Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP Day 6: Part 5: Stratford Upon Avon: Old Thatch Tavern Ghost!


Old Thatch Tavern, Stratford upon Avon.
On day one in Stratford-Upon-Avon we had dinner at the Old Thatch Tavern at 23 Greenhill Street  Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6LE, United Kingdom. The Old Thatch Tavern is a traditional old town pub, that has been licensed as a pub since 1623 and is the only thatched building in the whole town!

  The tavern was amazing. The fish and chips were fantastic. :)

  GHOST ON THE MENU - The menu had a story about a ghost that haunts the tavern. It said that a man named James Pinfield was being chased by a group of Irishmen and ran into the tavern to hide. The men found him and dragged him outside where they murdered him. The pub menu said that James Pinfield's ghost still haunts the pub today.
  OUR FEELING ABOUT JAMES PINFIELD'S GHOST - If James Pinfield's ghost is in the tavern, he was in the front part of the tavern near the bar. He didn't come near us, and we were seated in the back room . Tom didn't sense anything either because there were too many people and was too much energy in the room.

the sketch I made of Emily, who haunts the Old Thatch Tavern
THE GHOST ROB SENSED/SAW - While eating dinner, I (Rob) saw a woman walking around the restaurant, serving people. She was a ghost. She told me her name was Emily and pronounced it "Emi-lee." She had brown hait pinned up in a white bonnet. The bonnet had a black ribbon tied around the bottom of the bonnet. Emily had a white dress on with what appeared to be a dark-colored vestment on top. She was carrying a basket of several loaves of bread, with a red napkin on top of the basket and the loaves sticking out of it. She seemed to linger and walk around in the back of the restaurant. I took the time to draw a picture of her. 
  As soon as a crowd came in, my headache (which indicates I'm in the presence of a ghost or spirit) disappeared, and so did Emily.
VIDEO #1 - is the story of James Pinfield's ghost.

Startford-on-Avon Cemetery
Startford-on-Avon Cemetery
THE EERIE CEMETERY: (Note- after we left the Tavern we walked back through and old cemetery. I (Rob) sensed a lot of energy of young children (not intelligent haunting, but residual energy leftover from their bodies). I sensed a lot of them died young from the flu or measles and chicken pox. As we walked through the cemetery, we noticed that there were a LOT of gravestones of very young children, from months old to 10 years old. Although there were no intelligent ghosts, the energy left behind (like a thumbprint) told me how many of them passed. It was eerie.
    MORE INFO: Startford-on-Avon Cemetery, Evesham Road, contains 22 First World War burials, made mainly from the hospital at Clopton House. During the Second World War, there was a contingent of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at nearby Wellesbourne Mountford and of the 137 Second World War burials (most of them forming a war graves plot), 97 are of Canadian airmen. The cemetery also contains 14 war graves of other nationalities.

VIDEO #2- is Rob's experience with the ghost of
Emily, the "waitress" from the 1500 or 1600s
who haunts the back part (right side behind Rob)
of the tavern. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chance's Adoption Day!

On Sunday, July 29, 2012 our foster dog, Chance was adopted by Whitney and Mike. It was a great day for Chance, and he was so happy his tail kept wagging. We all became fast friends, too, so we know that we'll be seeing more of Chance, Whitney and Mike. We look forward to hearing about Chance's adventures in his new home with his new "sister" Schatzi the mini-Dachshund.  (Yes, it was really emotionally tough to see Chance go, but he's going to be soooo loved!).
Whitney, Mike and Chance

Tom and Rob give Chance a goodbye hug

Chance got a pre-adoption bath

Chance is comfy in the back of Whitney & Mike's SUV
Schazi and Chance already comfy with each other in his new home!

Chance relaxing in his new home!

Tom, Dolly, Franklin and Sprite (Rob taking pic) all missing Chance on adoption nite

DC Weim Rescue Needs 11 Foster Homes ASAP!

