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UK visit December 2011

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

Thursday, Dec 22: Hanging around Rochester, NY airport for several hours, waiting for a delayed flight to Newark, NJ. It was a Continental flight, so this was no surprise. We had scheduled a long layover in Newark before our flight to Birmingham, UK.

Friday: Drove from Birmingham airport around a tour of local roundabouts, and eventually to Ilam, Staffordshire. It was belting down with rain. We were welcomed by a seriously damp dog.

Saturday: Lunch at Carriages in Newhaven, then walked around Buxton in a cold wind. William ended up with a new fleece. The Christmas lights at the Buxton Pavilion Gardens were very impressive, but only if you hadn't seen electric lights before. There are several better efforts in our neighborhood.

Sunday Dec. 25: Lots of presents.

Lego Alien Conquest Earth Defense HQ

Monday: Walked up a small section of Dovedale, a surprisingly popular attraction in December. We only got as far as the stepping stones, and eventually turned back because of the endless pedestrian traffic in the opposite direction. What's wrong with a bridge?

Fields around vacation cottage

Tuesday: Lunch at Buxton Pavilion Gardens, then saw a pantomime at Buxton Opera House. Oh yes we did (etc.).

Wednesday: visited Jodrell Bank. We recorded part of a new Captain Zillion video using William's Alien Defense Lego models. Admired the Lovell radio telescope, named after Sir Bernard Radio-Telescope.

Jodrell Bank
International Cereal Bowl Hall of Fame

Thursday: End of our cottage rental. Headed up to Ashford in the Water, so named because of its endless rain. Hung around in the excellent Aisseford tea room waiting for the rain to stop, and eventually gave up and drove to the grandparents house in Long Eaton.

Friday: Family party in Dadlington, with a huge and excellent lunch with several excellent desserts.

That morning, Martin's cousin Nick led us around the Sharrott Heritage Trail, featuring leading Baddesley Ensor attractions such as the Snake Pit, an old bomb crater in the nearby woods.

Snake Pit
William at the Snake Pit

Saturday: Brief visit with Paul and Janet in Chilwell, then met up with the grandparents for a pub lunch. The menu included only huge meals, so that took care of most of the afternoon.

Headed down to a Birmingham airport hotel, which we found eventually after another tour of airport area roundabouts.

Sunday: Flew back from Birmingham to Newark and then Rochester. Arrived back home at about 6 pm local time.

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