Our last time in England?
We spend some final quality time with family in England
Winters Chilling Tales #111
Days 226 to 234
Alnwick – Yorkshire – Dulwich – Southend-on- Sea
After finishing our Scottish adventure, with one last night in Edinburgh.
We then travelled down through England. First stop was our one and only castle visit. It was Alnwick Castle just North of Newcastle-upon-tyne. What the girls thought of the one castle visit we chose soon.
Next we wanted to stop somewhere in central England to allow the girls to catch up on school work and so picked a cheap hotel/motel in South Yorkshire.
The wifi was just what we needed and the rooms were nice and new. However, our first night sleep was a shocker. There was a person in the room above us that must have had wooden shoes. He stomped from one end of the room to the other from about 0300 onwards until about 0800 keeping all of us awake. We woke feeling pretty bad and so just spent the day on the wifi and snacking on the food we have been travelling with.
We also had a massive bag of laundry but no coin laundry within 20 miles of where we were. So while the girls were in the room on the computers I asked reception how to get to a laundry. She said ‘no problems just drop your bag with me and we will wash and dry today if you just give a small donation for our charity box’. Unbelievable. We have never had our washing done for free the entire year.
The thing is when we checked out the next day I forgot to drop the note that we had chosen and given to the kids to hold in the box and only remembered half way down the road. Oops.
We spent two nights in the little motel and on the second night we ate in the motel’s restaurant. What a mistake that was. We had been snacking all day and was really hungry by dinner and decided to go for the easiest option and that was the all you can eat buffet. The food was disgusting and we couldn’t eat as much as we thought and so headed back to the room feeling terrible. Lucky we had a better nights sleep.
Next stop was back at Mick and Avril’s for a few days prior to going back over to Europe. It is a really good location and we happily hang out like locals. OH and Mick and Avril spoil us rotten.
The only problem is I have a terrible cold. I am worried I am going to infect everyone. Avril has dosed me up on this medicine called Night Nurse and 2 x Panadol’s. That along with a couple of beers over dinner really put me to sleep. For about 9 hours solid.
The next day I am still not great, but we want to visit family at Southend-on-Sea one last time and so I dose up on some drugs from Avril. As soon as we arrive at our first stop in Southend I am issued some more cold and flu tablets by Uncle Eddy and then at our final stop I was even offered some more tablets for my cold from Summer’s Grandfather. I declined and took the Lemsip from Grandma instead. It was good to say our final goodbyes and we are very appreciative of the time we have spent with these people.
Back to Dulwich and Avril’s cooked up a massive curry dish. We have tasted the best home cooked meals while staying with family. Awesome beautiful dinner and then on TV and it is Scotland V Germany in the soccer. I must say it was one of the most entertaining games of soccer I have watched. Scotland lost, though, Mick dissected the game and if only Scotland had of played like that in their previous match, and a game they were supposed to win it may be a different story. But for now they have to rely on other results to progress to the next round.
Over the next few days we just relaxed and enjoyed the company. Even got to a South African market out the back of a pub. It was great and the kids enjoyed spending time with their cousins.
We get some of the girls school work done and look over our finance’s. It is a pretty sad looking account. After doing so well through Asia and Europe and staying with family in England, we still have taken a massive hit in the UK.
The Aust dollar was low, essential every pound we spent it was $2.20 Aust. Loading up $1000 Aust on the travel money card was a sad task, it could get us as low as 420 and as high as 440pound, that was it. In the end we just doubled everything we did, it mentally made us feel a little better. Even though we knew it was a false economy. But that was it for us everything else has been essentially twice as much for us.
I have mixed feeling about the UK, on the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the place and, on the other hand, I felt totally ripped off. Just because of the exchange rate it was expensive to do anything for us. Maybe if we worked and got paid in the Pound it may be a different story.
We spent 6 weeks in the UK, the longest we have spent in any country and I really cannot pump up the history and how well preserved the old buildings and sites are. Everywhere we went seemed to be familiar as we have been brought up with it in our news or schooling. There was so much to see and do and really was a massive tick for us as a family. The weather on a hole was good for us also.
Is this the last time we will be in England? Maybe, it is really far from home and so we are glad that we spent as much time as we did when we could. Wouldn’t change a thing…except maybe the all you could eat disaster meal.