The first weekend in York was a bit hectic, seeing us making an essential visit to
Bettys Tea Room *.I didn't have any Swiss wine this time, as strangely enough I can get a hold of some any time I want, but I did have some rather delicious cakes. We also visited The Deep , which as the name suggests is a rather big aquarium. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Much of the building is very dark, to the point of it being rather unpleasant. The food was appalling, despite a very appealing menu posted on the entrance. We made up for that by visiting another Bettys on our way to the airport, this time at
Harlow Carr , an RHS garden.
I was tempted to take some photos of the cakes, but decided on a few views of the gardens instead.
The next weekend saw us attending
The Badminton Horse Trials . HAving been horse-daft since I was a nipper, this was a fantastic Christmas gift from Number Guy, to help cheer me up when my son went back to the UK.
Just look at the size of that SOLID fence. Believe it or not, the horses (preferably with rider still on board) have to clear that thing in a one-er.
For those of you who don't know about horse trials, there are 3 main phases. Day one and two are dressage . Day 3 of the competition is the cross country where some very brave (and just a bit mad?) riders and their horses leap the most solid and formidable fences that you can imagine. As you can see in
this video falls can and do happen. Riders have died in the past, so it is not for the faint-hearted.
The final day is the show jumping, with the riders going in reverse order. This year the competition was literally decided on the very last fence jumped in the competition. Exciting stuff.
The next weekend saw us in the US and we stayed in a very swanky place in Carmel, called the Tradewinds . If you like exotic flowers in your bedroom, this is the place to go.
After a week of work for Number Guy, we stayed in Monteray for the next weekend so we could go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium . Now these people know how to show off a great aquarium. They had lots of otters and a new sea horse display which were highlights for us.
So as you can see, we really have been run off our feet. Not complaining, though, I'm just glad to have had the opportunities.
* No, this is not a punctuation error. For some reason (possibly due to the fact that Bettys has a Swiss connection and this punctuation is correct in German???)this is how it is spelled, without an apostrophe. I know, hard to imagine, really.