Friday, September 13, 2019

Every Hour Is Happy Hour In England!

Well, that’s not TOTALLY true, but it kind of feels like that… in the best possible way. It’s so good to be back in merry old England, especially on the first day of our trip. I’ve never been to Southampton before, but I love how everyone here is so welcoming and kind. For starters, the bartender/manager/concierge of the Inn where we’re staying (The Grapes Inn) lugged our bags up two flights of stairs, and as he was gasping for air, he asked us if WE wanted a drink. And I don’t think he meant water either. (In reality, I think he was the one that needed the drink after his workout.) People here actually want to take a moment and say hi. I saw faces looking OUT, instead of DOWN at their phones.

Southampton is a port town, where cruise ships depart for destinations in Europe and beyond. It is a town that is proud of their naval history. While walking around, we saw the remnants of a bombed out church and the original medieval walls of the city. It’s a city that is also modernizing itself, and they have a big shopping center near the water. It mixes old with the new, but it seems to work.

When we got back to our “inn”, mom was too tired to climb the two flights of stairs to our room right away, so why not have a drink while she worked up the energy? So we sat down and while we sipped our drinks, people talked to us and wanted to know who we were. We loved it. It wasn’t even 5:00 0’clock and the weekend was already starting for many of the locals. It was nice feeling a part of this lovely place. Our Inn is on a cobblestone pedestrian-only area, which makes it feel more cozy.

And if you feel like having a snack with your beverage of choice, feel free to munch on The Grapes’ pub snack... and I’m not talking about peanuts. I mean CRICKETS:

Wait... what? “Delicious insect snacks”... is that a thing? Apparently in Southampton, it IS. They were just sitting in a bowl, waiting for me to sample them and verify their delectability. Sorry... that’s a no. So as we toast with our glass of Prosecco and wine in the photo below, all we have left to say is, “Cheers!”

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