Sunday, February 22, 2015

Girl's trip to the UK!

Maddy and I had the most fantastic, family filled and action-packed trip to England! It's been 7 years since we've visited so we were way overdue. Mike wasn't able to come so it was 'girls only' :). We flew into London so that we could catch my all time favorite band (Elbow) for their last performance of their latest tour. Gail joined us and it was an incredible show and a perfect start to our holiday :)

video

video

Lead singer, Guy Garvey promised to tell the "best story ever" throughout the show. It was hysterical...click here for his "best story ever" - it still makes me laugh!!

In the morning, we decided to spend the day sight-seeing...


I have spent very little time in London, even when I lived in England, so I was particularly giddy...


...especially when we ran into this guy ;)


We rode the London Eye which gives a great view of the entire city...



 Madison hailed her first taxi - we were all very proud of her!


We walked all over London taking in the sights. At Buckingham Palace we got to see people leaving after an investiture ceremony. Not sure who they were but they all looked very fancy...


The policemen were very amusing...


...but even our ridiculous selfies didn't make this fella laugh...


Trafalgar Square is beautiful :)


Tower Bridge!!


It was my first time visiting the Tower of London and it was just amazing. Hundreds of years of history in one location and the full collection of the Crown jewels...just incredible...


At the end of the day we managed to catch a bit of the service in the breathtaking St. Paul's Cathedral.


It was dark by the time we left and we were exhausted...


 ...but not too tired to finish out our perfect day with the most fantastic fish and chips ever!!


 The next day we headed north to Stone, Staffordshire to get settled in with Gail. We took a walk down the lovely canal and grabbed a drink at the pub...



Gail lives in a really scenic location right on the River Trent so I even got to do a little bit of British twitching in the morning :)

 
Sunday lunch with Yorkshire pud...I've missed you...


We went to show Maddy the house her mom was born in. I lived here until I was 7...Aww...


And then I got to meet my very first grand-niece, Skyla! She is just precious :). Congratulations Trace and Sean - she is perfect!


The next day we went for a day out with Mum and Dad. We really wanted to see Eyam, an English village in the Derbyshire Dales that lies within the Peak District National Park. On the drive over we saw snow and Maddy was particularly excited to see sheep!!!


 Eyam is noted for an outbreak of bubonic plague which occurred there in 1665, in which the villagers bravely chose to isolate themselves rather than let the infection spread. The history of the plague in the village began when a flea-infested bundle of cloth arrived from London for the local tailor. The plague ran its course over 14 months and killed at least 260 villagers, most of the local population. There are information boards throughout the village featuring inspiring stories of tragedy, heroism and sacrifice...


 

Survival among those affected appeared random, as many that remained alive had had close contact with those who died but never caught the disease. The village gravedigger survived for example, as did Elizabeth Hancock who was uninfected despite burying six children and her husband in eight days. Eyam is a fascinating and beautiful little place - we absolutely loved it :)


The next day we headed over to Leicester to see my two best friends in the whole world. I met Kayt and Mary in the first week that we moved from Staffordshire and miss them and love them every day. It was an extra treat to see Mary's daughter, Charlotte and Kayt's family, especially her gorgeous mum, Pat :)


The next day I really wanted to see the Trentham Monkey Forest. Their colony of Barbary Macaques have been there since 2005...


 They were running a Monkey Selfie contest!


I tried ridiculously hard to win...


Fingers crossed...;)

Gail taught Maddy how to crochet and she's totally hooked ('scuse the pun). She made a phone warmer:)


 And then like a flash we were at the last day of the trip but the main event, my nephew, Stephen and his beautiful girl, Kayleigh's wedding!!! It was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad we made the trip and got to share in their special day :)


Love you Jan and Darren :)


It was so lovely - this picture summed up the day for me :)


Thank you to my family for taking such good care of us and making our trip so special. We love you very much :)