Sunday, 12 December 2010


At the end of November, Christopher competed in the Sailor of the Year competition for his command and he won! With his win came another competition; the Sailor of the Year competition for all the European & African commands; which was being held in Naples, Italy.

My grandparents, or Crinkles as the British people call them, were set to arrive on Saturday, December 4th and we all decided to fly to Naples with Christopher. So, we set out for Italy on Monday, the 6th.

We didn't arrive at our hotel until late, so we walked a little ways down the street and stopped in to a restaurant called Gusto! Gusto! We started the meal with a glass of prosecco (and ended with a shot of lemoncello), we had pizza and a caprese salad... let me tell you right now, that crap in the states is not pizza...just stop eating it And the buffalo mozzarella cheese was absolutely the best I've ever eaten!

On Tuesday, Christopher went on a tour of a monastery (Monte Cassino) and a wine tasting with the other Sailors of the Year and their sponsors. Mymom, Grampy, and I bummed around Naples. We ended up with beautiful weather all week. It was sunny and warm and pretty much the opposite of England weather right now. We ended up getting a taxi and paid 50 euro to keep him for 3 hours for a personal tour of the city. We went all over the place. We ended up at 2 churches, all through the city, up to the top of the mountain so we could see the most beautiful panoramic view of the city, a cameo factory where we met the proprietor and bought some cameos, and then we finished our tour at a pizzeria.

One of the streets of Naples.

On Wednesday Christopher had his board for the competition. We had breakfast together at the hotel and then he got ready and competed. He came back absolutely thrilled with his performance. He knew that winning was probably a long shot for him, since he's only been in for 6 years, but he said he KNEW that he was good enough that they HAD to at least consider him, so he counted that as a win! After he got out of his uniform, we went out and walked around the older part of the city. We ended up in a Christmas market that was bustling, to say the least; it was PACKED. People were literally shoulder to shoulder trying to make their way through the narrow alleys. There were nativities all over the place and I wanted one so bad, but couldn't find the perfect one. Plus, it was absolute insanity in there, so we left.

One of the tiny streets the market was held in

We had a dinner with everyone scheduled for that night, so we hopped on the bus and headed to somewhere in the heart of the city and stopped at a place called Pepe Russo. We didn't see a menu, they just started bringing food... whatever they felt like cooking that day. We had:

House Wine with no label (amazing!)

Our Anti-pasta course was:
Italian bread, roasted eggplant, potatoes, dough balls, pickled and sauteed anchovies, proscutto and buffalo mozzarella.

Then we had our pasta course with 2 different pasta's, a penne with eggplant and tomatoes and the most amazing spaghetti I've ever eaten. The sauce was like nothing I'd ever eaten before and I still cant figure out what it was and I have a pretty awesome palate. It was a sauce so thick it stuck to the noodles... it was red, but not super red, more pink and very cheesy... smooth, so tomato chunks. It was divine. I ate every bit of it.

For our meat course, we had Italian sausage and a giant pork chop.

We had a course of just fresh tangerines as a palate cleanser and then came dessert: Zeppoli (Italian donuts) in Nutella... absolutely incredible!

Everyone at dinner

It was pretty much one of the most amazing meals ever! The food just kept on coming and it was all amazing. We tried everything and enjoyed it immensely.

The next day, we had breakfast and then headed to the base for the awards ceremony. There were two ceremonies that day; one for Sailor of the year for the region at 9:00 in the morning (I still dont really get the difference between that competition and the one Christopher competed in) and then the ceremony for Christopher's competition at 1:00 in the afternoon. We had a little time in between, so we went shopping at the NEX, which was nice since all our base has is a crappy BX.
Sunrise Thursday Morning... this was our view at breakfast!

We got into the awards ceremony and I was a bundle of nerves. I wanted nothing more than the Master Chief who was over the whole thing to call out Christopher's name. He got to the part where he announced the winner and he said the Rate and rank first and my heart skipped a beat-- it was Christopher's Rate! And then, after a pause, he said the name and it wasn't Christopher's. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed. But, Christopher was still awarded a COM (A Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal), which is a really big deal.

Christopher accepting his medal from the Admiral (and his Master Chief, his sponsor, behind him).

After the ceremony, we headed back to the hotel, grabbed a nap, then headed down to dinner where we had even more pizza.

