Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Part Two: Alderley Edge..the search for anscestors.

Part two!

We left the house at the crack of dawn on the 7th to head off to Alderely Edge! Alderley Edge is around 2 hours away from London by train. It's 12 miles away from Manchester and around an hour away from Liverpool.

We got onto the overground train around 9 with nothing but a few packs of smokes, a pepsi, and a small back pack each of clothes. (You know, the things you NEED to stay alive, basic survival really) We were all very excited for the adventure to begin! We rolled into Alderley Edge and found a small gas station to ask for directions about how to get to the hotel. We sent dad to get them, and he lead us on this adventure like you wouldn't believe. We walked over hills, under hills, through hills, across hills when FINALLY we stumbled across our hotel. Out of breath, we walked into the hotel ready to check in and get on finding our family. We enter the hotel and say that we are here to check in for two nights. The lady looked at me like I was speaking another language when I said that all three of us were staying in one room. I got frustrated with her explaining that I had called the hotel and they said that a "cot" was not a problem and that three people could stay in one room. Again, she looked at me dumbfounded and said.."well is it you three that are staying." Now I was really getting angry, like come on woman, ALL THREE OF US ARE STAYING THERE IS NO ONE ELSE HERE BUT US. Finally, the hero of the day stumbles out of the office clearly hung over and asked what the issue was! Slowly a smile crept onto his face which made me even MORE annoyed. And the words that came out of his mouth were sweet sweet melody. He said, "a cot means a different thing in America." Dad said, well yeah, a cot is a small bed that you roll out into a hotel room to fit another person. But the local hero said, well HERE a cot is a bed for a baby. I felt my face turn red and started to shake my head. I can't help but to smile. Joke is on me today! Finally, the local hero says, just to give me a room because it is their mistake. He also proceeds to ask if I, being a baby, will be ok to sleep on my own without my mom and dad and if they need to supply me with nappies and a dummy! I DID get a FREE room for two nights, and it was beautiful! I have never slept on a bed so amazing. Thank You Premier Inn, Alderely Edge Branch! I think this event was perhaps one of the funniest on the whole trip. I bet right now as mom and dad are reading this they are in desperate NEED of a nappy!

So, after I got settled into my free room and mom got settled into theirs we decided to head out and explore the town. Me and mom had already spent the majority of the afternoon joking about the town saying that things are probably only open two or three days a week. We went to the library, because that is the only place people said would have a map of the town. Also, the library would be a good start to start tracking down James Ward's. I said on the way that the library probably isn't open because it is Wednesday. Wouldn't you look, the library actually WAS closed! Then, we walked into every little shop looking for a map of the town to find the one cemetary but no luck, commmee onn..even preeceville has a detailed map! Finally, after walking past the oldest church in the town and seeing that it too was closed because it was Wednesday, we decided that today was a right off for family hunting. Instead, we decided to walk up to the Edge...of Alderley!

The Edge was let's just say nothing short of an adventure! As you can probably assume, the edge IS high hill. This time assuming didn't make an ass-outof-u-and-me because you are right..it is a hill. We started to walk up this street that didn't seem TOO steep and we were trucking right along. However, our luck soon changed as we found our toes digging into the pavement trying to reach the top. Me and mom had to stop about 18 times for a rest because it is so steep. I think dad's pepsi is laced with super hero powers because he didn't seem to have the same problem. The walk was well worth it, as we reached the top to look over Alderley it was absolutely breathtaking. (see pictures on facebook) We took a lot of pictures and continued to stroll around the top. Let's face it, there was no way I was going to walk up the hill again, so we had to see the whole thing NOW! We wondered around and realized that there was a place to get a MAP of different walks that you could take. So we ventured to this so called place and of course it was closed..Wednesday! We did manage to find a map. Mom saw this "flower gardens" and decided she HAD to see these flowers at bunny hill..or mole hill..or was it rabbit hole? Man I don't remember, I just remember that the name had nothing to do with anything. We started walking down this winding path and eventually I found myself gasping for air as my toes were protruding out of my shoes trying to catch some solid ground.I looked down and all I could see was this MASSIVE hill! Finally, the Pepsi superhero powers subdued and dad said that there was no way we were walking to see this damn flower patch. Thank Gosh! We made the trek back up and just continued walking around. There was alot of old mine shafts because back in the day the town was a mining community. Now however, they have filled most of them in because little punks keep vandilizing them! Finally we strolled back down the edge, got some supper and then settled into an evening of cards!

I woke up fully refreshed from sleeping like a baby..minus the cot and the nappies and dummy. We had a nice breakfast and once again set off to this old church to FINALLY find out questions about my family.

