Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Home again jiggity jig

After 3 weeks of vacation and 4 inches of rain at home, our yard looks like a hay field.  Nancy and I got most of it cut today, hope to finish it tomorrow.  Nancy spent most of the day washing clothes and unpacking, I cut grass, washed cars and played some golf.  The heat was hard to take after 3 weeks of 50s and 60s.

England epilog

We returned to Newcastle Sunday night and spent Monday packing and repacking to get the maximum weight in all the suitcases. Had a taxi pick us up at 5:30am to go to the airport (that would be 11:30pm Monday night CDT).  Our flight to Dublin was pretty uneventful other than having to stand in a cold, blowing rain to board the plane.

Rainy start

Last view of English countryside

Clouds most of the way

Finally a view of the Irish Sea

Busy shipping lane

Irish coast


We had a two hour layover in Dublin and it was a good thing, it took almost that long to get through US Customs.  Our flight to Chicago was delayed about 30 minutes because about half the passengers  were stuck in customs. We were seated in the middle row so I did not get a window seat.  I could not hear the movies they were showing using the earbuds so I amused myself by playing computer games, Soduku, and watching the flight info.  At one point we were at 37,000 ft, flying almost 600 MPH, the outside temp was -67 deg F, and we had a 70 MPH tail wind that helped us get to Chicago on schedule.  No problems in Ohare other than finding which terminal our next flight was in and going through security again.

Landing in Nashville

 When we landed in Nashville we were told that a thunderstorm had knocked out most of the power in the terminal and all the gates were not working so we had to sit on the runway almost an hour waiting to deplane.  Thankfully, a skycap saw us struggling with the 4 large suitcases and 4 carry-ons (we brought back some of Megan's stuff) and helped us to the bus, I tipped him well. Our travails were not over when we got to the car though, many of the traffic lights in town were out so it took us another 30 minutes to get to the freeway.  We finally arrived home about 8:30pm, 21 hours after we started that morning.
It was a great trip but airport security has really taken the fun out of flying, wish there was a bridge so I could take my RV next time.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Sunday we were expecting bad weather but the day started out cool but clear so we decided to go for a hike and a picnic. We went to a marshland near the west coast of England.

WWII lookout post

The tide change here is unbelievable, where we are standing is under water at high tide.

Large jellyfish

Across the bay is Scotland

Closed hotel in nearby village

After our hike we drove to another little village for a picnic. Our hosts brought their camp stove along for hot tea.
An abandoned farmstead at the edge of the village.

Marker for the end of Hadrian's Wall

 More views of the old farm, the whole barnyard was surrounded by tall stone walls.

 More pretty country churches

We had a great visit with Fergal and his family, they really treated us royally.

Pots, lakes and sheep

Saturday Fergal's parents showed us some of the beautiful countryside near Carlisle. First we went to a pottery craft fair at an old estate called Hutton in the Woods.
Where is my steering wheel?
Being a passenger in the left front seat was weird, I kept thinking that oncoming traffic was in the wrong lane!

I have never seen this much pottery!
Yoda was confused...

"Potfest you said, thought there would be weed I did"

Touring the gardens

Fergal and Lee (ie Megan)

Fergal and his dad, Aidan.

After the Potfest we headed to Ullswater.
 We took a boat ride across the lake.
Aidan and Anne Marie, Fergal's parents, enjoy the view.

It was a little nippy

We got off the ferry in Howton and hiked to an old church

 A nice view of the village and the lake form the top of the pass.

 On the other side of the hill was some gorgeous scenery.

One lane country road

And this is what we came to see.

Resting up for the walk back

Oops, looks like we missed our ferry, guess we will have to find a pub while we wait for the next one.

Almost missed the next ferry too!
Finally headed back.

Pooley Bridge
On the way back to Carlisle we stopped at a 4500 year old ceremonial site called Castlerigg.

End of a great day of sight seeing.