Before becoming friends with anyone, Nicole and I ask ourselves whether or not they might someday host a wedding in the English countryside and invite us. Years ago, we took a risk on our friends Phil and Blake. This past weekend it paid off! :)
Joking aside, Phil and Blake are some of our great friends and we had more or less organized our trip so that we could celebrate their big day with them.
As an added bonus, we got to spend our first night in England catching up and celebrating our ten year "friendiversary" with our old Mancunian (ie, people from Manchester) friends, Andy and Cara, who strangely we met during a trip to China.
For our drive north to England's Lake District for the wedding, Andy had advised us to get off the main M6 highway and explore some of the backroads. We were glad we took his advice. The drive from the village of Ambleside, where we stopped for lunch at the White Lion pub, to Clifton, where we stayed for the wedding, was spectacular with rolling hills, narrow roads where in places only one car could pass at a time, stacked stone fences, sheep, and picturesque lakes with sailboats. We eventually had to stop pulling off to take pictures because we never would have made it to Clifton.
Pro tip for anyone staying at the George and Dragon hotel where we stayed: make sure to get the after hours key-entry code before heading out for the night. Upon our arrival, our New York friend Serban texted us to meet up for dinner and tell us an "interesting" story about the hotel. Over a hilarious dinner with more New York friends Josh and Alice, Serb recounted how, the prior night he had taken a taxi back to the George and Dragon around 1 a.m. after meeting up with the wedding party at a pub a few miles away. Having not been told by the hotel staff about their policy of locking the doors at midnight, Serb spent the night outside, occasionally doing pushups to keep warm, until hotel staff arrived the next morning at 7:30 a.m. to open the doors.
The wedding itself could not have been more fun. Dining, dancing, and seeing friends old and new. And because we rented a car (we were glad we did, it would be tough getting around the Lake District without one), we were able to spend most of our free time during the weekend with our good friends Nicole and Matteo, who were staying at a bed and breakfast, hiking to castles, almost visiting a sheep farm (it was closed), and English pubbing it up.
Frankly, I don't know why everyone doesn't get married in the English countryside! :)
Like this post? Want to read more about Travis and Nicole's travel adventures? Check out Traveling With Friends -- Rules Of The Road For Our Weekend In Paris.
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