Prisons, Ponies and Pints, Oh My!

The original title of this post was Tavistock, Dartmoor and Princetown. How boring is that?

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Honestly, it was hard to want to get out and do anything while we were at Jenni’s house. But you can see from the screen shot above, that there is a ton of great stuff all around, il fallait qu’on en profite.  I was just so content to be with my friend after not having seen her for what, nearly three years? Talking cupcakes, babies and boys was just about all I could handle.

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BUT y’all know it wouldn’t have really been me if we didn’t go somewhere and see some things while we were abroad-abroad. That’s different from normal abroad, where you normally live in your home country.

So we went to…. Tavistock! Which everyone knows is famous for its… Uh… Well… There’s always… Really, you already know so I don’t have to tell you about the… Help me out here guys…

Alright let’s be honest. I had no idea why we would come here. Jenni promised the 8th wonder of the world was here. What she meant was ‘it was a wonder anyone in the world was here.’ Dang! Just kidding, Tavistockians. Don’t mean to offend all 10,000 of you. :)

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Actually, Tavistock is this cute old market town that has a millennial history, starting with at least the Tavistock Abbey in the 9th century. And like many English towns, it was named for the river, in this case the River Tavy, that runs through it.

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The market was fun. We went all the way to England, to an historic market town… And David bought yarn and a crochet needle. Whoot whoot!

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Please be as amused by Lady Olga’s Briefs as I am.

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No caption needed. You get the irony, right?!?!

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Pannier as explained by the Oxford American Dictionary: a basket, esp. one of a pair carried by a beast of burden. Learn something new every day.

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Youth surrounded by death… Creepy! Fun! Weird!

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Here lieth the sleeping dust of George Blanchard of this Parish Yeoman, he departed his mortal life at a sudden call from time to Eternity…

We would have continued to explore the town, but the littlest person in our group was starting to have a meltdown. Time for a bottle in her awesome English car seat!

After Tavistock, the plan was to go to Princetown, a microscopic little settlement in the middle of Dartmoor national park. A few dozen people live there to guard a prison that is in the middle of Dartmoor.

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But before we arrived at Princetown, we had to drive through Dartmoor, which felt very moorish and brooding à la Catherine meets Heathcliff, and what did we find?!?!? WILD PONIES! Well, they were as wild as squirrels in a zoo, but still. You’d think after having grown up with horses all my life this wouldn’t be such a big deal. Let me be clear: it was.

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Wild Dartmoor ponies just chillin’ by the roadside waiting for tourists (like us!) and snacks.

I was unable to convince David that we should keep one. But Adelaide wanted a pony for her first birthday! What kind of dad doesn’t get his kid a pony before she ca walk, anyway?!

Surprise: it started raining. By the time we got to Princetown, it was pretty dark. That being said, this next picture was stolen from the inter webs. You can tell because of all the sun and light and lack of rain.

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Can you see the big circle at the top of the settlement? That’s HM Prison Dartmoor. It houses white collar criminals (jerks! Living in a prison… in a national park… surrounded by ponies…) Everyone who lives in Princetown is employed by the prison. Or just really likes moors and ponies. We got a few pints at the Prince of Wales pub where a classy lady named Alice was celebrating her 65th birthday with friends (probably everyone in Princetown?) We were quickly invited to join.

Princetown brews it’s own ale, a Dartmoor IPA and -get this- Jail Ale. Isn’t that fabulous? We thought it was.

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So delicious. If we went back today we’d get a few more pints to take home and share. The only thing I forgot was to send postcards from Plymouth and Dartmoor- better luck (memory!) next time. Baby videos up next, so stay tuned for Cornwall…

À la prochaine,

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