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Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 Reasons Why the UK is Better Than the US

Hey everyone, hope you are well.  Please don't be disturbed by the title of this blog, the next blog Heather and I write will be the 10 Reasons Why the US is better than the UK! 
But for now, here's what is more attractive about living in the UK, at least from our point of view!  

1 Less Daily Stress-  People here definitely "slow it down", and don't rush around like crazy.  If it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done, there's always tomorrow!   Why worry?   Afternoon tea anyone?

2 Mandatory 5 Weeks Vacation- Europeans LOVE (and demand) their vacation time.   There is an unwritten rule everyone takes the 2 week Holiday Summer vacation every year.  Then there's the other 3 weeks of vacation left! 

3 Cheap Flights - Most European flights are almost free.   Pay 20 american dollars + tax to fly to Madrid for the weekend.   Can't make this up.   We're headed there in March!

4 Train/Tube System - Easy, straight forward, simple.   Get anywhere anytime.    Color coded system.   Cheap.  NY Subway system you should take a lesson!

Less Consumer Advertising - Less TV commercials, less pressure to buy to keep up with everyone else.  It just feels like you don't get bombarded every day with ads and pitches.   Starting to change however...

Better Food - The notion that British food is bad is absolutely wrong.   Restaurant food here is healthier and better tasting.   Most is organic and farm-raised.   Less preservatives in food too. Portions are smaller, some would argue a bad thing.   Can't rave enough about the sushi and hamburger!

7  Coffee - Although no Dunkin Donuts here is a challenge, the expresso coffee leaves you wanting more.   Just better tasting real coffee.

The American Accent - You're intriguing with the American label, the Brits love to talk about the states and particulary Florida (everyone here loves it there).  So, being an American we think makes it easy to meet people and chat. 

Lots of Parks - Every town and "village" here has a central park.  Its still the centerpiece.   Things haven't changed here much in 100 years, so the old town tradition is still prominent here.   Great place to venture to on the weekends to meet peeps...

10  NO SNOW - Sorry, don't hate us for this, but it doesn't snow much here in London.   Temperatures below freezing don't last long during the winter.   Definitely a pro this year! And we don't miss the white stuff...

So there it is.   Next blog we are looking forward to writing, the list will be just as long, no worries there!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

Friends and Family,
  We all had such a great time during our 14 days in Connecticut (extended by 2 days due to JFK issues!).  I would say, as I believe Heather would too, that the Holidays went by more quickly this year than ever before.   We arrived home at 4:30am EST on Saturday the 18th and it seemed like within hours it was Thursday December 30th and we were on our way to JFK.  
  We were all on a high went we arrived back to Connecticut, it was comforting to see so many of you on Saturday and Sunday during our holiday parties, almost as if nothing had changed, and yet so much has.   What hadn't changed was Oregano's pizza, Wood Chase Lane, the comfort of our old home, the close friendships, our family, Sam Winter Lager, the Westfield Mall during Xmas time, etc.   Heather and the kids even managed to whip up the house with our ole Christmas decor, like in the previous years (we apologize to our neighbor Henry for not getting a real tree this year though!)  Really, a great trip, and a comforting Christmas with our families.
  We're back in the UK in our new home, and it's 2011.   We missed the Dick Clark countdown on Friday night, and learned that here in London it's all about the fireworks AFTER the clock strikes 12, and really there is little buildup prior to the start of a new year.   Different, but good.  
  I've made a couple small resolutions for 2011.  What I look forward to is that our family adventure really begins now:  visits from family and friends starting this month, and every month into the summer....Heather is on the plan of booking our trips to Europe to start exploring as well.   Never dreamed of this, never planned this, never thought about this road....
  Please know our house is open and we'd love to share this with you.   Don't be afraid to invite yourself out if we're guilty of not mentioning the empty 3rd floor bedroom.   Spring starts early here in the UK in late February.   
  Oh yeah, that also means spring training is only 6 weeks away.....