UK 2011


by grace on September 9, 2011

and you didn’t even know we were gone, did you?  that’s because kevin said DON’T POST ON YOUR SITE WHEN WE’LL BE GONE.  i guess because many people would be RUSHING OVER HERE TO STEAL THINGS.

instead, we came home to a sparkling clean house.  jim’s nephew TK cleaned the place right before we got back.

we left for the UK on friday, august 19th and we got back wednesday.  yesterday i was so tired that i could barely function, but this morning i’ve been busily downloading the photos and the video.

I SHOT SO MUCH VIDEO.  i had about four hours worth when we went to scotland, and i figured that there probably wouldn’t be so much to shoot this time because we weren’t going to the scenic countryside.  i was wrong.  there’s just about four hours worth of stuff.  plus kevin took about 400 photos, and i took about a hundred with the video camera.  OVER-ZEALOUS, is all i have to say.

so right before we left there was, of course a frenzied rush of activity on my part.  i decided i should write a bunch of posts and then post-date them so they’d appear throughout our trip AS THOUGH WE WEREN’T GONE AT ALL.  so our friend janice and garrick came over on friday afternoon to take us to bloomington where we’d spend the night before taking the plane in the morning, but i was still FRANTICALLY POSTING THINGS HERE.  i kept stopping to say I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE JUST LEAVING IN A MINUTE.

there’s always too many things to do right at the end.  it’s just like getting ready for a party – i always think i’m way, way ahead of the game and then suddenly there’s only ONE HOUR LEFT and i’m running around like a crazy person. [click to continue…]

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by grace on August 28, 2011

“When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now…we can rent a cottage on the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear…”

Do you remember that part of “When I’m 64?”  i love that song, and when i was trying to plan for our trip, i became overwhelmed with the many possibilities of places we could visit.  i kept writing to our friend Carol and asking her her opinion on different places, and one place i mentioned was the isle of wight.

I decided that we wouldn’t go there after all, because there wasn’t time, plus we weren’t renting a car so it wouldn’t be so easy to get to.

And then, when we arrived at carol and alan’s house, they told us that they had planned a trip to the isle of wight!  since they were already driving us to portsmouth/southampton, they decided we could take a day trip over to the isle of wight, on the wight ferry.

This was our last full day in England, and it was a fun way to spend it.

here’s the backyard of the lovely b&b we stayed at, the Heather Gables.

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by grace on August 27, 2011

we were going to sail from Southampton on Monday, and on Saturday Kevin and I and Carol and Alan set off in their car, with the good dog Bob in the back.  Their daughter Emma lives in Southampton, and they were going to spend two nights with her and her husband james and their kids, and kevin and i would stay in a b&b.

Carol cooked us porridge for breakfast again, so nice of her.  Carol and Alan are both such lovely people, and i hope we get to see them again.  maybe they’d like to come visit us?  That would be fun.

Since we’d met carol and her friend mary on the queen mary 2, we’d never met carol’s husband alan til he picked us up at the train station.  because i excel at worrying, i thought, what if he’s not nice?  what if he’s grumpy, what if he feels like we’re a huge imposition? we’d be driving in the car with them to southampton, what if we annoy him and we have a horrible, sullen drive?

and of course i was utterly and completely wrong; alan is fun and kind, easygoing and delightful, and i still can’t believe all the driving around he did, carrying us here and there and everywhere.  we kept trying to give him gas money because gas is always waaaay more expensive in england, but he kept refusing it.  if they would come visit us we probably wouldn’t do as much driving around because the countryside here isn’t chock-full of fabulous castles and quaint old towns.

We didn’t get a very early start, and i videotaped and took photos of carol and alan’s house.

here they are in the backyard with Bob.

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by grace on August 26, 2011

It was nice to wake up at our friends’ house, with no notices pasted on the walls at all, like the b&b in london.

we started the day with porridge.  when we went to scotland, we got great porridge every morning, but they didn’t serve it at our london b&b.  i guess it isn’t a typical thing to serve in england, but how can that be?  what about in “oliver,” didn’t he ask for more porridge?  maybe it wasn’t porridge oliver was asking for, maybe it was raisin bran.

anyway, carol made us some delicious porridge, and then she had to run a couple of errands.  we all went to a huge craft store that’s a lot like Michael’s, except bigger – it was two stories, and it was fun to wander around and see the stuff they had.

after that she had to stop at the mall.  i was amazed at the number of people there – it wasn’t a holiday or anything, and yet there were lots of people walking around.  i think our mall is only busy on some weekends and before christmas.

one of the many shops, undoubtedly related to kevin.  i guess everything in the mall wasn’t open when we first got there.

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August 25, 2011

We took the bus on this rainy morning to the British Museum.  I’d been looking forward to it a lot; many years ago i went there and remembered the rooms filled with egyptian sarcophagi, and a really cool clock.  there were many other wonderful things, too, but i really remember row after row of sarcophaguses, […]

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August 24, 2011

We walked a lot again on Wednesday.  first, we hopped on a bus to get to the churchill museum and war rooms.  it was drizzly, so good to be up on the top of the double decker bus.  that’s the london eye in the background on the left, and that’s the back of westminster abbey. […]

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August 23, 2011

Tuesday was rather rainy, but that’s ok because we spent most of the day inside Buckingham Palace. Well, we also napped in the afternoon, because of the ridiculous amount of walking we did on Monday.  We were actually tired for a few days after that. anyway, i bought passes for the palace online before we […]

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August 22, 2011

We got to our hotel Sunday evening and almost no restaurants around were open, so we went to a kind of touristy place near Victoria Train Station, which was just five minutes from our b&b. that was the best thing about the place, the proximity.  i had extensively researched hotels and b&bs in London – […]

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August 21, 2011

we flew out on Saturday, August 2oth, and flew into Heathrow.  Because i just can’t sleep on a plane, and it’s not so great for kevin either, I found a daytime flight.  i don’t know why there aren’t more flights during the day; it was awesome.  i wasn’t tired, i didn’t need to sleep, but […]

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