Joined June 2017
  • Day10

    Cycle trip @ an encounter with Superman

    July 3, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Today we cycled to Port Judith (don't know how many miles but it took 40minutes. I suffered. Pete and Annette had gone on an earlier ferry. I had a puncture and Pete was the only one with equipment or know how. I cycled the whole way with a flat tyre. It felt like I was pulling a trailer. I was miles behind everyone and felt really miserable. Several lovely people spoke to me. 2 guys cycled with me for a while commiserating and supporting. I recovered somewhat on the ferry trip which was breezy and lovely. Pete met us at the other side, Block Island and we went to the bike shop where a new inner tube was fitted and off we went to join the others at "the poor people's pub"
    We had a lovely lunch and then set off again to have a cycle around the island. This was a bit of a mistake as it was by now 33 degrees with no shade. For me a really fierce heat.
    Sue and Gill turned back to the town for a walk about and I wished I had joined them. We made it to the north end and Pete & Annette walked to the lighthouse but Robert and I were worried about the big hill we had to get up on the return journey so we set off back. The fierce sun was burning the back of neck so I put on my sun hat, then my cycle helmet on top. Not pretty but effective.
    On the way back we reached a beach with changing rooms so we both had a welcome swim and met up with the others for the ferry home.
    Of course after the return ferry we still had a long cycle home. Gill had a mishap and her chain came off. Superman immediately appeared and fixed it for her. He is our hero of the day. He appeared from nowhere and disappeared just as fast. He was also tall and exceedingly handsome
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  • Day9

    The Wedding

    July 2, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    The wedding was at a beach club, half the deck was under cover and half exposed. It was grey and breezy but comfortable. We had all enjoyed getting ready with the help of a bottle of prosecco. The ceremony was outside and quite different to a British wedding, less formal and more personal. Emily's dress was beautiful and very her. We then had canapés which were tuna, scallops, chicken, and crab cakes. Mikes brother gave the first speech followed by a very amusing speech by Thea and lastly a witty and irreverent speech by Pete. This was all followed by a great buffet. Clam chowder, clam stuffies, deep fried clams, portobello mushroom sliders, lobster slider, chicken slider. This was all followed by strawberries, berry coulie, chocolate brownie and cookies. The food was amazing. We danced the night away and walked home tired and happyRead more

  • Day7

    Trip to Newport

    June 30, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    Big trek to Newport involving a 45 minute walk to the bus, change of bus and 1.5 hour journey to Newport. We then walked for 1/2 an hour to the start of the cliff top walk. A great walk along paths and rocks past some huge mansions. Same journey home except Mike gave us a lift from the bus stop, for which we were hugely grateful. Only an 8.5 miles walk but with the travel to and from seemed a lot longer.
    Graham and Pete both enjoyed a refreshing swim in the sea. I was chatted up on the bus by a man who was bordering on special needs and we nearly froze with the excessive air conditioning on the bus. Despite these challenges we had a really good day.
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  • Day6

    Lobster & a singsong

    June 29, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    I admit we moped about a fair bit this morning, coming to terms with our lot but by evening we put on our glad rags and off we went to a welcome dinner organised by the grooms mum.
    We were collected by minibus and driven to Westerley to a local brewery. We met Mikes family and friends and ate lobster, mussels, clams and chicken. This was followed by chocolate brownies, cookies and water melon. A really lovely meal and plenty of local wine and beer. It was a lovely idea to meet the grooms family before the wedding.
    On the way home on the minibus we sang mostly Leeds United and Yorkshire songs giving a loud rendition of Ilkley Moor Ba'tat.
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  • Day6

    Not the best

    June 29, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Two Amtrak(train company) employees were killed in Washington. Our train was consequently 2 hours late. We eventually arrived in Narangansett to find that the rented house on a fabulous street was bordering on uninhabitable. Shock, disbelief, anger, disappointment. This is the week of 4th July holidays. There is nowhere available in town, we have to stay here.
    After a visit to the local Benny's we had purchased 2 inflatable mattresses and the stores whole stock of coat hangers. The landlord eventually came over and replaced one of the mattresses and agreed to return tomorrow to fix the shower.
    We met up with family, ate at a local restaurant with plenty of wine and returned to make the house as hospitable as possible for our first night in Rhode Island.
    It can only get better. Surely!!
    Unfortunately this soured our arrival although we were still delighted to meet up with our Australian family and meet Mike (the groom).
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  • Day5

    Last night in New York

    June 28, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Some people here are huge. Reading the breakfast menus tells us why. Everything with brown sugar, honey and maple syrup, all at once. Yesterday we found a self service diner for breakfast. It made me so happy to have the right breakfast for me.
    We all know Americans don't drink tea but not having a kettle in the hotel room seems uncivilised. I am so missing having a cuppa in the morning and evening.
    Street food rules during the day here. We walked down a street heading for Times Square which was bumper to bumper food vans. People come out of the office to a wide choice of street cuisine.
    We ate at Ellon's Stardust Diner. All the staff are Broadway wannabes, so very theatrical, waiters singing from the musicals. We ate our meals whilst singing along to "grease is the word" and songs from Frozen. The food was good and all the dishes had theatrical names.
    It had to be done. A trip up the Empire State Building. It never disappoints. A beautiful clear night. Words cant quite capture the magnificence of the New York skyline.
    I was practically asleep walking back to the hotel. Another good but tiring day and evening in New York. Tomorrow we leave for Rhode Island
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  • Day3

