Saturday, May 19, 2012

Manchester and Football

Manchester is a great city!
It has a calmer vibe than London, it's quiet and settled, yet vibrant in it's own way.
It has a great central downtown area, with the most beautiful honey tan colored buildings.

We enjoyed a wonderful day exploring and walking around.
We (well actually I more than him) had another motive in the downtown area,
 and that was to find Jamie Oliver's Italian and have lunch!

And find it we did!!
It was the most beautiful restaurant in a gorgeously renovated old building.
And the food?
True Jamie!
Balanced, rustic, bursting with vibrant flavor.
My son & I enjoyed this meal probably more than any other on the trip.
My only suggestion...
Come to America Jamie!!

Then there was this other small matter to attend to while in Manchester.
Here in the United States we call it soccer.
The rest of the world calls it football and in our house - that's what it's known as.
Whether you follow or know anything about the sport, 
there's a good chance you probably know who Manchester United are.
They are after all, the most well known football club in the world.

This is my son close to 10 years ago, and yes, he's wearing a Manchester United shirt.
He still does, about 4 or 5 times a week.
The Manchester colors fly proudly in his bedroom,
 and you ask him any statistic about European football and he can tell you.
He's played since he was 4 and now plays proudly for his high school.
To say that he loves football is an understatement.

This brings me to the wonderful world of blogging!!
A long while back I met Joanne through etsy and blogging and we became friends.
She lives in Manchester and graciously offered to collect us from the train station.
It was so lovely to finally meet in person and we had a wonderful afternoon together, 
walking, talking and enjoying some lunch.
You can find Joanne's wonderful vintage goodies on the web or follow her blog.

Manchester United tickets are notoriously hard to come by, every match sells out.
With the help of Joanne and her dad (who is a huge fan himself)
they were able to help us secure tickets!!
A  huge thank you doesn't even begin to express how grateful my son and I were for their help!
Thank You!!
We even got a behind the scenes tour the day before the match.
He got to walk the player's tunnel, go right down to the pitch, even visit the dressing room!
And then it was match day!!
He was ready about 3 hours before kick off - I have never seen him so excited in my life!!

We joined the nearly 76,000 as we cheered, sang and clapped.
We sat near the Stretford End of the stadium,
which is said to be louder than a jet engine when they eardrums can attest to that!!
It was a great match and we won!!
We couldn't have asked for a better day.

I am so very thankful to have had this opportunity to spend this time with my son.
We had the best week together, exploring, laughing and eating.
It was a trip of a lifetime with so many fantastic memories.
I hope he'll look back years from now on all the great times we had.

Thanks for following along with us on our England adventure!


thestoryofkat said...

SOOOOOOO jealous of those Manchester United tickets!!!!!!!! And a tour?! Lucky you! It's really the only sport I've played for years on end and can stand to watch for just as long. Thanks for the sneak peek!

Annette said...

Oh, just look at the excitement and happiness on his face! He will remember this trip forever. I've sure enjoyed the photos and stories!

Sonya Kanelstrand said...

Wow, aren't you adventurers! I can only imagine how excited your son must have been! Manchester United is a great team, mildly put :) And, visiting a Jamie Oliver's restaurant? I would be so curious to try his dishes. Well, maybe I am more fond of Gordon Ramsey but Jamie will do too. Then meeting a virtual friend - your turn to be excited! It all sounds perfect to me. Why don't you take a detour to Southern Norway while you're there? There is another online friend that will be thrilled to meet you :)

Marisa Hopkins said...

SO great!!! I love your trip pictures - and the FOOD! My mouth waters just thinking about it all!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

so jealous that you went to jamie oliver's italian restaurant!! the food looks delicious!!!

lisaroyhandbags said...

It sounds like an absolutely perfect vacation together! A little bit of something for you, a little bit of something for him - memories to last a lifetime. xo

Joanne said...

Ah this is a lovely blog entry! I'm so pleased that you both enjoyed your trip here and I could help out with the tickets :) It was soooo lovely meeting you, how nice it was to be able take the time to meet up in a world where everyone is rushing around, with no time for anyone else. I'm glad we did it!
And I have the most beautiful little handmade bag which I treasure - thankyou! xxx

Sarah B. said...

Can't believe you got tickets!!!!! What a wonderful adventure and now a priceless memory :)

T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

Annette is right just look at the oy on your sons' face, it says it all :)

I am so glad you were able to do so much and Man U. tickets they are like gold unless you know a season ticket holder, awesome! :)

What a wonderful adventure tog. and one you will remember forever :)

Thanks for sharing your fun time :)

Hope you have a wonderful week, cheers, T. :)

Additionsstyle said...

Wow, it looks like you and your son had an amazing trip full of adventure, friends, and good food.! How lucky you are to have had that time with your son enjoying such an amazing sites.
Everyday Inspired

Happy Frog and I said...

I'm so pleased that your visit over here has gone so well. I do love the Jamie Restaurants too though I know nothing about football. Pleased you met a blogging friend, that's nearly always good fun to do.

cabin + cub said...

Oh that looks like so much fun. I would love to go to a european football game at some point!!!

Sandra Monat said...

I think, traveling memories are so intense. Happy for the both of you

Handmade in Israel said...

What a wonderful post! You had such a fabulous day. We are not Man U. supporters in our home (Arsenal actually!) but we are football mad and I spent the day not long ago with my son at Wembley. It's great to see them so happy, isn't it?
Thank for your lovely comment on my blog.

Rebecca said...

Wow - what an incredible experience and adventure for your son! You are officially the best mom ever!!

It has been so much fun reading your posts - the food, the sites, truly an experience of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing everything with us :-)

Kristin Aquariann said...

What fun! But now my tummy is growling, that Italian food looks amazing. *drools*

Angela said...

Wow! What a great trip! Isn't it fun to meet blog friends in person? ---and how sweet of her to collect you from the train and help get the tickets :)


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