Kelly Sipe


Kelly Sipe

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London June 29th 2015

A city that never sleeps, nor do its occupants that stay on Earl's Court :). Outside our flat it is very noisy all night long. I woke up with my 'cranky pants' on (that's what Reagan calls it) ... migraine, neck-ache, etc. Things started to get better when Dad arrived back from his early morning walk with a selection of French pastries from a bakery down the street. We then hit the ground running and I think we set a record..... seeing the most London sights in the least amount of time. London is huge and has so many areas, each with their own unique flair. We saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the beautiful parks - Hyde Park, Greene Park- theatre district, Regents Ave (so much shopping!!!), the Tower of ... read more
Regents Street
On the River Thames
Tower of London

Europe » United Kingdom June 28th 2015

We said goodbye this morning to the beautiful countryside and headed to London. Martin, our driver from our first day, drove us to London. He was a great guy! I asked him if we could stop to get a quick bite to eat at the half-way point. (It was a 3 1/2 -4 hour journey). Martin said, "Sure, I'll stop at the next rest area.". I was a bit deflated, thinking ... "Um, a rest stop is not really what I had in mind.". Let me just say that England does rest stops RIGHT! There were a variety of foods offered, 2 coffee shops (with couch seating), a bookstore, children's play area, a baby nursing and changing room (an entire, decorated room), massage chairs, shops, fresh flowers, grocery store, and freshly made food served on dinnerware ... read more
Infront of pub - London
Deciding factor on which pub to visit
John's Ale & Pie pairing

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Exeter June 28th 2015

Due to inconsistent internet access, I lost my previous writing :( again! To recap - We spent our last full day in Devon in its capital city of Exeter. Exeter is a great metropolitan area with a beautiful cathedral and large courtyard at its center. There are shops, street musicians and artisans that surround the cathedral area. We had our typical afternoon tea, which we will greatly miss! Not just for the delicious, melt-in-your-mouth scones with clotted cream but also for the pause that it allows for. A pause that requires nothing from its participants except for presence. It allows for conversation and reflection. I did not see people on cell phones or using digital devices. It was good ol' conversation at every table, on every day. After a day of sightseeing, we came back to ... read more
Sand sculptor
Family photo

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Plymouth June 26th 2015

Today was the first day that we've had rain. It was short lived but we got soaked! Once the cloud passed and the sun came out, the day was beautiful. We spent the day in Plymouth. Plymouth was destroyed (bombed) during the Battle of Britain. Children were abruptly tagged and evacuated. Those children who did not have family to go to were essentially given to strangers in a bidding war. More about this at a later time. Today Plymouth is a large city. It holds the Mayflower memorial (where the Pilgrims sailed from) and an extensive WWII memorial that lists thousands upon thousands of names. We did a great deal of walking around the city and had a nice lunch in yet another pub. It's a running joke that John has wholeheartedly embraced the culture. He ... read more
Sutton Harbor
Mayflower Memorial
Sutton Harbor

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Widecombe-in-the-Moor June 26th 2015

A couple of great days connecting with family, under sunny skies and amidst breathtaking scenery. Each town in Devon, England that we have visited has a prominent veterans or WWII memorial. The effects of the war over here were far-reaching. There are so many individual stories to hear. Yesterday made for an enjoyable 4 hour ferry ride from Poole, UK to Cherbourg, France. The water in the English Channel was glass. Renting a car is less intimidating, as they drive on the 'right' side of the road. On Utah Beach (Normandy) there is a memorial with Grampy's LST listed. That is powerful, and personal. As the week begins drawing to a close, it is getting more difficult for me to recap my day in a blog because there is so much to process and I'm not ... read more
At the top of Haytor
Sunset in the moor

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Dartmoor June 23rd 2015

We toured and shopped in the village of Ashburton. We paid our respects to my cousin, Daniel, who sadly transitioned from this earth at the young age of 18. I will always remember his bright eyes, his smile, and his gentle, fun-loving spirit. We had lunch at a lovely garden café in Ashburton. Visually it was quaint and attractive. As you ate your lunch, surrounded by fragrant shrubs and flowers, bunnies and cats frolicked. Dogs could be seen in restaurants, outside cafés and shops. After lunch, we headed up to the Moor, which I vibrantly remembered from my last visit. Wild ponies, sheep and cows dot the landscape and are not inhibited by visitors. The moor is a spiritual place. The landscape is a bit craggy and not as green, yet equally as beautiful with an ... read more
Warren House  Inn Free House
Pub 2

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Dartmouth June 22nd 2015

We went to the picturesque seaside town of Dartmouth, where Dartmouth Naval College is. This town is very charming. It was within this port that so many ships sank. There were so many sunken, scattered ships that it was said you could walk across the harbor from one side to the other without touching the water. It makes it hard to imagine considering the breathtaking images (and homes) I saw lining the harbor today. John used up his entire camera battery taking photographs. There were hundreds of worthwhile images to capture! No matter where we are each day, come the afternoon we stop for afternoon tea. John has thoroughly adopted this tradition. He enjoys the full experience, complete with scones, clotted cream and jam. Reagan has been a trooper through her jet lag, no naps and ... read more
Customary Tourist Photo

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Torquay June 21st 2015

Today's entry will be short and sweet. I have a lot to process tonight. I'm not sure I could write eloquently about the day just now. We were privileged to get a private meeting with Dean Small whose father spent his life recovering an American tank off the coast of Slapton Sands, that sunk during Exercise Tiger. He built the memorial that stands today. Ken Small wrote a book about Exercise Tiger, that we got copies of today. It was surreal to meet Dean, as viewing him on his website was one of the first legs of my journey. I never thought I would actually have a personal meeting with him. We learned a great deal of history today. After speaking with Dean we walked along the coastline, which is 100% rocks -- smooth, colorful, patterned ... read more
Slapton Sands
Beach front

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon » Newton Abbot June 20th 2015

I continue to be confused by the amount of daylight we are getting. We feel as if it's only 3:00 in the afternoon because at 9pm it is still bright and sunny out. Hence, Reagan is still awake at 10:30 pm again tonight. Today was a busy day that filled itself with memories. I started the day feeling overwhelmed by all that I wanted to see, do and accomplish and the limited amount of time I have to do it in. So we decided to take a break in our weekly planning and head out on an adventure. Our first stop of the day was to Dartington Hall Estate and Gardens. It is a medieval stone house with a twentieth century garden on a 1,000 acre estate. "In 1925 Americans, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, bought the ... read more
Buckfast Abbey Church
Dartington Gardens

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon June 19th 2015

We had a hired car and driver take us from the hotel to our cottage rental. Five minutes into our drive Martin, our driver, asks "I just have to know your story. I'm trying to understand why American travelers would be staying in a hotel on the outskirts of Southampton (There wasn't much there besides our hotel and Peppa Pig Park, which was a 15 minute walk from the hotel.) and hiring a car to an old dairy barn in South Devon. That's not the typical American tourist route.". I was so excited when he used the term "I want to know your story" which was the premise of my sabbatical paper. I was happy to share my story and the purpose of my trip with Martin. Martin was able to share some his perspective of ... read more
The Manor House
a bedroom view

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