Sunday, May 20, 2012

Annabelle goes to England!

Our trip to England was a landmark this time...the first flight with a baby in about 20 years. Did we miss flying 9-10 hours on a plane with a baby all those years...NO! These faces share that sentiment, as this is the return flight back home...notice Annabelle is smiling:)

But I am getting ahead of myself...
We went to Caenarfon castle in Wales which as it turned out was closed :( Travis knocked on the door and a lady very politely said "Sorry dear, I'm afraid we are closed for the day" Of course this was in a lilting Welsh accent instead of my southern drawl:) Travis was disappointed but we promised him a castle before we left the country!

Annabelle saw Aunt Danielle pose for a picture so she ran over
and posed for her picture!
I love the terraced houses all in a row with their cheerful colors.

Michael's mum lives in Machynlleth Wales, a lovely small town of artistic people very interested in conservation and living simply. These small towns all have a market day on a Market street with butchers to book dealers selling their wares on the street.

I took a picture of the butcher, started to walk off and he said
"Wait I didn't smile!" I took another one:)
1,2,3 swwwiiiiinnnnnnng! Michaels mum, June

The entire family was excited about a climb up Cader-Idris...except me! Climbing just isn't on my bucket list....but I forged on and with every creak of my unhappy knees made the hour climb up these stone steps:)
Cader-Idris means "Seat of the Giant."

A view of the Welsh countryside from about half way up our climb
This lake was carved out by a glac.

Saunton Sands on the southern English coast was a lesson in how the British go to the beach. There is no warm water to puddle around in or bright sun in which to tan.One goes to an English beach fully clothed to read and relax, and if a bit brave stick a toe or two in the water!

Annabelle napping on the beach wrapped in coats!

Building AND destroying sand castles all at once:)
Niece Kerry & hubby Norman
Aunt Helen taking Annabelle for a dip in the ice cold water.
Adorable Theo belongs to Kerry & Norman. He was one busy little man!
Love this pic of my beautiful girl. 
Annabelle fully enjoying the sand:)
Coats on a beach!
Happy Tolmans:)

Michael's Dad lives in a picturesque town called Market Drayton home to a canal boat colony. People live and vacation on these boats riding up and down the waterways of England. We love to walk the path beside the canal with Dad.  He always has stories of the past to share in his funny way:)

I love Dad's rosy English cheeks!

Dads wife Joyce and her Auntie Violet who visits every week on a Tuesday and
stays all day...the thing about English schedules is REAL!

I love going to England for many reasons but mostly because I come home with another puzzle piece to my British husbands life before me:) I finally got to see where he spent his last year as a bachelor in Bristol University. Bristol is ranked right under Oxford and quite prestigious...not that the hubby cared a fig about that! He actually didn't like this year at college for he was doing law, a profession he knew he was not suited for in the first few weeks. One does not just switch college degrees in England. Your course of study is set with the courses you choose as a 16 year old. Some of my children changed their degree several times. How lucky are we to have so much choice!

The Halls of Residence...they look quite foreboding!

The dining hall...Harry Potterish:)

It would be quite intimidating to attend law class in such a building.

Taking walks around the countryside is a national pastime with the British. I envy their more calm and peaceful existence which I believe comes partly from an appreciation for the beauties of the world around them. Steep hills-no problem, mucky and muddy paths-no problem, cold rain and blustery wind-no problem! They walk, walk, walk!

The southern England coast

The family on a very muddy walk to a village beside the sea.

Keeping little ones entertained can be quite a feat and sometimes we resort to old windows, sticks,  and any old thing to keep Annabelle happy on the journey!

Theo taking Annabelle by the hand for a walk...this lasted about 2o seconds:)

Market day in Barnstaple. Everything is the country is decorated in honor of the Queens Jubilee year...60 years as Queen.

Brittany & Kerry ( first cousins) with their Hubbys and babies:)

This is the REAL REASON we come to eat Fish & Chips.
Yes, I know we have them and NO they are not the same!

It's funny what our kids love about England, having come many times as they were growing up. This one track road with tall hedges is a favorite. This is the road to Michael's sisters house which goes through a village. If you meet a car on the way, one backs up till they find a spot to pull over a bit-usually in the hedge!

The Queen is in residence at Windsor castle when her flag is raised! This is the longest occupied castle in the world!

It is cannot make then smile!
Missy here was not impressed with the staterooms in the castle so we found a local park:)

Kicking around London is always fun. Annabelle loved the subway and the double decker bus!And we did the usual tourist phone box pictures...can't leave England without them:)

This would look great at my house!
Watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace.

Hogwarts here we come!
A totally random picture in an underground station...
Love the architecture...

And so we end our adventure to England with Annabelle!

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