Friday, August 1, 2008

Chatsworth, Part Two

After we gave up on the maze, we headed over to the rose garden.

We passed the Cascade. There are signs on the sides advising caution if you enter the water, as if people do it all the time!

"Welcome to my humble abode."

The roses smelled so strong and sweet! And there were tiny strawberries planted in all the beds. This put me and my daughter in mind of it being lunch time, so we headed towards the nearest snack bar. We sampled Britain's famous "pasties" - she had ricotta and spinach, I had bacon and egg. They were delicious and also very attractive.

Duck attractive, that is.

I got my fingers bit more than once, but I couldn't resist giving her more. She jumped like a puppy, as soon as she saw I had food in my fingers. Too funny.

Fully bolstered from our delicious meal, and since the weather was still holding out, we decided to go and check out the Farmyard and Adventure Playground!

...where we saw:

Guinea pigs!
And a very nice mare who asked me to scratch her face for her.  I complied.
And sheep that we could pet!

And look at that face!

Here's a face only a mother could love.
There were several goats.
And chickens!  I love chickens!

This one has a funny head.

Squeal with me.
They had a time for interacting with some of the animals, namely the guinea pigs and the goats.  We had to wait almost an hour for this to happen, and my husband had to get out due to his asthma, but my daughter and I waited so she could handle a guinea pig.  They are such docile creatures.  This one just nearly fell asleep.
And the little goats just wanted to climb anything and everything.  This poor guy was just crouching to take a picture of his daughter playing with one of the goats when the other one got on his back.
It was after this that it finally decided to rain. So we made our way indoors for more thrills of a different kind.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Favorite Day

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A day I keep revisiting. Let me just pause in the moment. Aaaaah.

On Wednesday night, we finally arrived at our destination: High View Cottage in Uttoxeter, Derbyshire, UK. This bed and breakfast was as new and shiny at the previous one was old and full of character.

And they were doing construction on at as we stayed there. It was so unworthy of being photographed; I think this is the only picture in the whole bunch. Never mind. We spent a comfortable night there, got up the next morning and ate a hearty English breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausages, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and beans) and headed off to Chatsworth House.

As you approach the House, you have to drive through part of the 1800 acres or so, and there are sheep everywhere. They get on the road some, but mostly they stay in the grass.

This is not the first view of the house. But I just wanted to give you and idea of the scale and the grandeur. On the far right is where one enters the house, and in the middle is an open courtyard. The actual house in the part on the left.

But the house was closed when we arrived - it didn't open for another half hour. And since the weather wasn't wet (yet), we decided to walk around on the grounds for a while and take in the sights.

And what wonderful sights! Aside from the beauty of the gardens and the buildings, we had such wonderful contact with the wild and domesticated animals here, as you will see. To me, it felt kind of like an eden.

Not only do they have sheep, but they have a herd of deer on the grounds. These were not very friendly, we couldn't even get close.

But the ducklings were very interested in the potato chips we were carrying. So cute.

We wandered the grounds for a while, and then came upon the maze, which we spent an hour in, I think. We didn't find the center on our first attempt - it was a good maze! But I heard some very loud chirping coming from the hedge at one point, and I stopped our mini parade to check it out.

There they were, perfectly at ear level, baby birds!


Well, I think I'd better stop here for now before I crash this blog. I will pick it up from the maze tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blenheim Palace

Well, you can see the weather remained consistent after Oxford. It was quite gloomy when we arrived at the Palace, and it was terribly expensive to get in! Something like 48 pounds for the whole family. Ouch! This was particularly disturbing since we knew we didn't have much time to investigate as we had a reservation at our next b&b - and we were miles and miles away.

But, we persevered and trudged through the house, where none of us bothered to take pictures.
Was this because they don't allow it? Doubtful. Was it because there was nothing worthy of photographing? Not at all. I'm not sure why we didn't take any pictures. In too much a hurry, perhaps. In any case, I know I felt saturated with elegance and wealth and history by the time we left an hour later.