June 29, 2007
“Pork Bellies Please!”
We made it out of London. We have a lovely brand new Peugeot station the wagon. We took off and within 2 blocks almost had an accident…driving down a dead end lane! OMG….so after that while Scott had his head buried in a map and we missed our turn onto the expressway and 1.5 hours later we are on the motor way to Bath. We actually got the hang of driving on the “wrong side of the road” rather quickly.
We had a fabulous time in Bath! It is gorgeous, charming, the quintessential English town. This was our first experience trying to obtain a room without a prior reservation. I was very tense about this. We tried three places that were full and I was ready to have a heart attack. We also arrived in Bath the day before the University had graduation ceremonies and the place was filled! Well, on our 4th try we arrived at the perfect B&B…they had the family suite available. It also had free parking and was in the perfect area, not in the center of town but close enough for us to walk. It was so
charming, a good price for England and our hostess Marion was nice and knowledgeable about the town, plus the beds were to die for! Relaxation was setting in!!!
Our second day in Bath we must have walked 10 miles. (Sorry Justin the walking gets worse.) We toured the Roman baths and hot springs dating back almost 3000 years. We went on a walking tour of this very historic city and concluded with my favorite….a visit to the fashion museum…highlighting high couture for the last 600 years, including shoes!!!!!!!!! We walked along the Avon River and watched the local kids playing their cricket games. The rain had stopped and it was so nice. The boys loved checking out cricket…as they had never seen it before.
Our good friend Steve is from the S. Devon area of England. He recommended we visit that area. Scott decided that after Bath we should blow off the Cotswalds and visit Steve’s recommendations. So we packed up and got in our BRAND NEW car and headed south. As side note, while packing to leave California, I got out our old duffle bag that served 14 years ago as Scott and mine our only piece of luggage on our first trip to Europe. I took 4 beach towels and put them in. Scott complained bitterly…”we don’t need those….they take up too much space….we can’t have 5 bags.” I ignored him and carried on. So driving down to Devon my GATE student, Justin is reading on the curvy roads. He will admit I told him 9 times that reading while riding in a car is a recipe for disaster. One hour into the trip he says “I don’t feel well.” Two minutes later…yes you guessed…barf everywhere! So much for the new car smell….and thank god for the towels! Scott admitted that we were smart to have them as they will surely be used again.
Well, that didn’t dampen our day. Within minutes Justin was better and we all had a mild laugh. We drove through Darmoor National park. It was amazing. It reminded me so much of reading the “Mists of Avalon.” I imagined Druid priestess on the moors. It will be with me forever. The boys (all 3 of them) loved hiking through the moors and climbing rock formations. It was a highlight of our trip. We stayed on a farm that night with a lovely British gal and her mom. They had a Golden retriever named Poppy and we got our Clover fix.
So…pork bellies what’s that about? Well that night in Whitcomb-on-the-Moors, we were in the pub having dinner and my husband ordered the roasted pork bellies. I was like….you’re going to eat pork bellies? He looked confused and said he ordered roast pork. I said yeah…bellies!! He turned green. When they arrived….he turned greener. He tried to put the best face forward, took a bite. Only Justin can mimick the face! Will then asked for a bite…and another…and another until he cleaned the plate and Declared I loved them. Ok….for all who know that Will eats nothing and lives on air….WILL BELLIES AND LIKE THEM! He has been eating everything in site. It is the weirdest thing!
Anyhow, we are in Canterbury and leaving England today. We loved it here despite paying double for everything and the rain! The boys are at the park that is designed as a castle with the Canterbury tales theme while I write this. We head for the ferry in an hour and off to Belgium….the chocolate country…it could be better than the shoe museum!
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