    Me and Lady Gaga

    June 26, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We all slept well enough ready for our first day in New York. Big breakfast, we ordered healthy enough food but had not anticipated the huge portions. Fruit, granola and yoghurt sounds light but the fruit and granola came in big enough bowls for one portion to feed all of us and we three sisters had ordered the same each. We left as much as we ate. Rob managed his fried breakfast no problem.
    We took the subway to the World Trade Centre and visited Ground Zero. The monuments are stunningly beautiful.
    We then walked through Wall Street to Battery Park and had lunch on the harbour overlooking the Statue of Liberty. After lunch we walked along the promenade under sweet smelling mimosa trees, past the little marina mooring multi million dollar boats and boarded the water taxi.
    We cruised down to Brooklyn bridge, around the Statue of Liberty and up past New Jersey to the Hudson River Park. It was a fabulous trip, seeing all the iconic landmarks from the water.
    After disembarking we got on a bus up to Central Park where we met Easy (easy like Sunday morning) and his sidekick Alex, who cycled us around Central park in their tut tuts. Easy's (fantasy) girlfriend is of course Lady Gaga, so we were entertained by his wit and anecdotes as he guided us around the park. They were both knowledgeable, witty, charming and fun. Their love of the park and New York was beautiful and infectious. Easy encouraged us to be proud and confident and behave as if we own the place. On Easy's recommendation we walked into The Plaza as if we lived there($9000 per night) and enjoyed a cup of tea and a rest before walking back to our hotel for a brief rest before eating out locally.
    A full and thoroughly enjoyable day.
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  • Day2

    Travel to the Big Apple

    June 25, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    An early 4.30am start to get us to Manchester Airport for our morning flight. We had a very healthy breakfast of fruit, muesli, yoghurt and croissant and boarded on time. The plane was unusual in that the seats were in 2's. so Sue and Rob were in front Gill and I. We were in very high spirits and much giggling and silliness ensued until we all settled into the flight. The time passed easily as we laughed and chatted, ate and read and watched the worst film ever made. I definitely don't recommend "Manchester by the Sea" miserable rubbish. We were all using the Australian Bush Flower travel essence which entailed taking 7 drops every hour throughout the flight. This should help protect us from any imbalance from travelling and reduce the effects of jet lag.
    We (Me and Gill) liked the toilets. They were in the middle of the plane, down a flight of stairs and grouped together in a little bay. It meant no queuing whatsoever and there was enough room to practice a bit of yoga.
    The taxi into Manhattan went down Broadway into Times Square so an excited feeling around familiar landmarks. The Hotel has an impressive lobby but the rooms are small and tired looking. No room to unpack.
    Having been up so early although early evening in New York our bodies knew it was really midnight so after a couple of happy hour drinks we went in search of food and ate in a bar/ diner called Harry's Bar and had a good meal at a shocking price.
    Wending our way back to the hotel we came upon a little unfolding drama outside Macy's. the road was cordoned off, a bike was lying in the road and a car parked at a funny angle so we assumed a road accident. The streets are so busy and noisy. Hope we get a good nights sleep.
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  • Day1

    American Family Adventure

    June 24, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Just relaxing on the train from Glasgow to Leeds. It's the first stage of what seems like a major trip to the USA. my Australian niece is marrying her American man and the wedding is providing an opportunity for a family gathering.
    The plan is 3 nights in New York with Sue, Rob and Gill and by train up to Rhode Island where we meet up with Pete and Annette to stay in a rented house for a week, other family and friends will be in 2 other houses.
    Sue and Rob coming from Spain, me from Scotland, Gill from Leeds and Pete and Annette from Australia. Agreeing on all the logistics and bringing it all to fruition has made it feel like a major event. I am relieved to be on my way and no further planning required.
    It is no longer possible to open windows on trains so the Ribblehead photo is a bit grainy being taken through the window.
    What a wonderful journey this local train is through the Yorkshire Dales. I remembered from a previous trip the fabulous ice cream so I asked the trolley lady for one and she said she didn't have it on the evening run. Later in the journey she came and asked where I was getting off saying she would try and phone ahead and get an ice cream delivered to the train at Settle and what flavour did I want. I chose the black currant delighted at the care and service. Unfortunately she was unable to get a phone signal so I didn't get my ice cream but it didn't matter I enjoyed the fact that she tried.
    At each station I am moved by the people mainly parents seeing off their family. Much kissing and silently mouthing "I love you " as the train pulls out. There seems to be a lot of love on this line.
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