Happy Friday! This week has flown by, with a busy weekend and busy days at work. All of York seems to be gearing up for the holidays, and I’ve been finishing off plans and making new plans for after Christmas. Here’s what I’ve gotten up to this week!

PAYDAY

What is the British pound equivalent of DOLLA DOLLA BILL$??!?! Your girl got her first official paycheck!!! And it feels so indescribably good. Part of it is that I have gone 9 weeks without a paycheck (which is quite a long time), and part of it is that I’ve never been paid monthly before, so I’m not used to earning such a large number in a single paycheck. Either way, I’m feeling like a straight up baller and it makes the hard work and busy schedules so worth it.

York Ice Trail

Last weekend was the York Ice Trail, which I had never heard of before! There were about 30 ice sculptures dotted across town, all sponsored by local businesses, which were placed in a walkable trail around York. My favorites were definitely the Dobby statue at the library, and the jewelry store that had a whole ring inside their sculpture! I’m already looking forward to seeing it next year (and taking better photos).

My first Sunday roast!

One of those quintessential British things on my to-do list, I’ve finally had my first Sunday roast! Basically restaurants and pubs will serve a big meal (featuring a roast) on Sunday afternoons, and they’re delicious. My first Sunday roast was a Christmas type one, with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and roasted veggies. It was like a mini Thanksgiving, which I always find funny since American Thanksgiving is what Brits typically eat on Christmas! I envision many more Sunday roasts in my future.

Family in town this last weekend

Adam and I hosted both his brothers Jack and Luke in town last weekend! Which I would have probably enjoyed more if I hadn’t been working both Friday and Saturday evenings. But it was great to see them, and to see Adam’s dad and step-mom for a big meal out (see Sunday roast above!!) before Christmas. It was nice to spend time with everyone.

Flood levels in the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall in York

Homesick/Christmas-sick

While it was great to see Adam’s family, it really made me miss my family this week. As I’ve learned in my stints abroad (but particularly this time around), homesickness comes in waves. It will pop up when you’re least expecting it, and sometimes will linger for days and sometimes you can blink and miss it. Part of this is that as everyone gears up for the holidays, I know I won’t be going home and spending it with my family. And listening to Christmas music at work 40 hours a week isn’t exactly helping… Hearing O Come All Ye Faithful makes me miss my sister so much. And whenever they play It’s A Marshmallow World I am eternally grateful to my mom for hating that song with a passion and never making me listen to it growing up. So in a way, I’ve been both homesick and Christmas-sick (making that a word if it isn’t one). I’m so grateful to have Adam and friends and family here in England when I get these kinds of homesick.

Tourist day in York

Yesterday I had a tourist day here in York. I visited the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, a medieval guildhall surrounded by regular buildings, the gardens of the Treasurer’s House, and a Roman Bath museum that was in the basement of a pub (not surprisingly, called the Roman Bath pub). There’s just a handful of places that I still have to visit here in York, so working on my bucket list!

The Panto!!!

One of my few conditions on moving to England, was that I told Adam that he had to take me to the Panto. Every single year. Without fail. The Panto (shortened from pantomime) is one of the most uniquely British things a person can experience—it’s a holiday theater production like no other existing in the world. A Panto is based on a fairytale (this year I saw Cinderella—I’ve previously seen Jack and the Beanstalk and Peter Pan), and is a mix of music, dancing, cross-dressing, and some of the best humor you can find. The dame is the star of the show, always a man who plays a woman. The cast will frequently break the fourth wall and interact with the audience, the audience boos and hisses whenever the villain enters the stage, and there’s always lots of slapstick. And probably the best part is the improv comedy that happens off-script during the show. It’s hilarious, endearing, and always a treat. I am a huge Panto fan and I absolutely loved seeing it this holiday season!

Friends visiting in January!

As if I wasn’t lucky enough to see one of my best friends from home in Edinburgh last month, I have two more of my best friends coming to England in January! They’ve finally started organizing their plans, and they’re coming to York! I am so excited to see them, show off my city, take them to my favorite pubs, and just in general have a great time. I’m so excited to have visitors!

Up next:

This Sunday we’ll be headed to Manchester to see my mother-in-law (the mum-in-law!) and stroll around the Manchester Christmas markets. And it’s finally soon enough to start a countdown: I’ll be leaving for Poland and Ukraine in just 7 days! I’m unbelievably excited for this trip—Poland is one of my favorite countries, and I can’t wait to visit Ukraine for the first time and see what Lviv is like. There will only be one more weekly blog post left after this one—then I’ll switch to monthly recaps!

What has your week been like?! Share in the comments below!