No more than 12 hours after we had returned from Paris, we were off again to the Southwest corner of England: Cornwall.
Owen and his girlfriend, Celia, had invited us to come with them for Celia's last weekend before school started. She is a teacher and was looking forward to getting the most out of her last few days before the semester began.
After navigating our way out of London (surprisingly harder than I had imagined, probably (definitely) due to Owen being the driver and me being the navigator), we got on the highway. Highways here have zero billboards along the road. I made note of this in surprise and Owen pounced on it, suggesting that the highways in America are tacky, asking "what, seeing the countryside isn't good enough?"
Turns out Celia is sweet, funny, generous, and optimistic. One could say the yin to Owen's yang.
Cornwall is a "beach town" - as much as England has a beach town. Or a beach. We rolled up to the house, unpacked our things, and exhaled from the long drive. Celia immediately changed into her wetsuit to go boogey boarding down in the ocean, Owen went with her, Kenz took a nap, and I read a book. I thought it interesting that this side of the Atlantic requires a wetsuit whereas the other side is warm enough for just a bathing suit.
That evening I watched Owen make lasagna as Celia and Kenz went grocery shopping.
|Kenz describing the mating dance of a lesser known Tennessee bird to Owen (or something like that).|
After about five minutes of watching Celia knit, Kenz was ready to learn the new hobby. Celia was gracious enough to give a lesson and some yarn. The next three days (and each day since, to be honest), the most popular phrase out of McKenzie's mouth was "after I finish this row..."
|Jedi and padawan|
|The view from the front yard of our place.|
|There were copious amounts of blackberries along the way. I hopped the fence to get in the person's yard to access the best batch. In fact, I was always falling behind because I didn't want to leave any berries on the vine.|
|Looking East towards the beach|
|Looking west towards a lighthouse.|
|The beach-goers have developed a way to prevent the wind from kicking up sand onto their spots. This coast is much more windy than I've ever experienced. They call them "windbreakers."|
|The beach is long and narrow.|
|Celia walking along the rockface of the East end of the beach.|
|Classy Owen relieving himself.|
|This picture does not do the danger justice. I swear the trail was dangerous.|
|That's the cliff face to which we were headed.|
|Old walls'n stuff.|
|Looking back towards the beach.|
|I mean, I'm glad there were no guard rails - it would've been like billboards along the highway. But still - that's a big drop!|
|Owen spent a lot of time acting unimpressed. I refused to venture out that far on the rock face.|
|Best part of this picture: Celia's face.|
|Again, looking back towards the beach.|
|Sheep standing on an old wall'n stuff. It kinda looks like one long sheep, no?|
|Eating a chocolate bar made by a company named Montezuma's chocolate. I took that as an opportunity to explain Montezuma's Revenge.|
|To the left is "Merlin's cave," and up top on the left is what's left of the castle.|
|Enjoying ourselves amongst the other tourists.|
|I couldn't help but wonder why someone would want to go to all the trouble of building a castle on the top of a cliff. Easy to defend, yes, but a pain in the ass to build!|
|Kenz took this picture - that's why it looks cool.|
|She took this one too.|
|No guard rails - just a sign. You'll note that I'm sitting or crouching in all these pictures. That's because I was constantly worried about falling off the side of the cliff.|
|How many people fell off while carrying rocks up the hill? No health and safety back then, I guess.|
|Looking out over the cliff.|
|I was almost too scared to take this picture because I was worried they'd fall off.|
|I sat on my butt and scooted out to the edge. You may call me a wuss, but I'll say I'm just careful.|
The "museum" was a collection of fan art, toys, and write-ups that read like they were written as a fourth grade history assignment. I'll let the pictures do the talking:
|No matter how bad the exhibit is, Kenz reads everything. Always.|
|These are definitely toys, right? Crowded glass case, no?|
|This was the best part of the "museum," but none of us did the relief sketching or whatever it's called.|
|Take part in history!|
|Arthur in the movies! And a write-up on how George Lucas used Arthur as an inspiration for Star Wars.|
|Some more ruins.|
|I don't know which face sums it up better, but both are pretty quality.|
And the signs said no one agrees on exactly what the stone says...
Then we spent the last night trying to eat the food we had bought, with little success...
|Kenz isn't sold on sheep cheese, but still knitting. She didn't stop knitting the whole time. If she was inside, she was knitting.|
|Our last supper's spread|
|Owen originally had me on the "barbeque," but didn't trust me and took over. Note that there is a smaller, less effective barbeque on top of what would've been a slightly more effective one, had we the foresight to use it.|
|Not really cooking, just warming.|
|Just a really good picture. Kidding.|
We watched horrible movies in the evening and played in the sun during the days. We ate too many pasties, too - a practice I recommend to anyone that visits Cornwall. It was really, really nice to finally have a few days to relax after all the hoops we had to jump through in our move.
Thanks to Owen and Celia for taking us!