Dolly and Chance
NEED YOUR HELP - Can you please Foster a Weimaraner for awhile??
- If you're in the Washington, DC/Baltimore/Frederick/central Virginia/eastern West Virginia area- The Washington, D.C. Weimaraner Rescue is currently in desperate need of foster homes. The rescue moved, and there's not enough room for the Weimaraners.  CAN YOU HELP??? Please?!?!
     We just had the most incredible experience helping Chance heal and become healthy again - and find a loving home. If you have ANY room at all, please, please contact Karin at:weims2@comcast.net. These dogs NEED a place!!!   Weimaraners are very intelligent, obedient and loving dogs. They're physically active, so walk them and get healthy yourself. PLEASE FOSTER A WEIMARANER NOW and help the rescue!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP Day 6: Part 4: Stratford Upon Avon/ Our Welcome Video/Windmill Inn

When we walked into downtown Stratford-Upon-Avon, it was late afternoon, and most of the shops were closed and not many people were around. However, the first street we came upon had a number of building from the 1600s, so we stopped and made a short video. 

The Windmill
THE WINDMILL (Restaurant) - Is a traditional 16th Century black and white pub near the town center of Stratford upon Avon. It is well known locally for quality cask ale, delicious food and friendly service. It is said to be a place that William Shakespeare frequented. 
RIGHT: The plaque that hangs on the outside of the restaurant. 
 We didn't go in, however, because it wasn't open when we went by.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP Day 6: Part 3: Stratford Upon Avon- the B&B, Gardens

White Sails Bed and Breakfast
After Blenheim Palace we drove to Stratford-Upon-Avon, better known as the town that William Shakespeare comes from.
DRIVING - Getting there was a challenge. Its a good thing we had a GPS unit. From Blenheim Palace, the town was supposed to be 35 miles. But it was 35 miles through winding roads, where vegetation grew as thick shrubbery to heights of 9 or 10 feet high. That meant on these roads just barely wide enough for two compact cars, there was nowhere to move over if there was a truck or wider car coming!!!
  My (Rob) first instinct was to hug the curb, and driving on the left was weird enough, so I went over a couple of curbs going 50 mph. Of course, when Tom tells the story he says that I also ran over some mailboxes and bicyclists (which I didn't). We DID make it safely, though, and just lost 10 pounds in sweating on the drive!

White Sails - the amazing bathroom in the rooms!
   WHITE SAILS BED AND BREAKFAST - We had the pleasure of staying one night at this absolutely beautiful Bed and Breakfast. If you ever go- stay there!  It's located at 85 Evesham Rd  Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9BE, United Kingdom. From their website: "White - Sails is a boutique style luxury b&b offering five contemporary, air-conditioned, ensuite bedrooms." The owners are wonderful, accommodating and super friendly. Breakfast was great and we enjoyed the common area, too. Here are a couple of pictures.

      STRATFORD-UPON-AVON - Many of the things in the town were about Shakespeare including his childhood home, his daughter's home, a museum, a monument, a tavern he used to frequent and more. Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham. 
A Front Yard Garden We thought was beautiful
  It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, and uses the term "upon" to indicate that it covers a much larger area than the town itself.
  HOW OLD IS IT? Stratford has Anglo-Saxon origins, and grew up as a market town in medieval times. The original charters of the town were granted in 1196, making Stratford officially over 800 years old.

LITTLE FRONT YARD GARDENS - We were very taken by the little front yard gardens that people planted. They were ornate, linear, well-groomed and beautiful. The English know how to do gardens!

