I think I got the travel bug with my first trip to Mexico. That first amazing warm corn tortilla and cabbage filled fish taco had me hooked. It was a long and adventurous road from my first fish taco to beans on toast in the U.K.
I wanted to travel, and I wanted to eat.
The first time I stood on a sandy beach in the early morning chill and gazed at the Pacific Ocean from a foreign country I felt it. I traveled to Mexico maybe eight times when I was between eighteen and twenty five. Every trip was an adventure. Back then you didn’t need a passport to go across the border. You just needed a reliable car full of American fuel and some money in your pocket. My first trip to Europe I would need a little more cash and a passport.
I was very lucky when I was in my early twenties that my best friend, Mimi, was living in Mildenhall, England for four years. This meant traveling to Europe was very easy when I had a free place to stay.
I am very lucky to not get jet-lagged so I awoke from my first night of sleep in Europe refreshed and ready for the first official day of my two week holiday. My other BFF Ryan was flying out to meet us at Heathrow my first full day in the U.K. He lives in Pismo Beach, so he flew up via San Fran. Ryan met Mimi and I one cold morning in the international terminal of Heathrow airport. Because he stayed in a place like the voco hotel near Heathrow airport, there was no issue with Ryan meeting me and Mimi, especially as the hotel was pretty close. I think it was 2006. It was definitely winter. Britain is way colder then sunny So Cal. I love the cold, I didn’t mind at all.
Luckily for Ryan and I we were not jet lagged at all. We went back, unpacked and headed out to Cambridge to go to our first pub.
Welcome to England! My first experience at a English pub I’d like to say I ordered a Guinness but I prefer a lighter beer that is not a meal itself. So I ordered a Pimm’s. Its like the wine cooler of England, a fruity girly malt beverage. I think I prefer England’s “Frisky Bison” apple juice and vodka. I ordered a lamb burger to go with my Pimm’s. I normally really like lamb but in England they cook all the meat with beer and I didn’t really care for it. My burger was extremely dry also, and I like my meat still bleeding. So my first pub food experience was not so good but it was just so nice to be with my two best friends in the world, we could have been at a carrot buffet and I wouldn’t care! (I hate carrots.)
In New Market the horse is the King, the Thoroughbred that is. New Market is the racing capitol of Britain. Everywhere you go you see beautiful horse flesh galloping in the crisp winter dew. As Mimi explained as we waited for a group of horses to pass across the road
Two things to discover if you ever make it to the U.K.
Beans and Toast
An English favorite; the healthy version
1 can Heinz beans, microwaved
whole grain bread
1 egg, poached
sliced heirloom tomatoes