Mount Vesuvius

Friday we had all day to ourselves. We walked ALL over Naples. We managed to find the oldest Cafe in Naples and have some breakfast. Cappuccino's, cannoli's, and elephant ears! It was incredible! I am not really a coffee drinker, much more a tea person, but the cappuccino was amazing... the coffee wasn't bitter at all and the foam was so creamy. The cannoli was one of the best I've ever had, as was the elephant ear.

We wandered around some more and managed to find some Christmas ornaments that said "Buon Natale" which means Merry Christmas in Italian!

Mymom, Grampy, and I

We stopped at a restaurant and had some lunch; Mymom and Grampy had Lasagne, I had spaghetti noodles with garlic and chili, and Christopher had Gnocci.

We went back to the hotel and Christopher went out to grab some cash for a taxi and came back with Gelato for me! It was one of the things I wanted, but didn't manage to get it while we were out. He got me pistachio and chocolate and just like everything else in Naples, it was amazing!

Sunset our last day in Naples.

So yeah, basically we ate our way through Naples and it was fantastic! We had a great time. The language was beautiful and we're going to work on learning a bit more before heading back down there sometime next year. My dream is to spend at least 2 weeks in Italy seeing as much as we can. I want to go to Rome and Vatican city, Bologna, Venice, Tuscany and Sicily if we can manage it. For now, I'm just happy we at least got to step foot in the country I've dreamed about seeing my entire life. I'm excited to explore the country more; Naples was a lot of fun and it was great, but it was so dirty. There was trash everywhere; apparently the trash guys were on strike and had been for a while, so garbage was piled up EVERYWHERE. I'm hoping the rest of Italy isn't like that.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

First Snow!

This morning we woke up to the lightest dusting of white stuff! The first snow of the season is upon us!

Everyone is saying its going to be a rough winter this year... apparently they're calling for lots of snow. I will perfectly fine with all that snow as long as a) we have heat (which we should have by the 15th of December--they start work on replacing everything on the 10th) and b) we can still get out and about and travel with Mymom and Grampy who arrive in England in a week!!!

I cant believe that some of my favorite people on Earth get to come out and spend Christmas with us!!! We have a lot planned for their trip and I want to be able to get out and see things... so the snow needs to hold off.

Our itinerary includes: London (of course), Paris, possibly Italy (fingers crossed on this one!), Brighton, Windsor Castle, Leeds, and lots more! Of course, pictures and blogs will follow!

Hope everyone has had a great shopping weekend-- we've spent the weekend perusing the sales online trying to find things we cant live without.


With all the blogging I've been doing this month (in honor of National Blog Posting Month), I've been able to reach some pretty awesome stats on the blogs! I hit 100 posts on the baby blog a few posts ago and today, 100 posts on the travel blog!

I wish I had an epic post for my 100th, but we've not done a lot of traveling this year. We realized that we've only been to Paris and the where near the amount of traveling that we wanted to do this year.

Next year is our last year in England and we WILL travel. We're definitely still planning a cruise at the beginning of the year (we're trying to decide between January, February, and March), so we'll hopefully see a couple of Italian ports, Spain, and maybe even Greece and/or Egypt.

We also want to go and spend some time in Italy. We're hoping to do a week-10 days for our anniversary next year. I would also love to go back to Germany at Christmas... that was one of the coolest things we've experienced since we've been over here, so I'd love to do it again.

So, pretty much a pointless post today... but a promise to ourselves and to everyone who reads and is interesting in our worldly travels--we WILL travel next year, come hell or high water! :)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Happy thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We got together with friends from my work and had a massive spread of food!

I posted on the baby blog about everything I'm thankful for... but most of all, friends and family. Being so far away from home during the Holidays can be difficult, but phone calls, emails, and skype make it a little easier to be physically so far. Having good friends definitely helps as well...

I hope everyone across the world had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Harry Potter 7 Pt 1

So, those of you who know me know that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. Judge all you want, I really dont care... I fell in love with the books long before the movies came out. The last book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is not only my favorite Harry Potter book (minus the epilogue...hello JK Rowling, I need more than, it is probably my favorite book of all time. Again, judge all you want, I dont care.

Anyway, every time we go to see one of the movies, I always leave dissatisfied. They always leave too much out and change things they shouldn't change (do I need to talk about what they did to the Burrow in the last movie...ugh). Anyway, no one ever likes going to see them with m because I critique... well, bitch really, about everything.

