Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

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Archive for March 2011

Gloucester Quays, England

27 March 2011

Today we decided to drive into Gloucester and explore the historic Gloucester Quays.

During the week I take the neighbour's dog Maize into our house and she hangs out with Brittany and I. On the weekends if Debbie and her girls are at home and she sees that we are out for the day they take Brittany to their house and she gets to hangs out. We picked brittany up from Debbie's when we got back from Gloucester and decided to take her for a little walk.  We brought Maize along with us. The late afternoon light was beautiful and the flowers were in full bloom.

How cute are these 2 best friends?

Coughton Court, England

26 March 2011

Coughton Court is close to home so on a dreary spring morning we bundled up and set out to explore.

Coughton Court has been in the Throckmorton family since 1409. Sir George Throckmorton was a favourite of King Henry VIII. But when the King wanted to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aargon, Sir George supported Catherine and was against the divorce. He also stayed true to his Catholic faith. This has remained a constant of the Throckmorton family and the fact that they kept their heads and their estate is a testament to their political savvy.  At one time the home had a priest hole. The Throckmorton were also involved in the Throckmorton Plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I. Coughton Court played a part in the infamous Gunpowder Plot. It was here in 1605 that some of the conspirators rode to after the plot was discovered.

Bourton-on-the-Water, England

25 March 2011

Often times in life the journey is more important than the destination. For me, this usually means living in the moment. But, the day I went to Bourton-on-the-Water, the day was really about the journey.
I had planned a wonderful day exploring this scenic town with a new friend. We each took our own cars since at the end of the day she had to go and pick up her husband (who is on the same course as Andrew). I would drive back home since Andrew had already arranged a ride.

The Cotswolds are filled with typical English villages: limestone cottages with thatched roofs. It was our first really warm day and everything is perfect. We sit at a cafe on the sidewalk and have scones. I was about to have an experience that would change my life. CLOTTED CREAM!!! Oh my. It was so creamy that I had mistaken it for butter. I will never be the same again. As we are enjoying the moment we each get a text from our husbands to let us know that they will be done classes early. The ride Andrew had arranged had fallen through. We just had an hour for a quick walk around before we had to leave.

I was excited that Andrew was having an earlier day. It meant more time together and with our lifestyle time together is precious. I was also very nervous. Being in the heart of the Cotswolds meant that I was taking back roads. On the weekends, when we explore Andrew drives. During the week I have the car and this gives him a chance to maintain his skills at driving in England. Really, I am a chicken to drive on some of these roads. With My trusty Sat Nav I was off. Praying that Gertie, the Sat Nav, knew where she was going since I had no clue. The back roads (B roads) are twisty, turning and very narrow with no shoulder. The speed limit is 60 miles. I was hitting the B roads for the very first time. I am very sorry to any drivers who were stuck behind me. I felt like I was driving an out of control roller coaster. Once the road straightened out for a while I was able to drive 50. I was very proud of myself. I was turning onto roads that were so narrow that I was afraid that they were one way roads. I had to put complete trust in Gertie. Some roads were so small that they were lanes and others were even smaller than that and had no names. I drove past the signs telling me that the road was narrowing and that oncoming traffic would be in the middle of the road. I was a little worried about my brain cells being deprived of oxygen since I was holding my breath so much. I had no clue where I was so I just kept following Gertie. After what seemed liked forever, I saw the windmills across from the school. I was so excited. I had done it. Driven on those scary backroads all by myself and survived.

That journey had given me confidence: confidence that I could drive on the backroads and confidence in the Sat Nav. Where ever your journey takes you, enjoy and embrace it.