21 May 2010

summer lifestyle lessons from england, part 1.

Last summer I went to visit my mom, stepdad, and pup siblings in England.  It was the trip of a lifetime- seven weeks in the English countryside with some very wonderful company.  We went to National Trust houses and beer festivals.  I presented at my first conference in Cambridge.  No piece of antique furniture could escape our loving gaze.  Sunday roasties and the pleasures of tea-time (clotted cream, where art thou?!)... lovely lunches and riverside walks... beautiful churches and lingering trips to Marks and Spencer (to emerge with canned cocktails for public consumption)...  Eastenders and the joys of the BBC... really, it as the most wonderful trip. (a handful of related blog posts here)

I've been thinking of the trip often lately.  As it stands, I am grounded in Philly for the summer; at present, I am beginning to gather materials and start reading in preparation for my comprehensive exams (one must have an occupation).  There have been summers in my life that escaped my memory (Summer 2008, I'm looking at you) so I've decided to apply some of the lessons of pleasured living from last summer to this one.  Realizing that there are so many lovely points to highlight, this is the first in a series of posts.  So what if I can't live in the now.

1.  Find somewhere nice to visit with friends.

Caerphilly Castle

Last summer I went on an excursion to Wales with a friend after hanging out at his place in Cambridge.  This summer I'm planning on making a couple of trips to Boston and New York with my buddies.  If it's close, you should go.  Grab some honey ale and some stilton and crackers lest you get lost and need to picnic.

2. Don't forget to visit the beach.

Hunstanton Cliffs

This is very important for health and well-being. This summer I'm bound for the Jersey Shore, and you can bet your sweet pippy when I get back to Washington, there will be some beach time as well.

3. Beer festivals are a top priority.

Three different kinds of cider at a beer festival we happened upon unexpectedly.

The Campaign for Real Ale has done much to promote and preserve English beer culture.  We took great pleasure in selecting a range of delicious local brews from an overwhelming number of casks at CAMRA festivals.  It expanded my palette and was just so dang pleasant.  This summer, I'm looking forward to Philly Beer Week. June 4-13  is going to be a very glorious time.  I've already got the June 9th Real Ale event at Johnny Brenda's scribbled onto my calendar.

(excuse the wonky formatting... ahem, Blogger...)

1 comment:

Mom said...

We did have a good time, good memories!