Tuesday, October 25, 2011


October 25th, 2011 Chipping Norton

Barbara and I woke up at 6:30 am…slept through the night after we took the quilt out of the duvet cover and she used just the cover as a sheet. I got up thinking it was 7:30 am and she went back to sleep. Since I was up I started working on my journal and photos from yesterday since I didn’t get anything done last night. By 8:15 am…I woke the girls and by 9:00 we were in the breakfast room…open until 9:30 am. At breakfast I finished writing my blog and suddenly Barbara said to add the trip to the hospital so it was added at the end of the journal.

We hadn’t called anyone so this evening we called her husband and found out that yes…they are reading the blog and were anxiously awaiting the details. The best news is that she was able to tour the palace today…stiff, sore and bruised but ready to continue our trip. And, I left out the fact that with the medical system here in England…everything was totally FREE….yes…even the ambulance ride. Had they found injuries and she had to be hospitalized; then costs would be incurred under their system. Interestingly, the Para-medic said “bring your cash”….we thought to pay fees…he meant for the taxi ride home! They didn’t know at that time that we had a car. All’s well that ends well. My first time driving on the left side of the road since 2009 was definitely a “baptism by fire!”

Back to today…by 11 am we were checked out of the hotel, in the car with me driving and headed towards Blenheim Palace. Blenheim Palace is located northwest of Oxford in the city of Woodstock and is the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It is the country estate of the Duke of Marlborough. The grounds plus the state rooms are open for touring. Not as extensive as many of the palaces and manor houses open to the public but still beautiful and fun to tour.

We left the palace about 2 pm and then stopped at the White House Pub in Woodstock for lunch. I enjoyed one of the best BLT’s I’ve had in a long time. Since I’m driving no beer…I’d had two small glasses with dinner last night so was extra careful with my driving to and from the hospital. By 3 pm it was raining quite hard and we were on the road to find a hotel for the night. We were headed for Broadway…or so we thought…about ten miles down the road we decided we were headed in the wrong direction…a small clue were the road signs for Oxford…located in the opposite direction. Soon we were turned around and on the right road.

We pulled into the town of Chipping Norton and decided to check out hotels as it was now 4 pm and raining very hard. I parked the car and sent the girls to check on the hotel as I’d done the driving! So out in the rain they went…we found reservations at The Fox Hotel….rooms over a pub…very old but rooms have recently been redone. We got them for 50 pounds /for a double bed … my room…and 75 pounds for the twins. Nancy is sharing the twin room with Barbara tonight.

The rain stopped as we were taking the luggage into the hotel and we had a beautiful rainbow. So nice…we all repacked our suitcases last night and we only had to bring in two small bags for the night. We’ve got enough for three days in the small bags.

Off to the market next door where we picked up food for this evening and tomorrow morning before taking a long walk around the town. Hope you enjoy our photos. It’s been nice to have a longer evening in the hotel…we’ve gotten lots of housekeeping details done with the extra time. Had problems turning on the fancy new showers…finally went down to the bar to ask the clerk/bartender how to do it; and one portly gentlemen at the bar told me that he’d gladly come scrub my back with his brush when he heard my conversation! Something simple…there was a switch outside the bathroom to turn the water on.

So with wifi fairly good we’ve been able to check in at home and get the journal posted this evening instead of tomorrow morning. I am directly over the bar and the sound is coming directly through the floor. Good that I’d used to noise when I go to sleep. But, sleeping in B&B’s over pubs was one of our planned experiences on this journey. Hopefully the weather will clear tomorrow…then more rain expected on Thursday.

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