August 05, 2014

Dungeons and Ruins for Tau’aho’s Birthday!

Our next stop on our tour was York. Actually, after London, we didn’t have any plans. We had decided before we left that we wanted to see Stonehenge and Nottingham and York. Other than that we played it all as we went along. The drive through Stratford and Sherwood Forest were unexpected delights. Today was the day we made it to York. We are glad that someone suggested we come up here. It was a long drive, but the city is really cute.

There is one enormous Minster in the middle of the town and the entire old city is surrounded by a wall. We stopped at Clifford’s Tower first. This is a medieval castle built on a tall hill (with more stairs…imagine that) and although there are none of the wood portions of the castle left, the stone walls are amazing. Inside we watched one of the caretakers explain all of the knight’s armor and let the kids try it on. Lucky was enthralled with it all. I don’t know if it was her animated theatricals or the shiny objects. Haha.   

Clifford's Towwer

Michaels Gate and entrance to York

Streets of York

More stairs to carry the stroller...

York from the tower

And More stairs

York Castle
We found a cute little bed and breakfast just outside of downtown and then went to explore.

Our Bed and Breakfast

Outside the York Castle museum was a small summer carnival and we took time to ride the carousel and some “old styled cars.” He was both concerned and infatuated with the rides. We explored the museum (which was really well done) that went backwards from modern eras to the medieval times—including a whole section that looked like the streets of old England. We found it funny to see they even had an example of the toilets back then and when you looked it they had a pile of poop so you could get the full effect! HAHA. One of the sections were the dungeons and they had people talking as prisoners who were actually there and sharing their stories. It was a somber experience as you realized many of them did not make it out of the place and those that were successful, did so because they bribed their way out.

The museum's fake toilet has 'logs' in it

In York Castle Dungeon

We spent the rest of the day walking the streets of the city. This included all the shops and the “Shambles” in which they have restored really well. The leaning buildings and haphazard construction give the feeling of JK Rowlings “Diagon Alley.”In the middle of the walk I felt a wet drop on my head and it was gross when I thought it was dirty water...then I looked up as another drop of pigeon poop fell on my forehead! My whole head was WET! What is it with me being pooped on this trip???!
Stupid bird that pooped on me

The Shambles

We walked around the city wall and enjoyed the view, then ate some York Hot Chocolate and British Scones before resting on the green grass of the Minster. Tau’aho loved seeing all the kids, birds and dogs that came through.

On the city walk

I love this little Lucky Dragon

York Minster

Tau'aho has begun to mimic everything and he saw me pointing to the map and talking so he took it and was doing the same thing....the other thing he picked up was he now believes any piece of paper is a fan and will try to fan himself.

After our stroll in the city we went back to where the bed and breakfast was. It was still light outside and a beautiful evening so Lady and I put Lucky in the stroller and we walked the neighborhood. We spent the time rating the gardens in the front yards of the homes and then walked along the river for a little while. It was a welcoming city. One we would come back to again if ever given the chance.

The next day—our last full day in the UK, and Tau’aho’s 1st Birthday, we started by driving along the country road to Scarborough along the sea. There was a massive castle there at one point along the cliffs. There is only one tower of it left, due to the civil war between the people and King Charles. The view was spectacular! Both from the sea and the village. This also happens to be where Anne Bronte lived and is buried. This was a gem of our trip and it is too bad we only found it on our last day. With the beach and the cute town, we would have loved to stay longer.
Scarborough Castle
Scarborough City

Telling stories

We drove down towards London and looked for other castles to stop by—ones with green grass for Tau’aho to play on. One of the castles took us through Sherwood forest and some small villages. In one of them the road was closed and so we had to stop. There was a small pub in front of it was a creek with kids playing. It was a perfect place to celebrate our little Dragon’s Birthday. He loved it!

Our trip to the United Kingdom was amazing. We loved it. Happy Birthday little man! We were driving but wanted to have a cake for him so once we were closer to London, we stopped at a truck stop that happened to have a Marks and Spencer (the grocery store, not clothing store) and they just happened to sell birthday cakes! HAHA. When we were at our hotel we cleared off the table and let him do his "Cake Smash." He had a good time.

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