Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
1:14 pm EDT
Friday, September 18, 2020

Enjoying both sides of the pond

Learning new things in the UK and US!


When my youngest son was in his mid-20s, he asked our advice about taking a job in another country. We told him to go for it. My husband and I knew if we’d had an opportunity like that when we were younger, we wouldn’t have hesitated. He and his wife headed to Giffnock, Scotland, and we’ve had great vacations ever since.

Their time in the United Kingdom included not only Scotland, but Dublin, Ireland, and now they’ve been living in Weybridge, England, just outside London, for around five years. It’s always exciting for us to visit them and enjoy the food and sights in England, but it’s also fun to have them visit us and enjoy the food and sights of Florida.

One of the first things we do after they’ve recovered from the long plane trip is head out to a Mexican restaurant. Our son and daughter-in-law love Mexican food and truly miss it. More and more Mexican restaurants are opening over there, but the flavors just aren’t the same as they are in America. Following that, we’ll go somewhere for fresh seafood, which is a big favorite with our daughter-in-law. She loves shrimp, crab legs…well…all the shellfish family and she especially enjoys sushi.

Our grandchildren, who have dual citizenship because they were born over there, are often amazed at what they find in America. During a recent visit, our daughter took them to a Dollar General Store for the first time. Clutching bags of goodies, they climbed back into the car and my granddaughter exclaimed, “That was the best store ever.” Her brother echoed her sentiment with, “It was amazing!” Apparently, England doesn’t know the value of the wonderful dollar stores.

Before the visit ended, we took the grandchildren to Walmart, which proved to be another exciting shopping adventure for them. When asked which store was better, the vote was divided. Our granddaughter preferred Walmart, but our grandson said Dollar General was best. At any rate, we all enjoyed their enthusiasm for shopping in the places we take for granted.

I will have to say, in my opinion the biggest difference comes in the bathrooms. While the country may be ruled by the queen, there’s very seldom a royal flush in the toilet. The English might want to study American plumbing.