Surprise! – Part I
The first surprise was that our flight to Birmingham left on time, was very pleasant as it wasn’t fully booked, and we arrived early to beautiful weather.
On arrival we stocked up on sandwiches and crisps, checked into the hotel, and went out again into the warm night to have our sandwiches in a nice square in town doing some people watching. A very interesting thing to do with the Friday night crowds out and about.
Our hotel was great, right in the middle of town. We stayed on the 19th floor and had a brilliant view over the area we were going to spend our evenings in – I’m not talking about the hotel bar here… Another surprise: scales in the bathroom – yay! This was a first. We could weigh our purchases and wouldn’t have to worry whether our suitcases would be too heavy!
Which leads me directly to the subject of shopping. Surprisingly, I got almost all my shopping done on the first day. This was partly due to the fact that the choice didn’t seem as overwhelming this time. Take shoes, for example: at the moment you can either get very flat ballerina style shoes, or extremely high heels; not much in between, and not much to my taste, which didn’t leave me too sad as shoe boxes do take up quite some space in your suitcase. I must have gotten not just older but also wiser with my last birthday, because with regards to pretty but not really necessary things, I was actually able to pick a few select items instead of wanting to buy everything, as is my usual habit. My spoils contained a little bit of everything – clothes and accessories, kitchen stuff, books, pretty stationary, and some food items.
And on to my favourite subject – food! I had a lot. And I regret nothing. I had a few sandwiches that I’d like to recreate at home, for example Grape, Brie & Cranberry Relish, or Wensleydale Cheese & Carrot Chutney. Will definitely try to find recipes for the relish and the chutney. The crisps were also yummy; apart from my favourite classic salt & vinegar, I had beetroot & parsnip, and spicy piri chilli crisps. And then there’s Starbucks Vanilla Cream. I know, I know, you get Starbucks all over the world, even in Stuttgart. But you don’t get British cream everywhere. It’s so different from German cream, really thick and heavy, and fat of course… But hey, I was on vacation.