I slept in, I really needed that. Karen and I went to walk the dog at a nearby lake while Chloe was getting her eyelashes done. The lake was massive and apparently there is a village underneath that they had just filled in. We chatted about life and her daughters Louise and Chloe, and also Max. It was a good change of pace because I didn’t have to go through all the repetitive steps of getting to know a new person. Once we got back to the house Chloe and I went into downtown Manchester to explore. It was pretty great. The Christmas Market was open and it was the biggest I have ever seen. This market spanned multiple streets and plazas. I stopped to enjoy some German Gluhwein, which is just warm red wine but so delicious. I saw the local plazas, monuments, and shopping centers. Lots of people were out and we were also able to take the tram back to her house before we went on a local pub crawl.
Our first stop was a family friends house, Tom, it was his 18th birthday and we went over for a drink. I chatted with his grandparents who have been quite a few places that I have been this trip. They had fond memories of Temple Bar in Dublin. After that we went to John Milne which is a restaurant and pub that Chloe and Tom work at. We had a few pints and I even snuck Max a bit. You can actually drink with the meal at 16 here though, so it wasn’t an egregious crime. We moved across the street to Free Trade Tavern, it was a total local’s bar. Everyone knew each other. Max and I kind of hungout and played darts while everyone else was socializing. We got bored and went down the road to the next tavern to try and play pool. No kids after 21h00 though, so we just walked home and played video games. Don’t tell Karen.
What is half of Manchester? Chester! That is where Chloe, Max, and I went today. Lead by her dad Gary! Chester is actually an hour away from Manchester and that joke was really lame. Anyways, we got to Chester and stopped by President Nixons favorite diner 49 Watergate. We had a light bite to eat and some coffee and headed on with the exploration. It was mostly window shopping throughout different stores. However, there were quite a few things that I wish I had room to take home with me. There were some Star Wars themed things that were really enticing. I actually ended up buying a new xbox game though since it was so ridiculously cheap here for Black Friday. The “old town” of Chester is contained by an old roman wall. We walked up to the Cathedral and mounted the wall to get an elevated view of all the shoppers below. That was probably my favorite part! Gary was a great guy and I enjoyed the interactions that we had. It was extremely nice of him to bring me along and take me to see a different town.
Once we got back to Manchester, we all hung out and killed time. The family had to go to a friend’s house for dinner so I got the place to myself. What better way to do that then kill a large bottle of beer and devour an entire Indian meal. It was a nice night in and a much needed wind down.
Full video: stay tuned