York – Day 2

Yesterday Jaeger and I joked that Calvin rated hotels based on their breakfasts, how close he is to mommy, and how good a fort he can build out of the bed. While our Inverness hotel was quite nice, it was a bit of a disappointment to Calvin. Our York hotel on the other hand has pretty much everything he could ask for (the only way it could be better would be one king bed that the whole family piles into).

The hotels breakfast is free for all guests so I was skeptical that it was going to be any good. However, it turned out to have the best vegetarian options of any of them. It was a bit more generic than the others but the options for us worked better. Calvin ended up with scrambled eggs, potatoes with ketchup, and a mini chocolate muffin. He was ecstatic and he got even more excited when he noticed there was a tv in the breakfast room. It was just running news but that seemed to be enough for him.

After breakfast we still had an hour before the train museum opened so we wandered by a used book store. I didn’t find any of the books I was looking for but did stumble across another author that looks like she might be a good fit for Calvin. We wandered around a bit more and finally headed for the train museum.

As advertised, the train museum was big and impressive. I think the part I found most interesting was the evolution of the royal train cars. Queen Adelaide commissioned the first royal train car when it was still a fairly new contraption. It’s clear that they hadn’t figured out a distinct train style yet. The train car looked almost exactly like a luxurious coach. There were only seats, no other comforts, and to get to one of the three compartments you had to open external train doors. The next train car was the final version of Queen Victoria’s and it was interesting to note how much the design had advanced within that time period. Queen Victoria’s train car had several connected rooms including a saloon with sofas.

It was also interesting to see some of the regular older train. Bathrooms didn’t appear for quite a while and I could’t help but think of the inconvenience of toting a young child via train.

The train museum also had a library that included some children’s books. I read several to Calvin before insisting it was time to get back to the rest of the museum. We wandered around for a bit. The museum had quite a few exhibits for young kids that Calvin enjoyed. They also had a play area that had things like Chuggington costumes, train tables, and a variety of Legos that I’d never heard of before: Lego Soft bricks. These bricks are about 6 times as bit as a regular Lego brick (the current set of Quatros we have is 4 times bigger so these are even bigger than Quatros).

After playing with the Legos for a while we ate lunch in the train’s cafeteria. After lunch Calvin and I went outside to briefly play in the train’s playground. It was an ok playground but nothing particularly special. I didn’t take any pictures. However, right next to the playground was a mini train that the kids could ride on for 1 pound. Calvin took a ride on that and really enjoyed it. We wandered around a little more until leaving around 3:30pm.

Our next stop was the Yorkshire museum. They had a fair number of things for Calvin to do but other than the specific little kid areas it didn’t really catch his attention. I enjoyed the medieval section the best.

The museum closed at 5. The place we wanted to eat at didn’t open till 6:30 so we had about an hour and a half to waste. Since it was now raining we decided to go back to the hotel to pick up our rain coats before wandering around within the walled city. Calvin started to get cranky and complain of being hungry so we started looking for a cafe that was still open to get a little snack.

Eventually, we stumbled across the York Cocoa House. They close at 6 but we squeaked in with 2 minutes to spare. Calvin got a regular hot chocolate, I got an orange hot chocolate, Jaeger got Yorkshire tea and then we all shared a lime and coconut dessert. It was divine. I’m trying to convince Jaeger we should go back there for lunch tomorrow but he is protesting because it’s a chocolate shop and doesn’t have “lunch” food. I don’t know why we need anything as plebeian as sandwiches for lunch when we can get chocolate like that.

After finishing our hot chocolate we wandered a little bit more and then headed in the direction of dinner. The vegetarian restaurant we ate at is only open two evenings a week (normally they’re a cafe). I got the spinach and leek ravioli, Jaeger got a mushroom burger, and Calvin got gnocchi. It was all good and I was especially pleased that Calvin seemed to really like the gnocchi.

After supper we walked back to our hotel in the light drizzle. Tomorrow we’ll do a couple more things in York before heading back via train to Edinburgh.

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