This morning we caught the 9 o'clock train from Kings Cross Station to York for our last weekend away with Anne and Richard. It was a pleasant trip and when we arrived in York at 10.50am we made our way to Hotel 53 where we were staying. This is where Andrew stays with work and we got a very good deal so it worked out well because we knew where to go and how to get around from here. Anne and Richard had been in Pontefract staying with some family so were dropped off at the Hotel and were just checking in when we arrived so we couldn't have timed it more perfectly really. As expected we were too early to check into our rooms so we stored our luggage and set off to explore.
Andrew and I had looked at a few things we wanted to do over the weekend and ideally I wanted to see some new things since I have already done a bit of exploring in York. So firstly we decided to visit The Railway Museum which the boys were very excited about! We walked through the town and came across a big market and food festival that was set up for the weekend so that was a bonus and although the boys weren't to impressed about being held up they enjoyed the atmosphere. The market stalls were great and there were musicians everywhere all of a very high standard- Accordion players, guitarists, violinist, and also a Pride Parade! We found a large tent filled with some very nice high quality craft stalls which Anne and I loved. We were both really taken with a stall that were selling starter packs to make flowers out of florists ribbon so Anne bought one for her and a friend and later on when we were heading back to the Hotel we bought one for me too. That will be a bit of fun! The couple who were demonstrating and selling these packs were so lovely and am sure they were pleased that we fell upon their stall! Richard and Andrew stood outside and listened to the music!
From here we finally made it to The Railway Museum which was very interesting for us all. I definitely enjoyed it far more than I thought I was going to! We must have spent a couple of hours here and we even had a ride on a miniature train. It was well after lunch by now so we found a lovely little old pub called The Punch Bowl and decided to pop in here for a bite to eat. With its very small rooms, low ceiling and beams it felt very cosy and the meals were a perfect refreshment for us all.
From here we intended to go to York Minster but once again we got distracted by the market and this is when we went back to the stall that sold the flower making craft kit. There was still lots of music playing and we were very taken by a man cutting out names out of painted plywood. He was dressed in old fashioned clothes and was using a pedal jigsaw and was known to the locals as Peddly Pete. He was amazing, not needing to pre draw the names and he had no pattern. He did it totally by freehand! I lined up to have "Andrew and Camille" done but instead of doing "and" he did a "love heart". When it was finished he held it up for everyone to see then brought Andrew to stand with me and preceded to tell a story while he cut out a heart from the remaining piece of wood. He then cut the heart in half with a wiggly line.
The story went something like this in a real old fashioned Yorkshire accent. In years gone by when men were going off to fight in the war the young man would get a token but if unable to afford this he would make his own. Half of the heart would be given to his lass and he would keep the other half close to his heart. On his return some years later when he was cut, scarred and an amputee he would find his lass and say "Ah lass I've come back to marry thee!" She would say "No not you, I don't know thee!" He would then produce the piece of heart that he had carried with him!
We then continued walking and came across The Shambles and other cute streets along the way but by now the shops were closing and it was too late to think about visiting York Minster. That will have to wait until tomorrow! We headed back to the Hotel to check into our rooms and freshen up before dinner. George (Anne's cousin) and his wife Mary were meeting us for dinner and were due to arrive at the Hotel between 7-7:30pm. Andrew and I had been to a lovely restaurant called Lucia Wine Bar and Grill when we were both in York so we decided this would be ideal because we knew it was delicious, there were plenty of options and it has a fabulous atmosphere! Unfortunately we couldn't book so Andrew and I left earlier and reserved a table while we waited in the bar for the others to arrive. We didn't have to wait too long before the table was ready once they got there considering how busy the restaurant was. We had a lovely time and everyone was impressed by the superb food. There was lots of laughs and Andrew and I thoroughly enjoyed George and Mary's company! We then all walked back to the Hotel together and sat in the foyer/bar as it was nice and quiet after the restaurant. We enjoyed a wee night cap together before we had to say goodbye and call it a night. Off to bed we went!