Turning 21 in Liverpool
Trip Start Jan 03, 2013
15Trip End Jun 02, 2013
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My actual birthday was last Friday, but I got to start celebrating Thursday night when Kendra told me she was taking me downtown for a surprise
Next was the milkshake portion of the night. The Jungle Rumble was supposed to be known for their milkshakes, but it was pretty busy so we decided to go to the Sblended ice cream shop that was very near
Friday, I'm 21! I struggled through my morning class, sustainable future, and was a bit perturbed at the non-structure of this weeks class. We had to get into groups to discuss articles that we were supposed to read, but didn't know we had to read, so needless to say not much conversation occurred. We ended up learning about a project our tutor (remember professors are called tutors here) was doing in Liverpool. As a sustainability initiative, he helps to run a community garden in the area. He was very exciting telling us about a "state of the art" 10,000 pound composting toilet that is now on the grounds. We also learned about "guerilla gardening" that takes place in the UK. It's basically where people plant things in any unused land they can find, like on the side of the street or next to a train track. Our tutor ended by asking everyone if they liked leeks because he has a lot of extra from the garden that he will bring in next week
After lunch we went back to Aigburth and Kendra and I took a walk to find a geocache! We walked about an hour to Princes Park. It was a smaller park, but had a little lake with some ducks and such. We had fun on some of the playground equipment, especially this giant swing that three people could sit on. We also made use of the outdoor fitness equipment that was more fun than a workout. The geocache was nearby on Madyrn Street, where Ringo Starr lived when he was a kid! We got to the street and it was completely deserted. Nobody lived in the homes and it looked as if some of the buildings were burned. Everything was covered in graffiti and most of the windows were shattered. The geocache was located on the street sign (the face of it was actually missing and somebody just wrote the street back in). It was just a plastic bag magneted to the metal sign. I was glad nobody was around because it looked like we were doing a drug deal. We were going to walk down the street but but we were both worried we were going to get mugged so we got out of there right away.
When we got back we met up with our other friends and went to a place called Maranto's down on Lark Lane
The only thing that was missing was my family and friends back home! Thank you to everyone for birthday wishes and gifts :)
I basically had three days of birthday, and Saturday was day three. We made our way downtown again for a day of museums ending with a Beatles concert in their birthplace, the Cavern Club. We went to the World Museum, which was delightfully free! The museum was great. We started by getting tickets to the planetarium and "meet the mummy" shows, both free also
After we looked at aquariums, followed by a bug exhibit. I was so excited to see the leafcutter ants, it brought back memories of Panama (I'm also just fascinated with ants). We could see a colony of ants up close, cutting leaves then carrying the fragments over a rope in a line back to their dirt home. I watched them for quite a while. I also enjoyed the natural history exhibit, a included basically every animal you can think of stuffed and placed in drawers. There was also a collection of minerals and I tried to remember what I could from my mineralogy class. We saw dinosaur and Egyptian exhibits before ending with the planetarium show. It didn't compare to the Barlow Planetarium in Wisconsin, not even close, but the chairs were really comfy and I was pretty tired after walking all day.
We had a few hours before the Cavern Club show, so we went down Bold Street to find a place to eat
Sunday and Monday I spent writing my history essay, which I finally finished on Monday night. Thank God. It was a pretty rough one.
Tuesday was Kendra's last day as a 20 year old! I came to campus for class, and Kendra met up with us here for lunch. Afterwards, we formed a team for a campus Easter egg hunt/scavenger hunt. Only two teams showed up, but even with our limited knowledge of the campus we ended up finishing first, only taking about 10 minutes. We won a giant chocolate Easter egg and a bunch of candy bars. Kendra was pretty happy (she's very competitive if you didn't know :)
We went back to Aigburth and took a walk around Festival Gardens before getting ready to go out. I had a surprise for Kendra too! Except it wasn't really a surprise because Kendra's too good at guessing. I got tickets for us to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Empire Theatre downtown. We had dinner at Las Iguanas (the place we went for Valentine's Day) because we signed up for the email list and got a free meal because it was our birthdays! We also got two free and unexpected drinks. What a deal!
I've never seen the Phantom of the Opera, and its one of Kendra's favorites so we were both very excited
Wednesday, Happy Birthday Kendra! Kendra decided it would be fun to hide a geocache, so we found a container, camouflaged it, and walked to Sefton Park. On the way there, we stopped at Tesco and we all four got chocolate croissants for "lunch." We probably looked pretty goofy all carrying these through the park, but it was fun. Next we tried to find a good spot for the geocache. During our search, we met a few nice people. One couple from Liverpool stopped to ask us all where we were from, and shortly after we met a man who will forever be known as "the bird man." He carries bags of worms and peanuts around to attract and feed the local birds and squirrels. It was actually fun to watch, at one point a whole bunch of UK robins were all around us. During our conversation he turned to Kendra and said "I bet your mum told you to never take anything from a strange man, right?" Kendra nervously said yes. He ended up handing me a bunch of peanuts and taught us how to feed the wildlife. This made for a fun afternoon. Everyone got to feed a squirrel, but apparently squirrels don't like me because I couldn't get one to come near me until the very end. I had better luck throwing the peanuts at birds to eat
We returned home after picking up supplies for Kendra's cake as well as Kendra's favorite cider from the Bargain Booze, and were disappointed to learn our geocache had not been approved because it was too close to another one. We'll have to go back and move it before anybody can find it.
We also stopped at the Trinity Room to bring some games back to our flat for some partying. All they have is giant versions of games, so we walked back to the flat with a giant deck of cards, a giant connect four game, and giant version of Jenga (this weighed about a billion pounds..) I fooled everyone in the flat, telling them I got free pizzas because the Jenga was in a bag that looked like a Pizza Hut bag. Everyone craved pizza after that. We had an enjoyable afternoon and night playing games, cooking and eating cake, and watching some of the videos I took during the past few weeks
Today I had War and Empire in the morning, and I got my first paper back. I ended up getting an A, which made me very happy because I didn't know what to expect with differences in grading here. Later, it rained on my parade (that's an expression right?) when I discovered that my power adapter for my Macbook Pro is broken. The cord is all frayed and it stopped working. You'd think a company like Apple would know how to design a charging cable, but they don't. A new one costs $79, but I'm going to go to the Apple store downtown this weekend to see if they can replace it somehow. Here's to hoping.
I've been sitting in the Eden building writing this post for awhile, and earlier somebody came up and asked me what part of the US I'm from. He must have heard me talk. He said his fiance is from Arizona, and he's been to Wisconsin before too! He was jealous when I told him I've been to Yellowstone. He introduced himself to me, his name is Dave. People are very, very nice here
I've got a new pile of books to start working through to write my religion essay that's due next Friday, this is what my week will be devoted to.
Thanks for reading such a long post. If you've made it this far, congratulations! If I haven't taken all of your time, check out my pictures and videos below. There's some pretty good ones, I promise!
Click the links!
My Last Day as 20 Year Old
My 21st Birthday
World Museum and Cavern Club
Kendra's Last Day as a 20 Year Old
Kendra's 21st Birthday
Hope all is well back home,