Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week Two: York, Norfolk and a Jubilee

I apologize for the fits-and-starts nature of this series.  The problem, as I see it, is that (a) I have no self-discipline; (b) my photos are disappointing (not the ones of gorgeous beaming blog friends, but the ones of glorious monuments and sweeping landscapes); and (c) I am better at describing Moments than Large-Scale Epic Adventures.  Speaking of the gorgeous blog friends, I will state here for the record that every person you see here gave me (non-coerced) permission to splash her face (or backside, as the case may be) across these pages.

...And so with fear and trembling, I pointed the jaunty black Vauxhall southward (fear and trembling because at this stage I was still a Nervous Driver).  We stopped for lunch in Durham, where cathedral access was limited because somebody was filming a TV program within...

...but at least we made it unimpeded to the eatery in the undercroft.

Eventually we arrived in York (aka One of My Favorite Cities EVER), where we dropped off the car unscathed (it and us), got comfy in our attic B&B room, walked the walls, visited the York Minster...

...ate yummy food (including the boys' first sticky toffee pudding) while listening to Minster bell-ringing practice...

...and continued our Great Toilets in History tour (courtesy of the Castle Museum).  Oh, and Little Lad discovered (and rode) the York Wheel, to his great delight.

After a few days, we reluctantly said goodbye to York and caught a train to Norwich, where we took forever to find the cathedral (Papa S.: "Look! The cathedral!"  Me: "Uh no, random old church."  Repeat...) and ate yet another spectacular veg-restaurant meal.

On our first full day there, Papa and LL caught a bus to BeWILDerwood (Best Time Ever!  Sorry, no photos) and Big Lad and I set about doing laundry.  LOTS of laundry, after which we rewarded ourselves by revisiting the aforementioned veg restaurant.  And window-shopping.

And on the next day (insert tootling of trumpets here), I Met Mrs. Emma S. Pebble.  Yes, the international jewelry-making media superstar!  We piled ourselves, her gorgeous offspring, my little queasy-pants and our luggage into her car and zipped through the Norfolk countryside to the Fairyland Trust's annual Fairy Fair, where we braved the rain and mud and cold (first significant precip of our trip -- not complaining!), ate a picnic, bought wings (and elf ears, for some), attended fairy-ish workshops and gazed upon lovely wares for sale.  Also there was a terrifying Barbie-pink fairy on stilts, but it seems better not to dwell on such things.

After the fair, we motored to Emma's magical (not Barbie-) pink cottage in Cambridgeshire.  Papa and Big Lad were there, having been collected at the Ely train station by Emma's dear husband (yes! Another example of why bloggy husbands rule the world!).  We ate a fine feast (capped off by the best shortbread ever, thank you, Mother-in-Law Pebble) and raced through the house hollering and making animal noises into walkie-talkies (okay, half of us anyway).

Following a good night's sleep at our lovely cottage down (up?) the road, we reconvened at the pink house for a fab potluck with the ever so lovely Val and family (note: my only photo of Val is fabulous beyond comprehension but includes the faces of her children; I haven't ruled out extreme cropping or ingenious mask placement, but we'll see).

And then -- the Jubilee fest!

There were games...there was food/drink...there was a brilliant face painter who did mostly flowers and Union Jacks, except when strange little American tourists had other ideas.

Next day (our last together - sob!), while the menfolk and children frolicked at Anglesey Abbey, Emma and I gorged on goodies at Peacocks Tearoom in Ely, then searched for (and found) treasure at nearby Waterside Antiques.  After reuniting with our families and taking the obligatory family portraits, we headed heavy-heartedly (say that three times fast) to the Cambridge rail station en route to London.

But wait!  We ought not end this post on a sad note.  I have an idea.  Here -- I give you...










Val and her little flowers!

(Confidential to Mrs. V:  Next time, a proper long sit-down over tea and cake.  Many pangs of regret here for not making that happen.  Oh, and let me know if this photo is just way too weird.  xo)


Back shortly with a secondary post of favorite photos from Week Two...


Sue said...

That is a fab photo of Val!

You make me want to visit York again.

driftwood said...

ah el pianos. loving the fairy fest and the flower cookies, so funny to see what you got upto after you left us. x

Lisa said...

Those wellies were just made for you!
Mmmm 'man with tray' looks familiar??
Love the first photo where the lamp post is placed so perfectly between thost two fabulously sweet houses.
Lisa x

dottycookie said...

It seems such a long time ago now, but happy memories nonetheless.

I am very happy with your photo treatment. After all, you could have put cookies over their faces.

readersguide said...

That is an amazing painted face.

Toffeeapple said...

You see, I told you that it would all get written about eventually. You've done well.