Saturday, October 1, 2016

the hippiest town in england

For our last few days in England, we headed to the beach town of Brighton to stay in Maggie’s uncle's flat there. The flat is right in the center of Brighton, just a few blocks from the beach, with excellent people watching out the front windows. Maggie’s uncle’s time there overlapped with ours for only two days, so he showed us around Brighton.

Brighton, it turned out, was a cool little town that felt a lot like the San Francisco of England. We went to many pubs, but also a drag show, which he told us was an English tradition. We really liked Brighton and planned on coming back to its small streets and cute (hippie) stores.

Andrew and Maggie's uncle enjoying a drink in his living room.

An English tradition: a drag show.

A common theme: headed to the pub.

England has the most classic pubs.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

london via forest gate

From our stay in Nottingham, we headed down to London for a couple weeks in an East London area called Forest Gate. We were housing sitting a cute black cat named Lola. The first thing we noticed about our new neighborhood was that every other shop was a curry shop – so we were in heaven.

Lola in all her cat glory.

After getting settled in, we took the tube into the heart of London for some good ol’ fashioned site seeing. On first excursion happened to line up with one of Andrew’s friend’s mom's stay in London, and we met up with her for lunch. After a tasty meal we headed over to Trafalgar Square where we went to the National Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. After feeling very artsy, we met up with Maggie’s uncle for a quick drink before meeting up with one of Maggie’s writer friends and her husband for dinner. It was a very social day for two people who hadn’t seen many familiar faces in awhile, so we loved it.

Trafalgar Square

Nelson overlooking Big Ben.

Out for a fun lunch in London.

Maggie posing with Big Ben.

Always fun to make new friends.

The rest of our stay in London involved some days of working and eating curry in Forest Gate, while other days we’d head into the city for some work and sightseeing. The weather was just turning from summer to fall, so the temperatures were perfect to be outside. 

A church with a graveyard right by our place in Forest Gate.

You could barley read this tombstone had it not been for the moss growing in the small grooves of the letters.

Beautiful London canals.

One of the things Andrew really wanted to do while we were in London was to eat some Jellied Eels. Why? Because the last time we were in London, we were staying right by an eel and pie shop and we never stopped in – and Andrew regretted it. Looking online we saw we were close to another eel and pie shop that had been in existence for generations, so we weren’t going to miss it this time. In general Jellied Eels are okay, they kind of taste like fish, but it’s the jelly that can turn you off a bit. We ate one eel straight out of the jelly and then took the rest home and fried them up for dinner.

Jellied eel with pie and liquor.

Our stay in London also lined up with Andrew’s birthday, so one whole day was spent doing whatever he wanted, which turned out to be drinking absinthe around the city. After many stops for a quick drink, our bottle was empty and it was time for dinner. We ended right by London’s Chinatown, and since Andrew’s a big sucker for Chinese food, we went out for a grand feast of Chinese. During our dinner, there were a group of American ladies next to us who were surprised to hear about the length of our trip. They said how most people wait for retirement to do things like that and how great it was that we were doing it now – we told them that was the plan.

Lola reenacting the label to our absinthe (no cats drank absinthe during the taking of this photo)

The best place to drink absinthe is always in a graveyard.

St. James park is a gem in central London.

Andrew enjoying a Chinese meal on his birthday.