England – Day 1

England – Day 1

Monday, September 24, 2018.I’m sitting here at 3am, wide awake in Stratford Upon Avon.

After months of meticulous planning, Downtown Dad and I got in the car and drove to off Minneapolis at 10:30am Sunday morning. We stopped at Charlies for lunch at about 1pm, arriving in the Cities to meet the kids at about 3:30. We parked our car in a Cottage Grove parking lot and they drove us to Humphrey terminal where they dropped us off at 4:3

At the Iceland Air counter at checkin, we learned that Cheapo Air failed to tell us about a $95 baggage fee. Yay. So, we paid it and we were 60 pounds and $190 lighter, so we walked to our gate to have a couple of glasses of wine while we waited for our flight. Got on the flight, and while it was nice, there was no meal service. 


Got to Reykjavik, which was wild windy and rugged. Deplaned, and a bus took us to the terminal. Then, got on another bus to the waiting plane. It was 11pm (not sure if that was local time or my body clock time) the coffee at the terminal smelled heavenly. There was food service on the two hour flight to London, had yogurt.

Got to Heathrow, I think it was noon, so really messed up on what time my body thought it was. Deplaned, walked a really long way, stood in line for an hour for customs. Had a really nice customs agent who welcomed us to Great Britain with a smile and a lovely accent. Got our bags, one of my zippers had broken, but nothing lost.

Took the bus to the EuropeCars rental office, had another learning experience with CheapoAir charging us for insurance that the Rental agency didn’t accept. After a long 45 minute ordeal we got to our car. A black beamer I named Nigel.

Poor Dave, jet lagged, hungry and a little pissed at the $500 extra the car cost, had to get behind the wheel on the wrong side of the car and drive on the wrong side of the road. It was an interesting experience with several missed turns, and going around in circles, but we got on the road and headed toward Stratford Upon Avon, via a stop to see Oxford.

In hindsight that was probably an error in judgement. We were too tired, and unused to the driving, and Oxford is a busy, narrow streeted college town, with bicyclists, and pedestrians. We made it through unscathed, but didn’t stop, we just got back onto the highway to Stratford.

Drove and drove and drove and drove. We both felt like time was standing still, or even going backwards. Finally made it to our AirBnB at 1 Bancroft Place. The key was exactly where she said it would be and parking was right next to the door. It is a small place, with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, but really, what more do we need? 

We put our stuff down, and walked off into Stratford. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the dry plane air, and my stress level, a cold sore had been developing, so our first stop had to be a drug store, or chemist as they call it here. Luckily right on the first corner of the first street we went down was a Health Food store! I got topical and pill form Lysene, and we were on our way quickly, thanks to a lovely helpful woman whos accent sounded scottish.

I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around where we are. In England, in Stratford Upon Avon! Its pretty touristy, reminded me a lot of Solvang. Walked past #18 Bridge Street where my 5X great grandfather had a store. its now a posh fragrance store so we didn’t go in. Turns out Shakespeare’s daughter and her husband owned the building where the store was located, so that’s a pretty close connection!

We found a pub for our first meal in England that has been around since the 1400s! Wow! The Old Thatch. We ordered a couple of 1/2 pints. The stuff they had on tap was not necessarily what you’d call warm, but it wasn’t cold either. Not carbonated much, just earthy and really very nice. I had the chicken bacon pie with mashed potatoes, veg, and gravy. Dave had fish and chips. Perfect!

We were both so tired that the food kicked right in making us sleepy. We walked back to our place, noticing some lovely shops and some architecture, but really just set on going to sleep. We used our converters to plug in our various electronics, and went to sleep about 8:30pm. 

My lip really hurts so I couldn’t sleep, getting up at 3am. I peeped out the window and saw the lovely full moon, shining down on the little stretch of river that flows through the back yard of our place. Lovely.

Its 5am now, I’m hearing birds. 

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