It’s common for Americans to want to learn more about their roots, about the strange countries with tracht, cream teas or white flags from whence they came. Likewise, it’s not unusual for someone to want to get cultured[sic] by taking a visit to Europe and doing the sights there. In fitting with that spirit, I took a couple of weeks to visit Wales & England and see what I could learn from them.
It turns out I still had family in Wales, so as soon as I got there I looked them up. They spoke in strange accents in a patois desolate of vowels, but were very friendly and welcoming. I think they’re still a little bit backwards down there though, the tallest building I saw was only 7 stories and at one point I walked for 5 minutes through the city centre without seeing a single Starbucks or a Dunkin’ Donuts.
The Friday after, on the morning of the Royal Wedding, in a fit of patriotic fervor, I boarded a train headed towards London. Due to a mix-up I accidentally got off at Reading train station however, and so settled for the next best thing to a Cathedral full of people staring at Pippa Middleton’s rear end (that Facebook appreciation society has over 200k members at the time of writing,) and headed to the Reading Beer & Cider Festival.
As the name implies, the Reading Beer & Cider Festival is a Festival centred around beer and cider. It’s in Reading. It’s wonderful. I also tried mead for the first time ever there, which is wonderful. They had pies at the festival too. They were wonderful. Wonderful.
A trip to Oxford for cream teas, rowing down the river past all the college boathouses and laughing at a cat I used to live with who now has three legs came next. I found myself inordinately impressed with how quaint the small towns around Oxford were, which was rather disturbing. I threw a couple of trips to London in the middle of all this too.
Now though, I’m back home in NYC. It’s beautiful and warm and sunny and I have a lovely new apartment. One with no Internet, furniture or curtains, yet. Better work on that.