Matt and I celebrated our 7-year wedding anniversary September 19. I found a sitter I liked on a local website and luckily, she was available to watch Dex while we sneaked out for dinner. We went to Cow & Pig for upscale British pub food and bovine puns written on chalkboards. (Something in the way she moos… attracts me like no other udder…)
Started with something called a bacon bomb, and then Matt had a steak and I had LOBSTER SHEPERD’S PIE, man alive, that is a good idea for a dish. Ciders and desserts and a little walk through downtown before it was time to return to real life.
A couple of weekends ago, we decided to take a mini road trip while we still had the rental car. We miss Florida already and the weather has been unbelievably gorgeous here, so Brighton Beach, a mere hour and a half away, seemed to be a natural choice.
Last week, I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I visited a library in person, and slowly browsed the shelves, choosing books to read simply because they looked interesting.
The library system in Orange County has things on lock. I could order books from any branch and have them delivered to my house, for free. The only time I had to go near an actual library was to return them and I’d drop then in a machine outside. Don’t get me wrong – I love libraries, and love visiting. But I was a mom and a wife working full time and playing a sport and there’s only so much time in the day, so I was a slave to my Goodreads To Read list and the Orange County library website. And it was a great system, one of the non-person things I knew I’d miss the most about Orlando.
First volume, because I just feel like this is going to be an ongoing thing. These are not particularly revelatory or earth-shattering. Just small differences I’ve noticed as we make our way around.
-In addition to yellow lights between green and red, there are also yellow lights between red and green. So you’re warned before you may go, and everyone just guns it during the pre-green yellow lights.
-British people really hate refrigerators. We saw all manner of crimes against the friendly little chillboxes while flat-hunting: tiny refrigerators, refrigerators crammed beneath countertops and refrigerators in living rooms for no discernible reason. The worst, however, was the house that had an apparently normal kitchen except there was a tiny, cave-like closet off to the side where the poor refrigerator was forced to live. We couldn’t help but wonder what the fridge had done, to be forced to live its days in a bizarre, dreary kitchen dungeon.
-When I was pregnant with Dexter, I read a lot of women complaining about unsolicited touches to their bellies but never experienced it myself. Friends who wanted to feel asked and everyone else kept their distance. I think this used to be a thing, but thanks to the internet and social media, most people have gotten the message that it’s not really appropriate. I also think, in America, most people have absorbed the same message about touching babies – ask first or hands off. British people haven’t gotten that memo. It’s just head pats and shoulder squeezes, and it doesn’t bother me. Just an observation.
-The ambulances are Mercedes.
-You can buy adorable little “to go” lattes in grocery and convenience stores.
-Drivers are super-respectful of pedestrians. I think this is a natural result when communities are walk-friendly and have good public transportation.