Well, our plans to avoid jet lag failed miserably. We landed safely in Manchester, made it through customs quite quickly, got our luggage, and stepped out of the airport to a beautiful cool cloudless day. We easily got a taxi (and they are the coolest looking cars!) and he took us to our first hotel with no trouble, and pointed out that we were right next to Manchester’s famous “Curry Mile.”
The place we’re staying at tonight is part hotel, part training facility for new ministers. Yeah, first night of our honeymoon and we’re staying in a religious facility. It is called the “Luther King House,” but I don’t think it is any reference to the US civil rights leader. It is a very peaceful place. Unfortunately, our room is tinier than any dorm room we’ve seen, and I think our coat closet is actually bigger than the shower. I have no clue how Heath will manage to wash his legs, as I could barely bend over to do so on my shower.
When we arrived, there was some confusion about the check-in time (we had arrived at about 8:30 am or so), but fortunately, they had a room available, and we were able to go up straight-away. I showered, and had a hard time falling asleep for a nap, but once I did, neither of us woke up until 4:00 in the afternoon. Very baaaaad. We’d only intended to sleep until about 1:00 or so.
Got up and dressed and went for a walk down Rolsholm Curry Mile. It is supposedly the largest concentration of Indian shops in England. It is nearly a mile long section of street lined with restaurants, clothing stores, music, and even an Islamic supply store. It was fun. We walked most of the way down the road, and then turned back and went to one of the restaurants. A note – if you even slowed down slightly at a restaurant, their host would be at the front door cajoling you to come inside. I guess that there were so many restaurants that they were competing for business.
We had a nice traditional Indian meal of samosas, naan, yummy brown basmati rice flavored with fennel, and I had a lamb massala (can’t recall what Heath ate). While we’re well read on Irish and Scottish tipping practices, we’d forgotten to look up the ones for England, and Heath asked the table next to us for help. It was a nice relaxing dinner, otherwise. And I was pleased because Heath usually avoids Indian food because he doesn’t like curry spices.
We got batteries for the camera on the walk back (so, sadly, I’ve no pictures of our first meal of our honeymoon). And then we headed to a pretty park called Platt Fields. It was a very quiet peaceful break in the bustle of the city. Unfortunately, the free costume museum was closed on Sundays, but we walked around the huge park, saw a fountain that was built in honor of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (now a beautiful flower bed), lots of roses on the verge of blooming, and just… relaxed. The park was mostly empty except for a few joggers and people out with their dogs (one of which seems to abhor litter, and was carrying a soda can in its mouth!?!?).
After we walked back to the hotel, I spent an hour reading in the courtyard (Heath took some pictures of me from the window of our room on the second floor). Then we just relaxed and watched the five BBC channels, including a really interesting, if slightly biased documentary on Jimi Hendrix’s role in the birth of modern rock (they only mentioned English bands, and not American ones).
Then, sleeeeeeeep. 😉