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Feb
27

Explorations in Rainy England

The day we landed in England was a complete write-off. Only our youngest managed to sleep on the plane (for less than an hour) the rest of us had not a wink. Our captain had warned us that we would have a very bumpy landing. Winds were over 50 mph for the last half hour of our plane ride which jostled our plane around quite a bit. Being very prone to motion sickness, I did my best to hold down my cookies.

When we finally landed we could not get off the plane.  The crew was having technical difficulties getting the bridge to attach to the plane and we were literally stuck on the plane for about 30 minutes! Our Uncle, who was picking us up at the airport, was beginning to worry that our family had been detained. But passport control was a breeze, we had a very friendly and chatty agent welcome us to England. Then it was straight to our Uncle’s and straight to bed for all of us.

Jet lag only took us two days to get over. That is the fastest we have ever gotten over jet lag. It helps that England is only 8 hours ahead of our time zone. When we go to Thailand the difference is 13 hours which seems to take longer to get used to. The first morning we woke up at 4 am for the day and then PUSHED ourselves to stay up until 8 pm. Then we slept from 8 pm until 10 am and felt right as rain!

We have been busy exploring the city we are staying in, Portsmouth (pronounced Portsmith). It has a huge naval base so many of the activities are related to war. We visited “The Hard” which had some amazing museums and restored ships including the Victory which was the ship that Admiral Nelson died on in the Battle of Trafalgar and the Mary Rose which was a Henry VIII ship found at the bottom of the ocean a few decades ago. It had been underwater for over 400 years and is now on display along with many of the artifacts found with it. We are certainly getting a good dose of British history!

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The Mary Rose

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The Victory

victory1 victory2Our very first castle was Windsor Castle and the queen was in residence at the time of our visit. I like to picture her sipping her cuppa tea, looking out her window and wishing she could join us as our family skipped around the grounds. Unfortunatly, no photography is allowed inside the Castle but just imagine total opulence, gold inlays, jewels, plush carpet, hundreds of paintings and wall hangings, and, my children’s favorite, ornately detailed swords, guns, and armor on display.

Unfortunatly, no photography is allowed inside the Castle but just imagine total opulence, gold inlays, jewels, plush carpet, hundreds of paintings and wall hangings, and, my children’s favorite, ornately detailed swords, guns, and armor on display.

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Another highlight has been going to pubs…with children! Our kids were pretty stoked to be allowed to sit at the bar while they sipped their orange juice. Ha!

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Observations:

  • Even the new buildings look old to us. Everything is built with an old English style. Lots of bricks, details, and steep pitches.
  • The hot and cold faucets on every sink we have seen have been separate. This means that if you want to wash your hands in warm water you need to fill the sink first from both taps.
  • Everything is small. The cars are small. The roads are skinny. The houses are packed together (in the city).
  • The countryside is a patchwork of fields bordered by hedges just like you see in the movies. Quite pretty.

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