Thursday, June 9, 2011

St. Ives

woke up in Plymouth and visited the steps that the Pilgrims left on. Very mossy and old. Next we went to Penzance and saw the island where they believe Camelot was. The ocean is not as blue as the caribbean but the color of light denim.

We then traveled to St. Ives where we had to walk down at least 200 steps to a beach city. It was filled with cobblestone streets and it is a Cornish town. We are actually in Cromwell. As you know Prince Charles and Camilla are the Duke and Duchess of Cromwell. We were told that this is more important that being the Prince of Wales because the property in Cromwell that came with the tile brings him over 30 million a year in income.

They are very big on cornish pasties and cornish ice cream. I hope to never again see a pastry. The ice cream was really good although. The cows in Cornwall produce a heavy cream milk unlike other cows in England. They use this cream to make the clotted cream for the scones. It tastes like a mixture of whipping cream and butter my two favorites. This has not been good for the hips.

We are back in Plymouth again for the night and tomorrow we are visiting Queen Victoria and Alberts summer residence on the Isle of Wright and seeing Stonehedge. We will be in Portsmouth for the night and then back to London. Yah and Nay!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

South East England

We saw another castle today from the Norman Invaders of 1100. It was then given over to King James around 1600's and it was all redone. I think all the girls would have fallen down the stairs in those dresses.

We arrived in Cheddar, like the cheese because this is where it came from. We tried several cheese and bread combos. It was really tasty. We wanted to bring some home but only hard cheese can travel and they were all really sharp. If we brought home soft cheese they said it would be green and mushy.

We arrived in Bath where we went to the roman ruins and saw the hot mineral baths. So much water runs through the ground you can fill a bathtub in 8 seconds. No one is allowed to touch the water today because of all the lead in the water. We then shopped in the plaza and once again ate scones with cream and jam. Yummy!

Next was Bristol where we spent the night. Kayla and I walked to the harbor and had seafood. It was not what we expected. The lobster was so small Kay finished it off in three bites. They dont give you a bowl for butter but dribble it on before they serve it. Needless to say we once again survived because of dessert. We viewed the Georgian period architecture and saw where they filmed sense and senseability/notting hill/emma.

We went to Wells this morning the site of yet another Abby that Henry VIII destroyed. There was an open air market and Kayla bought yarn. I guess she is now going to knit!!

Then off to Glouchester where we saw the burial site of King Arthur and Gwenaviere. Apparently they were dug up and moved up the hill to the St. Joseph cathedral where Jesus and his appostle Joseph worked. The Abby is ruin today because of Henry VIII.

We arrived in Plymouth. Very modern and concrete. It was completly destroyed in WWII by Hitler because it was the home to the royal navy. We traveled by ferry across the bay to dinner with the group. After dinner I noticed an earls house was next door and wish we had done that tour instead. Dinners are not very good, we are tired of eating mushy veggies usually filled with cabbage. Yorkshire pudding. Boiled potatoes. Pork. and warm water. If you dont drink beer, excuse me Ale or wine you have no other choices. We are already planning to find an Italian restaurant tomorrow night for pizza. We have not seen one Mexican restaurant. We have seen Indian food, an occasional chinese restaurant and sometimes a KFC, McD. or B. King but only bums eat there.

Tomorrow we are going to drive to the steps where the pilgrims left from and then to the farthest south west point of England called St. ives.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We got to liverpool yesterday and had dinner at the hotel. Once again the food was just "ehhh." The hotel we are staying at is literally the "it" spot in liverpool. There was tons and tons of Hen parties, which in America are known as Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. Only over here the girls and guys have to dress up. The girl who was getting married was in a firefighter halloween costume, and the boy was in a pink wig and yellow ballerina skirt. The hotel had people running in the halls all night, and some of them pulled the fire alarm, so the alarm went off at night. Some of the people in our tour even said that the people were knocking on their doors at night. DRUNK PEOPLE.

Mom and I sat in the lobby watching some of the parties going on. We realized that girls are way more into their hair here. The have perfect haircuts and no hair goes undone when going out for a night on the town. We went to bed pretty early though because we had to be up at 6am for our tour! All of the old people in our group were commenting about how short the girls dresses were, and all I could think about is..."wow, if they could only see vegas on a friday night."

Today we went to a a few small villages and shopped and ate. There wasn't much for shopping today, because when its Sunday in England the whole country pretty much shuts down all of the stores, etc. It really is a holy day over here.

We also got to go to a Castle today. It was amazing. It was our second favorite after Warwick. This castle was huge. It was still in good condition...for the medieval days that is. It was like a maze inside, and it was pretty fun to climb all around it and explore. Mom and I took so many pictures! There were little hidden pathways all over the castle, and you best believe that we found them all! We even found the "old toilets."

