Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Guynn Family Holiday in England

Last month, the Guynn family had a very special family trip.  We all met up in England to meet Olive, the newest addition to the Guynn family.  Kyle's brother, Cory, and his wife, Lynn, had Olive earlier that summer on June 19.  It was hard waiting until September to meet her, but those sweet cheeks were worth the wait!  

Cory and Lynn live in London, so that's where we all met up.  Kyle's parents, John and Diane, flew in from the States, and we flew in from Stuttgart, arriving at Heathrow within about an hour of each other.  The four of us then took a taxi to meet Cory, Lynn, and Olive at the rental car place where we had a big van reserved for the road trip to the countryside.  John called dibs on holding Olive first, and when they arrived he bolted straight out of the door, leaving behind his luggage and all!  We had seen so many pictures on Facebook, but it was so nice to finally meet our niece!  She's such a cutie pie!

Lynn's Pic

We all piled into our huge van to make the four hour drive west to the county of Devon.  Cory drove while Kyle navigated our "church van" down the wrong side of the road.  It was a pretty drive, but I think all of the passengers in the back were too busy admiring Olive to notice much scenery!  We stopped at a pub in a little village for lunch, and then stopped at Stonehenge, which was about halfway to Devon.  We didn't actually walk around Stonehenge; it was going to cost over $100 for all of us to see it, and five out of the six adults had already seen it.  (They have a big, fancy new visitor center which is why it's now so expensive.)  Kyle did snap some pics out of the window, though!

Lynn's Pic

The last part of the drive was down narrow, twisting and winding roads.  Some of those roads two cars could barely squeeze by, and our huge van didn't make it any easier.  It was dark when we arrived at our beautiful cottage called "The Old Maid's Cottage."  It's a historic and updated thatched roof cottage that was perfect for our visit! It was in the microscopic town called Lee Bay, right on the coast.  The town has many beautiful cottages, a church, a shop, and one pub (where we became regulars.)  We had dinner at the pub that evening.  They had already stopped serving food, but were very accommodating and served us anyways.  (Thank goodness!)

We took it easy for our first full day in Devon.  John, Diane, Kyle and I took a walk through town and down to the bay that morning.  It was fun looking at the quaint homes and beautiful flowers.  It was low tide at the bay, and when we saw the high tide later we couldn't believe the difference!

Our neighbor, the church

Low tide

When we got back to the cottage, the others were finally stirring.  We had some lunch at the pub and walked back to the bay and up a hill to a beautiful garden with an amazing view.  The tide was higher when we saw the bay the second time, and there were so many dogs out playing in the water having a good ole' time.  They were so cute to watch!

Grandpa showing off his grand baby during lunch

The tide is getting higher.

The next morning, Kyle Diane and I checked out the church next door to our cottage while waiting to head out for the day.  We spent most of the day about an hour and a half away in the quaint fishing village of Clovelly.  The town is unusual in that it's all privately owned.  People do actually live there, but visitors have to pay to enter the town.  It's located on a steep, cobbled hill leading down to the coast.  It is too steep for cars, so people haul their supplies down into town on sledges and with donkeys.

The pretty little church in our town

An example of the narrow roads we took around Devon

Donkeys at the top of the hill in Clovelly

Once we arrived to Clovelly, we had fish and chips at a pub before heading down the steep main street to the harbor.  We took our time, enjoying the beautiful weather and nosing through a couple of shops.  After we checked out the harbor, we took a little boat ride on a boat that didn't sound like it had the strength to haul us all.

Had to have fish and chips for lunch!

That evening we relaxed and made dinner back at the cottage.  You can only eat so much pub food!

Olive wasn't too sure about that big flash...

Lynn's Pic

The next day we drove about thirty minutes the other direction down tiny, hedge lined roads.  We drove by the beach at Woolacombe, popular with surfers, before heading to our destination in the tiny, historic town of Morthoe.  Morthoe is located close to the coast, and was a great place to do a bit of hiking.  We took a great path through sheep pastures along the rugged coastline.  The views were fantastic, as was the weather!

That evening we visited the much larger coastal town of Ilfracombe.  It's a tired, old town, but it was nice for an evening walk, dinner, and a gorgeous sunset.

An interesting sculpture called Verity, by Damien Hirst

For our last full day in England, we went to visit the two pretty little coastal towns of Lynton and Lynmouth.  Lynmouth is the larger of the two towns, located right at the mouth of a river on the coast.  It had a lot of cute little shops that we enjoyed checking out.  We also had a wonderful lunch at a beautiful historic inn (a treat from the Wilson's!).

A family picture before heading out

Low tide

After lunch, we headed up to Lynton on the cliff railway, a water-operated Victorian lift.  We walked around the pretty little town and then walked along a coastal trail.  While we were on the trail we saw some mountain goats grazing along the cliffs.  They were pretty cute!  The trail looped us back into town where we had tea before heading back down to Lynmouth.

Kyle and I were flying back to Germany the next day, but not until the evening.  We took a different route heading back to London to stop in Bath for lunch.  Bath is a gorgeous town that Kyle and I have been to twice before, but have never had much time to really enjoy.  It was the same this time, but it was a nice place to stop for lunch and take a quick walk around.

Kyle and I were dropped off at Heathrow to catch our short flight, while John and Diane went back to London with Cory, Lynn and Olive for another week.  After that, Diane came over to Germany to spend a couple of weeks with us, which will have to be another post!

We all had such a nice time on our holiday in the countryside.  We saw beautiful scenery, had a great house to relax in, ate some tasty food, and best of all we had some much needed family time!  It was great to be able to have time to catch up and to finally meet Olive!  We're already looking forward to seeing everyone again for Christmas back home in Indiana!

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