Bath Spa Area

Leaving London, we had decided to concentrate our visit on a just a few areas of England. The first was Bath/Spa — the site of an ancient (~800 B.C.), later Roman Bath house. We arrived after operating hours, but had a great visit with some great pictures.  We actually didn\’t take swimsuits on the trip, so missing the bathing time wasn\’t too critical.

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A house in the English Country —

We wanted to experience some of the country life & manners of English rural life.  We found a couple of places via the AirBnB site, we\’ll use it again if we head that way.

Our home base for a few days was in Crudwell, a terrific farmhouse estate, run by Zandra & Chris.  They couldn\’t be more helpful or kind.
\"13_04_Europe_0292\" They live on 100 acres, away from everything, and all of what we imagined the country life there to be.  

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For a country of 50+ million in an area that\’s less than two-thirds the size of Idaho, it sure seemed like there was a lot of country to be found.  The driving time seems to be the same, but the roads are just all crinkled up to get maximum length in minimum area.

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For three days in a row, we got to have an iconic \”English Breakfast:\”

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Yes, those are really grilled tomatos.  Our eggs were on-demand (grilled, fried, or the favorite: poached), but all else was included but optional, per-person as requested.  It was great.  Zandra was a terrific cook and multi-tasker.

Most of the small cities had the same basic layout which included a common area that looked something like this:

\"13_04_Europe_0439\"An open center, usually turned into a parking area, surrounded by varying-aged buildings for shops and the expected municipal functions.  We enjoyed the city-market-feel shopping, food, and sense of community.  If they had used solar-powered parking meters for their horse-hitches years ago, it would\’ve probably been exactly the same.

We could do a lot of pictures on just animals, but the most surprising to me was the number of pheasants.  Everywhere.

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Finally — a quick slideshow of a typical country scenes.

CA Trip — Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

I guess it\’s a pretty safe assumption to believe that on a road-trip of 2500 miles, on mostly 2-lane, that there will be signs that are either uncommon or misunderstood, and in general, just comical.  We weren\’t disappointed and thought perhaps some of these may be seen as \”interesting\” to some of our readers.

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This seemed contradictory — How can you be a life-saving cemetery?

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We looked for other signs in each of the rooms to tell us what acceptable protocols for each of the other rooms would be so we could know if we were consistent or not. We didn\’t see any other signs to help us.  The best I did was to not go into the \”Womens\” room.   I was pretty sure  that would have been inconsistent.

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Really? When you\’re drowsy, are you really going to be awake enough to catch the sign (probably in the dark) and then be willing to pull over in the desert? Does stopping in the middle of nowhere wake you right up?

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I think if I were the mayor (or High School principal), I\’d find some different initials to put up on the hill.

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We were disappointed to see this.  We were looking for someone to pick-up in the desert.  Is stopping for a prisoner qualify as an emergency?   How about someone drowsy?

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Doug\’s Graduation

I\’m really not old enough for this, but my youngest has graduated from High School! OK, maybe I am old enough, but I\’m not sure where the time went. On June 3, 2008 Doug graduated from Centennial High School. He won\’t even be 18 until later this month! He\’s planning on going to BSU in the fall, to study horticulture. He loves doing landscaping and he\’s been a natural at it since he could walk. \"\"

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Graduation went well and when it was over we came outside to pouring rain. About the time that Lynn got back to us with the car (he sacrificed himself so we could stay mostly dry) the rain slowed down and a gorgeous double rainbow came out. Maybe that signals the new beginning for Doug! :-)

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Birthday Time!

So, after my big birthday last year, I sort of wanted to just forget about my birthday this year, and probably for the rest of my life! My family won\’t ever let me do that though, and everyone was very good to me again this year.

I had to post a couple of pictures to show the bouquets I got. The flowers were from my very sweet husband and the calorie laden one was from my very thoughtful children! I also had lots of other gifts and cards from friends that I totally love and appreciate. THANKS ONE AND ALL! Now, next year let\’s forget all about it!! :-)

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Jeff Has His First Solo Flight

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The number 13 is lucky in this family for several people. Now we get to add Jeff to the list. He\’s been waiting to solo in the helicopter for several days but it\’s been too windy. Today the winds finally calmed down long enough for him to take a solo flight for about an hour and a half. He did patterns which include several take offs and landings I guess. Being up there without an instructor was a bit of \”an adrenaline rush\” for him and I\’m just glad I wasn\’t actually there watching! It was bad enough when life flight flew over us and Lynn had to bring it to my attention. Anyway, he\’s well on his way to getting his private license and after that comes instrument and commercial and certified instructor. (I think I missed one, but the point is he\’ll have more school to complete.)

Anyway, we\’re really proud of Jeff. He studies hard and he\’s doing really well with the flying part. WAY TO GO JEFF!!!

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