22 December 2010

Back from Liverpool

What a cool cool cool town. I really enjoyed it a lot and wish we had more time in it. I can now say I have seen sunset and sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean. It was an adventure and I am already believing that this vacation will not be a once in a lifetime event. Oh yes, I am planning a return visit.

It has been an eye opener in so many ways. I'll make a comparison to my trip to New York in 2006. I grew up around there and grew up believing they were very cold people - very stand offish. That was farthest from the truth, they were very friendly and helpful on my adventure there.

The same can be said about England. I was told by a few folks that the English were kind of "snotty" and better then us. That is such an unfounded statement. They are truly wonderful people. Everyone has been willing to help anytime I have asked for it.

I am learning though that the English can have a hard time understanding themselves. Depending on what part of the country you are in, the accents vary widely. Some of the folks I can't understand at all and I'll turn to my guide and ask, "Did you understand that?" And she will say that it was difficult but she got it. But not just the accent of their voices but also the speed at which they speak. They can talk really fast and put any New Yorker to shame with their speed and accuracy.

A little story, with the end first. OK, our trip to Liverpool was on a charted bus. We spend the day and evening in town and left the next afternoon. Anyway, our room was on the sixth floor. So I went up and got our luggage and road down the elevator with the driver of the bus.

I thought I would double check on our departure time. I asked him and he responded rather quickly and looked at me and I had no idea what he said. So I asked again and this time I did catch, "Half past."

I looked at him, shook my head a little and laughed and said, "I'm an American can you please help me understand."

He laughed a little and said, "One-thirty." That I understood.

My trip to Liverpool was out of this world. There is a mall that is build a little bit in the ocean and we walked around it. Inside was an open square that held ships from the ocean and loads of museums all around it. It was unbelievable. We walked around that for awhile and made our way to The Beatles museum and it was out of this world.

I have a lot of photos of this whole trip and will be showing them after I get back home... but right now I am already living on the memories in mind. In Liverpool I also had my first taste of England's "Fish and Chips." Chips being French Fries. They were very tasty. No, I didn't use tarter sauce and ketchup but rather... salt and vinegar. Don't knock it till you try it. Vinegar on fries is a very tasty treat.

As I am sure many of you have read that England has been shut down to the enormous amounts of snow around here.... er.... four inches. This country is not use to any type of heavy snow and really doesn't have the equipment to deal with it. Anyway, it has shutdown the airport and made many people quite cranky.

Our bus for Liverpool left two hours later then originally scheduled. At first it was frustrating because no one from the bus company or the bus station told us what was going on. We finally had some folks go hunting for answers and the bus station apologized. After that a gentleman who works at the station stayed with us and gave us any information he had and was constantly using his cell phone to get us updates.

He didn't have to do that... but he did the bus station and the town of Stockport a wonderful service.

Anyway, we are back home and ready for an evening of relaxation. Later we will be making plans for our Christmas dinner... a joint American-English adventure. Can't wait...

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