Day Two:

Last night, we were exhausted and collapsed into bed at 9pm – only to find ourselves wide awake at midnight.  It turns out that our bodies thought we were taking an afternoon nap.  So we flipped on the telly and decided to find out what the brits watch at midnight on a Saturday.  We watched a music interview/mini concert with a British band, Muse, whose music we really enjoyed although we would have rather been asleep.  We finally ended up falling asleep sometime around 3:30 in the morning.  Rich and I didn’t wake up until 11:30 am, and even then it was very difficult to drag ourselves out of bed.  Damn jet lag – our last trip to Europe had been an easy adjustment.  This trip seems to be going differently – wish us luck tonight!

Finally we made it out the door.  The Proper English Lady Inside Our Car told us how to get to Taunton city centre, and we parked the car and got out.  Taunton is a town of about 50,000 people and its downtown functions as the main shopping district.  It is filled with lots of trendy clothing shops and department stores and has anything that you would find in an American mall, although the brand names of the stores are entirely different.  I only recognized one shop – Lush – and that is a store I know (and love) from trips to Canada and not from the States.

We settled in for lunch at a trendy little place called Brazz, which is a modern bistro/bar/coffee shop that has English and Mediterranean foods for lunch and dinner.  Delicious!  I had heard that beef in the UK tastes different than in the US but I didn’t taste much difference in my roast beef.  Rich tried a Somerset lamb burger which was pretty tasty too.  If we end up living here, it will be a place we will visit often.

After buying me a detailed Somerset map and a UK hairdryer (the travel one I borrowed was just taking too long) and Rich a pay-as-you-go cell phone, we strolled around and people-watched for a while.  Both men and women in Taunton pay much more attention to their wardrobe than people in the Tri-Cities, and if we move, we’ll actually have to become shoppers – something that does not come easily to either of us but might be fun to actually dress in style for a change!  The typical male wardrobe seems to consist of tight jeans, and either a tight knit shirt or a collared shirt with a casual sport coat.  Women wear heels (shoes or boots) with their jeans or skirt and a cute top, scarf and jacket with a fur hood.  There were no t-shirts, sweat shirts or fleece jackets around.

We really like Taunton and have a feeling that if we move it will probably become our hometown.  So we let our Proper English Lady Inside Our Car take us to a couple of the Taunton neighborhoods we are interested in – Trull and Cotford St. Luke.  Trull reminds me of the Portland South Hill – beautiful bigger older-style brick homes in a peaceful setting with shrubbery-lined roads.  Cotford St. Luke is a brand-new planned community that has a school, walking paths, a community centre, etc. and is similar to the type of living environment we might pick out if we were looking in the States, except that all the buildings are brick and it is outside of town just a bit.  We liked both of the towns a lot, and as of yet we really don’t know just what we are looking for in a home or what will be available to rent in February when we likely would be moving.  For now we’re just trying to assess our options and learn the layout of the towns.

Speaking of town layout, finding your way around is an entirely different thing in England.  The roads are incredibly narrow compared to US standards – no wonder all Brits drive tiny cars! Also, there is a roundabout every 1/2 a mile or so.  They make for safe driving and less need to stop, but are a little intimidating to us foriegners!  Once again, I’m incredibly glad we sprung for the built-in GPS in the rental car, and if we buy a car here that will be a necessity.  I would recommend to any prospective visitors who are going to rent a car that they get the GPS navigation.  I honestly don’t think it would be possible to get around without it.

Tomorrow Rich goes to work and I’ll be on my own.  I plan on checking out a few more towns, possibly doing a little shopping, and pre-planning my schools and rental homes attack.  I’ll update you again tomorrow!

Hey friends and family – we miss you!  Leave us a comment after the article, okay?  Just hit “no comments” (or 1 comment or whatever it says) after you finish reading this.  Mom? Dad? How are our children?  Give them hugs for us.


3 Responses to “Day Two:”

  1. 1 Gwyn November 27, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    Hi there, I found this blog via your flickr photos of Taunton, my home town. Although now I live pretty much full time in Guadalajara, Mexico. I’ll actually be back visiting Zummerzet in a couple of days and right now I’m in UC Irvine with me (American) missus. If you’ve any questions about Taunton, feel free to shoot them my way.

    Trull’s a nice part of town, relatively quiet and friendly, and it sounds like you struck gold finding Brazz, there are relatively few high end restaurants in Taunton, but that one has something of a reputation. There is tons to visit for walks, pub lunches and other stuff in the area. You should get over to the Quantock Hills when you get the chance. My folks live in Kingston St Mary on the way there and it’s a gorgeous part of the world.

    Anyroad, I’ll keep visiting your blog to see if you end up settling in the Town of the Tone and wish you all the best of luck.


  2. 2 Mary November 27, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    Kristina I like your new haircut!!

    Looks like a lot of fun.

    You’re Mom and Dad drove the kids back in the snow yesterday. I haven’t heard from them today but I’m sure Mom has. Hope the drive was okay for them.

    The snow melted in one day but it was fun to watch Mocha in the backyard. It’s her first time to play in the snow. She ran around like a crazy dog. The girls couldn’t catch her it was hysterical.

    Miss you guys,


  3. 3 Grandady November 28, 2006 at 12:48 am

    All is well here. I’ll give you update on the kids, who are doing very well, via your email. Mom is with them in Richland but I had to get home…making a living and all that. She will not have a computrer so I’ll read your journals to her at night. We love reading the updates. Love, Dad

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