Monday, 9 May 2011

Westward Ho!

We have had a busy month - I still think it's April, and we're already almost half-way through May. Easter weekend was the same weekend that Matthew's parents (Larry & Gina) left, and we decided to join some friends in North Devon, at a seaside village called Westward Ho! I'm not kidding, the place actually has an exclamation point at the end. Sometimes I love England. We went with Alex & Nikki Finnemore (sometimes known as Alex & Nikki 'Spectacular Love', the supposed origin of their surname...), Nicholas Charles Victor Pilkington (aka Gob - yes, that Gob from Arrested Development), and Molly Dorkin (aka Molly... how come she doesn't have a nickname yet??). For half of the trip, there was also James-British-Physicist, who's last name I don't know, and also a guy named Ben, who I thought was in first year medicine, but actually was in fifth year medicine. How embarrassing for me, when I introduced him to someone as a first year. . .
From left: Molly, Gob, Nikki, Alex, Lady Hawk and Hawkeye

 North Devon is 228 miles away from Cambridge (366 km, if you do the math right), and so Google Maps says it will take 5 and 5 minutes to get there... not on a bank holiday, my friends!! On the way there, 7 hours and 15 minutes, and on the way home, a whopping 9 and a half hours. AWESOME. At one point on the highway, we could have turned the car off and had a nap. We were in a convoy on the way there, and having road challenges via text message. Examples: Challenge 1: photo of a farm animal, Challenge 3: photo of a pink car (aka impossible, as England is apparently the land of no pink cars). Then as we passed the signage for the town of Swindon, we challenged them to find a sign with their birth town on it - I was born in Swindon. Next thing we know, there is a van with "Alberta, Canada" written on it, and a photo of Folk Fest! No jokes!!
How bizarro. After we saw this, I made Matthew speed up to be alongside it, and totally freaked the driver out by waving and trying to (somehow) indicate that we were Canadian. I failed. He slowed right down and drove a few cars behind us from that point on...
 The reason our friends were going to Westward Ho! is because it is actually a surfing town. I know! Who knew you could surf in England??  Nikki & Alex are experienced surfers, and the rest of us were first-timers. I have to admit: I thought it would be easier - I have pretty good balance, and am relatively strong in my core, so how hard could it be?

The answer: hard.

Apparently, I have no upper body strength. The hardest part was paddling out over the waves so you could have a far enough distance from the beach for the time it takes to get into a squat/stand. I admit: I only got to a squat. But seriously, the paddling out part was exhausting! Nikki was my expert instructor, and all I could hear was, "This is yours Georgina! Go for it! Paddle hard! Paddle, paddle, paddle! Harder!! Paddle harder!! Paddle harder!!!" Both Matthew & I had a good time, but were so pooped by the end. And then, no one tells you how hard it is to get a wet suit off. . . not a very attractive ending to surfing.

pre-water lesson - surfing is way easier on sand. :)

I wish I knew how to add an audio clip of the theme song for Beverly Hills 90210

The rest of the weekend was spent playing some intense games of Pandemic and Ticket to Ride, eating fantastic food, relaxing in the hot tub, drinking yummy cocktails with Cava and Campari, and having a really great time.
I wasn't kidding when I said his nickname was Gob. This is his hat. Underneath "GOB" it says "I've made a huge mistake." I don't think I called him Nick for the whole weekend.

Elizabeth LOVES bubbles

"We need to get to Bangkers, it is going to outbreak soon!" "Wait, I'm a researcher, I can get a cure faster in Shangkers." "Well, what if another yellow gets drawn, then Santiago is out." "Oh man, what are we going to do if Hongkers gets hit again?" (Hongkers = Hong Kong, Shangkers = Shanghai, and Bangkers = Bangkok. Obviously.) I think they beat the game once?

In England there are common grounds for horses to ... hang out in? We petted a whole bunch, and there was even a little pony! So cute!!

Big thanks to my friend Kate Tudor for lending us the hiking backpack. Elizabeth loved it, and now we are searching for one!
I highly recommend visiting Westward Ho! the next time you're in England. And from now on I will not underestimate the good ole UK - who would have expected I'd come to England and learn to surf? Who knows what else we will do while we're here!


Breanna K said...

And I will never underestimate the power of an exclamation point!

Chrissy said...

I'm with B on this one!!!!!!