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We spent a week in Yorkshire, visiting William's grandparents.
Friday, May 21: Drove to Toronto airport for a direct flight to Manchester, UK. This worked well last September, so we tried it again.
Saturday: Arrived in Manchester, and picked up the rental car from the roof of the terminal building. We had breakfast at a service station, where Martin chose the unhealthiest-looking option. Then we headed over the Pennines on the M62 expressway, and then through York and Pickering to the village of Newton-on-Rawcliffe.
The cottage location was outstanding, located next door to a pub (the White Swan) and across the road from a quacktastic duck pond. The pub wasn't open at Saturday lunchtime when we arrived, a source of immense disappointment. We made do with the New Inn at Cropton.
Sunday: Drove over t'moor to scenic Guisborough. Anne had a ride in a Piper Cub, departing Guisborough International Airport (GIZ) [are you sure about this? web editor].
Monday: Drove over t'moors again. Stopped at a ford, where a small stream crossed an even smaller road.
William is taller than he looks.
Toured scenic Whitby, looking for a parking space. Eventually, we stopped and had fish and chips for lunch. Walked along the harbor and saw the swivelly bridge do its thing as a large-masted sailing ship went through.
Tuesday: After much argument, we persuaded a very reluctant William to visit the local playground. There was a small soccerball pitch and an actual soccerball, partially deflated and somewhat damp and heavy. William loved it. We ended up visiting the playground three more times during the afternoon, and several other times during the next few days.
There was a black lab who lived between the cottage and the park. She walked out onto the sidewalk as we passed by and insisted on having her belly rubbed. The dog's tag said her name was 01751, which seemed an odd name for a dog. Eventually, we turned the tag over and found out her name was Bessie.
Wednesday: Rode the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from Pickering, visited a tea room in Grosmont, and saw the locomotive repair sheds.
Thursday: A short walk on local paths - not really long, cold, or wet enough to be called a hike. Several more visits to the local soccerball pitch. We saw a steam train (the one we rode on yesterday) puffing through the valley.
Friday: Strolled around Flamborough Head looking for puffins. There was some kind of bird in the distance which could have been anything, so we checked puffins off our list of things to see.
Then we headed down to a windswept beach in Bridlington. Anne bought William a kite, which lasted a surprisingly long time before being destroyed by the icy gale.
Kite flying at Bridlington.
Saturday: Family party in Dadlington, with an amazing spread of sandwiches, cakes, etc. William circulated well and saw many relatives.
Drove through Matlock, Buxton, and over more moors, so to speak, to a Manchester airport hotel in sunny Wilmslow. Disappointed to see the beautiful Cat and Fiddle road defaced with ugly speed cameras.
Sunday: Flew back from Manchester to Toronto. Uneventful, which is good news.
Monday, May 31: Leisurely drive from Toronto to Rochester. We drove past Niagara Falls, but stopped somewhere a lot quieter for lunch.
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