In the beginning of July, some good friends came over and visited us. We have known Capt. Flyboy since he was a student at the Air Force Academy and before he met his wife, Mrs.Cheerful. Capt. Flyboy has known Elie since she was a baby and the rest of the kiddos since they were born. The kids adore both of them and they are both fantastic with the kids. It was a pleasure to have them spend some time with us!
One of the day trips we took was to a huge manor house on the outskirts of Leeds. It is called Temple Newsam. There is a huge Tudor-Jacobean manor house and a very large working farm. We took a tour of the huge and amazing interior. I was quite surprised because the exterior is very different (and quite plain) as compared to other manor houses we have seen. Inside was well preserved and beautiful, with lots of audio guide to listen to, art to see and old furniture to look at. Sadly, the kitchens are all in an amazing basement with fascinating sounding catacombs and tunnels. Since the building is in a large U-shape, there are tunnels running underneath the courtyard to get to the opposite sides. It's all closed, presumably due to health and safety regulations. (An interesting aside note: We were in a room that listed an automaton as one of the artifacts. Adam immediately perked up and searched high and low for it. We couldn't spot it. As we passed by a docent, he asked where it was. The docent revealed that three years ago there was a very professional break in at the house. The automaton was the only item taken.)
When we were done with the interior, we took a tour around the working farm. I think the last time it was updated was probably around the turn of last century. It was beautiful. There were baby pigs and tons of chicks, we got to pretend to milk a cow and see rabbits. The buildings were amazing and there were several different displays of old farm equipment and rooms set up the way it would have been in the early 20th century. (There were chickens for sale, but we didn't get any. Boo.)
I wanted to walk down and see the apiary. There is a bee-keeping society here in Leeds and they have an exhibit displaying different varieties of bee boxes. They also keep bees and so the area is well labelled and appropriately cordoned off. It was very interesting, but as we were walking around and looking at the bee hives, Isaac approached a small hut that had also been blocked off. He was a good two feet away from it, when he crouched down on the ground and began screaming. A bee (? we have been reliably informed by our biologist friend here that wasps here look very much like bees and are much more aggressive) had stung Isaac in the head, just above his ear. Adam and I pulled out the stinger, and I think much of the poison was still in the sack from the looks of it, but it was still extremely painful. Isaac was pale and screaming. Not fun.
Of course, the apiary is the farthest thing from the exit and the cars. Adam rushed off to drum up some ice, I started carrying Isaac on my back and Capt. Flyboy and Mrs. Cheerful dealt with the girls, bags and coats. It was so incredibly helpful to have the extra hands there. We hobbled back to the car and tried to decide what to do. We were planning on going out to eat, but weren't sure how the injured boy would do. After procuring some Benadryl and Ibuprofen and then dosing him up, he was fine. (He even swallowed a pill for the first time ever. Way to perform under pressure!) We had a fabulous dinner, canal-side, at an Indian restaurant.
I suppose this really sums up outings with children: good, bad, ends up being alright and a lovely day. (Sometimes, okay, most of the time.)