From the hotel in Swansea, my dad, Debbie, Sue, and I hit the road for the West Midlands, the place I come from (Stourbridge)… 🙂
Took a photo of my old school (it’s converted into offices now):
Debbie’s sister, Louise, put us up for the night and also went all out on a great meal. On Sunday morning, after visiting my grandparents graves, the five of us went out for brunch with my aunt at The Olde Tea Rooms in the village of Kinver (where my grandparents lived). Unfortunately, my cousin Joanne had recently moved to Scotland, so we didn’t get to see her on this trip. Just gives us an excuse to visit Scotland next time, though!
After that, we hit the road and headed back up north. We got back to my dad’s in time to catch the England/Panama game. Wow.
The Last Week
We did a bit of shopping in Preston & Chorley (souvenirs, clothes, treats that are hard to find in Canada) the last week, had some nice meals out, and managed quite a few lovely day trips and stops:
On Tuesday, we headed up to Eden Camp in Malton, Yorkshire. This is a privately-owned museum, based around huts that originally housed Italian WWII prisoners of war. Louise had mentioned it in passing, and we thought it sounded interesting and worth a visit–I was very surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before. Notable items included the local military history (and particularly of the original POW camp), a small uniform collection, and the various vehicles and planes onsite. Of course, there was a pub onsite too, themed like a 40s cinema!
Canals & Narrowboats
Sue’s been really interested in narrowboats and canal life lately, mainly from folks on YouTube.
We wound up walking along the canal near Chorley twice. Once just for a walk, and then went back again because we noticed that one pub had some great vegetarian options. It’s a really pretty area – especially with the great weather we had during our trip.
The Lake District
The Lake District is beautiful – and a significant tourist draw. On Thursday, we had a nice walk in the sunshine, said “hi” to the cows, petted some strangers’ dogs, and stopped for lunch at Chesters-by-the-River in Ambleside (top notch vegetarian restaurant) and a cheeky pint after the walk back to the car.
Then we stopped by a beach area for a quick stroll and an ice-cream (make mine a 99!). This guy had obviously had a few drinks, as he wandered into the lake fully clothed:
We waited for him to fall over for a good “action shot”, but he didn’t do that ’til after we gave up waiting. Headed back to my dad’s to watch the England/Belgium game.
Going out for an Indian
Friday morning my dad cooked us a terrific big breakfast, we headed out for a bit of last minute shopping, and then we packed our bags as we were flying home the next day.
Friday night we went out to the local Indian restaurant for a great meal. Can’t possibly have enough curry meals on a trip the UK, and this one was a standout.
Pretty sure Sue’s thinking about my bhunas in that last pic.
…and the next morning we got on a flight at Manchester Airport to Toronto. From there we were to connect to Winnipeg. We had a few wrinkles with the connection, and wound up getting bumped by Air Canada from a 4:30pm flight to an 11pm flight. Not the greatest ending to the trip, but couldn’t take the shine off it. 🙂