, take your "normal" relationship and add about 3,628 miles of distance. NOT easy. Anything but easy. I've had people ask me things like "well, why don't you just find someone here?" . . . I never know how to answer that. I assume the people who ask such questions are people who have never experienced real love. You don't just simply find somebody who's in a more convenient location, or whatever. I've found who I'm meant to be with, and we are going to make it work. And we have been making it work for two years now. It's not one of those things you just give up because it's too hard.

I came across this quote on Pinterest awhile back and there's so much truth in it:  

"Distance does to love what wind does to fire -- extinguishes the weak and feeds the strong."

Anyways, we left Carlisle around 5:30am to get to the Manchester Airport for my 10:30 flight.

We had a little time to spare once we were there, so we decided to get one last Full English breakfast.

And take our last picture together...

Twins! Haha... Except mine are fake. His are real... Glasses, I mean.

I always take a picture while the plane is taking off out of Manchester. I'm not sure why though, because when I look back at my pictures from my trips, they only just make me sad. It's my absolute favorite view on my flight in; absolute least favorite view on the flight out. Funny how that works!

I really do love photos taken from planes, though. It's refreshing to see the world from a different point of view sometimes.

So, until next time, England. T'rah!

-teddy x

Monday, June 23, 2014

england : day seven

Monday was that sad, last-day-before-going-home day. You know that day I'm talking about? The day you have to pack up and think about the fact that you'll actually be leaving the next day. The day where you don't talk about it being sad but it's unspoken and everyone knows it's sad. That was Monday.

Tom and I went to John Watt and Son Coffee House for breakfast. I'd been there before and really liked it and wanted to get a full English. I could eat breakfast for every meal.

I wanted to do a little shopping before going home so later in the afternoon we headed into town to do that. I found a couple small gifts for friends and found myself some new running shoes. After that, we both kind of just wanted to hang out and do nothing so we went back to his house to order in pizza and once again watch Breaking Bad. We made it to the beginning of the last season while I was there so now we just have season 5 left to watch!

-teddy x

Sunday, June 22, 2014

england : day six

I'm so stressed out right now because I'm trying to write this while watching the USA v. BEL game and it's in extra time and it's basically been Belgium v. Tim Howard the past 90 minutes! Belgium just scored thanks to the USA not being able to defend but I've my fingers crossed for the next 22 minutes.

So anyways, on Sunday we chilled for a bit at the camp spot in Scotland before heading back to Carlisle late morning. I took a little walk around the beach before we took off. It was so incredibly nice and the weather was perfect.

After getting back to Carlisle, Tom and I managed to make our way to a bar called McQueen's for lunch. I got to try my very first Sunday Roast! I approve. I think the Yorkshire Pudding was my favorite part. Also, I don't know what it was about their coffee but it was the best.

After that we went back to his house and watched Breaking Bad for a few hours (we're finally getting close to the end) and then got hungry again. Normally I wouldn't include every single meal in my posts but we ordered fried chicken and the box it came in was amazing.

Also, the "fried" chicken came in something that was more like batter that you'd find on fish in a fish n' chips meal. When I laughed at it, Tom said to me, "Keep in mind their menu used to say 'open 8 days a week'". It gave me a good laugh.

After fried chicken came s'mores! We had the ingredients leftover from camping so we thought we'd put them to good use. We made them in his garden on the grill.

I really wish we had gardens like this in America.

Thought I'd include this lovely matchbox for you guys, because fire only kills children and I thought you needed to know!

By the time we finished with our s'mores (I introduced his parents to them as well), it was nearing 11pm... Which meant USA v. Portugal was going to come on soon! We stayed up late to watch that and witness the dramatic equaliser by Portugal in the last minute of injury time. I was sure we were in for the win but hey, we still ended up making it to the Final 16.

Speaking of, the USA v Belgium match has ended amidst my writing this. The last 30 minutes of extra time were the best of the whole game. Tim Howard was an absolute beast. Without him the US would have been destroyed.

I'll leave you with this amazing Buzzfeed article.


-teddy x

Saturday, June 21, 2014

england : day five

Okay guys, lots of pictures with this one... On Saturday we camped! I'm always the last one ready for things so I got up extra early since we were getting picked up... but then the one time I was ready early, our ride was late! Six of us went: Tom, myself, Gez, Afzol, Jess, and Sarah.

The place we were camping at was a little place in Scotland called Knockbrex. Well, maybe it's not that little, I'm not sure. It just seemed like tons of countryside and farms to me. It was gorgeous though! Oh, also, there was a tiny castle close to our campsite. It's called Knockbrex Castle and it is absolutely adorable. I found through their website that they rent it out. Definitely plan to do that one day.

Cute, right?? Check out the link I embedded above for more pictures.

Obviously we needed lots of stuff... This was about 1/3 of what we had. Better safe than sorry, right??

It was a little bit of a struggle putting up that massive tent. Strong winds didn't help.

 It really was a perfect spot for the sunset.

I wish these photos were better quality. I got scared about bringing my Nikon so these are all iPhone pictures!

Basically all we did all day was eat and drink and eat some more. I taught them how to make s'mores and I'm pretty sure they fell in love. Also, I discovered haloumi, a Greek cheese, and now sometimes that's all I can think about it. Someone please let me know if you can find it in America!!

I'll put more photos from camping in the day six post. Enjoy!

-teddy x

Friday, June 20, 2014

england : day four

Things were pretty low-key on Friday, partially because we were leaving early Saturday to go camping and partially because of slightly excessive amounts of vodka the night before.