Then we traveled down to the Island that Kate and William live. We got to shop in the local store, but we didn't get to see as much as we would have liked. We kept hoping to see them strolling down the street, but we were not so lucky. We kept guessing which house we thought was theirs, but once again our luck was not so good. We have a few good guesses though! We saw a huge one on the water and thats our guess ;).

We got back to the hotel early tonight and for once we didn't have an included dinner with our tour group. It was sooooo nice! Mom and I had dinner early, walked around the city, took a shower, and got ready for bed all before 7p.m. They are all just getting back from their tour now, and we have already completed our night! We are getting a little tired of sitting on a bus everywhere, so it was nice getting to walk all around the city.

On the way to dinner I spotted a man running. I pointed him out to mom and we realized that a few cops where chasing him. We got to see a real police chase in the streets of Liverpool! We don't know why he was running, but it was exciting to see. The cops were getting tired, and the man running from the cops saw that they had a back-up car, so he just stopped and the cops that were chasing him threw him on the ground. The all handcuffed him and threw him in the back of the car. Mom and I took pictures of it. It was pretty exciting cause the man running away ran right in front of us. Never saw one of those before!

Then we ate at this AMAZING Italian place for dinner. The food was soooo good, for once! Mom and I kept ordering meal after meal because we finally had our tummies full with some good food! Then we hunted down a movie theater, because we were in dyer need for some salty popcorn. There popcorn was not freshly popped, but it wasn't as greasy as our either. When you order popcorn here you get a choice of salty or sweet. They also had beer available to drink, a candy store filled from ceiling to floor, and a ben n' jerry's ice cream. So different from home!

We just got back to the hotel now and we are going to try and skype a few and watch tv. We have an early start in the morning. So far we really like Liverpool. Can't wait to see the South of Wales tomorrow.

Kayla and Sandy Ornelas

Friday, June 3, 2011


We posted Blogs from the last 3 days today, because we didn't have internet at the hotel. If you want to catch up on the last 3 days make sure to read the 2 prior to this post!

Glasgow, Scotland

We drove down the west coast of Scotland today and saw the battle groundsof Glencoe where the McDonalds (us) were slaughterd by the Campbells. We also went on a boat ride on Loch Lomond where Rbo Roy stayed. There is a beautiful castle hotel on the loch for future use. We had lunch and bought surprises today in Fort Williams. This was an english stronghold in the middle of Scotland when they were destroying the clans. Kay had Ceaser Salad for lunch which consisted of old limp lettuce and chunks of chicken with a mayo type dressing. She shared my just as horrible chicken sandwhich. Fish and Chips have bones and skin, not like home!!

Glasgow is a large city with old buildings. It reminds me of downtown LA but is packed with people. Tomorrow we are going to Gretna Green ( like vegas) this is where couples came and eloped hundreds of years ago. Then we are off to Liverpool, hello Beatles.

Kayla and Sandy Ornelas

Post from yesterday!

Yesterday we stayed at a hotel that had no internet, no shower (only a bath), no telephone, and only 5 stations on the t.v. Apparently Skye is still very primitive, and they didn't even get television until 1970! It was literally like being transported back into time! The hotel was not that and I had a horrible night sleep. We could hear the people above us walking around all night! Every time someone moved we would hear "creeeek."

Yesterday we woke up and drove all the way to the Isle of Skye. It was a really long drive. Lunch was horrible, so the bus driver took us to a little village and everyone loaded up on panini's, ice cream , smoothies, and bread. If its one thing that Britain sucks at....its their food. It is so bland, the sauces are all wrong, and its the same thing to eat day after day. We can't wait to go home and have a good meal. Its not like we are starving either! Our new diet consist of bread, ice cream, and cookies in order to keep full. THey don't have any veggies here besides potatoes, and salad is a foreign language to most of the places we go. We are dying for a good ceaser salad!

Then we had a bus tour and we saw where Flora MacDonald's grave was. It was so windy out that we were literally being blown away. We basically just looked around at the atmosphere at all day and tok pictures. We think its a lot like Canada.

We took a walk after dinner. It was really pretty because we stayed right on a harbor. It never got dark all night, so the whole group took a walk at 10 at was so bright out. We had to close the curtain to sleep at night, and it was still extremely bright out!

Tomorrow we head back to England!

P.S. We learned that people from other countries like to travel to America to eat, because we have "SUCH BIG PORTIONS."

Post from 2 days ago!

Today we woke up and went to St. Andrews University and Cathedral. We got to see the town that William and Kate fell in love. We also got to see the beach where William was photographed surfing, as well as the St. Andrews golf course. Mom and I took a picture next to the 18th hole, and we went inside the golf shop to get a few things. Then we went to a café and had scones and hot chocolate with marshmallows as we over looked the ocean. It was really pretty.

