Monday, 27 October 2008

birthday weekend part four - home

Oops, I forgot to mention when we got back to our room we saw that it hadn't been serviced. The stinky trash was still there. The dirty towels were still on the floor of the bathroom. So we made do with the towels, but I tied up the trash and put it out in the hall, and opened the window. It kinda soured me on the whole hotel.

I also forgot to mention, after leaving Burger King, I went in the grocery store and got some strawberries, bread, and muffins for breakfast.

Okay. We woke up Sunday morning after a more refreshing night's sleep than the day before. Still unable to get online, we looked closely at our road map to find a route and an attraction. Bob found a town with a castle, and I found a Bede house and Kirby Hall. So we packed up and were on our way. (You know it was that easy, too, with 6 children and dirty clothes and food and etc).

Bob drove again and we went to the town with castle. We got a parking space and went to check it out. Admission was free, but it didn't open til 1pm on Sunday. Anyway, the actual castle was long gone, leaving a bulding that had been used as a courthouse until recently. Oh, well. We went on to the Bede house in Lyddington. It used to be the palace of the Bishop of Lincoln, and the little back road was once the main road to Nottingham. We got there at 10:30, and it was supposed to open at 10, but it was locked. As we stood there and looked at the sign, it occured to me that Daylight Savings Time ended a few hours ago. Oh, it was only 9:30. So we went back to the car and drove through town, but there wasn't much there. We hung around a little, and then finally it was 10, so we went in. (This also an English Heritage property.) The house was interesting, but not terribly exciting. Out front was a huge apple tree that was just loaded. The lady said we could have some, so we each picked one. They were pretty sour, but the children enjoyed theirs anyway. At the gift shop we saw the guide book for the Midlands, so we completed our set. I also got the boys each a dress-up felt helmet that was on sale.

From there it was a short drive to Kirby Hall, once a grand house, but now in need of major repair. We got the free audio guides, and that was a mistake, as we started trying to listen and follow the "guided" tour instead of finding the toilets. Riah mentioned once to me that he needed to go, but then he wanted a piece of bread that I was handing out to keep us til lunch, and then he went in another room with Bob and I forgot about it. A few minutes later Bob and Riah came back into the main courtyard thing where I was, and Riah's pants were wet. Argh. So Bob took him back to the car and dug in the suitcase full of dirty clothes. Riah's clothes from Saturday were all mud, so he got to wear Cedwryck's clothes. They almost fit. Anyway, I had time to look at the 'map' and found there were toilets, back around behind the house. So the rest of us went over there.
I was getting antsy, as I wanted to see the place, but felt rushed because it was past noon and I knew everyone was hungry. Once Bob and I stopped for a minute and talked it over, things were much better and I was able to relax and enjoy myself.

We got through the house and headed toward RAF Alconbury again, as we were getting low on fuel. We were coming at it from an odd angle, so had to backtrack a little, but we made it there with our tempers intact. I called pizza, so that's what we had. Not terrible. Then we stopped at the commissary for ice cream. Oh, we popped into the BX there on our way out, and Bob found a jacket that he can wear with his blues (like a suit), so he was pretty glad about that. The clothing store on Lakenheath is pretty bad about running out of critical items.

I drove from there back home, on the A14 around Cambridge, and through Newmarket to home. Not bad, just crowded on the 14.

And we made it in time to wash Bob's blues' shirt for him to wear to work today (a new rule that all the office people have to wear blues on Monday instead of the normal camoflauge uniform).
I tried to figure out what went wrong with the internet, but BT is so unhelpful that I filled out a complaint form and had to leave it at that. There just isn't a way to make it work. I also don't know why my bank card isn't working. It was also denied when I went for groceries that time, but Bob's works fine.

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