We didn't actually plan on doing anything today, since it was raining quite hard last night.
This morning the sun was shining. I was up at 5 (thanks, William) and Bob was up by 7, wanting to do something. So, having started to look at stuff yesterday, we had a direction to start with. All we had to do was finalize the plans, get maps and directions, pack a lunch and the diaper bag, get the stroller in the car, find all the shoes and coats and distribute appropriately. As we "weren't" planning on doing anything, Naysha's coat was in the dryer, and we had no bread for sandwiches.
So, we went, first, to Castle Rising Castle. Yes, there are 2 castles in the name. Google said it is 1hour and 17 minutes from our house to the castle. But we missed a turn, so went through the middle of Ely, plus stopped at 2 places looking to buy bread, and took a little detour through Hilgay to see a house that Bob looked at renting before we found this place (that I wasn't able to go with him to see). So it took us 1 hour and 40 minutes. Got there right at 11 (of course!), and still had no bread for sandwiches. So we decided to go on in, and eat later.
Just to be different, this time we walked around outside first, and then went inside. There is a steep (man made) hill all around the keep, and we walked almost all the way around before climbing down to the castle yard. There is the remains of two churches, an unnamed building, and a well in the yard. Then the keep itself. It is interesting. The main door has broad steps going up to the main hall, which was on the second floor (1st floor to any British person reading). However, the floor of the hall fell in about 500 years ago. So after that, people made a walkway into the wall on one side of the hall, so we walk along beside the former hall (now 3 stories high, with no floor or ceiling). There is a chapel on one side and a kitchen on the other, plus a toilet, and a guardhouse. That's pretty much it. I didn't see any place for the lord (or lady) of the castle to sleep, and they usually had their own room. There were some interesting features, such as individually carved bricks over a fireplace in the guardhouse. It is very defensible, with all the narrow slit windows, the big moat (dry), and several doors in the single entryway.
We stopped at the gift shop on the way out, and were going to buy a DVD of the castle but, though it said DVD-R format, all regions, the man said it would not work for American TV's or computers. So we didn't buy it. I carried William in my 'pouch' inside my jacket, and Ella walked with the other children.
Then we backtracked a little to a "farm shop" in a final attempt to get some bread. They had some! So I made and passed out peanut butter sandwiches while Bob drove on to the next place. That, and chips and pears and water and candy. And cheese. They each had 3 sandwiches, and would have had more, but I saved the last two slices of bread for Bob.
Binham Priory. On the way from the A148 to Binham, we got lost in Little Walsingham.
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But, going down a narrow one lane road we met a lady walking her dog (we had to wait for her to find a driveway to step into so we could pass), and asked her how to go, and she gave us the following directions:
"Go up here, turn right. Take the next right; go straight to the bottom, turn right again. At the memorial turn right, then take a left at the junction. Then turn left on Scarborough road, go right through Great Walsingham, and on to Binham - it's about 2 miles." She admitted it sounded confusing, so went through it all again to make sure we had it. Piece of cake! Before you knew it, there we were.
So, Binham Priory was knocked down at some point, but the main chapel was converted into a parish church which is still in use. Pretty cool. William was asleep when we got there, so I offered to stay in the car with him while Bob took the children around the ruins. Oh, we noticed on the way a sign at the church car park - "Wedding." There (fellowship hall? Town hall?) were several cars, and we saw a wedding cake through a window. Anyway, as we pulled up to the church there were people going in,, including a few gentlemen in white tie and tails. One person who went in had a dog, and left him outside. As Bob and the children went around, the dog followed them and became quite friendly. Ella kept calling the dog, but sure didn't like it when he came close to her. After a few minutes William woke up, so I zipped him up in my jacket with me (I like big jackets), and started out, just in time to see the children headed back to the van. Bob went inside to look around before the wedding started, and sent the children to get in the van. But since I was getting out, we all walked around the cemetery while Bob went in. (He asked a man in a suit if it was okay.)
He came back out in a few minutes and we all headed back to the car. I put Ella in one door, and when Taryn opened the other door for the boys to get in, the dog jumped in. Taryn got pretty excited, so I told her to hold William and I'd get the dog. He didn't come when called, so I tried to pull on his collar. That wasn't working, and I didn't want to drag him out by force in case he got excited and "leaked" in my car. So I was on my way in to pick him up when I noticed a cookie crumb on the floor. Bingo! I showed him the crumb and led him out quite easily that way, then fed him the cookie and petted him while everyone got in and shut the door. Good thing I wasn't in the market for a dog, or his owner would have been surprised when she came out of the church later.
So, next we headed to Wells-next-the-sea. That's the name of the town. The lay-leader person from Cheveley church told us it was a nice beach, so we went. We parked in the "pay and display" parking lot near the ocean - it was $7 to park! And got the stroller for the little 2, and coats, etc. (It had rained on us, driving, twice today, and looked like it could come down any minute.) And headed for the beach. Yes, I know my grammar isn't working. As we walked along the path, it came to a little bridge with a few signs. "No dogs on the beach" "Keep dogs away from seals" "No handrails on bridge" - this one posted to the handrail.
The tide was out, and Boy! was it out. Sand went on forever! We had a small spot of soft, dry sand that was quite difficult for the double stroller, but then we got to the harder, wet stuff, and it was easy after that. The children ran and shouted and found seashells. We actually made it to the ocean, and they each got to touch the water.
When the thrill finally wore off we headed back to the car park. There was a shop there with ice cream, so we relented and went in. We got 3 small cones to share, and it was fun. Rich creamy soft serve. $6.
Then we headed back home. As we had to go right past the base, we decided to go ahead and eat dinner there, so we went to Pinkerton's - the 'club' and had a decent dinner. While there William's diaper leaked and I was glad I'd brought a change of clothes for him. I had chicken cordon blue and it was pretty good.
Home by 7:30, and we were ready for bed.
Oh, I forgot to mention:
Ella was being quite stubborn (I don't know WHERE she gets that from!) and didn't want anybody to hold her hand or tell her to go to a particular spot.
When we got out of the car at the beach, there was a duck couple waddling around, and Taryn was afraid they'd get in the car. They were quite tame and got pretty close.
Also while there Riah opened my door and banged it into the car next to us with a lady in it. She gave me a dirty look, but I apologized and it didn't leave a mark.
Riah has been talking about heaven a lot lately. Tonight when we tucked him into bed he was going over his facts and mentioned drinking. I told him we could drink from the river of life. He said, "That will taste like... chocolate... and marshmallows... and... NOT vegetables!"