Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Tuesday, February 25th, 1997 York, England

We’d planned to be up and out to breakfast early and do the laundry at the same time. Palmas was across the street from a Laundromat. Jim and I awoke earliest (usually we were the last ones up) and gathered the laundry and headed to the Laundromat. I had brought detergent with me from home and we had most of the change we needed. Jim went to get a newspaper and more change to do the drying. In the meantime, Randy and Patti arrived and they went to breakfast with Jim across the street. Barbara didn’t want breakfast. Jim brought me a cup of coffee as I didn’t want to eat! Trying to keep the weight in check and not start any new bad eating habits I said!

We all finished about the same time with Patti arriving in time to help fold the clothes. Barbara ordered a van to pick us up from the hotel to go out to the airport to get our car. It was a real challenge getting all our luggage into the van with the additional packages we were starting to accumulate from the shopping tours.

We arrived at the Budget car and then the real challenge began as we tried to get everything into our rented van. We managed (later we realized we should have had them take out the third roll of seats) with no inches to spare. Jim started driving with Randy in the copilot seat; all three girls in back. It was a real trick getting out of the airport area. Took us about an hour to do so. We went round a few times and hit the curb once or twice. But finally we were headed towards York...our destination for today.

Out on the highway we stopped for lunch at the Blue Boar, a roadside stop with a cafeteria…not ideal, but practical. When we got out of the car we saw that on one of the curb bumps we’d lost our front left hub cap! Oh well, at least no dents in the car. Since it was our first ever experience driving on the left, we felt we were doing quite nicely.

Arriving in York about 5 pm we found that finding a hotel was harder with five adults trying to give advice on which one to choose. After over an hour we finally selected Judge’s Lodging. It is an historical home made into a B&B with car parking! It was a wonderful choice. The owners were wonderful and Garth (the son) helped me with some hints about signing on to America On Line. He offered to let me use his computer as a guest. Very nice people. We put everything into our rooms. Not as easy as it sounds….no lifts (elevators). Jim and I were on the third floor! But the rooms were very charming. Turns out that many famous people have stayed here. A few American ones are: Rod Steiger, George Bush, Lady Bird Johnson, John McEnroe, Patrick Duffy, Johnny Mathis and more.

With some suggestions from Garth we started towards the center of town for some dinner and hopefully a Ghost Tour. Seems as though York is known to have the most Ghosts in England. We located another Italian Restaurant on The Shambles called Ristorante Bari and had a delightful dinner. Jim, Barbara and I all had Marguerite Pizza’s...basically cheese and tomato. Just as we were finishing we saw a Ghost Walk Tour group passing the window. We were able to run and join with the group. We’d only missed one story.

Another delightful young man told us ghost stories based on historical facts in about four areas of the old city. We learned about the Snickelway’s and Barbara jumped as he told one particularly spooky tale. It was the perfect reaction he was hoping to get from a least one of the people in the tour.

Just as he finished the rain began to come down ever so gently. We tried one pub but it was full of young, noisy smokers so we headed back to our hotel where we enjoyed a quiet room to ourselves with a roaring fire and dessert of ice cream with Grand Marnier liquor. Barbara settled for hot chocolate. By this time the rain was really coming down and we decided to settle in for the night.

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