Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ding Dong, Ding Dong

I'm staying in Bakewell, England, in the Peak District, for a wedding.  This 800 year old parrish church is nearby in the village of Ashford-in-the-Water.  Now, remember, Columbus arrived on the shores of North America about 500 years ago.

The Bellringers

These folks had to pull hard to ring the bells announcing Paul and Heidi's wedding.  What history there was in this old, old church..........800 years old is hard for my little doggie brain to fathom

Uh-Oh, Pictures Ahead.....Say Cheese

Looks like it may be a moment before the wedding party is ready.....

That's Better.....Picture Perfect

Paul Evans, fellow surfer and writer (Surf Europe), and his beautiful bride, Heidi Russell, shared their special day with good friends and family.  I was so happy to be included! 

Step Back in Time

The perfect setting for a wedding....quiet and charming, a setting that would take your breath away!

The Typical English Village

Churches are scattered all over the English countryside with graveyards that look like this.  Did you notice the homes in the background.  The residences, all with chimneys, are usually made of stone to keep out the winter weather.  Ashford-in-the-Water is a little north and west of central England almost in the heart of his island country.

Mother of the Bride

Heidi's mom, Eleanor, was so very happy on her daughter's weddng day.  She posed with me next to the Sheepwash Bridge which was said to have been built by invading Roman soldiers over 1,000 years ago.

Farewell to Bakewell

I loved my stay right in the middle of this little English town which is famous all over the country for its pastries called "Bakewell Tarts",  so much charm, so many interesting sights, so many kind English folks, so many new friends to make!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting Comfy at the Saracens

I am in the arms of David Donavon in the King Charles Suite.  He is the owner of this quaint and very old hotel in Southwell, England, in the heart of Nottinghamshire.  It's pretty posh!

Naptime, Anyone?

Yes, The King Charles Suite is quite comfy.  Can you imagaine such a fancy bed?  Nighty, night!

Oh, the View, the View

I delight in looking out windows that touch the floor.  This one in the Saracens Hotel is perfect!  I could peer out through the ivy all day long!

The English and their Plants

Strolling through Southwell was heaven.  I loved this little garden shop and all the healthy greens arranged so beautifully.  Too bad I couldn't take one home with me.

Looking for the Perfect Dress

I was lucky enough to share the day in Southwell with two good friends, Nikki and her sister, Bernadette.  We were looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress.  I had fun!!  This shop was super fancy even though the dresses were on consignment and had come in from all over England.


Wow!  I was surrounded by Cinderella's ball dresses.  Did Bernadette ever find the perfect one for her daughter's wedding? Not that day!


Bernadette, driving on the right, remember we are in England, and Nikki, and me leaving Southwell after a whirlwind day of shopping and sightseeing, but still no fancy dress.

Sharing the Day with Friends

I am so grateful for friends, and my Mom.  Laughing, talking, and spending time together with people who care about me is what I love the most.  Nikki is on the left next to Bernadette.  That's Mom and me in the back seat.  What a wonderful day we had in the English countryside!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Uh, Oh, I had Better be Patient

Heading out to Nottingham.........and, believe me, these signs spoke the truth.
Whenever you are traveling abroad, make sure you check the status of public transportation, especially on the weekend.

Central England, Here I Come!

I love the train the best!  Riding the rails is in my first adventure was on a train.
I am on my way to Robin Hood the East Midlands.

High, Ho, Robin Hood?

Whew, to step back in time is to visit this famous city in the East Midlands, England.  It's just a short 127 mile train ride from London.  It was cold there......make sure you bring a jacket and a sweater, even if it's summer!

Privileges of the Politically Connected

Elle and I are standing in front of the Lord Mayor of Nottinghams's car, a fancy Jaguar.  He'll never get a ticket because that's one of the benefits of being the leader of the city.  He can park anywhere!

Lifting My Spirits

Looking at beautiful flowers, trees, shrubs makes one feel has proven it!  I loved this planter in Nottingham.  Doesn't it make you feel better right now?

A Castle is Just a Big, Stone Fort

I am about to enter Nottingham Castle.  I love being in England because I can see and experience life long ago.......Medieval this case.

The Road to Robin Hood

Look at that craftmanship.  This brick pathway of Nottingham Castle was built more than 1,000 years ago!  500 years before Columbus reached the New World.

The Original Robin Hood

So what do you think?  Was Robing Hood real or fiction?
Go to this site and find out for yourself:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Rail in London

Yes, I am back in London..........and, oh, how I love the train stations in England.  This one in Liverpool Station is clean and well-lit, and look at the architecture!  

Take a Sniff

Although dogs usually don't like bread, I do, because I not a usual dog.  These offerings were typical of the bakeries in London.  The English love their pastries, bread and biscuits (known in the U.S. as "cookies").

London Bridge?

No, that's not the London Bridge over the Thames (pronounced Tems) River.  Look at the following photo and learn this bridge's name!

