Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yeah, the car was a pain but it got us to some cool places.

I wish I could show you more photos of particular places, but honestly, I either can't or I don't want to ruin them for you.

The car took us to Reading where we took the train to downtown London, gawked at the 200Pound jeans at the Selfridges "sale," and toured the Tower of London.

We went to Leavesden.  Seriously, if you're going to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour, you don't want to see my photos.  You want to go there and be wowed and ooh and aah.

So I give you this, because you knew you could get butterbeer anyway.  It's worth buying, by the way.  I won't give away the flavor, but ignore all those people who left their cups basically untouched on the garbage bin.  They're losers.  My only request on the review for the tour was that I wish their butterbeer came in an optional GLASS souvenir cup.  The only options are flimsy plastic so we passed.

Anyway, the Harry Potter Tour.  Go.  See.  Enjoy.  Geek out.  It's worth it.

The car took us to the place that made this guy famous: Bletchley Park.  If you like history, if you like hanging out with a lot of old people (seriously, 95% of the visitors seemed to be WWII vets), if you think codes are cool and Turing was awesome, then visit the Park. They have a really cool pigeon room too.

We visited this splendid place, a palace we see all the time on TV in Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Can you tell which one?  Yes, it's in the UK, cheater.  Do better than that.

And we stopped in at Oxford.  We Love Oxford.  Oxford is lovely and fun and vibrant and just all around wonderful.  Yes, we love Oxford.  We could live in Oxford if that was an option.  We bought shoes in Oxford and ate pizza in Oxford and walked around Oxford just for fun.  We also went to Oxford Castle Unlocked which was not a showstopper but fun nonetheless.

We drove out of England and discovered Wales. If you don't know what this is, we can't be friends anymore.  Sorry.

Then the car headed to Eire (NOT Ireland).

There's a story behind finding our cottage in Eire, but that's for another day.  Suffice to say that our cottage was on a farm. A pretty cool farm.  We enjoyed a morning of walking through fields and taking photos, and finding the area with all the babies.  If you want to stay in Eire, on a farm, next to a beach and a bay, I have a recommendation for you.  The landlord was pretty awesome too.  The house was... unique.  More on that later too.

While in Eire the car drove to more laid back spots, as Eire tends to be.  How about some Birds of Prey?  The Aillwee Caves and Birds of the Burren was one of those "sure, why not?" quiet places that turns out to be pretty darn cool.  The caves don't match, say, Shenandoah, but caves are cool no matter where they are.  One of the best stops was the shop.  Awesome cheeses (taste them all) and jams and Bunratty Mead.  Crackers and sauces and fudge.  Buy one of everything, you won't be disappointed, promise.

What's a visit to Eire without dinner in a castle?  

Or time on an island? We took a ferry to Inisheer/Inis Oirr and spent the day walking and hanging out at the beach.  Someone (many someones) said Ireland is cold all the time.  We visited during the two weeks of warm and wonderful weather, where going to the beach was the thing to do.  Inisheer is the smallest of the three islands and the closest to Doolin and well worth a day trip.  There are places to stay overnight, but for Inisheer you don't really need it.  I imagine the other islands are a different case.

And there's no trip to Eire complete without a trip to Dublin.  Our return ferry left from outside Dublin, so though Ian had busted his ankle he still found the strength to climb the stairs and wander around the Guinness center.  The kids decided Guinness was just OK, but the Guinness stew is not to be missed.  

We returned to the Heathrow area and spent a day back around Reading.  Newbury to be exact.  If you don't know where this is, again, we can no longer be friends.  Sorry.  I'll miss you.

And back in town again.  An afternoon at the RED 2 red carpet affair and an evening split between "Book of Mormon" (for the older ones) and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (for the boys and I).  Thankfully our theaters were only a few blocks apart and the red carpet was right in the middle at Leicester Square.  Another place we all enjoy, Covent Garden.  Touristy? Absolutely.  But not every tourist spot is a mess.  Covent Garden has charm, so nyah.

Just like that our trip was done and we dealt with the misery of returning the car.  But right before we passed Jonathon off at the airport to my dad who brought him to the U.S. for a couple weeks.  It's been a year since my folks have seen him, that's a long time for an 11 year old.  As if you couldn't tell, one of the first things on the To Do list is a hair cut.

A relatively whirlwind tour where we saw a lot and didn't see a whole lot more.  We're actually talking about going back for our next R&R in 2 years, for Scotland and Northern, um... Eire.  

We won't be renting a car from some No Name place that nickles and dimes and costs time and sanity, that much we know.    

What we don't know... recommendations on what to do and what to see?

1 comment:

  1. In the event that you are purchasing an auto surprisingly, you ought to first get some counsel from your companions or family on vehicle support. Additionally, you can likewise request that they allude a dependable and reliable repairman for repairs. Autoankauf