I think I can officially say that we're getting situated pretty well. We're still very much on U.S. time, not finding our ways to bed until midnight and waking around 10. Though we're definitely jet lagged, I think a lot of this is due to the enormous amount of stress we put on ourselves over the past few months - we're making up for lost time.
We're living in Keynsham, a township located almost exactly between Bath and Bristol, the two large-ish cities in the area. About a five minute's walk from our front door is a perfectly delightful park - Keynsham Memorial Park to be exact - with about 2 miles of winding paved paths leading along a river that feeds the Avon, past the remains of an abbey, a skate park, and two playgrounds. There are always a few dogs running around on the perfectly manicured lawns, and are several depositories for dog "waste" - this is clearly a dog-friendly place, and Nugget is reaping the benefits. We've even found signs indicating that a neglectful dog owner must pay £1000 if they don't clean up after their dogs!
Just past the park is the downtown area of Keynsham, replete with two (count them, TWO!) fresh veggie stands, a "sausage factory"/butcher shop, a wine and spirits shop, and a grocery store about the size of the IGA on Vinalhaven. I must say, I'm totally overwhelmed by the new labels and even new items I've seen on the shelves, but am completely tickled by the prices, and the huge selection of local produce and meats. There were bags of 4 avocados for 99p, fresh, local strawberries for £1/kilo...I could go on and on. Basically, I'm in food heaven and Nugget's in dog heaven. Life is good.
Another helpful amenity that's just a few minute's walk away is the train station. It takes 9 minutes to ride into Bath and about 7 to get to Bristol. We haven't explored Bristol quite yet, apart from the few harried minutes we spent in the city centre when we were trying to find Keynsham, but we've been to Bath twice now, and it's really a lovely city, and very tourist-friendly, which makes me feel slightly less of a foreigner. I have no probelm walking into the information office and asking any number of silly questions. Bath is built around some old Roman baths, and pretty much everything is made of stone in the Georgian style. There are cathedrals dotted around the city itself, including Bath Abbey, a truly stunning centerpoint of the city. Once I figure out how to upload pictures onto the blog, I'll start sharing, but trust me - it's gorgeous.
So in the past few days, we've spent some time making our new place home for us, done some exploring, and eaten some pretty fantastic food at the local pubs (and one really appealing pizza place in Bath), we got cell phones that do all sorts of crazy things, and that I'm having a bit of a ball with, and generally familiarized ourselves with our new surroundings. We're very fortunate to have moved to a country that at least speaks English because everything is just different enough to make even small, everyday things challenging and new. We both look forward to finding our groove here and having things become normal.
I feel like there's so much more to say, but that's it for now. If anyone out there has Skype and would like to chat, sent us your name and we can make a date!