Friday, July 27, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 6: Part 2: Blenheim Palace: Train/Butterflies/Maze

This is a continuation of our experience in Blenheim Palace.
Tom on the grounds of Blenheim Palace's backyard

TRAIN ON THE GROUNDS: Not a full scale train, but a smaller scale train that takes people from the main house to the "Pleasure Gardens." The narrow-gauge railway links the Palace to the Pleasure Gardens. Its a diesel locomotive called "Sir Winston Churchill," that pulls three canopied carriages and can reach a speed of 12 mph.  HERE'S A SHORT VIDEO WE MADE ON THE TRAIN:

GARDENS ALL AROUND THE PALACE:  Surrounding the Palace are over 2000 acres of beautiful ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, lakes, fountains and formal gardens including the recently restored ‘Secret Garden’, the Italian Garden, the Water Terraces, Rose Garden and Grand Cascade.

The Marlborough Maze - The Marlborough Maze is the world's second largest symbolic hedge maze, designed to reflect the history and architecture of the Palace. The maze covers an area of just over an acreOUR EXPERIENCE: We went into the maze, but once inside realized that there were LARGE mud puddles within and we would've been soaked and muddied had we continued, so we turned around and found our way out!   HERE'S A VIDEO WE MADE AT THE MAZE ENTRANCE:

Tom and Rob in the backyard of Blenheim Palace

Butterfly House -In the Butterfly House, we saw exotic tropical butterflies in free flight. This is a hatchery that contains many species bred on site. More exotic butterflies can be seen depending on the season. The Monarch from North America, the Owl butterflies of Central and South America and the Heliconius butterflies, also from Central and South America. I have no idea which ones we did see, but they were beautiful. I did get some on a short video.









NEXT: Off to Shakespeare's Town: Stratford-Upon-Avon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 6: Part 1: Driving/Road Ghost/Blenheim Palace

Tom and Rob at Blenheim Palace
On the 6th day of our trip in England we picked up a car, so we could explore places outside of England.
DRIVING: Tom let me (Rob) drive and I must say it was a challenge.
SOME TIPS: 1) Always get an automatic transmission. 2) Always get a GPS for directions (or you'll get lost) 3) Realize that Speed Limit signs are actually in Miles Per Hour, not kilometers. 4) England is mostly still on the English system of measurements, not the metric system. There are exceptions though, and it's really a mixture of both.

GHOSTLY ACCIDENT: Anyone that knows me (Rob) knows that I've been able to sense Earth-bound ghosts or spirits, and driving to Blenheim Palace (way outside of London) provided another experience.  About one mile before we reached Blenheim Palace on Route M40 I sensed a car accident ahead. I actually heard sirens in my head (Tom didn't hear them). As we passed a certain spot, I realized that someone had died in a bad car accident there. It was right at that time that Tom said he smelled the smell of vomit, or something rotting, which is how he gets a sign he's in the presence of a ghost. When he said that out loud, he confirmed the ghost was there alongside the road.
Tom at the entrance to Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is a stately home situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. It was built between 1705 and 1724 and
was intended to be a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French and Bavarians at the Battle of Blenheim (in Holland).
Rob at Blenheim Palace's Water Garden

  However, it led to Marlborough's exile, the fall from power of his duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh. The palace is designed in English Baroque styles It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace's Water Garden where we lunched
OUR THOUGHTS: The palace was overly ornate and gaudy with gold, 17th century China and tapestries. We actually walked through it rather quickly and didn't stop to listen to the tour. We DID enjoy a lunch outside facing the "Water Garden," although it was cloudy, breezy and cold (55F). Lunch was a pot of tea and we split a sandwich. 

VIDEO 1: Our introduction and welcome to Blenheim Palace

\VIDEO 2: Live from the Water Garden, where we had lunch! 

NEXT: The Train, the Butterfly House and the Maze

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chance is Going to a Forever Home!

This weekend, Tom and I met Whitney and Mike, who want to adopt our foster dog, Chance the Weimaraner. We spent a great couple of hours together and knew they would be the perfect parents for Chance. They have a mini-dachshund named "Schatzi" whom they brought over, and whom got along well with Chance (and our three kids).  Chance got to show off how he runs in the backyard after tennis balls, and he went up and downstairs.

