Friday, May 14, 2010

Our trip down SOUTH

We were ready. It was Monday night, we had a game plan for Tuesday morning to get all of us (remember? Four adults, a two month old, a seven month old, and a dog) ready and out the door asap so we could begin our sight-seeing! I had our family packed up, all of Aed’s (many) necessities jammed into every nook and cranny of every bag.. I quickly learned that jarred baby food is HEAVY :)

A person from the car rental place came to pick us up in what was supposed to be our car. Those of us waiting in the house could tell something was wrong pretty quickly and were soon reminded that a 7-seater ‘van’ in this country is something altogether different than what we are used to. Shawn went back to the rental place to see if they had anything bigger, but it was not meant to be. The car we were given to use was a 7-seater.. however, two of the seats were taking up the entire ‘trunk’ area of the car. We managed to squish a stroller, car seats, the dog, our bags, and our own bodies into the little dear, but it was quite the squish.

We got on our way and drove to our first stop, Carlisle Castle. It was right in the middle of the city and we had trouble believing the signs as they kept directing us further and further into the center of town. But lo and behold, there it was, smack dab in the middle of everything.

It was fun exploring the castle.. There was quite a bit to see and they had some nice displays about the area and the history of the castle. We had to scurry a bit because we got there close to closing time, but were glad that we stopped anyway.

We continued on to our humble abode for the next few days, not entirely sure what to expect. Sara and I tried our hardest to keep the contents of our stomachs where they belonged while Shawn and Ian navigated up front. It was a long, windy trip, but we made it and the area we stayed in was absolutely gorgeous. Our cottage was called ‘The Old Dairy’ and was on a farm. It was beautiful on the inside and we woke up to this in the morning..

We headed to Durham to see the cathedral and castle. The approach was beautiful..

As was the cathedral..

Sadly, they were filming a movie at the castle the day we were there, so we weren’t able to go in, but the entrance was still stunning.

Our next stop for the day was Barnard Castle.

It was a really beautiful and fairly complex ruin. We enjoyed wandering through it, even those of us that were sleepy :)

The next day we headed to the Lake District. We did some wandering and some light hiking. It was a bit of a chilly day, but the scenery was beautiful nonetheless.

As an aside, though I’m not making an overly detailed account of our travels for various reasons, I do just want to say for the record that traveling with babies is a whole new world! Everything was a bit more complicated and took a bit longer than it should have, and all of these visits were interspersed with feeding, changing, feeding, sleeping, feeding, etc :) The kiddos were troopers though and did really well despite being uprooted from normal daily life!

As another aside.. Ian snapped this picture of me in the Lake District..

I looked at it and said, ‘Look! That’s where Aed got his wrinkly forehead!’

See what I mean?

Anyway.. The next stop was Brougham Castle. I stayed in the car with a sleeping babe for this one, so Ian was the photographer and he got some great shots. A few of my favs..

On our way home, we ran into this little beastie

And even having grown up in Indiana driving behind more tractors than I care to remember, this thing seemed HUGE.

The next day was our drive home day. The kiddos had some play time on the bed while the grown-ups did all the serious stuff to get ready to go :)

And we were on our way! We decided to stop at a section of Hadrian’s Wall on the way home and were directed to the Housesteads Fort.

It was a looooooong trek up with Aed in the carrier, but the ruin was amazing. Those Romans.. I tell ya, they were something else.

A portion of the wall..

And a quick family photo to mark our visit!

And away we went! We had a great time and were so thankful to have seen so many beautiful pieces of England’s history. I made a slideshow that has lots more pictures and a few more details about the places we visited. It is in the right-hand side bar labeled ‘Our trip to THE SOUTH’ :)

Aedster is coming up next!

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