On Saturday, we slept in until nearly 10 (thanks to the landlords still being on holiday), made breakfast, and headed off to King's Cross to catch the train to York, 2 hours north of London.
You know how in Harry Potter, Mrs. Weasley is incredibly rushed to get the children on the train? That's really how it is in real life (although, ok we aren't walking through a brick wall, but still). The train pretty much arrives at the exact minute it's supposed to, and you have anywhere between 45 seconds and 3 minutes to board the train before it leaves you behind OR get off the train before you are stuck on it until it arrives in the next town (that happened to some poor girls that were too slow gathering their belongings on the train). You do not know what platform it will be on until about 10 minutes before it pulls in to the station, and if you aren't there waiting for it...good luck.
The train ride was smooth and easy for us. Really, that characterizes the whole little vacation.
Once arriving to York, we had a 10 minute walk from the station to our hotel. The actual city center of York is pretty small and everything seemed to be a 10-15 minute walk away...a nice break from London, where you always need at least 40 minutes to get from point A to point B.
After dropping off our things at the hotel, we decided to just walk around the city center and absorb York.
A running joke with us during this trip was how "ancient" everything was. The ancient city (AD 71) was surrounded by an ancient wall (it was erected in AD 200 by the Romans, and then added to in the next hundreds of years. The gateways were added in the medieval times). Basically, you are going to have to deal with me reminding you how ancient everything there was. The wall was really neat though, and you could walk on top of it, imagining that you are a Roman solider, protecting the city from the Vikings (oops).
Just an adorable cottage on the river, nbd.
Cliffod's Tower, by our hotel. From the 11th Century, it was a part of a now ruined castle, and then a military base, and then a prison.
We just loved walking around and taking in the ancient sites. "Look, an ancient H&M! An ancient Barclays! An ancient car phone store (because who calls it a car phone anymore?)! An ancient McDonald's!" Yah, that never got old during our stay there. We are huge dorks and that joke should have died wayyy before it did over our holiday.
We went to an incredible Italian food restaurant in the middle of our pub crawl, where I am going to go against what I just told you about the Yorkies- everyone that worked there was straight from Italy. Ohhh we loved it and can't wait to go to Italy next month. We got really lucky- they were totally booked but after the Sicilian owner learned we were Texan, he got a table for us, as long as we promised to leave within the next hour and a half. The owner went around to every table, shaking the hands of the men and kissing the women, his staff yelling in Italian over the football match and I'm sure drinking just as much wine as the patrons.
The menu offerings were mouth-watering and nothing was over $15...so different from London! Daniel got the Carbonara, and I couldn't decide between the white pizza and Diavalo pizza. After asking the owner what he thought I should get, he started yelling at me passionately in Italian, got flabbergasted, and said "Lady, you need to order with your heart. You are trying to order with your mind!" HA! The food was to die for, and I would go there again daily if I could.
So, that wraps up the first day of our long weekend trip! I'll try and write about Day 2 tomorrow, but I *AM* a workin' girl starting tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have time.
By the way, I hope all of my teacher friends have had a wonderful beginning of the year. Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers!