Hello, all! Everyone here says "hello." No one says "hi." So, hello! How are you?
My first night in England was great for me, but bad for my friend Marla, who had to share a room with me and my snoring. Okay, first of all, I don't know why I snore. Secondly, I was BEAT. I had stayed up until 10 p.m. to beat the jet lag (which worked!), so when I crashed, I was sleeping the sleep of death. Evidently Marla couldn't sleep with my snoring, which I feel really bad about. She woke me up at one point, and then was googling "how to sleep with someone who snores" while I told myself in my groggy state to stop snoring. Evidently, my mind trick did not work, because she did not sleep well. 
I woke up from my sleep of death around 9, but Marla was soundly sleeping, and I felt bad waking her up, considering the snoring and all. So I went back to sleep, and the next time I opened my eyes, it was 10:50!!! I shot out of bed and said, "Marla, what time was checkout?" And she screamed and jumped out of bed. We called the front desk and asked them for an extra half hour (check out was at 11:00) and then scrambled to throw everything into suitcases and get dressed. When we asked the lady at the front desk if breakfast was over, she gave us this look of complete incredulity (which the British are QUITE good at), and said, "Yes, it is," and looked at us as if we were crazy. I'm sure she was thinking, "Lazy Americans!" But seriously--we had an exhausting day. So with no breakfast, we jumped into the rental car and were on our way.
We drove through the Derbyshire dales, which is very hilly country. The sky was just a little foggy--not cloudy, but not sunny--the hills were dotted with sheep and criss-crossed with stacked stone walls, and the grass was green green green. The trees were all leafless, but there were bunches of bright yellow daffodils everywhere. It was so lovely. At one point Marla yelled, "pull over here!" and I, the expert driver that I am, swiftly and safely pulled into a parking lot next to an inn. It was a little "pay and display" parking lot overlooking a lovely valley that was a starting point for lots of walking trails. We got our cameras, locked the car, and headed for a trail.
I think England must be a very healthy place to live, especially if you're elderly, because we saw all sorts of people--mostly middle-aged and elderly, who were walking these trails with their walking poles and their very well-behaved dogs. It was so refreshing to get some exercise, and the air was the perfect temperature for it. It was cool enough that even when I was huffing up a steep trail, I wasn't overly hot. After our impromptu walk, (which lasted about 45 minutes), we got back into the car and finished our drive to Chatsworth House. 

This is the bridge (or viaduct) that inspired our hike. We walked along it, then down into the valley below.
Our impromptu hike.
A farmhouse tucked into the valley where we hiked.
Every building in the country looks this old and crumbly. It's perfectly charming.

Oh, if I could have imagined Chatsworth House before, I would have modeled Edenbrooke after it! It was so grand, so elegant, so vast and impressive in every way. It was so like Downton Abbey. I can't describe it well enough to do justice to it--you will just have to see the pictures. 
The front view of Chatsworth House.
You drive over this little bridge to get to the house entrance.

Dome roof over the portrait gallery.
Part of the portrait gallery in Chatsworth House. It was too large to capture it all--it stretches over three walls and three stories.
There is a statue gallery just filled with fine statues. I liked this portrayal of a lady thinking of her love.
I love this lion.

Formal dining room at Chatsworth house. Again, it's rather dark, but you can't mistake the elegance.
First thing you see as you enter Chatsworth house. It's rather dark, but the walls and ceilings are covered with paintings.
The carriage house on the Chatsworth estate.
I thought of my kids when I saw this statue in the garden. It's a rabbit playing a tambourine, I believe.
Chatsworth house from the back.
This little village and church are within the Chatsworth estate.

We arrived in Harrogate around 8 p.m. Oh, and let's mention the food. After no breakfast, I ate lunch at 3 p.m. at Chatsworth House. It was a nasty meat pie, which was lamb and mint. I thought it would be little chunks of lamb, but instead it was little chunks of potato and carrot with a huge BALL of lamb right in the middle of the pie. When I got to the ball of meat, I couldn't do it. It looked woolly. So I chucked it. But when we got to Harrogate we found a grocery store and loaded up on fruit and yogurt and cheese and vegetables. Now I'm doing better in the food department. 
The meat pie that I chucked.

And now, I'm off on another day's adventures, this time in the lovely town of Harrogate. I will post more this evening if I can! Cheerio!
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Published on March 22, 2012 02:54 • 97 views
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message 1: by humaira (new)

 humaira khan wow these pictures are beautiful .you are very lucky .what is the meaning of cheerio?

message 2: by Julianne (new)

Julianne Donaldson humaira wrote: "wow these pictures are beautiful .you are very lucky .what is the meaning of cheerio?"
Thanks! Cheerio is a British saying that means "good-bye."

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