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Old Jul 25th 2017, 7:35 pm   #1
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Default The American's first UK visit

We're going back to the UK in next month. It's mainly so she can meet the extended family and friends after we got married a few months back. This'll be my Wife's first long haul trip. She's only ever been to Mexico, and considering the location of Mexico next to where she lived in Texas i don't count that as abroad

We're there for 2 weeks, staying with my folks and doing a few day / overnight trips. I booked us a night in the cotswolds and showed her a few pictures of the towns, bourton on the water, cheltenham, bath etc, she about freaked out in excitement at the look of some of the villages. And i couldn't figure it out - is this just because i associate it as the norm? I used to live in both Cardiff and Bristol, not particularly countryside.

Anyone else ever taken their wife/husband to the UK for the first time, and is there anything they couldn't get their head around in terms of things we Brits would associate as normal?
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 7:52 pm   #2
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

Most Americans can't get their head around our history. To them, if it's 50 years old or more, it's 'historic'. My colleague lives in an 'old' house built in 1978!

The idea that buildings could be 1,000 years old or more is just alien to them.

She will probably also be shocked at how close things are (particularly coming from Texas).
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 8:00 pm   #3
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

As you're in that neck of the woods, Gloucester cathedral is pretty impressive, with parts nearly 1000 years old, and most of it older than 600 years old, and it was used in the first two Harry Potter films if she's into that. A short walk away is the New Inn, a misnomer if there ever was one, as it was built around 1450, and it is so old that they don't even have an exact age for it, but it is still a hotel you can stay in and it has a restaurant, and bar with a bar menu on the ground floor. ..... Eating in a restaurant built before Columbus arrived in America might just hit the spot for "not getting her head around it".
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 8:00 pm   #4
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

For most Americans from my old neck of the woods who have had their grandparents immigrate to the US in the late 1800's, we are use to buildings being 100 to perhaps 250 years old. There is one original settler's farm still in existence from 1624 in my old area.

But as an American who visits Europe often over the last 25 years, it is the quaintness of villages and marveling that people can live in such small quarters while we have such wide open spaces.

Why not, when you go back on your visit, view your country through her eyes rather than through your eyes. You will be surprised what you will actually see that you have missed during your lifetime there. It is much the same as when a friend and I were walking down Madison Avenue near 36th street in Manhattan and I pointed out a particular feature to an old building. She looked up and marveled that she had never seen that before although she walked past it twice day for over a year.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 9:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

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Originally Posted by Pulaski
As you're in that neck of the woods, Gloucester cathedral is pretty impressive, with parts nearly 1000 years old, and most of it older than 600 years old, and it was used in the first two Harry Potter films if she's into that
Good shout - she does like Harry Potter, i wasn't aware it was used for the HP films. Just looked up the new inn - I've been there! before legal drinking age unfortunately, may have to wander back that way

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Why not, when you go back on your visit, view your country through her eyes rather than through your eyes. You will be surprised what you will actually see that you have missed during your lifetime there.
Good point. This is the longest I've been out of the UK - will be interesting just seeing what's changed.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 9:17 pm   #6
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

I've lived on the US west coast for a while now, don't go back to the UK very often, so when I saw a UK travel show that featured several quaint villages I got way more excited than I ever did seeing them in person when I lived there. I even got a bit excited when I visited the US east coast since they had more history than just the few decades-old wooden shacks near where I live.
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Old Jul 26th 2017, 4:24 am   #7
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack8602 View Post
We're going back to the UK in next month. It's mainly so she can meet the extended family and friends after we got married a few months back. This'll be my Wife's first long haul trip. She's only ever been to Mexico, and considering the location of Mexico next to where she lived in Texas i don't count that as abroad

We're there for 2 weeks, staying with my folks and doing a few day / overnight trips. I booked us a night in the cotswolds and showed her a few pictures of the towns, bourton on the water, cheltenham, bath etc, she about freaked out in excitement at the look of some of the villages. And i couldn't figure it out - is this just because i associate it as the norm? I used to live in both Cardiff and Bristol, not particularly countryside.

