Beaner in Brighton

The Beans and I spent today in Brighton, attempting to relax and recover. She accompanied me to a class for a few minutes in the morning, and then we walked around Brighton.

Kathleen took most of today’s photos. I feel like I’ve already documented Brighton pretty well. It’s a beautiful place though, and she reminded me of what it was like to see it for the first time. Our first stop after my class was the pavilion, an interesting piece of Brighton history and architecture that happens to be across the street from my campus. It was built by George IV in an Indian style. I don’t know all the facts, but what I’ve heard is that he loved to travel and that’s how he brought it home with him.

The two separate buildings house different museums. We only went to one, and it was very strange. It had a number of mismatched exhibits: and Egyptian artifacts exhibit, a craft movement furniture collection, a room about Brighton’s history, something with puppets, and a Biba fashion show. There was a lot of text that gave surprisingly little information. I walked through most rooms without knowing exactly what I was looking at or why.

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After this we were pretty hungry, so we walked through The Lanes to a little lunch spot called Mock Turtle I’d visited a few weeks ago. Kathleen was as impressed by how cute it is as I had been. We sampled some common English soda flavors: elderflower, and dandelion and burdock. The first one I had tried before and thought was quite delicious. Dandelion and Burdock, however, tasted a little like rootbeer but mostly like cough syrup. We both had soup for lunch and split a Victoria pound cake for dessert. It was decadent.

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Around this time I noticed some odd symptoms. I was suddenly extremely thirsty, tired, and weirdly felt a little drunk. My head wasn’t in pain, but it reminded me of a migraine. Still, I couldn’t be sure. My house was pretty far in the opposite direction and since I didn’t even know for sure it was a migraine we decided to carry on with our day. We walked to the pier, first, which is always exciting. Having lived in the midwest for 17-or-21 years, oceans will always be especially exciting. Since it was a sunny day, we could walk all the way out to the end of the pier and watch some of the amusement rides. The wind made it pretty cold, but in the sun it wasn’t too bad.

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We walked back through The Lanes after this. There are two major sections of The Lanes. The more commonly known part is much like the plaza. It’s an outdoor shopping district with expensive stores and beautiful views. Kathleen found a wonderful sweatshirt with the word “GEEK” printed across it. This may sound weird, but this is all the rage in England. I can’t go one day without seeing someone wearing an article of clothing with the word geek on it in that same font. It always made me think of her, so I’m glad she bought it. I think it was a good purchase, a good price, and very on-trend in England right now.

Our path back continued through the second part, the North Lanes. These are smaller, artsier shops in a more historic looking, cozy section. We visited the flea market and several small places, but my condition was worsening and we were both tired. After making a pit stop for some water at White Rabbit, we decided to make our way home. After all, the best part of our trip will start tomorrow: London.

I was actually quite impressed by White Rabbit, too. It’s a cozy pub with lots of comfortable furniture. I felt bad for just drinking free water and hanging out, but they were really kind. I tried to pay them and they refused. I think I’ll go back there again some night when I’m feeling better. I was not doing so well by that point today.

By the time we made it back to my house, I was in a bad way. I took my migraine pills even though I knew it was probably too late. Kathleen and I watched The Office all afternoon, although I kept dozing off in the middle of episodes and missing jokes.

Kathleen went out on her own to find us some dinner. We had been planning on making spaghetti, but as simple as that is I really wasn’t up for it. I gave her directions to the nearest grocery store (she loves foreign grocery stores anyway, and this was like The Mother of all Grocery Stores) and my address in case she got lost. She was gone for almost two hours, which concerned me since the store is less than 5 minutes away. However, the layout of grocery stores here is quite confusing and it always takes me forever to find everything I need, so I didn’t worry too much.

She returned successfully. She had bought microwave macaroni and cheese for me, but then walked around til she found a fried chicken place to get food for herself. This seemed a little unfair to me, but the mac n cheese wasn’t too bad in the end. It’s another early bedtime for us, which I think is for the best. My migraine subsided at around 9:30. We’re both tired, and the best part of our trip will being tomorrow: London and Paris.

