Heather Parry

Joined August 2017Living in: Victoria, Canada
  • Day10

    Palaces, pasties and more pubs

    June 15, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Hello from London.
    We’ve had an interesting week. Last Thursday we drove in tandem from the Northern parts of Wales down
    to Pembrokeshire on the west coast of Wales. For 3 days we rented a holiday cottage near the town of Cardigan, (as in the sweater. ). The cottage had a personal hot tub which we all enjoyed and there was a pool for the kids. Our first day in the area we hiked part of the Pembrokeshire coastal path. ( thanks Cathy and Doug for the very useful guide) It was very muddy and slippery in parts from, evidently, record rainfall this month. The hiking was scenic and a bit more challenging than the gang was expecting. We were rewarded for our efforts with a pub lunch in the very picturesque sea side town, Tenby.
    We spent our second day exploring the locale near our cottage including visiting a working flour mill that is still using a water wheel powered by the local river. Kaleb loves to bake and he really enjoyed seeing the workings of the mill with the very old grinding stones. We also visited a prehistoric burial site with the same rocks as in stonehenge. Unfortunately , the weather in Wales continued cool and damp but we managed to enjoy ourselves between showers. Mike and Tara ventured to the southern town of St,David’s for a day trip.
    On Sunday we dropped off the rental cars- much to our drivers’ (Mike and Ryan) relief- enough narrow roads and left-hand driving. We took a bus into London. It was more excitement than we wanted as our bus broke down on the M4 and the traffic was horrendous. But we finally crawled into London and Helen welcomed us aboard her lovely home.
    We’ve spent the past three days seeing different parts of London. Since the boys were first-timers, they did the hop on hop off bus for a day seeing the usual palaces, churches but mostly lots of London traffic. Mike, Tara and I wandered through Chelsea and NottingHill. It was very rainy yesterday so our choices were a bit limited. The London jail museum was a hit with lots of torture devices to play with! We’ve had the full London experience with lots of bus rides, packed tube stations and boat rides along the Thames. The family is spread between a 2 bedroom Air b and b and bunking in with Helen. Last night we headed to the Soho district to take in a musical theatre production, Matilda. We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A great show and always a memorable experience to see live theatre especially a good musical. A first for the kids but hopefully not their last.
    Today we all hit the British Museum to check out things like the rosetta stone and the Elgin marbles, the Egyptian exhibit and even a head from Easter Island. Mike and I split off to the Portrait Gallery while the rest of the Parrys did the Harry Potter tour. Tonight the adults are out for dinner and the kids will stay in with a movie.
    Tomorrow we head to Stanstead to fly to France for the next week of our trip.

    Mason says the best part of the trip so far has been the big castle and the Musical; Kaleb says climbing Snowdon and Matilda and the flour mill; Rogan says Snowdon, Matilda , the coast trail and all pubs ( 1 through 20)

    That’s it for now. More from France
    Tata for now.
    Heather xx
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  • Day8

    The Parry Family Summits Mount Snowdon.

    June 13, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌫 9 °C

    We are in the pretty village of Beddgelert in Northern Wales for 2 nights. On the way here from Al’s place we made a great stop at Caernarfon where the 3 boys raced around the castle. It’s a good castle if it’s your first one because it’s intact and you can roam up and down the various towers and hide in little nooks and crannies. Mason was heard to yell “ peasants” over the wall at the tourists below. We also took some time to check out the Museum of the Royal Welch Fusilliers which is housed in the castle. Interesting regimental history and the boys looked for all the Parrys. They also thought the “ mascot” ( a goat ) was pretty funny.
    We are in a lovely country inn in Beddgelert and have enjoyed the full Welsh breakfasts provided each morning.
    Yesterday we tackled the mountain - our reason #1 for visiting Wales was for Mike to climb Mount Snowdon with his 3 Parry grandsons - Rogan, Kaleb and Mason. The weather was looking very bleak but we headed out dressed in all of the clothing we had. It was a very tough climb made harder by the slippery rocks and very damp and windy conditions. We finally reached the summit after 3 hours of slogging and were rewarded with absolutely no view at all because we were in the clouds! But the cafeteria had hot tea and chocolate which we enjoyed. A few of us made the wise decision to travel down by train. The rest of the gang did the walk down on a much less steep track to Llaamberis. Last night we all had some well deserved drinks and pub dinners after long hot showers. Al and Natalie were with us and Al’s sons Dan and Mike ( the younger Mike Parry)

