A little of what the Thompson's are up to.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We're back and be warned, there are lots and lots of pictures!!!

Kate and I are back and I am busy as ever so that is why its taken me so long to post. Our trip was fun, its always nice to visit with family and friends and I always love going back to England and what is familiar, or at least what used to be familiar. I have always had a secret yearning for England but each time I go it gets a little less and maybe I am just so used to living in my own place that is is hard to live with my dad and brothers again, even just for a week and I missed Eric and Sara, I loved being with Kate but it just felt that part of me was missing and it was. The weather was typical, cold, gray and rainy but we did have a nice time, we went to Costco (I love Costco!!) so my dad could do his yearly stock up on toilet rolls and paper towels, we went to my grandma's and took her out to lunch, met my brothers ex-girlfriend and Kate's cousins at an indoor play place, went to my dad's golf club for a delicious lunch, hung out with my good friend Emma and went to the Stake Carol Concert, took Kate swimming and on a tram and bus ride. We ate some typically British food, fish and chips, a kebab, mince pies, Yorkshire pudding, chocolate like only Cadbury knows how, Chinese the Chinese/British way weird but it is different in England and quite yummy and a gourmet meal at my dad's golf club, they have a great chef there and the dessert was creme brulet, I've never had it before but it was delicious. Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, I tried to capture the things I love, the things I miss and wish I didn't have to live without, and the few things I don't miss too much, enjoy.....

This little girl has to be the best traveller there is, she was seriously soooo good on the planes and in the airport's, my little angel and best travelling buddy.

The things I don't miss? eerrrmmm, my dads house is a bachelor pad, full of boys and they clean like boys, its also pretty cluttered but I clean when I go and I like to hope that I left it looking a little better than I found it.

Also, gas prices, its a little hard to see but check it out, that's ��1.09 for a litre, yes that's right a LITRE of petrol, how much is that a gallon, a staggering $8.66 a gallon!! And just for fun, I do love Costco its kind of like the church, the same wherever you go!! In England they offer a few British staples at their food court along with the regular hot dog, pizza and chicken bake they offer a baked potato with baked beans or cheese or chili or tuna or coleslaw and cottage pie.
Things I miss, cheap package holidays and mince pies, you'll need to Google it if you don't know what they are but for a taste I am going to whip up a batch this weekend for a farewell party at my house.

Things I love, this is a picture of Holcombe Hill with Peele Tower at the top. I love to walk up that hill and I love the green countryside. A picture of Bury town center, gray and rainy but I love some of the old familiar shops.

This is Kate on her tram ride and bus ride, I love the ease of the public transport in Britain, the bus must have stopped every few hundred yards although it was a really cold day and just walking through the town centre to the tram and from the tram to the bus Kate was so very cold, on the bus I wrapped her up in my cardigan. Bury now sports a Westfield Town shopping center, its on the map in the fashion square mall, Kate loves all of the little rides scattered throughout it, its not as big as fashion square though.

This is at my friend Emma's house, Kate is playing with Olivia her youngest and had so much fun playing with their toys. It was so fun to catch up, Emma is the one who introduced me to the church 15 years ago, we have been friends for over 1/2 of my life time and I hope that we can always keep in touch, she is one of those people that I always admire and want to emulate.

This one may be morbid but it has a special place in my heart, my sisters grave stone and a little memorial stone for my mum, my mum was cremated and her ashes scattered in the lake where my sister was killed so we had the stone made out of Welsh slate from the lake side and put it at the cemetery so we could have a local place to remember them both. The Ramsbottom cemetery is actually a pretty little cemetery and I always have to make a visit each and every time I go home.
Our lunch at the golf club. Yanis is their new chef (he's in the picture on the left above) and their menu has graduated from greasy cafe food to gourmet meals, my dad is always telling me about something that Yanis made and so I was excited to go and try it out. Also, a little off the point but my dad will be captain of the golf club next year!

More of our lunch, Kate pulled everyone's Christmas cracker, they are totally British and they are usually present every year on Christmas day with dinner. They always have a joke, a paper hat and a toy inside, the more expensive the cracker the better the prize. I brought some Winnie-the-pooh ones home for a fun Christmas tradition.

This is my grandma, she's will be 94 at the end of the month. My dad's mum and that pretty much makes up my immediate family, my dad, 2 brothers and my grandma. My grandma was widowed 34 years ago and I know that she must be lonely especially as most of her friends have now passed on too. We went through some birth and death certificates whilst I was there, one of my new year goals is to do my genealogy. Some of the saddest certificates are the birth of her twin girls and their death certificates only 7 and 14 days later, I do have aunts, I have just never met them. It will be a sad day when my grandma finally passes on but it will have a silver lining of joy that she will finally get to meet her twin girls. She really enjoys our visits, its one of the things I miss most as I know it gives her such joy to see her grandchilden and great-grandchildren, my brothers don't make much of an effort to go and visit and I used to visit her regularly when I lived there.

Kate with uncle James and uncle Peter, they are lots and lots of fun and always doing silly things with her.

This is the indoor play place called the Wacky Warehouse, I met my brothers ex-girlfriend, Angela there and Kate and her cousins had a blast, we stayed for about 5 hours.

This is Gabrielle, Eric says that he wants to move to England so Kate will have and English accent. Everyone commented on Kate's little American accent.

Kate and Gabrielle decorated granddads Christmas tree.

We gave Mikey and Gabrielle their Christmas presents before we left, Gabrielle got an Ariel doll and Mikey a baseball bat, he loved it!!

Playing, just playing!!

Kate with Mikey and Gabrielle, we love you and miss you.

Thats all folks! Thanks for persevering if you made it this far and if there is an award for the most pictures in a post I think I win, don't you?


mist said...

Cute Pics Claire. I agree with Eric about the accent. I met a lady in the grocery store and she sounded like you. I told her you sound like my cute friend Claire. Then...she told me she was from Ireland...I am an idiot. She said it is really hard to tell the difference trying to make me feel better...like an America and a Canda accent. Whatever, but it was still fun to hear it and I thought about you often throughout the day because of it. I am glad you got home safely.

gay said...

i'm glad you're back, claire! it . sounds like you guys had a blast. i'll have to have a Q & A with you soon!

Jon & Gina said...

Looks so much fun.. I would love to go to England and travel around the countryside really does look so beautiful. I'm glad you were safe and had such a good trip. By the way I promise to send the Key lime recipe very soon.. things have just been crazy latley!

Beth said...

I love all the England pics. It's cool to learn about somewhere I've never been (but am DYING to go).

Amber said...

So glad you had a fun time. I guess I can't complain about the price of gas anymore huh?