Friday, 17 October 2014

Our First Week in England – Part 2

Welcome back!  Before I continue with Part 2 of our first week here in the UK, even though we just started this blog, we will be taking next week off.  The next post will be Monday, Oct. 27.  Got some things to do (wink, wink)!

Now, where was I.  We stayed at the hotel in Derby for the first week.  Tuesday morning, a rental car was dropped off at our hotel, and my, what a car it was!
The Mercedes C200 in front of our house.

The interior looked like no car I have ever seen before.  It took us 15 minutes just to figure out how to put it into drive, and another 15 to figure out how to turn on the heat!  Luckily for us, our fancy wheels even came with a built in navigational system which proved to be extremely helpful during the rest of the week.  Sadly, we only had the Mercedes for a week and then had to trade it in for the leased car – a VW station wagon.  Ummmm, not exactly the car we were expecting to have here in the UK (most cars here are tiny - to fit into the tiny parking spaces I suspect :).  As many of you know, I am sooooo not a car person.  Really don't care what car I have as long as it works and looks decent.  But, I mourned a little the day Eric came home with the station wagon and the Mercedes was no more. 
After getting our fancy ride at the hotel, we headed to the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch and picked up the keys to our home sweet home for the next two years – Quarter Moon Cottage.  

We didn’t officially move in until the following Monday (more on the house in a later post).  It took that long to gather enough supplies, beds, sheets, food, etc. just to spend a night.  I did not anticipate the huge amount of work that goes into stocking a home with everything you need to move in when you are starting from scratch.  We ran around like mad all week long trying to figure out which stores to go to get this and that.  We spent several hours at Ikea picking out and purchasing some furniture.  And three weeks later, we still don’t have a TV, microwave, hair dryer or the vanity table at which it will be used and some other things, but we are SICK OF SHOPPING, so I don’t even care that much.  And it feels a bit liberating to know we can live quite comfortably in a house with the bare essentials (we don’t even have paper yet for Ellie to do her first homework assignment on).

We continued to enjoy some good food though!  The girls had the best kids meal ever at this Italian restaurant we visited (same place the pizza photo below is from).  Their kids meal started with carrot and cucumber sticks with a delicious dip and warm garlic flatbread, followed by the main course of pasta (they both chose small pasta noodles in a creamy pesto sauce with fresh Parmesan cheese on top).  Then came dessert of course - Hazelnut meringue, vanilla gelato and fresh strawberries.  And, last but not least, a Babyccinos - frothed milk dusted with chocolate.  Beautiful!
Leah trying out the kiddy chopsticks at Wagamamas in Derby.

We ended our first week in the UK attending a BBQ at the home of another Hoosier couple and it was great to sit and talk to fellow Americans (sorry no pics – forgot to take any).  Eric has worked with Jeff since he started at Rolls-Royce in Indy and Jeff and his wife Jo Ellen have been living in Derby for the past year (it was Jeff who Eric was with in Derby when Ellie was born).  We’ve known them for quite some time and let me tell you, after the craziness of the first week here in the UK, it was GREAT to see some familiar faces and meet a few other people over here from Indiana as well.

And that was our first week in England.  I leave you with a few pictures from a lovely little village not far from here called Ticknall, compliments of Eric, the family photographer.  Cheerio!

Do I really need to say anything?

Soooo, we thought we would walk back to this place called Calke Abbey because of the beautiful driveway, but changed our minds when we discovered it was a 2.5 mile long driveway.

Again, do I need to say anything!
Horses, horses everywhere.  Ellie is in heaven!

Beautiful, juicy autumn grapes.


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