I used to think a two week trip sounded like forever — now I feel like it goes by in a blink! After three nights each in Brighton, London, Bristol and Anglesey, I had just two nights left for my final stop before catching a flight back to New York — Liverpool!
The first night was an all-to-brief one at my friend Amy’s childhood home in Crosby before we left for their weekend cabin in Wales. It was such a trip meeting her family after hearing so much about them and seeing where she grew up, but we definitely didn’t have any time for sightseeing our tourist-ing.
Luckily, I was coming back for one more night, this time hosted by my lovely friend and former divemaster mentor Becs!
And she had a new little buddy in tow, too — her mini-me Bella, who Becs was pregnant with when we had our last tearful goodbye in island paradise Gili Trawangan, Indonesia years before. It broke my heart that it had taken us so long to reunite, and that we had so little time together now that we had, but we were determined to make the most of it.
Our first stop for our little girly trio of three? Oh Me Oh My, a tea room that Becs said she’d picked just for me — she knows me well, because I was swooning! The branding of this place was twee and trendy as can be — the tiles in the photo below? They’re used in their website design. See what I mean? Swoon.
Oh right, and the food was lovely too! We are in the main tea room then headed up to the rooftop was a peek at the view.
Heading out of Oh Me Oh My, Becs planned to give me rundown of the main sights of Liverpool — at least what a toddler would allow for, anyway. But it started drizzling not long after we emerged, and so we found ourselves on a proper tea-crawl, popping into the closest Ziferblat for our next fix.
This is no high tea. Ziferblat operates on a concept I’d never heard of before. Instead of paying for the snacks and sips you consume, you simply pay per minute you’re inside — in this case, 8 pence a minute. They had the most lush array of teas I’d ever seen, as well as coffee, hot chocolate, juice, cakes, fruits, biscuits, cereal and beyond. And to keep you entertained while you much there were board games, wifi, and even a piano Bella treated us to a concert on. I was so enamored with this place!
Eventually, after gorging ourselves of our fill of snacks, we decided to brave the gray and sofy weather again (was I really wearing a swimsuit and tanning in Brighton ten days ago?) When I spotted the Wheel of Liverpool and suggested a spin, heights-fearing Becs looked skeptical. But Bella and I convinced her it would be a good time. And it was! We got some great views of the downtown and had our little pod all to ourselves.
With that bit of exhilaration out of the way, we were free to resume our day of furiously trying to catch up on several years’ worth of gossip and stories while occasionally pausing to catch our breaths, snap a photo, or prevent Bella from leaping enthusiastically into the River Mersey.
As the day gave way to evening we hopped on the train up to Bec’s family home in Maghull for a low-key dinner at home before my painfully early departure to the Manchester Airport, from where I’d snagged a decently-priced one-way flight back to New York — $299, not bad! (The price of one-way flights in comparison to their round-trip counterparts is constant source of heartache for me, the traveler who rarely seems to be going to and from the same cities.)
While I only had the shortest time in which to form impressions, Liverpool reminded me quite a bit of Manchester, which I’ve also visited only very briefly. While I haven’t given the Northern cities the same amount of time to fall in love that I’ve now given their Southern counterparts, I could see little hints of the funky peeking through — for a much more thorough exploration of how cool Liverpool can truly be, don’t miss my friend Kristin at Camels and Chocolate’s coverage of the city.
I admit that for a long time, I didn’t see the UK as an incredibly exciting tourist destination. And really, to be frank, the way most people travel there doesn’t appeal to me — though I say that with zero judgement, as everyone should travel in whatever style makes them smile! But as someone who could give a rip about castles and doesn’t get too worked up about ancient architecture, I generally just kind of wrote off most of England and Wales. Um, that was silly!
I just hadn’t yet figured out how to fall in love with these countries my way, which was to focus on the quirky and the fun of today, and let me friend who know and love me be my guides. And you know what? It was a highlight of my year! These two weeks were an excellent reminder that there aren’t really wrong destinations or wrong ways of traveling — there’s just finding the right way to fall in love with a place for you.
And with that, I was back to the US — and working my way to my next adventure in Hawaii. Stay tuned!
Wondering where we are? I’m catching up on the black hole of content from August of 2016 to April of 2017 — when I jumped forward to blog the summer of 2017 as it was happening. Right now, we’re in September of 2016 in the UK, and I can’t wait to turn my detailed notes and journals into blog posts from Hawaii, Jamaica, Thailand and Bali next! My apologies for any confusion with the timeline, and thanks for sticking with me.