Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Business Anyone?

So many times I think "Oh I'm gonna put that in the blog so I don't forget it!" and then guess what?! That's right I don't get it in the blog and I forget it! And sometimes it's just as simple as giving the monthly updates...this poor baby...not that she doesn't have millions of pictures taken of her as well - they just haven't been uploaded onto here. 
But that's life with 2, things you thought you'd get accomplished one day - 1 week later you realize you still haven't gotten it done! Okay, and it could just be me, with my mommy brain, who is still not getting a full nights sleep...Someday all of these things will be accomplished in a timely manner! But until then the 4 loads of clean laundry are piled high in 2 baskets in the living room, while the 5th load is waiting in the dryer to be moved into one of the 2 overflowing baskets. Amazingly we haven't yet run out of clothes...guess that proves we have too many...or maybe we have the perfect amount! LOL
At one point I thought I'd start my own business - you know for parents who don't have time to fold and who don't have kids who are capable/coordinated enough to fold would be a laundry folding and putting away service. Most people can do the laundry it's just the folding and putting it away where the issues come into play. In major cities - sure you can use a laundry service - but they don't put the clothes away...and if you're not in a major city then you don't have that service. 
I know you're probably laughing and thinking it's crazy...but people have cleaners - personally sometimes it's easier to clean the entire house than fold and put laundry up! I mean if the Monkey wants to help clean he can...if he wants to help fold - well there's laundry wadded up everywhere - because he thinks wadding up clothes is the same as folding them. He'll learn...I keep trying.

Nottingham = ROBIN HOOD!

