well, now it’s not wales at all anymore.  we started out at the lovely Willows B&B in Ashurst, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast.


it was a lovely dining room, and i wish i’d taken a wide shot of it.




they do have a couple willows on the property.


and we loaded up all our bags and took off!


here’s our giant mound of luggage outside the car rental place.  for some reason, the day before we’d spent way too much time trying to figure out how to walk from the cruise terminal back to the rental place.  i don’t know what we had been thinking – maybe kevin was going to drop me and the luggage off at the terminal, and then drive to the rental place, and then walk back to the teminal?  it doesn’t matter; we easily drove and dropped off the car, got in a cab, and away we went.


The Cunard waiting area at the Southampton Dock.  it was pretty crowded, but not bad.  i was excited that we were about to get back on board.  i bought a few mini bottles of wine to have in the stateroom, and i wanted to mail a postcard, but there were no mailboxes. one of the many nice women who were running things put my postcard in her pocket and said she’d mail it for me when she got home!  super nice.


we saw a little dog in a sailor collar waiting to board; his owner was trying to get him to wear a sailor hat, but he’d have none of it.  we saw other nice dogs waiting, too.


we’d arrived at the terminal at about 11:30, but then there was an issue – we’d checked our bags, and they held one of kevin’s back.  it was the biggest bag of all, and we had to wait a while so they could inspect it with us there.

so we were finally led down through the crew metal detector, and they had to frisk kevin because he wears an insulin pump, and then we went into a room below where they searched his bag.  i think the issue was…some kind of knife?  i can’t remember, but whatever he had, i knew there was one in my luggage, too, but it didn’t get stopped.

another couple was there getting their bags checked and they were really mad about it.  i thought it was interesting, to be in the bowels of the terminal, plus we got to see crew members boarding, wearing their street clothes.  they have to wear such spiffy uniforms when on duty, so it was interesting to see them as they really were.

the wait wasn’t so bad, and we were in our lovely balcony cabin by one o’clock.


we immediately put some laundry in a washer, because the huge lines hadn’t formed yet, and met a chatty australian travel writer.  then we ate a delicious al fresco lunch on the deck, waiting to set sail.


we were the only people sitting out on  deck!  we knew that once we started off it would probably be too windy to eat out there.

the glass-fronted balcony really is the only way to go.


i stood in a very long line of people so i could change our dinner time to the six o’clock seating instead of the later one, while kevin continued with the laundry.

here’s kevin – we were the first couple at our table down to dinner.  one couple was british, the other australian.  the australians were travelling for three months!  that’s a long time.  i bet they took a lot of luggage; i remember that the woman’s favorite pasttime was shopping.

the english woman asked if we had “any family.”  we got asked that a few times. yes, we have three cats!


i wrote in my journal on thursday that i thought we’d have better food if we went to the buffet at night.  dinner was ok, but dessert was good.  plus more chocolate when we got back to the room!


here’s the last bit of land as we sailed away from England.


ok then,

mrs. first day of the trip back hughes.