Andy & Kathy's Excellent Adventure

here's our PLAN

here's our report:

Saturday June 2

weather-wise we've made the right decision.
Our flight Saturday morning was delayed for almost an hour.  The pilot told us that they were waiting for a part to make certain that one of the engines stayed attached to the wing.  He said that matters of safety have top priority at Britsh Airways.  I don't think anyone on the plane disagreed with him.  It was a pleasant flight.  Kathy was in Business class and I was upstairs on our 747 in coach.  After having breakfast (Mixed Grill - scrambled eggs, English bacon, sausage, fruit, blueberry break loaf, roll and OJ) and a quick nap I went downstairs to visit with Kathy in business class.  Luckily she was in the center section (3 seats) without anyone in her row.  Half of business class was empty.  I sat next to her for the next 3 hours or so and was even offered a business class meal.  I declined but I did have some of Kathy's key lime pie and helped myself to some ginger cookies and OJ in the galley.  With 30 minutes left until landing I went back upstairs to my seat.

Getting through customs and getting our bags was quick and easy.  Picked up some Britsh pounds at the Travelex Bureau de Change with a guarantee that they would buy back up to £195 from us when we return.
We found Sara (not Beate) waiting for us with Peter our driver after we breezed through customs.  Peter drove us in a posh Mercedes to the Runnymede Hotel & Spa.

for 4 days and 3 nights.

Sunday June 3
"Decompression Day"

On Sunday afternoon Kathy and I walked along the Thames from our Hotel to visit the Magna Carta memorial and a JFK memorial about a half hour walk away.  Sunday morning we walked around the town of Egham. Saturday evening we had dinner on the patio (a "barbecue" buffet) with the other meeting attendees.

Monday June 4
"Down to business"

While Kathy schmoozes with the sponsors,
Andy checks out the local color.

Monday I tried to find a golf course that would take me ("Do you have proof of your handicap sir? -- I have a USGA card -- That will be fine sir").  Unfortunately they were all booked or hard to get a hold of.  I left a message at one course at 7:30 and they didn't return my call until 10:30 when I was out of the room. So Monday afternoon I took a taxi to Old Windsor and toured Windsor castle (photos actually taken by me there).
Monday evening the group took a 3 hour tour [he said that in all seriousness - ed] up the Thames and had a wonderful dinner served to us.
Don't worry,  is fine.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Andy's birthday present needed to be installed.

Lots of crimpimg and taping later...

Washer, lock washer and nut seem to be missing from kit.
Call Crutchfield, "Just skip that part, unless you'll be doing lots of off-roading"
Well, I don't know where Andy will drive to next, so it's off to Shattuck's.
12 cents later 

2:45 including phone call and trip to hardware store.

The weather in the US was perfect today...


Tuesday June 5
"Moving day"

Hello from the Runnymede Hotel & Spa.  It's Tuesday morning and I've just finished breakfast with Kathy.  She's now in the Endobronchial Meeting with the other 19 or so participants of this meeting.

Yesterday when I perused the printout of the plan for this trip (formerly I realized that the phone number for the Wytchwood B&B was not on the web page I printed.  Well this morning I'm in the business center at the Runnymede Hotel typing on a Compaq PC they're letting me use for a few minutes.  Now I've got the phone number and the proprieter's name and can call her up and let her know that we'll be arriving in Teignmouth (pronouced Tain-mouth) at 18:31 tonite.  The conference ends around 1PM and we'll be having lunch in the Leftbank restaurant here at the Runnymede Hotel.

