Bath & Stonehenge

Stonehenge and Bath made for a lovely day excursion out of London. I fell madly in love with the Roman Baths! 
So day three of our trip was a wee bit different than London. Mr. and Mrs. Lee (seriously?) checked out of the hotel at an insanely early hour and rushed off to find the tube station our friend Katie was waiting for us at. After four missed phonecalls and a headache we all found each other. Let the games begin!

Roadtripping in England is a very different experience. GPS is a must, and we were lacking in the necessities. There was one point where we made three loops around one roundabout before being sure which direction to go. When I say we, I mean everyone but me, who was happily oblivious in the back seat and living on faith that we'd eventually wind up somewhere in the UK that would be of interest.

After an undetermined number of wrong turns, and junk foods we made it to Stonehenge. You know that moment in a trip when you get somewhere and you're like....Seriously? This is it? That's kinda how Stonehenge went for us. We were here often? We were there a grand total of fifteen minutes, snapped a few photos and literally spent more time laughing about a hen that got plastered to the grill of a car. Yes, you read that correctly, road kill took up more time for us than Stonehenge. We are a classy bunch.
clockwise: um, some church, and a fountain, the honest trust: rugby is love, the center of the Beazer Garden Maze, me in Bath, and the Royal Crescent
Bath itself however did rank above roadkill....just slightly (kidding). I fell in LOVE with this adorable little town. It was easy to see how this town, the home of Jane Austen, could have inspired such love stories. It was simply charming, with pretty architecture and a simplistic vibe that has somehow maintained despite the overabundant amount of shopping boutiques that have overrun downtown. It was pleasant and reminded me a fair bit of Georgetown in DC. We spent the better part of the day just walking around and stopping at whatever caught our fancy.

Though I doubt it would ever be on a guided map, there is an adorable little garden maze we randomly found in Bath, (though had we known about the Longleat Hedge Maze I would have made that a high priority). The Beazer Garden Maze, with its Sulis head mozaic in the center, and winding paths designed by Randall Coats was charming. To be fair we didn't notice much of the charm as four adults turn into five year olds and race towards the center as fast as we can (and cheat as much as we can as well). I doubt Brandon and Katie will ever truly agree on who was the first to reach the center of the maze.

the lovely roman baths
My favorite attraction of the day was the Roman Baths. The architecture is amazing, but beyond that: IT'S WARM! That whole day was FREEZING! By the end of the day I was wearing five layers. FIVE. And I was still cold. Walking into the Roman Baths with the heated rooms and warm flowing water steaming up at you was a welcome reprieve. Also a welcome reprieve was Brandon's attempt to run and do a cannonball into the water. I told you already we were classy. You didn't believe me, but I bet you do now. (For the record he wasn't actually trying to jump in the water...just look like he was. I have nearly 20 photos of Brandon flailing around the Baths, each one funnier than the last).

After that we went and attempted to have a nice dinner at Aqua in Bath, rated  as S. Pellegrino's annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants." Our opinion? FAIL. This is easily not in the best 1,000 restaurants in the world. How Aqua ever got on the same list an Daniel I will NEVER understand. 

The best thing I can say for my meal was that I got to try Elderflower Soda, with its unique lightly floral notes. My tagliatelle balognese with ground beef, pork shoulder and wild boar was disgraceful, Brandon went into a hissy fit about proper tomatoes, the Salmon Al Forno was dry and overcooked and topped with the blandest version of a salsa I have ever come across (and I'm including the Mexican Food I ate in Scotland...more to come on that later). As for dessert, it was no better. My cousins who had visited Bath earlier in the year recommended going to Jamie's Italian. After this, I would as well, having not tried the food I am sure it cannot be worse.  

Though our meal was a loss the day was not. I highly recommend a day in Bath. I can easily see why Jane Austen would write that her characters came to Bath for their health. I would prescribe just the same medicine. 

I will finally get around to posting my favorite part of the trip tomorrow I hope. I loved Edinburgh and am so excited to tell you all the story of the old bitty and the chypsies!