The Road to Henley…

On Monday July 14th we left our self-catering lodging in Ross on Wye and headed East to Henley on Thames.

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Our route was close to 100 miles and as you can see the roads were nice and wide compared to the country lanes we had been traveling on. road to Henly day11 011When we left the M roads as we got close to Henley on Thames we enjoyed driving through some picturesque towns.

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road to Henly day11 016We crossed over this bridge as we entered the main streets of Henley on Thames.

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This was our hotel for the night and if we knew then what we would soon discover we would have made other arrangement immediately. Live and learn.

This was a wonderful town to stroll through and the walkway along the River Thames was quite nice. More from Henley on Thames soon.

Today, Saturday October 4th I’m heading to the Seattle Center to attend a Tea Festival with our daughter Katie and some friends. I hope to have some fun things to share. We have had a most glorious introduction to October weather wise here in the Seattle area. I’m most thankful for the beauty that we are enjoying.

 

Ross on Wye ~

Our second self-catering experience in England was in Ross-on-Wye. It was so different from our first cottage experience. The amenities were more modern overall and the location was on a “B” road so there was traffic and easier access to other major roads. The River Wye is the fifth-longest river in the UK, stretching some 130 miles from source to sea. For much of its length the river forms part of the border between England and Wales. Ross-on-Wye was in England and from this location we would travel to Hay-on-Wye in Wales and to Hereford.

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2014-07-13 hereford1That spiral staircase took us up to the bedroom. We were happy to have a night light to help us find the bathroom which was on the main floor.

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2014-07-11 gloucester cathedral2The views from the back of our little 2 story apartment were delightful.

Hay on Wye 002I still have several posts from our time in England…can you believe it?

Things keep moving ahead here at this old house with bathroom renovations. We have one more piece of baseboard to be delivered by the renovation company and we will never have to see them again. A job promised to be done in two weeks has taken nine weeks to complete. Yes…we are fed up with them. But soon with Dear’s expertise and fixes the bathroom will be ready to show to you all. Dear is also progressing with the siding.  I’m happy to be home this weekend, the last weekend of summer!

What are you doing this last weekend of Summer!?

Toadstool Fences ~ Bourton on the Water

Bourton-Gloucester 024On our way to Ross on Wye and our 2nd self-catering cottage we stopped in Bourton on the Water for a very short visit. This is where we saw this unique toadstool fence by the river and across the street in front of this next building.

Bourton-Gloucester 005There were a couple more fences in town that caught my eye.

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Bourton-Gloucester 025I’m linking up to Good Fences #21 with TexWisGirl at Run*A*Round Ranch Report for this weekly meme. TexWisGirl is the hostess with the mostess!

The week is flying by. I’m surprised and happy to report our traveling kids might have already chosen an apartment and it has quick occupancy. Their pod of possessions has not arrived in the Seattle area yet (probably on Monday) so the idea of emptying out the pod into an apartment is more appealing than emptying it out into our garage and then moving it all again. Andrew was able to transfer his driver’s license yesterday in record time at the DMV. It’s wonderful when things work efficiently. Now if only I can get back into an efficient routine.

 

Cheers from England/Wales ~ Day #9

Our sunrise view from the upstairs bedroom in what we have decided to call the Spiral Cottage. We were up with the birds this morning as they serenaded daybreak for us. We have a large push out sky window above our heads while we sleep and we decided to keep it open and enjoy the breeze. We were hoping that no bats would decide to fly in and our hopes were realized! I’m also happy to report that there have been no mishaps on the spiral staircase!Hay on Wye 002Today, Saturday, our sight seeing took us on a drive to Southern Wales, Hay on Wye. Hay on Wye is known for their second hand book shops. Hay hosts an annual literary festival that thousands flock to.

Hay on Wye 039“Hay” is a small town with narrow streets and lots of options for eating and shopping. There is a castle that was destroyed during the 15th century but parts of it remain to this day.

We shopped about and only bought one book, a Dorothy Sayers paperback. Our other purchases were mostly from the town flea market and some antique stores. We enjoyed a very good cup of coffee along with a scone served with clotted cream and strawberry jam while we were in town.

2014-07-12 Hay on WyeThe views were lovely wherever we looked. Thankfully the lanes driving to Hay-on-Wye were manageable and I only felt like screaming once or maybe twice.

Hay on Wye 018We stopped at the supermarket after our day of sight seeing and shopping and bought some take away food to prepare at the cottage. I so enjoy the descriptions of the ready to warm up food.

“Succulent British lamb on the bone, smothered in a rich italian red wine and redcurrrant gravy, served on a bed of sweet red onions, tender carrots and parsnips.  Minted green brocolli, savoy cabbage, sweet leeks, and tender green beans with a melting fragrant mint butter glaze to cook up in the oven and microwave. Here’s the description of the potatoes…silky smooth mashed British Maris Piper potato blended with double cream and plenty of butter for a creamy melt in the mouth texture.

2014-07-12 take away dinne Filling and delicious!

