Liverpool

First of all – to get you in the right mood:

We celebrated Derek’s birthday a few weeks ago. For the Saturday before his birthday we took a train up to Liverpool – a place that’s been on our bucket list since we moved here. My dad listened to the Beatles all the time while I was growing up and I, like so many others, love their music. However, I’ve recently come to realize there’s much more music than what I know from my dad. I mostly just know #1 hits and early years music. It’s time I educate myself on the music of their later years!
My inept knowledge of the Beatles’ music aside, our overall takeaway from Liverpool is that one day, bookended by two 2 hour train rides, was not quite enough.IMG_5523 Liverpool is has enough to see in its own right, never mind all the Beatles related sites.
From the train station we headed straight to the Albert Dock (a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of all of the maritime history that’s happened here) where there are lots of things to see and do.IMG_5576 Continue reading

Coventry

In an effort to combat the winter blues we set a goal at the beginning of the year to regularly go out and do something new or stay in and get together with friends. Some of our Saturdays have been spent in Birmingham City Centre, a few at home, and a few on days out. One recent day out was to nearby Coventry.
Coventry is famous for a few things; Lady Godiva, the Coventry Blitz of WWII, and for being a manufacturing hub in England.IMG_5503 The city has a few museums, the cathedral that was famously bombed out in the blitz, and a nice little town center. We went to the Herbert Art Gallery first. Our main purpose there was to learn a little more about the Lady Godiva legend. IMG_5468 Continue reading

National Memorial Arboretum

We spent a cold but sunny Saturday at England’s National Memorial Arboretum with some friends. It’s a place to commemorate those who have fallen for and served their country.IMG_5428IMG_5392IMG_5419The kids’ favorite was this memorial to fallen Navy sailors.IMG_5396Arboretum_CollageWhile I appreciated the statues at the top of the main memorial, particularly the opening in the wall that symbolically looks through the doors of death to eternity. IMG_5432IMG_5436Stay warm, friends! Spring isn’t that far away.

Mi Madre & Mi Hermana: Around Birmingham

My mom and my sister came to visit us for two whole weeks in August. We had a glorious time. We sat around, played games, ate chocolate, discussed all things pregnancy and newborn (my sister is pregnant with her first!) and we saw England. Well, not the whole country, but some important bits. Their visit was so significant I’m breaking it into three posts. : ) Around Birmingham, London (weekend #1), and Southwest England (weekend #2).
On their first full day here we went to Cadbury World, Birmingham’s best attraction. I mean, chocolate tasting + a cheesy ride + a little history + more chocolate + a 4D show + a playground + more chocolate. And it’s only a few miles away from home.
IMG_2748I think my favorite discovery from this trip to Cadbury World is a very Wonka-ish chocolate bar with popping candy (like mild pop rocks), jellies (like little bits of gummy bears), and candy shells (like bits of mini M&Ms). A bit bizarre, but certainly a fun treat.
IMG_2752 Continue reading

Cambridge

Cambridge has been on our bucket list for a while, and after a really nice weekend in Oxford we made it our next priority. We’ve had several friends and family members tell us things like, “Oh Cambridge is just lovely,” or “Cambridge is such a nice little town,” so we decided to check out their recommendation.IMG_4338 We (the three of us plus my mom is visiting from America!) popped into the Fitzwilliam Museum first, then did the same type of free walking tour as we had done in Oxford. The tour started outside of the King’s College chapel.IMG_4318 Continue reading

Oxford, Windsor, and Roald Dahl

Yay for three day weekends! After we had so much going on in August, we took it easy after getting home from Norway in September. It was necessary and appreciated. However, Derek and I don’t sit still for long, so this past weekend we took off for Oxford. 
IMG_4088Oxford is a beautiful town. I was breathing in autumn and scholastic learning and dreaming of my days back at university. Continue reading

To Snowdonia and the North

We try not to be wasteful. Be it food, or belongings, or most especially, days off. So when Derek has a Friday off, we have to use it! For some reason a hiking trip sounded fun for this three-day weekend, so we planned to hike the PYG track (pronounced pig) up to the top of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. You can take a train to the peak, which frankly, about three-fourths of the way up sounded like it would have been a much better decision than walking, but I’m happy we hiked.IMG_2197IMG_2212 Continue reading