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UK visit May 2011

We spent a week in Dorset, visiting William's grandparents.

Friday, May 20: Drove to Toronto for a midnight flight to Manchester, UK. Encountered the Awesome Check-In Queue of Doom, which snaked across the entire terminal building before looping back again.

Flying in the early morning amplifies the normal discomforts of rodent-class travel, and is not recommended. Most passengers would like a darkened plane to sleep, so the large bright projection screen flashed endless adverts and a really bad movie at us.

Saturday: Arrived in Manchester around midday, and obtained a rental car from the top of the terminal building. We'd ordered an automatic transmission, and the only one available was a Mercedes. We made do with that.

It was a very long drive down to Dorset after a few minutes of sleep on the plane.

Sunday: Lunch in Abbotsbury, followed by a walk around the swannery. The excitement was not limited to swans, but also included various types of duck.

Monday: Pub lunch in Portesham, then drove to Seatown. Driven back off the shingle beach by incredible Blasting Winds of Doom.

Walked up the hill near our cottage to a stone circle. It was un-named on the map, so we called it Williamhenge.

Gorwell Cottages
Gorwell Cottages.

Tuesday: Pub lunch in Abbotsbury, followed by a walk down to the Abbotsbury Children's Farm. William enjoyed the climbing frames in the Pirate's Barn.

Walked around Lyme Regis, and saw the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum. Met up with William's grandparents on Charmouth Beach.

Charmouth beach.

Wednesday: Walked around the ramparts of Nothe Fort in Weymouth, went rat spotting in the lower levels, then took the rowboat ferry over to the main beach. Huge pub dinner at the Marquis of Granby pub near Weymouth.

Thursday: Drove out to Corfe Castle. William thought we were crazy for wanting to walk around the ruins in the wind and rain.

Chesil Beach
Chesil Beach.

Friday: Saw swan feeding at Abbotsbury Swannery, followed by palm trees and golden pheasants at the Subtropical Gardens. Expedition to Dorchester to buy candy.

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.

Saturday: Family party in Dadlington, with the usual amazing spread of sandwiches, cakes, etc. As last year, William circulated well and saw many relatives.

Saw Stonehenge on the way to the party, and afterwards went on to a Manchester airport hotel.

Sunday: Flew back from Manchester to Toronto, and eventually found the airport hotel.

Monday, May 30: Drove back from Toronto to Rochester. William decorated his bike for the neighborhood parade.

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