This time, I left the theatre and wasn't totally and completely disappointed. There were a few things that I really missed that they left out, but nothing too major. I actually said it was decent adaptation. Christopher freaked out and was like, that's like you saying its the best movie ever!

So yeah, it was alright. I'm excited for the last movie... but I'm sad its the last. Just like I'm sad the books are done. JK Rowling needs to get on it and write some more... I have not had enough of Harry Potter!

On a side note... it is SO different watching the movies once you've lived over here. Like the Dursley's house? SO British! The wallpaper, the decor, the neighborhood, everything.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Again, I really dont make this stuff up.

Today we ventured out to Birmingham with our friends Liz and Tim to the Christmas Market. We hit crazy traffic in the town center trying to find a parking garage. And then we found the parking garage, parked, and got ready to walk out when Christopher shut the trunk and then a string of explicatives came bursting out of his mouth. He locked the keys in the trunk.
We called the AA (their version of AAA) and waited for an hour til they showed up. We walked around the market while we waited and then the guys went to meet the AA guy. Liz and I ventured around and finally decided to go and see how they were getting along. Luckily we did because they were trying to unlock my car all wrong (its a push button thing instead of pulling it to unlock.. Saturn's are weird). So, after trying to unlock the door with a long, metal coat hanger looking thing, and then trying to pop the trunk for what felt like forever in the freezing parking garage, to no avail, the AA guy gave up and left. And we were left trying to figure out what to do.

We ended up grabbing some dinner and walking around the rest of the market before heading to the train station. We found out to get a ticket from Birmingham to Huntingdon, we'd have to go through London and our tickets would cost about £60 EACH (that's like almost $100) and there were 4 of us. Not cool. So, we checked with a cab company and found out they would only charge us £120 (about $200). MUCH better. Plus, instead of getting to Huntingdon at 1am, we got back at 10:30... which ended up giving the boys enough time to head back to get the car before the garage closed.

Let me just tell you a little bit about the car ride back. We were serenaded by the most ridiculous hip hop and pop music from the 90's & early 2000's. It was like being in High School again. Seriously. It was hilarious. And so unbelievably random. Bouncing around between Aqua's "Barbie Girl" to Lauryn Hill to Usher to 50 cent. And the driver blasted it. It was... interesting. Liz and I just kept looking at each other and laughing.

Needless to say, it was an interesting/stressful day. We had a decent time at the Market, but we were all a little, um, irritated. I'm holed up in our bedroom with a glass of wine, two space heaters (we STILL have no heat), and Sex and the City while Christopher goes to rescue the car.
The lesson for today? Always have spare keys with you.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Veterans Day

Today, November 11th, I salute and thank all of our Military members... past and present. I thank each and every one of you for your sacrifice, honor, and love of our Country. Without the dedication of our military members, the US wouldn't be the amazing place it is today! I'm proud to be an american and the Wife and Daughter of a veteran!

Friday, 5 November 2010

I know, I know.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I've been neglecting the Travel Blog. I know. We really haven't been doing much of anything lately with all the baby stuff going on (see baby blog for details).

We went to the Navy ball on October 16th and that was pretty fun. I love getting all dressed up and seeing Christopher all decked out in his dress uniform!

We also carved pumpkins with the Gray's and hung out with them on Halloween, handing out candy to the kids in their neighborhood. Mom Wofford bought Angus a Sailor outfit for Halloween, which he really didn't mind too much (well, except for the hat).

Oh, and this is proof that I dont completely disregard all holidays but Christmas. I have a fall wreath and we carved a pumpkin! lol

On Halloween, we were talking to our friend Hannah, whose husband is TDY to Holland right now, about the cruise they're taking in January. They're going on an Eastern Med Cruise that will port in Croatia, Greece, Egypt, Israel, and Italy! Amazing! So, I think that we're going to tag along... and I think the Gray's are too... so we're getting really excited about that. Egypt and Israel are places that you dont really travel to alone... they're just not the safest places in the world. But, to take a cruise and be with a large group of people makes them at least safe enough where we feel comfortable to go. I am sooo beyond excited! With everything that's gone on this year, we need a really stellar start to 2011!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Something to do.

I feel like I've been neglecting the blog lately... what can I say after having 2 months off from work, we're not really traveling right

We planned to go to Belgium this weekend, but ended up having to cancel our plans. So, I have no idea what we're going to get into this Columbus day weekend, but we'll see.

For now, here's some random questions that I got from a fellow blogger...

