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England 2009
March 8, 2009


We flew out of SeaTac on Thursday, landing in England early Friday morning. Paul’s sister, Ann, and Mick met us at the airport and took us to their house in Wakefield for a quick meal and a “one hour” nap. After three hours of sleep, Ann finally woke us so that we could make our way to York for the weekend’s festivities.

Most of the family arrived in York on Friday, and we all met for drinks and dinner at the Doormouse pub across from the hotel, where Frances was thrilled to enjoy some fish and chips – a recurrent theme throughout our trip. While we were enjoying the visit, we had to make our early excuses so that we could catch up on our sleep. Of course, we were wide awake by 3:30 the next morning.

Taking advantage of the early rise on Saturday, we walked into town to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. It was a rare site to see the York Minster and to walk down the narrow cobbled streets without dozens of tourists milling around. By the time we got back to the hotel it was time for a full English breakfast.

By late morning, everyone was fed and watered and we all headed back into town to tour on our own. It seemed no one was interested in visiting the National Railway Museum with us, though as Elizabeth was heading to the train station near the museum to collect Jacqui, they met us there for the last half of our tour. After that, the four of us visited the Shrine of St. Margaret Clitherow and had lunch at the Earl Grey Tea Rooms before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

We all met up again at Caesars @ Silvanos for a nice, quiet Italian dinner. OK, maybe not so quiet with 18 people gathered around the table, but it was certainly nice. And in comparison to the pub we went to after dinner, it was rather quiet.

On Sunday we enjoyed a breakfast before heading to Whitby. After checking into the B&B we walked down to the pier with Ann and Olwen where we met up with most of the family again for some sea-side fish and chips. We made the most of the sun shine and took a walk up to the top of the hill overlooking the sea so that we could explore the ancient abbey – or what’s left of it. Of course, by the time we walked up the 199 steps the site was closed. It was still well worth the walk. By late afternoon, most of the group had returned home, leaving the two of us with Ann and Elizabeth to tour the local pubs.

Paul woke early on Monday for a run along the piers where he enjoyed the high tide and the waves slapping against the sea wall. Once the rest of us awoke, the four of us spent the day exploring more of Whitby, where we acquired a bit of Whitby Jet and a Lucky Duck. Then it was off to Wakefield, navigation courtesy of Tom Tom, who twice insisted that our journey was completed, though we were in the middle of a field the first time and by the motor way the second.

On Tuesday morning, Paul woke up early again to take a run through the local park in Wakefield where he saw geese and ducks and squirrels. We then spent the day with Ann and Elizabeth again at the shops. Our final shop was Morrisons where we picked up a few goodies to take home with us. We chatted away whilst the cashier rang up our Bird’s Custard and Bisto, before suddenly realizing that we were meant to be packing our own bags. It gave us both a giggle to remember back to when Paul would try to wrestle the bags away from the “courtesy clerks” to pack our groceries in the states – who knew that in four years you could forget something as simple as you pack your own groceries in the UK?

That evening, we went out to the Wetherby Whaler with Ann, Mick, and Elizabeth for dinner where Frances got her final order of fish and chips. The plan was for an early evening as we had an early flight in the morning. The evening went a bit late, but it was lovely to sit around and chat with everyone one last time before we headed home.

We flew in to Seattle Wednesday night, where Frances’ parents met us at the airport. We stayed the night with them in Cle Elum before making the long drive home on Thursday. We then spent Friday grocery shopping (where we didn’t need to worry about packing our bags) and relaxing before an early night. On Saturday, we were up before the sun and driving into Pullman so that Paul could take part in the Snake River Half Marathon. And by Sunday, we were glad of a day of nothing … well, except for the two weeks worth of EastEnders that we needed to catch up on.



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