After fish n' chips for lunch (Chip Shop Friday!!!... Seriously one of the highlights of my trips) we did a little walking around town. I wanted to check out a few shops, Topshop being one of them as the closest one to me at home is Chicago, I think.

The city of Carlisle intrigues me. I feel myself falling more in love with it with each visit I make.

Ohh, I also bought an Arsenal t-shirt from JD Sports seeing as I'm a newly decided Arsenal supporter.

Before my trip, Tom and I were planning things to do while I was going to be there. Originally we were thinking camping for Friday, but then I realized that I was only going to be there for one. Once I figured that out, I told Tom we definitely had to reschedule camping. Friday evenings we go to the pub!!

I've gone to the pub with Tom and his parents every Friday, every trip. I love all the people there and I meet new ones each time. I would say the main people I go to see are Derek and his wife, Linda, and Kenny and his wife, Jean. They're all such lovely people and they always seem so happy to see me. It makes me smile! This time, Derek and Linda were ecstatic when Tom told them that I said we had to reschedule camping so that we didn't miss them at the pub.

Everyone's favorite question when I come in seems to be "when are you two getting married?" and it's so funny because they always ask me and I always tell them they're asking the wrong person!

We headed home fairly early that night to pack for camping, order take-out, and watch Breaking Bad.

I can't wait to see them all again next time! :)

-teddy x

Thursday, June 19, 2014

england : day three

Time really went entirely too fast on this trip. It normally seems to go quickly, but I definitely think this one went by quicker than any of the previous three. Wish I'd been able to stay longer. :(

On Thursdays, Tom goes to visit an elderly man named Les. It's part of some community involvement thing he does (sweet, isn't he?). Les's wife passed away within the last couple years so he's on his own most of the time. Tom just goes to his house once a week to keep him company for a few hours. This Thursday, I got to go with him. Les was really kind. He made us tea and biscuits and we watched a Daniel O'Donnell (an Irish singer with brilliant dance moves) VHS from the '90s. It was a good afternoon!

These pictures were from the walk to his house:

Everything in England is so much cuter than America. I love it.

Later that night, we headed over to Martyn and Jimmy's house for the England v. Uruguay World Cup match. There were a few of us: Martyn, Jimmy, Tom, Niall, Daniel, Nathan, Doodles, and myself. Unfortunately, England lost 2-1 but on the bright side we had plenty  of vodka to help us forget! I must say I had no idea Brits get as loud and rowdy as Americans when it comes to sports. Also, if you're a huge football fan, please forgive me; Tom says I sound too American and that I need to work on my terminology... I'm trying!!

Nathan and Tom when Rooney equalized in the 75th minute.

Nathan and Martyn!

Martyn and I :) Great lad (how English do I sound!? haha)

So, in the end, even though England lost, I think it's safe to say we all had a pretty good night. And also I have to say that the more I understand football, the more I enjoy it. One of the only sports I can actually sit and watch!

-teddy x

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

england : day two

Wednesday morning I felt refreshed after getting a good night's sleep to catch up from the overnight flight. Tom unfortunately had to attend the funeral of a fellow councillor, so I unpacked while he was away.

When he returned, him, his mum, and I took a trip to The Animal Refuge. We wanted to check out a super grumpy looking cat ("beautiful", as Tom called it...) that was up for adoption. Sadly, Bagpuss didn't get on with other cats (or children) and had been sent back to The Animal Refuge three times previously. Since Tom has three other cats, they didn't want to allow Bagpuss to go home with him.

There were loads of other animals to see, including horses, goats, dogs, and cats. It was really a nice place and much bigger than I expected it to be. They also had a little gift shop where I bought a quaint little tea pot (I'm obsessed with tea pots) and an England pint glass.

After leaving the refuge, we headed back to Tom's to get cleaned up because that evening we were meant to be having dinner with the mayor... Yes, the mayor. The actual real live mayor of Carlisle. 

I must say it was one of the more nerve-wracking things I've done, but it turned out to be a really nice night. I wish I had pictures; their house was seriously lovely! I ended up deciding against whipping out my iPhone to document things...

In attendance were the mayor (Steven) and his wife (Christine), Tom's parents, and the two of us. When we got there, we sat in the garden (which was so cute and cozy) for an hour or so, drinking wine and chatting, before going in to eat. Everything was so relaxed and Steven and Christine were so welcoming and friendly. It was really nice getting to know them a little bit.

The dinner they had prepared for us was perfect. We started off with fruit bowls and bread. Next came salad, potatoes, and Ullswater Pie. I was a little apprehensive of the pie to begin, as I'd never heard of it before, but it turned out to be soo tasty. I wonder if there's anywhere around here that makes it... highly doubt it.

Pudding (dessert) was an apple crumble and vanilla ice cream, washed down with coffee.

By then it was getting late, so we called a taxi and got ready to go. Whilst waiting for our ride, Steven gave me a tour of his basement. Now, if you're from Michigan, you're probably wondering why in the world  we'd want to see his basement. However, this was much different from your typical "Michigan basement".

He informed me that servants had lived in the house until the 1950s, and the basement had actually been their living quarters. I got to see where they slept, cooked meals, and did laundry. It was fascinating.

At the end of the mini tour, we walked out of a door that took us into their garage, where Steven showed me his gorgeous, shiny, bright red 1960 MG. I can't pretend to know much about cars, but I will say that this one was a true beauty. He was very proud of it, and I don't blame him!

By that time, the taxi was waiting out front. Tom, his parents, and I got in to head back home.

All in all, it was an exceptional evening.

-teddy x