The last two nights were spent here:
In a traditional cottage in the tiny village of Cropton. The cottage is a funny contrast in mod-con and old-style housing. You have a brand spanking new kitchen and ditto bathroom, but you must remember to bend down to get from one room to another, lest you fancy close contact with a several foot wide plaster wall.
The local village pub provided two delicious dinners for us. And I don't mean fish wrapped in newspaper - apparently the Gordon Ramsey wave of fancy pub food has reached the upper north-east, as we had fantastic meals both nights. My only complaint was the North American size servings, which I felt compelled to finish.
Day one was spent looking for dinosaur fossils at Sandsend Beach:
And fish in the tidepools at Robin Hood's Bay:
Neither endeavour was crowned with success, though we did find several fossils of shellfish and a hermit crab for our troubles.
Lunch time was spent in and around the beautiful seaside town of Whitby, an old whaling town that is experiencing a big boost in tourism.
The town has a large and sandy beach, framed by small colourful shacks used by townspeople as their cottage on the water.
Day two was yet more exploration, much to the chagrin of the boys who seem to have a one-day-limit, before they need a day off to recuperate from sightseeing with their beloved DSes and perhaps a game or two of goof tennis.
Still, we persevered, visiting the white chalk cliffs by Flamborough Head, which are nesting grounds to millions of birds. This was quite a sight, even for cranky and hot kids, who were tired of walking.
Final stop on our way back to Ripon was Sutton Bank, which is the site of a massive white horse cut out of the chalky limestone cliff and visible from as far away as Thirsk in clear weather. Not realizing we could park directly underneath the horse, we parked some distance away, leaving ourselves a good hour long walk. The boys were not impressed, especially since as we finally got there, we couldn't really see the horse at all from our vantage point:
Fortunately, we had to walk past the grassy runway of a tiny cliff top airport, where glider planes were taking off, assisted by an equally tiny propeller plane. It was fun watching the gliders circle the hillsides in the beautiful weather, though the boys' excitement has me more than slightly worried about their future endeavours.
Today is the mandatory day of rest, as implemented by the kids, and tomorrow's plan is to pin Christopher down to get some of his shaggy do trimmed. This could be ugly - wish me luck!