Conquering the World (also known as going to a grocery store by myself)
Kathleen Blanck has returned for another guest appearance
It started off as any normal day. An egg in a basket, some toast, water, then off to class in a flurry of not so bad weather and warm clothes. We were the first to arrive (a rare feat in the Blanck family) and we made friendly conversation with the professor once he arrived. I might have had slight trouble understanding what he was saying, but I improvised a bit and it seemed to work. The next hour was pretty uneventful other than the fact that the professor did not seem to understand American humor. I don’t remember what the joke was, but I got it and he didn’t. Very funny stuff.
We then went to a museum. Some say, “wow, museums are boring,” but to you i say, “nay!” and not in the horse way.
This art museum featured a whole room of chairs that you were not allowed to sit on!
And a room of Egyptian artifacts with little places where you can listen to kids tell you about things! Kids! European kids! How much better does it get?
Then, of course, there was the room that claimed that “football” is a global language despite the fact that it is actually one of the only sports that has a different name in American English than it does in British English. ALSO, they had a smell and guess exhibit! That was the bomb.
The last exhibit we walked through was about fashion and at the end, you got to try on some of the designs if you wanted. Anna and I were to cold and the dresses were too sheer for either of us to try them on.
Oh, we also went through one where it had these masks that people where and the men wer quotes saying things like no one can find out who they are and all the women were quoted saying stuff like, yeah, we totally know who they are but we don’t tell them that. So funny.
After that, we were too hungry to go on, so we caught lunch at the CUTEST place ever. It was so sweet, but the was china hanging everywhere, so that made me nervous. I had tomato soup, and it was delicious, which meas that now I can eat tomato soup and grilled cheese at home (shout out to my mom for putting up with me all these years). We tried to share a piece of cake to finish it off, but we were both too full.
Oh! We also had these weird sodas! Anna drank Dandelion and Burdocks (spelling?) soda and I drank Elderflower! It was kind of like sprite, but sharper.
We checked out the pier and saw a super cool looking ride, except for the fact that it went at an alarmingly slow pace! Like, it looked like it would be one of those rides that flung you around, but it was just calmly moving up and down like a ferris wheel, but not.
I took a ton of touristy pictures and worked with my “original angles” lesson from Mr. Thomas, so I’m sure those are all really exciting to look at.
Next up: shopping.
We went to many stores, including Jack Wills, which seems a bit like the American Eagle of England, but it was so cute and so British and I wanted to buy everything. I did not. I did end up buying a green sweatshirt that says “geek” on it. We’ll see how that goes over. I think it’s cute! Plus, it warns people about what they’re getting into when they talk to me. Though I feel like most of the people wearing these shirts are not actually geeks.
Anna started feeling weird as we shopped, so we stopped to get some water and then headed home. All in all, it was a great day!
We watched basically a whole season of the Office and I went off the the grocery store on my own.
Duh duh duh.
It was a really good trip! I made it to the store successfully. I was not run over (not even once!). THEY HAVE THESE WEIRD SLIGHTLY UPWARD ESCALATORS THAT TAKE YOU INTO THE STORE. LIKE WHY? JUST ADD STAIRS.
I got in and immediately thought of the two items on my list. First, cookie dough. Second, dinner. I spent about a half an hour looking for dough in the wrong aisle, even though I asked someone and they pointed me to that aisle! I finally asked someone else and they brought me straight to it! Anyway, I picked up two of those and considered it mission success. I proceeded to get Anna the only thing I was positive she enjoyed because I’ve made it for her thousands of times before in the States: mac n cheese. And now some of you are wondering: well, Kathleen, why didn’t you just get her fried chicken, if that’s what you were getting? Or just get mac n cheese yourself?
ONE: I am lactose=intolerant. That means no mac n cheese for me!
TWO: Anna is a health nut. There was no guarantee that she would like fried chicken! Yes, she’s eaten it in the past, but does that mean her migraine-racked body will still want it? NO! It means that she had it a few times at the Royals game!
THREE: I really just got chicken nuggets because the place I wanted to go for chicken actually only sold sandwiches and I realized as I ate my chicken and chips that they were baiscally the exact same ones as were sold at McDonald’s. And who actually likes McDonald’s McNuggets? No one!
FOUR: She did not tell me what to get here and therefore, I am allowed to get her whatever I wanted to get her! The mac n cheese looked delicious!
Anyway, I spent quite the time out on the late night (pre-7 pm) streets of Brighton and made my way back safe and sound to the house. It was jolly.
Also, I got a mini-twelve pack of coca-cola #yes #soda #mini

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5 thoughts on “Beaner in Brighton

  1. Wow! Impressive Migraine Blogging, Anna! Well done. And Kathleen, I understand your mac-n-cheese logic. You are an excellent and amusing guest blogger. I know you will forget all about trying new foods when you get home, including tomato soup, but I appreciated the shout out! Let’s have a picture of the Geek Shirt. Last time I was in England, all the shirts said “FCUK” which maybe stood for Football Club United Kingdom, or something, I like “geek” much better. Those naughty English…

  2. First of all, Jennifer, FCUK I believe stands for French Connection – UK! I loved reading about the sisters abroad but was sad to hear the migraine news. Maybe a reaction to the strange soda? Can’t wai to hear about their adventures in London and Paris – fun, fun. fun!!!

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