I’m beginning to simply live. I still wake up in the morning to the birds chirping outside my window and think: I can’t believe I’m in England. After the obligatory yawn and stretch, I roll out of bed and head to the upstairs shower. It’s becoming routine. The past few weeks have been my usual. I wake up, eat breakfast and go to class. Of course, I’m spontaneous and still managed to fit in little trips and nights out during the week.
After our Ireland trip, Manny, Cass and I still had the itch to travel. We needed some more adventure! So we invited Manny over for dinner. We mulled over travel plans as I cooked my ass-kicking meatloaf, potatoes and sautéed spinach. We had it narrowed down to either Wales or Liverpool. Ultimately, Liverpool was cheaper. But hey, aren’t The Beatles from Liverpool?
In the middle of baking blueberry muffins, I was able to book a hostel, get my train ticket and pack for our overnight excursion. The blueberry muffins were delicious by the way! After munching on a few, we washed dishes and packed away the leftovers and went to sleep.
Before catching the train to Liverpool, we wanted to check out the possibility of going to Greece. We made it to STA (Student Travel Association), and in 20 minutes we had our trip booked: Syros, Tinos & Mykonos Island Hopping.
I kept looking at my phone throughout the meeting. We only had 15 minutes to get to the train station; a journey that typically takes 30 minutes at a leisurely stroll. We were a bundle of nerves by the time we left the office. We hurried up and down the cobblestone streets at a quick pace. I checked my phone. All right, it was time to run.
Manny led the pack as we rounded corners, dodged pedestrians and hopped over upturned sidewalk pavers. Cassidy struggled with her loaded backpack, tailing behind Manny. I whipped my bag from side to side, balancing a tray of muffins in one hand, trailing behind Manny and Cass. We had to have been quite the sight.
We ran into the station gasping for air and with only a minute to spare. We navigated the platforms until we found our train and boarded in the knick of time. Exhausted and sweaty, we stripped off our winter jackets, popped in headphones and snacked on blueberry muffins.
Our Liverpool trip lasted one night. We visited The Beatles Story tour; rocked out to Michael Jackson in the Flare Club; and walked around the city, sampling food on a budget. We had the opportunity to visit the Cavern Club – the birthplace of The Beatles – but…
at the time, we were none the wiser and turned away from the £4 cover charge. I guess that means I have to plan another trip to Liverpool so I can drink a pint in the Cavern Club and visit Penny Lane to truly appreciate the origins of The Beatles.
At least now we can say we’ve been to Liverpool. I left that city broken and battered. A lady had crashed into my knee at the Flare Club the night before. The same women spilled Cassidy’s pint of Guinness. THAT, in itself, is a big no-no! I also slightly damaged my eardrum in my left ear; I lost some hearing. Smart, right?
When I have grandkids and I’m completely deaf in my left ear, I can tell them of the time I went to Liverpool, England.
My life has consisted of university, lectures and 2,000-word assessments. It’s draining the grandeur of being in England, but I am studying abroad, right? I have six assessments to write, all of which I was JUST given the questions. This is really going to test my time management skills, or lack thereof.
Until recently, our weekends had consisted of going to the clubs on Friday night, not really doing anything on Saturday and puttering around on Sunday. On a Thursday night, our housemate Kenya popped into my room to chat. In the course of 30 minutes, we had another excursion booked: GoApe Adventure in the Delamere Forest, only a 15-minute train ride away.
We gave ourselves enough time on Saturday morning to catch our train. Apparently it wasn’t enough time and catch the train, we did. Five minutes, guys. Oh, wait…only three! We ran around the station in a panic. The loudspeaker said our train would be leaving from platform seven in only a few minutes, so we sprinted toward the train…or what we thought was our train. Cass pushed the button, but the door didn’t open. She pushed it again. Wait. There wasn’t anyone in the cars.
Much to our embarrassment, the train was farther up the track and those cars were no longer in use. We bowed our heads in shame and slumped into our seats. As our train lurched ahead, we burst out laughing. Of course we would do that! During the 15 minutes it took us to get to Delamere Forest I held conversation, fell asleep and put on and took off my jacket nearly five times. We were pumped to do the obstacle course in the trees. Out of shape but excited nonetheless.
We arrived an hour early, hungry and raring to go. There was a…you know, I don’t know what to call it – outdoor festivity, park, bicycle convention? Any who, there was a café, burger stand and bakery…the works. We decided on a burger. I loaded mine with mustard, as per usual. I like my mustard with a little bit of hamburger. There was also an ice cream stand. I must’ve stared it down for a good five minutes. We wanted a cone so badly, well…I was really craving ice cream. Unfortunately, I’m lactose-intolerant (Thank you, Cass, for reminding me – don’t ask how I forget). Needless to say, we didn’t get ice cream.
We were packed into harnesses, VERY confining harnesses. We jumped off platforms into a net like Tarzan. Kenya face-planted at the end of almost every zip-line. We swore like sailors while navigating each challenging course. I was so much fun! The three of us maneuvered through obstacles in the trees for over three hours. I knew I was out of shape, but I didn’t know just how out of shape I was until a few days after.
If we weren’t falling down, laughing our asses off or trying to encourage one other than I don’t know what we were doing! It was everything we love to do. Going to clubs is fun, and I like to drink as much as the next gal, but being adventurous and in the great outdoors is something that a few pints of Guinness just can’t beat. And I love my Guinness.