Monday, May 28, 2007

Cornwall - Day 3

First, a couple photos with the kids.

We traveled back to the Minack theatre to see it in nice weather. It was built by a lady named Rowena Cade and her two gardners. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING story and one of the most beautiful places I've been to. We will go back to see a play there someday. Currently is playing "Man From La Mancha", which is not family friendly so we had to settle with walking around a bit and snapping some photos.

You can see how so much of a personal touch was put into the space, the chairs are inscribed with the headline titles performed through the years.

Later we made our way up the cost to see this famed St Michael's Mount. It is an island that has a cobblestone causway that can only be traversed at low tide. Tide was coming in when we were arrived, and they would close the causway shortly after. I believe it is just private residences with some public footpaths so we weren't broken hearted about walking all the way out (as most people seemed determined to do!)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cornwall - Day 2

The weather wasn't on our side today, very windy and rainy which limited our options. We ended up driving all over the place on treacherous roads. This picture is on one where I felt relatively safe to snap a photo. Megan was gritting her teeth at various passes and I am now quite experienced in narrow winding lanes with steep grades in my 6 speed stick shift minivan! This was much worse than when I tried to cut through back roads across the Swiss alps into Bavaria.

There are a bunch of these stone formations that have been left around by the Celts in Cornwall a couple thousand years ago. These two are called Lanyon Quiot and Men an tol. Supposedly a virgin who crawled backwards through the circle about 13 times would become pregnant!?? Stranger things have happened...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Cornwall Experience - Day 1

The kids had some time off from school so we packed up on Friday night and set off early Saturday morning for the southwest tip of England. We stopped first in the town of Cheddar and took a hike up a trail to view Cheddar Gorge. Yes, this is where the cheese comes from and every other shop sells cheese. There is a town called Beer nearby that I had to resist visiting :-)

We had our first Cornish pasties and a local tea shop. The owner complained about the new American visa requirements and how it meant his grandaughter wouldn't be able to visit him now due to huge delays in processing. But overall a very helpful guy, he told us which path to take to avoid the tourist toll up to the trails, and to watch out for the rare bread of shaggy goats we would find at the top of the hill.

After hiking a while and witnessing some lovely views, we carried on to our next destination...Glastonbury. This town is your atypical granola atmosphere (plenty of nuts and flakes). We toured the Abbey ruins, which just happened to have a church service on...the kids really admired that these people still went to church with half the walls fallen down and no roof!

Eventually, we made our way towards St Just, which is near Land's End. We stayed at the youth hostel, which we know from experience these are not always easy to find. In this case that would be an understatement... I had the GPS coordinates and general directions from the YHA website. However, this road just got smaller and smaller, until I'm driving down a farm lane with walls on either side and overgrowth scraping the sides of the car. There was no where to turn around so I just kept driving, but we lost daylight and it started raining...and felt the situation could only get worse. I started backing out of the lane until a car came up behind me... ok. So onward forward, and the path splits 3 ways with no markings as to which one I should follow. I chose the widest one which turned out to be wrong. I followed this for a while till I found a comfortable place to park and call the hostel. They straightened me out and I went back to the split and took the correct path. Eventually we found it and checked into our family room. In the morning we found out what a special place this is when we saw the view.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Steve on my mind

I've been thinking a lot lately about a colleague Steve Ruane and his bicycle accident in Sylvania. Such a tradgedy. He is a very intelligent man who lives life on his own terms. He and his family have a long road of recovery ahead.

Live every day to its fullest.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday nights in Liverpool

Megan's been taking a dance class on Wednesday evenings in I've been taking her and then exploring parts of the city. Tonight we went to this old manor house called Allerton Hall. Its been converted to a pub with nicely sized beer garden and playground. Also its surrounded by a public park, very scenic. The kids made friends with some locals and the boy has been asking me if we could move to Liverpool.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Manchester Museum

Today Megan went to the Indian Dance Days workshop at the Lowry. We dropped her off and then went exploring Manchester. I wanted to check out Platt Fields park because there are some events we'd like to see later this summer.

There was some serious model sailboat racing going on...interesting to watch these guys pacing back and forth at the pond's edge nearly jousting each other with the radio control antennas.

When the weather took a turn for the worse we sought out the Manchester Museum. It is sort of an anthropology and biology musuem. Dinosaur bones and insect displays, all kinds of animal displays...samurai armor, ancient coin collection, etc. It was a great day out and well worth the admission price (free!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Liverpool China Town

While Megan danced tonight I took the kids to China town. The boy was sticking his nose into each resteraunt and begging me to go in and buy something.