The past two weeks have been incredibly busy and I know I haven’t written on the ol’ blog in a while.
First of all, my friend, Cuyler, came over from the states. I met Cuyler on my first day of freshmen orientation at Northern Michigan and we’ve been friends ever since so it was really great to be able to see him and show him around Bournemouth. Last Saturday, I took the coach up to London to meet him. He was staying in London with his friend, Jess, who is studying at one of the colleges there. After successfully navigating my way through the tube station (which I was very proud of by the way, haha), I met Jess and Cuyler and some of Jess’s classmates for a bbq in London Fields. It was a beautiful day and we sat in the sun, chatting, eating, drinking and generally having a good time. After a walk along the canal and some Nando’s chicken, we called it a day.
The next day, Jess, Cuyler and I headed to Notting Hill (like the movie, we saw the bookstore that used in the film). We wandered around the markets and ate some amazing Italian food. Dan had let me know he had won about £100 at the casino the night before so I decided I could splurge on a souvenir and bought a pretty sterling silver and amber ring at one of the market stalls. After Notting Hill, Cuyler and I had to head back to the coach station to catch our coach back into Bournemouth.
The weather was being a bit iffy so we had to strategically plan our site seeing around that. One day we took the bus to Corfe Castle(that was an adventure in itself being that there was a very enraged elderly woman ranted and raving about some Church of England head that she would like nothing more than to spit upon if she ever met him…), explored the ruins, and had the most amazing baguettes at a little cafe.
On Wednesday, it was another sunny, a bit windy day, and Cuyler and I took the bus to Swanage (we spent a lot of time on public transport while he was here). We managed to catch the open top bus there and it’s almost as fun getting there as it is actually visiting Swanage. After exploring Swanage a bit, we got fish and chips to eat on the beach, because there are many great things about England and fish and chips on the beach ranks pretty high (for me anyway) and is necessary to England experience as stereotypical as it sounds. We both got really awesome sunburns as well.
Thursday it was kind of drizzling off and on so we did some indoor activities around Bournemouth and spent some time at the Russell-Cotes museum. The Russell-Cotes museum is an old Victorian style house on the beach that was turned into a museum by the owners who basically travelled around the world collecting artifacts and artwork to fill their home with. It is a great little museum and the house itself is incredibly intricate and just as interesting as the artwork inside.
Cuyler had to catch the coach back to London on Friday and I had to go back to work (somehow I got stuck having Monday-Thursday off and now I won’t have to go to work until Tuesday because of the bank holiday on Monday). Dan’s mom, Colleen, and her husband, Paul came down on Friday to celebrate Paul’s birthday with us and drop off the wedding invitations that Colleen handmade for us.
We ended up going on a daytrip to Stonehenge and although the weather wasn’t amazing, it was so cool to finally see Stonehenge as it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now. It’s just amazing that somethat that old has survived this long and how intricately it was constructed.
Colleen and Paul took Dan and I for a meal and drinks at Hot Rocks (a restaurant near the seaside in Bournemouth). We had an amazing dinner and it was great to be able to visit together. There was much discussion about the wedding, which is coming along nicely as far as planning goes. Dan and I are so lucky to have so many talented family members helping out with our celebration and it has made planning a wedding from overseas so much easier and less stressful than it could have potentially been.
I’ve been trying to get our wedding website up to date, Dan and I have added our registry for Amazon UK so that anyone who would like to get a physical wedding gift for us can use this site so that it will be directly shipped to our flat in England since we will be limited as to what we can bring back with us on the flight. Dan and Mandy’s Wedding Site
Colleen and Paul headed back to Plymouth on Sunday and Dan and I were lucky enough to be able to borrow Steve’s car so we could drive up to Brighton. We were planning on meeting up with Rob, Laura and Annika to go to a festival type deal with camping and drinking and live music. Unfortunately, we arrived in Brighton and the weather wasn’t looking so hot so we ended up just hanging out at Rob and Laura’s new flat.
Their new flat came with a house seagull, his name is Howie and he likes biscuits.
We ended up going to a few pubs and sleeping in late on the Monday (we had Monday off here as well for a spring bank holiday). It was the perfect way to end the week. And now it’s back to the work grind and getting the bits and pieces together for the wedding! Love and miss you all ❤