The Hustle and Bustle vs. the Tranquil Gardens

Posted on 07/09/2010

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Since my last post my mom and I have done many things…

We did make our way down to the charity shops (aka thrift stores) about a 10 minute walk from my house on Saturday, and we found a few things such as: a white trunk for my bedroom, some glass jars for the bathroom, and some pictures to hang in the guest bedroom. In the midst of hunting for charity shops we also stopped in several little boutique shops along with making a few stops in some British chain stores dotted along the way. After a good bit of shopping, we stopped at a North African/Moroccan restaurant recommended to us by Sue and Richard (some workers in an awesome antique shop called Retro Boutique) called Oranaise.

After eating some DELICIOUS chicken brochettes we headed home, but not before a few more stops 🙂

On Sunday we decided to take on a major adventure–we attempted, successfully, to ride the buses into town to the shopping district. I diligently studied the system online and tried to find out which buses we should take (there are two main streets close to my house with bus stops/options) and wrote them down. We arrived to what we thought was our stop only to realize we needed to be on the other side of the street, and we missed our bus :*( We found a nice Irishman who kindly guided us in the right direction and in no time we had made it to our destination!

I have to say the downtown area on a Sunday is beautiful. They are people everywhere, they are students playing music in the streets, street performers, etc… We walked around and looked for some housewares and also found some great gifts for my mom to take back as well as some pretty cheap, but very cute clothes in a store called Primark. It almost reminded me of a Forever 21, but a little more expensive. All in all, we had a great day and can say we have ridden on the buses (I won’t say I completely understand the system yet).

Monday my Rotary counselor, Melvyn, picked my mom and I up and he helped me to do some very important things such as opening a bank account and registering with the police (which I found out I don’t have to do because I am from the United States). After the official stuff we went and picked up some things I purchased online from a very nifty company called Argos. Argos only sales online or in an in-store catalogue. There are no displays in the store, only little pods with copies of the catalogue. I was very impressed, though, because (as Melvyn assured me before) they have the cheapest prices around.

When we had nicely packed my items in Melvyn’s car we headed off to a city called Harrogate that is very close to Leeds. It is a BEAUTIFUL little city. It has some spectacular gardens that we walked through, and has some very cute and unique little shops. Melvyn took us to a famous tea spot called Betty’s where we had some delicious tea with scrumptious sandwiches. We also had a little chat with some people from Liverpool who sat at the table beside us–people here are very chatty and very friendly 🙂 After tea we walked through some more gardens and peeped in a few shops. It was a lovely little adventure and a definite change from the hustle and bustle of Leeds. It might just be my new escape!

Moving on… Today my mom and I attended a Rotary event. The Rotary Club of Leeds organizes outings for elderly people and today they went to Civic Hall to have tea with the Lord Mayor  and tour the building. My mom and I got to meet the president of the Rotary Club of Leeds (Robert Wexler, who is from Philadelphia) and also the Lord Mayor and Mayoress. It was definitely a very cool experience.

After tea with the Lord Mayor mom and had a little walk about the city and then headed home. We did get caught in our first English rain and learned that we should always carry an umbrella and/or rain jacket even if the sun is shining 🙂

Until next time…

Posted in: In the UK, Travels