Epilog & Reflections Thursday, October 8
After 3 weeks, 2300 pictures and 800 miles by car, we are home and can reflect on our trip to England and Wales.
We whisked through London and many of its sights, had a brief view of Oxford and Blenheim Palace, and spent some quality time in the Cotswolds where we actually found a pleasant afternoon walk. Wales with its bilingual road signs (ARAF means SLOW) was where we explored the amazing Trefriw Woolen Mills where the raw wool from the sheep goes through the entire process and the final woven cloth is the finished product.
Sometimes traveling can be tiring - especially when driving on unfamiliar, narrow, stonewall-lined roads where the obstructions are only inches away from your mirrors. Parking the car and leaving it was a real vacation and that's just one reason why we loved being with Caroline and Ed in Somerset. They are such gracious hosts and showed us many of the nearby sights in Wells and Bath. Having home cooked meals was a real treat. However, seeing them was the best treat of all!
As we headed to the Cornish coastal towns of Mevagissey and St. Ives, we got to see the rolling countryside. Tom was amazed at the amount of farmland since his impression from the Sir Winston Churchill speeches - "..this rock.." was that the land was just barren stone. Tom also had an observation on the cost of things. There are no Pound Notes, but Pound coins (about the diameter of a US Quarter, but thicker). Vending machines only accept the Pound coin. So a bottle of Coke is a Pound (or more). It seems the money in coins has lowered the intrinsic value. Maybe that's why we still have "George Washingtons" rather than "Susan B Anthonys."
At home it has taken us three days to stop waking up at 4, 5, or 6 in the morning. We had our first American meal of steak, baked potato and corn on the cob on Friday. Things are beginning to look a bit more normal, but we'll always remember our adventure and exploration of the country that has had so much historical influence on our good old USA. Finally, the next trip outside of the U.S. and Canada will be with Classic Journeys - we've had enough do-it-youself in foreign countries to make us appreciate their quality!