We made it to Bath

July 31, 2009 by Adam in Family

We made it to Bath. I woke up this morning, feeling pretty good with a full night's sleep under my belt. Sam and Isa hung out in the back and Robbie was my trusty navigator. We got to the ferry in time after a few wrong turns, then had an incredibly easy time getting to Bath. Unfortunately the place we're staying has no parking and it's nearly impossible to park anywhere. I just got back from trying to move the car and ended up getting lost while trying to go around the block. Fortunately I made it back to my original spot, which is theoretically only two hours long. Sigh. I'm going to go exploring with Sam, seeing if we can find the Roman baths. My mom has generously offered to do laundry. Hopefully I can post in the morning before heading to Wales, where we'll likely be out of touch for a couple days.

I realized the last posting was rather exciti...

July 30, 2009 by Adam in Family

I realized the last posting was rather exciting, made from one of those airport kiosks. Immediately after posting, we found Robbie. As expected, some miscommunication resulted in just missing each other several times in a row. Now we're at cousin Mary's house. Sam and Isa are having a wonderful time chasing cats in the backyard. Soon we'll go out for dinner. Yesterday was a little more exciting than I wanted. We connected late and picked up the cars. It was clear we'd miss the first ferry, so we rescheduled tickets to 7 pm. We also ended up with two cars, almost immediately losing each other as we headed down. Driving was just as stressfull as I recall. According to Robbie, Seraph swore like a sailor. We also ended up missing several turns, but eventually mom pointed me in the right direction. Sam and Isa had a great time, playing in the back seat. Even though the two cars got separated, we reconnected a half hour before the ferry left. I was just about ready to give up and stay in town, but fortunately it worked out at the last minute. I also couldn't back up the car, as I couldn't get it into reverse. I embarrasingly had to push it backwards. Eventually Seraph called the rental place and there's a funny ring you have to pull up before shifting into reverse. We got into Ryde Castle fairly late, went to dinner at some pirate place, and headed to our rooms. They didn't have enough cots, so they ended up going out and buying inflatable mattresses for Robbie and Seraph. I slept pretty well last night, except for Seraph waking me at six in the morning, as she read her clock wrong. Sam fortunately slept for a few hours more and we had a good breakfast. The sightseeing trip for the day involved heading to the Roman ruins, nearly a thousand years old. The mosaics were pretty incredible and even Sam thought it was fairly cool. We went back to the hotel and I did some laundry in the sink, then took the kids to the beach. Sam dipped his toes in the English channel, Isa collected shells, and I simply enjoyed the warm and sunny weather. A hovercraft came blazing up to a nearby landing, which the kids enjoyed. Later Sam and I wandered the streets, looking for a WiFi connection and snacks. We found a good bakery and enjoyed a tasty snack, and I found a cash machine and took out a hundred pounds for walking around money. No luck on the Internet connection until now, though. Yet again we returned to the hotel where Sam and Isa watched British kids cartoons. Sam declared them "weird", possibly because of the part where the lion peed on some guy hiding in the bushes. Once again we braved the roads and found our way to cousin Mary's town. Sam found a little toy to spend his pounds on in a nearby shop. Strangely enough, it reminds me of a "happy fun ball" toy that he had as a kid. Tomorrow we return to the ferry and drive up to Bath. After that we go up to a Welsh farm. I think we're finally getting the hang of driving about. So, all's well. I best check on Isa and Sam.

This is a note for Seraph - we are at Heathro...

July 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

This is a note for Seraph - we are at Heathrow Airport in Terminal 3, next to the Avis desk (at the group meeting point). We will continue to wait there until we see you. Mom is going to look around other terminals in hopes she sees you. She has her cell phone.

And for everyone else - yes, we're having issues meeting Seraph, but hopefully everything will work out. I've dutifully fed Sam and taken him to the bathroom. It may be that I'll just ditch my mom and head to Portsmouth, though only as a last resort. With two cars and a second ferry at 7 pm (ours is at 4 pm), it gets a little tricky.

Ah, the joys of travel.

It's our last day in London

July 29, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's our last day in London. Sam's reading Harry Potter and we've just come down from breakfast. I think my mom is going to try to fit in one more visit to somewhere. After checking with Sam, I think he'd like to take it easy for a couple hours before we join up with Seraph, Robbie, and Isa. Sam didn't get quite as much sleep as the night before, and was up until close to midnight.

