London >>> Hove [Two Week Housesit with Alfie]
Travel to Hove and meet the homeowners for our first UK housesit
+ Still tired from our late night before, we forced ourselves out of bed around 9 and packed everything up. After a quick shower and some breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Nick (Arnold was still sleeping) and headed off.
+ We wish we knew the bus schedule (for the bus that we just learned existed last night) to get to the train station, instead of hiking the whole way with our heavy backpacks again. But no, we like to break a sweat every morning on our rushed commute to our next destination.
+ After picking up some papers we needed printing from the Mailboxes etc., we made it to the train just in time and rode into the station we needed in London.
+ With some time to kill, we headed up to the food court and had some McDonald’s. It wouldn’t have been our first choice for food (we would’ve preferred an authentic British restaurant), but it was cheap and quick.
+ Finally it was time to head down to Brighton area to begin our 2 week house sit! We were really excited to go to a new city and have a private house to ourselves for 14 whole days! Plus, we were so far behind on our to do list and research/planning we’d need the whole time just to catch up, much less just relax and not walk 8 miles a day sightseeing.
+ When our speedy train arrived in Brighton, we had a little bit of time before our next train towards Hove departed. Hove is a little town right next to it’s larger neighbor, Brighton. And this was where our house/pet sit would take place with our soon to be cuddle buddy – a Tonkinese cat named Alfie! We were looking forward to having a cat around again and hoping Alfie would relieve some of our sadness from missing Tumbles so badly.
+ After a brief walk to the house, we met the homeowners, Laura and Ness. They showed us around their lovely 2 bedroom home, introduced us to their two little boys, and went over a few things about Alfie and the house.
+ We spent the next hour or so chatting with the super welcoming couple as they finished packing up the car for their holiday. After they drove away towards the airport, we got to work getting settled in for the next 14 days!
We spent the next 2 weeks simply enjoying having a space to call our own. No packing, no running to catch a train, no pressure to cram hours and hours of sightseeing into a few days. We were free to relax an enjoy the comforts of home we have definitely missed while being on the road for so long. We immediately set off for the grocery store and bought supplies for our stay. We ended up cooking 7 nights in a row! That is more than we ever cooked back home in Sanford or even in college! It was so nice to have a proper kitchen, the space, and the time to cook a decent meal.
We Skyped with family and friends (including meeting the new Doss baby, Elise!) and caught up on emails with friends back home. Seeing familiar faces (and trying to convince them to come out and meet us) is always such a comfort. We caught up on laundry and left the doors open to the garden while our clothes dried in the sunny weather. Because Hove is only about a 20 min walk from the coastline, seagulls were very common in the neighborhood. One in particular, even liked to walk in the open door from the garden to eat Alfie’s food when we weren’t looking! The homeowners even have a name for him – Steven Seagull (like the movie action star)! Lol!
Alfie’s stinky breath and super sharp nails made him not the most comfortable cuddler, but he loved getting right up on your chest with his arms around your neck. He looked and acted like a darker, older Tumbles so we were still glad to have his company and loved how much he enjoyed his adventures climbing the fence and enjoying the sunshine in the garden.
In between cuddling with Alfie, we researched and shipped to the house some supplies we were needing for the rest of our travels (i.e new laptop, camera, and razor). We were really getting the hang of using the Trusted Housesitters site and lined up our next 2 housesits: back in London and then Liverpool! Before the Olympics started, we watched a lot of Parks and Rec. That show keeps getting better and better! We were happy to have access to a TV for the Olympics. Watching from the British perspective with the cheeky BBC commentators didn’t stop Corey from watching a million hours each day of every remotely interesting event. He spent a lot of time flipping between the 15 different BBC channels. He even watched some sports online that weren’t being shown on tv, like the U.S. Water Polo matches!
We also took advantage and explored our new surroundings a bit. One evening we walked through Hove into downtown Brighton and ate at a curry restaurant called the Giggling Squid. It was really yummy and one of the places Laura and Ness recommended to us. The next week, we took the red double decker city bus into Brighton and had a lovely Indian lunch at the Chili Pickle. Then we walked around the North Laine and popped into a lot of the unique, quirky shops. Brighton has everything from proper tea rooms, to thrift stores, chocolate emporiums, and huge comic book stores. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. Afterwards we chose to stroll along the seaside boardwalk and soak up the ocean breeze on the way home. Although it was a rather long walk all the way back to our temporary home, it was nice to people/dog watch and see the sights. Overall, we had a fantastic 2 weeks pet sitting and were glad we got to cuddle with a Tonkinese kitty! Even though we still miss Tumbles, this stay felt like a vacation from our vacation.