England April 11, 2014
Well the beautiful countryside of the Cotswold’s in England couldn’t keep me away for very long. Also the knight in shinny mini-bus that saved me from the rainstorm on my last trip turned out to be quite a catch. We started dating after my trip to England last summer and he has come to visit me twice in the states since. This is my first trip to visit him in England. It’s a meet the friends and family tour as well as me dragging Paul to a bunch of tourist sights around England.
Today was my first day. I left Boston Thursday night and it was a beautiful night and a gorgeous sunset over the city and Tobin Bridge as we took off. I scored an exit row seat and was able to actually to get a little sleep on the plane. A smooth flight got us into Heathrow a little early which was nice.
Getting through boarder control was not as nice. I got grilled by the guy who when you are exhausted from flying is quite intimidating. He was worse than a parent asking where a relationship is going. I had to show return tickets, tell how much money I had, when I was going back to work, how long I worked at my job, in detail what I did (I think I confused the guy at that point). He was a bit on the judgmental side. I apparently passed all of his questions and was allowed into England. Phew.
I took the Heathrow Express train into Paddington Station to connect to Swindon where Paul was going to pick me up. I have to say I love Paddington Station. It’s has beautiful architecture and there is something I love about trains. The train stations in England and Europe have such a romantic feel to them.
Paul picked me up in Swindon and we headed back to Cirencester where Paul lives. I met Paul’s parent’s Connie and Roy and got settled in a bit. We had a cup of tea and then headed out to get lunch, a Jacket-Potato aka baked potato. We went to South Cerney, which is a small town outside of Cirencester. I was convinced the floor was moving in the café where we went. My ears suffered a bit from the plane ride and are a bit dodgy. I’m hoping the decongestants help them. The jacket potato was delicious and we watched some very interesting fishing techniques. The café where we ate was by a lake. The gear and fishing equipment and there was a lot of it was something I have never seen before. I will try and upload a video of it. It was unique.
We decided to walk around one of the lakes in South Cerney. They are used for water skiing and kayaking. We saw a very cute family of baby ducks. There were 10 of the little guys and they were little speed demons in the water. On the far side of the lake there was a bit of a detour on the path and well we ended up on the wrong path/road. We continued on finally realizing that the path didn’t’ reconnect unless we climbed over a barbed wire fence. We did some bushwhacking and managed to get over the barbed wire fence without any injuries to our clothes or us. A win on our adventure.
We headed back to the house where I took a 2-hour nap before we headed out for dinner with the rally car team.
We went to Stroud for dinner with Paul’s rally car team; Rick the driver, Keith and Biff the mechanics, Paul is the navigator for the team and all of the guys wives, Julie, Leanne, and Jane. Dinner was delicious and I learned all about rally car engines and turns and the politics behind rally racing. The team is working with their club to put on a rally in a few weeks. There is a follow up meeting on Thursday with the gang to work out more details. Rick was so happy with the Rainex windshield wiper blade I brought him from the States. Car guys they are all the same. Bring them cool car accessories and they will think you are ace.
A late night out and jet lag I fell asleep before I hit the pillow and apparently snored a lot last night.
Tomorrow’s mission: Find a battery charger for my camera cause I packed the wrong one (no pictures would make for a shit holiday and a boring blog.) some decongestants for my nose and ear plugs for Paul so I don’t get banned to the couch for my snoring.