Sunday, May 25

Dover

"I felt a sprint in my feet that said GO, and I went"
I have been craving the ocean you know, and though it was not as soon as I anticipated, I finally made it! I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to the sun shining through my window (which is rare...) and thought to myself, "I think I'll go to Dover today." And off I went. 19 pounds and an hour and a half later I arrived at the Dover Priory station, headed off to find the tourist information center on foot. They told me everything I needed to do and see, and even were so bold as to suggest that I would need three hours in the castle--to which I silently snorted and rolled my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I do like castles, but I find I get bored of them rather quickly. I like to get in, learn some stuff, take some pictures, and get out before my head starts screaming at me to do something more fun...like watch grass grow. From sea level, I looked at the castle on the hill and started my ascent. It was long, it was steep, and I was panting and gasping when I finally reached the ticket booth, but it was worth it.

I was exceptionally lucky this weekend, because the castle was having it's National Heritage Festival, which, roughly translated, means there are a bunch of people running around in costumes. They had several different periods represented in the castle, and the first one (and my favourite) was World War I.


They had this life size model airplane that they use to film in movies there, and these chaps did a little play/reenactment of what it would have been like on a reconnaissance mission. They said that most of the pilots had fewer than 20 hours actual flying time, and they were going up against seasoned enemy planes. Most of them didn't last more than 2 weeks airborne, which is really sad to think about. But the skit was entertaining and the acting was good. I even asked for my picture with them afterwards!


They had tents set up just how they would have had them there in war time. I loved all the little trinkets and things from the period that they had! It felt like I stepped back in time.


This was the best. They had a WWI "Trench Experience" where you went inside a reenactment of the trenches. I caught a little bit of video from it because I liked it so much. It actually did feel like I was there, and men were shouting, dirt was flying, and guns were going off. They did a demonstration on how they could pinpoint a sniper by using a dummy head to stick up, get the sniper to shoot it, and then use the bullet hole to find where he was hiding. I really enjoyed it!

This video is of the Trenches
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Walking further along up into the castle, I came across people from the Medieval period. I stopped and talked to this lady for a bit who said that coming and doing things like this is a hobby of hers and she really just loves living 13th century life! I think that is just so cool, because if you are doing it you get to really experience it how people would have from that time. You eat the food they did, sleep how they did, dress how they did, yadda yadda you get the picture.




I also watched a battle reenactment that was incredibly cheesy...but surprisingly entertaining!


Moving on to Tudor times, I actually got to meet King Henry VIII! Well you know, not really, but the guy doing the portrayal was incredible. I actually felt like I was in the presence of the king. I even saw him on several occasions walking around talking to people (or criticizing them) and just mingling as I would expect maybe Henry would in public. It was great!


This is an backgammon board that was inside the castle lounge area that I liked the look of, so I snapped it.


These guys were playing instruments from the period outside, and they were actually really good!




WWII was alright, they had some interesting stuff, but not quite as good as the first world war's. I did get talking with these two people though who were quite knowledgeable about everything to do with the war (naturally) and I learned a lot through them.



They had a table set up of all these old things that were found during war time. The trumpet mouth piece was my favourite, made me think of Dad and Stick!




This dog is Jack's WWII ansestor I think.
Do you see a resemblance?
Maybe it has just been too long since I have seen my puppy!

I also visited the Secret Wartime Tunnels, which are dug right into the under the castle. There is a hospital down there too which was really cool. Almost everything is just how it would have been at the time of WWII. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take any pictures down there, which is why you see no pictures to follow. I know that's disappointing...sorry!


Here is a man from the Roman Era!

I looked at my watch when I left the castle and immediately felt ashamed that I had ever doubted the ever-so-knowledgeable brunette at the tourist information counter when she said I needed 3 hours at the castle, because I spent nearly 5 hours there!! Yes folks, it was that good.
I made my way down the hill from the castle to the ocean side, where the same woman told me to go once I had seen my fill up there. This was done with the intent to get a good look at the cliffs. I had a nice little stroll along the beach for a little while before I realized that the only way I was going to get a picture of the cliffs, was if I hiked to the top. At this time I had already hiked roughly the same distance up to the castle and been on my feet for the past like 6 hours, and I was muttering something like "there is no way in #$%%^@#$%#$%$ I am climbing all the way up there!" under my breath. But then again, I didn't pay 20 pounds to get here so I could not see the white cliffs of Dover. So I put on my brave face and started climbing.


Once I got to the top, I collapsed in the long grass along the edge of the cliffs, took my shoes off, and closed my eyes for a little nap...everyone was doing it.



