Day Two

After sleeping for almost two full days, you can understand why I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and could not fall back asleep. I turned on the television, in the hopes that BBC2's almost round-the-clock showing of the "Snooker Grand Prix" would bore me to sleep, but it was no good. The hotel began serving breakfast at 7:30, which meant I had four hours to kill.

I read a book.

I decided that Patricia Cornwell has lost her touch, and I won't be buying her latest book when it comes out in paperback. Unless, as was the case this time, I'm about to get on a six-hour flight and I have nothing to read.

I wrote a postcard.

I wrote some other stuff.

I got back into bed and stared at the ceiling for the remaining three and a half hours until breakfast.

At mid-morning, we drove to Warwick Castle. Here are some highlights of the trip:

Observed on a car in the parking lot. Apparently, the low-carb craze has not yet spread to the United Kingdom.

My father and I make mental notes not to let my mother take any more pictures.

There are peacocks all over the grounds. I once thought that they were beautiful and proud animals, but now I see that they're really just turkey bodies with pigeon heads. Especially the female peacocks (peahens), which don't even have the brilliant blue feathers.

And now it's time to explore the castle itself!

I'll admit it: my favorite part of any castle tour are the twelfth-century bathrooms. They're like outhouses, except that they're made of stone and they're inside the castle. Warwick Castle put stone slabs over the privy holes for safety reasons, but I think the Tower of London's privies are still open and waiting for unattended small children to fall into them.

At the top of the castle, I take a moment to take in the beautiful English countryside. With my eyes closed.

When we got back to the hotel, my Nanny and Grandad, along with the Swedish Morrisons, were already there. The Swedish Morrisons exist because my uncle Greg (who has retained his svelteness, thus my father did not win the Thinnest Brother contest) married a Swedish woman and they had three blonde-haired, blue-eyed Children of the Corn daughters who are sure to be tall, thin, and gorgeous when they get older. As of now, though, they're all shorter than me, so I remain the Queen.

We all went to dinner at the restaurant I had tea in the day before. My mother and I ordered a club sandwich to share. In the end, everyone's food arrived except for my sandwich and whatever nasty English thing my dad ordered. We waited two hours and reminded the waitstaff several times that we were still waiting, but nothing came. At that point, hunger took over my mind and I started to throw a temper tantrum, loudly announcing my intent to get the sandwich delivered to my room, for free, along with a complimentary dessert. My mother whisked me away from the restaurant before any further shame could be brought upon the family, and my dad got the food brought to our room. We never found out why a seemingly simple chicken/bacon/tomato/egg sandwich took so long to prepare.

After that, my mother and I went to bed, while my father went down to the pub with his brothers Greg and Rod. Apparently, Greg was determined to have drinks with his brothers before Rod got married on Friday. On their way back to the hotel, they heard a rustling in some nearby bushes. My father and Rod sensibly assumed it was bird or small animal, while my uncle was certain that the culprit was a wild boar. He would be made fun of for this for the rest of the trip.

Tomorrow: My brother flies in and immediately goes to sleep for the rest of the day, which is spent getting ready for my parent's twenty-fifth anniversary party. The success of the party is in jeopardy when it is discovered that one of the appetizers has cheese in it, and Great Uncle Jim is on dietary restriction!