Saturday, August 11, 2018

travelling is fun.............

I left July 18th after my Wednesday class finished. I was in my office and printed out my boarding passes. before doing so I went ahead and paid a $30 fee for "early boarding"? (Let the vacation spending on ME begin! ha).. headed directly to the airport with the luggage already waiting in my truck. parked and boarded a plane for Dallas. I remember nothing of that 4:30pm flight! upon boarding the plane in Dallas, sure enough I was with the first group to board, after the first class, business and all that etc... It was kind of fun seeing that big giant empty plane as I found my window seat and took some photos. There were parents with two kids that had two seats next to me and two in the aisle so the stewardess asked nicely if this older married couple would switch. they weren't too happy but yeah sure okay...and then as everyone else boarded and they got all situated, it turned out 2 rows ahead of us was just one guy, so the stewardess asked nicely if he would come back 2 rows and then they got 3 seats to themselves and lucky me had an empty seat between me and this guy we were up and out by 6:45ish I think? (totally boring guy all business and just wanting to get through the flight Zzzz) a few minutes after they said we could move around, I was up and to the bathroom to change into pajama pants and a comfy tshirt and brush my teeth. also took a melatonin pill or 2. I had been going to bed earlier and earlier before the trip by 8pm. so I knew that by 8pm I'd be able to go to sleep pretty easy.  Of course being in the ghetto seats I only had a certain degree of which to recline, alas! ( don't get me started on the cheapness of flying and the profit driven design of plane interiors please).
slept most of the trip. before landing got dressed back into jeans and shirt etc. had a meal on the plane. landed at Heathrow! I had my backpack and a carryon with me on the plane so no waiting for luggage.  I began finding my way to a tram or train to Paddington station and in the spending mood and ready to get my vacation ON, I got an express train ticket to Paddington. worth it! I was able to sort of relax and have a lunch and use some wireless on my phone before buying a ticket to Manchester. eventually boarding a train and less that 2 hours there I was - Manchester Piccadilly station. at this point I think I bought a sandwich.  btw, that was pretty much one of my daily or twice daily meals, sandwiches! quick and easy and cheap and I love how you can get a sandwich about any where (Sainsbury). also the many chip flavors.. Again i was using the wireless at the train station to try and connect with my airbnb host about my arrival.  things worked out well. there was a tram from the airport and then a switch to a tram ending in Altricham, except I got off at the Firswood stop in Stretford just SW of Manchester. This was Thursday the 19th btw. met the host and got settled in with the key etc. it was about an 6-8 minute walk from the tram stop not to bad and in a quiet little suburb outside of the city which I liked. the reason I chose Stretford is that it was sort of halfway and nearer to Tatton park, my destination for the trip to Manchester. I stayed at 93 Rye Bank rd which was within walking distance ( and eventually as I learned tram stops) of Chorlton and very cool hip area for eating out. I think I had pizza that first night at some fun place named Laundrette. walked back and crashed zzz.
Friday morning, happy birthday to me! was up early and off to the tram stop with cameras packed and ready.  The plan was go to the Altricham train stop(and last) and at the station there they had shuttle buses running back and forth all day to the Tatton Park. I think I got to the park by 10:30 early as planned. It was EVERYTHING, the very highlight of my trip I couldn't have had a better birthday day. so many booths and tents and exhibitions of landscaped garden setups and plants and flowers and things for sale in the tents. the only caveat that I wasn't able to purchase anything to take home ( many thigns just 5 pounds! alas). I took photos of all though. walked around and around. stopped for lunch at this restaurant they had setup in the middle of it all, I'd reserved a 12 oclock lunch, a sort of 3 course thing, potted rabbit rillettes, braised short rib of beef, then a lemon polenta cake. Mmmmm
continued on then seeing all there was to see, shopped the tent of booths with all sorts of stuff, and got some souvenir tea towels and such for family.
it was great! by 3:30 I was headed out on my way back to the airbnb, changed and ready by 500 and began searching online for a place I'd set up to get in a work out. Crossfit in Trafford! found the tram stop to take and then snapped a shot of the map to walk the rest of the way to their gym. I joined some people for the 6pm work out. it was awesome!  a really nice little muscly guy with a man bun and a voice like Bono from U2 and all the requisite tattoos and muscles of crossfit. ha super nice and I joined right in with their work out, and before leaving got a t-shirt of course.  When I got back to the airbnb and changed up and dressed up I went out again in Chorlton area for dinner, a nice place called Croma Pizza. yes again pizza , i love it and it was my birthday so! a great day overall.
Saturday morning I was off to Heaton Park , via tram right through Manchester. stayed all morning enjoying the park taking photos and wearing a jacket, was really nice cool weather, walked through trees, moss, the big hall, the cafe for lunch, more woods, etc...  by afternoon I took the tram back to manchester to do some shopping, found a store that sold Norse Projects, bought a shirt, then some sunglasses at Ace N Tate, and walked around , got back on a tram and went to Media City. I'd wanted to see the history museum but it was closed Saturday. However I found an outdoor market with all sorts of booths set up and an outlet mall. score! Sunday Morning I went to a Nazarene chruch I'd located a few tram stops over, and then was packed and off to the airport by 2pm. I'd planned a flight to New Quay for my next stop, Port Isaac.