1) What is the longest road trip you have ever taken?
Probably from NC to Florida. I tend to sleep a lot in cars (I actually sleep better in a car than I do in a, so I know I slept most of the way to Florida, so that doesn't really count. The drive from San Diego to the Grand Canyon felt longer, even though it wasn't since I stayed awake and kept the husband company.

2) Do you collect anything?
Books. Our goal is to have a fabulous library, plus I cant part with books... I just cant. Also, Christmas stuff. Ornaments, decor, music... if it has anything to do with Christmas, I want it.

3) What is your favorite part about being an adult?
Everything. I love being married, having our own place, having friendships based on more than just silly kid things, traveling, etc. I love it!

4) What song brings tears to your eyes?
There are two songs that will always make me cry. One is "Will I?" from Rent and the other is "Those You've Known" from Spring Awakening. The song from Rent is a song that's sung in a Life Support Meeting for people with AIDS and some of the main characters go to the meeting and sing and it is absolutely heart breaking and if you dont cry when you listen to it, you have no heart. The song from Spring Awakening talks about people that you've known still walking beside you even when they're gone and its just awesome.

5) Describe your first plane ride (how old were you, where were you heading, etc).
I honestly dont remember my first plane ride. Dad is a pilot and has been my entire life, so I really cant tell you the first time I rode in a plane or where we went.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


On Friday, September 10th, Christopher and I celebrated our 9 year dating anniversary. And yes, we still celebrate our dating anniversary. We spent the day in London, eating Sushi and walking around the markets in Camden Town and we finished off our evening at Wembley Stadium seeing my favorite band..... MUSE!!! I have wanted to see them in concert for ages, and it was by chance, luck, and the love of my amazing husband that we managed to get tickets!

They were absolutely incredible! I was completely blown away! I was hesitant to get too excited, because seeing a band you love live, you just never know if they're going to be as good as you hope they will be. Muse exceeded all expectations and moved up the list to the top spot of my favorite bands!
During Lily Allen's set (she was one of 3 bands/artists who opened for them)

The stage!

Here's the set list, in case anyone loves Muse and is curious!
  1. Uprising (extended)
  2. Supermassive Black Hole
  3. New Born + Township Rebellion riff (watch)
  4. Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)
  5. Glastonbury 2004 intro + Butterflies & Hurricanes
  6. Guiding Light
  7. Interlude + Hysteria
  8. Nishe
  9. United States of Eurasia
  10. I Belong to You (Mon Cœur S'ouvre à Ta Voix)
  11. Feeling Good
  12. MK Jam
  13. Undisclosed Desires
  14. Adagio in G minor + Resistance
  15. Starlight
  16. House of the Rising Sun riff + Time Is Running Out + Power of Soul riff
  17. Unnatural Selection
    Encore 1
  18. Soldier's Poem
  19. Exogenesis: Symphony Part I: Overture
  20. Stockholm Syndrome
    Encore 2
  21. Take a Bow
  22. Plug In Baby
  23. Man with a Harmonica + Knights of Cydonia

Thursday, 9 September 2010

It's that time of year again!

Well, there's a crispness in the air and our apple tree is producing more fruit than we know what to do with! So far I've mad 2 apple cakes, 2 apple pies, and homemade apple sauce. Christopher and our landlord and some friends are going to brew some Hard Cider starting this weekend, so that'll help use up some of the apples that are littering our yard.

I have a list of things that once (if) we ever settle down and buy a house that are must haves for our home. Apple trees are pretty high up on that list now. There really is nothing like walking outside, picking some apples off a tree and coming inside and baking a pie. Its really... cool.

Pie crust is one of the first things I really made the effort to learn how to make. Its funny now, as much as I love to cook, but when I was younger, I refused to get in the kitchen and help... it drove my mom crazy. But once I got married and realized I needed to feed Christopher and myself, I got in the kitchen and got to learning. My grandma, Mymom, taught me how to make pie crust... its something that I was instantly pretty decent at and I've gotten better over the years. There's still times when I get frustrated and have to start all over again because I haven't taken the humidity outside into consideration or whatever, but for the most part, baking a pie is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.

While we were in the states this summer, we went into a Williams and Sonoma and I found one of the scalloped edged rolly things to cut dough with. Best $5 I've ever spent! I love the way the dough looks now with the edges like that!
After it came out of the oven... perfection--if I do say so

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The meal of our lives!

