Friday, June 30, 2017

Europe Day 32 - traveling home

This will be a very short blog. Travelday!
We don't have to hurry. James hired Windsor Taxi to come at 11 am to bring us to Heathrow. I find packing to go home easy because you just have to put back into the suitcase what you brought plus a few things you acquired. Helen asked me though to transport William's figure which arrived from Germany at Jane's house. The included instructions emphasizing how breakable it is scared her. 

Isn't mini William cute?

The taxi came to Albany Street first and then went to Jane's. All the luggage and the car seat was piled in, a quick good-bye to Jane and off we went. 

You hurry because you don't know how long check-in, immigration and security will take. But all went well and then you have to wait for time to pass. 

Helen took this photo. 

Finally we were in the plane. Helen and William were 9 rows behind us. We were more then an hour delayed queuing to take off and finally landed in Charlotte after a 9 hour flight. Flying is not as much fun as it used to be. But we got two free "glasses" of wine. 

Unfortunately Charlotte wasn't prepared for us and we all had to stay in the plane for almost two hours. Announcement over the intercom informed us that we were the 6th plane in line for immigration. They couldn't handle us all. 
The result: almost everybody on the plane missed their connection. Pandemonium in the airport. A lot of unhappy people. But ... Helen and William made it home to Nashville on the next plane. So did James and I. Our bonus: a friend from our neighborhood was on the flight we were not supposed to be on. She was picked up by her husband and they took us home with them. That couldn't have been easier or more convenient. 

Good to be home but what an amazing trip it was. I hope William will remember at least some of it.   So many friends and family were so nice to us and making sure that we had a marvelous time. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And thank the Lord for keeping us safe. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Europe Day 31 - Henley Row by Row

Tuesday June 27

Weather forecast was not so favorable. Considering that we didn't really have ANY bad weather for a whole month in Europe we are not complaining. With not much else on the agenda we decided to drive to Henley to a quilt shop there. This would give Helen the opportunity to go to a Row by Row participating quiltshop outside the USA. Not important but kind of fun. 

James' GPS couldn't find Farm Road. So I googled while I still had internet at Jane's and took a screen shot of my phone. This will do. The old fashioned way ... map reading!

We were lucky with the traffic going in. Going out we saw a long line but luckily not in our direction. Henley Regatta will start in a few days. We should have timed it better (and not miss it!)

Found it!
From the outside it looks like a cute little shop. 

And the front room too. But as soon as we went around the corner we couldn't believe our eyes: the British Hancocks! Helen and I could have spent hours (and money). James and William were very good walking to the gas station and back but we had promised to be fast. 

Nice Row by Row. 

Back at Jane's. 

A selfie for Pops. 

And some "catch the monkey".


Chocolate mold after lunch. I learned that Bird's custard and a hot chocolate pouch are an easy way to do it. 

Checking in to our flights

Take-out fish and ships for dinner

Ha-ha, bubblies with that? Jane had found an excellent bottle which had been in her stash for several years. 

Clean-plate award

Back to the apartment and packing

And here is the question of the day:
palm trees growing in the back of the house in England?

Time to do some packing!

Europe Day 30 - Windsor band and the Thames

Monday June 26

We woke up, looked up and this was our view.



Later I climbed up and took these photos out of that window. 



From the livingroom window James discovered a plaque on a house across the street from 1888. That explains a lot about our apartment. 


Bottom of Peascod Street, the street which goes up to the castle. If you turn left here you get to Jane's house. 


We went to Jane first and then all of us went to the barracks (close to our apartment) to march with the band. 
I can't describe it but there is something special about the waiting for them to come, to hear the music, to try to keep up with them all the way to the castle dodging other people standing at the edge of the road. It's a family tradition. James grew up with it. Now we have to do it every chance we get at every visit for 42 years.





At the castle you wait for 20 or 30 minutes until they come out again but we usually don't march back with them. While you wait you often talk with other people waiting. This time I was standing next to an older man who told me he lived around 3 corners and would come about 2 or 3 times each week. You don't get tired of it.



On the way back to Jane's. Had to stop and take this photo. Love the little front gardens. 


We had lunch outside. Aunt Jane and William trying to feed an ant which is running around on the table. 

Then we walk to feed the ducks on the Thames. Ha-ha, can you see that we took turns holding on to William's shirt?

The 40 minute boat ride. 

To the lock and back. 

Eton left. Windsor right. 

More play in Jane's garden until it was time to walk up the town again for dinner. 

Celebrating Jane's birthday at the Queen Charlotte. Waiting for the food. 

You can't go wrong with baked Camembert. We all dug into that. 

Jane and I had fish pies. 

Looks like James liked his lamb shank. 

Oh yes, clean plate awards. 

We walked together to the bottom of Peascod Street and then said good night.