Saturday, July 10, 2010

The trip home

I ordered a taxi to take us to the station on Wednesday morning as I did not want to start the day needing another shower. I paid for their tickets to get me as far as Paddington station as I did not want to play on the tube by myself. I knew I would be too overwhlemed with the amount of foot traffic and the number of trains running. I am so glad I asked them to escort me. I had a teary goodbye and then boarded the express train to Heathrow. Heathrow was easy to navigate and the plane took off without incident.
Here's Nancy on the tube.

I sat next to Darrien who is 737 Pilot for the Lakers, Diamond Backs, and Metallica. He had some interesting commentary on the trip. I landed in Minnesota and was feeling so close to home, but oh, my next plane was delayed 2.5 hours and I did not actually touch ground in Windsor Locks until 1:10 am. (6:10 am London time).

Wow was it hot, I am so happy that I missed the worst of the heat, the AC is in Judy's room. I foolishly told her she could have it this summer. Had fitful sleep until about 9 am then got up and oriented myself to my house and oh yes, TIFFANY, who did not bite me once in the night. Historically when I come back from vacation she has a 15 minute fit where she nips at me.

Adjusting to home has been a little difficult as I want to prolong the feeling of the trip and the easy access to towns and villages. Our towns and cities are just not set up the same way. I am mostly forced to use my car to get some market items and I don't have a pastry shop with scones within walking distance, just D and D. I'll have to find a good recipe and not over work the dough.

The Cotswolds tour

The plaque is on a "kissing Gate" on a walking path from Upper Slaughter to Lower Slaughter. The gate is a swivel gate within a u-shaped fence so that cattle cannot escape, I assume.
The person who holds the gate for the next walker gets a kiss for their kindness.

Erika and I took a tour of the Cotwolds on July 4 with many other Americans who were staying in and around Bath. The Mad Max tour ( Mad stands for Maddy and Max was the dog) took us to Castle Combe, Bibury, Stow on the Wold, The Slaughters and Tetbury. Here are some pics of the day, just too beautiful for words really. Seriously, everything in these towns looks like this. Little did I know that while I was looking at this beautiful area my own lawn, according to Judy had turned to what sounds like potato chips when you walk on it. I had some difficulty being stuck in the tour bus all day but I settled in pretty quickly and enjoyed.

I did a little sketching in Stow on the Wold and chatted with a guy from Seattle are about his travels.


We traveled from Bath to Salisbury and I insisted on a taxi when we arrived and I was so happy to have done so. Hostel and train station never seem to be on the same side of the map, always across the crease. Nancy and I are immediatley under impressed with Salisbury and actually I have trouble remembering which city we are in altogether. The city caters to tourists and it appears that budget cuts have left the center of town a little grungey.

We left our bags at the mildew scented hostel and headed for town to see the Catherdral- with the tallest spire in all of England. We all head in different directions around the exterior but end up at the same museum to see the Stonhenge exhibit and other historical finds from England. They have a Wedgewood exhibit which was donated by one woman and it contained over 650 pieces. After enjoying the exhibit and realizing I should have joined Nancy at her Stonhenge tour (I went a decade ago and figured the stones had not moved) because I was feeling the pull of excitment about the henge, I took a much deserved break with cream tea. All 3 of us met for tea on the lawn in front of the museum, it was really a beautiful day, as just about all of the days were. Nancy and I headed for the Salisbury Cathedral next and enjoyed what it had to offer.

The picture of the three of us was taken at the Haunch of Venison Pub and restuarant. Nancy and I dined there on Monday night and had a great window table with a breeze and fantastic food. We went back on Tuesday night as we had forgotten to pick a restuarant earlier in the day and none of us can handle the "restaurant search" when we are hungry. It was just as enjoyable.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A lazy day in Bath

Nancy and Erika headed off to Glastonbury to align with the earth, no to see the Abbey ruins and a cathedral. I crawled back into bed after breakfast. I hurt my shoulder and neck yesterday doing what??? had myself a little nap and was out and around town by 11. I enjoyed lunch at a place called the Walrus and the Carpenter and they had a great mix of new American folk playing. It was such a surprisingly comfortable feeling. After lunch I took the open top bus tour of the city, a bit campy but worth the $ to get a big picture. Once the bus tour ended I headed for the Parade Park which is a large park next to the River Avon. There are lawn chairs available for folks to use, so I sat and sketched until I came back for laundry duty.

video of the River Avon and Bath from the parade park.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hello from Bath

Well, the internet troubles continue to plague this trip. The library in Bath has blocked the blog so I am left to rent time on the YMCA computer but cannot find a USB port. UGH.
We had dinner at Jaime Oliver's restaurant tonight and last night for that matter. It is called Jaime's Italian. Last night I had some fried polenta with rosemary and parmesean, a cured meat board (whowa) and a small portion of asparagus risotto. Tonight I ordered the steak med rare and it arrived well done so back it went and at the same time the guy at the next table got a toothpick served in his food. Poor Anna, our waitress was having a toughie. But the returned steak was fabulous.

We walked around town today checking out shops and made our way to the roman baths. They were amazing...walking on stones that were tread on by Roman sandals??? unreal. The oictyres are all taken at the Baths. the water is green because of the algae that is growing in it, it does not come out of the spring that way obviously. It's a hot spring so the the humidity level inside is a little intense, for me anyway.

The girls are planning a trip to some ruins tomorrow, but I'd rather wander town and check out some of the museums. write soon and often.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RNLI- Royal National Lifeboat Institute

This pic of me was taken by me as I am always the one behind the camera and no one takes my photo. I am so happy that we finally have a fan in our hotel room on the last night of 4 when it has been 80 each day and we are onthe 4th floor. ugh!
I found the flier for the lifeboat station and the open hours for visiting and thought this would be right up my alley of maritime tragedy interests. When Erika and I visited I saw that there was a launch at 6:30 at night. You can just make out the ramp on the far side of the station that leads from the covered station into the water. According the the written material, the all volunteer squad can launch within 7 minutes of a call coming into dispatch. I will try to get the video up once I find a library that does not block blogs ( the problem in Tenby).

The Prince of Wales

What a great start to the day. We situated ourselves just inside the 5 Arches on the wall that surrounds the city and waited for 11 am to roll around. We had intended to split up and all get shots from different angles, but in the end Nancy and I stood next to each other and she got a fantastic video of the Prince kissing the baby next to her. Camilla was working theother side of the street.
There was not a huge turn out which surprised me, but makes sense as I thought about it more. Wales was taken by England and the Welsh have not forgotten. After the event we wandered the streets looking for something to do until our train arrived. I spotted a few cars.