05 October 2011

"What great walls you have!"

So this past weekend Andy and I went to Chester. Andy and I were suppose to meet up with the lovely and snarky Vegemite Wife in Manchester but the VW had to go to Glasgow for work commitments at the last minute. Likely story. I’m still holding on to the idea that I smell. I’m also still holding onto the idea that she’s brought me back scones from Glasgow laced with a hearty dash of Nyquil from her stock.

Because we were planning on meeting up with the VW and therefore would be drinking heavily, we had arranged for Andy’s mum to take the Henbot overnight. Not really wanting to waste an opportunity even though our plans had changed, we still surrendered our child to 36 hours of nana time and gleefully laughed as we pulled away.

At about noon on Saturday, we caught the bus to Liverpool Central Station (train) and paid £6.45 per person round trip to Chester which is really an excellent deal. From the Chester train station, they have a free shuttle bus into town though if you’re wearing comfortable shoes it isn’t too much of a walk in. Chester is an old Roman town filled with old Tudor houses. They also have a wall. The wall is actually a BIG DEAL as it’s one of those old Roman type walls that surround the entire city in big impressive wall type fashion. Only in England would you purposefully go to a place to see a wall. In America you could say, “come to Hastings and see our wall” and everyone would respond, “come to my house and see my ceiling and floor. Dumb ass.”

First things first we had to eat. The first place we tried to eat at didn’t have any food even though they advertised food with a big sign out front. The second place we tried didn’t have any decent vegetarian options for Andy. The third place we stopped at had food and vegetarian options so we gave it a go. I ordered a chicken Caesar wrap because you know, when in inside Roman walls… Not that you give a shit what I had for lunch but I kind of wanted to get your opinion. When I got my chicken Caesar wrap it had bacon on it. As a meat eater, I couldn’t care less about the bacon. I happily munched away without a thought. When I got to the 2nd half of my wrap, I realized that I had just bitten into a whole unscaled anchovy. Now I am fully aware that Caesar dressing has anchovy paste in it. I’m cool with that. But never in my life have I ordered anything ‘Caesar’ and actually gotten a piece of fish on it. Is this normal? It didn’t mention anything about it on the menu (nor the bacon for that matter). Am I going to have to be even more Sally Albright and request “no whole fish bits” anytime I want a Caesar salad or wrap?

After slamming my pint trying to get the taste of fish bits out of my mouth, we left and walked around town. I say “walked around town” but what I mean is that we walked around until we came across a decent pub.

Chester: They have a wall.

A couple of pints later, we felt we had to do something non-drink related to tell to Andy’s mum as “drank until we puked” is not an appropriate answer to your mother-in-law’s question of, “What did you do in Chester?”

So we looked at nature-y shit.

My official picture of nature-y shit.

Me telling Andy to look impressed by the nature-y shit.

And we walked along part of the wall where we saw a very unimpressive castle.

And then we walked onto the actual racecourse that happened to be open. To clarify, there were no horse races going on that day or else I would be reporting this with a horseshoe shaped impression on my broken jaw.

By then we were bored and hot and found ourselves another pub were we played pool. I got my ass handed to me by Andy in our 4 games of pool, which I’m going to blame on the stupid balls not having any numbers or pretty rainbow colors*.

We ended the evening in Chester at some pub that I don’t remember the name of but that had a wide selection of fruity type beers. I tried Banana beer. It was remarkably good and tasted like banana flavored liquid candy. Runts candy suddenly came to mind but I’m probably dating myself a bit.

It's Exotic!

After that we took the train back to Liverpool but since we didn’t have to pick up the kid, we decided to make a stop into the Barcelona Bar. The Barcelona Bar is quickly becoming my favorite drinking spot in the city, mostly because the people there (both employees and patrons) are really friendly. We ended up having this long conversation with this Nigerian man with one leg. While I was sober enough to repress my question of whether or not he was ever going to send me that 10 million pounds his emails kept promising me, I couldn’t stop myself from asking what happened to his leg. I felt a bit disappointed when he said “car accident” and not “eaten off by lion”.

Andy's response to this photo: "But it's backwards!"  He might have been drinking.

All and all, it was a great night out. To sum up: Banana beer = good. Also, if you happen to be a wallspotter**, Chester is your place.

*To clarify that remark to my American friends, pool balls here come in two solid colors – 7 of one color (let’s say red), 7 of another color (let’s say yellow) and a black ball.

**Get it? Trainspotter - wallspotter? Ach, never mind.

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