Cruising, boozing… and other delights

I just had a lovely couple of weeks off work while Mum and Dad visited.  It was so nice to see them and spend time together as always….

The highlight of the trip this year was our canal boat cruise on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

We headed down south and stayed in the pretty city of Wells for one night before picking up the canal boat.  I was quite enamoured with that place.  It was small enough to walk around comfortably but had a very grand cathedral and some lovely quaint streets.  Our hotel was conveniently located opposite the cathedral green which was a good place for Stella to run and chase the ball.  It was an especially great place for taking photos –particularly places like Vicars Close with the chimneys lined up on each side of the street.

Mum & Dad's Visit 022 Mum & Dad's Visit 032 Mum & Dad's Visit 127

Mum & Dad's Visit 042 Mum & Dad's Visit 081

Mum & Dad's Visit 098 Mum & Dad's Visit 072

Mum & Dad's Visit 070-1

After our stop in Wells, we headed to Hilperton just outside Bradford on Avon to pick up our narrowboat.  Paul was the only one of us brave enough to captain it but he did it with great effect.  On our first night after making it through the lock at Bradford on Avon with some trepidation, we found a great space to moor right outside the Tithe Barn.  We made our way to the fish and chip shop and enjoyed our food while sitting outside the Three Horseshoes with a pint of cider.  (Mum and Dad ate in the comfort of the restaurant but it wasn’t a dog friendly one, sadly….)

Mum & Dad's Visit 150 P1020573

IMG_4628 Mum & Dad's Visit 151

The next day, we explored the town a bit more before setting off on the canal towards Bath.  Two aqueducts, a couple of swing bridges and lots of bridges later, we found a place to moor in Bathwick which had a nice view of the city of Bath and was a short walk into the centre.  After another pint or two, the purchase of some yummy Ben’s cookies and a Christmas decoration and a wander around the streets we headed back to the boat for our dinner and a few games of cards.  Paul was crowned card champion for the night.  On Sunday morning we headed back into Bath and found the famous Crescent and some pretty nearby gardens as well as the Jane Austen Centre before setting back sailing towards Bradford on Avon.  We teased Mum about missing church on Sunday which she justified by referring to the Thursday night service they attended in Wells.  I suppose that is acceptable. 😉

We made it back safely through the lock and moored further up the canal less than an hour from Hilperton.  The game of choice on the last night of the trip was Canada-opoly.  Paul was again victorious….   Something fishy is going on there, I think!

P1020611 P1020613

We dropped the boat off on Monday morning and headed home via a stop in Shrewsbury.  Stella enjoyed running in the park and I enjoyed eating the cupcake that looked like Elmo.

In addition to the boat trip, Mum, Dad and I also had a few nice days out in the vicinity of Palm Hill.  Places visited included Liverpool, Thurstaston, Birkenhead Market, The Wheatsheaf, Moreton Shore, Hoylake, Birkenhead Park and Storeton Woods.  We also had a nice meal out with Mum’s cousins, Dot and Bebe – and Bebe’s husband Roy.  That was a good catch up with lots of memories shared.

Mum & Dad's Visit 006 Mum & Dad's Visit 009

I am missing Mum and Dad now that they have gone back home and already thinking about the next time we will see each other…. The sooner the better, I say. To summarise the visit, I have made a note of the best and worst things about the visit all together with a particular focus on the canal boat trip!

Best Meal – Fish and Chips in Bradford on Avon

Best Pint – The Pear and Apple Cider at the Three Horseshoes in Bradford on Avon

Best Attraction – Bishop’s Palace Garden, Wells

Best Cruise – Back from Bath to Bradford on Avon

Best Mooring – Opposite the Tithe Barn in Bradford on Avon

Best Photo taking opportunity – Wells

Best Surprise – The Georgian Garden in Wells

Worst Thing – Beds on the Boat

Best Dessert – Ben’s Cookies, Bath

Best News – Cat updates from Canada including pictures

Best Purchase – Dad’s waterproof jacket from Millets in Birkenhead

Best Driving Feat – U Turn of the 47 ft boat at Bath Lock

Best Market – Birkenhead

Best Walk – Moreton Shore

Best Lunch – Pork Pies from Adam’s butcher of Oxton

Funniest Things – Mum getting in the wrong car at Hoylake and Dad asking where the cat was when he was talking about Stella

Thing that scared Stella the most – Bumping around in the Lock.  Time to hide in the shower.

Thing that scared the rest of us the most – Mum taking a tumble when coming into our back yard on the last night of the holidays.  Luckily she escaped with some bent glasses, a few cuts and bruises and a very swollen (but thankfully not broken) hand.  Hope it heals quickly and Mum can get back to doing her down dogs very soon.