Hello! Sorry I never got to posting about the rest of our trip yesterday...I babysat pretty much all day on Tuesday (by the way, I cannot say that I babysat without feeling like I'm 14...hmmm I need to think of a better word)! I came home EXHAUSTED. I've decided not to write too much about the families that I am working for out of respect for their privacy, but it was all around a great day. And nice bringing home some bacon, for once!
On Sunday, we slept in a bit. The bed was so nice and comfy...in London, we sleep in a bed that I think it smaller than a full, yet it's called a "queen sized bed." Liars.
You know the TLC show about the gypsy weddings? Yah, a TON of gypsies in York and they all seemed to be by our hotel. Every time I'd see a young girl in tight shorts and a bra top, surrounded by a bunch of punk 16 year old boys, I'd be really awkward and get excited and say to Daniel, "That's a gypsy!" way too loudly. Anyways, we heard them yelling in the street all night. Total hooligans and I didn't see any adult supervision.
Anyways, back to our morning. As I was saying, we slept in, partly because of the comfy bed and partly because the hooligan gypsies kept us up all night with their yelling. We went to a late breakfast at an adorable tea shop called Betty's.
It is very popular and you can actually order their teas, scones, and coffees online. We got super lucky and arrived before there was a queue...once we left, the line was out the door.
It was delicious, and the details that they put into everything truly made it stand out. We started with tea for Daniel and "The World's Best Coffee" for me. Everything came out on a vintage silver tray, complete with sugar cubes, my own table side French press, and folded embroidered napkins. The perfect girly place, so I'm thankful that Daniel went with me.
The coffee actually was some of the best that I've ever had, and I ended up going home with a bag of it. For breakfast, Daniel had salmon eggs benedict and I had this amazing cheesy hash with mushrooms, tomatoes, and ham....and then we shared a scone called a "Fat Rascal". I pretty much rolled out of there.
After we gorged ourselves, we went to the York Minster. It's ancient (ha!) and full of really cool history. Here's what I learned:
The basement of the church was originally Roman barracks in the times when Christians were persecuted...when you go down to the basement, you can see a symbol that looked like a CH on certain tiles, which meant Christ...showing that some of the Romans were secretly Christian.
Constantine was actually hailed emperor in York, a huge turning point for Christians and little after that, the area was turned in to one of the first churches in Europe.
The church was heavily damaged in the 11th century after the Norman's took over York and then rebuilt with gothic architecture to basically look like it does now (although it is constantly undergoing conservation).
We got to walk up nearly 300 steep and uneven (ancient) steps to go up to the tower for views of the city. Coming down was surprisingly harder than going up...it was dizzying spiraling down the staircase, plus the steps varied greatly in both size and steepness. Might have nearly fallen a few times.
Gorgeous views, and I felt like I might have worked off at least 1/4th of my breakfast.
Me after leaving the church...I look exhausted. Because I was.
Afterwards, we walked along the (ancient) wall of York. It has a perimeter of 4 miles, so we only walked one length of it. It gave excellent views to people's spacious backyards..it looked more rural than the city actually is from the wall. Daniel wanted me to note that he is my photographer for nearly all of these pictures.
After the walk, we had MORE great restaurant look. After reading it's reviews, I wanted us to dine at a French restaurant called Rustique. We called that morning, only to be told by the owner that they were completely booked for the whole night. I was bummed...it was rated one of the best restaurants in York, had great prices, and I just felt like we would be missing out not eating there. We decided to stop in anyways, and a waitress led us to a table, without any hesitation! We were by the door, and every other couple that came in looking for a table without a reservation were turned away. The owner even scolded the waitress for seating us, worried that we would still be there when the reservation arrived.
They had a prix fixe menu. Daniel had this chorizo and egg starter (more Spanish than French, but really good), duck leg roasted in red wine (amazing...could be served at Mark's or Underbelly) and a banana caramel crepe. I had mushrooms in a white wine and cream sauce with bread (yummm), salmon croquettes, and chocolate mousse. It was all delicious.
Last words for York: It was a nice, easy getaway from London. We didn't have to deal with a currency or language change, the travel time was short, and there was just enough to do that we didn't get bored, but it was also quiet enough that we didn't feel rushed. If you were to come to Europe for a vacation, I wouldn't suggest going to York most likely because it is so similar to London, but I am happy that we went. I would compare it to living in Houston, but going to Austin or San Antonio for the weekend.
OK, so if you made it this far, congrats for reading one of the world's longest blog posts. This post has taken me a lot longer to write than I expected it would, and I need to go be a child care professional in an hour and a half (I missed my window for running...oops. And as you can guess, I really needed that run). Have a great rest of your week and thanks for reading!