Anyone else ever taken their wife/husband to the UK for the first time, and is there anything they couldn't get their head around in terms of things we Brits would associate as normal?
I go back to England periodically to see the In-Laws and the best time my wife and I had is when we rented a car and traveled the "B" and 2 lane "A" roads and stayed in B&B's along the way. Nice way to see the English countryside and the English countryside is gorgeous.
Come to think of it I just returned from renting a car out there, a three cylinder of all things with a 5 speed. Only got beeped at three times max while driving all week. Not bad eh?

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Old Aug 1st 2017, 3:51 am   #8
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack8602 View Post
We're going back to the UK in next month. It's mainly so she can meet the extended family and friends after we got married a few months back. This'll be my Wife's first long haul trip. She's only ever been to Mexico, and considering the location of Mexico next to where she lived in Texas i don't count that as abroad

We're there for 2 weeks, staying with my folks and doing a few day / overnight trips. I booked us a night in the cotswolds and showed her a few pictures of the towns, bourton on the water, cheltenham, bath etc, she about freaked out in excitement at the look of some of the villages. And i couldn't figure it out - is this just because i associate it as the norm? I used to live in both Cardiff and Bristol, not particularly countryside.

Anyone else ever taken their wife/husband to the UK for the first time, and is there anything they couldn't get their head around in terms of things we Brits would associate as normal?
As an American who has traveled, some reactions.

The long haul flight will be the first big change. And the concomitant jet lag. Give it a couple days to adjust.

Traffic on the left side of the road. Even for a pedestrian.

Don't shortchange Mexico. She will have had some experience with a foreign country.

One little thing will be that Americans are used to Dollar bills and dollar coins are disfavored. So the lack of one pound notes will feel strange. (Visiting the grandson in upstate NY and took a side trip into Canada - loonies and toonies still seemed strange).

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Old Aug 1st 2017, 10:35 am   #9
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Most Americans can't get their head around our history. To them, if it's 50 years old or more, it's 'historic'. My colleague lives in an 'old' house built in 1978!

The idea that buildings could be 1,000 years old or more is just alien to them.

She will probably also be shocked at how close things are (particularly coming from Texas).
Even more shocked that 1000 year old houses in England have electricity. ;-)
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Old Aug 1st 2017, 11:33 pm   #10
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

When she goes to Edinburgh she will want to know why they built the Castle so near to the railway line.
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Old Aug 1st 2017, 11:42 pm   #11
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

As she is Texan she might be horrified by the winding lanes in the countryside and how fast people drive along them.

She's probably going to be shocked by the small cars and the even smaller car parking spaces !
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Old Aug 2nd 2017, 1:09 am   #12
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

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Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
As she is Texan she might be horrified by the winding lanes in the countryside and how fast people drive along them.

She's probably going to be shocked by the small cars and the even smaller car parking spaces !
Winding roads shouldn't shock her too much if she has been to the Texas Hill country. Plenty of small very winding roads with steep hills and inclines. It's not all flat with long straight roads
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Old Aug 2nd 2017, 2:30 am   #13
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

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Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Most Americans can't get their head around our history. To them, if it's 50 years old or more, it's 'historic'. My colleague lives in an 'old' house built in 1978!

The idea that buildings could be 1,000 years old or more is just alien to them.

She will probably also be shocked at how close things are (particularly coming from Texas).
Same can probably be said about Canadian's especially western Canadian's where history doesn't go back all that far....
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 6:20 am   #14
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

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Old Aug 5th 2017, 8:21 pm   #15
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Default Re: The American's first UK visit

My husband's greatest struggle on his first visit to the UK was trying to find a decent coffee on the high street. Greggs came up top trumps!

I'm a Taunton girl originally, but have lots of family and friends in Bristol, and recently moved back from Cardiff after three years. You've plenty to show your wife in our neck of the woods alone, no wonder it's a tad overwhelming! If she's already excited by the look of some of the villages, you could take her to Bradford-on-Avon. I went recently with a couple of friends and even I, as a hardened rural Brit, was taken aback by the quaintness. There's a little tea-room where the staff still wear Victorian attire - the building itself is so old and crumbly that it's leaning half-way into the road - utterly enthralling for many Americans (nay, humans), I'm quite sure. Lots of nice countryside walks around there, too, and the drive from Bristol is lovely in itself.

My husband mostly enjoyed the castles. Wales does spoil us!

Edited to add: here is the tea-rooms! I hope it's okay to post this link. https://www.thebridgetearooms.co.uk/
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