Sunday, January 29, 2017

The UK Trip - Liverpool and Chester

Sorry for the pause in blogging...spending time with the family takes precedence over this blog, tho. We had great holidays, but we missed our family and loved ones back in Kentucky. Much love to everyone back home.

After spending an hour at the park in the Lake District, we headed straight to Liverpool. We were hungry and a bit tired. At this point, we had been going for about a week. This type of trip is exhausting physically (lots of walking) and mentally (navigating and driving in the UK can be, umm, stressful). We were ready to find some grub and sit down for a few minutes.

In Liverpool, KK and I found this amazing salad bistro that made your salads before your eyes. I can't remember the name of it but they would put it all in a bowl, with the dressing, and toss it. So fun and yummy! The rest of the family had Subway. Hey, sometimes you just need something familiar, you know?

Liverpool is an industrial port city. It was nice enough...but very spread out and exhausting! Plus, the "feel" of it wasn't the same as other English cities. Case in point...before this point I felt totally safe wearing my backpack purse on my back. While in Liverpool, we walked through some areas that I didn't feel as safe in as other cities. I moved my purse to my front and called it a day. ;)

While in Liverpool we saw the Cathedral (and met the most informed cathedral worker of all time!), went to the World Museum, Pier Head in the dark and saw some statues and churches along the way. We did not do the traditional Beatles sites since Joe isn't a huge fan of the Beatles. I would have liked to have seen more (as I am pretty sure I won't be back to Liverpool ever again), but I didn't push it. I was already exhausted and ready to see a bed!

Liverpool Cathedral - very massive

After finishing our time in Liverpool, we headed to our accommodations in Chester. It was in a manor house just outside of the city. I loved it! Bonus, there was a Noah's Ark built on the site. How cool is that?!?! We asked for recommendations for food and were not disappointed. It was a chain, but super yummy and accommodating of people with special diets (like myself). We could also buy a pitcher/bottle of "punch" for the entire family for around $3-4. 

The next morning, we headed to Chester to explore. We saw the Chester Cathedral, lots of Roman ruins, the riverside, churches, gardens and the falconry (well, from the Chester walls). It was a quaint, nice town. I really enjoyed our time there. Oh, and we had some candy. Hard candies in the UK are probably the best.

 Bridge over the River Dee
KK on bridge over River Dee
 Rive Dee
Look at my sweet Boo with her arms around us
 Altar in Chester Cathedral
Some artwork in the cloisters at Chester Cathedral
 A different perspective - Chester Cathedral
 Outside the Cathedral
Kids by the sign
 This sign says "We are family hostile - no children" LOL
 On the Chester city walls - sibling love
 Chester Eastgate Clock
 Most of the family with the clock in the background
Overlooking the city of Chester - it was actually a crowded city with much to do

 Me and KK in a park. She was tired from walking so much the entire trip
 In the Roman amphitheater - KK is on the side sitting on the wall. She was too tired to walk down the ramp. ;)
 Here she is
Our Zen boy in the Roman amphitheater - still not sure where he picked up this habit

 View from the boys' room of the manor house
 St. John's Cathedral stained glass - getting a good picture of stained glass is more difficult than one might think
Traditional English breakfast!

We loved our time in Chester. It was a bright spot that we weren't expecting. I love finding little cities that have big city attitudes.

Up next: Worchester...a little city with a little city attitude. One of my favorite stops...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The UK Trip - The Lake District/Coniston

Before officially leaving Edinburgh, we decided to see Lauriston Castle. What can go wrong, we thought?!?! Castles are always open, we said. Boy, were we wrong. Apparently, this castle opens in the afternoon and takes reservations. So, that was out. We took some cool pictures of us there and of the North Sea, so we were happy. Here are a few.

This castle was pretty cool looking from the outside 

 Back view
 KK and I in the gardens

 The North Sea as seen from the grounds of Lauriston Castle

 I love that this girl will still hold my hand...I hope it lasts.

From Edinburgh, we headed southwest toward the Lake District. The drive was spectacular! Little J started complaining of a belly ache. Oh boy. He can get some motion sickness, under the right (i.e., wrong) circumstances. We moved him closer to the window and to the front. Situation diverted.

We ended up stopping at a little church ministry for lunch, by pure accident. I must say, God provided us with some amazing, accidental eating locales. I love when he blesses us like that! Anyway, it was a small cafeteria building next to the church that serves food to raise funds for their ministry. We had yummy things like tomato (toe-mat-oh, not toe-mate-oh) soup, sandwiches, crisps, etc. They even had some lovely desserts, including a gluten free treat for me. I love finding little places like this!

Here are a few pictures of the drive.

 Crazy boys at lunch

We headed back on the road and decided that we would do a long drive through the Lake District. Big mistake! The roads are narrow, windy, rocky-edged...also beautiful. We almost got a flat tire, hit by a lorry and lost our ever-lovin' minds. We could not check in until 5:00, so we still had to drive around the Lake District for a bit. The lakes are spectacular tho...

It was finally time to check-in at the lodging. It was a hostel that also had family rooms. By family rooms I mean it had 2 bunk beds instead of several. HAHA We ended up getting upgraded to 2 family rooms. The driveway to the hostel was, umm, treacherous. I felt my stomach tying in knots as we drove. The view upon arrival was worth the knots. The hostel is on the grounds of an old copper mine. It was lovely. There were waterfalls, trails, sheep, beauty galore. Here are some pics (I have to say, the pics don't even come close to doing the landscape justice...the colors were so vibrant.)

 The hostel and our fan
 Isn't that sky amazing?


We then had a homemade dinner made for us. We had tomato basil soup, Indian curry chicken and pudding for dessert. The adults had some beer and cider, because we were in England. After dinner, we played games in the lounge.

One of my favorite ciders...and it was pear! I don't even like pears.

The next morning, we got up early and headed out. We thought we would do a leisurely tour of some of the lakes. Yeah, the roads are stressful, you pay for every parking spot and many times have to walk to see anything but a parking lot. We only stopped a couple of times and headed for Liverpool, our next stop. Here are a few pictures from our few stops.


We ended up paying for parking and going to this cool park. It was a great time! One of those places that you wish you had an unlimited time frame so you could just stay all day.

See you in Liverpool...