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• Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Anna and I have finally returned from England! We went with Anna’s mom, Carol, and Ashton’s Grandpa Joe. It was a fantastic trip. We’ll try to recap:

Anna’s entire English family lives in southern England, so we were able to stay with her family while we were there. Ashton hadn’t met any of his new England relatives, and he got to meet almost 20 of them on this trip.

This post is going to be a picture blog with descriptions. Enjoy!

We left America at around 4:00 in the evening, and 10 hours later, we arrived in London at 10:00 am the next day. This was our first glimpse of England. It took a couple days for me to figure out why the landscape definitely looked like England: None of the roads (or tree-lines) go in a straight line for very long… England is devoid of any semblance of straight driving areas.

First things first: Jane and Peter took us to a great fish and chips shop. You get one large half of a fish rolled up in paper with a large scoop of chips (large fries). The fish skin is still on the fish, so some people just scrape the fish off of the skin leaving the skin stuck to half of the breading.

The next day, after we got rid of our jetlag, we had our first official pub meal. I got the strangest hamburger I’ve ever eaten. Anna had prawns on a baguette in a ketchup & mayo sauce.

Then we relaxed some more and enjoyed Jane and Peter’s amazing garden. They have a pet tortoise tied with a long leash to his house (to keep him from escaping)!

When Jane took us to Granny’s, we went through the “New Forest” where there are wild herds of horses and cows. A baby and mother horse crossed the road right in front of us.

The Ladies! From left to right: Anna, Tricia (Anna’s Aunt), Granny (Madeleine), Carol.

Granny takes us out to lunch. We walked down an alleyway like many others in this area. Most American cars would have a tough time fitting down these alleys.

Family Party! There were a couple milestone Birthdays recently, so the entire family came out to Granny’s to celebrate. Ashton really enjoyed meeting and talking with all his new relatives, they were all very friendly. The last time Anna saw all her cousins, aunts, uncles and Granny in England was 17 years ago!

Above, Ashton’s showing the young Brit’s how to play “football”. The young girl in pink told Ashton: “You talk funny.” Hahaha!

Anna talking with her cousin, Keri.

Carol got some free help opening her present from her grand-nephew, Stanley.

Sightseeing!

We all visited and saw a lot of amazing places in England. Most of the “old” things were 1000-2000 years old, while the “newer” things were about as old as the United States of America!

On Sunday, Grandpa Joe and Ashton went to this Catholic Church (at the end of the alley, on the left.)

(Right) The inside of the church and church service was awesome (and like everything, probably very old).

Walking down the “High Street” (aka “Main Street”) of Lymington. They had a huge street fair here on Saturday. You can see how almost all of the buildings are made out of bricks and all of them are touching.

At the end of High Street, the road turned left, and this cobblestone pathway led us down to another small shopping area. Here we found “Clotted Cream and Black Currant” Ice Cream. Poor America doesn’t know what “Clotted Cream” is. So sad. =(

At the end of the cobblestone path was where Tricia and Graham’s boat was. We took this picture at the helm.

Motor Museum

The oldest Mercedes Benz Ashton has ever seen.

A sweet old sports car. I think it was an Aston Martin.

Grandpa Joe standing by the kind of Jeep he drove in the war.

We took the tram from the Motor Museum to the Beaulieu Abbey & Palace House (below). Grandpa enjoyed it.

We saw a couple Castles and Keeps. Try to find Anna so you can see how huge these are.

Arundel Castle is stunningly beautiful.

Here’s the inner courtyard of Arundel Castle. Yes, the Duke still lives here.

The amazingly-beautiful Cathedral in Arundel.

We got to see the Olymic Torch come through in Maldon.

Of course, we also visited London! We took the train from Aunt Jane’s to Victoria Station. What a busy place!

Here’s some more pictures of us:

Boat Tour on the River Thames

 

Food

Ashton did his best to try as many English foods, drinks, candies, desserts and strange things as possible. But when we went to Italian restaurants, Ashton always ordered Italian Pizzas with strange toppings. One had artichoke hearts on it. They were all delicious.

Ashton ended up eating 2 Italian Pizzas, 2 Indian meals, 2 English Hamburgers, and lots of toast for breakfast.

Here’s a candid shot of everyone trying to figure out what they are about to eat. =) Okay, only the American’s didn’t really understand what was going on. The menu had very little description of what the different curry flavors were. The menu just listed them all and expected you to pick one. India restaurants in England are 100% Indian, too. All of the waiters, bussers and bartenders had thick Indian accents and didn’t speak English to each other. The food was delicious!

Ashton tried a non-alcoholic “Ginger Beer” because England only has “Coke” “Diet Coke” and “Lemonade” (Sprite) for sodas. It was strange.

At our last pub visit, Ashton got “Bangers and Mash” and Anna got duck. Both were very delicious.

Dessert was always delicious. This is “Raspberry and Clotted Cream” Ice Cream and “Summer Pudding”. The latter being a yummy, light bread soaked in summer berries and their juices for 24+ hours.

Here’s some differences between England and America that Ashton found entertaining:

Words:

American English
French Fries (like from Burger King) Fries (but these are rare)
Homefries/Jo Jo (thick French Fries) Chips (“Would you like chips with that?”)
Potato Chips Crisps
Umbrella Brelly (rhymes with “Jelly”)
Jelly Jam
Jello Jelly (or Jello)
Stupid Rubish

Other unique things:

Check out the interior of this car! It has it’s own tray, reading light and personal wall fan/vent. This car is made by “Citro├źn” a french company.

We took the train to London and arrived in Victoria Station, where it costs 30p (~50 cents) to use the restroom. =)

Parking on Lymington High Street can be hard to find for normal cars… lol. Genius!

Thank You!

We’d like to close out this blog with a thank you to our charming hosts and hostesses:

Graham, Tricia, Granny, Jane and Peter, you were all fantastic hosts, and we greatly appreciated your hospitality and time spent driving us all around your great country.

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