The plane ride was nothing to really mention. I slept almost the whole way through - no surprise there. 7 hours fly by pretty fast when you have the gift of voluntary travel comas.
Upon landing I was sort of nervous because I wasn't sure how strict customs would be and I was just praying that they would be ok with me only having a one-way ticket into Europe. We landed at around 6 in the morning and it was still dark and no shock to me - pouring rain. As we're filing into the lines for customs they seperated the UK citizens from the Canadians. So I get in line and the family behind me is trying to explain to their probably 7 year old son that he can't have Tim Hortons for breakfast. The people just to the right of me were speaking in a thick accent and I so badly wanted to yell at them and say "YOU sound like you're from LONDON!" however, i felt that perhaps the people in charge of letting me enter the country might think i was crazy, so i refrained. BUT just thinking about it made me laugh to myself while standing in line staring at the people across from me. (also might have looked a bit crazy so i stopped).
She gave me a hundred questions about why i was here and how long i was going to stay and where i was going and who i was with and how i know him. Ended up giving my passport yet another stamp and off we went to get our bags.
Steve's parents were picking us up from the airport and they both greeted me with a hug and made me feel very welcome. They live in a nice town outside of Manchester called St. Helens. The houses all look so different and i already feel very very foreign. I feel a bunch of questions about stupid things are coming Steve's way in the next couple of days.
We got to his house and visitied with his parents and sister for a while. His mum made us an egg, bacon, sausage and bean breakfast with tea. Very English, Steve assured me. After we ate i was feeling tired again so i went and had a couple hours nap and now here i am waiting for Steve to get up. Our plan for the rest of the day is the head to Liverpool on the train and check that out. Tomorrow is Chester, a traditional old english town. So i better dust off my camera and start looking like a tourist.
Feels great to have my pack on again!! (not literally... it's much heavier than i remembered)
Liverpool was really cool! The train ride only took a little over 20 minutes and the town immediately impressed me. Steve was laughing at me because every 2 minutes it seems i would be pointing at a building with an "ooooo, what do you think that building is?!". His answer was usually "i don't know". I definitely have no shortage of pictures so far of beautiful mystery buildings. Very few have signs on the front saying what they are for. We stumbled across an art gallery and took a look through. There was a nice mix of modern art as well as traditional art that i expected to see all over England. (you know... the typical naked people with sheets draped over them, babies, dark colours, laying down or floating in the air. haha... i'm so cultured!)
We walked through the town and down by the docks as the english weather didn't let me doubt its reputation. They literally don't lie when they say it can be sunny one moment then cloudy and rainy the next. I really began to doubt my packing choices. I feel as though shorts may have been altogether ambitious and that i should have considered a few more sweaters. The coat i bought just before leaving has already become my best friend. It is not only cloudy but almost always windy which is the part that really gets me. So far i love England but all you friends and family don't need to have any fear about me wanting to move here permanently.
As some of you know, Liverpool is famous for the Beatles. Steve and i went to the Cavern Club where the Beatles used to play and enjoyed some live entertainment where this man was playing covers of all the old songs. It was a really neat atmosphere with pictures all over the walls of famous people that have played there before.
We got home at a about 8:30 and had a fish and chip dinner and decided to just relax and watch a movie with his family. I didn't last too long before i started to nod off and headed to bed to get a solid 10 hour sleep.
I woke up feeling amazing and looked out to window to find it cloudy and windy however i felt so genuinely happy. Normally a day that like would motivate me to do nothing but crawl back into bed but i was very excited to go to Chester.
After breakfast, off we went in Steve's mom's car down all the windy roads and motorways about an hour away to Chester which i found to be a very charming little town. The buildings were exactly how i pictured England to be. I was so excited to be there and experiencing traditional England that i was practically hopping down the cobblestone streets, camera in hand.
We toured through this amazing cathedral! I would have loved to be there for a Sunday mass and hear the organ and choir but unfortunately i had to imagine all of that as we walked through. The detail on the outside was matched or beat by the amazing designs and sculptures on the inside. Once i figure this site out i can hopefully post a few pictures and give an idea of how amazing this church was.
The city was surrounded by a big wall that you can walk all around. It took us just a little over an hour to circle the whole town but it definitely gave a few good sights from a higher vantage point.
I'm still a bit tired today and i'm not sure whether to attribute that to the jet lag or the cloudy weather. Our plan is to take it very easy tonight and maybe after dinner go meet a few of his friends for a game or two of pool. Tomorrow we head to the lake district for 2 days and i'm very excited to see the countryside. I'm sure i'll have a million more pictures after that!
That's all i have for now. I fully expect my posts to get shorter and shorter as i go on. I know how i am and usually get bored of explaining details. So if anyone actually read till the end of this post - congrats and don't get too used to it!