Friday, May 31, 2013

One week - flown past

Today it was planned to be an early start,  to catch the low tide at Seaside Beach, in Cardiff.

Apart from losing my camera, it was a beautiful morning with shell & stone collecting, crab spotting and Sadie getting wetter and less dressed as time passed.
It was when I spotted a large crab that I decided to get the camera out. It was no where to be seen! A very sad moment and, despite hunting back and forth along the beach, no trace could be found.

I eventually caught up with the rest of the clan, who were oblivious of the mishap.
Once we were back in the cars we headed off for snacks & drinks.

Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent with Ben working, Madeline feeding Norah and/or packing, Grandma reading her Kindle and/or entertaining Sadie and Granddad helping where he could (boxes into the garage, playing with Sadie, cuddles with Norah.

When the temperature had dropped a little, we all set off to do a walk near Quail Gardens.

A lovely walk with children randomly in or out of the 'stroller' - as always the plants, views and more, are stunning.
Granddad showed his reflexes were still good as he caught Sadie as she fell off the steps up to the top of the playground slide.
Ben and Chris have gone off to Yoga, Sadie is in bed & Madeline is feeding Norah and tucking her up for the night.
1 week down and looking forward to the next.

This photo is one of Madelines-
Ben & Chris returned with a meal from...

Watch this space...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday & Wednesday!

After a lazy start to the day we set off to see Sadie doing her gymnastics at 11 am. A sore toe prevented her from performing her full repertoire but there was a lot of bouncing on the trampoline and a few feats on the bars, dressed in her beautiful pink leotard and black shorts.

John, Madeline and the girls then returned home whilst Ben and I went I search of fish tacos for lunch from Pelly's - an interesting way to eat prawns and lobster with rice, shredded cabbage and a yoghurty dressing.

The girls napped, I caught up with some sunbathing and then it was down to beach to meet up with Greg and Kathleen. Ben surfed very impressively, John swam (brr!), Sadie dug holes and the rest of us chatted and caught up with the last few years. Ben and I went to the store for supplies then back to base for a delicious barbecue prepared and cooked by Ben- he has certainly embraced the American way of life! A lovely evening in delightful company!
A rather earlier start with Sadie this morning - 6.50! Breakfast then a trip to Del Mar...

...which was another beautiful ocean side town with a lovely playground for Sadie and a good lunch venue for various bagels, salads, croissants and waffles. Back for the girl's nap with a shopping trip for Madeline and  I whilst they slept. It was then time for a quick dip in the swimming pool...

...before returning for Sadie's teatime and an early night. Norah takes all of this in her stride but screams whenever I am in the same car as her but is quiet when John travels with her! Not sure of the significance of this but I believe that Mel had the same problem! Must be a girl thing. She is being settled for the night at the moment  by Madeline which can take some time depending on how Nora is feeling and then there is homemade meat loaf and roast rosemary potatoes to look forward to! Another lovely day and the tan is coming along slowly but surely - 15 minutes is all I am doing at a time as it is so hot!! I cannot believe that we will have been here for a week tomorrow - how time flies!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Busy Monday

Today was full of new adventures. It started with a trip to Oceanside Harbour. 

To say there was some money here was an understatement.
I took quite a few photographs of wildlife including...

...a gull...

...ground squirrel...

...and crabs.
After our stroll we headed for the park. It's here Chris will sped time with Sadie while we move to B&Ms new house on Saturday.

This sign didn't help convince Chris it was a good idea.
In the afternoon Chris & I revisited The self realisation gardens and wandered back, via shops to the beach.

We've seen so many lizards over the last few days.
If you think you have a thorny tree, think again...

To round off the day we had our present from the children! I'll let the pictures tell the story...

All too quickly it was landing time. & getting dark

Thank you for a wonderful present...

It should be Chris's turn next! Watch this space...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Everyone having a power nap...

...except me & Madeline, who's feeding Sadie. 13:38 and we've had a busy morning. 
Ben & Madeline have spent some time packing, ready for the move and Chris & I have entertained the Grandchildren.
It was then an early trip to the beach.

Followed by a walk around the Self Realisation Centre's Gardens.
They are beautiful, with views across the Ocean from the cliff top. Lots of secluded benches among plants, pools and waterfalls. Koi carp in the pools bring further calmness to our surroundings.
Then a bite to eat, bagels all round, at Surf Dogs.
I'll post some other pictures when I've got my camera's cable (currently back in UK)
Madeline is moving around so I assume Norah is full as for Ben...
...and Chris is...
...reading her kindle

Day three of the great adventure

A good night's sleep with a call from Sadie at 7 am. She was rather surprised to see Grandma rather than Mommycat but came for a cuddle and a story on Grandad's phone and M and B got a lie in for a while. Cereal with blueberries for  breakfast then off for a walk along the promenade at Carlsbad with Sadie on her Strider bike. Excellent riding  from Sadie and some very fast running on the way back which gave me some good exercise keeping up. We then went to a coffe shop for a smoothie, a chai latte, an iced tea and an americano with some deicious cakes - guess who had which drink? 

