Mismatched Mess

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#TexansAbroad | Dover, England

Dover Castle Grounds

This past weekend me and Taylor took a 40 minute train ride to the coast to visit the town of Dover. Hopping off the train, we made our way through town in search of a map of Dover and breakfast.

There was nothing remarkable about the particular breakfast place we chose. It called itself The Mean Bean. It served strong coffee and cold pastries. It was rather early so the place was empty when we sat down. As we sipped our lattes and made a loose plan for our day, the coffee shop slowly began to fill up. Each and every customer greeted the owner with conversation and camaraderie. They spread themselves out amongst a few tables, but the conversation never stopped. A few patrons table-swapped to have more personal catch-ups with their friends. The place filled with laughter, British slang, and the smell of coffee. We had stumbled into a local establishment.

This was actually a major find for us. We love Canterbury so much, but between all of the universities and its only industry–tourism, you can’t just walk into any given place and be met with locals. This place was the real deal. It was wonderful and amusing and refreshing.

Dover was refreshing.

Dover, Kent Ocean

Dover still has quite the tourist draw, with its famous white cliffs, a major castle, and its lovely seaside location. But there was such a difference between it and Canterbury. We were thrilled to step away from the hustle of tourists in Canterbury to the slower paced Dover.

We had an amazing time hiking the cliffs, visiting the castle and eating like locals.

Dover, Kent white cliffs of Dover

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Dover_Kent_2015 (181)

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Texans in London!

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Two major things happened over the weekend! The first one being we traveled by train to London, which turned out to be a breeze. The most important being we got to visit a sweet friend from high school and her husband on their vacation!

I was so happy to see some familiar faces! We spent all day traveling London with two friends in tow. We only did a few small things, but that left plenty of conversation time which allowed us to catch up on each other’s lives.

The morning started easily enough, though we were both trying to find each other through the very busy and crowded market on Portobello Road. Once we did we ate breakfast and started exploring! Portobello Road market is an interesting mix of antique and vintage collectibles set out in the streets for people to peruse…and it. is. crowded! We weaved our way in and out of the crowded, mainly focusing on vintage maps and prints. Ann and I found out we both really loved old prints so we were content to shuffle through stacks of them while talking about our lives.

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Once we walked the street, we decided to check out the Borough Food Market, another legendary London hot spot where we walked through the food stands and ended up finding a nearby italian restaurant to eat at.

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Ann and Micah had already spent a week in London so they easily whisked us around The Underground subway tunnels all throughout the day! It was such a blast, and funny enough, a relief getting a chance to see how easy riding the tube was for any future trip back we make.

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Our afternoon was spent visiting Baker Street to see the fictitious 221B Baker Street from Sherlock Holmes, and Abbey Road where I took a picture of Ann and Micah crossing the same sidewalk The Beatles crossed on their album cover.5

It was a great day and nice seeing people we knew for the first time since moving to the UK!

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