Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Yesterday (Monday, the 15th ) was some holiday (used to be President’s Day; now I guess it is just Lincoln’s Birthday), so in typical “us” fashion, we went out. However, in very UNtypical fashion, we cleaned the house before we went. Yea! The girls went full speed to clean their sty (I mean room); Bob kept the boys in line; I cleaned the kitchen and tidied the living room. Then we got together, and so were out the door by 10:40.

First thing, of course, was food. Bob was hankering for some fried chicken (reminds me of a Veggie Tales movie), so we went to Popeye’s on base. After that, we stopped by the commissary to see if they had any marked-down Valentine’s candy (they did). Then we were on our way.

We headed for Norwich, which we’d been to once before, near Christmas last year, and did the market and the cathedral but got lost looking for the castle. THIS time we had a map, and a plan. I’d seen a science museum-thing online, and we wanted to check it out. The children have fond memories of the Omniplex in Oklahoma City and were excited to hear we were going. For any locals reading, it’s the Inspire Discovery Centre. We made it out to Norwich in record time, followed the map without a hitch, and even got parked in the first parking lot we looked at. Crowds were WAY down from the pre-Christmas visit. We had a short walk down deserted streets, and before we knew it (literally), we were there. The centre is housed in an old church. Not a cathedral-sized church, a parish church size church. So it was a LOT smaller than I expected from the pictures online, and I had to try hard not to be disappointed. But it turned out to have quite a few displays crammed into that small space, and the children all enjoyed the visit. There was a corner roped off for “under 5s” and I took Ella and William there to play while Bob took the older ones around to learn stuff. We ended up staying about 2 hours.

I got the map back out and found we weren’t far from a shopping area that boasted second-hand shops and bookstores. Hmm. It wasn’t too hard to convince Bob to go on. :-) We walked down a cobbled alley, but didn’t really see much ‘til we got to the market. Then we saw the castle and the royal arcade and the forum. Taryn bought some water color paints in a toy store, and the lady gave her enough suckers for everyone. :-) Bob went into the chocolate store across the way and got a few choice bites. Elijah woke up and we all wanted a snack, so we got directions to the McDonald’s. We squeezed in to 2 tables; I plugged Elijah in, and Bob got everybody a cheeseburger. Even at 3:30 the place was packed, but it did have actual tables (unlike the one in Bury). When we got up to leave, Bob started backing out the stroller and it bumped a man’s chair. The man didn’t turn around and say something like an American. He didn’t politely ignore us like an Englishman. He got up, pushed his chair in, and then he walked over to the door and held it open for us all to go out. !!! He was talking on a cell phone the whole time in an unknown tongue. I think if I knew where he was from, I’d move there. Very kind.

Anyway, we headed around the square and back towards the bus, wanting to be out of town before dark. I just happened to see a used book store, and Bob let me go in, but Elijah started crying (I could hear him through the window), so I pulled myself away. We almost got lost on the way back to the parking lot, but a man saw us looking at the map and kindly pointed us in the right direction. We just happened to be parked across from a Toys R Us, and Naysha wanted to go in, but we chose not to. :- ( Otherwise a very nice time, and I was the only one who got grumpy (don’t know why). It started to snow on our way home.


Ganeida said...

Still reading...☺

Thanks for your note this morning. Very cheering.

Wil said...

Sounds like a great day! Those kids (some of them) will have amazing memories of their time in England.

MamaOlive said...

Ganeida, Aha! It *was* morning! ;-) Maybe I'll get the time difference sorted by the time we leave here.

Wil, I sure hope so.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading about your day; thanks for taking the time to write. :)
FYI: Officially it is Washington's Birthday, see http://www.opm.gov/Operating_Status_Schedules/fedhol/2010.asp
I quote, "This holiday is designated as "Washington’s Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law."