We got back inside the bus and drove down to Perth where we had time to eat some lunch. It was really yummy food! We got to eat at this place called “McKays,” which was right next door to “MacDonalds” ironically. I ordered Macaroni and Cheese. It really hit the spot. I haven’t had anything that I thought was really amazing in a while, so I ate it all up. Mom didn’t have anything. We shopped in the town for a little before leaving for our tour.

Then we went to Blair Castle. It wasn’t like we thought it was going to be, but it was pretty fascinating to see. It was Georgian architecture. So many different Dukes had remodeled it that the style kept changing, and in the end that’s the style it ended up being left. Warwick Castle is still our favorite. We wish all of the Castles were like that one. We think that Blair would have been just as good if they would have left the style Medieval.

Then we got to our hotel and slept until dinner. They had us out so late for the Scottish Dinner that we were exhausted today. We slept on the bus most of the time, which is no easy task. The rest of the group did a side excursion to a sheep farm to see dogs herd sheep, but we opted not to do that specific tour. Not our cup of tea…I guess you can say. Plus, we already saw it on the way over to Scotland the first day by chance.

We just finished another 3 -course dinner at our hotel and now we are going to bed. We left everyone down there to enjoy the rest of the night. Mom and I are the youngest, and always the first ones to sleep. The rest of the “old people” stay up until 2 a.m. In the morning and still get up at 6 a.m. Last night all the woman sent their husbands to bed, and the woman stayed up drinking in the bar until the “weee” hours of the morning. Or at least that’s what we heard in the morning. I guess you can say we feel older than the old people.

The two Filipino people we had dinner with are friends with “Baby’s” sister-in-law. Once we said his name…there faces changed just like everyone does when we mention his name.

Well tomorrow is “Nessie” and the Isle of Sky. Just what we have been waiting for!

Kayla and Sandy Ornelas

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fun in Euro

This morning we woke up and did a tour all through-out Edinburgh. We saw the "new" and "old" towns, as well as Princess Street. We had a Scottish tour guide and he was wearing the famous kilt. He was a wonderful tour guide and told us so many interesting facts!

He took us up the Castle where we had tea, and we got to see the crown and sword of the king from long, long ago. There was seven gates that we had to pass through in order to just reach the castle. This was to keep the invaders out of their territory. It was only taken over once by surprise. So far Warwick Castle is our favorite, because this one was turned into more of a museum, but we still have Blair Castle tomorrow, so that should be fun!

Then we went to the Royal Brittania Yacht. It wasn't as spectacular as we thought it was going to be, but it was amazing to know that we walked in the same footsteps as some of the royals. We also got to see the bed that Charles and Diana slept in on their honeymoon. The style inside of it was British Cottage. It had a 40's look to it. It wouldn't be my choice of style, but then again I don't own a yacht.

We did learn some interesting things about their time aboard the yacht though. We learned that the staff had to measure all of the silverware each night before dinning because it had to be exact, if the royals came in a room where help wasn't suppose to be seen the "help" had to freeze and stare straight ahead until the royals left, if the royals got tired of saluting sailors then the sailors had to take off their hats (because then they were not in uniform) and the royals no longer have salute, etc...I would feel bad living like that and having others take care of me, but I guess I don't have to worry about that.

We had some downtime to shop in the city, so found a family heritage building and looked up our family heritage. We learned that the last name "Houston" comes from the MacDonald Clan. We are highlanders!

Tonight we went to a scottish dinner show. We had dinner in a huge banquet room. It reminded mom and I of being at a wedding reception. Mom tried Haggis...yuck!!!! I wouldn't/couldn't do it! The show was really nice. They had dancers, bagpipers, comedians/dancers, etc... The dancing had a story line behind it, which was related to the MacDonald Clan, so that was pretty cool to see. They even had our "clan tartan" kilt on during the show.

The Motto's that the Scottish go by are "If you hit me, I will hit you." This is posted on one of their castles. The Scottish don't mess around!

We also learned that when the people in the "olden days" use to throw poop out the window...the pigs would be let out, and the would eat all of the sewage of the people. Yuck!

The Scottish tour director today said "Elton John is like a jolly fat man, with sausages for fingers." He then continued on to call him a "rich fruitcake." They have no comment sensors out here! Its pretty obvious that the scottish don't like the English either! They make fun of them pretty constant.

We didn't get to go into the Holyrood House, because the Queen is suppose to be in town in 5 days, so they have all of her staff/security down here getting it ready for her. Must be nice! It was really pretty though!

P.S. At breakfast a days ago. Mom and I noticed that they still sit the Blacks/Whites on different sides of the restaurant. It was pretty noticeable! I am not sure if everyone noticed, but was for sure done on purpose. Can't believe they still do that out here at some places!

Tomorrow is St.Andrews, Perth, and Blair Castle.

Kayla and Sandy Ornelas