October 24th, 2011 Burford in the Cotswolds
I woke up at 5 am and decided to enjoy some quiet time in the dark with my computer. The wifi in the room is working well and it is now nearly 7 am. I think I’ll wake the girls about 7:30 am so we can have a more leisurely morning in the breakfast room. Its moving day and the car service will be picking us up at noon to take us to the National Car Rental at Heathrow Airport to pick up our car that we’ll be driving for the next two weeks. No reservations for tonight as we are foot loose and fancy free for the next two weeks so our agenda will change as we go…..
Woke the girls at 8 am and managed to get to the breakfast room just before 9 am. Not as crowded this morning. Yesterday was a zoo with every table full and people waiting. We’d purchased bananas yesterday and they were a nice addition to our cereal before the full breakfast. I was the only one to eat everything; Nancy prefers just cereal and toast, Barbara has the English Bacon…much like ham…and makes a sandwich and I have it all except on the odd day when they serve baked beans instead of tomato…I’d love to have the tomato every day! But…I do pass on the toast and jam. You have to be down before 8:30 to get the scrambled eggs that were so good the first day…it’s a fried egg after 8:30 but still tasty.
Finished our packing after breakfast and about 10 am we walked over to the Paddington Station…a major train station for London and also a Tube Station. Explored the shops in the station and the girls enjoyed Krispie Cream donuts and hot chocolate while we were there. Soon it was 11 am and time to take our luggage to the lobby to wait for our driver. I popped out during that hour and took some photos of the nearby Mews…a tunnel through between buildings with delightful and colorful apartments inside. I also added a snap of one of the Estate Agent’s flyers on rentals in the area for the blog photos.
Our driver Mike arrived right at noon and we were off towards Heathrow Airport to pick up our car at 1 pm. A very pleasant drive, Mike was a charmer, spoke excellent English and made the drive go fast.
We picked up our car at National Auto Rental outside of Heathrow; we’d pre-ordered one before we left home. They tried to talk us into upgrading to a Mercedes when they discovered that Barbara had one at home but we stuck with our original order at one third the price! We have a White, Vauxhall Insignia 2.0. Large sedan with a huge trunk that easily holds all our suitcases.
Barbara took the wheel and I was the co-pilot….I’m still getting into the wrong side of the car…we’re in the country with the driver on the right side of the car! Barbara and I both have experience driving in England…thankfully we have an automatic and don’t have to shift gears with our left hand as well as concentrating on driving down the left side of the road! The co-pilot not only has to read the signs but also regularly call out “curb” when the driver is getting too close to the edge of the road! Lots of fun.
Our destination today was Broadway so we headed in the direction of Oxford. Used the ring road to bypass the city of Oxford and headed further west. The road took us through the village of Burford and we were so enchanted we changed our itinerary and after finding parking…which took forever….we started checking the hotels. They were all full except for the very expensive but Joe at Bull Inn sent us up the street…a long way up the street and a hill to boot…to the Cotswold Gateway Hotel. He said to tell them that Joe said the rooms should be 75 pounds for the single and 85 pounds for the twins…and they gave them to us for that! Half the price of several of the other hotels.
Nancy left to walk back into the village to shop and Barbara & I repacked her suitcases so that we don’t have to take the big ones out of the trunk for three days! I tried to get her to walk into the village but we drove and found that the tourists were gone and there was plenty of parking. We did take our umbrellas.
Joe’s Hotel didn’t serve dinner until 7 pm so we walked across the street to the Mermaid, a pub, and they started serving at 6 pm. I had the special of the day: pork, apple and cider pie…delicious…looked like a soufflé when it arrived. Barbara had fish and chips and Nancy had a great ham and cheese plate with apples and salad. Two beers (short ones) for me and we were ready for home and bed.
As we walked to the car Barbara spotted a WW II jeep on a flatbed…you’ll enjoy the photos. Nice to have the car in town…it was beginning to rain as we left.
Nancy and I went to our room and Barbara to her room. She was to start her shower and I was coming back (we’re upstairs) with my computer to spend an hour with her. I had just returned to the room when I heard a crash in the bathroom; Barbara had slipped and fallen from the tub to the floor. Scared me to death! I couldn’t move her…she was on her back at an angle in a very narrow space. I called the front desk and they came and decided to call the para-medics. I heard her calling them and she told them that Barbara was about 50 years of age! She was shocked when I told her Barbara’s age. Anyway…the para-medics arrived in minutes…there were two of them and two RAF medics who got her out of the bathroom, on a back board and off we went to Oxford’s John Radcliff Hospital…about half an hour away. They were great and made sure we were following in the car all the way. It was raining and Nancy was a great co-pilot for me…yes…I was driving…amazing how fast it all comes back when you need it.
We were at the hospital for about two hours. The doctors checked her out…x-rayed her right hand and released her…bruised and sore but okay. It was a long drive home in the rain but we did it. It was very dark on country roads without street lights. But by midnight we were home and going to bed. I stayed with Barbara through the night in the double bed and slept until 6:30 am this morning. It was a long day. Today we’re headed for Broadway after visiting a castle.