I’m hearing from back home that things are sizzling. We had some humidity today in the Welsh Marshes and it is suppose to rain some tonight but they are promising barbecuing weather for tomorrow. Hope all is well with you…

 

Cheers From England ~ Day #8

Today is Friday and it was moving day for us. We moved from our quiet sprawling cottage in the Cotswolds to a small 2 story cottage near Ross on Wye. We are just off a B road so this little spot will be a little noisier during the day. On the way to our new location we stopped in Bourton on the Water and in Gloucester to visit the cathedral and The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter shop close to the cathedral.

Bourton-Gloucester 004Bourton on the Water

gloucester cathedral 027Gloucester Cathedral

After we spent some time in the cathedral that was magnificent we found the Beatrix Potter shop and made a little purchase and then headed to our second lodging spot close to Ross on Wye. We got settled in and headed to Ross to find a bite to eat. We ate at a cafe and made at stop at the butcher for sausages and the supermarket for eggs, bread, tomatoes, and mushrooms as we’ve missed our traditional breakfasts the last few mornings. We are now relaxing in the wee cottage.

gloucester cathedral 072The view from our upstairs bedroom window looking east. Not too shabby!

And here are the stairs I will have to navigate if I need to use the facilities in the middle of the night…oh my…

gloucester cathedral 078I’ll let you know how it goes. We have two areas we want to explore while we are in this part of England and time will tell which towns we will visit first.

We are in touch with family and friends via the internet and so thankful that we have that luxury being across the world from them. So much happens when we are apart and it’s good to be able to communicate daily if we need to. I specifically chose places that offered free wifi and am very glad I did since I do not use my cell internationally. We’ve heard that Heathrow security is confiscating cell phones if the batteries are dead so I will need to turn my cell phone on airplane mode before we hit security to make sure they can see that my battery is just fine.

We also hear the the temps in at our old house in Washington State are hitting the 90’s this weekend. Maybe it will stunt my grass and weeds from growing too much while we are gone. How are things going in your neck of the woods. Speaking of woods we are close to the Forest of Dean.

Cheers!

Cheers From England ~ Day #7

We had a leisurely morning in the cottage on Thursday. The sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky so we decided to take a short drive to the small town of Broadway in the Cotswolds. We arrived early enough to find a parking spot, walk along the rows of shops on High Street and miss the crowds that arrived while we enjoyed our pub meal at the Crown and Trumpet.

Broadway Day 7 030We enjoyed some conversation with the locals.

Broadway Day 7 055We still need to schedule our day so that we feel like sitting down to a proper tea. Mostly we’ve been doing tea time in the cottage.

Broadway Day 7 023All the small villages or towns we have been in have more than one Tea Room. I think we counted four or more here and there were coffee shops, too. We left Broadway with a larger than usual purchase that we’ll have to carry on the plane with us. It’s not bigger than a bread box! It is a bread box. I’ll show you it in my kitchen back home when I find a spot for it…

Tomorrow we move on to our next short stay at a self catering cottage in Ross on Wye. Packing and traveling will be on the schedule.

Back at our old house it is only 9:00 am and here at the really old cottage in the Cotswolds it is 5:00 p.m. while I finish up this post. Hope all is well in your time zone!

All Booked!

Fox CottageAfter very little discussion Dear and I decided that the best place to go to celebrate 40 years of marriage would have to be England. The discussion was easy, hitting the purchase button for the flights was a little more difficult but after we did it was full speed ahead to book places to stay. The first spot we chose is a self-catering cottage in a very small village in the Cotswolds. The photo above is the exterior of Fox Cottage. We will spend a leisurely 7 nights here and explore several towns and villages in the area. We’ll venture off as far as Oxford from this spot. “Self-Catering accommodation simply refers to an efficiency in which guests take care of their own meals, laundry and other needs. The accommodation provided has facilities that allows guest to cater for their own day to day needs. Self-Catering accommodation includes a suite with a fully equipped kitchen mainly for guest to prepare their own meals.”

EastviewThe second spot we are going to stay for 3 nights in in Ross on Wye in Herefordshire. We chose this spot because we really want to visit Hay on Wye which is well known for Used Book Stores. Here’s what wiki says about this town “Hay-on-Wye, is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales, situated on the English border. Often described as “the town of books”, it is the National Book Town of Wales.”

red_lion_postcardOn our way back to a closer proximity to London Heathrow we will re-visit the town of Henley on Thames. Dear and I stayed here in 1973 or 1974 with our Christian Rock Band. We will be staying for one night at the Red Lion that you see here on this old postcard. We hope to visit some of the villages around this area where Midsomer Murders was filmed. We will definitely visit the Argyle in town for a meal.

OakleyCourtExteriorNEW1700Our grand finale for two nights will be the Oakley Court in Windsor. Isn’t it grand? We will spend some time in the town of Windsor and if the Queen is not in residence at Windsor Castle we hope to have a tour. From Windsor we’ll make the short drive to London Heathrow and fly home.

Our actual anniversary isn’t until December but we are choosing to celebrate in England in July.  The first 2 times Dear and I traveled to England together was in July of 1973 and July 0f 1974. During our trip in 1974 we were already engaged to be married with our wedding planned for December of that year. If anyone has any suggestions for places to visit in the areas of the Cotswolds, Oxford, and Southern Wales please let me know.

Hope you had a nice weekend. I know our Canadian Hockey Fans across the line enjoyed their Sunday. Congrats to Canada on winning the gold.