It's day 11 on this island. Which the natives have dubbed, "England".
So far, they have welcomed me and given me a rare glimpse into their interesting way of life.
Words here are said differently, such as chips being called "crisps" and cookies being called "biscuits".
I'm starting to think biscuits don't actually exist here.
Nor does Mexican food.
In their lairs, they often don a primitive shroud called a "jumper".
Tea is had up to 6 times a day.
They're trying to make me one of them diary. And I'm beginning to fear...I may like it.
OK but for real if you don't understand what I'm referencing here PLEASE start watching How I Met Your Mother. I can't find a YouTube link for this diary scene but just watch every one until you get to Season 7 Episode 18 and thank me later.
England has been really amazing. Or as Debbie would say, "amazeballs". To remind you, Debbie is who I have been staying with. In the house is her husband Andrew, her daughter Lily, her son Finlay, Andrew's daughter Daisy, two dogs, and three cats. Andrew also has 3 kids who do not live in the house (totaling in SIX kids, my friends). The entire family has been better than I could ask for, but let's first start with Bath.
As I had mentioned before, Debbie has a friend Daisy who is opening a BnB and has many workawayers from all over the world staying with her to work. I went with three of them to Bath on Saturday. Two of them are from Italy (Leo and Alessandra) and one from Brazil (Tiago). They all speak English fairly well, but there was definitely a bit of a language barrier at times. Lots of "how do you say..." and "I don't know how you explain this in your country but..." from all of us. For example, when we stopped for lunch there was an entree on the menu called "Asparagus and Pea Shaped Girasole Ravioli". I asked Leo what Girasole was and he said "how do you say...flower following the sun?" Ohhh, sunflower! Ok. Actually, it is a sunchoke but close enough. "Site seeing" is "seeing the sites" and "Roller Coasters" are "Russian Mountains". Things like that.
So here we have Leo on the left (pronounced Lay-o) and Alessandra on the right. They are around my age, about a year or two older, and have been together for ELEVEN years. They've got really great "Italian hands" when they discuss things and claim there isn't enough bread in England, and say that usual Italian meals consist of five separate meals served individually. Seriously, these tiny Italians can REALLY eat.
Starting off in Bath we walked through what was like a HUGE market, mainly retail. A lot of American retailers like Urban Outfitters and Tommy Hilfiger. Randomly there would be flower shops, musicians playing, chocolate bars, and the MOST beautiful architecture. I'll try limit my pictures...but it's near impossible.
We walked around for a while, had a DEEEELISH lunch at Patisserie Valerie. Goat cheese tartines and a winter pie full of steak and pancetta? Yes please. Our final tourist attraction was the Roman Baths. *ART HISTORY NERD ALERT* It was insane. Beautiful. Magical. I'm running out of adjectives. I was immediately infatuated. It was crazy to be inside of something that's over 2000 years old and kept in such good condition.
My favorite part of the Roman Baths was learning about Minerva, The Roman goddess of wisdom. A bath surrounded by all male authority statues and then one bad ass bitch they all worship.
"Minerva is patron goddess...in her temple the eternal flames never whiten into ash." Yas, Queen.
Leo, Alessandra, yours truly, and Tiago (pronounced Chago). Great hair day for me, amiright? Not. At the end of the tour through the Roman Baths we found a pit of water where visitors will throw in a coin and make a wish. So the four of us, with our backs toward the water, each threw a coin in behind our head and made a wish together. I would tell you what I wished for...but it might not come true. Though I think it already is :)
We ended our visit at a cocktail bar by the train station. This place would be any girls dream. TRUST ME LADIES. A red glow, five or six good looking tatted up or bearded male bartenders, and an unlimited supply of cocktails. As a craft cocktail bartender, I was curious to know how many cocktails they had in their massive menu, and they informed me there is over 300. Crazy. Check it out here.
Tiago and Leo playing an intense game of Hangman on the train back. Tiago left yesterday back to his hometown, Belo Horizonte in Brazil. I'm going to miss him! He told me great stories about the weather in Brazil and the partying in Rio, that sounded like way too much fun and also sounded kind of frightening.
And that is Bath in a very small, funny little nutshell. Sunday night, we all had dinner at Daisy's future BnB, which is this INSANE mansion I'm obsessed with. By all, I mean Debbie's family, myself, young Daisy's friend Astrid, the other Daisy, her boyfriend James, and all of Daisy's workawayers (totalling in 16 people for dinner).
We had a traditional Brazilian meal with three different types of meats, rice, beans, greens, a Brazilian fish stew (not pictured) and plenty of wine, followed by a berry crumble and a game of Articulate. For those who don't know, it's a game of two teams and you have to describe words on cards without saying what it is in a certain amount of time. Which got to be very interesting playing with 16 people (7 of which use English as their second language).
Since Sunday, things have been pretty low key. During the day I work with Debbie on her business. She sells furniture, vintage items, antiques, beautiful clothes and hand crafted items from Morocco, books, French pieces etc. We sit in her quaint English style kitchen at a pine table by a big window and click away on our computers, talking about all sorts of things from family to religion to me teaching her how to efficiently use Pinterest and Instagram. She's very grateful for the work I've done on her website, business cards and Etsy account, but it's really been a two way street. I've already taken away so much from what she has to say about her business and it's very inspiring to see how devoted and hard working she is. She and her whole family have been so kind and welcoming.
Tuesday night I went to have dinner with the workawayers and got to know more about the two from Germany who had just arrived. Lea and her boyfriend Arne are definitely my kind of people. We clicked immediately. They informed me that Germany is just how we all think it is, with just as much beer but less leather pants, and less sausages but just as much sauerkraut. They told us all their great love story that took place in their German village called "St. Peter-Ording" (which may need to be my next visit).
So overall, it's been really incredible so far. I'm learning about people and cultures that I never thought I would have the opportunity to interact with. Not to mention, some really incredible views here. I'll end this super lengthy post with my favorite spot that I have found so far here. Next to the house is a gate that leads to a giant field where they walk the dogs. I went first by myself, and have since taken the dogs a couple of times. It is, hands down, one of the most amazing views I've ever seen. *Mushy moment* I had this really crazy moment of looking out over this field and thinking "I did this. I am actually here right now." And no, I did not tear up. There was just something in both of my eyes...
And last but certainly not least, these precious helpers cooling off in their pond after leading me through the fields...
OK, OK, I promise I'm done. For now.