  The adoption is bittersweet because  we've grown to love Chance, but we know he'll be going to a great home, and we'll always keep in touch and have reunions. We're so happy that Whitney and Mike will give Chance another "chance" to live his senior years in true happiness.

Franklin, Chance, Dolly Walking
 Here are some fun pictures of Chance that we took over the past week. From walks to cuddling with Franklin the Dachshund, to hanging out with Dolly, Franklin and Sprite. Chance smiles a lot now that he's regained his health. It's SO great to see his smile. :)  He loves chasing tennis balls in the backyard, and can walk up and down stairs now without fear. He's made an amazing recovery, and we're SO excited for him.

Dolly and Chance on the patio
Chance is going to his forever home on Sunday, when Whitney comes to pick him up.

OUR THANKS - We're so thankful to DC Weimaraner Rescue,  Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue, The Prince George's County Animal Shelter and Whitney and Mike.
Dolly, Sprite, Chance (Franklin hiding in shrubs)
Chance napping on Franklin in the truck

Chance Smiling for the camera in the truck
Chance and Dolly share a bed after dinnertime
How Chance likes to watch TV- cuddled up!
Dolly and Chance -snoozing closely

Chance, Franklin and Dolly snuggle up afterward!
Dolly and Chance stretched out waiting for a walk

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 5: Part 9: Greenwich/Ferry Ride

The Greenwich Royal Observatory- Greenwich Mean Time!
The bus tour on our fifth day in the U.K. brought us to Greenwich as a last stop.
GREENWICH - iis the place that sets Time (Greenwich Mean Time) and Place (Greenwich Meridian).  It is truly unique. It is ALSO the birthplace of Henry VIII and his famous daughters Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth I!  Just across the River Thames is the modern Docklands development with Canary Wharf and London City Airport.

The Cutty Sark
Docked in Greenwich is an historic ship called the Cutty Sark. WHAT IS THE CUTTY SARK? - Aside from being the name of a famous Whiskey, its a clipper ship. Built in 1869 for the Jock Willis shipping line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.

Looking at London from Greenwich- Olympics Equestrian stadium being built.
 PREPPING FOR THE OLYMPICS - Just outside of Greenwich, a stadium was being constructed for the Olympics. It was specifically designed for equestrian events, and we got to see it in progress as we walked from the Greenwich Royal Observatory down
Tom and Rob giving goofy grins on the Ferry

Parliment House Flying the flag

The Globe Theatre
THE GLOBE THEATRE - This is a theatre located along the Thames River in London that is associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed in 1642. Today's Globe Theatre stands a few hundred yards from its original site. The rebuilding of the iconic building stems from the founding of the Shakespeare's Globe Trust by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker.

Monday, July 23, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 5: Part 8: Canterbury Ghost in the Stationery Store

Shop with the same name as Rob's comic book shop back home
While walking around in Canterbury, we went in and out of shops. After coming out of the Magick Shoppe, we went into a stationery store. Although we didn't get a picture of it, we did pick up on a ghost. Tom went into the shop first and came outside to get me (I (Rob) was in the comic book shop). He said that he felt nauseous when he went inside - which is the symptom he experiences whenever there's a ghost around. He said that it felt like there was a ghost in the back of the store. Of course, I had to check it out.
  I went into the back of the store and immediately got a headache in the back of my head, indicating there was indeed a ghost lingering in the store. In the back of the store there was a female ghost lingering. What's interesting is that after I came out and compared notes with Tom, we both smelled a scent of perfume in the back of the store (and there were no female customers in the store). The clerk, a man, was up in the front of the store, and he wasn't wearing women's perfume. 
  NEXT: A ferry boat ride down the Thames River and the Greenwich Observatory.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 5: Part 7: Canterbury Cathedral/Murder of Thomas Beckett

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral is called the "Mother Church of the Anglican Communion" and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site.