My mom is currently booking a second ferry ticket to the Isle of Wight now that we're taking two cars. Hopefully all of that will get sorted out and I'll manage to drive properly once we pick up the car. Once again, I'm not sure when I can post next. We'll see if somewhere near Ryde Castle has internet access.

We're back in our room, resting up before hea...

July 28, 2009 by Adam in Family

We're back in our room, resting up before heading out to dinner. We had another exciting day, going off to the Tower of London, eating lunch there, and then we were off to the Natural History Museum. The Tower had a Henry VIII exhibit, commemorating the 500th anniversary of his coronation. They had a pretty amazing collection of armor and weapons, including these crazy shield/gun combinations that seemed unwieldy at best. They also had a grand collection of cannons, some of which seemed truly gargantuan. Towards the end we saw some previously used crowns, the gems taken out and reused. It was a far shorter line than that for the crown jewels, which we passed on. The Natural History Museum had a grand entrance and wonderful exhibits. The dinosaur bones were a sight to behold, especially housed in the incredible main hall. I kept ignoring the displays and admiring the architecture. We didn't manage to see it all, but it was time to head back and get some rest. We just sorted out a couple bits of important business. We know now where and when to meet Seraph. As expected, the car we rented wouldn't fit all of us, so we'll end up taking two. I assured Sam that we could totally ditch the rest of our party if they become too unruly. Update: It's right before bed and Sam and I have assembled another of our daily travelogues. I'm not sure if we'll have Internet connections after tomorrow, though maybe we can find a cafe somewhere. It's possible Ryde Castle has wireless Internet. We went out to an Italian restaurant opposite the one we ate at a couple nights ago. Sam likely had his last pepperoni pizza for awhile. My mom thought our Italian waitress was flirting with me, but my guess is she was just being nice because she forgot my order. I assured my mom gravely that my heart belongs to another (that's you, Jamie).

We have been watching, and note a distinct fa...

July 28, 2009 by Jamie in Family

We have been watching, and note a distinct fatigue...hope you catch up on sleep soon. We want to hear more from the cinematographer and less from the incoherent sidekick (or allow him to compose his thoughts in prose and post after some consideration) We miss you both.
It is 100 degrees here (literally) and will be all week. We are envious of the cloudy skies you all are enjoying.
From Emma:
"I miss you...a lot. I hope you have fun Dad and Sam. I love you once more. It's hard to sleep because of the monsters. I hope you get me a souvenir. Once more I say this: I love you. Back to mom...."
Take care, global travellers! BH and Emmy

What a whirlwind day

July 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

What a whirlwind day. We took the tube to Central London and spent the drizzly part of the morning on the tour bus. It was actually pretty good and we saw all the major sights of London. Sam picked the one place he wanted to spend more time at, the London Dungeon. We circled back to the tour bus company, bought tickets, and hopped on the bus again to ride over. The second bus operator was pretty funny, telling of the amusing parts of London as we drove past. Eventually Sam and I got out for the London Dungeon while my mom wandered about for a couple hours. Sam had a pretty good time. The dungeon was a combination house of horrors and history lesson, telling of the more gruesome parts of London history. Sam and I kept discussing the mechanics of the ride, such as the mechanical seats that "cut your hair" for the Sweeney Todd room. After wandering about for awhile, we ate at a pub by the river. Sam enjoyed his bangers and mash, while I stuck to the salad. We took the Queen's Walk along the Thames, passing by the Tate and crossing the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral. A quick tube ride to the bed and breakfast and now it's time for bed.

Ah, sleep! Sam slept for eleven hours and I ...

July 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

Ah, sleep! Sam slept for eleven hours and I slept for about ten. The weather this morning made us feel quite at home, with rain turning to an overcast day. Since it's not cold, I think we'll be fine today. Sam's in great spirits today, wanting to get out and walk around. I'm so glad he's improved from yesterday.

We had an interesting breakfast this morning, chatting with the other travelers. First was a couple from Japan. The man was a student of English, and he cheerfully grilled Sam on his school and interests. Later we talked with an American living in Paris, visiting her sister. After downing a lot of toast and coffee, I finally got the courage to wake up my mother.

I think we'll soon head back to the tube and go to central London. The plan is to buy tickets for the bus tour and stop off at some of the various places we pass by.

