People here in England often ask what I miss about the States. Now I totally feel settled here but there are some things that I just loved in the States and have yet to find a suitable substitute.
This is just a start and not in any particular order. And I’m not complaining either.
Shopping in Target
Go in for Q-Tips (see next), come out $100 poorer. Every time. Is there an England equivalent that’s not IKEA? Yet to find one.
Q-Tip brand, well, q-tips
Can’t adjust to calling them cotton buds. Can buy Johnson & Johnson but really just not the same as having a rectangular blue box in the drawer.
Christie’s Lite Greek Salad Dressing
Yum. I always travel back with a couple bottles of it. Salad dressing choice is rather limited here though Paul Newman has a presence. To be asked what salad dressing I’d like in a restaurant is a rarity. I really should bring this back by the case load. I’ve started making my own dressings and my quest is to make a fake Christies. Stay tuned.
Need I say more? Sure, it’s totally coated with sugar, what cereals aren’t? But when we visit my parents we just live with a box of this in our bedroom for those jetlag-induced early mornings. Lukas is a fan too. Of course. Sugar.
Organic, delicious, all in cool warehouse-type buildings (there are several locations). We usually go to Portland or Amesbury. I always order the same pizza – the Punctuated Equilibrium. Their salads are awesome too, especially their dressing. Need to see if I can buy that in bottles…
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers
What a tease! I used to be able to buy these at Sainsbury’s but I can’t anymore. Maybe I was the only one buying them? They were called Finz here but I didn’t care, they tasted the same. Need to leave even more space in suitcase now on return flight.
Also in this category (of I used to be able to buy locally but can’t anymore): Skippy Peanut Butter, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. True, Amazon is good for a few things but sometimes the prices are crazy and just not worth it.
Loud, thick Boston accents
Nothing like it being the first thing you hear when you land at Logan Airport. Oh yeah. My son loves to say, “We’re going to Baw-ston.” He’s not too aware of swear words yet. Perhaps a visit to Fenway Park this coming summer can change all that.
Safely riding my bike
Plenty of people are out riding their bikes around here and I do too on occasion but there’s just so little room on the sides of many roads. I think I just miss the days of riding my bike from my place in Ipswich, Mass. to Crane Beach…
Having a beach close by
Nothing less than an hour away, really. Again, missing that 5 mile ride out to Crane Beach. We do, however, spend a fair amount of time in Anglesey these days. I finally understand why my parents always traveled to Cape Cod in the off season. We had a great time over New Year’s spending time on a different beach every day. Sure, we had bulky coats and wellies on, but it wasn’t that cold but my days of baking in the sun are long over. I much prefer having a beach just about to myself, searching for pretty shells and random shards of pottery.
Then, there are the things I love that I can get over here, like:
Cheeseburger, medium please
Urban Burger Bar in Altrincham. Juicy, messy, PINK, with pickles, washed down with a Brooklyn Lager in a great no frills environment. It has taken me over 5 years to find a burger to rival that of the Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich, also the location of the first crossing of paths with my husband! (I am getting nostalgic and hungry at the same time!).
Just don’t ask me about the time our iPad slide under the bolted down booth seat at the Burger Bar. Or how that all happened. I think they had to call in someone with a special drill to unbolt the bench. We did get it back but beware of the cracks between the seating and the wall when you eat there with a small, wriggly child. Lesson learned.
Current US TV Shows
My affection for non-singing-talent-based shows like Top Chef and Project Runway aside, so many current shows are on TV here now like The Big Bang Theory, The Flash and Supergirl (OMG the Elseworlds crossover shows! I think I may have to finally start binge watching Arrow, because, Oliver? Hello.). There is one person England has that the States doesn’t though. Miranda Hart. So sad her TV show ended but she was English humor that I actually could relate to. Just don’t ask me if I watch Downton Abbey… more of a The Durrells fan. And I still miss Mr. Selfridge. Oui. Monsieur Henri Leclair. (I just typed Eclair. See? Hungry.) Lastly, thank goodness for Amazon Prime, just wish The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was on 24/7.