A Quick Trip to Liverpool

We’ve already taken care of you music lovers by writing about all of the Beatles-related things we did in Liverpool, but we would hate to leave all you foodies and bargain-hunters hanging. So here are a few more particulars of our 2-day Liverpool trip.

Firstly, you should know that we planned this trip on the spur of the moment. We decided Saturday afternoon that we wanted to leave on Monday, and started planning from there.

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Our Beatles Pilgrimage

Black and White photo of the Beatles

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday of this week going to Liverpool (one of the perks of giving up my 9-to-5 job!). Tourist-wise, it was a great time to go and see everything Beatles-y that the city has to offer, because it wasn’t too busy! That might have something to do with the weather in Liverpool in February – Tuesday greeted us with 55-mph wind gusts and a 26-degree wind chill.

Let me step back for a moment and try to explain how special this journey was for me (Albert):

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London Day 3: Neon Lights and the VA

God's Own Junkyard: Heavenly Junk in a Hell of a Location

On the third and final day of our trip to London, we did two things worth mentioning here: had coffee at a fascinating cafe, and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum.

God’s Own Junkyard

First off, my cousin and his wife took us on a walk. We walked a long way and finally turned into a back alley where I was pretty sure we were going to get mugged.

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London Day 2: Bus Tour

Tower Bridge London

For our second day in London, we only had a few hours in the afternoon to get around. We were feeling a little overwhelmed (TripAdvisor lists at least 945 things to do in London), and were having trouble deciding between several different options of how to spend the afternoon. The Tower of London? Piccadilly Circus? Buckingham Palace? Maybe they have the equivalent of New York’s Naked Cowboy somewhere? What would that even be? A naked Beefeater? Ew. I digress.

So we decided to see it all on a double-decker bus tour. We took a two-and-a-half hour route that zig-zagged all along the Thames and hit pretty much every sight and street I could think of (and lots more I never would have thought of). Many of the photos were too blurry to use, but I’ve included the best photos that did turn out below:

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London Day 1: The Globe Theatre

Globe - Thatched Roof

After being in the UK for an entire month, Katy and I finally got tired of waiting for the Queen to invite us down to London to take some tea with her.

We took matters into our own hands, and instead got to stay with a cousin of mine who lives near the city (a much warmer welcome, thank you very much). I had been a few times before, but it was Katy’s first time. Here’s what we saw on the first day:

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Eight Things I Learned in Yorkshire

Welcome to Yorkshire

Coming from Dallas, I’ve noticed that they do a few things differently here in Yorkshire, England.

One of the best things about traveling is experiencing a different culture and learning a few things about the history and people who live there. We’ve been here almost a month, so I thought it was a good time to reflect on what we’ve learned:

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Friendly Halifax

Before we got here, we had heard that the north of England is a friendly place – I happened upon a great example earlier this week at home in Halifax.

I went to the post office to buy a few stamps a send a letter. After speaking to the clerk, I moved over to some empty counter space to address an envelope. Apparently the return address belongs on the reverse side of an envelope in England, and not the top-left corner of the front. I debated writing the return address in the top-left corner as a sort of protest, but I really wanted the letter to arrive…so I caved. This internal debate took much longer than it should have, but it gave me time to witness the following.

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Exploring Edinburgh

Edinburgh - view from the castle

Last weekend, we got the chance to go up to Edinburgh. I (Albert) have been a few times, but it was Katy’s first time.

There is a running joke (not even really a joke…more of a recurring comment) in my family that it always rains in Scotland. This came from a time when I was young, and we were visiting dad’s side of the family in England and Scotland. We had been in England for a few days and, though it was cloudy, it never rained. We drove up to Scotland and within a few minutes of crossing into Scotland, it started raining…and didn’t seem to stop until we drove back south, and the rain stopped.

Much to my surprise (and to the sad death of that inside joke…) it was the opposite this time. We left a rainy, snowy, nasty Halifax in the morning and enjoyed a beautiful train ride through the bright, sunny countryside up to Edinburgh!

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Breakout Manchester

Breakout Manchester dot com

When I was younger, I – like many boys – went through a phase where I wanted to be a spy. I watched all of the Bond movies. (At the time there were only 17. We lived close to a video rental store. My summers were uneventful.) I played the video games. I read the novels. My brother and I even made some very exciting home videos of us doing James Bond-y things. Thankfully these have been lost or destroyed.

Obviously, my life took a different path, and I’m not a secret agent*. I mourned this fact until Tuesday, when Katy and I tried our hand at Breakout Manchester. I had a ton of fun… but it was humbling. I am not cut out to be a spy.

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Exploring Manchester

Welcome to Manchester Banner at Town Hall

We took the train into Manchester, England for a day trip yesterday. It’s a bright and buzzing city, full of life – and an unusually stark and beautiful contrast of old and new. Modern glass and steel skyscrapers sit side by side with gorgeous, ancient stone buildings. It was a bit surreal to take a picture of the National Football (ahem, soccer) Museum, and then to literally turn around and take a picture of the stunning Manchester Cathedral!

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