Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exploring the English Countryside

Note: I definitely did not mean to take a month off of blogging, but a move and a baby who suddenly won't sleep more than 3 hours at a time has me in survival mode.  

I think we might actually be crazy. Either that or we are just trying to make the most in to our last few weeks as Olmsted-ers.  Probably a little bit of both if we're being honest.  The reason I say this is because not even a week after we arrived back from our three week road trip in the Balkans, we packed our bags again and headed west this time to the United Kingdom.

Mike's sister Kelly was getting married outside of London the following weekend and (this is where our crazy comes in to play) we decided to make a week long trip out of the occasion. Never mind we have a huge transatlantic move pending.  Anyways, we arrived in London on Sunday morning and drove up to Bristol where we'd be staying until Wednesday.  Kelly met us around lunch time and spent the day with us doting on Finn walking around Bristol .  I was shocked at how calm Kelly seemed a few days before her wedding.  We had a great afternoon enjoying a huge Sunday roast and walking off said Sunday roast.  I surprisingly didn't take any pictures, but I think that kind of sums up our thoughts on Bristol.  Nothing fabulous, but nothing terrible.  Kelly headed back to London that evening and we said "See you at the wedding!" before calling it a night.

Monday morning, we loaded into the car and did a driving tour of the Cotswolds.  The Lonely Planet has a great driving tour of the area, which allows you to just drive through a bunch of the little towns and stop whenever you want.  The Cotswolds are swoon worthy.  I'm pretty sure I've added it to the "Places We're Going to Retire" list, which already has about 50 other locations on it. Each little town seems like such a perfect, quiet, little countryside town.

What a view.

After a day of exploring, Finn helped us break in the bed.

which proved to be exhausting.

Tuesday, we headed west to Cardiff, Wales for the day.  The main attraction in Cardiff was the Dr. Who museum, but Cardiff was actually a nice town, despite the rain. 

We weren't sure what to expect from the Dr. Who museum, but it actually was pretty impressive.  There is the largest collection of props used on the show in the museum, so there is lots to see.  I don't watch the show, but Mike does and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Even I could get into it because the costumes and props were so impressive. We definitely were some of the less enthusiastic guests because neither of us dressed up in costume, but we were okay with that. :D

Wednesday, we checked out of the hotel and headed to Bath and Stonehenge before checking in to our hotel in Reading where all of the wedding guests were staying.  Bath was a beautiful city and the perfect place to spend the morning.  We've seen Roman baths and the line and the price were definitely a huge deterrent for seeing more, but the city of Bath was enjoyable. 

Fun fact: These telephone booths are becoming unnecessary now that everyone has cell phones, so they are trying to find new, creative ways to use them.  I think this one was still a phone booth, but we've seen ones that have wifi.

After walking around Bath for a while, we had to make our way to Stonehenge where we had a 4:00 entrance time reservation.  I was pretty excited for Stonehenge, even though I heard it was pretty underwhelming. When you arrive, you have to park pretty far away from the actual monument and you have the option to walk through the fields or take the shuttle.  We got out and walked, which was a nice way to stretch our legs, but took the shuttle back.

Making the trek to Stonehenge

I know Stonehenge has the reputation of being pretty underwhelming, but both Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I think walking through the fields to get there really gives the feel of being in the middle of nowhere, so we were even more impressed.

 I also expected it to be so crowded that we wouldn't be able to get pictures without a thousand people in them, but it wasn't! There were a lot of people there, but since they have roped it off , there is plenty of room for people to spread out around the monument to get pictures.  Way to go, tourism office!

After snapping pictures for proof that Finn was in fact there, we loaded back up in the car and made it to Reading for all of the wedding festivities! Both Mike and I agreed that it was a lot of fun to venture out of the city of London and explore the English countryside a bit.  More and more, we're realizing that our favorite experiences are the ones we least expect.  Go figure!