04 September 2010

England Vacation Part 8

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We started the day at the Metro Centre, Newcastle's largest shopping mall... it was pretty large. A few bargains to be had and a McDonald's with free WIFI!!!

I finally got a chance to look at my e-mails and get a bit of correspondence done and learned of the passing of someone that I've known for quite a few years. Ronalda you will be missed by many.

From the Metro Centre, we travelled to Hadrian's Wall, the wall built by the Roman Empire to stop the Scots from invading their territory in the 1st century. The Roman's probably would have kept pressing north only the temperatures and the land probably wasn't deemed worth pursuing. Along the wall are many ruins and artifacts, the Romans occupied the area for nearly 500 years so, they left more than a few tent poles and Kit Kat wrappers behind for us to find.

The ruins were quite spectacular and the craftsmanship was very evident... 2000 years and still standing... for the most part.

Our kids are a handful at the best of times and spending a bunch of time with them is good, but I think their grandfather is beginning to rethink the 3 week tour. He's only seen them when we visit, or for one or two nights... to see them in full action is an eye opener. Sorry grumps.

We then visited Karen's grandmother's home north of Newcastle and stopped at the local ASDA for dinner at McDonalds. ASDA is just like Walmart, only the colour theme is yellow not blue. I wondered if there was a "peopleofasda.com" website but the WIFI at this McD's wasn't working. I can tell you, if there isn't already a site, there should be... it was frightful to say the least.

I must say that the English drivers are courteous and accurate. Accuracy is important when the average street is the exact same size as the width of the car... and they're going 50mph. There are many traffic circles, luckily I live near one in Calgary and have had some experience with how not to take them. English drivers know how to queue and give right away, in order. It seems that they know they are part of the system, where in Alberta, everyone thinks the road is there for them and them alone. It's very refreshing. ...now if they could only drive on the right side of the road!

Arrival back at camp stinky was much of the same, the wicked odor seems to be concentrated at our front door, 25' away and it smells moderately better. The house is hot tonight, but we don't dare open a window in fear of stinking up our accommodation.



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