Thursday, May 17, 2012

Returned from England Vacation! - Some Brief Observations

We've been in England for the last 10 days and have just returned. We'll have updates about our trip here, with pictures. Meanwhile, here's a satellite picture from NASA's Aqua satellite taken of the United Kingdom on January 16, 2012. We had 2 days of sun like this shows.
  Just a couple of things to quickly mention: 
1) WEATHER - It RAINED 8 out of 10 days, and the average high temp we experienced was between 45 and 52F (a couple of days near 59F). We had 2 days of sunshine. The high temp is SUPPOSED to be near 64F- It was the COLDEST May since records were kept in 1648, and the WETTEST May in over 30 years.
2) DRIVING - Driving on the left side of the road is a challenge. Rob did all the driving, and was quickly indoctrinated after getting a rental car in London. - It's like learning to drive on the other side of the street in New York City.  Hair raising! Thankfully, Tom navigated with GPS (GPS is REQUIRED there!)
3) STREET WIDTH - The width of the streets is far less than it is in the U.S. Glad we had a compact car. It barely fit in the lanes. *In the country, the street width is even more Narrow! - We often had to wait for oncoming traffic to pass, and outside of London, roads twist and turn like crazy. Locals do about 60 mph (road signs are in mph NOT kph), while we were doing 35mph to not run into the vegetation that lines each street. 
4) COFFEE OR TEA? - Drink TEA. Rob's a huge coffee drinker... that changed in the U.K. Coffee there is either instant or Starbucks - two miserable choices. So, Rob drank tea after the first bad coffee experience. BTW- There is NO iced tea in England. 
Anne Marie put together an all inclusive, detailed package, complete with lodging, tours, tickets, subway passes, car rental, and found the ALL the castles related to Henry VIII for us. She does: London, all of England, Ireland, and Scotland.  We only had to get our airline tickets. The Bed and Breakfasts and hotel were Great. We even stayed in Thornbury Castle B&B- a Castle from the 1500s turned B&B. Awesome.
6) FOOD/ORDERING - The food was pretty good. Of course, we're plain eaters. Give us a burger and fries and we're good, as long as there's a cookie or cake afterward. There are a LOT of bakeries, which was great. In Pubs, order at the bar after giving them a table number. Visitors sit at tables expecting service- they learn eventually.   
7) GHOSTS - If you're sensitive to ghosts, there's double the stuff to experience in England. Every day there was something- and we have it all written down, so it looks like Rob is going to be doing a third book. :)  - We also got a private ghost walk from ghost book author Richard Jones. What a treat. 

*****We'll have photos, short videos from many locations and write ups on the blog over the next couple of weeks, so you can experience what we did.****


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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next