Ok, so our kids don't know who Robin Hood is - but one is only 6 mo old so that's her excuse! The other we tried to tell him who Robin Hood was on the drive up to Nottingham - amidst all his questions and random stories he had to tell us right then. So I promised him we'd watch Disney's Robin Hood soon - he wasn't too excited about it...he really does not like movies that much, oh well.
We are so not the people who see restaurants from "home" and say "OH Man! We have to eat there!" Because there are so many great local restaurants to be discovered - however that doesn't mean we don't take pictures of them...and so I give you Hooters in Nottingham!
The whole point of going to Nottingham - besides wanting to get out on a beautiful day and go consploring (and yes, I do say consploring instead of exploring now), was because well - there's a castle and caves and Sherwood Forest! We drove into the center, parked (next time we'll park outside and ride in), and walked down the hill to the castle. Someone was going to run down the hill but decided it was "too steep" and so "put the breaks on" and walked slowly down the hill with his hands clenched at his sides (they were the breaks I think).
Nottingham Castle is located in the center of Nottingham and was a lot of fun! It's not a castle in the traditional sense - it's been destroyed numerous times - so it's not one where you go and see what a castle was like back in the days of castles (are we still in the days of castles?) - it's been turned into an art gallery and exhibit.
 But they have some beautiful grounds around the castle - yes, yes, they have Robin Hood...
But they also had "The Sweepers". Which I would love for someone in my family to do this in their yard! You know one of the people who enjoys yard work and has a yard...(Dad? Dave?)
The Monkey was in charge of the map - he LOVES maps (seriously you can just send him maps and he's
Looking out over Nottingham...I mean this castle was right smack in the middle of downtown Nottingham! (Yeah it was a tad foggy - not as bad as it had been - and it didn't stay around - the sun was able to break through it.) We kept walking around - to get to the entrance of the castle museum and what did we find outside?!
That's right folks - this isn't famous because of Robin Hood, nope - apparently Jesus (the man pictured in blue) used to live here! The other picture is the front entrance of the castle.
And since it's a castle the entrance can't be ordinary - so they had these beautiful stone mosaics on the ground as you entered.
Inside was a suit of armor...I might've told the monkey - as he was posing for the picture - that it moved.
Okay, let's back up a step. The monkey and a museum. They are not 2 "M" words that I would usually put together - but here they worked wonderfully well! This museum was set up for kids! Okay, and their parents because there were a lot of things kids wouldn't find all that interesting - but in the different rooms there were things for kids to look at and "learn" as well. So in the one with different artifacts (at least I think that's what was in the room) there was a huge Noah's ark mural and doors to open and see the animals, and holes to reach into to feel different textures! (I liked the kids part better than the adult part in this room, can you tell?!)
There was another room that had flip up fact info - which the Monkey had a blast flipping open and closed.
Then it was upstairs, past a Madonna and Child carving, to the art gallery. (You also could've gone downstairs to an exhibit on Robin Hood - but we just didn't get to that section since we were going on a tour of the caves as well...I know, I know, we missed the Robin Hood section! Just think of the kids stuff they'd have in there!)
This art gallery was awesome. Maybe all art galleries are like this now - or maybe they always have been but I've just never noticed since I didn't have a kid with me. But this one had art carts for the kids to make their own art! Paper, frames, pencils, crayons, props, etc...He LOVED it! And the kids could either hang their art on the end of the table to display it or they could take it with them...he decided to take it with him - after all, he doesn't draw for free. The picture of the paining is not what the monkey drew, it was just a painting I liked.
Then it was downstairs to wait for our tour guide - who happened to be Friar Tuck! And I have to say he was an amazing guide! This wasn't a tour I would recommend for kids necessarily - it's an hour in length, tons of history, not a lot of walking but lots of standing - the Monkey did really good, The Munchkin was upset we weren't moving more...but it's not a tour geared towards kids - it was one I would highly recommend though.
He didn't find the tour that interesting - until the sword was pulled out  and a story told about death...and then he said "Oh. Are swords used to kill people mommy?" Before that he found this radiator with peeling paint quite intriguing...I think he asked us 100 times why the paint was peeling and why someone would've taken the paint off if it's not their radiator.
Looking out on St. Mary's Church in Nottingham - it's the oldest church in the city...unfortunately it was closed so we couldn't go inside it...maybe next time. While we were overlooking the city though we found out that originally the city of Nottingham was called "Snottingham" (that was the part of the tour the Monkey LOVED) of the guys that arrived in the area was called "Mr. Snott" and so it was called Snottingham after him (I said "Mr. Snott" because it wasn't "Mr" - but I can't remember what his first name was!)
Then it was time to go down into the caves - after all this was a cave tour!
Down in the caves more gruesome stories were told - seriously just look at that face - she was a little shocked at how a couple of people were killed - one being a King...
In the cave looking back up at one of the old entrances - we didn't go into the cave from there though...and then outside. This rock is what the castle is sitting on top of...and guess what that rock is...
Sandstone! Thankfully it seems pretty sturdy after all these years - even with caves carved out below. There are hundreds of caves - he might've even said a thousand or so - caves in Nottingham! Who knew?!
The  monkey found this thing and immediately climbed inside...which of course prompted other tourists to take pictures of him! I swear he is going to be a celebrity in Asia!
Of course the Munchkin also had her picture taken by other tourists when we were in the cave...I think it's partly because I've trained my kids - somehow - to smile and pose for the camera (phone)...apparently it doesn't have to be my camera (phone)!
After the tour (1p) we went for lunch. Amazingly the monkey wasn't in hysterics about how he was starving (he usually eats lunch at 11:30/12). We decided we'd go to the oldest inn in England - I mean it's not everyday you can do that!
The food was good, but it was also a tourist trap - because everyone wanted to eat at "the oldest inn in England"...
While waiting for our lunch the Munchkin was able to stretch and relax on the bench...
And eat her toes - because really, when you get the freedom to move, the 1st thing you should do is grab those toes and chew away.
After lunch we went consploring around town...we passed another Robin Hood statue right under the castle grounds and then continued on into the city center...
Where what?! There was a FOOD FESTIVAL and market!! Yeah. Well, since all I had eaten was a hamburger patty I was still a tad hungry so I got a lamb curry from the Jamaican stand - HOLY COW was it good! But yeah, we missed out on the other good food. But we walked around looking, smelling, and seeing what all was for sale. Of course the majority of the things the monkey and I couldn't have (me because of Parker) - but oh man did everything look good.
Continuing on our adventure...
The monkey needed a break from walking (we didn't take a stroller for him - trying to get where we don't have to take one since 1/2 the time we're just pushing/dragging it with no child in it).
Finally it was time to head back to the car - we had about a 1 1/2 hr drive back home - and with the monkey skipping his nap for our long adventure - he was starting to fray around the edges. But we passed this Cafe - a "Cat Cafe" - where you can go eat and drink with cats roaming around...we didn't stop, The Monkey would've been obsessed with it had he seen it!
Someone was super tired...well really 2 kids were super tired, but only 1 fell asleep and it wasn't the one that always falls asleep in the car...nope, it was the one who might fall asleep the last 5 min of a car ride - but he finally gave into sleep about 45 min into the drive home...notice he held onto his ticket and box of raisins! Meanwhile the Munchkin just talked happily to herself in the back seat until about 15 min from home when she started crying, but her crying didn't wake her sleeping brother!
At the Festival/Market there was a stand that sold Mead. I'd never had it before but had always wanted to try it - so try it I did! And then because of the cute bottles and the fact that it's honey alcohol - so basically a "health drink" I had to buy a few bottles. It was a great day! And we definitely have to go back because we didn't get to Sherwood Forest! Next time - it's an overnight trip!