Month: July 2008

Home again, home again.

 - by Gretel

We flew back into Chicago today with little incident.  A few pictures from the tail end of the trip is here:

The trip was such a great time, and good for Jeffrey and I to be away together.  After graduation, we pretty much took the train from Liverpool to Manchester, took the Metrolink (kinda like a cross betwen suburban rail and L trains) out to where we were staying in Altrincham, and hung out in their city center for a while.  It was a very traditional little suburb, replete with a historic council hall, open air market, and cute little British cottages.  And a Waterstones, which was very important for Jeffrey, as he needed a couple books for the ride home.  We spent the afternoon reading and hanging out, as we were about done with walking by that point!

Today we got up at 1:00 AM Chicago time, got to the airport, and got on our flight home.  The last picture in the set is a fire training exercise they were conducting right behind the terminal.  It was a bit disconcerting to be watching flames shooting out from a facsimile of a plane right before getting on an 8-hour trip!

I’m stil struck by a few things from being overseas.  The first is the extensive public transit.  I could get almost anywhere I needed to be without setting foot in a car.  It took much longer in many cases, but you could still do it.

I felt safe most places, but we do live in Chicago.   They have a knife crime epidemic currently, with lots of stabbings in London.  Just goes to show, violence will be anywhere people are.

People in the UK are more environmentally conscious, with lots of water saving and “green” concerns.  All the stores charge for plastic bags, and are selling their own versions of reusable ones.  Petrol is also 2.5 pounds a liter, so about $10 a gallon, so there is quite an incentive to conserve.

The strangest thing overall were comments about us having an accent.  Being from the Midwest, I’ve gotten used to having virtually no accent by American standards, so having a noticable accent in the UK was interesting.

I don’t know when we’ll go overseas again, but we’d like to take Ilyana and her eventual sibling with us next time.  Hopefully we’ll be able to go again before another ten years pass!

We’re going to attempt to stay up for a bit longer.  Hopefully we’ll not fall asleep before Ilyana :).