Last Blog of England

One last visit through England and then onto the rest of Europe!

We visited the beautiful Cotswold area. It was just as picturesque as you would imagine it to be.

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This one cracked us up!!!

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Next we visited the Gadfield Elm Chapel.  It\’s an LDS Church Historical site–check it out here.  When they restored this building they numbered every stone as they took the walls down and put them back in the same place.  What a labor of love!

 

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Next was Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.  The swan with it\’s wings folded up was just a bonus.

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I have loved the James Harriot books for a long time. I loved reading the stories to my kids when they were growing up. Visiting the actual Skeledale House where he lived and worked was a real treat for me. And the countryside there is just like it\’s described in his books. LOVED IT! We also were able to see the Preston, England LDS Temple. Manually scroll through these pictures–I didn\’t do them on automatic this time so you can enjoy them more.

Avebury, Stonehenge, Warwick Castle and other adventures

We are being super slow at getting to the blogs! So sorry! We just have been super busy since we\’ve been home!

There are still a few days in England to cover before we get on to the other places we visited.

We visited Avebury –it\’s the largest stone circle in Europe. Of course there was an historic church in the village too.

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As you can see it was cold that day.

There is also an ancient burial tomb near Avebury. We took the short hike up the hill to check it out.

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And of course there is Stonehenge. If you go \”across the pond\” you really have to go don\’t you?!?! Well, we wanted to see it. We had just watched a special on it and it\’s fascinating that the rocks weren\’t from that area so they had to bring them from quite some distance. Then to make this whatever-it-was so detailed that the sun would shine through exactly on the solstice(s) every year is amazing. When you see how big the stones are and they tell you what they weigh it\’s even more amazing! Since it is England of course there were sheep grazing all around. It just cracked me up that here is this world famous ancient site and the sheep are basically on the same land.

While we were driving we also drove past Highclere Castle! That\’s right all you Downton Abbey fans! It\’s the real thing. We couldn\’t see much because they were filming. But it was cool anyway!

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The next day we went to Warwick Castle. Touristy but definitely worth it! We spent most of the day there, there was SO much to see and do! Go check out the pictures. You might want to click on the slideshow to open in Picasa and see them bigger!

London–Day 2

Our second day was just as busy as our first. There was so much to see in London and Adam and Nadine were good enough to be our tour guides. They were great! We started by heading toward this address–

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We have really enjoyed the new BBC version of \”Sherlock\” as well as \”Elementary\” so it was fun to see there really was a 221b Baker Street and it really is dedicated to Sherlock Holmes.

From there we headed to Westminster Abbey and took the tour. A lot of history (and dead people) there! It was used for the William the Conqueror\’s coronation in 1066 but the present church there was started in 1245 by Henry III. The Coronation Chair there was used at every coronation since 1308. It\’s where the funeral for Princess Diana was held as well as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Buried there are kings, queens, Sir Isaac Newton and interestingly, Charles Darwin who was an agnostic.

After our tour there we headed to the Churchill War Rooms/Museum. Here Churchill and others lived and worked for years during WWII. It was on Lynn\’s \”must see\” list and it really was fascinating.

Next up was Buckingham Palace. It was so cool to watch the guards and check out the place where William and Kate had that very romantic kiss.

Next we have the British Museum.  This is one MASSIVE place with artifacts from every region of the world.  One could spend weeks in there if you really want to see everything and read about it and take it in.  We loved it–especially the mummies and the scarab sculpture.  Time to watch \”The Mummy\” again!

We had one last stop at Harrods before returning to the hotel.  WOW!  Room after room of just purses, but those who really know me know that didn\’t even tempt me.  Then we walked into the rooms of sweets!  Chocolate everywhere!  And food from every country!

We ended the day heading to a musical–Once.  It\’s fairly new I think and we enjoyed it.  At the end of the day we had walked a LOT, seen a LOT and eaten a LOT!  Great day!

European Vacation–Non-Chevy Chase style! Day 1

We did so much the first day that I had to devote a whole blog to our first day in London.

Knowing how I hate long flights Lynn worked hard to get us business class upgrades with points.  It was AMAZING!  We\’ve never flown like this–not with seats that go into full beds.  That made all the difference.  We were able to sleep quite a while on the flight from San Fransisco to London.  Since we left in the morning and got there the next morning (lost 8 hours) we were refreshed enough to spend the entire first day sightseeing.

We took the Tube (London\’s subway) to our hotel and dropped our bags.  We learned right away about the escalators there–they are really long, you always stand to the right and pass on the left.  People are running up and down them at high speeds!  Subways are always confusing to me–which one do you get on, where do you transfer, where do you get off.  If Lynn weren\’t with me I\’d still be on the Tube in London!

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As we came out into London we were right at Big Ben.  We walked past Big Ben, Parliament Square and 10 Downing Street. There were so many amazing buildings that I couldn\’t keep track of them all. Here\’s a sampling of what we saw just in the morning of the first day.

Fish and chips are huge there! The food was good and the waitress even asked some locals to move so we could all sit together. We headed back to the hotel to get checked in and take a break for a few minutes before heading off to the Tower of London. We spent quite a while there looking at the different places people were kept prisoner, torture chambers and of course the Crown Jewels. To top it off we had dinner at Yo Sushi. The Johnny English fans will recognize this one! We couldn\’t resist!

Sun Valley, Red Fish Lake and 100,000

With Blaine and Mary Ann Luke in Idaho (albeit the other side of the state) added to it being really hot here AND the fact that they\’d never been to Sun Valley or Red Fish Lake, it just seemed like the perfect time to take a short trip. So Monday we met up with the Lukes in Sun Valley. The Inn there is spectacular this time of year. We enjoyed driving around, walking around, watching the skaters, golfing (for the men) and of course food!

The next day it was on to Red Fish Lake. We got our first real gawk at the Sawtooths as we came over Galena Summit. Like the Tetons, the Sawtooths are always a spectacular sight. We took the official boat tour around Red Fish Lake, drove to Stanley Lake, walked around a bit and of course….ATE! Red Fish was super busy. We usually visit in September and we were a little surprised to see how many people were playing in the lake.

As we headed back home today our car turned over to 100,000 miles! It doesn\’t seem possible!

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