Sunday, July 20, 2014

More family!

Our last stop was back at Aunty Jean and Uncle Brian's, where we went swimming at the Hathersage pool, played games at the house (Twister?!?), and met with lots more family at Lyme Park

We spotted this old Land Rover that Grandad might have stolen away in.


Getting schooled by Alice at a game of mini family.

Alice lost her front tooth shortly before leaving.
The tooth was packaged safely and returned to Canada to avoid having to change English pounds from the Tooth Fairy.

Chatsworth field shortly before dusk.

Outdoor exercise equipment at the Buxton park.
For over twelve years old...

Cupcakes procured by Sarah for the Potter family reunion.

The next generation.

Lucy and Richard.
You can see where I get my height from...

The, ahem, also young generation of Potters .

Out for tea.

We wont forget to bring our teddies home.

Saying goodbye to AJ and UB, for now.

Who knew they had a tickle trunk of fabulous costumes!

Free upgrade to business class on the way home?!?
We'll take it!

Fancy-smanshy meal with white linens.

Shropshire?!

Now where on Earth is that?! Well, after leaving Cardiff, we aimed to find out, and moseyed up to a farm stay near the quaint town of Ludlow. The roads were awfully narrow, but the sat nav (British version of a GPS) saved the day many times and got us to the farm.

Bog standard English phone box.

Iron bridge near Telford.
This was the first ever cast iron bridge built in 1779. Still looks solid under all those layers of paint!

Many hours on the road and bun-bun finally convinced Estelle to take a nap.

Making friends with a cow at the farm.

Giant mint flavored marshmallows!

Eeeek.
Hope we don't run into a tractor.

Charming bells for sale at the hardware store in Ludlow.
Notice there is a gap where the owl bell used to be... it is now fixed to our back porch!

Eating sammies and crisps in Shrewsbury.
Supposed hometown of Charles Darwin, but nobody there seemed to capitalize on their famous historical figure.

All the (wallpaper) comforts of home.

Exploring Ludlow Castle.

Proudly flying the flag of England (but so close to the Welsh border)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cardiff, South Wales

Down in southern Wales, we spent the weekend with Lucy's Aunty Jane, her husband Pete, and their two girls Amy and Jessica. It was a regular girl fest with dancing, nail polish and just a smidge of shopping.

Since Jane, Amy and Jessica were performing in their end of year dance recital, Alice and Estelle got to join in on the preparatory hair styling. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the show, but it was mesmerizing to our
girls and we may have sparked a new interest in dancing (tapping, anyone?) The parents particularly enjoyed the post-show drinks and curry back and Jane's.
Estelle getting a braid and GLITTER SPRAY!!!

Patient Alice. 

All glammed up - time for nails back at home.

Non-traditional Welsh dragons.

Girls being girls playing dollies and wii dance games.

Family day at Barry Island.

Okay, so it wasn't as hot as Barbados, but not bad...

Everyone had a bag of 2p coins to play in the arcade.

Please let me win!

Wish I had two young girls inside my head. What fun!

Colwyn Bay, Wales

The second stop on our tour was at Alice and Estelle's Great Gran Isabel, who lives in Colwyn Bay. North Wales is a land of castles, fish and chips and lovely beaches. We didn't miss any of those, but spent much of our time chilling at Great Gran's house.


Estelle testing the stair lift.
Who needs a Six Flags amusement park?!

In the back garden.

Chi Chi front and center.

Taking Gran on an outing to Bodnant Garden.
Where the flowers were lovely and the tea was refreshing!

Estelle is always camera ready with a smile!

The lily pond.

Gran was happy to have a strong young man wheel her around the garden.
A fall a few months back left her with a broken arm, which makes most tasks more difficult, but enjoying a day out with family is no challenge!

Slight hill up to the house. 
Go Guy!

The laburnum arch was impressive even though it wasn't flowering.

After dropping Gran off, we spent a couple of hours combing Llandudno Beach for shells and crabs.

Llandudno is a pretty beach town complete with grand hotels and pier.

The perfect shell is here somewhere.

A spring in her step.

Looking at photos of many happy times.
(A calm moment after a rowdy game of Jenga)
Later Gran noticed Estelle eyeing a beach snow-globe and presented it to her as a gift the next day. The memento almost made it back to Canada, but burst in mid-air after successfully navigating the rigorous Manchester security check. Alice received a miniature Welsh girl, which did make it back to a shelf in our home!

Alice and Estelle guarding the mausoleum.