A Closer Look

We are coming upon the Tower Bridge.  This is one of London's oldest bridges completed in 1894.
40,000 people cross this iconic structure everyday on foot, in cars, or on bikes and motorcycles. 

A New Paint Job for the Tower Bridge

When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Silver Jubilee, the bridge was painted red, white, and blue in her honor (before that it was green).  The drawbridge opens about 3 times everyday to let ships pass through as they sail the Thames River.  The two structures between the towers are pedestrian walkways.

Uh, Oh!

This is where you don't want to enter by boat.  It is part of the St. Thomas Tower next to the Tower Bridge (for which was named).  In London's past, if a subject was sent to the tower, and came through this entrance by boat, he or she was considered a traitor and usually never came out again.


Local Sightseers

These young men in their prep school uniforms were on a field trip to St. Thomas Tower.  They were so well-behaved, but you can tell by their looks that they didn't know what to make of me!

And When Visiting London.......

One of the best ways to tour the capital of England is to take a boat down the Thames (remember, it's pronounced Tems).  I encourage you to visit.  If you take your grandma, she can get a senior discount on the trains and public transportation.  Just tell her to bring her passport to the station to get her discount card.  It's a minimal fee.  Mostly, tell her to relax and have fun!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Ruins at the Rivermouth

Gabe Davies and Lauren McCrossen live in Tynemouth in northern England close to the Scottish border.  It's a surfing town, but you had better wear a very, very thick wetsuit, even in the summer.  There are ruins everywhere, everywhere.....forts, castles, monasteries, huts, churches.....the list goes on and on.


It was very cool and windy in June and I was shivering a little as I looked towards the River Tyne as it flowed out to the North Sea.  Make sure if you visit there in the summer, you bring a winter coat!

And off the Beach

Just steps to the water and surfing waves, Gabe and Lauren and their cocker spaniel, Coco, have a huge garden across from their apartment.  It's theirs to use.......rented from the Duke of Northumberland.  The Duke has property all over England.

Dear, Dear Sandy

Here I am with Mom and my very good friend, Sandy Kerr.  He leaves Tynemouth in the winter and comes to visit me on the North Shore of Oahu because he loves to surf.  He's in heaven when he's in Hawaii....the waves, the sun, and the warm trades put a smile on his face.

Oh, Goody!!!

Yum, Yum, Yum..........milkshakes, smoothies, AND dogs welcome.  This is my kind of shop!

Mom's Favorite Place to Be

Yep, there are flea markets and swap meets and farmers' markets all over the world.  And if there is one in a town where I am visiting with Mom, she will find it. we are.  Mom's smart......she knows how to shop and get a bargain.  I guess that's from living in Hawaii for 40 years.  You'd better be a good shopper there, the cost of living is ridiculous!

Yummy, Yum...Mary's Cupcakes!

I love flea markets that serve up pastries, but I won't eat too many of these!  Promise!

Bargains Galore

So.....when visiting Tynemouth, make sure you make it over to the train station on Sundays and hit the flea market.

Put on Your Sunscreen

I am at a spectacular beach in Tynemouth called's sunny and cool, and absolutely gorgeous.  This stretch of sand is popular year round with all the locals and has been for generations.  It's a destination and it was my destination.  I have loved every minute of my adventure here in northeast England on the North Sea.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Northern England.....

I love flowers.  They make me happy.  I am in my friends' garden close to the Scottish border.

A River with Soul

The River Tyne has a long history........the headlands were settled during the Iron Age, it was occupied by the Romans, and has been used in recent years to transport coal from Newcastle to the sea. 

David and Moira, My Wonderful Hosts

I was so happy to make friends with this fabulous couple.  They took me all over their city of Newcastle upon Tyne to show me the sights. We are standing on a walkway above the River Tyne at Sage Gateshead, a spectacular concert hall.

A Fine Arts House

I was treated to dinner, a poignant documentary about the River Tyne, and Northumbrian Pipe music and dancing at the Sage Gateshead.  Lucky me, I have many wonderful, generous friends.

Oh, How Lovely

This is a stained glass window in David and Moira's beautiful home.  It took my breath away with its simplicity, motif, and colors.

Right Up My Alley

Because I am a "green" dog, this room at David and Moira's intrigued me.  It's in the middle of the house on the second floor.  It's a laundry drying room and the toastiest room in their home.  They line dry lots of their clothes.  Saving electricity and energy is good for them and the planet!!  Keeps the CO2 level down.

Back to Mom's Roots.......West Cornforth

This is the town, near Newcastle upon Tyne, where Mom's great grandmother was born.  David and Moira took us around looking for evidence of the past that might connect Mom to this town in northeastern England.

First Stop......the Local Library

I just love libraries......for so many reasons.  This one in Cornforth, County Durham, was small and quiet and had a great children's section.  The librarian was so helpful and directed me to the historian of the town to see if Mom could backtrack and find information about her great grandmother, Ruth Luce.