On Friday, August 27th, Christopher and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary. Its hard to believe that its been 5 years since we said our vows; we've seen and done so much in such a small amount of time! We decided to celebrate in London at the restaurant Gordon Ramsey at Claridge's. If I had to describe the evening and the meal in one word, it would be: Surreal.

We chose to have the tasting menu; The Menu Prestige, which consisted of 6 courses. The first course was an Amuse Bouche. An Amuse Bouche is like a pre-appetizer; a small hors d'oeuvre that is designed to whet the appetite and ready the palette. Our Amuse Bouche was a small cup of soup; lemon grass and ginger with chunks of apples. It was my least favorite course of the evening, but it wasn't bad.

Course number 2 was my favorite! Pan seared salmon with Parma Ham, watercress salad, and Horseradish Ice Cream. Yes, you read that right, Horseradish Ice Cream. It was... to die for! The salmon melted in your mouth... it was incredible. And the ice cream was amazing!

Course 3 was lobster and crawfish ravioli in a lemongrass and coconut bisque. It was divine! When you see the picture, I know you're thinking, wow, just one ravioli? But seriously, with six courses, I was fine with just little tastes of everything! We were so stuffed when we left!

Course 4 was the main course and we opted to share the Beef Wellington. I had never had it before, most everyone knows I am not a big red meat fan, but Beef Wellington is something that has intrigued me. And rightly so... it was divine! We had it medium-rare (I'll give you all a moment to let that sink in... I, the meat hater, had it, which is what the chef suggested and it literally melted in your mouth. It was a flavor explosion! The different textures were amazing... the crunch of the puff pastry, the sort of creaminess from the mushroom paste, and the beef... just incredible. It was served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Course 5 was the pre-dessert. It was a 3 layered shot glass of strawberry preserves, buttermilk panacotta, and fresh mint sorbet. It was fabulous! Christopher and I joked that we needed another, that we just weren't ready for dessert-dessert and needed another pre-dessert to get prepped.

Course 6 was dessert. Christopher had a cold chocolate fondant with raspberries and popcorn. I had a raspberry souffle! Both were amazing!

After we finished eating our dessert, one of the managers came out and brought us a small almond cake with a candle in it. In chocolate on the plate, the chef had written Happy Anniversary. Even the almond cake was

After we finished our wine (we had 2 bottles... a pinot grigio and a Rose), the manager came out and asked if we'd had a good anniversary. We told him it had been amazing. He asked if he could make it better... we said sure and he asked us if we'd like to see the kitchen! I think I peed a little! We had seen other tables be asked to visit the kitchen and I was absolutely dying to go! Christopher offered to ask if we could go back there, but I didn't want to be the tacky American's who just asked to see it, ya know? Its much more special if YOU get asked. So anyway, of course we said yes and it was so awesome!!!

We got to see the different stations and even meet the head chef (he's the blonde guy right behind my head). It wasn't the loud, crazy chaotic mess you'd expect it to be. It was relatively quiet (especially compared to what I expected) and so organized. Everything was like a choreographed dance. Beautifully executed.

There is a section of the kitchen called the Chef's Table (its actually right in front of where we are standing), and its a table that you can book with up to 6 people and you get to dine IN the kitchen. The chef creates a menu just for your party, you get your own personal waiter and sommelier and we ARE doing it at some point in our time here.

I've also made the decision to go to Culinary School. I realized that food is a serious passion of mine and I would be stupid not to do something with it. Its going to be expensive and a challenge, but its going to be so worth it!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


As most everyone knows, Christopher and I both managed to be stateside most of the summer! Christopher had a class he had to attend in Virginia Beach and he ended up being able to take a little bit of leave both before and after his class and got to go to North Carolina for the first time in about a year and a half. It was an absolutely PACKED summer "vacation".... we definitely didn't do much

The first weekend Christopher was home, Josh, Brandie, and Izzie came down from Washington DC to visit! We went hiking, celebrated the 4th of July, Dad's Birthday, fought some robots (according to Iz), and all in all had a wonderful time!

South Mountain State Park
We hiked more later that week, but I dont have pictures on this We, and by we I mean, Me, Christopher, Mom & Dad Wofford, Mom & Dad Koenig, Jared, Matthew, Carly, Carly's Mom and Dad, and Carly and Matt's dog It was a full crew of us hiking around. We went to Brown Mountain and it was gorgeous!

