Tuesday, June 1:  A Fun-Filled Drive to Hadrien’s Wall

Slowly I crawled out of bed and started packing, because we were going somewhere else again. I had no trouble, and soon everybody else was ready too. We walked down to breakfast again, and I had the Full English Breakfast. We walked back upstairs, grabbed our bags, carted them down, and threw them in the car. We said goodbye to the lady who lived there, and then drove off. But we weren’t starting the big drive yet, because we had to stop at the laundromat, and it was too far to walk. We parked our car on the road, and walked inside. A nice man helped us load the laundry, and then we just had to wait. Dad and Robert went out to do some errands, so I just read my book. Then they came back, dropped Robert off, picked me up, and we walked to the phone booth to make a call. My dad used his phone card, and then we went back. The laundry was finished, so we packed up again and went back to the car, and started driving.

It wasn’t a scenic drive so far, but soon we were stopping again, to visit a National Trust place. Everyone got out, and we walked through the maze of car parks to the visitor center. We went to the small booth to get tickets, showed our pass, and we went in. We were seeing this place because it is a huge ruin, but amazingly intact. There are also other things to do around it. We walked down the wet trail (it was raining), and came to the first stop, a mill. You couldn’t tell it was from the outside, but we went in and looked around. We could see the water wheel, and it was spinning very fast. Some other things were a grain grinder and a movie about the history. We ground the grain, skipped the movie, and exited. The second thing to do was to go inside the mini-museum. It didn’t have very many interesting things, so we left. Now we were doing the third thing, actually seeing the abbey! It was huge, as we looked up at it, and could recognize some cloisters and a bell tower. Everybody walked through it, looking in ruined rooms, and it was very neat. Eventually we popped out at the other side, facing a stream. That reminded us of the fourth thing, to walk down the stream and to the lake, and then back. We started, looking at the things in the water. Eventually we came to a small waterfall on a slanted piece of rock, where the ducklings were trying to go up, but the current pushed them down! It was very funny. As we went on, we came to a pond at the end, but not the lake. We turned left and came onto the path in the trees and walked along it. Then we came to the formal gardens, a bunch of mini-ponds in an order, and was very pretty, with al of the flowers. But my mom didn’t realize that the lake was so far away, so we just turned around there to go get some lunch at the visitor center.

We came into the square and found the cafeteria and walked inside. I got a “kids pack” and sat down at a table overlooking the grass outside. I had a cheese sandwich, an apple, some black current fruit juice, and a cookie. Everything was great, and the juice was different, and tasted like grape. When everyone else was done, we left and walked back to the car, where we drove on. From here on it got a little more scenic, and 2 hours later we were on a hill, overlooking a huge valley, and it was very beautiful. It continued on like this for a long time, with the sheep and the rock fences. Eventually we could see our town in the distance, Haltwhistle. We were staying here because of Hadrien’s wall, which was nearby. A cool fact about this town is that it is in the exact center of Britain! If you picked Britain up and put a needle on this town, it would stand up! We drove through it and found the Tourist Office, grabbed some maps, and began to search for our B+B, the Doors Cottage. We followed the address outside of the town a bit, and found a house with the sign, so we parked and got out. Behind us a bit was the town, and in front of us was a long road, and it was right over the countryside, which we could easily see from here. We walked in through the gate, and a woman came out to help us with our rooms. We followed her down some stairs outside, and down into a back door, and then into a mini-lobby. She pointed out the bathroom that we’d share, and then showed Robert’s and my room. It was long, with two single beds at the end, a TV, and a closet. Then we went to our parent’s room down the hall, which was like ours only with a double bed and was bigger. The woman left, so we unpacked all of our stuff.

When we had that covered, I did my homework for a bit, and then looked out the window. I could see the country, with some sheep, and then I noticed some rabbits, coming out of their burrow! It was very cool. Then my mom came in, and she said that we were getting ready to go to dinner, so I walked out into the mini-lobby. Then everybody else came, and we left. The pub that was recommended was just down the road, so we walked. Soon we came to it, and walked inside. The kids were allowed in the eating part, just not the bar, so we found a seat. Robert started a house of cards while I looked at the menu. I got the kid’s chicken nuggets and a Tango. While we waited, my dad started a conversation with the people at the table across from us, and they lived in England, just not here. They were on a huge hike of Hadrien’s wall, and they had two kids with them. It was two families, 2 dads and two kids. One, Alex, was 13, a little older, but very nice. Then my meal came, so I ate it while we talked. It was very good chicken, and was very moist, which I liked. The Tango was good too, and the chips and beans were all right. We talked for another hour or two, and then everyone decided to leave. When we all did, they asked if they were going to be here tomorrow night, and we said yes, so we would meet them. They left, and then we walked back home, where I fell asleep. Tomorrow we’re going to visit Hadrien’s wall.