America….

6 Jul

Well almost a week done in America…..well Vermont (I have been told that Vermont not really a true representation of America).

As my plane circled Burlington I could see why Vermont is known as the Green Mountain state and with Lake Champlain in the back drop too I was blown away by the scenery.  I was greeted with balloons and a little sign and then taken for my first taste of Americana with a burger and chili dog combo at Al’s Frys (Legendary in the Burlington area apparently) then a walk down and my first light beer at Lake Champlain on the pier.  Was a good first evening.

I was up at 6am the following morning and was taken for a bike ride for a little over two hours (little did I know that this trend would continue), saw some sights including Middlebury College and the town as well as various other little towns) although in the UK we would call them hamlets or villages at best).  Once again the scenery and weather were fantastic.  Then I had homemade waffles – a real treat – well once I was told about the ritual of preparation – butter, strawberries, berries etc etc then some maple syrup.  In the evening we went for a lovely meal at the quaint Starry Night restaurant where I met lots of new friends and possibly the new brother and sister in law….

You guessed it morning 2 saw an early morning bike ride for a good 90 minutes and take in some more towns and scenery.  Then after making a spanish omelette for breakfast it was off for a little boating n Lake Champlain that included near motionless lake, swimming, good food, beer and good company .  Then in the evening my first cook out (apparently not the same as BBQ – although a BBQ was used) – corn on the hob, chicken, potato salad and some toasted bread – lovely.

My first bagel for breakfast with sausage, bacon, egg on jalepeno bagel….twas lovely MMmmmmm.  Then a couple of hours more on the lake before another hilly bike ride to pick up a car to tootle around in for a few days.  Then a quick shower and out for fireworks to celebrate the 4th July (although it was the 3rd) down on the lake at Burlington – lots of people shouting Ammmurrika and F@ck Yeeaaaah and then every so often I thought I was stuck in a scene from Braveheart with cries of ‘Freedom’ every so often!

So the 4th July finally arrived and so an early get up (once again!) to get to Bristol to watch the out house racing at 9am (basically some people being pushed, dragged and pulled along whilst sat on a toilet!).  The highlight was the fried dough that I had shortly after but the hour and a half parade was good (although I did worry about if there was a fire or some sort of emergency as it seemed every fire engine, ambulance and police car from within 20 miles were taken part in the parade).  This was followed by a lazy day wondering round the town green meeting some more new friends and having a second cook out of the holiday.

Yesterday was the longest but least hilly cycle ride of the holiday so far that saw around 4 hours of cycling which took in the cycle path along the lake and to the causeway.  Also experienced my first drive through ATM (or cash machine as we call them).  However a nice relaxing evening was had with a take out pizza (lovely) and a take out growler of beer (basically a large glass container) and a downloaded movie Super Trooper (to fit in with the Vermont experience).

A great time at the moment in Vermont…..

Gosh the first year in Bucharest almost over….

27 Jun Pimms Jug

I can hardly believe that its been almost 2 months since my last post!  It’s past so fast….

Well since then I’ve been back to England twice once for a stag do (in Leeds) and once for a wedding (a fantastic do it was too…..a nice quaint village church that could seat around 50 people, followed by a reception and party, party, party back at the family farm). 

Been upto Cluj (up in the north of Romania) and experience my first over night sleeper train here – not a bad experience as it goes.  Cluj was nice for a few days away although I think a little hyped by other who have been (AJ!!), but some great food and company and even had time to take in the Botanical Gardens (SA – I feel this may be part of my life from now on!).

Also went to the Queens reception and garden party hosted by the embassy over here on the pretense of networking (yep did chat and collect a few cards – but the distraction of fish and chips in a cone, mini yorkshire puddings with roast beef and mini shepperds pies were too much at times – as was the Pimms!).  But anyway was good to see Charlie boy their representing his Mum.

MMMmmmm what else well lots of meals out….as my belly will testify….and not too much gym…..not a good combination especially as summer hols are here and their may well be a call for my beach body (although I fear that however loud I call it will not appear!).

So four weeks in America then back to Romania for a quick tour around the mountains.  Followed by a trip to the Black Sea in Bulgaria for relaxation before I will greet my Mum for a week stay in Romania (how will my Dad cope a whole week by himself?!?!? Suppose we wil just have to wait and see!).

Back in Blighty and knackered….

20 Apr

Well after loosing the function of legs and arms on the final night in France and being a bit of an all round drama queen as tables were cleared and chairs erected for me to lay on whilst the restaurant manager bathed my forehead and provided salted water to drink I was looking forward to a quiter time once back in the UK.

I was feeling a little better once landed at Gatwick but by the time I arrived to Camden my first stop I was in need of sleep and for something to sooth my sore throat that had developed throughout the day.  What I thought was a little altitiude sickness and exhaustion from a week skiing with the girls was in danger of turning into ‘Man Flu’….I know a completley different beast with far reaching consequences for my week.

