Friday, October 2, 2015

Europe Adventure Day 27 and 28


What is missing here? Yes, Helen and Ben! This is the gate at Windsor Castle at the start of the (3 mile) Long Walk to the Copper Horse. When we celebrated the blessing of their marriage Maren took a photo of them in front of it in their wedding garb. Such a sweet photo and nice memories.



Anyway, nothing on our calendar today so we decided to put the hiking boots on and do that walk. 3 straight miles (one way).




Walking along there was a lot to see. Here on the left are the royal fields. They were being plowed or something and at least three dozen birds flew around the tractor.



Which way the big metal birds fly depends on the weather. Heathrow has several runways and they are landing and taking off in different directions (and not always over Jane's garden).



Half way there is a gate across. This part is called the Deer Park (hence the gate). We were excited to saw a big herd in the far distance here.



We walked a bit off the path because we saw a majestic buck. We didn't know how far we should go into the fields because we didn't want to disturb the animals. It was very pretty though (even without a better photo).



Besides a lot of walkers and some joggers there were swarms of young moms with strollers (mommy clubs?) we also saw horses with riders ...



... and a horse drawn carriage.



Close to the end deer were close.



And there was the Copper Horse. The last bit goes uphill and a gale was blowing. We had to secure our Tilley hats with the chin straps.




We walked around it and even sat down on the big stones but in the wind it was just too cold.




It was a lovely view though and I tried a VIDEO!



Then we walked the three miles back and it was just as nice.

Btw where you see the flowers and greenery, that's "The Two Brewers". James made a reservation for dinner tonight.



We were ready for a cup of tea by now. I suggested to skip lunch and have something sweet with the tea instead. Something we can't have at home. We went into this tea house and looked into the glass cabinet. Cake, cake, cake, nothing extraordinary like rhubarb, gooseberry or black currants. But then the server mentioned scones with clotted cream. Well ...



See the castle at the very end of this street?




James said his Daddy taught him to spread the jam first, then the cream. Tastes much better that way.



We did a little more shopping. We had been looking for English placemats which are actually more like place boards. Finally found some.

So, with the 6 miles of the Long Walk, going there and coming back and around the town we probably did 9 miles or more. Went home and rested some and did some packing. The reservation was for 7 pm. So we had some sherry in Jane's living room and then headed back out up the town. What is another few miles?

I wonder whether Maren or Ute remember? This is the place we went with them a day or two after Helen and Ben's wedding blessing. They had liked it so much. Well, it was very nice this time too!




We each had the soup of the day with leek and mushrooms.



Part of my view from my seat. I like the cork "wallpaper". Probably very noice damming.



Jane had the "Homemade Fishcake of the week with Frites or Chips, Salad and Tartar Sauce". She liked it very much.



James had "Roasted Lamb Rump and Single Rack served with Chargrilled Vegetables. He said it was one of the best meals of this trip.



I had "Roasted Sea Bass Fillets on Pan Fried Chirozo, Red Onions and Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and New Potatoes".



I pushed the green a little to the side and turned the fillets over so here you have it. Very delishes and went very well with the pint.



Our last dinner here and last dinner of this trip. Might as well ... James' orange- lemon cheesecake.



Jane and I shared a Banoffee Sundae. What can I say? We didn't leave anything behind.



On the way out I saw this board:



On the way to Jane's ... past City Hall



... past the Castle


Time to sleep. Have to leave tomorrow morning at 9 am for the airport. Not too bad. From what we hear about the weather forecast at home we will miss Jane's electric blankets in the bed. Very needed here.

Night night.




Travel day home! First thing James got an email from the airline announcing that our plane will leave about 3 hours late which most certainly means we would miss our connection. It mentions though that we have to show up at the original scheduled time though. The taxi arrives promptly at 9 am to take us to Heathrow. Rush hour traffic is not too bad by that time.

James goes to the counter where he can "wave his platinum card". Not a problem. We get re-routed through Charlotte (instead of Chicago) and are supposed to arrive several hours earlier then even originally scheduled. We are very pleased. The "little girl" at the check-in desk though must be new and has problems with the computer and nothing prints correctly. We also don't have seats together. She tells us to arrange all that at the gate. The new schedule means though that we immediately go through security and board. Not much time at the gate and we are told that there are no seats together available. Bummer.

We board. Seats: 2 and 4 and 2. A B C D E F G H. James "C" and I have "H" in the same row. How are the chances that the person next to me in "H" happens to walks into the plane between me and James and immediately is happy to swap with James so both keep their aisle seat? James and I marvel how we are always so blessed. During this whole trip every decision always ended up being the best one we could have made. Feeling very grateful!

Can't help it. Love taking pictures from high places. Since my iPhone labels the photos this one should be "Hounslow Heath".


This one says "Virginia Water". I love the shadow of the plane on the cloud.


Yes, we are so very grateful about everything that we said a table prayer even over this airline food.



See how the air pressure blows up the salad?



The flight was smooth and uneventful ... until we had an announcement asking whether there was a doctor, nurse or EMT on board. There was a medical emergency. To please make yourself known to the crew. Well, there was. We were in row 11 and the emergency in the back but there was a lot going on. James saw the doc on the phone probably talking to the pilot. Anyway, it ended with the announcement that we were going to land at the next possible airport ... which was Boston.

Lots of cloud in Boston. Absolutely nothing to see.



I have never been in Boston. Looks nice.




The plane taxied to a gate and EMTs came on board and carried a young woman out who obviously had a terrible time breathing. We were sternly told to stay in our seats and everybody was very cooperative. Finally we were taking of again. Boston harbor even had a cruise ship I could see (I had to lighten the photo though). The whole thing including taking on more fuel probably took an hour and half.






Yeah, Charlotte.



Wow, those immigration lines. Customs. Security again. We have TSA Precheck but it didn't work for us because our boarding passes the "little girl" in London did didn't scan either. No problem though. We made our next and last flight to Richmond as scheduled.

That flight was a very rough one though. The bad weather really showed. Any flight you land safely is a good one though. Sarah picked us up since we happened to arrive at a much more cvilized hour then originally scheduled.

Finally: 28 incredible days! So so so incredible. But then, so seems every day of our lives to be.
















  1. Mike and I are sitting at our computers drooling – we haven’t had breakfast yet and I don’t think I’ll be able to whip up scones and clotted cream. And I loved the look of James’ lamb. Mike would have opted for your sea bass. Everything is just beautiful! Happy you are home safe and sound with more memories to add to your collection!

  2. What a wonderful trip! I feel like I have gained 5 pounds just reading about it. We are so glad you had a good time, and saw new places and old places, and most importantly arrived safely! Welcome home.