I've been a bad blogger lately.
I'd forgotten how hard it is living out of a suitcase, especially with kids in tow. I've also had quite a bit of work to do while we've been in England, meaning late nights and early mornings of work, plus daytime exploration/hang out time with the family.
In other words, no time for blogging.
Despite my distaste for suitcase living, I am so glad we've had this time with our British family. Not only has it made for a smoother transition from dreamland in Norway back to reality in Canada, but the boys and I have also had the opportunity to see many new sights in the UK.
Over the past week, we've basically travelled from coast to coast here in northern UK. I've already blogged about our trip to Whitby on the eastern coast, and last Tuesday we made the drive to the opposite coast, with a visit to Liverpool.
An added bonus in Liverpool was the service of a personal tour guide in the form of my lovely sister-in-law, Katherine. She's living the young and single life with a funky flat smack in the middle of town, and was more than happy to give us the grand tour.
The highlight of our visit to the birthplace of the Beatles, at least for the boys, was the voyage on the Yellow Duckmarine, an amphibian vehicle that tours both the city streets and the docks of Liverpool.
Sure, I may have noticed more than one Liverpudlian shaking heads as we passed them by in our duckmarine, but what the heck - the kids loved it, and we did get to see more of Liverpool than we'd have managed on foot.
In keeping with what seems to be a recurring theme on our English tour, we managed to squeeze in not one but two Cathedral visits during our day in Liverpool, both new - as in 20th century creations - which presented a change from previous Cathedral visits.
We saw the following Catholic Cathedral created by an Anglican architect:
And then we stopped at the Anglican Cathedral designed by a Catholic architect:
These cathedrals are within a stone's throw of each other, and I found their starkly different appearances and the fact that they were conceived by architects of the other faith hilarious. Any subliminal messages here, I wonder?
Today was spent in beautiful York, which is not a new city for me, but one I love coming back to. To entice the boys, we stopped by the Jorvik exhibit, taking us back to the time when the Vikings ruled much of England. The boys were more than proud to reveal their Scandinavian heritage to anyone who'd listen, and were fascinated by the extensive display of weaponry, skulls and bones dug up from an excavation site in central York.
Before dinner, we found time for a walk along the wall that circles York city centre, stopping for tea in a garden cafe along the way, before making it over to the fantastically beautiful York Minster.
For the first time ever, I was able to see the front of the Minster without scaffolding, as they have completed the repairs on that part of the building. It never ceases to amaze me how it was possible to create such intricate buildings on this enormous scale so long ago. The details are just astonishing.
Tomorrow is the day before The Party. And by The Party, I mean the big do planned for Saturday to celebrate the trifecta of my in-laws' 65th and 60th birthdays this year, plus their 30th wedding anniversary.
The weekend will no doubt be fun but hectic. And before we know it, Monday will be here, which is the day before the day we return to Canada.
The countdown continues...