After a full day of Harry Potter, we were off to visit my friend from Crystal Lake who was so lovely to offer us a place to stay. I was super excited to see him again and meet his family. Jeff has been living abroad for the last several years, so this would be my first time meeting his wife, Erika and their adorable little one VB.
Once we finally got there, I was ready for some wine! and good friends. Ella and miles felt right at home running around with VB. Ella and Erika talked sci-fi and magna while Sean and I hung out with Jeff while he was making the most delicious food! Once Ella got settled in with a book Erika and Miles hit the playstation. It was great fun watching them.
After a great night sleep Jeff took us on a walking tour of Oxford. It was great having our very own tour guide! After a quick run by Oxford University, we headed to the Oxford library! Ella was so excited to get her hands on all those old books. Turns out you have to be a student to get into most areas, maybe some day. Instead we checked out the exhibits of rare books which was really cool. Even miles got into it! After lunch we bid Jeff adieu and headed to Gloucester Abbey. The kids were sad we couldn't stay long. They really loved Jeff and his family.
The drive to the abbey was breathtaking. There were fields of yellow flowers blooming everywhere. Off in the distance were hills of yellow patches mixed between several shades of green patches.
We had decided to visit the Gloucester Abbey since parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed there. I am so glad we went, the place was unbelievable. They started building it in 1089 and finished in 1499. It took 410 years to build and you can see why. King Edward the II is buried in the main cathedral and there are catacombs below. We wanted to do the free tour but Miles was a little freaked. While we were there they were starting plans to remove the parking lot to restore the gardens that were once there. While they are doing this they need to make sure they don’t upset any people currently resting below the parking lot. Apparently they used to bury people all over the grounds of the church.
If you get a chance to check this place out you can wander around for quite some time. Best of all it is free, they just ask for a donation if you would like.
After the Gloucester, I picked a small hotel that was actually a pub with sleeping rooms above. I thought it would be perfect since it was about 2 hours from our place in Wales, and it is Sean’s birthday(he is waiting till Belgium to celebrate). I thought he could stay for a drink at the bar, while we headed to bed. When we first walked in, my first impression was that there is no way this is going to work. It was a bar! but once we met the charming couple that owned the place and saw our room, I was glad we came. Plus as an added bonus, it has been the best food we have eaten since we're been here. They had a little something for everyone. Happy 40th Sean!