[To]day we had fun with trains.  We were dropped off by another of the posh Mercedes drivers at the Egham station early and just missed the 2:28 train.  We caught the 2:54 train which stopped at a station after about 25 minutes.  A passenger on the train said this was the end of the line for the train and we had to get off and wait for the next one for Reading.  10 minutes later we board the next train and 15 mintues after that we're in Reading.  We've got about 20 minutes until our train for Exeter leaves and we find that it's coming in on platform 4, just over from where we came in on platform 4a.  We watch a train depart with the 1st class car at the back.  The next train that leaves has the 1st class car the the front.  Which end should we wait at?  We decide the front end.  Wrong choice since that's not first class.  Lugging the luggage around we decide to lump it and sit in coach.  About 50 minutes later the train stops at Castle Cory (Cary?).  This was not a scheduled stop.  The conductor comes on and tells us that there is a problem with a switch up ahead and that there will be a delay.  Passengers are permitted to leave at this station if they want to.  The delay turns out to be 45 minutes so we'll missed our connecting train in Exeter.   Checking Russell's handy dandy timetables it turns out there is a train leaving Newton Abbey at 7:13 and we'll be arriving there at 6:50.  So instead of getting off at Exeter we get off at the next stop Newton Abbey.  We board the 7:13 going back eastbound and the next stop is Teignmouth.  In front of the station we find a phone and call our hosts at Wytchwood.  Jack Brown says he'll be there in 2 minutes and sure enough he is.  The trip up the hill to Wytchwood is quick and Kathy and I are a bit lost already.  Jack shows us around the place and tells us where we can get a good dinner in town a few blocks from the train station.  Armed with Russell's map of Teignmouth we easily find our way back to the train station and then to the Drake Hotel for a very nice dinner.  Then it's back to the B&B for a little television (the news including a lot on the elections which are on Thursday).  Bedtime.

Wednesday June 6
"Exploration day"

Hello again.  It's AJ (and Kathy) here in the public library using one of the computers (£1/20 minutes).  We got a bunch of laughs looking at the website.  By the way the pronunciation is tin-muth, not tain-mouth here at the mouth of the river Teign (pronounced teen for obvious reasons).

Wednesday morning we have our first English breakfast from our hostess, Jenny Brown.  Jenny tells us that Jack will be driving to Dawlish (next town up the coast) later that morning and that we can have a ride.  We depart with Jack at about 10:15 and are dropped off in Dawlish.  We walk along the ocean on the seawall between the beach and the railroad tracks.  Lots of trains pass us as we walk to Dawlish Warren.

Down on the beach we explore a large hill we think is made of standstone.  All along the coast are reddish brown cliffs that show the effects of erosion.  The large hill has an interesting hole through it which lets you view the village of Dawlish Warren.  We hike up to the top of the hill and have a nice view of where we've come from and Dawlish Warren.
We continue along the coast to Dawlish Warren and hike in a nature reserve that sticks out into the Exe River mouth towards the town of Exmouth (ex-muth).  After our hike on the nature reserve we head up the hill nearby to the Mount Pleasant Inn for some lunch.  After lunch we check the train schedule for a return train to Teignmouth.  It's over an hour until the next train so we take a quick walk back (no dawdling this time -- only takes about 35 minutes) to Dawlish and pick up the train there and poof we're back in Teighnmouth.  We explore town a little bit more and stop in at Naughty But Nice for some Apricot & Orange cake for me and tea for Kathy.  Afterwards while walking in another part of town back towards Wytchwood I spot for the Public Library where I find a computer to type this E-mail.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Russell plays the role of surrogate uncle

"Hey little girl, want some ice cream?"

Thursday June 7
"The adventure continues..."

Today we went to Plymouth to see the place the Pilgrims last steped before they boarded the Mayflower. There were plaques
there for other departures (Carribean, New Zealand, Australia, etc..). Plymouth was a great place to leave and move to other parts of the world from.
In the afternoon we went to Totnes and toured the Norman Castle there.

Friday June 8
"The Muppets take Manhattan"

Today we visited Exeter, the county seat of Devon.  Spent a lot of time in the Prince Albert Museum learning about the area's past.
Visited the cathedral and then went to Barnstaple.  Had lunch and a quick tour of the local castle remains and now we're in the library.

Saturday June 9
"The chimes of Big Ben"

Took final pictures of Wytchwood.
Took train to London.