Hey peeps! So, as you read this I’m probably fed up on an aeroplane, sitting next to a smelly man (travelling is not my friend when it comes to companions on aeroplanes – and by smelly man I don’t mean the German – he’s flying back Stateside from Germany! We’re currently having a race across the Atlanta with both of us having the same arrival time – who will win? I’ll fill you in on that one next time! My money’s on me!) probably looking a little bit miserable and puffy eyed from saying goodbye to England and heading back to ATL. But what an amazing 2 weeks it’s been in good old Blighty!! So I thought I’d fill you in on some of the highlights of the trip!
First up was New Years Eve when, along with the German, Ma Cook, Pa Cook, the brother and the sister-in-law we waved goodbye to 2013 and said a big fat hello to 2014! There was waaaaaay too much food (Ma Cook just doesn’t know when to stop buying!) and lots of alcohol that resulted in myself, Ma Cook and the sister-in-law doing ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’ on the living room floor! Sadly (or maybe not!) I don’t have photographic evidence of this! Phew! I do have photographic evidence of Ma Cook’s excessive food shopping though:
That feast (that resulted in a lot of leftovers!) was followed by a HUGE Christmas dinner on New Years Day! I’ll save that beast for another blog post – let’s just say Ma Cook did us proud!
Then there was the catching up with family and friends! I was so excited landing in Leeds that the German got fed up and asked me to calm down! Then I picked up the wrong suitcase from the baggage carousel and the German didn’t have any clothes until lunchtime the following day – actual story right there! I’m now banned from doing anything with any responsibility! It was my one job of the night!! Whoops! When we got back I ran up the drive and gave Ma and Pa Cook a massive hug! It had been 6 months since I had a dad hug (less for a mum hug – she came back to Atlanta remember?) and it was so good to see him! I’ve had lots of amazing baby cuddles with my best buddie’s little girl who was born whilst I was visiting in summer – she was literally a week and a half old the last time I saw her! She’s changed and grown soooooo much and is the cutest little girl in the whole wide world! Aunty Rachel did a lot of baby bonding and loved every single second! We spent a drunken night with our friends Rosie and Matt and their bald cat Keith (yep, they really do have a bald cat called Keith) making pizza, drinking lots of wine and playing Mr & Mrs – you’ll be pleased to hear the German and I are a good match! Phew!
There was the scary revelation that I’ve married a German version of my Dad! Like seriously, the German is a carbon copy of my dad but German – look:
Yep, the like to wear the same clothes, sit the same, drink the same beer and have the same mannerisms…it is seriously scary!! They seem to think the same, act the same and keep tabs on me in the same way! Oh dear…
I finally got to do wedding stuff with my girlies! Along with Ma Cook and the Aunty, we went bridesmaid dress shopping for the big day! And with just a day to get things sorted in the pressure was on! That coupled with the fact that one of my said beautiful girlies is 6ft 2! Yep, no buying off the peg for us! But miraculously, we found the perfect dress in the perfect colour, had the girls measured and made to fit dresses ordered in the space of just a few hours! We were so quick we even got to fit in a ladies what lunch lunch complete with a glass of wine! Phew! Weight off my mind there! A few days later we also tried out wedding hair! All the details will remain a big secret though until the big day! Not long to go now!!!
I hit the shops but didn’t really buy much because everything I looked at was met with the thought of ‘I can pay less for that in America!’ I did get some bits and bobs for the apartment though – things like that are much cheaper over in sunny Blighty (and more modern if you ask me!) and then I got a little bit sad that I couldn’t ship a container full of stuff over again! If I’d have known last year what I know now I’d have filled the ‘we’re moving to America’ container to the rafters!!
There was the moment Ma Cook fell into the Christmas tree! Yep, you read that right – Ma Cook fell into the Christmas tree! (I’m actually chuckling to myself writing this because I’m reliving the moment in my head!) It has to be one of the best moments of the holiday! Picture the scene – I’m sitting on the sofa whilst Ma Cook starts taking down the Christmas tree when all of a sudden I hear a ‘Ooooh Rachel!’ followed by a crash! As I turned around I saw the tree falling into the cabinet and Ma Cook falling on top of it! If that cabinet hadn’t been there they would both have been on the floor! I’m kind of gutted the cabinet was there! Sadly I don’t have any photographic evidence of this either – Ma Cook and the tree were back upright before you could say ‘cheese!’ But this does indeed prove where I get my daftness from – apparently Ma Cook was reaching around the back of the tree for a decoration when she lost her balance – she didn’t even think to turn the tree around to make it easier for her!
And of course I stuffed my face with every delicious British treat I’ve missed over the past year – I’m now about 10 stone heavier than when I left Atlanta 3 weeks ago! (The wedding diet starts tomorrow!!) We went to the great British pub where I had a Scotch egg and cottage pie, filled up on the biggest Christmas dinner ever, went for that all important curry, filled my face with Cadbury’s chocolate and topped it all off with this:
Yep, I stuffed my face with the traditional British delight that is a fish supper – also known as fish, chips and mushy peas!! Despite the fact that I never actually ate it that often whilst living in Blighty I had a HUGE craving for them so Pa Cook did the good thing and trotted off to the village chippy! I waddled from the table after tucking into that beast but it was definitely worth it! We also had a cheese overload – Ma Cook could have started her own cheesemonger shop with the amount she got in for the cheese eating monsters that are the German and the big bro! They were happy little souls though – I think they both left the house a few cheese pounds heavier!
Now though, the bags are packed (and hopefully tucked away in the hold of the same plane I’m on!) and loaded up with Christmas pressies, treats and those all important British teabags – despite claiming to be British blend in the States it’s just not the same as a proper brew from England! I actually had to buy an extra suitcase to fit everything in! Fingers crossed I pick up the right ones from the carousel this time…