After the rejuvenation of my nap, I was able to hike some more to get to these stunning views!

I scaled down this steep little hill




So it turned out to be a very nice day, and as the song goes, there was "blue skies over, the white cliffs of Dover" for my visit, so I was pleased! Now today my whole lower body is sore from all the hiking and and hills I did, but it was all worth it. That's another tick off the list, and thank you Aunt Loyann for the suggestion! If it wasn't for you, I probably would have never gone. And I must admit the whole time I was there I kept saying to myself, "this is one of the best days ever!"



I finished off the day with an ice cream on the beach. It was the perfect ending to a pretty darn perfect day.

Cheerio!

Wednesday, May 14

Picture Time

"Photography takes an instant out of time,
altering life by holding it still."
--Dorothea Lange

As all my bleeders probably know, I am quite passionate about taking pictures. I snap snap snap until the people I am photographing can no longer see straight and their mouths are incapable of releasing their smile, or my camera simply goes into overload-mode and gives up on me. It's always something, because once I put my finger on that magical button--I simply can't stop. Thank heavens for digital photography, without it, I would be broke from developing costs. Also, I don't have to deal with the complaints from my brother telling me I am wasting film. (Now he just accuses me of wasting battery, but I can handle that one.) Anyways, I told the kids we were going to have a photo shoot, and believe it or not, they jumped for joy and ran up the stairs to get changed as quickly as possible. We just went into the back garden for these, and I hope to take them out sometime soon and take some more because they are amazingly photogenic, and the scenery here is stunning.


This is my favourite one from the day!
I think it should be on an add for a children's play set. ;)





As you can see, it was barrels of fun...for me at least. I think the kids will re-think their hasty reaction to the words photo and shoot in the same sentence next time. I am happy because I got a few good shots! Boy am I going to miss these kids when I leave.

XOXO


Sunday, May 11

I love the Temple!




Today was a good day. I was sitting in my room after talking to my family on Mothers Day, and I had the idea that I should go to the temple. So I charged my camera and headed down there!



I met this really nice family from N. England who I walked around with and talked to for about an hour. The man was a photographer, so he took some pictures for me!


They close the temple at night and don't let anyone in, but I talked to the security guard and convinced him to let me leave for about 20 minutes and come back when the lights were on! It was so beautiful!





Not a lot to write about today, but I think the pictures speak for themselves. I love the temple and I feel so close to a higher power when I am simply on the grounds. It's amazing!

Monday, May 5

Oh what do you do?

Bank holiday weekend. Time off. Kids away. What's a girl to do with lots of spare time and no spare money? I was fortunate today because we had...(drumroll please)... SUNSHINE! It's a novelty around here, which means everyone and their dog (literally) goes out--which makes going anywhere like waiting in line for space mountain at Disneyland. Oh well, I survived. Today I went to the park. And I assure you, it was more exciting than I am letting on. See, March/April is Daffodil season, and there are amazing yellow flowers popping up everywhere...in between cracks, the sides of the road, in the middle of fields...you name it. They are everywhere! Well now it is Bluebell season, and I have been highly anticipating the arrival of these little beauties! I know you may say to yourself, 'how many pictures can someone take of the same flower before it gets old?' Answer: It never gets old! I took so many pictures of bluebells my camera almost exploded. I love this time of year because now everything is turning green...the trees...the rocks...the roads... I guess they call Kent the Garden of England for a reason! The bluebells give a nice contrast to the green, its absolutely stunning.




Well, thats my weekend in a nutshell. The Park. I had an incredible urge to go the the beach today, but unfortunately the traffic was too bad and I didn't have enough time or else I would have, its only a 30 minute drive. I decided to move it onto next weekend's agenda, hopefully it is sunny! If I'm lucky--you will be looking at pictures of the English Channel next week!

Thursday, May 1

a bit.

As far as things go, it has been a fairly uneventful weekend, much to my disappointment, because it is bank holiday weekend which means we get monday off. And on top of that, the kids are away at cubs camp the entire weekend. I know, I know, I can't believe I didn't go anywhere either!! With non-stop weekend action the past month or so, my travel fund has seen better days...so I am nursing it back to health right now in hopes that I will be able to do a trip with some friends coming up.

Anyways, I promised some videos and I took this one while in an Irish pub. This guy did this show that was supposed to be really good. I hated it. It is about a man who is closing his bar for the last time and basically he goes through pints like nobody's business the whole time he does it. You could say that it was an hour of crude jokes and distasteful songs, but there you have it.

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