We stayed in relatively close to home this weekend in preparation for our big travel plans the next few weeks, but we still managed to do some British stuff worth writing about.
Friday, we kept the baby theme going from last week and met up with Dave, Sarah, and their brand new baby, Anna Grace. Anna was so tiny and surprisingly enjoyable to hold. I can’t remember the last tiny baby that I held. I forgot what it was like and figured it was no big deal. But then when I actually held Anna, it was pretty amazing to realize that she didn’t exist a year ago. Nice work Dave and Sarah!
Next up on the agenda was soccer, which apparently is a pretty big deal over here. All of my mates at work talk about it daily and I have no idea what they are saying. They have been hassling me to go to a “proper football match” for a month now, so I did the next best thing and went to go see a Derby County match.
So we made it to the game shortly after kickoff…. I’m not sure if it’s even called kickoff. We brought our DSLR camera with the telephoto lens so we could get some nice action shots. About two minutes after we sat down, a security guard came up to me and told me that flash photography was not allowed at the match. This registered in my head as complete BS, or “absolute bollux” as the Brits would say. I told the guy in the neon yellow vest that the flash was off and he didn’t need to worry. He proceeded to tell me that it didn’t matter and I was not allowed to take any pictures. That really angered me. Strike 1 against football. These next photos are for you, guy in the neon yellow vest.
I mean really, how can you ban a camera at a sporting event? That’s like banning binoculars or beer drinking. I’m pretty sure most people make it a point to bring a camera when attending a sporting event.
So after I snapped a good 20 spite photos, I decided it was time for a beer. I walked to the concession stand and purchased 2 beers (one for Tara). On the way back to my seat, the same ‘bloke’ in the yellow vest informed me that it is against the rules to take drinks back to your seat. I thought for sure he was messing with me because I had just made a mockery of his photography rule. I laughed it off and tried to proceed to my seat to enjoy my beer like an American. He stopped me and told me that this ‘no food/drink in your seat deal’ was an actual rule. Needless to say, I was even more shocked than before. That was strike 2 against football. So I walked back to the concessions area with my hands full of beer. I called Tara and she came to help me with my beer problem.
Since we couldn’t go to our seats, we decided to take a walk around the inner part of the stadium and drink our beer. About a minute into our walk, the halftime whistle blew and I felt like Simba during the wildebeest stampede in Lion King. It seemed like every single person from the stands was now heading for the concession stand for a beer… which makes sense, because this is the only time you can drink a beer and not miss any of the game. So just like Simba, we tried to maneuver our way to safety, but eventually realized it was a futile effort to go against the crowd and we just found a safe branch to cling to. And if you hadn’t guessed it yet, this was strike 3 against football for me.
The actual game was entertaining. It’s a shame the stadium’s rules had to ruin the fun. I’ll say that much like baseball, watching it in person makes a big difference.
Sunday, our buddy Fritz mapped out the curviest, most scenic roads in the nearby Peak District, and recruited Tara and me for this trip. We went from Derby, to Chatsworth House, to the Ladybower Reservoir, to Manchester, to the 2nd highest pub in England, to Matlock Bath, and back to Derby. This was probably the worst possible day in terms of weather to do a trip like this. I’m not just saying that to make this more interesting either. According to BBC radio, this day was the worst April weather day in 100 years. It was incredibly windy, freezing cold, and raining.
This day happened to be some sort of TVR meetup day at Chatsworth house. There were TONS of amazing looking TVRs. TVR is an Austrian brand of sports car. They are really sweet looking.
One of the big attractions at Chatsworth House is the awesome outdoor gardens and surrounding wildlife. The cost of admission admits you to the house and the outdoor attractions. And since this day was the worst day ever in terms of weather, we thought we could work a house only deal for half the price or something like that. The lady at the desk recognized that the weather was absolutely awful, but the best deal she could offer was that we could walk through the house twice on the same visit. Not the best of deals, so we continued on our journey… after getting some more TVR pics.
The rest of the day was spent winding through the Peak District on really curvy roads. We stopped to snap a picture at the Ladybower Reservoir.
We went to Manchester and then up into some fun roads on our way to the 2nd Highest Pub in the England.
Here we are at the Cat and Fiddle Inn, which is the 2nd highest pub in England for those of you keeping score at home.
That was the last stop on Fritz’s curvy roads tour through the Peak District. We made it home safe and called it a weekend.