I went up to VA Beach to visit Christopher for the weekend and we headed down to the Outer Banks. Both of us spent most of our lives in NC and had never been to the outer banks! So that was pretty fun. We saw Cape Hatteras light house (which is the tallest brick lighthouse in the world) and climbed the steps to the top!

He came home the weekend after that and went with me to Jenn Love's wedding!

His mom and Dad and I went back up to VA Beach a couple of weeks later and we did the outer banks thing all over again. Hatteras, The Wright Brother's Memorial, and the beach!

Christopher graduated from school and had a little over a week of leave in NC before he headed back to England. In the middle of that week, I headed out to San Francisco to see our friends Kellea and Aaron and the new addition to their family and my God-Son; Kylan! I spent 9 days in California, helping them out and doing a little bit of sight seeing.

We attempted to go to a donut shop that was featured on Food Network for their Maple and Bacon donuts, but they were sold out of said specialty because, as the rude and snippy girl who was working said; "Those are just too popular". Lame. But the rest of San Fran was cool! We drove up Lombard street and it literally felt like I was laying down it was so steep. We walked around Pier 39 and had dinner at an awesome restaurant overlooking the bay.

The view from the top of Lombard Street
There was SO much more, but I'm back in the UK, exhausted and ready for a nap, so I'm signing off! Stay tuned for more Europe travels... we're planning a Mediterranean Cruise soon!

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Peak District!

Yesterday, Christopher, Angus, and I headed up North towards what's called The Peak District. It starts about 3o minutes or so past Nottingham and I guess it's where some of the highest "peaks" in England are. I say "peaks", because compared to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, England's peaks are really just decent sized hills. But, I digress.

We stopped in a town called Castleton. Its a really cute town and there was so much to do! We started out with lunch (which turned out to not be so great...note to self, if we go back, dont eat at the Three Roof's Cafe), and then headed up to see Peveril Castle.

The castle sits up on a high hill and overlooks the entire town and surrounding valley. We had to climb basically straight up to get to it... my butt is sore today from the incline! The castle is named after William Peveril, who is said to be an illegitimate child of William 1, though its never been proven. There's not much left of the castle, basically just the wall and the tower. You can see some remnants of other buildings scattered around, but nothing very substantial. Its always neat to see the old castles though.

Angus needed to stop for a drink
On top of part of the wall
Walking up the stairs to go into the tower
Inside the bottom of the tower
The view from the top of the hill... it was an absolutely beautiful day!
Down in Castleton
Angus took a dip in the creek
After the castle, we made our way back down the hill and wandered around the town a little bit before making our way to Peak Cavern (which is also known as the Devil's Arse). They allow dogs on the tours, as long as they stay on their leads, so we took a tour.

The reason the cave is known as the Devil's Arse is because of the noises the cave makes when air is rushing through it. They changed the name to Peak Cavern in the 1800's when Queen Victoria was coming to visit, so they wouldn't offend her, but they're back to calling it the Devil's Arse now.

My awesome toe shoes!
Standing inside the cave looking out. The people who used to dwell here were rope makers. The tour guide even demonstrated how they made rope... it was awesome! They lived and worked in the cave and the children even had to work; they began work at 4 years old!
Rich and famous people used to come visit the cave, and this is how they had to enter. The boat had to go underneath that tiny opening, so they had to lay flat and be pushed underneath, in the pitch black. Back then, people thought that caves were basically direct routes to hell, so not only was it dank and dark in the cave, but there was the added fear that they might be on their way to meet the Devil Himself. Needless to say, a lot of people turned back the way they came and didn't go any deeper into the cave.
Christopher and Angus by the boat
For those brave enough to continue on their tour of the cave, the rope makers would have the children climb up into the orchestra gallery (the hole in the middle of the picture) and wait until their guests got into the room below, and then they would scare them. Whether or not the rope makers took to you depended on what kind of light source you had on your tour. If they liked you, you got a torch, if not, you got a candle, so often times they literally could barely see right in front of them. When they got into the larger rooms, the rope makers would set of fireworks to light up the room. And then the room would fill with smoke and they'd have to make their way out of a dark, smokey cave.
After the cave, we walked around Castleton some more. We were going to go hike up Mam Tor (one of the peaks), but Angus was done by that time.
Like I said...done. We had to carry him the rest of the way. And, he's not as small as the yorkies. He weighs 23 pounds!
Yeah, he's not spoiled at all...