Home's cool, so Home School!

Hi. This is Romy's Home Education blog. Read about her adventures here...

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Holidays :o)

Go fetch a cuppa'. This is a biggie!

We had a fantastically relaxing few days in the Lake District. Well, it was slightly less relaxing for Colin who ended up driving 574 miles over the four days! We dropped the little guinea pigs off at my Mum's on the Monday so that she could brush Mac every day. She was also looking after Tilly and my brother came in to feed the other piggies.

We stopped off at Scotch Corner to stretch our legs as it was about half way. By then it was peeing it down and we were afraid it would carry on all week. Luckily we were wrong :o) When we got up to the lakes we drove through Penrith, trying to find a health food shop I'd spied on the internet (I was armed with a list!) We couldn't find anywhere to park though so we carried on to Pooley Bridge near Lake Ullswater. It continued to rain like a good 'un so we just had a wander around the three or four shops there are, lol. Here we are looking like drowned rats ;o)

We then stopped off at Keswick to try and find a vegetarian wholefood cafe I'd heard of. Boo, hiss, it was shut! So we had to make do with chips and mushy peas :o( We carried on up to Carlisle where we were staying in a £10 Travelodge (we had a different one booked for each of the three nights. Now that's what I call a bargain holiday!) When we got there we decided to go to the local swimming pool which was really cheap but the water was freezing! Romy didn't seem to mind as she showed off the tumble-turns she's been doing for her swimming lessons. It was a 33m pool and was really deep but Roo swam like a fish. I must admit I was glad to get out and get to the Travelodge though. We all had showers/baths and washed our hair. Absolute bliss after being so wet and cold :o) Once dry we read books, looked at leaflets to plan the next day and watched some episodes of Heidi on the mini DVD player (well, that was me and Roo when Colin was asleep!)

In the morning we went to Gretna Green. Colin and I were married there over eight years ago so it was nice to go back(although it all looked different to me as I have a terrible visual-spacial memory!) Unfortunately our camera stopped working but luckily we could take some using our 'phones. The quality's not very good though but here are a couple of Romy at Gretna:

There were quite a few tourists milling around, including American and Japanese. I felt like going up to them and saying "We were married here!" Rofl. Romy had lots of fun looking round all the gift shops. We bought a box of shortbread for my Mum and Robert, and the World's Most Expensive Chocolates for Roo and I to share! They were some vegan violet and Rose creams. A wallet-straining £5.50 for a ballotin of 12. Jeepers! Ne'er mind, it's not every day we treat ourselves. Romy bought me a lovely stuffed highland cow with her money (bless, she knows I love cows.) She also bought Colin a "Best Dad in the World" keyring ;o)

Next it was back into Keswick to find that vegetarian cafe again. This time it was open. Yippee! The Lakeland Pedlar was a sight for sore vegan eyes. To actually have a CHOICE on a menu was an almost unheard of treat for us. We would definitely reccommend this place to anyone (of any eating persuasion!) I couldn't resist taking some daft piccies ;o) Here's Roo with her leek and potato soup and hummus sandwiches with crisps and salad (yes, that was on the kids menu!)

And vegan ice-cream for dessert:

And THIS!!!!! My vegan chocolate cake that seemed to have been made by angels ;o)

Despite probably thinking we were weirdos of the highest order for gushing about their cake and photographing our food, they gave us a menu to take home for Roo's home ed scrapbook. I think She would rather have taken their deaf Border Collie home with us though (to go with our half blind one!!) After looking around some shops in Keswick in the glorious sunshine (!) Roo bought herself a couple of jokes (fake cat poo and vanishing ink) and some of those twisted paper things that bang when you throw them on the floor. At least that's what they used to do when I was a kid, now it seems you have to find an elephant to jump on them after six unsuccessful attempts at throwing them on the floor.

Still in Keswick, we spent a staggering 2 1/2 hours at The Pencil Museum LOL!! It was actually more interesting than it sounds. Well it'd have to be really wouldn't it? Romy enjoyed seeing the longest pencil in the world and entering a competition to win a set of posh crayons.

Real giant pencils! Why? ;o)

The shop at the end of the museum was pure torture :o( Everything was sooooo lovely and sooooo expensive. I would have loved to have bought a nice tin of watercolour pencils but had to make do with a couple of reject ones for 25p each ;o) The full priced ones were £1.25 each!! Never mind. One day eh? I further tortured myself by taking a catalogue of the full Derwent range. It was like pencil porn! (I love art stuff and stationery ;o))

Then off we went to a fabulous place called Rheged. I'm not quite sure what it was but it was filled with cool shops, a play area and loads of other stuff and it was all built into a hillside.

