Today Bob had to go to work, so yesterday was the day for play.
But first we opened a bank account on base where we can make Dollar deposits and Pound withdrawals.
Then we went toward Bury St Edmunds to a place known as the Anglo-Saxon village. They have recreated an old settlement as well as have a cafe and a big playground. But they are closed for Christmas. We'd checked the website, but didn't call first.
So on to Bury St Edmunds to see what we could see. We didn't bring our map of the town because we weren't planning to go there. Didn't bring the stroller because we didn't think of it. Naysha missed the part about bundling up warm, but everyone else was well wrapped. So we followed the signs toward "car park and information center." The one car park was full, plus people waiting. So we circled the town twice, found signs to another car park. This one was very large, but we still weren't sure if we'd find a space. Finally did. Bob went to pay the parking ticket machine while I got everybody out. William had woken up a few minutes earlier as we were driving around, and by now he was hungry, and the rest of us were, too. So off we trot down the street, William screaming the whole way.
But we have to stop at the public toilet, and take a gander at a map displayed by the car park entrance. I happen to see a Mcdonalds on the list of places that are supposed to be marked on the map, but the numbers have all worn off so we don't know where it is. Oh well, let's just head toward the shopping district.
A half mile later we arrive at another public toilet and map sign. This one can be read, and they have copies for sale. The machine says "enter correct coin" but doesn't say which one is correct. Bob stuck in a 1pound and it worked. Woo hoo, here we go! Walk, walk, walk. Past several eating places. Baby crying, Naysha shivering, my back going into spasms. We come to an intersection and Bob says, "It should be right here." So we check the map, look around... And decide it's closed or something. As we turn the corner, there it is - McDonalds! There are 20 people in line and no empty tables. So we go upstairs and see 3 empty tables, but the one in the middle has 2 full cups of soda on it. hmmm. We decide to leave it, and pull the other two tables together. Understand here, that these tables are about an 18" circle. We grab a couple of chairs and huddle around the tables. I pull off my coat and sweater and start to feed William. Poor baby. Bob went back down to order.
Bob finally comes back with two happy meals (with bottled water to drink) and 6 more cheeseburgers. 10GBP, about $20 - our cheapest meal yet! Someone offered us another chair, so only Bob had to stand to eat. William finished up and promptly overflowed his diaper. So I take him and the bag to the ladies room, which is very tiny and has no changing table, or even trash can. I change him on the floor under the sink, wrap up the mess and head out. Toss the diaper, wrap the clothes in paper towels and put it in the diaper bag. ewww.
Okay, we all feel better now. So we wander around a little bit and window shop. There is a phone store, and since we haven't got one yet, we went in. Bob picked out a phone and we were all ready to sign up, but they cannot take an American credit card. Apparently the British credit cards have a micro chip in them that they scan. So back on the street. By the way, does anyone understand how Skype works? The phone we want comes with Skype airtime in addition to regular calls.
We went to a toy store and played awhile. Then to a newsagent and got everyone a candy.
And so back to the car. It's a long walk, but Bob carried William part of the way so I didn't break my back.
We looked at the map to see where to go, but it was very misleading. We had to turn around twice, but then made it out and back towards home. We stopped in Mildenhall to pick up the lease agreement from the estate agent, but they hadn't done a thing we'd wanted, so took it back to get it changed. The man wsa coming on base a little later so we agreed to meet him then and get the papers. So back home, and Bob went to put in his radiator. Got it in, but is now missing some screws and things. Got the paperwork from the guy, but by now the housing office is closed.
So we go out to eat at a coffee shop in the club. Ella kept talking to the waitress. Hollering, really. Every time she'd see her she'd wave and yell gibberish. The waitress thought it was funny, and no one else was in there so it didn't bother anybody.
Then to the commissary because William is out of diapers. I was prepared to do some heavy shopping so I can cook more, and we'd have stuff when we moved into our new house. But Bob said just get the essentials, so I kept it down to 15 items and went through the "express" lane. They have self-checkout now, and it's a pain because you have to go really slow, but that way the line is shorter and you don't have to tip a bagger.
Phew. Home again, it's 7:30 and Bob and I are both worn out and the boys are hyper. we stayed up til 9 because the car rental guy was supposed to call and have us change out vans, but he never did.
Now Bob is at work and it's breakfast time.
Don't read this and think it would be nuts to visit us. We will have things settled and sorted soon and it will be better then.
Our move in date is actually Jan 2.