I went on my first ever trip to Europe to celebrate the Holidays with my Family! It’s an experience I will try to put into words, and trust me — I will get all cheesy and emotional! Also, because there are SO MUCH photos, I’m doing this in two parts!
I was definitely psyched on my way to the U.K., and in a way, anxious, because I didn’t know what to expect, and most of all, didn’t know how my body was going to react to the cold.
BUT BOY OH BOY, DID I NOT EXPECT TO LOVE THE COLD — let alone, MISS IT NOW!!!! The air felt so clean, so crisp. My Province is Palawan (I grew up there), and I did not expect to see as much green (if not more) in the U.K.!!!!! How???? Whoa.
PHOTO DUMP TIME!
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (a.k.a. “BUCKS”)
I landed in Heathrow past 9:00PM on December 22. The following day, Will (my Piolo Pascual-look-a-like-Cousin) had this brilliant idea to head Hughenden (my Family lives in High Wycombe), where they do different themes to decorate the Manor with annually. This year was Alice in Wonderland!
Oh, to see without my eyes …. lel.
Ah yes, I discover the joys of eating at Pubs. Initially, when I think of “Pubs”, I think “Drinks … just drinks.” — apparently not. You could have a hearty meal, and they’re actually really good (well, at least at all the pubs they took me to).
So much fun because Mama V came in the room on Christmas morning, greeted me with “Merry Christmas!” and said, “Here’s your Christmas stocking!” I felt like crying because, you guys — MY FIRST EVER CHRISTMAS STOCKING!!!!!
The whole day felt like a dream because I was spending time with my Family, something I haven’t done in awhile. We didn’t even have to celebrate elsewhere. To be completely honest, nothing felt grander to me than being around them on a Holiday that hadn’t really felt like a Holiday since 2010, until that Christmas Day, in the Carter Dining Room Table.
Christmas was a huge deal for Mama — since her passing, it made no sense to celebrate the “man-made” way (don’t get me wrong though, it’s still special to me, in my heart at the very least).
We spent a few days at home with Grandad (Uncle Ian’s Father), and we played RUMMIKUB almost every single night (he also beat us on most games), and Pandemic, too — which is really fun but my brain wasn’t really working for some reason.
These are the fondest memories I have of the U.K., the rest is just a bonus.
MY FIRST SNOW
LilyCat all snug and cozywozy.
Gee and Robin took me to London, they were the best tour guides. We did a LOT of walking which I really, really, really loved, given the Weather. Here I thought I’d be someone who hated the cold, but in the U.K., I was sort of begging the wind to hit my face, because of how crisp it was, it felt like it was cleansing me, lel.
My gosh, did it feel so surreal to actually walk the streets of London. It didn’t really sink in while I was there, I was overwhelmed. Everything’s so picturesque and charming.
“DO YOU WANNA COME UP?”
“I think that’s a bad idea”
“You’re right … DO YOU WANNA COME UP???”
(Lel, I’m too lazy to Google the lines but I’m pretty sure that’s how the conversation went. GEDDIT, ANNA SCOTT, YOU GO, ANNA SCOTT)
Of course I get myself a hard copy! Thank you, Waterstones!
Funny Story : I couldn’t find this on any of the shelves so I approach the Cashier — lo and behold, it was right there, staring me in the eyes. I say, “Oh, here it is”, and the Cashier says, “Well, we knew you were coming in, so we put them up front for you”, hah! Bless.
WINTER WONDERLAND (at Hyde Park)
Look at how pretty everything is! So many Bratwursts! I also had my first warm Punch, and it was tasty. There were several stages around the Park, bands and solo acts performing different genres. My favorite was when we went to this Oktoberfest-like set-up, and the band started playing “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers, and a group of men behind us with beers in hand started screaming the song, and Robin and Gee goes, “WELCOME TO ENGLAND!!!” Apparently, it was as real as an English experience could get : Drunk Men with Beers in hand singing along to this song.
I think my jaw hurt from smiling so much.
After dropping Will off at the Airport, Mama V and I tagged along with Uncle Ian for a work-related road trip. We then stopped over at Warwickshire on the way home and ate at one of pubs.
So quaint!!! I felt very giddy immersing in the local scene, listening to the elderly group on different tables catching up on their lives and boasting about Sons driving Range Rovers and owning multiple houses.
Decided to post this photo during my walk with Mama V to Town. LOOK.AT.THAT.VIEW.
I totally lose my shit at Windsor. I mean, LOOK.AT.THOSE.LITTLE.SHOPS, ugh! Gee and Robin turn to me while I spazz and they say, “Oh, little lady, wait ’til you get to Brighton”.
NEW YEAR’S DAY – LONGLEAT
We spend New Year’s Day at Longleat, where we made a pit stop at Crockerton (see photo of Grandad and Grandkids feeding Duckies). The Thenn Manor’s located at Longleat, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside so I snagged one of its façade. There is an Annual “Light Festival”, where I took loads of photos — but sharing my favorite ones!
The temperature definitely dropped during the Fireworks display at around 7PM, Family and I were freezing cold despite being hurdled around each other. When Locals say it’s cold, YOU KNOW IT’S COLD.
We make a stop at Bath on our way home and had Dinner at Zizzi. I could not stop marveling at it’s beauty, which is surely better photographed during the Day (and during Summer, as I’m told), but my jaw was basically on the floor during the entire drive-around when Uncle Ian was showing me the LUSHER areas of Bath – you could see, from the floor-to-ceiling Windows, how exquisitely decorated the houses are, and … I just … can’t … deal.
And that ends PART I! I can’t wait to share my Brighton photos with you, I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
I miss my Family!!!!!