Monday, 29 June 2009

Caerphilly Castle

It's the largest castle in Wales and we went there. Absolutely brilliant.
A rather last minute plan on Saturday, we weren't sure if the weather would hold out, but it did and ended up being a resplendent afternoon.
The castle comes complete with a moat, drawbridge, tower, corn mill, trebuchet, and some nasty looking moat fish (to guard the castle no doubt). We had the best time exploring all around it. Jerremy said it was the best castle he's ever seen. I would put it in my top 5, easily. It's a pretty nice castle. They've been restoring it since the 1930's. Apparently, there used to be a Roman fort beside it. Romans came in AD 75 and stayed till about the 400's. They have yet to excavate it.
Our time is so short in the span of history.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


We had our first trip into London.

The first of many, hopefully. We didn't get much time in the city, mostly Sunday morning and the afternoon, before we drove the 2 1/2 hours home to Worcester. The real reason for this trip was not to see the city, but for me to take an English test. Oh, yes.... Listening, reading, writing, and speaking.... There's nothing more humbling than having to review the basics of your own language, but it's a necessary hoop to jump through for transfering my RN license. So the Sunday excursion to London was more of a conveniently located reward since the testing site was just north of the city.

Here I am, right before the test, pouting. Jerremy bought me a cup of coffee to cheer me up.

The test took the whole of Saturday... But Sunday we took the train to St. Pancras station and set off to find the British Museum.

I'm reading about the Rosetta Stone on the other side of the glass exhibit. The museum is massive. We saw less than half of it before we lost steam. But it's free, so we'll head back on another day to explore some more!

After the museum we caught the London Underground to Westminster and walked around. We crossed a few bridges over the River Thames and walked under the London Eye. We ate some lunch in a park where we listened to Big Ben chime one o'clock. And then we made our way home, feeling content that we can just pop into "town" for the weekend.

Friday, 19 June 2009

10 Reasons We Like Worcester.

(In no particular order.)

1. Worcestershire Sauce.
2. It has a cathedral.
3. It also has a river. With swans.
3.b. 'Stinky the Lone Swan' that begs for bread out front of our deck.
4. The 'Cardinals Hat' pub, built in the 15th century. Someone thought maybe 1490?
5. Walking to High Street. (which is the town centre.)
6. The cathedral bells.
(We kept hearing the bells ring sporadically through the day for up to half an hour. Apparently, people can tour around the country and ring the bells in different cities.)
7. Getting kicked off the tennis courts at a 'public' school....
(What they call 'public' over here really means 'private'. Which explains why the courts were so nice. What we know as 'public' they call 'state' schools. )
8. The feeling of being in the 'middle of the middle'.
(Sort of the same feeling as Iowa, but British. Perhaps that's why they call it the Midlands?)
9. Watching long boats navigate the locks on the canal.
10. Realizing that mainland Europe is less than a two hour flight away....

Thursday, 11 June 2009


This is the story of how our small family, Jess and Jerremy, packed up our bite-sized condo in downtown Seattle and moved to England. In January 2009 we started talking about what an adventure it would be to move abroad and travel about for a few years before we settled down to have a family. On April 22, 2009 we flew out SeaTac International Airport bound for Heathrow on a redeye, with four checked bags, our computer, and two carry-ons each. This was the extent of our move. (Plus four small boxes we sent over ahead of us.)

We lived in Brighton for a month in various hotels; most notably, the Grand (with the most amazing breakfasts!) and MyHotel (a trendy boutique hotel in the NorthLaines). I've never been more bored in my life. Jerr was busy acclimating to a new challenging job, I was trying to find something to occupy my time. The weeks before we left were mayhem. Each day was full of work, packing up what we wanted to take and what we would store, getting visas, renewing my passport, and making time for family and friends. Plus, I had the worst cold I've had in years for the two weeks before we left-- absolutely miserable. Suddenly, I find myself with hours upon hours of time, while I sort out transfering my RN license with the NMC. I will admit that I made the bed at the hotel just for something to do!

We live in Worcester now, located in the heart of the Midlands, well known for its namesake sauce, Elgar (a composer), and pottery. More will come on Worcester.... but for now we are getting settled into our little home on the canal where we've lived for three weeks.