Christian's always had a fondness for England. It isn't that he had been there before, but his passion for soccer (specifically the EPL) always drew him towards this place. We knew that it was a "bucket list" trip, but really had no immediate plans to make it happen.
Que Christmas 2018...
One of our forever-favorite bands, Panic at the Disco, is on tour + I instantly know that's what I have to get Christian. With a bit of an anticlimactic venue list, I begin looking at ticket sales outside of Southern California - thinking it could be fun to turn it into a weekend getaway. Although there were plenty of incredible venue options, by the time flights + hotel costs added up it was starting to feel annoyingly pricey for a weekend trip. Suddenly I couldn't help it...where else would he be touring?
Paris...Germany...bam...England. We've never been the most thorough of planners when it comes to our overseas trips, so I figured that if I could fit it all into our travel fund budget we might as well just go for it! Sure enough...flights, hostels + airbnbs came out to almost the same as a weekend in Austin, TX ... I was sold! The trip morphed quickly as we realized what we could fit into a week stay + we eventually ended up throwing a Manchester United game into our plans, because at that point...what the hell...
Here are some highlights from the trip :)
Fresh off the ten hour flight we found our hostel and headed out for a Hyde Park picnic, followed by fish + chips for dinner.
Determined to show Christian the sights without it taking up a whole week, we started from our hostel near Tower Bridge and created our own running tour through the city. After a quick nap we explore Brick Lane + stumbled upon the COOLEST community garden.
He may not be a fan, but he couldn't help wanting to check out the Arsenal stadium since it was a stone's throw away from the hostel. From there, we drank + ate our way through Brixton (which ended HIGH on my favorites list).
Our day ended at the O2 Arena for Panic At The Disco, where we were mistakenly given VIP lounge access and danced our asses off <3
First of all...what a freaking beautiful place. While I had been to London before, but this was Christian + my first time in Manchester, and it definitely deserves a trip of it's own in the future. There is such a different energy and pace that we really enjoyed...not to mention that Christian was in heaven staying about a half mile from his team's stadium, Old Trafford.
Day Four, Five + Six
Well we couldn't just come to Manchester and not try to go to a game...and with luck on our side Manchester vs. Watford was scheduled the day before we had to leave! Beers, beers + more beers...chanting with a rowdy mob down the crowd filled street...cheering, booing + new friends. Definitely the best sport-related experience that I've ever had :) The last day was our only real day to explore Manchester, and being pretty trashed from the trip as a whole, we took a molasses-like pace, wandering between coffee shops + cafes, and consuming a healthy number of dirty martinis, until we found ourselves home again to pack.
Walking + Wandering Areas:
The Vintage Market (Brick Lane) - Boutique style vintage market Brixton Market - Street market with pop-up kiosks
Brixton Village Market - world foods + eclectic shops
Food + Drink
Cloud 23 - Hilton rooftop bar
Takk - coffee house