    This morning we visited Gelert’s grave and Al soulfully recounted the sad story of the dog named Gelert who protected Prince Llewellen’s baby son from wolfs only to be killed by his master who mistakenly thought Gelert had attacked the baby. A sad tale and a good example of why one should never quickly jump to conclusions. It’s also a great example of good marketing as the whole story was concocted as a way to attract visitors to the village. Al didn’t include that part of the story but I know that.
    Today we say goodbye to the UK Parrys and point our cars south to the town of Cardigan where we have rented a holiday cottage for 3 nights. That’s it for now.
    Heather x
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  • Day5

    The Parrys have Landed

    June 10, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Hello from Frodsham, England
    The Parrys have assembled.
    Mike and I had a long but smooth journey via Frankfurt then back to Manchester. ( long explanation than involves not wanting to fly Rouge). Al and Natalie met us and we had a fairly quiet first couple of days that included the required first trip to pub to help with jet-lag. Mike assures me this is evidence-based- [picture enclosed]. On Sunday morning , very bright and early , the Parrys from Whitehorse and Ottawa arrived bleary-eyed but smiling. Natalie and Al have been the perfect hosts and they filled everyones’ bellies with porridge, toast and bacon upon arrival. Sounds like Air Transat was fine to travel with but they didn’t waste extra money on a hot breakfast . We all managed a walk in the fields and some shut eye before we headed out to pub for a rendezvous with Al’s sons Dan and Mike and their families. It was a great evening with lots of laughter and photographs. Mike and Rian brought Welsh soccer shirts and hats for the boys which they have been proudly sporting. Tara mentioned over and over just how nice it was to see her cousins again and to meet their families. We returned to Al’s place for the “after party. “. Then we all crashed for a long rest last night. Rogan was first up at 5 am and completed a workout before the rest of us got up. He is committed to his training for paddling this summer.
    Today after another hardy breakfast we headed into Chester. Mike led the group to see the old Roman city walls. We then headed into Wales with a stop at another great pub The Eagle and Child for lunch. More large plates of hearty food including huge, stacked hamburgers. The boys are in heaven! We visited the village of Meliden and found the graves of Mike’s Aunty Joyce and Uncle Bill. Some of you will have met Mike’s Aunty Joyce. She died only 2 years ago. We also found Mike’s Grandparents’ grave in the church cemetery. Finally, we climbed the Gop ( a large hill) where Mike’s parents ashes were scattered. Beautiful views over Wales from the top. So it was a day for Mike to share his stories and memories. Tara, Ryan, Niki and I also have some memories from the area and it was nice to go back.
    We now have two rental cars. Ryan and Mike are driving with Niki and I taking the lead as navigators. Some of the Welsh laneways we were on today were very, very narrow and the car alerts were beeping often. Tomorrow we load up and head to the Snowdonia area. Unfortunately, weather forecast is not looking great for the “big Parry Mount Snowdon ascent” planned for Wednesday.
    More to follow from Bedgelert.
    Hope all is well at home.
    I’ll send pictures in a couple of batches.
    Love Heather (Mom) xx
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  • Day4

    Finally diagnosed Mike's Condition

    March 28, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Hello folks,

    Mike and I have finished our week in England. We spent the past 3 days in the Yorkshire area where we explored some small villages and managed some walks to ward off some of the damage caused by pub lunches and pies. As part of our walk in the market town of Richmond, we popped into a microbrewery where Mike read about « cenosillicaphobia » and realized that this is the condition from which he has been suffering. This condition is the fear of an empty glass. He feels better knowing his condition is actually medical and that there may be a treatment.
    In Richmond we also took a tour of the oldest working theatre in the UK. An old Georgian Theatre which has been restored to it’s original state with modern amenities like lighting and electric lights so that it can continue to work. Yesterday we made a stop in the city of York where we looked in on the York Minster cathedral and impressive gothic structure built for the catholic church but converted during the reformation.

    The Yorkshire Dales are beautiful rolling hills and valleys with frequent small stone villages. Lots of tea shops , old pubs and farms. The people have broad accents like listening to BBC 1 shows ( eg Last Tango in Halifax)We had lunch on the North York Moors in a very old pub where Ron and Mike stayed last year. An overriding smell in many villages is that of burning coal as many places are still heated with coal. Have to say the Northern area is quite pleasant especially since we hit a dry spell weather-wise. It is far more scenic and pleasant than the very densely populated southern regions of England. Worth another visit. Mac there is a great air museum in York but we didn’t stop in.

