Return to Cobham England

Trip Start Jun 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 19, 2010

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Where I stayed
Catherine and Dave's House

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, August 15, 2010

8/15/2010 Sunday
I (Sheila) took a picture of the townhouse in which we stayed for three weeks. We rose, finished getting organized, the Cobby came and we loaded the mini-van and we were off to the airport.  The Cobby was very chatty and we were able to understand every third word!  We did discuss Gaelic Football and Hurling because there was a big match in the afternoon.  We arrived at the airport, checked in and had time for breakfast.  If I (Sheila) ever see baked beans for breakfast, it will be too soon!
Our flight on Ryan-Air was delayed by a half hour and our gate was switched twice!  We finally got on the plane and everything was fine.  We arrived and Dave and Connor were waiting for us and we drove to Cobham.  It was fun to see Ryan and Connor who have both grown since we had seen them three weeks ago!  We gave them their presents from Ireland - for the boys, Gaelic Athletic Association (football or hurling)  and for Catherine, a Celtic designed scarf from Trinity College.
We talked with David and his kids in Idaho on Skype and they were fine.  We had dinner,  watched TV and went to bed.  A simple day but still exhausting.

8/16/2010 Monday
Catherine took the boys to football (soccer) camp at 8:30 and we rose at our leisure.  Skip was ecstatic about the water pressure in the shower.  It was the strongest shower he had had since Scotland.  He said he felt like taking another half hour. 
  Catherine and Skip went out to Sainesbury to do some shopping.  Prior to that we made plans to have dinner in an Italian restaurant in Kingston upon Thames, a nearby town.  Ryan said that they have an interesting child's menu, which meant that it was limited and not very informative.  Sheila and Catherine took Magic for a walk in the early afternoon. On the walk is a bridge that goes over the River Mole.   They they picked up Ryan and Connor from soccer camp which is held at their school, the ACS International School.  This school has a 128 acre campus including soccer and rugby fields, softball and baseball diamonds, an all-weather Olympic-sized track, tennis courts, and a six-hole golf course.   Plus a 25 meter swimming pool and a huge indoor basketball/volleyball courts.   Skip stayed home and read and napped for a short while. We all met at Jamie's Restaurant in Kingston; Dave arrived by train from London and we drove from Cob ham.  Jamie Oliver, the naked chief of TV fame started this chain of restaurants and their menus are meant to reflect his creative focus in cuisine.  Dave had ordered an antipasto, which was served on a plank set on two cans of tomato puree, meats, cheeses, olives and a small carrot salad.  The orders were diverse and the food was good.  I was aware of how late people tend to eat in the UK and Ireland, because we arrived at 6:30 pm and it was easy to get a seat and at 8:15 pm the lines had started to form and the bar was packed with young people.  We left, watched some soccer and went to bed.

8/17/2010 Tuesday
Catherine, Skip and I went to Buckingham Palace.  While the Queen is in Scotland at Balmoral in the Highlands, she lets the public tour the state rooms of Buckingham from the end of July to the end of September.  We had purchased tickets on-line, took the train to the City, then the Underground and walked to Buckingham Palace.  There were lots of people waiting for the changing of the guard and we just walked through them and picked up our tickets and went into the Palace.  We went through a metal detector which did not pick up my metal hip which was very surprising as I have had to be personally searched at every airport!  The tour is nicely paced so there is a steady stream of people but not hordes!  We all were given audios and we walked from one one amazing State room to the next.  The Throne Room was impressive and so was the picture gallery.  One cannot take photos but I do have a book if you want to see it.  After the tour we went into a temporary pavilion housing a Cafe where we had a sandwich.   As we walked down the stairs on our way out there was this nice looking lamp with a little crown on top - do you see it?  I took a few photos of the gardens on our way out.    
We arrived back at the house about 2:30 in time for Catherine to pick up the boys from their soccer camp.  Skip and I cooked a chicken, potatoes and carrots and Catherine fixed a salad.  We watched TV and went to bed.

8/18/2010 Wednesday
Skip went off to play golf at 7:30 and I went back to sleep for another hour.   Skip played the Drift Golf club for the first time.  Dave had been a member there in 2008 but with his hectic schedule for work and work related travel he never had an opportunity to have enough time to play golf.  It is a parkland course with very narrow tee areas and while shorter in overall length, the hazards were such that you had to lay up shots or be in serious trouble.  The greens were very different from the other courses in Scotland, Ireland and others in the Cobham area.  They were tight turf, with some depth that made them play very different.  The density of the greens did mean that they did not get impacted as much as the other greens which then had to be repaired.  The starter and other players were friendly but not story tellers.   I rose and showered and Catherine and I got in the car to go to a nearby town to have tea.  It turned out being harder to find and went we finally arrived in this cute village, the tea place was closed!  So, we cam back home and Catherine went off to the school for a welcome picnic for the new people.  Skip was here when we arrived back and he went upstairs to take a nap and I sat down to read.  After an hour, he took a shower and we started to repack our stuff for our journey home tomorrow.  By then, Catherine returned with Connor, Ryan went to a friend's house and we caught up with each other's days.
  We enjoyed a pizza night and had a relaxing evening, with some of the packing completed.  Dave had to fly out early so we extended our thanks for hosting us and wished him well on his business trip.

8/19/2010 Thursday
Took a leisurely morning and completed the packing for our trip to the airport.  Ryan and Connor just left for their football camp with Catherine.  We will go early to Heathrow Airport to avoid all of the potential last minute chaos.  We certainly have enjoyed the trip and the opportunities we had to see new places and revisit some that we had seen before.  The time with Ryan and Connor, Catherine and Dave has been very special for the both of us, however, we both are looking forward to getting back home to Greenbrae.
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