We made it to London, safe and sound at the b...

July 26, 2009 by Adam in Family

We made it to London, safe and sound at the bed and breakfast. Though it's deep in London, it's surrounded by big trees and run by a very nice older couple. The upstairs bathroom has a submarine-like door, which Sam thought was very cool. Getting here was fairly challenging. Sam couldn't sleep on the long trip, and he wasn't partial to the food. By the time we got to London, he'd been up until the equivalent of 3:30 in the morning, with very little to eat. I got water into him, but otherwise not much else. The plane itself was pretty cool and had a built-in movie player. I managed to sleep for four hours and got a cup of coffee in the morning, so I'm relatively okay. Upon reaching London, my mom wasn't there to greet us. We looked around, found that there was a flight from New York coming nearly three hours later than expected. Sure enough, my mom arrived and we hopped on the Underground. The Underground was a giant mess, with a track closed due to someone "under the tracks". Later we discovered the line we were supposed to take was closed for the day. After a lot of hiking around and stopping briefly because Sam got sick, we made it here. Now we're off to find food for Sam, hopefully keeping him up another hour or two.

This is mostly a dry run for future video pos...

July 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

This is mostly a dry run for future video postings from abroad. At the moment we're sitting in the Portland airport waiting for our Calgary flight to arrive. Jamie dropped us off with kisses and we went in to get our tickets. Unfortunately they printed wrong and it wasn't until the fourth try before they came out right. I think we're all good now. Sam's good at least, when I asked him just now.

Happy Mocha Friday to all

July 25, 2009 by Adam in Family

Happy Mocha Friday to all. It's nearly the end of the day and we're safe and sound at Portland before we leave to England. I worked all morning, then came home to do a final packing. Most of all, I have my trip folder, which has everything from confirmation numbers to Google Map directions to everywhere we go.

Late tomorrow morning we fly out, stop by Calgary, and then take the long way to Heathrow. I'm going to try hard to sleep on the plane if I can, as we're showing up in London in the morning after a very long day. Hopefully I can post once we arrive.

Mom and I had our communal birthday party las...

July 22, 2009 by Adam in Family

Mom and I had our communal birthday party last night. It was full of family and food and the usual amount of chaos. I got a ton of presents. Since she wasn't there, I'd like to publicly thank Seraph for her awesome temporary tattoos and skull and crossbone ice tray. They're very cool.

I'm still in a daze thinking about the upcoming England trip, with only three days to go. Friday we're heading to Portland, and then Jamie's driving us to the airport to start our journey. Mom's been a madwoman this last week, getting places booked left and right. So far we're staying in two castles, a university dorm, and a farm house. Hopefully we can get a place in Oxford before we leave.

I still have stuff to get ready, but I'm feeling increasingly organized. My folder of driving directions, confirmation codes, and dates and times is coming together nicely. Hopefully by the time I leave I'll feel relatively content.

It's been a whirlwind last week

July 20, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's been a whirlwind last week. Mocha Friday came and went, as I was watching the kids while Jamie left to prepare for the wedding. In the morning we went blueberry picking with Sadie, Greg, Jenny, and the boys. In the afternoon I made jam and entertained the kids.

Saturday we made a quick library trip, and then we were off to Coulton for the wedding. As with most weddings, there were boring parts and exciting parts. Sam and I discussed why so many people cried at weddings. Eventually the kids and I went to bed while Jamie stayed up with the other grown ups.

Sunday was my birthday, and I got an impromptu singing at breakfast by a bunch of strangers. The kids and I explored the stream near our cabin, having a great time finding crawdads and jumping across rocks. The drive home seemed faster with Jamie driving, and we settled into an afternoon of unpacking and taking it easy.

I'm in my last week of preparation before our England trip next weekend. I'm feeling disorganized still and will likely spend the next couple days making reservations for places to stay and printing out directions, contact information, and the rest.

The weekend has come and gone

July 13, 2009 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. I'm sneaking in a quick post before I have to rush off to work again.

I spent a big chunk of the weekend working on the shed. Saturday we took a family expedition to Jerry's and loaded up on supplies. I spent most of the day painting the interior, stopping only when dinner rolled around. Emma and I had made bread, and that coupled with Jamie's delicious dinner and work-induced appetite really hit the spot.

