Day 5: Remember when I said Bath was the cutest small town? Yeah.. not so much when you are walking through it at 4am and it’s dark and deserted. With all our gear on, Alex and I had to walk a half mile to the bus station. We knew exactly where to go and it wasn’t a far walk, but the sun wasn’t out yet and there were papers blowing in the streets and seagulls circling above and a store with the security alarm going off and a few random people lurking in storefronts.. Eerie. Needless to say we became a bit paranoid and walked as fast as we could to the station!
Our bus took us three hours back to London (ugh) where we then changed to a different one that went north to Leeds. By some miracle, Alex and I both managed to sleep the ENTIRE time (not comfortably, of course). We got off the coach and had to find the local bus stop to get to Cameron’s grandparents house. We wandered around for an hour with our heavy bags as six different locals gave us wrong directions to the bus stop. Talk about being tired and cranky…
But we finally made it to the Butcher’s! We were greeted by Mrs. Butcher who immediately set us up in our own room, made us lunch and did our laundry. Nothing like grandma’s house, am I right? For the first time this whole trip, we spent a whole day just chilling and even though we haven’t been gone long, it feels like weeks! It was so comforting to just sit and drink tea and chat with Mr. and Mrs. Butcher for hours. They are the sweetest people and so interesting to talk to. Mr. Butcher went into town and got us fish & chips for dinner (a different fish this time, that I liked much better!) and we had mushy peas and so many other delicious English foods and snacks, as Mr. Butcher was determined to have us to try everything (which we loved doing!) Mrs. Butcher’s sister came by in the evening to join us and chat and we all drank wine and lager & lime until Alex and I were so exhausted, we went to bed before them!
Day 6: We slept till 10:30 and couldn’t believe it. Guess we were tired! Right after we woke up, Cameron arrived! We had breakfast and then all went into downtown Leeds so they could show us around their town! It’s basically a big outdoor shopping center that’s all pedestrian, with some cool enclosed arcades too. We walked around a bit before stopping in one of their favorite pubs, Whitelocks, that was so cool and old you can tell it hasn’t been changed at all.
We were all pretty hungry and feeling the buzz of our beers already so we headed home (on a double decker bus!) where Mrs. Butcher made us a delicious meal with more English food to try! This time: Scotch eggs. Oh. My. Gosh. Probably one of my favorite things so far! I’m sure if Alex and I stop at another grocery store we will be picking some up.
Afterwards, me, Cameron and Alex walked down to a pub called the Roundhay Fox and sat outside and spent some time just drinking and catching up.
Day 7: We all got up a decent time this time (ha), got ready and had breakfast. Another new food: crumpets! Yes, we had tea and crumpets for breakfast. What’s not to love about that? Then Mr. and Mrs. Butcher drove us about 25 minutes to York. This was our first time actually riding in a car and every time we turned I just could not get used to being in the “wrong” lane. So weird. Everything is opposite here. They drive on the opposite side of the road, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car.. they even walk on the other side of the sidewalk and the escalators are reversed! It’s funny because you don’t realize how natural and instinct these things have become until you look the wrong way when crossing the street (…all the time…) or keep bumping into people on the sidewalk! Ok, I’m getting off on a tangent now. Back to York..
It was the most beautiful day yet in England (and they told us not to get used to it!) Sunny and 70 degrees with blue skies as we walked around for hours and actually got to take our coats off!!
Mr. and Mrs. Butcher were fantastic tour guides and showed us York Minster, Clifford’s Tower, Holy Trinity Church, The Shambles, The City Walls and so much more. Being shown around by locals is so nice and they know so much! I also can’t believe one town can have so much history. York Minster is such a beautiful cathedral, we got to take a peek inside this church too.
One of my favorite parts was walking along the City Walls. How amazing to think that there was once a time that the city had to be protected by guards with arrows up on this big barricade. It was fun to see the city from up on this view!
Everyone was pretty tired and we headed home, where after a few naps we had dinner (pizza!) and of course, tea and sweets afterwards. It’s so fun seeing how real English people live. I love the idea of drinking tea in the sun room and chatting after dinner (which they actually call ‘tea’?).. Oh, and they also think us Americans drink a lot of water, hahaha.
Cameron, Alex and I met up with his dad’s best friend and went to a pub called the Mustard Pot and had some beers and sat outside as the guys told hilarious stories of all their travels together and I realized again, the mishaps that seem kind of shitty at the time become the best stories to tell and funniest memories.