    Today we repack and head to Portugal on a Ryan Air flight from Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Looking forward to reconvening with our biking buddies Helen and Laura tonight.
    Just returned our rental car to Enterprise. It was unscathed which was a feat considering the narrow ways we travelled. Our waistlines are not as unaffected!

    That’s all for now. Thanks for all the comments and notes. Happy Easter!
    Heather/ Mom x
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  • Day1

    Weekend at an English Manor House

    March 25, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Mike and I left Victoria, once again, on Wednesday morning. Our first stop on this trip is England where we will spend a total of 7nights. Mike’s brother Alun turned 70 on March 22 and we are here to celebrate with the extended Parrys.
    Our trip over to Europe was pleasantly uneventful as we enjoyed premium economy, bulk head seats, the airport lounges and a glass or two of vino to make things easier. We rented a car in Manchester - an SUV with a funny name (it has 2 Qs in the name?) Poor Mike has to take the burden of all the driving in the UK and coming off a plane tired and having to immediately navigate round-abouts ( traffic circles) going the wrong way... well you can understand why one needs a refreshment upon arrival. Actually, we rested and then took Al “out to pub” for his birthday dinner.
    Friday A.M. we packed up some food and ++ cases of champagne and set off north to the Lake District. For those unfamiliar with English geography, the Lake District is in the county of Cumbria on England’s west coast. It is the hilly region of the country with the highest peak, Scarfell. There are many beautiful lakes in the area. It is probably the most popular holiday area of the country for Brits who cottage there and enjoy the walking while all the overseas tourists are crowding places like London, Oxford and the likes.
    Mike and I spent Friday exploring some small picturesque towns like Windemere where we spent time with Ron and Diane a few years ago. Mike pointed out some of the spots he and Ron hiked last year on their coast to coast hike. I have a new appreciation for how challenging their 2 week walking adventure must have been.

    We arrived at our weekend home away from home , a beautifully restored Manor house called Melmerby Hall located in the small village of Melmerby. Not quite Downton Abbey scale but certainly very large and beautifully appointed. There are many common rooms, some formal and some less formal. There are 9 bedrooms with ensuites. There is a massive industrial type kitchen and a kitchen table that can seat 20. There is a formal dining room which we used last night. We all agree it would be a spectacular property in which to live if it had a Mr Carson and a couple of Mrs Hughes.
    The entire weekend gang arrived at about 530 Friday night and there was lots of hugging, oohing and awing over the children we hadn’t met yet-and lots of group pictures. Besides ourselves and Al and Natalie, there are Al’s 3 sons, 2 partners, 4 children ,Al’s brother-in-law Eric and his wife from Plymouth whom we stayed with last year , and two couples who are close friends of Al’s. On Friday we had our meet and greet at the local pub which is only a few hundred metres up the road.

    Yesterday Helen arrived by train from London. We also managed a very long walk to a nearby village and then back over the fields. The British system of rights of way is so interesting as there are marked walking trails in virtually every direction. The fields are full of sheep and their babies as they have just birthed. A few of them might have ended up at dinner last but.... they are rather sweet to see. There were lots of horses to pet along the way so the children were happy. Mike and I decided not to travel with heavy hiking shoes/ boots for this part of the trip so we were a bit mucky by the end of the walk.

    Last night (Saturday) was the big birthday event and we all got dressed up to celebrate. The men looked particularly handsome in their tuxedos. Mike borrowed one and we hitched up the pant hems and squeezed him into a borrowed shirt. The party was a great success with a wonderful dinner that Al had catered. There was free flowing champagne and a few toasts. After dinner we moved back the rugs and danced. We were missing you Jon on DJ duty. I think that Al was very pleased with how things went and having the family and his closest friends around.
    Today we were all moving a bit more slowly. The children including a 7month old, a 2 year old like our Malcolm named after Mike’s Dad Frank , a very chatty 3 year old girl named Lowrie and Chris’s daughter Lilly were all up at their usual time. I think one of the parents Susanna was on kid duty so the rest could lie in.
    We enjoyed another very scenic walk today up and down the local farmer’s fields. The weather is holding but promises to get cooler for the rest of the week.
    Helen took the train back to London this afternoon. She puts her head down for a few days of work and then we RV again on Thursday night for the second leg of our trip in Portugal. Until Thursday, Mike and I are planning to spend a few more days exploring the Lake District and the Yorkshire dales. We are actually looking forward to a couple of quiet days as things have been a fast-paced blur for the past few months.

    That’s all the news from the Manor house. Ta ta for now!
    Heather/ Mom
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