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The Vacation Clothes

Adventures in Yorkshire....and its pudding

We ate our hotel English breakfast then headed off to York via train. It was really cool. I took a total of three train rides throughout my trip and it took some getting used to...not because of motion sickness, but every time we went through a tunnel there was pressure in my ears just like when the cabin door of the airplane closes. 



We also purchased tickets way in advanced and since you can pick the time that you leave and so on, we ended up getting first class tickets for a great deal. I'm not sure if it truly mattered since I never road in a Coach cabin, but they did serve drinks and snack and stuff just like the airlines.


Since our train took us into York, we hung out there for a bit and had some lunch and tea. We started off by walking through this little part of town with a bunch of shopping and restaurants. It was so cool to see all the old buildings of the village.


Shambles Street - the houses were built to lean in towards each other. 

The big church in the middle of York is called York Minster, which is still a working Cathedral. This was also the day that the new Royal Baby, Charlotte, was baptized so they had a big service, party or some sort of function going on.  









This is one of the Bishops, my cousin said this was the first time he had seen him there, though I can assure you my cousin doesn't attend church there. 

My cousin said as we were walking around, "Did you happen to notice the wall we passed through to get into the village?" Of course I didn't, because my eyes just danced around the village like a cat in a field of CDs hanging in the sunlight. He took us back to one of the walls, where you can actually go up inside the wall and walk all around the village. It was SUPER narrow up there, you could only fit one body at a time in the walkways. 

The staircase and doorways were so tiny, and Kyle is 6'4" so that always made for a fun time. 

Here are some photos from up on the wall, as you can see the walls are quite tall and well, I am short so the tops of the walls are still in the picture. 



As we walked back into the village we some work being done at York Minster. This is actually a never ending job and it definitely explained all the scaffolding everywhere in the UK. The masonry work is never ending. They take off old stone and carve by hand new stone pieces to replace the stones that have been weathered or damaged. 


After walking around for a while, we decided to get some lunch. My cousin said Betty's was THE BEST TEA AND LUNCH PLACE. Holy smokes was he right. Of course I ordered a specialty tea and it was delicious. I even looked into purchasing the gorgeous silver from the table, but let's be honest it would never get used....maybe one day.





I ordered a chicken and bacon sandwich (Bacon is really like thick ham in the UK). I also tried tomato chutney and I need more of that in my everyday life. I can only explain it as like a tomato jam....vegetable jelly?!?!....does that sound appetizing, I don't know but it was DAMN good. 



Of course we couldn't leave there without getting some of their famous desserts. They train chefs all over the world!

I was actually only able to eat the light pink Macarons, but it didn't stop us from getting a whole bunch of them for my husband and my cousin. The bee is for his girlfriend, because she LOVES bees, and its chocolate so you can't really go wrong with that.



After our desserts we headed off to my cousins house. It is located in a small little village about 20 minutes outside of York called Marton Cum Grafton. We rode in a cab on the way to the train station, but riding in a car on the left side of the road on countryside roads is a whole different experience. The roads are tiny and my cousin drives a little VW Golf anyway, but he would pull all the way over to the left and even bring his driver side mirror in to make sure both cars could fit. (Note to self: next time get liquored up before) 



The country side roads have bushes all along side of them. These bushes are actually blackberry bushes and they define property lines. 


We arrived in my cousins village. His house is a cottage called Low Garth, and it was built in the 1700s. They purchased the house and completely gutted it....as in took it back to the bricks on the INSIDE, even the foundation cement flooring was pulled up, and they remodeled it. They also added on extra space and had to have it all approved and even the brick needed to be original or as close to it as it could. 



Here is a photo taken from the early 1900s of the house. 


As you can see the front porch was added on prior to my cousin's purchase, but many of the cottages in the area had these added. 



In the back yard the original shed/garage still stands, however behind is an oasis unlike any other. Off the right is an orchard full of many type of fruit producing trees. They just recently added in the pond, and their property line goes past the front tree line pictured and continues to the back tree line. 

That night we hit up the local pub! Ye' Ole Punch Bowl Inn. The pictures of the pub are from the interwebs because I didn't get a pic unfortunately, however you can see that it is very old as well because the top pic is current day and the bottom pic is from the early 1900s.  



My cousin, Josh...not sure why I haven't mentioned his name yet.... told me to get a Pimm's since it was on special ( I guess thats the drink of Wimbledon...because Wimbledon was going on while we were there). It was super yummy, think of it as a fruity Long Island Iced Tea, I was definitely afraid to drink these all night so I switched to wine at dinner. We all ate a traditional English dinner, either a roasted chicken or sirloin with roasted potatoes and red wine gravy. Everyone else got to eat the Yorkshire pudding, but of course it had dairy so none for me :(



The next day Kyle, Josh and I headed off for a hike through Sutton Bank one of the National Parks in Yorkshire. It had amazing views and was very hilly getting there. My cousin used to be one of those crazy level one athlete bicycle riding gurus, so it was cool to see the routes he would take and he knew a lot about the area. 

Here we are at one of the lookout spots at Sutton Bank.





You will notice a cliff on the left of the picture. This was used for glider planes. It was amazing to see them fly around.  









This was an old hunting spot.  
The glider planes




We left Sutton Bank and continued our travels around Yorkshire area and Josh took us to another amazing spot with views. In the first picture you can see an old cottage with some ruins. 



If you look closely you can spot the old cottage and ruins and then the little farm house on the other side. 



We also did one of Kyle and I's favorite things this day, we visited Rievaulx (pronounced REE-VO) Abbey. This was INCREDIBLE and slightly eerie. Built in the  early1100s and burnt down by Henry VIII in the 1500s, it was amazing to stand in a place that was so sacred and old. To know I walked on grounds that people did 9 centuries ago can only be described as eerie and awesome. You might notice throughout my pictures there will be doubles, but I added some filtering on some just for fun. If you have ever been to Fountains Abbey, my cousin said they are very similar except Fountains is MUCH larger and MUCH more touristy...as you notice I got to take LOTS of pictures without people in them. 




Here you can notice the size of the Abbey with the people walking around.  


This portion of the Abbey is the Cathedral

Here are some of the original graves





Notice the Altar




The views are incredible



In this picture you can still see remnants of a spiral staircase. 



The Library


Here you can really tell where there were two different levels. The bottom level contained a portion of the kitchen. 


Another low doorway 

Remnants of another spiral staircase 






After finishing up with the Abbey, we headed to Helmsley for a drink and some lunch....One thing about the UK if you are trying to eat a late lunch - GOOD LUCK. All the kitchens close at like 1:30 and don't open back up until dinner time. So we ate at a small deli and then headed to the pub for my birthday ale. 



Kyle headed back to London that night because he had to be at work the next morning and I stayed with my cousin and his girlfriend for another day and night. They both had to work that next morning as well. Off to Leeds we went (both of their offices are there), they dropped me off near the train station to pick up my tickets for the next day and there is a whole shopping square there, so I just walked around and got lost...and ended up rubbing 6 blisters (Thanks Vans). 


Luckily I stopped at the most amazing little tea room, Le Chalet. I ordered some flowery tea and low and behold what I thought was a tea bag actually opened up into a flower as the tea steeped. 


After shopping all day, we headed back to their house and took their dog, Pod, on a walk. We obviously became better friends after that. 


We ate some Pad Thai that night, unfortunately I didn't get any pics :( 

The Yorkshire area was so much better than London in my opinion. I grew up in the Midwest and it just has that feel. 

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