After a first night sleep I was up and ready to go (well sort of….was a little tired) but I needed to get upto Gods own county (Yorkshire in case there were a few doubts!) to spnd a few hours with the parents sister, nephew and brother in law before dashing onto York to see some mates in the evening.  Well after a longish drive I arrived said hello, had a drink and then went to bed for a few hours.  The rest although not going down too well with Mum gave me a second wind to get upto York.  I thought I would make it through the evening but fever was taking over and I left without eating anything and with my friends front door keys in hand headed to bed where I commenced to break into hot and cold sweats…..and believe me the bed sheets were soaked and I even thought I had over dozed on the old penecillan when I started seeing things……

Gosh anyway that night was the low point and saw we nip into a walk in NHS clinic just to get checked out the following day before heading to Manchester for the next leg of the UK tour.  After another night out it was time to head back down south and to Windsor before picking up the potential new outlaws from Heathrow the following morning.

Still coughing and spluttering we headed to the airport to pick up the potential outlaws from the airport and found that they had landed an hour early (how does that happemn?!?!?)….I hate being late…..especially at times like this……we found them sipping coffee but I still felt bad.  After a chat we were on the road to Exmoor via Dorchester to see Charlies new town and Exeter.  Well after three days of looking round National trust sites and RHS garden shows and so forth (although the Jurassic coast and fish and chips were good today – not that the others were not entertaining!) I feel I am almost out of the Man Flu danger and on the mend in time for work on Monday!  Even better think I have just about survived the potential outlaws and apart from the couging and spluttering will leave them with a good impression in a couple of days time!

Eyes are shutting and in need of sleep after another splendid 3 course meal made by our personal chef in the B&B.  48 hours then back to Bucharest for a rest and hopefully more sun and less rain…..gosh blighty is great.

Skiing in Tignes

8 Apr

Well first day of skiing (all be it very pedestrian!) done in Tignes.  A little achy but wrist, arm and foot all bearing up quite well although leg a little achy!

The flight and sleep over in London was not too bad….Fish and Chips were had followed by a fry up in the morning before departing to Gatwick to get the flight to Chambery.  There was a short delay which allowed time to browse around the shops and get some man time!  Although the girls have not been too bad…..although they do fuss a little…..and decision making seems to be an issue……sorry girls but it is true!

The transfer to the resort was a little ropey as this thirty something still gets a little travel sick from time to time and those windy mountain roads on a coach certainly brought this on…..but thankfully in a hand full of hours we had made the resort and it was pizza time and an early night.

Morning came and the majority of the girls decided to have a day of rest……I know travel for over 24 hours and spend a lot of money and they do not want to ski…..don’t figure!  Anyway the girls have all headed down to the next resort to meet an old work colleague from Bucharest who is back in France but with an avalanche, poor communication and much stress hopefully they have met up….whilst I am not stressed and enjoying some man time…. 

With my skiing was over in time to catch the second half of the United game and see them pull 8 point clear I am now typing this awaiting to see what City can respond with against Arsenal….so the teams are out and my fresh pint has just arrived so this is me signing out until next time…….

…..maybe another post in France or probably in the UK when I meet the potential future outlaws!!!

Holiday time again…..well almost!

2 Apr

So Friday will see me on a plane and off skiing for a week in France followed by a week back in blighty catching up with friends and actually sepnding a few days down in Cornwall (well south west at any rate) with the prospective outlaws (I mean Inlaws and Mmmmm gosh that seems like things are progressing very fast…….should say the girlfriends folks – who I will be meeting for the first time….wish me luck!).

Anyway speaking of the parents, mine were over last weekend experiencing Bucharest for the first time.  With the tired old Baneasa airport closing last weekend they were one of the lasts ones to experience flying into it which was good from a certain point of few as I really do not think they had grasped how small arrivals actually was.  And with them bringing a suitcase and my bicycle over and fighting with two planes landing close to each other they had the full experience of jossling to get their luggage.  George our taxi man whisked them off to their hotel and we took our goodies and my bike back to the flat.  With a sunny weekend in prospect we planned alot of walking around, eating and drinking on the way.  It was good to see them and did all the main sites although come Sunday all the fresh air had clearly tired me out.

