A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Stacy's Visit - Nottingham & Chatsworth House

For Stacy's last full weekend with us we had planned to journey down to Nottingham for some shopping and a night out with Andy's sister Alison. Originally Alex was supposed to be at his mother's thus leaving us free for an adult night out. However things didn't go to plan and Alex's mom sent him home after his only being with her for 12 hours (overnight). What could we do? We packed the poor mite a bag and brought him along with us.

The shopping was pretty good as Stacy and I got lost in H&M with an armload of clothes to try on. After nearly an hour of waiting Ali, Andy and Alex wandered across the road to a Coffee Shop to patiently await for word that we were indeed finished and ready to leave the store.

We returned to Ali's flat to prepare for our evening on the town. We were going to a pizza house for supper and then Alex and Andy were going on to a movie while Ali took us gals around the hot spots of Nottingham.


We started drinking Baha Rosa at the flat before proceeding out for the evening. The pizza was good but the bars were even better. Stacy has found a new drink in England, a blue cooler that looks and tastes like melted blue freezie entitled 'Wicked' however that evening I was surprised to see my sister try different drinks made from vodka. In one bar that was playing tremendously loud music she fell in love with a frozen cocktail called Watermelon Crush. I couldn't believe how quickly she drank it down and thought perhaps she was more inclined to alcohol than I had originally believed. Quite frankly it was a bit too strong for me! Either way we enjoyed that pub but moved on to the next one (Ali wanted to show Stacy a few bars before our night had to end prematurely).

As we were moving on to an underground bar, we passed a high-rise building where some fellows high up on a balcony were asking us to give them a smile and bellowing for us to 'come up'. I was completely shocked to hear my sister-in-law reply 'show us your cock'! Now Stacy swears she said something even more surprising, but I will leave it at that. Normally my sister in law is quite, well... not like that. She's small and compact and although demure isn't a word to describe her, let's just say I'd never heard her talk that way. I guess she is a bit of the firecracker her father has been saying she is! And to think I was always a bit worried to say something out of order and risk offending her... not anymore!

Anyway, as we moved along the road we ended up encountering another bunch of boys - two of whom were in headlock. One was shouting at us to come have a crack at his head as he was a policeman. I laughed and replied that I couldn't possibly, as I was a cop myself. God, I won't go into where that led, but it was funny. Yup, that's me... A Canadian member of the NYPD. Here I was, after all these years of putting people on and coming up with silly fake accents doing the same thing in England, yet the accent is real. Go figure. Stacy was quite amused that one of the 'drunks' was sober enough to think that she and I must be sisters as the resemblance was 'scary'. As amusing as these blokes were, we had to move on. We managed to make it into one last bar before the call came from the boys. It was short night out, but yet it was sweet.

The next morning we got up and left Ali to go visit a stately home in the Peak District. Andy had suggested taking me earlier in the year however I wanted to wait for Stacy's visit. I'm glad I did... she was in as much awe as I was over this fantastically beautiful mansion. The inside of the house was gorgeous but it was the grounds that were the show stealer. It was terrific to have Alex with us as we were even more inclined to act like big kids (something that comes quite easily when my sisters and I get together).

In the middle of the grounds was a huge maze that we weren't expecting.

The Maze

Upon arriving at the entrance to the maze, the four of us immediately devised a plan to split up into pairs to see who could try and find the middle first. Sadly Stacy and I were trying to place ourselves in our own episode of The Amazing Race... It was hilarious right from the start - Andy and I practically knocking the other maze-goers out of our way in our quest to beat Stace and Al to the middle. However it wasn't too long before we met with what seemed to be every dead end, and ultimately a lone Stacy. Alex was long gone and nowhere to be seen. After we'd tried for about the third time Andy and I gave up and went back out to try and find Alex. We should have guessed that he had found the center. Stacy at first didn't want to be shown where the center was, however after another shot or two, and a bucketful of sweat, we let Alex have a head-start and then ran after him into the middle. He was proudly sat under the lone tree trying to feign boredom. What a kid. I don't know what the rules are on the AR, however I don't think your partner is meant to leave you behind in your quest to the finish line, eh Stace?

The Winner

We took loads of pictures, and I've downloaded some for your viewing pleasure here.

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