Thursday, April 24, 2014

European Discoveries

So one of the reasons I started this blog, nearly 2 years ago, was to tell all my friends and family, who are an ocean away, about my life in Europe. Well, looking at all my previous blog posts, it hasn't really been used for those purposes. It has been mostly filled with new mom struggles and high lights . Well, what can I say, that has basically been my life while I lived here, so  I didn't have too much time to enjoy and discover my surroundings. But now that Max is nearing the big TWO, and I feel like I have a little bit of a handle on this "mom" thing. I have recently been able to do and learn a lot more about this amazing country/continent that I live in!
 I have a huge, jam packed,and  fun filled summer planned as I do intend to blog about our trips and keep everyone updated about those places! I can't wait to get out more and explore this amazing place while I can!
So basically, this blog will serve as a compacted, random overview of what I have learned, experienced and discovered about Europe thus far.

- I feel like this a little random to start out with, but something I have really noticed about British people, at least the people in the area that I live, will travel far but not near. Travel to other countries is much more prevalent here. It seems like with any chance to take a holiday (vacation), the people here jump at it and go. They will travel to Spain, Greece, and other far away places, but they won't travel to a city a few hours away. For example, the girl who does my hair, who happens to be the same age as me, said she hadn't been to London in over 20 years... and she has lived in this same place( which is about 2 hours away from London) her whole life. What? I have found that that is not uncommon for Brits. They will explore other countries, but won't travel to other cities within England. I am not sure why this is, but thought it was interesting.
Oh, and when I am talking to random Brits, most all of them have been to the US before. And when I ask which part, the majority say.....Florida. I still think this is weird, as I always thought it would be New York , Los Angeles, or even Las Vegas, but apparently, Florida is the most popular US destination. (from the people I have talked with)

-I have learned so much more about geography! So I am not sure if you saw that link floating around Facebook a while ago about random Europeans trying to name the US states, but everyone thought it was hilarious.  Here it is- However, I thought they did really good considering, you give that same map to the average American adult and see if they can do much better. Or even worse, try and get the average American to name the European countries! . Anyway, I am proud to say I can name the location of the majority of European countries and actually know the locations of the major England cities. I have to admit that before I came here, I didn't even have any idea where in England, London was located. (go a head you try and find it on a blank map of England!) Plus, I can now determine the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England... They are different, but also the same, it is very confusing, but I think I have it now:)

- I really like milk in my black tea now. I never would have considered putting milk in my tea back home, but I find myself loving a good British  tea with milk and sugar around 2pm....aww just love it! I have a feeling it will be one of the things I take back to the states with me.

- People are the same, and yet completely different from Americans. When looking at it broadly, British families are just the same as American families. They take their kids to the park, enjoy dinners together, go out to with friends, hang out and so much more. All in all, we do the same things, just differently. Houses and pantries are tiny here, so no one bulk grocery shops! They buy enough groceries for a few days and then head back to the store a few days later.

-Even small things, that I noticed are different. For example, outdoor swimming pools in England are almost non existent! I did some research and found like 4 in the entire country. Back in the US, even colder states have outdoor swimming pools at least open for a few months. I truly miss swimming with the sun beating down on me.

-Another thing, people really don't wear shorts...I mean they do sometimes, but its not a staple of clothing. it just doesn't get warm enough, and along the clothing line. It is true that Brits dress way nicer than Americans. I honestly have never seen sweat pants and a hug baggy t-shirts on Brits. Never would they ever be seen in pajama pants! And thank goodness, I do wish Americans would take some note of this and realize it doesn't hurt you to throw on a tad nicer clothing...

-A thing I have enjoyed about living here is the random words they have that are different from America. Learning to say "crisps" when talking about potato chips and saying "chips" when talking about french fries are some of the small things that are fun about being here. More things than you think, have different names here in England and despite popular belief in the US, most people call the bathroom the "toilet" not the "loo". I have only seen the toilet labeled the "loo" once since being here and I remember it distinctly.

- Something that does bug me about here is that everything closes so early! Malls and stores close at 5 or 6 on weekdays and usually earlier on weekends and it is hard to find open stores at all on Sundays. I often wonder when the working person has time to go to these stores. All it would take is for one store to stay open late, even until 8pm and they would see how awesome it it for business lol. Idk, maybe there is a law against open hours (they do have some strange rules like that) .

I know I have more to share, but that is all that is coming into my head now, keep a look out for more European based blogs though!

****Some of the things we have planned coming up are:  Horse Races at Newmarket Races in 2 weeks,  Glamping (glamorous camping) in Wales  for my birthday weekend, also a  long Memorials Day weekend in Cornwall (most southern part of England with beaches). Also Jeffrey is going to Normandy for a long ruck march and to view the battlefields for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day (Max and I haven't decided if we will be joining yet), but lastly we have a Paris trip planned in July to of course visit all around Paris and Paris Disney!


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