I've had a crazy insane weekend. It's been great fun, but absolute insanity.
There's a lovely American uni student who's in my Ward (church congregation) attending Essex. She's only here for one term, which is just not long enough! So, after several chats about places she wanted to visit, or types of places she wanted to visit, I said I'd take her to Leeds Castle (which is near Maidstone, Kent... not Leeds, Yorkshire!), Dover Castle and Stonehenge this weekend.
So, Friday, after I finished teaching my class, I picked her up and we ran down to Leeds Castle. It has the most amazing Maze, ever. We played in the grounds, then got lost in the maze, and only left when they kicked us out at closing. Then we drove a bit further South, to Dover.
We stayed overnight in a town near Dover, called Margate. We had a lovely little hostess who took great care of us. She sent us to this amazing Indian food place, the Indian Princess. It was truly fantastic. They took our coats, then gave us glasses of Chardonnay (which we passed along to the gentlemen at the next table) and a couple of bites of an appetizer. Then we ordered an appetizer and our main meals. They were all marvelous. After the main dish, they brought over these interesting little slushy/sorbet things to clean our palates. They were ever so slightly peachy . . . and had pop-rocks on the top! Sounds bazaar, but was actually fantastic. We finished off with these amazing sweets. I had an ever so slightly rose flavoured vanilla creme brulee. Truly great stuff.
Saturday morning we headed up to Dover Castle, which is one of my favourite paces in the whole of the UK. It has so much fun history. There are the Medieval Tunnels, the Castle built by Henry II (1180's), Napoleonic War Era Tunnels, and Secret WWII Tunnels. Loads of great stuff. Only thing was.... it POURED the whole day. We looked like drowned rats. We were so wet, we kept the windows fogged the whole way home!
Sunday morning we went to church as usual. I have too many responsibilities to skive off very many weeks in a row. And I had to teach the Young Women lesson. So we drove home Saturday night, stayed at mine, went to church Sunday, and then went off to the SouthWest. We stayed over night at this wonderful little B&B. The couple was very sweet and attentive. They took great care of us, and brought our breakfast to our room (there was a lovely breakfast nook in the corner) this morning.
After our wonderful 'Full English Breakfast', we scooted over to Stonehenge. Now, Stonehenge is cool, but it's not something you really need to spend hours looking at. So we took a photo, and headed North. We ended up at Stratford-upon-Avon (you have to specify which one you are talking about. There are several.) So, we stopped off at Shakespeare's Birthplace (which was 'restored' in the 19th Century.... so it's not necessarily particularly accurate!) Then we went over to Anne Hathaway's house (his wife). But neither of those things took too long, so we zipped over to Warwick Castle, only 10 miles away. It's owned by the Madam Tussauds Company, so the displays are truly amazing.
When they finally kicked us out, we jumped back in the car and came home. It's been a long, fun weekend, but it's time to pay the piper. It's going to be a long week!