Archive for the ‘England’ Category

Oreo Cows

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Four years ago I spied some, but heavy fog kept any photo from being proof-positive. I returned to the scene last month on a brilliantly clear day, but they were in a far away pasture. No photo!

This week on the last grueling hill of the day I was rewarded in a most unexpected place; my cows! An actual breed known by that name with small herds in high scruffy places! Yeah

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Whenever you travel, the cuisine plays a part of the overall experience. Last year I was in search of the best paella and sangria.  In Ireland it was the quest for the best scone that took me to sample over 12 different creations all over the island. In England, make it sticky toffee pudding!

A favorite of a dear friend, it reminds me of her in all the best of ways and it really should make it over to the states (along with clotted cream, lemon curd, and a decent fish n chips, they can keep the marmalade).

The point being, food is part of the memories of travel and brings us back when we enjoy them again.    The scales will show we’re bringing home a LOT memories!

Friends for a Time

Monday, August 28th, 2017

The beautiful, quaint, and strenuous walk through the Cotswolds gave us so many adventures and experiences. Lovely villages along meandering streams, sheep scattering, cows challenging, grouse cavorting. Then there were the people; the older couple who open their home to one pair each night during walking season, the busload of 43 Spaniards from Valencia who crossed paths several times with us and one even offered me wine from his Boda bag (fun conversations in Spanish), the fellow walkers from Germany, Tucson, Alberta, San Francisco, and St Louis who came alongside for a mile or two or shared a meal. And there were the English who we passed going the other direction and just wanted a chat.  For a brief moment we were friends, sharing an experience and leaving a bit of themselves with us.

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Heathrow to Cantebury, a two day stroll to Dover followed by a ferry to Calais and a train to Lourdes and more travel to Bayonne then St Jean pied port. Over the Pyrenees with several hundred eager pilgrims, sporting headlamps at dawn and forgoing all rest stops to race to find a bed and moving on if they were full.

This had become stresssssssful and not the sacred pilgrimage we had planned on so we saw that there were many accredited ways to arrive at Santiago; via Madrid, Portugal, Barcelona, and from the north-the Camino Ingles. Our research showed us this was the true way the British, Irish, or Scots would have made their way to Santiago several hundred years ago,so we jumped ship and headed to the city of Ferrol on waters edge and dipped our poles in the water and went the way less traveled.

It is fewer days than the busy Camino Frances and lovely and with fewer travelers thus more friendships were made. It was the meditative peace we had envisioned. The terrain was for mountain goats and the long 9-17 mile daily hikes were usually rewarded with a shower, a bottle of wine, and a bunk.

So we have arrived at our destination a wee bit early but we paid our dues with the 300+ miles and we got it done.

One Bite at a Time!

more than 400 kms later

more than 400 kms later


Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Woke up with some trepidation; have we really bitten off more than we’re capable of? And today it starts.

Had appointment with the rector at Canterbury Cathedral after the 8am communion but first we enjoyed a light breakfast at our B&B. Another guest came in wearing a San Diego t-shirt so I engaged him in conversation but he only spoke Spanish. And we conversed and we understood each other! Then we entered the Cathedral grounds on the way to the service at the same time as a gentleman who was American teaching in the area and after a few short sentences came to find out he went to Redlands!

The special Pilgrim prayer and stamp in our compestela and we needed to commence before the day got away from us. A mile into our walk, a young lad passed by with a San Diego ball cap. Later, a mom with kids in the car drew up alongside us and saw we were perplexed on directions. She had her son get out of the car and walk us about a mile to make sure we went the right way as the sign was obscured and we would have been lost again!

There were several other small incidences that told our hearts that God was watching us and He approved!


114 Days Later

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Paddington says farewell!

Paddington says farewell!

When you start to look like your passport picture, it’s time to go home.  So I guess it’s time.

It has been a trip where God has opened our eyes to the wonder of His creation (and  also showed us where man is screwing it up). I love the churches and their testament to the faith of generations past. I love the flavors of the food and drink that are uniquely regional. I soak up the beauty of the countryside, and cringe at the overwhelming number of people who can be in one place at one time. The people who joined us on our sojourn added their flavor to the experience, and the events back home that we missed tugged at our hearts. We prayed more, hugged more, fought too much, ate more, spent more and marveled more.

So I guess,a trip like this is MORE of everything. There is s depth of appreciation that comes with a trip like this: for what I saw, what I left behind, and those that cared about us in both arenas.

I missed so much back home, but I would have missed a chunk of the world that I was blessed to have experienced. But it’s time…

Lady Di

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

DSC03751I thought I would honor Princess Diana while in London by seeking out her memorials, if there were any.

I know that on the Spencer family estate she is buried on an island in a small lake, but what about here in town? We were lead to Kensington Gardens where there is a memorial playground with a large pirate ship to climb on in the middle.

Then at another end of this large park there is the “fountain” in her honor. This looks like a big circular drainage ditch. It is even with the ground and percolates as it circumnavigates the area.

I guess I expected more but the next generation has moved on to Princess Kate.

I remember where I was when I heard the news that she had died; do you?


Black Everywhere

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

and I mean black as in Burkas.

We must be in a Muslim neighborhood because every woman is shrouded in volumes of black cloth. And they are all out shopping the stores on Oxford street….what could they be buying???

20 Years Older

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Took the Eurostar today from Brussels to London.

It was 18 years ago that Steve, Robbie, and I took it to Paris from London.

It still is amazing to spend 22 minutes of the 2 hour train trip under the English Chanel. It is actually 3 tunnels: 2 for trains and 1 small one for repair vehicles.

Lots of security (thank heavens) and so much easier than an airport. $70 apiece because we bought the tickets 4 months ago. The closer to the travel date, the more expensive the ticket. So we are winding down with a final 5 days in London.

Wow, never saw soooo many people here on Oxford Street, which is around the corner from our Victory Services Hotel for military folk.


Full Circle

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

We started this year of travel in April after all the cancer stuff was over; it was like a New Year’s celebration to head to Phoenix on our way to Colorado. One of the first photos I included in my blog was a saguaro cactus (they look like people to me), and here I am back in Arizona finishing up 2012’s travels.

It’s been totally awesome to think back at our time with Focus on Family, a European riverboat cruise, England friends and memories, family reunion on the Jersey shore. Disneyworld and Daytona, a retirement celebration, forever friends, DC Marathon, Hurricane Sandy, voting absentee on the road, a noreaster, humidity, wind, rain, snow, icicle-cold, and desert hot!

While at the family reunion at the shore, we fondly remembered cousin Sandy, who lost her cancer battle.I am so glad we had gotten closer over the last couple years. It seems like she might have had her hand in protecting her family’s beach house when her namesake hurricane came through and didn’t do any harm.

And while visiting Barnoldswick, England, we joined friends still mourning the death of my special friend Gail Usher. Some of her ashes are hidden in a crevice on the south side of the Grand Canyon because this was a special spot for her! We end our travels by way of this majestic natural wonder to be near and reflect on the gift of her friendship.

This journey, all of 2012, has shown us the glory of God in the sights, sounds, and tastes we have experienced, but most of all the people. It’s always good to come home, but if your heart is with God then it ALL feels like home.