Home again for a sleep for Norah, Sadie and Madeline whilst I sunbathed and John and Ben went shopping then prepared a peanut butter curry for tonight's meal. Ben, Madeline and I went to look at a house near to them which was up for sale and had an open house day- pretty impressive but not really my style! Ben made some very green smoothies from kale, banana, lemon juice, cucumber and coconut water. Probably an acquired taste which John didn't risk! I look forward to the next recipe!  Then off to the Lagoon for a walk/bike which was very pretty and then home for Sadie's teatime - yummy pasta and mango with lots of milk for Norah. Wasabi peas and mango for us after which Ben went off for a quick surf, I bathed Sadie and put her to bed and Madeline fed Norah and got her off to sleep. Peace reigns and  looking forward to the curry!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Garden, Beach, Sushi and more

Normal waking time but Californian Time not UK. Highlight number one- we get to cuddle Nora Jane for the very first time.
Ben made breakfast and Sadie soon was chatting to us as if we were always in her life. Skype has helped a lot, we were far from strangers. As Chris said last night, because of Skype their house was familiar.
We then went to the beach where Ben dug holes, I made Sandcastles, Sadie jumped in the holes and knocked over the castles. Madeline fed Norah. 
Chris and I kept Sadie entertained while Ben & Madeline went to visit their new house - moving in in8 days time. Not often you stay with family and stay in two houses.

Lunch in the garden with clear blue sky and Humming birds flitting in and out.
Later we went for sushi and a beer. Oh how Norah hates travelling in a car.
Madeline is planning a games evening and Chris is putting Sadie to bed.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 23rd 2013: The journey begins

Well here we are in sunny Carlsbad, and it really is sunny! The first flight was OK, watched a couple of movies, had a couple of meals and had a quick nap so the 8 hours went pretty quickly. And so to Philadelphia airport. Not a great deal of seating and not good coffee bar facilities but found two white rocking chairs beside the shopping mall where we played spot the fury animal in rucksacks or under arms - we saw various bears, Piglet, rabbits and lions and needless to say J won! The fire alarm went off and everyone was told to vacate the building but everyone, including us,  totally ignored it and carried on.

The next flight was 5 hours and pretty grim. No media or screen and no food but time passed eventually and we arrived just after 8 pm and Ben was there to meet us at baggage reclaim. We were whisked away to Carlsbad where we met up with Madeline and had a lovely evening together before bed at around 10.30 ish. A beautiful house, so light and spacious but only a week left there before the Dalziels join  the property ladder!  The only disappointment was that Sadie and Norah were in bed but tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fairy Glen (Delf House Wood)

Our target not the starting point
Today we were back in Appley Bridge again to start today's 6.9091 mile route. The URL to view the route is available at
Hybrid Map of walk
We parked at the railway station and headed away from the road, towards Gathurst, and located the path in the left hand corner of the station grounds.
When we reached Mill Lane, we turned left and walked up past Mill Bank and, just before The Dell, took the footpath,on the right, back towards the railway line.
Turning left,just before the path went under the railway, we walked parallel to the line until we reached an open space.
Here we fallowed the path, off to the left, reaching Broadriding Road. Turning left we walked up to, and crossed Miles Lane (B5375).
Looking towards Hullet Hole Wood & Calico Wood
Having walked about 1 mile, we crossed a stream, crossed the Nook road and headed up the side of Hullet Hole Wood.
It was a tad muddy as we cut through Hullet Hole Wood...
Through the wood to cross the M6 reach a daunting climb up the footbridge to cross the M6.
To say Chris didn't like this is an understatement!
Although the footpath to the right was well walked, the one to the left was, to say the least, overgrown. Guess which way we were going!
It was obvious that others had walked along the edge of the field, rather than the fenced path. We followed in their steps.
This was the buttercup overgrown path
Crossing the A5209 (Crow Orchard Road) we walked along South Whiteacre, Whiteacre and turned right into Broadacre. Just after Parkway we took the footpath on the left.
Heading towards Boundary Lane
Turning left on Boundary Lane we recrossed the M6. Turning right we walked along Mossy Lea Road (B5250), taking the second left along Tunley Lane. Here were sheep and their lambs.
How the lambs have grown
Left down Tunley Moss Lane, we were soon back in the meadows passing ponds and Geese.
One of a number of ponds

Canada Geese

Grey Lag Geese
As we approached  the stables, lessons were in full swing - all those little girls on ponies - what are the lads doing? Then back onto the country lanes. First left onto Courage Low Lane. Then right along Moss Lane and then, yes this is true, left along Robin Hood Lane.
The final stretch before Fairy Glen was along a new path off to the right.
As you would expect in May, there were plenty of wild flowers including...
Arum maculatum (Cuckoo Pint)

Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Bluebell)

Caltha palustris (kingcup, marsh marigold)

Fairy Glen in May
We decided to have a sit on one of the benches, the picture above shows our view.
Short rest after five and a half miles
Then it was through Delf House Wood and back to Appley Bridge. I'll be honest, until I wrote this blog, I didn't know Fairy Glen by any other name. 
For family members - no we didn't see the magic cat. Perhaps next time:-)