The last 4 weeks have been filled with moving, transition and lots of learning. And some fun of course.
First up, our new flat, since everyone keeps asking. After a week and half of cleaning, shopping and organizing, we settled in. Our flat came partially furnished, but we still had to get a few things to make it home. Which meant we had to go shopping, Jared’s favorite activity (not). I mean everyone needs silverware and a trash can, right? After a weekend shopping spree, 3 trips to IKEA via rail and bus and a few more small trips throughout the week, we were finished (hallelujah). Oh, and Jared did great, no panic attacks. The fact that it was all expensed might have had something to do with it (ha!). Well here it is, minimal, cozy and home sweet home:
That couch folds down into a pretty comfy bed and we have lots of room for our air mattress, so if you’re not looking for 5 star lodging, you’re always welcome. And those robin egg curtains lead to our little balcony, but in true English fashion it was raining, so I did not get a picture of it. I’ll snap that another time, when it’s less blustery out.
Jared gets all the credit for this. He came up with this cute idea to have two clocks with England time and Ohio time with a photo of us in-between. We may be in the UK, but our hearts are in Ohio #sappy.
Meet Henry, he is our pet who also holds the door open between the hall and main living area. We love him.
The dishwasher, fridge and freezer are all there too. Smaller fridge, mean smaller shopping trips, which is good. Plus since most food is not processed here, expiration dates are much sooner. AND we live by an Aldi’s, which is fab!
This is our towel heater. I do not know how I lived without one. One odd thing is that there are NO outlets in the bathrooms here. Only one port specifically for an electric shaver.
We filled our room with photos of our family, friends and favorite munchkins!
So that’s our little home for the next year (at least), thanks for taking the tour! I am looking forward to filling it up with tokens from our European travels!
Now for a few things the British home has that American’s should glean from:
- Heated towel racks – again, AMAZING. We need them.
- Kettles – if we have these handy electric miracle makers that boil water in 30 seconds, I have not seen them and I need one.
- Blowdryers – it is not the physical blow dryer itself, but the wattage that dries my hippie hair in just 7 minutes. That is more than half the amount of time my American dryer takes. I know you males cannot sympathize, but I have regained a LARGE portion of my life back.
A few fun facts about England that we have learned:
- They do not have “periods (.)”, they have “full stops”
- Tires is spelled “tyres” here
- They call the letter “Z” “Zed”
- Eggs are not refrigerated here because they are not processed
- Squash is a type of sugar free drink you add to water, similar to Crystal Light
Amidst all of the settling in, we did explore our town a little more. We discovered the beautiful Thames park just half a mile from our flat. It has quickly turned into my new running/walking path:
There is a charming canal boat that serves high tea on the weekends. That is on my to-do list!
We also squeezed in a trip to Windsor, which is a just a skip, hop and jump away. We toured Windsor Castle, which is breathtaking. You are not allowed to take pictures of the interior, which is a bummer because words cannot describe how amazing it was. We got to see the state rooms since the royal family was not there. Just incredible. You can check them out on Google here. Then we did the Winsdor Great Park Walk, which was LONGGGGG, but totally worth it. We even saw a pack of 400 royal deer grazing – they just herded right across the path:
You can see all of the pictures from that trip on Flickr HERE.
Just this past week, England celebrated their Bonfire Night, which is a celebration of the foiled gunpowder plot by Guy Fawkes on November 5, 1605. Read more about it here. The whole week was like the 4th of July at home – fireworks are clearly legal in the UK. Over the weekend we went to a small town close by, Wokingham, to participate in the torchlight procession to the field for fireworks and the ceremonial bonfire. The men who sold us our tickets cautioned us to wear our “wellies” since the week of rain had done a number on the field. Luckily, I had worn the right shoes, Jared however… the field was a mud pit. We didn’t let a little mud ruin our night, and neither did the other 10,000 people. But, I will say the Fireworks display had nothing on the Cleveland Indians Friday shows.
What’s next? We’re heading to Dublin this weekend to try our first airbnb, then it’s time for Christmas markets – YAY. We’ll be doing London, Bath, Cardiff, Birmingham and a 4 day trip down Germany’s River Rhine to Strasbourg in France. Lots of fun stuff in store – stay tuned!