Things I want to know about my family:

1. Why is my dad bald?
2. Why is my dad addicted to Pepsi..did it come from the time in Alderley Edge?
3. Why can't I roll my tongue.
4. Why am I not a red head (I think it would be coool)
5. Why am I the way that I am?

We rolled into the church, legs still tingling from the walk on the edge. Of course, the church was open but no one was around. We wondered around the outside and low and behold, like any other small town, there was an older gentleman on his lawn tractor..not cutting grass but using as a mode of transportation. When he got off his machine we wondered over to him and he sent us on our merry way to the cemetery where we would find our answers! We got toa the cemetery and began our hunt. We probably walked through it about 80 times before we found someone to ask about a book of the grave sites. Within 30 seconds the dude found the location of my great great grandparents graves. I have to admit it was pretty cool to see their graves. They are SO old! The writing is getting very hard to read and in a couple years it will probably be impossible so I am glad we got to see them now. Unfortunately, it wasn't dig a grave day, so I couldn't find out why I can't roll my tongue. We also found a ton more Ward's in the cemetery, some/most I am sure are relatives of mine. So much history!
Next we went to the Library (it was FINALLY opened) and looked through some old archives and maps about the area. Unfortunately we did not find any useful information to help fill the family tree. I wish that we would have known some of the family that still lives there that we could have visited!

Overall, Alderley Edge was absolutely beautiful. It's hard to believe that my ancestors moved from ta place of beauty to risk trying something totally different. The Edge is beautiful and I am so glad I got to TRULY walk on the edge! I came up with a brilliant t-shirt idea for the town, but again, the town hall was closed because it was Wednesday. I thought a t-shirt that said.."I Walked on the Edge - Alderley Edge 2010" with a cool picture would be the perfect t-shirt! This place is definitely a hidden gem that I would recommend people to visit. The homes there are a bit pricey (3 million pound mark) but if Victoria and David Beckham can afford it, I'm sure I could too!

We arrived at Liverpool early in the morning and couldn't check into our hotel until late so we left our bags at the train station in some luggage thing. Our one main thing to see in Liverpool was the Beatles Museum. This was probably one of the best museum's I've ever been too! You basically walk through the life of the Beatle's from the start when they weren't even a band, until today.It was SO amazing! Let's face it, I don't know much about the Beatle's just that they are damn famous. Now, I can say I know a lot. There was so much to see and do! My favourite part of the whole museum was the very last part. It was painted all white with the lyrics to Imagine written in black. In the centre was John Lennon's guitar and his piano. It was so simple but just so enchanting! There is also a 4d experience at the museum and once again...stellar! This time we sat down and the chairs moved! I think mom might have again peed her pants! For the rest of show mom's fingers were white from holding onto the chair!!!
We also went on a bus tour of Liverpool to see the sights. Nothing to spectacular but really neat to see! We saw the Cavern where the Beatles played over 280 times before they were famous! After the bus tour, we made our way to the hotel because we had to be up by 4:00 am to catch our flight to Dublin!

Stay tuned for the final leg of this adventure and the process of getting to the airport on time...can we doo it?? will we make it!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Leg of Parental Trip!

Ok. I am REALLY forcing myself to do this, it's like trying to squeeze orange juice from a banana..just isn't happening! But alas, here I am! I certainly have a TON to write about but I just have been super lazy. I am going to split the trip into three blogs for your pure entertainment and enjoyment! Hang on and enjoy the ride!

My parents arrived on Thursday April 1 along with Drew's mom Brenda. They arrived at Gatwick at 7 in the morning meaning once again I found myself looking like a shaggy homeless person on the tube. People were actually tried to toss me a few coins and let's talk about it, I wasn't about to shut them down..money is money!
We picked them up and dad be-lined to the outdoor area for a smoke..then to a shop for a pepsi. I guess some things DON'T change! We then decided that that evening we were going to go to the musical Grease. I DID let them sleep for a bit, since they were complaining they were tired...(I don't know WHY..hahah)Perhaps one of my most favourite memories of the WHOLE trip was the first time that mom and dad stepped onto the tube. I trotted on as per usual, found a seat and avoided eye contact with any person/thing. When the tube started moving I didn't know WHAT mom was going to do! They say to do one thing a day that scares you, this was clearly mom's one thing of the day!
After the nap, we met up with the Lubiniecki's for supper, at pizza hut as per usual. Then headed off to Grease! Let me tell you, grease IS the word! Another solid musical. The singing was great, the acting was great and the set was spot on to how i would imagine it to be. I can't wait to see the United Church players production next year because Drew and dad are pretty sure they can whip up there own version of Grease. I can't wait to see Joe Poulton as Danny and Vi and Avalon as the Pink Ladies!

