Home again, tired and happy

I was off social media during my trip last week. First, I carried only my phone, and that just to take pictures. Second, while in London I could not access my mail, Facebook, or Instagram. The clerk at the hotel said, when I complained that I could not get on their WiFi, that I needed a new SIMS card. So I went to an electronic store and a very nice young man inserted a new card and then told me I would have a new phone number and lose all my contacts. I said, “No, thank you,” and he put back my old card, no charge. Did I say he was nice?

Then in York, my phone “woke up” with a chirp the minute we entered the hotel. Instant access to their WiFi! I post some pictures and wrote a couple of emails to assure my family I was fine and having a good time.

Understatement — I was having a wonderful time, a fantastic time, a superlative time. Our guide was as informed as he was unflappable. No matter the emergency, he coped with humor and grace. Thank you, Stefan!

I saw so many historical buildings and cathedrals that my head is still spinning. I can’t

When asked what the E R stood for, the guide replied, “Elderly and Rude.”

tell  you the highlights as they were all highlights: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, York Minster … The replica of the Globe Theater (built by American Sam Wanamaker when he discovered there was no site in London honoring Shakespeare) … the London Eye. And yes, I did ride it, fear of heights and all. The views were awe-inspiring.

The Tower with all its bloody history (I did not go down into the dungeon. It was, frankly, intimidating) … Christ Church in Oxford and Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-Upon-Avon with friendly and knowledgeable guides … the play that night: “The Taming of the Shrew.” The roles were reversed with women playing the men’s parts and vice versa. Our hotel dated back to 1637! Creaky floors and winding corridors. No ghosts, though, I’m happy to report.

Edinburgh was everything I had expected. Our hotel was smack in the middle of the Royal Mile. I could have spent hours at the castle, but there was shopping to do! And yes, I did try the haggis. I sorta-kinda-liked it, but some of my traveling companions wouldn’t even try it.

Now I face the daunting task of sorting through my  pictures and trying to remember what everything was. It helps to have the itinerary at hand and check the date stamp on the phone camera to know which stained-glass window belongs to which cathedral!

I meant to write last week, but pulled into my driveway at 9:30 p.m. completely worn out. It took me two days to get back to speed. Jet lag is a real  thing, folks!

And I must also get back to my work in progress. I have missed my characters and I think, judging by the nagging in my head, that they missed me, too.






Leaving on a jet plane

I usually don’t post on social media if I am going away. I will tell about a trip after I get home, but don’t want to advertise that the house will be empty for a weekend or a week. Well, not exactly empty. There are three attack cats. They will attack the dust bunnies under the bed if they hear someone come inside. Honestly, they flee and hide if they hear a car turn into the driveway!

But last year I signed up for a home protection service and feel confident that if anyone tries to break in they will be sorry. I accidentally set off the alarm once and the shrieking siren just about broke my ear drums.

I said last week that I would be in Stratford-upon-Avon. That’s one of the stops. We fly out to London Friday (by the time you read this on Sunday I will be in London!) and will spend three days there. Then to Stratford, York, and Edinburgh.  I signed up for this tour two years ago and thought the day would never come, but now it is here. I checked the weather report this morning for London and know I will have to pack warm clothes. Their spring is like our winter. But that won’t deter me. I visited Austria in March and nearly froze in spite of my heavy coat and sweaters. The Mediterranean cruise was better, but there is a reason for those deck blankets. You need to bundle up.

You have guessed now that I travel in the off-season when accommodations are cheaper. It has just worked out that way, but I seem to take a major trip every 10 years, which means getting a new passport each time. I don’t renew because I don’t expect to ever travel abroad again, and then up pops an opportunity. And I never miss an opportunity to go somewhere.

Someone recently quipped that if you look as bad as your passport photo, you are too sick to go. My photo is terrible, but I’m not staying home because of it. I’ve got comfortable shoes, a light, but warm, jacket, and I’m ready to go.

I will be posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow:



I’ve been faithful about writing every day on my WIP, but next week I will be keeping a journal instead. That way, when I get home, I will be able to recall everything I saw and did.

Then, vacation over, back to the drawing board — er — computer!



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