Sunday, September 2, 2012

Safe Home

I arrived back at RDU at about 3:00 pm on Saturday.  Hank was there to greet me after collecting my bag and going through customs. The flight was painless, on time and direct. I  read the new William Boyd Waiting for Sunrise which made the time go by on the eight hour flight.

The London part of the trip was greater than anticipated. I was able to see both Cambridge and Oxford, both beautiful university towns. Liz Dewar gets the award for best tour guide. Having a native show you around town is a great way to go anywhere. Liz was really helpful. She knew I was interested in books and always kept that in mind wherever we were. Of course, she also knew Steph and Jim were interested in pub culture so we saw the inside of a few of those, too. I couldn't have asked for a better trip. 

I am glad to be home and will use the next 2 days to readjust to the time and organize myself for getting back to work. Thanks for reading throughout the trip. Hope you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some New Friends

On Sunday, Steph, Lizzie and I took a train out to Cambridge to take a look around. It was a perfect day, sunny and bright.  Some of the pictures I've posted are from that visit. We walked around the University Colleges which were mostly closed. We went to Kettle's Yard and spent time walking through the house and gallery. The art collection is amazing. You could spend hours at the house enjoying the library and art.  

Later that evening we went to dinner at Jane Valente's home just outside of Cambridge on the river Cam. I can't begin to say how warm and welcoming Jane and her husband James were. The evening's entertainment was provided by our new friend Edward, Eddie to his friends. I can't describe this 10 year old except to say he had us all laughing and answering questions all evening. Here is an example of something Eddie and his sister Lucy put together recently.

The Ed Show: 11 Year Old Cooking Pro making Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins

Yesterday we spent the day in London exploring and shopping. Lizzie directed me to some wonderful book stores on Charring Cross Road. Books from many eras and genres are available in the shops. I made a few purchases and was particularly delighted to find the Pat Barker Regeneration trilogy.

This morning we got up and went to Westminster Abbey. It was one of the few famous London sites I was keen to visit. We arrived right at 9:30 when it opened and there was no line at all.  The abbey is even more spectacular in person than in film or photos. 

I have poor internet connection here so uploading photos has become challenging. This trip has been so full of fun and interesting experiences. I'll have lots of good stories to tell for a long time to come. The next couple of days will only add to the store of adventures and fun. Steph, Lizzie, Jay and Jim have been wonderful guides and travel companions here in London. We've had a lot of laughs and been to new places together. Neither Steph nor I would have ever considered that we would travel together like this when we were growing up in McKeesport, PA. How lucky are we?