Day #2
We decided not to waste any time in London so we went on the walking tour at 11. This was my THIRD time, so you can just IMAGINE the excitement in my eyes and heart for it. None the less, I put on my runners and off we went. It's really neat because now I know the way the tour walks and pretty much a word for word explanation of each stop along the way. I am thinking about applying for a job as tour guide for the company except their tour guides are clearly all jacked up on mountain dew and personally I'm more of a Dr. Pepper kinda girl. That morning we had a lengthy discussion before leaving the house about the prospect of rain. I being the Londoner decided naaawwww..it's NOT going to rain. Well, jokes on me. Mid way through the tour it poured. It was literally RAINING cats and dogs...I wish it was men, but no luck. We got through half the tour and the weather wasn't by any means a Mexican Holiday but it at least wasn't raining but then BOOM it started absolutely pouring! We had plans to continue walking around after the walking tour but instead made a direct trip home and stayed there for the rest of the day.

Day #3
We woke up on day three to a bright and sunny day and decided that we would head of to check out the Imperial War Museum. Again, I've been here before but I still found it very enjoyable! The only issue was that mom almost got kicked out for trying to climb on all the tanks and stuff. I guess she really wanted the whole experience! Me and dad had to rescue her and lucky I have charm and wit or mom would still be in jail or something.
After the museum it was surprisingly still sunny so we decided to walk around central London and check out all that we did the day before but this time minus the rain.
We started walking and checking things out and by the end of the day my shoes were smoking and there was the strange scent of rubber burning.

Things we saw along our walk:
1. naked men statues in parks.
2. naked men that weren't statues.
3. pigeons.
4. tourists
5. London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham..you know..the classic "london things"
6. Ice cream
7. Best of all, an old man living the dream in the park feeding the pigeons peanuts out of his hand. I see this and immediately decide that I gotta do this too. So, I hopped over to the man, he put some nuts in my hands and the pigeons literally went nuts! It was mayhem but perhaps the bitter sweet ending to this story is that they did NOT poop on me! WEO!

Day #4
We were putting it off for days so we decided that while the sun shone we'd better get on that London Eye. Mom didn't want to go but I told her if she didn't I would shave her head in the middle of the night. She said she'd go, guess she wasn't sure if she could rock the bald look.
First we went on a River Cruise down the river thames. Went on a big boat/ship/thing which took us through a bunch of the bridges and to see a lot of the sights from the water. It was really really really cool. Learned a lot and saw a lot. Perhaps one of my more favourite stories from the shoreline is the fact that there is a tower that clearly says "oxo." I'd seen it before and I'd always wondered what it was for. Turns out, it is where they used to make Oxo, you know, the chicken flavouring stuff. Back in the day they weren't allowed to advertise on the river, but OXO got away with it claiming that they simply put up a tower that coincidentally looked like the word Oxo.
We also went under the London Bridge and thankfully it didn't fall. Straight up, London bridge is LAME. It's just a bridge like we'd see crossing the Assiniboine River. For such hoopla and fame you'd think the London Bridge would be amazing. The tower bridge on the other hand is a sight to see!
After our Boat tour we got into the day long line up to get into the London Eye. We got onto the London Eye and up up up we went! We really could see forever! It was really neat to see everything from such a distance. I think I actually spotted Preeceville but I can't be sure. The flight takes about half an hour and it's not scary at all! You can apparently rent your own thingy for like 300 pounds and have a romantic date or even a wedding. I think on my next flight I'll take the wedding deal.
After the London Eye we went on the "London Eye 4D adventure." This was definitely the highlight of my day. You get these super stylish 3d glasses which sort of resemble the one's my mom had in the 70's. They lead you into this mini movie theatre where you stand and watch a show. I got spit at by a dragon, bubbles flew into my face, and a seagull tried to smack me with it's wings. It was amazing. It was about the story of the London Eye. Apparently this little girl couldn't enjoy all the sights of London because she was too small. Then she saw a seagull and thought that it would be amazing to be a bird to see london. Hence the London eye you get a "birds eye view." Pretty neat!

Day #5
This is the day before we headed off to Alderely edge, liverpool and ireland so we decided that we should just hang low and maybe do some shopping. Dad was absolutely thrilled to be shopping with us.
things dad would have rather done...
1. pulled a calf.
2. picked square bales.
3. watched every episode of One tree hill instead of wrestling.
4. listened to rap music.

Me and mom did find a few good things which was great!!!

Overall, our time in London was a blast. The weather held up for the most part apart from torrential down pours once a day!

Things mom and dad noticed about London...

1. People are crazy and will do anything for money. (street performers near the London eye)
2. The pepsi "tastes" different.
3. The eggs are as big as ostrich eggs.
4. The tube is an interesting place with interesting people.
5. Fish and chips are good.
6. There are about 39203480384038 different types of flowers and trees here.

stay tuned for part two: Alderely Edge, the Search for Ancestors.