Sunday, September 2, 2012

Four trips to Nottingham

We did not make any weekend travel plans because we were supposed to move into our furnished place this weekend.  On Friday afternoon I found out that there was some paperwork issue and now I'll get the keys on Monday instead.   So, we decided to keep it simple this weekend - our 5th in the Derby hotel apartment - and save our cash for our 5th anniversary trip to Barcelona in 2 weeks. 
Someone must have read my comment last week about Kerry and I running out of things to talk about at the London bar, because we were invited out Friday with some work friends -   a huge thank you goes out to them!   Since this was a more seasoned group who has spent many-a-weekend in Derby, the plan was to mix it up a bit and experience the Nottingham nightlife.

Nottingham is famous in the USA for Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves in Sherwood forest.

For most of my life, this was my perception of Nottingham
Now, to be clear, we've been to Nottingham numerous times a week since we moved here because that is the location of the nearest CrossFit gym.  CF Nottingham has a great group of hardworking athletes that we're honored to train with - we're grateful they've adopted us!  It is typically a 35 minute drive from our current residence, so we are very excited to move which will shave about 12 minutes off the commute.  We have not had a proper Nottingham experience however, and that was about to change.

Our first trip to Nottingham was to the gym on Friday.  It was a challenging workout of heavy squat snatches and sprints, so it demanded mental focus to perform a technical lift under stress induced by the run.   Really enjoyed it!

We had originally planned to take a bus out for the 2nd trip to Nottingham with the group, but we were running late, and while the buses are great options when you are not in any type of rush, I made the decision to drive.   Luckily there were inexpensive parking options available downtown.  This forced me to be responsible enough to drive us home, which was a good thing, since we were planning on heading back to the gym in the morning.

We met up at the Pit & Pendulum, a dungeon bar, where we broke the ice with some drinking games.

(Taken the next day)

A photographer was out taking pictures for 1 pound.  While we did not buy one, a few members of our group did.  Then, since Kerry had the biggest purse, she held onto them.  Of course we forgot to give them back at the end of the night.  No worries,  I'll make sure they get their pictures on Monday.

Then we hit da club!  I'm a horrible dancer, feeling way to self conscious most of the time.  It doesn't help that I wasn't drinking.  I'll light up for the camera if the opportunity presents itself.

A picture of a group picture.  (I have no scanner)
Chandeliers-Delicate, sparkling, and bursting with class!

Kerry preferred the disco light up floor.

We got back home at 3 am Saturday, and were back at the gym by 11 am.  This was our 3rd trip to Nottingham.  Kerry and I did a partner workout, where we completed (as a team) 250 double-unders with a jump rope, 10 rope climbs, 20 overhead squats (70kg/50kg), and a 1000 meter row, then repeat in reverse order.  Very happy I kept the drinking to a minimum the previous night!

We got in our street clothes and hit the town, starting with a great lunch at Wagamama for some very tasty stir-frys.  We then walked around the town with no goal.  The town was bustling with shoppers and there was plenty to see without having to pay for any admission. A nice surprise was our random visit to contemporary artist Pete Spowage's gallery in an old house.  Kerry and I may have to think seriously about shipping some UK art back home to outfit our bare house, would make for some nice memories.

Speaking of outfitting our old 1950's house, I wish there was a John Lewis department store in the States.  We walked through the living room displays and the furniture would have been perfect - small and simple.  Everything in Indy is huge and overstuffed, and just won't fit in our living space.

We also got a kick out of the fitness section in the dept store:
A luxury model water-resistance rower.  (Not Concept2)

You'd have to be a crossfitter to find the humor in this.

We did find an American Apparel as well, so we took this opportunity to compare differences in UK vs. USA fashion.  I got a laugh after finding XXS size in the Men's section.  This may relate back to my previous post about the noticeable lack of obesity here.

No joke, this is not the kidswear.

My favorite part of the mall was that it had a butcher, fish monger, and bulk nuts/spice store, with prices that were way better than the supermarket.  I'm the kind of person who would get a kick out of getting my protein for the week from the mall - I'll have to buy some insulated bags.

To keep it simple, we went home for dinner that evening - I made some lamb chops with ground coriander and chiles, and a roasted butternut squash drizzled with a balsamic vinegarette.  Winded down by watching a movie on Netflix.

Our 4th trip to Nottingham was on Sunday, back to the gym!  An hour of excellent mobility and stretching followed by some skill work with a barbell and socializing.

Kerry shouldered the 50kg (110lb) atlas stone!

Sunday night is supposed to be our last night within walking distance from downtown Derby, so we're hitting up the Spice House - an Indian restaurant that is supposed to be pretty hip.  

There you go, not the most exciting weekend - oriented around CrossFit training - but it resembled how we'd spend an average weekend in Indy.  Nottingham is a fun town that offers a bit of variety from Derby.   Our location for the next 11 months will be in a small village between the two cities, so we'll reap the benefits from both - with maybe some added cost of parking due to the distance from city centers, which should be offset by the savings from not buying pints since I'll be the driver - a good thing since excessive pints tend to have a detrimental effect on my training ;).

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