Friday, October 23, 2015


Hello everyone! Last weekend we had an awesome time with our English grandparents, Nan and Bob, to go see Brooklands. Brooklands is a dirt racetrack that was very popular and used often in the 1920's and 1930's, and also an aircraft manufacturing center. The car below was called the Napier Railton, and it used an airplane engine, and broke many speed records between 1933 and 1937. 
The place we spent the most time at in Brooklands was seeing Concorde. Concorde was a super fast, slender airplane that could go over twice the speed of sound. Sadly they were discontinued in the early 2000's because of accidents and lack of interest by companies. We got to go inside it and watch a video about what it would be like to ride in it. It is an incredible piece of engineering.
 We also went into a hangar, where airplanes are stored, and we saw lots of old military aircraft. We got to sit inside a Harrier Jump Jet, one of the only planes that can manage a vertical take off. This is a picture of a plane that crashed in a lake and was then recovered and restored. That is pretty impressive. 
 The last thing we did was look in the car museum. Some of the cars were almost 100 years old! This one was my favorite. We also saw lots of bicycles, some from the 1800's. They were so big, I have no idea how people got on them! It was so cool to see the old racing cars, some of which have broken land speed records!
We'd say Brooklands was excellent!


A little while ago we had an awesome time with our favorite football club, Arsenal! Arsenal is one of, if not the best football clubs in England, and maybe even the world(at least in our opinion). Founded in 1886, they have been around for a long time. Arsenal has won a lot of titles and leagues including: 12 FA Cups, 13 League wins, and an incredible 47 games undefeated in a row, the most in the history of the league. When Arsenal started, they originally trained in an armory, or an arsenal, and that is where they got their name. I'd say Arsenal is pretty amazing.
 A few weeks ago we had a blast doing the Emirates Stadium tour. It is called Emirates Stadium after Arsenal's biggest sponsor, Emirates Airline. Huge is an understatement for this incredible structure. Arsenal Stadium is an incredible 250 meters long, and 200 meters wide. The tour was outstanding! We saw many places in the stadium most people don't normally see including the Director's Box, the Changing Rooms, the Press Conference Rooms, and the Diamond Club. You can pay 25,000 pounds to become a member of the Diamond Club! The stadium tour was an amazing experience.
At the game, we were pretty high up, so we had a good view of the field. The game was so much more interesting in real life than on TV. The stadium was packed, with nearly 60,000 people. With that, Emirates Stadium is the third largest stadium in England. From our seats, all of the players looked like ants, but it was easy to follow the game. Arsenal ended up winning (of course), 2-0, which is awesome.
We've had an excellent time at Arsenal and can't wait for the next game!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Hi everyone! We just got back from an awesome time in France, Strasbourg to be precise. We were there to tour the city and see some old friends, the Masbous. The picture below is of Strasbourg Cathedral, which was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874. If you do the math that's 227 years! Like most large buildings of its kind, construction was over the course of an extended period of time. Here, construction took place over 263 years, from 1176 to 1439. Though unlike other cathedrals, Strasbourg's only has one spire.
One reason I love France is the food! Below is a picture of me on our first day eating breakfast. I had a croissant, a baguette, jam, butter, orange juice, and hot chocolate. So much bread! What can go wrong? Nothing. You would never believe this, but over our whole time in France, the best croissant we had cost less than one euro and was from McDonalds. Seriously!
Another cool thing about Strasbourg, and many other European cities is the tram system. You see tram lines everywhere, footpaths, roads, and even on the grass. Charlotte's tram system needs to up their game, because next to this it looks lame. 
While we stayed in Strasbourg, we had a day out with the Masbous, and we first went to a castle, or château in french, called Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg. The castle at Kœnigsbourg is very old, some parts dating back to the 800's. Though abandoned during the Middle Ages, it was restored and rebuilt to its original glory under the German emperor Wilhelm II, from 1900 to 1908. I thought the defense structures and mechanisms inside and outside were the coolest part of it. For example, the massive portcullis, and a bridge over the entry that could be dropped if the castle was invaded. Also, if you look closely on the side of the castle, you will see little holes. Some of those holes are where human waste leaves the castle. I highly recommend you  look up Kœnigsbourg because it is very interesting.
Later that day, we went to an eagle sanctuary to see the birds and a show. During the show, the birds would fly right over your head, and it was awesome. The birds are specially trained to do that, as well as fly really fast, and even land on a volunteer's hand. That is what Matthew is doing in the picture below. He is holding a vulture, which came to him because the trainer put a piece of meat on the glove Matthew is wearing.
Another cool thing about the eagle sanctuary are the birds. We saw huge bald eagles and owls, right up close. But this was my favorite. I don't know its name, but it looks to me like a cute fuzzy ostrich. 
We had a great time in Strasbourg and thought it was excellent!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton

