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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My favourite place

Yesterday was low key, we got back from London late and so the girls slept in, did some errands and then I took the girls for a walk up Holcombe Hill, its one of my favourite places, peaceful, quiet and the scenery is beautiful. Atop Holcombe hill is Peel Monument, its was built as a memorial to Sir Robert Peel a 19th century British Prime Minister best remembered as the creator of the modern British Police Force who was born in Bury, it can be seen for miles away as you come down the motorway into Bury. Anyway, we had a fun walk up to the top and played around the tower before coming home.
If you look closely you may just see the girls as they took a little break on the steps of the tower.
Here is the view from the back (looking south) as the tower looks over Bury and the street picture below is Holcombe Village, which I guess if I could live anywhere is where I would be, quaint and peaceful surrounded by beauty.
These are my brothers entertaining the girls, Uncle James and Uncle Peter.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hotel Gray

The girls and I headed down to the infamous Hotel Gray for the weekend and had a smashing time, the rates are very favourable, the food fabulous and the guided tours of London are top notch, I would highly recommend this if you are anywhere close. Here's a quick re-cap of our time there.

The drive down to London from Manchester. I probably could have avoided this but thats another story, really there wasn't much difference from trying to get around in LA except the steering wheel is on the otherside of the car and the cars around me look a little different but really this felt just like being on the 405!

Here are the proprietor's of Hotel Gray, couldn't find a nicer couple, see how excited they are to see us? I'm pretty sure they had no idea what was in store, first kid visitors I'm told.

It was of course raining when we got there and the girls loved exploring Emily's back garden and getting thoroughly soaked.

On my way down we pulled off into a Tesco's, they had these cute 2 piece top sets that I couldn't resist buying, aren't they cute? waiting for the train to go into London.

On the train, Kate looks a little bug eyed, there were several stops on the way to the underground and at each stop the girls had to switch seats.

Emily is a very seasoned tour guide now, she picked the perfect things for us to do with kids that captured a few things of the city without being too boring for the kids, we got off the tube at Waterloo and walked past the Tower of London onto a boat on the River Thames, we took the boat down to Big Ben, forgive my crappy camera, the girls and I with Tower Bridge in the background and Big Ben.
Outside Buckingham Palace, Sara was fascinated by the guards with the big hats.
Then onto the natural History Museum, at the end of the dinosaur exhibit there is a mechanical T-Rex, Sara was a little afraid, it was really cool though. Here is one of my seasoned travellers waiting at the tube station. London was fun but tough with 2 kids and a stroller, there are a LOT of people and most of them are rushing about and 2 little curious girls don't make it easy for them, plus the city is not very wheelchair friendly, ie no ramps and elevators are hard to find so lots of stairs. They are making a lot of improvements to make it more accessible for the 2012 games, so all in all the city was fun but for me a little tough and stressful with kids.
STONEHENGE!! I must be a country girl, the city was fun but this to me was bliss, Stonehenge is really in the middle of nowhere and the scenery is breathtaking.
Kate being super sweet to Sara and helping her with her audio guide of Stonehenge and here is a perfect example of my girls, Kate enjoying her savory sausage roll and Sara with her sweet ice-cream.
There are some fields behind Stonehenge with these mounds on that we let the girls run around on.
Sunday we went to church and then planned to take a picnic to the park, here's the funny thing about the weather here, go to church no rain, come home no rain, almost ready to head out for the picnic and it downpours, have picnic in Brent and Emily's living room, weather clears up and head to Richmond Park, beautiful, does it look like it was pouring down with rain just 30 minutes earlier? In Richmond Park there are wild deer that are roaming free, first few shots are from the car.
Then we parked and got out and wandered around by them, it was really cool and there really were hundreds of them.

So thank-you Gray's, we loved seeing you guys and had a blast. Emily, thank-you for taking us around even though you have done everything about 20 times already.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To my friends accross the pond

This one is for my friends back home, for those of you in California I hope you are enjoying the heat, we had a pleasant day, no rain and we went to the park, it was lovely. I'm back in the drivers seat, although its on the other side of the car and the other side of the road, here is my nippy little Vauxhall Corsa, so far so good. While I enjoy the cooler weather I hope you all enjoy the gas prices, it cost me £47.37 to fill up this little car, thats a whopping $73 folks, I hope it gets some good mileage, off to see Brent and Emily tomorrow, wohoo!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The rain in spain...

Hows the weather where you are? are you baking in the heat? this is how my girls dressed to go out today, it was really wet but we are enjoying it.

Its rained everyday since we got here, although Sunday afternoon was very pleasant.
Today we took a trip out to the Manchester crematorium and found some plaques for my grandmother & grandfather and great-grandmother & great-grandfather, I love genealogy, hopefully I can fill in some blanks this trip.
And funny looking hand-driers that are in the public bathrooms here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not much....

Not much doing today, went and ran a few errands with my dad and took the girls to the pool again, they love being here though, coming out of Costco Kate said "I wish daddy was here because I'm having the best time in England" hopefully tomorrow we'll do something more exciting, I'm getting bored and spending too much time looking through facebook, finally added a profile picture for myself. Here's the thing, I am not terribly photogenic (or maybe I just look like crap all the time!) and I was looking through Emily Gray's pictures and man are her and Brent photogenic or what??!!! I get to go visit them in a few days, hooray!! but the prospect of being in a picture with them is a little daunting! More to come.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

new 1st's

Kate is very excited about some of the things she has gotten to do for the first time over the last 2 days.

Yesterday the girls and I rode the bus into the town and went to the leisure centre to swim, then we got home and the cousins arrived, they stay over every Saturday night, the girls and Gabby & Mikey caught a toad which Kate touched today several times which is a 1st for her.

Here is a close up of Mikey and Gabby with the toad.

Here is Kate picking up Buggsy the hamster, this is another first for her and both the girls enjoying an ice-cream from the ice-cream truck that drives around the neighbourhood.

And Kate's last first of the day was to play darts with her uncles, she thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait to do it again tomorrow, watch out Phil Taylor!.
And a little bit of football with Uncle Peter, teaching her how to 'head' the ball.