On Sunday Jamie was gone for most of the day hiking and eating dinner with Pat and Carlanne. I took the kids to a library before the thunderstorm arrived. Emma helped with the shed, puttying baseboard. Eventually the kids started collecting spiders in the back yard, creating a terrarium out of an old fish tank. I finished the baseboard and put up one of the window casements. Unfortunately the second will have to wait as I ran out of supplies.

In general I'm really happy with how the shed has turned out and eager to let Jamie furnish the insides.

It's a bit of an odd week for me. Wednesday I'm off to visit with Greg and Sadie. Friday I'm off to watch the kids as Jamie gets ready for Dave's wedding. Somewhere in there I need to get Sam and I packed for the trip the weekend after next.

I have a few more sips of my Mocha sitting on...

July 10, 2009 by Adam in Family

I have a few more sips of my Mocha sitting on my desk. My boss is out today and I'll likely hunker down and focus on one of my bigger projects for our work's new Internet site. It's always nice when people are out, as then I can finally get things done.

Jamie and I had a lovely anniversary. The kids went to Dave and Kirsten's house while we went out to dinner and watched old movies. I haven't eaten at Adam's Place since they switched from "super fancy" to "local, sustainable, and affordable". I really liked their food and want to get back soon.

The kids were a little wonky yesterday, probably due to lack of sleep from staying over at Dave's. Sam managed to hurt Emma a couple times, though by the end of the day they'd mostly calmed down. The kids and I finished the first episode of the latest Monkey Island game. As expected, it was wonderful and very reminicent of days gone by.

We're having tea with my mom, Anita, and her niece tonight. As for the weekend, I'm hoping to do some serious work on staining the balcony and painting the shed. I'm incredibly busy for the next four weekends, so it's now or never.

I also wanted to encourage people to play with the Robot, which I resurrected after being turned off for a month. At that rate, he'll never take over the world.

It's already well into the new week

July 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's already well into the new week. Already the pace of life seems to be picking up again. Tomorrow my lovely wife and I celebrate fourteen years of wedded bliss. Next week Sadie comes to town. I've got a birthday after that and Dave's getting married. Towards the end of the month, I'm off to England. Yee haw.

In terms of our 4th of July weekend, we had a pretty good time. Jamie and Sam went up to Salem with Pat to watch a Civil War reinactment. Sam said the cannons were very loud and Jamie picked up a period bonnet for Emma. That night the kids stayed up really late setting off and watching fireworks. This was Emma's first year getting excited about the event, as previous years she'd just run and hide inside.

I spent Sunday with the kids while Jamie went and hung out at Fall Creek with Angie. We had a long hike at Hendrik's Park, with Sam making several unexpected nature observations. He correctly identified a weird growth as something from the potato wasp. Later on we stopped by Humble Bagel and then worked on art for the afternoon. The day was capped off with Jamie and I watching the last Foyle's War, a bittersweet ending to the series.

Yesterday Sam worked away at my mom's house. Getting paid for chores was evidently highly motivating. I'll have to remember that the next time I need my car washed.

It's Mocha Friday, though I've already downed...

July 03, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I've already downed the last of that delicious ambrosia. Most of the folks at work have taken the day off, hopefully leaving me to work on my backlog of projects that has built up while I was away.

I think Jamie and the kids have settled into their Summer routine a little better than earlier in the week. Sam and Emma are generally playing well together and Jamie is figuring out how to get things done while managing both kids.

I've been having way too much fun turning the shed into a little home in our backyard. These days I'm globbing on putty to texture the walls, something I should finish up soon. Maybe in a couple weeks it'll actually be ready to move into.

Jamie and Sam are going up to Salem with Pat to watch a Civil War reinactment. I'm not sure what Emma and I will do while they're away. Maybe we'll set off some fireworks, go swimming, or just work on art projects.

July already

July 01, 2009 by Adam in Family

July already. Weird.

It's been a fairly strange week, adjusting to work for me and Summer vacation for Jamie and the kids. I've been swamped with work and struggling to stay on top of things.

Jamie's been struggling with the kids. Emma didn't go to her camp today, as she was emphasizing her dislike through running around and sobbing. Sam kept saying he was bored so often that Jamie started charging him each time he said it. Last night I made a list of things he could do. He thought the coolest items were setting fire to things with a magnifying glass and installing a fire escape ladder for the balcony.

Older Posts