Friday, May 28, 2010

Arriving in the Cotswolds

Ahhhh. The Cotswolds. We home-based in the adorable of Chipping Camden. As soon as we drove in I felt more relaxed. We stayed at "The Old Bakehouse" - what isn't adorable about that? Plus as an added bonus the sun was shining.The Bakehouse was a tried and true bed and breakfast. I found it especially touching they had a hairdryer and the Children's Britannica set on the hallway dresser.
We stayed in the 'family room' at the very top in the eaves of the roofline. Our room was the cherry on top in this whimsical little town.Kirk did have to "mind" his head though in the room!
There was a crackling fire in the common space. Very cozy, especially with "The Sound of Music" playing on the TV. Hard not to want to snuggle in and stay put. Yet Chipping Camden awaited...Window shopping on Easter weekend was bright and bold.We were in Sheep Country. There were fields of them all around. This painting was a perfect representation.Can't you picture Kirk sporting this look? Only the Brits!This window with the blown out panes were tons of fun.Even when the rains returned we were captivated.Check out the Cotswold names: Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold, Shipston-on-Stour, even the familiar Stratford-upon-Avon. Naming towns with such rhythmic descriptions must help the world go round!In Chipping Camden we took a walk down the most famous part where we discovered these stunning and immaculate mansions. We strolled around with our jaws hanging open. It was the type of place where you can't help but to pick out your dreamhouse."Sheep Street" - gotta love it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Rainy Day in Wells and Tintern Abbey

The rain forecast wasn't nearly as cooperative this day. I won't lie, when the windshield looks like this it is challenging to sightsee with the same joy and appreciation.
In Somerset, England we visited Wells Cathedral which was one of the prettiest I have seen. What a grand facade.
Even through the rain I appreciated the intricate detail. Wells is referred to as "the most poetic of the English Cathedrals."
Inside took my breath away. It was one of the few churches that felt homey and warm at the same time it felt large and foreboding.

I love taking photos of Kirk and Connor in the pews. It is as if they are intently waiting for God. It is one of the few times Connor actually sits still!
The choir chancel was another site to behold.

My favorite part of Wells Cathedral was probably the newest part. These fabric representations of church holidays drew me right in. Here is Pentecost...

Here is Christmas....the Christmas Star....
We kept the "Ws" coming. After Wells we kept on truckin' into Wales, the country. And to Tintern Abbey.
This Abbey was made famous by William Wordsworth's poem "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" --- not exactly a wildly creative title but descriptive nonetheless.

The abbey ruins were spectacular. You could just picture the place in its hay day grandeur.
Connor kept wondering where that roof was?!? She was pretty confused about the missing top. She especially loved just running around in the green grass and mud.

We had hopes of also making it to the Welch town of Hay on Wye to see the "town of books" but we were all low on fuel by this point in the day. Connor snuggled in for the drive to our hotel...she was so cute and comfie nestled in her silken blankets.
The weather even cleared up with blue sky peeking through!
By this point, the Berenstain Bears summed it up well...we were waning a little with "Too Much Car Trip"!!!
Thankfully the well-planned quaintness and freedom of Easter in the Cotswolds awaited us...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eden and Tintangel!

The Eden Project in Corwall , England is uber cool. It is the world's largest greenhouse. Inside the artificial biomes are plants collected from around the world. To me these bubbles look like they are ready to pop; they are captivating. It is amazing - and located out in the middle of nowhere. What an incredible concept!You can't leave without feeling greener and even more a part of the world.Kirk was determined to see Tintangel Castle on the coast. The castle is in ruins, but it is the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. We put on our imaginary armor and made our way up the beach path amongst some VERY strong winds .You would never guess this miraculous place is at the end of the long road. There was even a "Merlin's Cave"It was a very blustery day!
When we reached the mountaintop castle ruins Connor was convinced she was royalty. She ran from "room" to "room" in the castle, feeling a sense of ownership of the place. Our little princess!We heard varying reviews of Tintangel Castle before going. I thought it was a rewarding spot. Beautiful and fabled. Who cares if the whole King Arthur lore is imaginary?!? It is all just fun.