Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 - Happy New Year!

Of course I must start with knitting. I knitted the slipper socks the day before flying. I realized that 1) it is England, damp and cold, 2) I have no room in my luggage for proper slippers. So I whipped these up and they were absolutely perfect. They even washed and dried (in the dryer mind you) perfectly.

The first photo shows what I was able to accomplish while travelling. The orange socks were started on the flight to England and mostly done. So I finished those up pretty quickly and started the second warm socks for me. Those went quickly as well. Then I spent most evenings when we were not out, working on the pink ones (Canal du Midi). The blue/brown ones I worked on the flight home from the UK. I never did get to work on the Tyrolean Stockings (only cast on), and now I must discipline myself to finish at least one of these 2 pairs before getting too involved in another.
Now I must journal my trip. Feel free to ignore this part as I am just going to ramble on and on as this is my journal afterall :-)
Dec. 16th
  • Awoke at 4am, no snow yet, whew! 4:30am Gwyn says "it's snowing" bugger! By 5am we were on the road to the airport and driving was terrible. The plow convoys were out on the Mass Pike. Logan airport was closed, but the airline decided to board everyone anyway, "just in case there is an opening". The winds were blowing the snow back on the runway as fast as it was cleared. And when the airport did open, the plane had to be de-iced first, which took an hour! The rest of the journey was uneventful and the girls were fabulous travelers. We arrived 3 hours late and by the time we got to Winchester it was mid-night.

Dec 17th

  • A day to acclimate. Slept in late, went for long, bitter cold walk around town and stopped for pizza. The girls needed something familiar. The only problem was: Sarah and Grandad had separated from us. They did more walking and got to see the round table, but they missed out on Pizza Express. But to make up for it, Grandad went shopping and picked up a pizza, which we put in the oven for Sarah, this made her happy enough.

Dec 18th

  • A day to ice skate at the Winchester Cathedral. This was Great Fun! And we kept warmer while skating. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of this day, it's all on video only.

Dec 19th

  • A visit to Aunt Marion and Uncle Ken's farm. Fed the horses carrots and simply had a nice time. The girls were very well behaved as we adults chatted away. I think what kept them happy (besides feeding the horses) was eating up all the yummy shortbread.
Dec 20th
  • Busy day! In the morning we went on a steam train. Just like in the Polar Express (only this was the Watercress Line). We were early enough to get some coffee and hot chocolate, which was perfect to keep us warm until the train heated up a bit. Then the children got a soft drink, while the adults got some wine and a minced pie (the pie was 3 times as big as the cup of wine, but it was the thought that counts!). The journey was quite enjoyable and of course Santa came through and gave all the children a gift. Too cute!

  • Later that day we went to see a Pantomime of Jack in the Beanstalk. This was a cultural experience. The girls loved it and found it all "knee slapping" funny. We had ice-cream during the intermission, and all enjoyed ourselves immensly.
Dec 21st
  • Another train ride, this one to Waterloo station in London. From here we took our first London Cab to the Tower of London. Spent time sightseeing here. Quite interesting and the girls were enthralled with the Armory as well as the beheading block.

  • From here we walked to Oxygen Insurance on Lime Street to Auntie Sian's place of employ. It was nice to meet some of her collegues.

  • We then had to bring Grandad back to Waterloo. We were staying for the weekend in London at a friend of Sian's Flat. It was perfect (except that we couldn't quite figure out the shower).
  • Today Gwyn arrived from the US. He missed out on the lovely Sushi we all had for dinner that evening.

  • We also went to check out Sian's flat in Holland Park. Which is quite lovely, but due to the smaller space and construction going on underneath her, we were fortunate to be able to stay at Ian's flat.

Dec 22nd

  • We went to see the "Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of the Pharoahs" exhibit at The O2. Wow! What a cool place and a fabulous exhibit. The girls really enjoyed it as well.

  • Now this is funny, before the exhibit we went for breakfast and the girls really really really wanted pancakes. Well, I guess you just don't get pancakes in the UK, so they had to settle for hot chocolate (which by the way they had ALOT of on our trip) and toast.

  • From here we went on a water taxi which was really quite interesting.

  • Tonight was pizza again. But it was great fun as we met up with some friends, chatted the night away and had champagne along with our pizza. Even the girls had a friend to chat with, Elizabeth.

Dec 23rd

Dec 24th

  • Back to Waterloo Station to board a train for Winchester, and Christmas Eve celebrations!!!!!!!! Including the children's service at the Winchester Cathedral, with lots of lovely angels, shepherds, kings etc. Thanks to Sian the girls could participate too, wearing their golden halos. Just too bad they didn't fit in the luggage to bring back home. At least they'll be there for next time.
Dec 25th

  • Ahhhh. What a nice day. The never empty glass of Champagne, little angels passing out gifts, family, nibbley bits, food and more food, and of course more and more drink. A lovely day for all.

Dec 26th

  • Boxing day. Another family day of relaxation, food and drink. A late afternoon party ensued, and the fireworks were displayed after dark.
Dec 27th
  • A hang over (surprisingly the only one this holiday and not too bad either). A relaxing day, as it was our last. Went to the library to access the internet and check-in on our flights. Then stopped at The Old Vine in Cathedral Close for a couple of pints of Real English beer!
Dec 28th
  • Early to rise and off to the airport. No problems on the return flight; and as always: "nice to be home".


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. Welcome back and happy new year.

Cinnamonamon said...

What a wonderful trip! Your girls are so sweet. :) And arg -- you've just reminded me that I wanted to get the Tyrolean Stockings OTNs before it was too warm for them!

I'm glad you had such a great time (and glad you're back! ;))

Pat said...

Welcome Home!! I've missed you!
Mmmmm - the orange and blue stripey socks look so warm and cozy!
What a wonderful trip you had!
So - next Wednesday???