Category Archives: Across the Big Pond

Tales of my trip to Britain

Photo Sneak Peaks

Alas, Mom’s camera was NOT set to the highest quality possible. So I’m quite bummed to find all of my pictures from across the pond are lousy 72 dpi. 72 is fine for online, but my scrapbook is gonna suck. Grr. But oh well. Enjoy a few sneak peaks.

The top of the Prince Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.
Prince Albert

Hothorpe Hall, my home for 5 delightful days.

The view from the lawn of Hothorpe Hall.


Stoneleigh Abbey
Stoneleigh Abbey

Our Heroine
yours truly

The great stairs of Chatsworth
Chatsworth Interior

Stateside Once More with Feeling

I’m back from England. Back from Scotland. Tired and still on London time. So give me a few days to organize and some pictures will be uploaded. Otherwise, back to work for me.

Unless someone is willing to pay me to travel around the UK taking pictures, visiting National Trust properties, savoring Devon clotted cream with strawberry jam on scones, and generally enjoying the company of my friends and sister. If you have such a position open, I would be most happy to apply!

24 Hours and Counting

I can’t believe my first flight leaves tomorrow morning at 11:30am.

I am all afluttter with anticipation and excitement. Surely my company shall be unbearable for my nearest and dearest. I shall attempt to curtail my enthusiasm, but please forgive me if I fail.

I do not have a laptop (though if I did, I wouldn’t be taking it with me), but I may pop into a cyber cafe or two and post an update and/or some pictures. Still, don’t expect too many posts for the next 27 days.

Oh, and just so you know, I’ve modified the comments requirements to cut down on spammers and phishers. One of the easiest tricks? Don’t allow links in comments. If the bad guys can’t get folks to click a link, then there’s no point in bothering them. So any comment with a link will be deleted automatically.

Hurry Up and Wait

I’ve seen my doctor and have all my medications. I’ve got airline tickets, train tickets, and hotel reservations. I’ve got a new journal, new clothes, and a new hat. I’ve got Mom’s digital camera, Dad’s 1 gig memory chip, and 3 sets of rechargable batteries.

The stirling pounds I ordered will arrive at the bank tomorrow, and I’ve called my credit card company to inform them of my travels. I’ve left signed checks with my father to mail when my bills come in. I’ve given my landlady August’s rent check.

Mom and Dad have emergency contact info for me. I’ve registered my trip with the state department. I’ve printed out the contact info for the US embassies in London and Edinburgh.

I’ve laundered the clothes for my trip and started packing them in the suitcase I borrowed. I even gave up shopping for pants locally and ordered 8 pair (4 different styles in 2 sizes each) from an online site with rush delivery. Come Monday, I’ll decide which 4 fit best and send the other 4 back.

Work is caught up. I’ve beat some deadlines by nearly a full month. I’ve left clear, detailed instructions on how to handle all my tasks while I’m gone.

I’ve had my legs waxed, my hair trimmed, and my eyebrows shaped.

Unless I’m missing something, I’ve got nothing left to do but hurry up and wait (and pack that overnight bag Wednesday morning). I rather hope I have overlooked something. How else shall I occupy the next 6 days? July 26th seems so far away now.

27 days, 8 flights, 4 train rides, and 5 GOLD RINGS

In just thirteen days, I’m off to the UK. Years of anticipation and planning are coming together and I’m going to have a magnificent vacation.

Additions to the previous schedule include: meeting Dev and Kay from Universal’s Serenity website for lunch in Bath; flying from Exeter to Edinburgh on Aug 11th to greet Martine and enjoy a day at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and seeing Andy M Stewart and Gerry O’Beirne in concert on Aug 19th in Innerleithen.

My super detailed itinerary in Word has now expanded to 8 pages, and I still need to broach the subject of visiting an alpaca farm with my lovely and generous hostess Jan in Devon (I have a now not so-secret dream of buying a little ranch here in Cayucos and raising alpacas, yep, I wanna be an alpaca farmer; feel free to think me a bit odd — I am).

I’ve booked all of my accommodations, most of my transportation needs, and have been overwhelmed by the theatre options in London. I’ve decided to wait until the days (Aug 20-21) to decide on shows.

I’m still in need of clothes though. I went up to the outlets of Gilroy with Linda and Katy (or is it Katie?) Harris and picked up a pair of capris, a pair of jeans, and 4 great t-shirts. Finding comfortable, flattering pants was harder than I thought it would be. Grr, argh! So I’m planning to nip down to SLO or Santa Maria on Saturday to do some more clothes shopping.

Sadly, I won’t be able to meet Bernie, Gary and the kids in Stoke-on-Trent (too many event and geography conflicts), but I’m using that as my reason for another trip as soon as financially possible.

Speaking of finances, oh my this trip is adding up. But my wise and well-traveled Godparents told me not to pinch any pennies and really enjoy myself. So if I can’t afford September’s rent, you know who I’ll be calling!