When you tell someone you are going to spend the weekend in Manchester, their reaction is usually, “Fun! What are you doing there?” When you respond that you’re going to hang out with a bunch of your ex’s closest childhood friends, their reaction is usually some serious side-eye.
But lets back up a bit to how and why I got to the UK in the first place. Icelandair, one of the greatest airlines of all times, allows free stopovers in Iceland on all round trip flights to Europe from the US. So when my mom and sister booked their tickets to Iceland, I booked mine round trip to London with a stopover in Iceland — for a mere $200 more. Two hundred bucks for a flight to the UK to visit three of my best Thailand friends, all in London for the summer? Yes please!
So anyway, that’s how I ended up going to London. And when I announced this trip across the interwebs, some of the lovely friends that I spent last summer with in Scotland got in contact and asked if wanted to meet them halfway, in Manchester, for a weekend of fun and catching up. With affordable flights, good public transportation, and even cheap parking at Manchester Airport, cost wasn’t an issue. My first reaction was an enthusiastic yes!, followed by a hmmm I wonder if people will think I’m weird for this one.
Cause, you know, like I mentioned, these girls are part of a wonderful group of people that happen to be lifelong friends of my recent ex-boyfriend (a phrase that I am using for the first time, five months in… weird). But I gave myself a little pep talk and told myself not to care about other people’s opinions for once (ha!).
Because stronger than any sort of anxiety over doing something socially unacceptable was a desire to hang out with these girls! I fell in love with Scotland in large part because of the wonderful people that I had been hearing about for two years and finally got to attend weddings with, sing karaoke with, go on holiday with, go clubbing in Glasgow with, and just simply get to know. And thanks to the beauty of technology, those new friendships lasted long after my then-boyfriend and I set off for Thailand.
Today, I just feel so lucky that I have this huge group of friends across the pond that I really adore, and that I now know didn’t just see me as “so and so’s girlfriend”– they really took the time to get to know me and maintain real friendships with me and reached out to me throughout the breakup and now even after all the ugliness we can all have big slumber parties and make fun of each others’ accents like its no big deal. There is so much lost in a breakup like the one I just went through, in a messy separation with a live-in partner of a three years. I’m just so grateful, so grateful that I didn’t have to lose these friendships too.
SO ANYWAY. That got a little deep there for a Friday guys, sorry! Back to the point. Well this post has no point. About exactly a year ago I spent a weekend in the same apartment building in Manchester, being hosted by lovely Victoria. And once again, I barely left the building except to go out partying at night. But in my defense, its kind of hard to tear yourself away when there is a pool like this on the roof!
And just like the year before, we went crazy taking underwater photos with my Canon PowerShot S100 and Underwater Housing. I rarely use the setup in pools, and I always forget how fun the resulting images are!
As I mentioned, we did leave the building twice in those forty eight hours. Once, to go to the Brazilian restaurant shown if the first two photos of this post, and the second time to go dancing at a club Victoria’s boyfriend was DJing at. Fun was had by all.
So once again I missed Manchester’s museums and galleries and other sights. Call me a bad traveler, because I couldn’t care less. Sometimes, you’ve just got to catch up with old friends.
Thank you girls for everything.
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