Rock climbing near the entrance.

Sitting near a fountain (after repeatedly swishing her hand in it!) There was a lovely shop there where you could fill a box with different coloured paper and card for a certain amount, but alas! I had to tear myself away from the stationery empty handed yet again, lol.

We arrived later at Southwaite Travelodge, dropped off our stuff and went for something to eat at the services next door. There was also some play equipment for Roo, so she had a balll on that. Again that night we read stories and watched more Heidi.

In the morning it was off to Penrith. Found the health food shop. It was rubbish :o( So we had a wander and decided to go to Ambleside instead. Gorgeous place. Loads of lovely shops. We all made a wish in a well with a bell:

Romy bought herself some organic strawberries:

We visited a lovely shop that sold every conceivable type and size of gemstone. Needed dragging out of there kicking and screaming I tell you ;o) Here's Roo next to a giant geode.

And we saw this amazing little house thing built on a tiny bridge! It was about 6ft by 6ft.

The poor car was in the pay & display recovering from a trip down The Kirkstone Pass. You could really smell the brakes and burnt rubber when we stopped! It was both beautiful and scary. My ears popped like mad goind down though.

In the afternoon we went to Brockhole Visitor's Centre. We bought tickets to go on a boat on Lake Windermere from their launch. They were much cheaper from there than the big boats further up. While we waited at the jetty Roo couldn't help putting her feet near (yeah, right) the water:

Oops, her socks and trainers got all wet. How did that happen??? Better take them off and go the whole hog then ;o)

Thankfully when we got off the boat at Waterhead there was a shop where we bought Roo some of those neoprene beach shoes. The lucky thing! We fed the ducks there and it started to rain. Heavily!!

Off we went back on the boat (sitting inside this time instead of on deck.) Roo was disappointed not to be able to play in the adventure playground back at Brockhole, but it really was belting it down now :o( She must have been exhausted though, bless her as she slept all the way to Scotch Corner where we stayed at the Skeeby Travelodge for the night. We had something to eat, read Princess Mirror-belle, drew pictures and watched yet more Heidi in bed :o)

On Thursday we went to visit Mother shipton's Cave. I've always wanted to go there, and all I can say is...WOW!! The cave and petrifying well are almost overshadowed by the breathtaking scenery of the setting. Knaresborough is gorgeous! And the people are fantastic too - we went into an ordinary cafe (McQueen's) where they bent over backwards to cater for our vegan-ness :o) We also found a wholefood shop (Mungo's Deli) owned by a lovely vegan bloke who we chatted to for a while. He was most impressed at Romy being a Life Vegan :o)

We were disappointed not to find any petrified teddies for sale in the gift shop at MSC (apart from a big one for £80) but otherwise we had a fantastic time there. It was fascinating to learn all about MS's life and times. Roo learnt a lot (so did we!) She did a quiz as we went around. We made wishes in the well: there is a strict set of rules you must adhere to when making a wish, lol. The best bit of course was the well itself with all the objects hanging up. There were loads of bears, a firefighter's helmet, shoes, teapot, etc. The museum also had some amazing petrified objects donated by celebrities. Even a shoe from Queen Mary! The two lumps you can see protruding from the well wall are a gentleman's top hat and a Lady's bonnet. They were hung there about 150 years ago. Fascinating.

Some more pics of our day there:
More adventure playgrounds! (Two there.)
A beautiful huge viaduct over the river Nidd.
Will my hand turn to stone?

Just as we were thinking about leaving it began to rain again. So we took the hint and off we went home. It only took us an hour, so it was a good idea to stay at Scotch Corner that night and then go to Knaresborough. Seemed like we were home in no time. Colin even had the energy to go to Taekwondo when we got back! After that we went to pick up the pets (Thanks Mum!) We decided to give them all a bath before we sat down to relax. It took all the nerve I had to bath Scrappy I tell you! Ferral pig that he is ;o)

Today (well, Friday. It's sodding Saturday morning now. I've been doing this for ages.) we mainly unpacked, tidied up, went food shopping and had a swimming lesson.

Phew! I'm off to bed.


Blogger Liza said...

welcome back! sounds like you had a great time, pity it rained :(

12:39 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Glad you had a good time :)

5:36 PM  
Blogger lucy said...

What a wonderful holiday! Loved seeing the pics - brought back some memories of our own - we also love the Lakeland Pedlar (they didn't have choccie cake when we went but we always seem to go for their mega breakfast!) and Rheged with it's paper shop too :)

1:24 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Looks great, glad you had a nice time :-)

4:44 AM  

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