Overdue "Family Day" Outside of the House

Nils has been working so hard on his conferences – up super early and in bed super late (I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with him too and running the kiddos) that we decided to step away from the computers today and head out for a much-deserved family day.  It is the first day of February Half Term (aka February school vacation week in Boston).  In hindsight, we did a LOT of things today but it was great and I took a LOT of photos which I’ll post here now!
We started by heading up to Sheringham to go to the library.  When we parked a car, there was Mama’s Continental GT Convertible Bentley!  Couldn’t resist snapping a few photos with this lovely car!
Soren knows what’s up with this car! 
Me and my car (though mine is black)!
We had to return a bunch of books and magazines I took out with Maebh a week ago and Nils got himself a library card.  We took out 8 NEW books for the kids, headed over to Starlings (a store with the Post Office inside) and sent out some letters.  I mailed a letter to the Norfolk & Norwich hospital to proof that I was here legally on an EEA1 and I’m entitled to free NHS (that is a whole long story, I’ll skip for now).  Then we sent off a bunch of drawings for Christopher & Ella.  Erica, you’re next 🙂  When we got back to the car, Maebh realized she left “Catherine” her orange bear she won at the Casino on Soren’s birthday trip, we had to double back to get it. Sure enough, sitting in the kids section on the table was Catherine. Catherine in tow, off we went.
After Sheringham, we headed along the coast to Salthouse, home of Cookies Crab Shop & a favorite, Dun Cow.  We always drive by this spot where we see loads of ducks and a horse but we never stop.  Today we remembered to bring all the old bread and decided to feed the ducks (along with a million Seagulls who invaded their space and ate a lot of the bread).  The really sweet, gigantic black & white horse who lives near the ducks was there today too. Next time we’ll remember him and bring him a couple apples and carrots.  Poor guy watched as we fed the birds. Yes, we have a pond in our backyard with two resident ducks Zoe & Rupert, and a few addition new ducks, but they run when we try and feed them last time.  These other ducks are really used to people.
After that we continued to drive up along the coast and figure out what to do next.  We were thinking it would be fun to stop at a local pub, have a drink and perhaps some chips (french fries).  Given it was 1 pm,  nearly 50 degrees and sunny today, Nils thought all our favorite coastal locations would be so busy, we decided to try the place we sometimes drive by Three Horsehoes in Warham.  I just read this review of the place from A Swift One, which clearly was not written by a mum with two kids in tow, but the enjoyed it so I’ll share. I popped in to ensure it was okay to come in with kids and was greeted by an older lady who was nice enough but said they could come in but they could not be in the pub area and only the dining area.  Fine by us, we headed in and entered the back room.  I noticed a guy sitting at the table eating his pie of some sort.  I immediately asked him if he’d mind if I came in with my children and in an American accent replied, “no, this is the American room today!”.  We talked a bit and he noticed my accident and asked if I was from Massachusetts.  LOL  I guess I do have a Boston accent.  He was from Brockton [oh yeah who said he was a “Boston College High School Boy, could have replied, we liked Don Bosco boys better, but I resisted! :)”] and lived in London for the past 14 years.  Nice guy – was up on a weekend trip from the city.   They didn’t exactly have a good pub food menu (a bunch of soups and about 10 different types of pies.  Beef Pies, Rabbits, Minced Meat Pies, Lamb Pies and on and on.  We opted for a couple beers, drinks for the kids and two soups.  The soups were GREAT!  The best cream of mushroom soup I have ever had but also the hottest soup I have ever had.  I’m sure if I were to spill it on my lap, I’d have second degree burns.  It took well over 20 minutes to cool down.  The guests apart from the nice fella from Brockton   were all old people who did NOT speak to each other.  Seriously the place had about 12 guests and there was ZERO conversation, no talking just silence.  It was like a friggin library.  In fact, Nils said to me something to the effect – “it’s okay. they are kids and they can make a little noise.  If these people want to be in silence they should go to the library”! Every single noise my kids made, made me cringe. Thankfully they are well-behaved and pretty good in restaurants & pubs so I knew we were okay, just a little on edge.  In this aspect, England is NOTHING like Ireland.  The Irish would never mind, ever!  A few games here & there and Soren finishing up the soup like a Caveman, we were off.  We’d love to go back again and perhaps enjoy a drink on the picnic tables.  Such a shame they don’t have french fries.

After we left The Three Horseshoes Warham, we noticed a person parachuting in the sky in the direction of Fakenham, so we attempted to find the Great Snoring airfield.  After some lefts, rights and a couple turn arounds, we found it only to not see a single person near it.  So we headed along in search of our next stop.

As the traffic was pretty bad at Little Snoring (road works – or possible accident due to screaming police car), we headed across Kettelstone and up towards Holt that way.  We thought it would be fun to check out Holt Country Park. We have never been and hear great things.  It was nice, they have about 5 different color coded walking trails and a small kids play area, which our kids loved.  They are offering a special morning session on Monday, Feb 18th from 10-12 pm to come make a bee, bat or bird box with a Ranger.  It was like 3 or 5 pounds.  I know Nils will be working and Tjibbe & Jeltje will be just getting back, but it might be fun to bring the kids. I know Soren would love it, Maebh would probably help a little.  The place reminded me of Ipswich River Sanctuary where Soren did the “Things with Wings” camp last summer.

As we were leaving there was an area map and Nils noticed that Baconsthorpe Castle, was about 4 miles away, we’d head over to check it out.  I was told about it from my first “mommy friend” here in the UK. It was great! So many great laughs and of course a TON of photos. I think Roelof (? – I’ll have to ask again) told Nils it was nothing great to see just an old site, but it was so fun! We’ll be going back with a picnic once it is warm. There was a few others there for a few minutes, but we stayed the longest.   It is a fortified manor house, now a local historic ruin built in about 1460!

  

Baconsthorpe is 1.2 miles away from Edgefield so after we left, it was only fitting that we’d head over to
The Pigs, our family friendly pub with indoor & outdoor kids play areas.  We have only eaten there once and it was okay – we’d try other things next time.  But we know they stop serving lunch at 3 and dinner does not start until 6 pm, but as the pub is technically open, we can enter. So like we have done many times in the past, we go in around 4 pm and are the only ones there, apart from the staff getting ready.  We go to the family section, dim the lights a bit and Nils & I talk and enjoy a beer, while the kids play inside.  We are two feet from them so we know they are safe and supervised.  As it was not that cold at this time, we knew Soren would love to ride the zip line. Sure enough, back and forth, back and forth, he was in heaven!

One minor incident, Spider Man Soren fell through the net!
We stopped off at Budgens to pick up something to whip up for dinner and headed home.  The kids ate, Soren was too tired to read his own school book so I read two of our new library books – “Who’s In The Loo?” and “Don’t Put Your Pants (underwear) On Your Head”.
Great day with the family!

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