May 14, 2008

Liverpool and York

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...

39 comments:

Becky at Swirling Vortex said...

Ah, there is a big difference between being a busy mom living out of a suitcase and being a bad blogger. The quality of the posts has been top notch - don't sweat the quantity.

hokgardner said...

I think the Anglican architect played a cruel joke on the Catholics.

Alpha DogMa said...

Wow. That's one baaaaaad cathedral. I'm with hokgardner: jokes on the Catholics this time! Which is I'm sure if fine with God -- he's probably got a pretty good sense of humour, doncha think?

So if your in-laws are having their 30th anniversary, how old is Mr Heidi? I'm thinking they a very modern couple, marrying after the babies a la Brangelina.

Dawn said...

I would agree with the other comment...your not a bad blogger...the quality IS very high even if you haven't had much time to post. It's always so much fun reading about your adventures. They've got those duck mobile vehicles in Seattle also and I've always been curious about trying them out. Have fun at the big party!

LoriD said...

Seeing the York Minster brings back some very fond memories.

Amy Y said...

Great photos ~ I love the dueling churches. :)
Hope the party goes off without a hitch... enjoy your last few days in Europe!

Julie Pippert said...

Oh how cool!

And the duckboat. My kids LOVED the duckboat tour we took on our last vacation.

Ree said...

I so love your pictures Heidi. What am I going to do when you get back to Canada?

BeachMama said...

With all that you are doing and visiting, why would you apologize for not posting?? You have shared so much with us and that is so amazing.

Have a wonderful weekend of celebrating and getting ready for your return home.

Stomper Girl said...

Hey, I think you've been an extraordinarily GOOD blogger, seeing as how you're living out of a suitcase and all. I've been very impressed. You know, in between suffering huge bouts of jealousy over the stuff you're doing. Like York Minster, which I would LOVE to see.

MamaGeek said...

Fret not about the bad blogging, your friends completely understand.

That architecture just blows me away. Simply WOW.

Hope the countdown doesn't go bye too fast!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

I can't imagine even trying to keep up with blogging while traveling, never mind while working as well.
Thanks for keeping us up with your travels, have a wonderful week.

jenontheedge said...

What an amazing journey you're having.

I love the town of York and walking around those old walls.

carrie said...

Note to self: Self, we must go to Liverpool one day.

The adventure continues . . . keep having fun Heidi! :)

the dragonfly said...

Ah, the joys of suitcase living. The Little Mister are going to the States next week, for a month, so we're in for a month of that. At least we'll be mostly settled...

Love the photos. Thanks for the virtual tour! :)

kim-d said...

Okay, I'm with the ones who said that the poor Catholics are the victims of a cruel Anglican prank. I do, however, love the other one. And I also agree with the "bad blogger" thing. You could NOT be a bad blogger if you tried! If it weren't for your blog, I would have never seen REAL pix of the beauty that is Norway--and now the UK! And I thank you for that. I cannot believe you're just a few short days from returning to Canada. Is it just me, or has time sped by the past couple of months? You will continue blogging when you get back to Canada, right? Please say yes!

Laura said...

Could you PLEASE stop having such an awesome adventure as a family???? PLEASE...I so want to join you!!!!

Great photos!

Goota love the Duckmobile...we did the Ottawa Tour in one as well. The kids LOVED it!

Thanks for sharing!

Chantal said...

Heidi, you shouldn't even consider apologizing. I can't believe that you are actually working while you are traveling. You should feel no guilt at all. What a wonderful trip. I have never been to the UK. Only Scotland and I was 7 at the time. I am looking forward to a family trip there some day and I will have to look back on your posts for ideas on where to go.

Mrs. Annie said...

Once again your blog tops my list of reads. The photos, the adventure, it's simply awesome.

(I'd have ridden the funky yellow bus too - with or without kiddies!)

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I absolutely LOVE the photographs of these amazing places you are visiting.

Kellan said...

The countdown continues, indeed. You are having a marvelous time - I'm so glad. And, it does seem to be a good way to transition back home - good plan there!

Have a good day - see you soon - Kellan

insane mama said...

I LOVE the picture of the yellow bus. How cute

kimmy said...

Don't worry about not blogging Heidi! Just enjoy the time that you are having with your family. We miss you, but we will still be here when you get back!

Kimmy

Barrie said...

Actually, I think you're doing a great job blogging!

And I thought of you immediately re the blogging/scrapbook idea on Mrs. Annie's blog. And then I saw you'd commented on it. ;)

http://afriedrick.blogspot.com/2008/05/introducing-scrapbook-blogger-starbucks.html

Mary Beth said...

If nothing else, the Catholics know their architecture. The Anglican one is an eyesore! When I see the really old churches with the intricate details, it's astonishing that people were able to create those masterpieces without the modern technology and tools we have today, AND to do it in less than a century! I love old buildings:)

Enjoy the rest of your time in Europe but I bet Canada can't wait to get you back!

katiez said...

I think religion is a little more 'fluid' in Europe. In Ireland we visited a castle that had been the home of a 'celibate' Catholic Bishop a few hundreds of years back... The same man, at the same time, was also an Anglican bishop with a castle and church in the north - complete with wife and family.

ALM said...

The education and adventure that you're giving your kids is just amazing. Priceless.

Sue said...

Everyone will be around when you get back. After all, we don't get to gallavant endlessly around the world.

Not that I'm jealous.

Again.

Karen MEG said...

More cathedrals, the details are amazing. I could just see you chuckling over those duelling buildings!!! If design is any indication, the Anglicans do seem to really dislike the Catholics a tad more, just sayin'.

Wow, only a matter of days now! But you've still got that Party to attend, which should be a blast!

But we'll also party when you get back, don't you worry ;)

shay said...

I'm sure I wouldn't even try to blog so...hats off!

I've never gotten up close and personal with the old buildings (we will get there hubs promises) but I'm always amazed at not only the craftsmanship but the length of vision. These things took more than one lifetime - amazing to have that kind of vision.

Cathy said...

I visited York while attending a college summer class based in London.

Ahh... memories. I loved every minute of that summer.

Laura said...

Heidi, I have a HUGE favour to ask. My nephew has to do a project for his grade 6 class. He is doing it on Norway...the catch is that he has to bring in a food to share with the class...any ideas of what he can make that is easy, fun and would be cool for a grade 6 boy to bring???

thanks in advance!

laura

storrie9540 (at) rogers (dot) com

My Ice Cream Diary said...

You just used one of my favorite words, trifecta.

We have a duckmobile tour here but it isn't yellow and has nothing to do with the Beatles (which is probably why I've never ridden it).

Ginaagain said...

I am astounded by how much you are able to accomplish Heidi. Travel, work, visit family, be a great mother, blog and make it all look like great fun. Seriously, you are the coolest. I love the cathedral pictures too.

Aliki2006 said...

No apologies necessary--I'm continually amazed at how you do it all.

Love the pics still--keep them coming! And have a great weekend!

thirtysomething said...

That 'Duckmarine' bus is hysterical! How fun...

Have a great shindig this weekend!

Amber said...

A bad blogger? I would say with all your travels, you have been AMAZING and have allowed the rest of us to live vicarously through you.

Have fun this weekend!

Laski said...

"York Minster"

I can only imagine what it was like standing in front of that.

And please . . . DO NOT apologize for being a bad blogger--you are EXPLORING! Enjoying time with the boys and taking them on the adventure of a lifetime. We bloggers can wait (and wait we will because we love hearing about everything you see and do! That's how I got hooked!).

Kiri said...

Good words.