Whoopee - we are away for the second weekend in a row, this time much farther afield than Kent and absolutely guaranteed to be less stressful than last week.
Last night we headed north to see Grandma in Liverpool. This journey has had the potential over the years to be a complete nightmare - so much so that in the recent past we've taken to flying - but we were fortunate that, apart from a painful delay at Birmingham, the roads were fine and we sped northward. Still, given that I'd done a full day's work beforehand, it was still half-past-midnight by the time we arrived.
Alice, who had been.looking forward to the visit all week, slept most of the way up, but was very excited when we finally arrived at grandma's. However, this was not to be just another visit to grandma's.
This morning Jacqueline and I abandoned grandma to Alice, and pressed on. The destination? Well, Jacqueline and I have booked into a charming little hotel in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. So, away we headed along the M62, comfortably reaching (the very beautiful) Harrogate in time for lunch and a gentle stroll. Having explored Harrogate, we pushed on further through Ripon, where we didn't stop today, up to the village of Masham, to the King's Head hotel.
We arrived in time to visit a couple of shops before they closed, as we explored the village. We've been very lucky with the weather so far. Being Yorkshire, we've certainly packed our raincoats, but today has been sunny and I have been walking around in a t-shirt. Having said that, now we're comfortably settled in the hotel I can hear a rainstorm outside. Very much sunshine and showers weather, I certainly hope we have at least one nice day since we'd like to explore the Dales a little.
I last visited this part of the world as a boy over thirty years ago, when we came on a couple of family holidays here. My main memory of these holidays was the vast amounts of time spent travelling in the car. Now that I am mobile myself, the distances seem far shorter. As a boy the journey to Yorkshire took all day, whereas today we made it in two hours. I must say I have similar thoughts of our holidays to north Wales - interminable journeys which today are far quicker. I wonder why? Better roads? Faster cars? Poor memory?
Still, we're here now. Alice, by the way, has visited Grandad in his nursing home today. We spoke to her a short while ago and she's still very happy to be at grandma's. I believe they have a day out planned at Chester Zoo tomorrow. Ah....the excitement!