However, come the start of the work week I was up for trying out my old friend the bicycle and headed for work at 6.30am excited to have the use of it but a littled apprenensive about the dogs and the traffic.   In the end I was presently surprised most of the dogs seem to be fast asleep at this hour and the most aggresive was a small pack of dogs on the other side of the road that gave a few barks more out of tradition.  So it was all going well, more exercise, romanian drivers a little more respectful than I was thinking and the dogs not quite as bad as all that when BANG!!!!  Thursday on the way home from work and over the handle bars I flew, scraping and crashing on the tarmac until I came to a stop….no dogs involved, no cars involved (thankfully) just my own heavy handedness as I pressed sharply on both breaks (too sharply on the front).  So after quickly jumping to my feet and dragging my bike off the road the pain of scraped flesh and a bit of a thud on the road suddenly became apparent and I collapsed to my knees as if praying to Mecca.  I am just glad my better half was also cycling home with me as when I finally decided to pull myself together and get onto my feet I fainted into her arms and started to hyperventillate (well at leaset so I have been told)…..anyway cutting a long story short once I came round and had some water and composed myself I was ok…..thankfully…….although I am still achey and sleep has been a little patchy due to shoulder, leg, wrist and arms pain making it difficult to get comfy.  But do not worry on the mend and in work today 🙂

So hoping my recovery continues ready for Skiing on Friday.  So will let you know how the skiing goes and the first meeting goes with the prospective outlaws….

 

 

Weekend in Rome and Spring appears to be here….

21 Mar Rome

Well an enjoyable weekend was had in Rome.  After getting to the most excellent Banessa airport (those in the know will know it is far from excellent – probably the reason it closes on Sunday!) in a shuttle of cars straight after work in preperation for lines and long wait at passport and security it was not too bad at all – but the rub side was we were going to be delayed by a few hours….

No problem we found and claimed a corner of the departure lounge (well more of a room) and got the first round in and the time flew from there and we seemed to board the plane and arrive in Rome pretty soon after the beer drinking commenced.  Alcohol can be a force for good.  A taxi drive called Luigi (well actually not his name was Alberto but after a few beers some members of our party – David! – thought the resemblence to the famous character was too much just to ignore) gave us a lift into Rome. 

We found our digs but no room for us – apparently something wrong with the wall?!?!!? But it was all ok we had been booked into the place across the road.  However cutting a long story short and avoiding going into a rant (unlikr the receptionist) we were greeted by the rudest man on the reception – we were taking back and still I am a little riled about his lack of manners….anyway once we had made a quick trip to the cash machine we decided for a n early night to be fresh for the morning.

6am the following morning the 4 of us sharing the room came round and after some general laddy talk, insults, bad smells, showering we were up and out before 9am ready to do a quick tour of the main sites of Rome before heading to the Olympic stadium to watch Italy whip Scotlands backside and have a good a crack with lots of men wearing skirts and may be a beer or two to celebrate St Paddys day!

 

Well after a whistle stop tour of the main sites, much walking and a bite to eat and a large ice cream we headed to the ground to secure some tickets and all 9 of us eventually got tickets an no one needed to be Billy and sit on their own.  Scotland were poor, the sun was out and mexican waves were plentiful.  The end of the match soon arrived with a quick rush to an Irish bar to secure good viewing positions to see Wales secue the grand slam against the French and see England demolish the Irish.  There was time for much drinking, chatting and even a game of street touch rugby which only saw one of our party get injured with a gash above the eye which saw blood flowing…thankfully a bit os tissue and a plaster from a girls bag and all was good with the world again.

Onwards to another Irish bar and a little dancing and a little nap for one of our party before another earlish night (I know must be old age – but 12 hours of drinking does that to you!). 

The next day we were up and about and consuming an all day breakfast by 9.30 which left the rest of the day to see the sights we did not get round to seeing the day before and have a bite to eat before catching the train to the airport and home to Bucharest…..another smashing weekend 🙂

And not only that but only a few patches of snow remain with the sun having been shining all weekend and for the first few days this week in Bucharest….roll on the weekend and my Mum and Dad arriving to visit.

A busy few weeks…

11 Mar

Well the snow is finally looking like it has lost the battle and is melting away nicely…

This thirty something is slowly feeling it these days with aches, pains and injuries all over the place.  In a bid to not let FC Bucharest Casuals down today I turned up and ran around but generally I think all would agree my skills but also our collective skills and cohesion seem to be reducing with every week we play!  At this rate by the time we are back in the open air and looking for opponents we will need to look for an Under 12s side….

The silver lining, is there are now a few weeks off for the Casuals to reflect and regroup.  Next weekend a bunch off us are off to Rome to take in a Six nations game and possibly see a Scotland win?!?!?  A certainty however is that Paul will have his legs out and kilt on!  The following week my parents are making the pilgrimage to come and see me out here, so looking forward to that and showing them around.  Then the week after that it’s time for a couple of weeks off and a break from Bucharest with Skiing in France then a week back in blighty, which should be fun….meeting the girlfriends parents for the first time :-S wish me luck!

……………………….right I will resume (4 hours after starting…) just finished tidying up after making sunday roast for me and 6 friends (well with a little help).  Everyone seemed pleased enough although I am my worst critic the Yorkshire Puddings were a little on te flat side and them parsnips a little too much time in the oven……but hey not too bad for a full roast in a smallish kitchen and just a single oven with one shelf………………time for some TLC before bed then work in the morning.