Monday, December 30, 2013

Brothers in Buxton

After a half day of work today, I rushed to Buxton to meet some of my favorite people:
Yup, the brothers have arrived in Buxton! Not just that, they've arrived looking like a pair of twins. We'd better not let those two go shopping together anymore.
Our little apartment is a full house now, with my mom, my two brothers, and Gyano's girlfriend Bente. Thankfully, we have two bathrooms and now two air beds in the studio (currently a.k.a. dormitory). It's a good thing we no longer live in America or Japan, this many people would never have fit then.
Of course, we made sure everyone's bellies were filled as well, England-style. Dinner was a lovely afternoon tea and tea was fish and chips at the pub... Confused? Yeah, I often get confused too. Here they refer to lunch with "dinner" and to dinner with "tea". Ha, you're probably still confused.
Everyone's here, let's make some memories!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bakewell

We're in England, time for a proper tea party.
This morning we bussed it to Bakewell, and sat down at a cosy table at a quaint tearoom, and ordered us some tea and some local treats. We tried a Bakewell tart and a Bakewell pudding (which is not like pudding in the Netherlands or the US, it's just a synonym for a dessert), but I can't remember which is which, both were pretty tasty though.

Tea needs to be drunk with milk, of course, like I said, we are in England. Actually, I had been drinking milk-less English tea in the first weeks we were here, until someone accidentally milked my tea, and to be polite I drank it anyways. Surprisingly, I (a long-time milk-less tea lover) liked it. Since that day, I haven't gone back to milk-less tea, as I now love drinking my tea the English way. Everyday, multiple times... I think I'm turning British.
Bakewell is a lovely town, with loads of cute shops and pretty views. 
And weird tourists.
And of course another English staple: Fish and Chips. We finally got my mom to try some and she loved it. But hey, what's not to love? Fried potatoes and fried fish, can't really go wrong with that.
We had to bus ourselves back home to Buxton on time, since I have to work tomorrow and my mom is getting up even earlier to pick up my brothers at the airport. I'm so excited to have them here as well, I think I'll have to do a little happy dance when they arrive!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Buxton walk

Thank goodness for weekends. Now, I get to spend some quality time with my mom. Today we went for a relaxing Buxton walk. I'm happy to report Buxton agrees with my mom, she's quite in love with our little spa town tucked away in the English Peak District. Now, if I could only convince her to move here...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Visitors at work

We get around the High Peak area by bus. Not that we can't drive, we can and we love it, but we simply haven't found a car a worthy investment, yet. So when we have guests they also get to ride the bus with us. And today Yasu took my mom on a trip a few villages over from Buxton.
It was cold, but they enjoyed a bit of English sightseeing and found a familiar face at the local bank:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Buxton

It's been several years since my mom and I have celebrated Christmas together, so this year is very special! 

My mom has cooked many turkeys for Christmases in the past, and today was the first time for her to try my turkey. This is only the second time I'm trying to cook one, with a new pan, a new oven, and in a new country, so I was anxious for it to go well. My mom gave me the best compliment, after seeing me prepare the turkey and eating it: "Now, I finally know how to cook a turkey right". Yay!
This year is also the first time Yasu and I had an actual Christmas tree! Our places in Japan and California were just too small for a tree, but now we have space for a tree and a fake fireplace.
The neighbors came over to celebrate with us and they had the best "ugly-Christmas-sweaters" ever!
We all cooked some food and ended up with a yummy Christmas buffet:
Of course, being in England, we did the whole Christmas cracker thing. Yup, pretty fun. Especially the colorful crowns.
We had a great first Christmas in Buxton. We hope to repeat it again next year, perhaps with even more family members in attendance.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sambuca Sunday

She's still here. Of course!

Today I showed her around our lovely little English spa town, and she's loving it so far.
We heard Buxton is supposed to be very cold and snowy, so for my mom's holiday card photo we got completely bundled up in hopes of colder and whiter weather in a few days. A white Christmas would be pretty perfect...
We ended the day at our favourite pub, and we discovered my mom has a deep love for Sambuca. A bit surprised, didn't even know she knew the stuff existed. And who can blame, liquid alcoholic licorice, who doesn't love that? Well, Yasu.
Well, my mom and I do love it, and we worked our way through quite a few shots tonight. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Moem in Buxton

Guess who I picked up at the airport this morning?! My sweet mother!
She didn't know I was picking her up, because she was going to try the trip from the airport to Buxton by herself, like a proper big girl. I wanted to surprise her anyways, a bit like she did in 2004, but I was almost too late. You know, the buses here in the High Peak Area aren't the most punctual. When I was hurrying to the arrivals gate, she was making her way to the bus station and we completely missed each other.

I was hanging around the gate to surprise her when she texted me that she had successfully made it to the bus station and that her bus would leave in 5 minutes. Aah! I slightly panicked (buses to Buxton only go twice an hour), ran back to the bus station, saw her sitting waiting next to the bus to Buxton, creeped up from behind her, and hugged her. She was completely surprised,  and startled. Score! I was so happy I was able to surprise her and she was happy I picked her up after all. Turns out she knows me and was kind of expecting me at the arrivals gate. When I wasn't there she was a little disappointed that I had listened to her, for a change. So I got to surprise her when she was totally not expecting it anymore, hehe.

Of course, we had the best time catching up during the long bus ride home and even during the climb up from downtown Buxton to our house on the super high hill. My mom, she's a strong lady she is,  she made it all the way up there with her heavy luggage, with a bit of help from her daughter of course.

I'm so excited to have my mom with us in Buxton! Tonight we gave her a quick tour of Yasu's University, she treated us to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (it is our 4th wedding anniversary today as well), and we treated her to a play at the local theater. She's already loving Buxton and I can't wait to show her all around town in the next two weeks. And even better my brothers will also be joining us soon!