According to the website for the Cathedral (http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org), the Cathedral's history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Tom and Rob outside the Canterbury Cathedral

Thomas Beckett's Tomb surrounded by teenage visitors

Thomas Becket (also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury) 1118 – 29 December 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.
  The monks were afraid that Becket's body might be stolen. To prevent this Becket's remains were placed beneath the floor of the eastern crypt of the cathedral.
  In 1220, Becket's remains were relocated from this first tomb to a shrine in the recently completed Trinity Chapel where it stood until it was destroyed in 1538,  on orders from King Henry VIII. The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated.


We went into the area of the Cathedral that has "Thomas" engraved on the floor, that marked his tomb (despite his bones being destroyed on Henry VIII's command). As I (Rob) was standing there I immediately got a headache in the back left side of my head, indicating that there was a ghost present. I immediately knew it was Thomas Beckett, and Beckett's ghost walked right through me!  I was chilled and I told him I don't appreciate that.
  Immediately, I sensed his personality and could understand why he was slain, and why Henry VIII had his bones crushed. He was very headstrong and very stubborn. Despite the church sainting him, I can tell you that he wasn't someone I cared to know.  His ghost was bad energy.
   We walked away from the tomb and under the church into the crypt. The crypt was the original part of the building, and it was built in 1070. There were a lot of bad feelings down there as well, and I couldn't wait to get outside.

Thomas Beckett's Tomb

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 5: Part 6: Canterbury and the Haunted Magick Shop

The center square in Canterbury
The next stop on our bus tour was the city of Cantrebury. Its an historic English cathedral city, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour.
  I (Rob) only knew of Canterbury from reading Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" in college. I didn't know what to expect. It was a crowded, popular place.
 HISTORICALLY:  Originally it was a Celtic settlement, and later renamed Durovernum Cantiacorum by the Roman conquerors in the 1st century A.D.  When it became a Jutish (Danish) settlement, it became known as Canterbury. The name came from the old English word "Cantwareburh" meaning "Kent people's stronghold."
   It was a bustling town and was extraordinarily crowded for a weekday. In fact, it was like being in New York City, there were so many people. Many of them, however, were college age.
Arts Bldg that Tom liked for the architecture
   We walked around the town first and then went to the famous Cantebury Cathedral (which we'll get to in the next blog). Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the downtown area.

 VIDEO: We took just a short video while walking downtown because Rob saw a college student wearing a tee shirt with the insignia of the superhero "The Flash."

THE HAUNTED MAGICK (Magic) SHOPPE: Because the tour book said that the "Pure Magick Shoppe" at 43A St. Peters Street, Canterbury "has three ghosts in it," we had to check it out.
The Haunted "Pure Magick" Shop
  When I (Rob) walked in, I immediately sensed a the ghost of a woman on the first floor (because I got my tell-tale headache in the back left side of my head. Then I went upstairs and found a male ghost, who was not welcoming.  Tom got sick to his stomach, as he does when a ghost is present, so he confirmed there was one or two entities in there.
   I went to the store clerk and talked with the owner (a man) and his female co-worker. They confirmed the "male ghost" upstairs and said he has been seen in a long black overcoat, and sometimes a hat. The male ghost has been known to walk through the wall into the shop next door. The also said that awhile back a male customer went upstairs and came back downstairs quickly. They said the male customer said "There's something upstairs that doesn't want me there." That's the same feeling I described - an unwelcome feeling that didn't want me upstairs.
CONFIRMATION OF THE FEMALE GHOST:  I talked with the shopkeepers about the female ghost on the first floor. They were both sensitive to ghosts, so they confirmed the feelings and didn't question them. They said that the woman's ghost has dwelled there a long time. She was from the 1950s and worked in the store when it was a dress shop. The female ghost was apparently content to still be there. I was told that she's "short in stature, and a smart dresser who wears her hair up." I didn't see the woman, I just sensed her.
ONE MORE GHOST: The shopkeepers also told us about the ghost of a little girl who lingers there. She likes to tug the clothing of people who come into the shop. They said that the little girl's ghost also giggles aloud.


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