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Today Natalie has joined me to narrate our adventures. She says hello. This morning we woke up and went down to the docks in Liverpool after quickly making a breakfast of smiley faced potatoes (which reminded Natalie of Teletubbie Pancakes). We looked at the ships and went into the Maritime Museum to see the exhibit on the Lusitania. When we arrived at the exhibit we got to see videos from the launching of the Lusitania from Liverpool when our great grandpa came over to America on the maiden voyage. We also got to see items from the ship and a model of what it looked like. In the same exhibit was the Titanic model as well as some items from that voyage. The last ship on exhibit there was The Empress of Ireland, which actually lost more lives than both the Lusitania and the Titanic but was so overshadowed by them that not many people have heard about it. Throughout the exhibit they were playing violin music similar to the music played in the film while the Titanic sank so it was very moving.

Afterward we left Liverpool to go to Batley, where our English relatives were from. We ate lunch at a pub which had gluten-free Bramley Crumble! Then we walked around the town for a bit and visited the parish church. The town itself was pretty small but very cute and Natalie and I went to do a bit of shopping in the mall. That’s right, we did not shop in London (one of the largest centers of fashion in the world), but in a shopping center in Batley. We each got sweaters and dresses. The drive from Batley to Newcastle was two hours long and we experienced some car-technical-difficulties on the way that had to be taken care of once we arrived. While we waited we got to see the horses that are just beyond the gardens of our hotel and walk around on the paths. The hotel itself has beautiful outer buildings as well as the garden.

Once the car had been fixed we walked down the drive to dinner. It was an Itlain restaurant so Natalie and I were both concerned that there wouldn’t be too much to eat there for us, but let me let you in on a little secret: risotto. Everywhere we’ve been it’s been gluten-free and incredibly good so Natalie and I both got that. At the end of the meal we got lolipops with our receipt. Lolipops, as you well know, have no ingredient labels on them, so Natalie and I were very afraid to eat them since sometimes they have modified food starch in them. We did take a few licks and we now nervously await an impending illness from doing so. We’ll let you know how that goes… On the walk back me and Natalie recounted having seen a documentary on the mysterious “British Big Cat” (BBC) to our parents. It’s a panther-like-creature that prowls the countryside eating sheep and scratching the faces of small English children caught unawares. Here is  a picture for your enjoyment. We haven’t seen one yet.

On the walk back we discovered that Hansel and Gretel must have also been allergic to gluten since they didn’t eat the bread their stepmother gave them and just threw pieces of it on the ground. That’s one mystery solved. You’re welcome.

When we arrived back at the room we all had some vino and now we’ll just relax for the rest of the night. Cheers =)