Hello everyone! We had an awesome time last weekend at some beaches in Southern England. Our first stop was Hastings, where William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, during the Battle of Hastings. We couldn't find any museums, but it was cool to see where the battle took place. Below is a photo of the beach at Hastings, with a pier on the left.
After Hastings, stop number 2 was Eastbourne. At Eastbourne, we hiked along some cliffs to a place called Beachy Head. But these aren't any ordinary cliffs, these are Britain's highest chalk cliffs, at over 500 feet. That's almost twice as high as we went on St. Paul's Cathedral. They were pretty impressive.
After the chalk cliffs, we went to the beach to see an amazing fireworks display,parade, and bonfire, put on by the Eastbourne Bonfire Society. The Eastbourne Bonfire Society is a society in Eastbourne which has an interest in cultural and historical roots, and they put on celebrations and parades. The biggest of which is November 5, or Guy Fawkes night, the night in which he was caught trying to blow up parliament. It was the biggest bonfire and one of the biggest fireworks displays I have ever seen. Eastbourne was incredible!

The next day, we went to stop number 3: Brighton. In Brighton we went on a really cool pier with 2 really cool arcades, and a mini amusement park.You also get good views of the English Channel. The picture below is of the pier, which we went on.
After the pier, we went to the Brighton Museum, and the Royal Pavilion. The Brighton Museum was nice, but the Pavilion was way more excellent. John Nash designed it, and George IV built it. Did you know that in World War 1, the Brighton Pavilion was used as a hospital for Indian soldiers? In 1920 restoration was started for the Pavilion, but it was held back in 1975 because an arson attack and in the great storm of 1987 , a ball of stone fell through a ceiling, burying itself in the carpet.
After the Pavilion we went to the Lanes, which is a ton of tiny lanes with lots of shops. After the Lanes, we had lunch at a fish and chips shop, which was delicious. Then we walked along the shore of Brighton, which was really nice. Since we had so much fun in Hastings, Eastbourne, and Brighton, I'd say this trip has been EXCELLENT!


Friday, October 2, 2015

South Shields and Durham

Hello everyone! We have been to some more exciting places that we can't wait to tell you about! Recently we went to a town called South Shields, where my mum grew up. We had some amazing fresh fish and chips at a restaurant called Colmans. The fish was sssoooo good. We also went to a really fun play park. Did you know that South Shields was the place where the first lifeboat was built and used in the late 1700's?
The next day we went to Durham, to see Durham Cathedral. (below) The present cathedral dates back to Norman times and was founded in 1093. Durham cathedral is home to the shrine of St. Cuthbert, as well as his final resting place. St. Cuthbert is one of the most important medieval saints of Northern England.
While we were at Durham Cathedral, we climbed 325 steps up the center tower! From the top you had a great view of all of Durham, as well as the top of the cathedral. This picture is of the main entrance to the cathedral as seen from the tower we were on.
As well as climbing the tower, we also participated in a fundraiser at Durham Cathedral. The fundraiser where you could pay one pound for a lego brick, to help complete this model of Durham Cathedral. In my opinion it's a brilliant idea.
We had an excellent time at South Shields and Durham Cathedral!