United Kingdom · 15 Days · 17 Moments · June 2018

Al's journi to United Kingdom

16 June 2018

It’s Saturday 6/16, our last day in UK. Breakfast was only continental with hot croissants and fresh cut fruit. Headed to Heathrow at 9:40am to return car. Our flight leaves at 14:45 British airways to Phoenix. Avoiding toll road was a bit hectic as it sent us through ring road around London. Finally got to Heathrow at 12:10pm to drop off car. Waited at club aspire lounge. Chat with Sam from Ghana. Then headed home via Phoenix. Arrived at 5:10pm, went to club x at PHX. It wasn’t very big. Then to SNA at 8:08pm

15 June 2018

It’s Friday @The Tower Hotel in Lincoln. Across Cathedral. Breakfast was ok. Roy had full English, I had kippers w/perfect soft boiled eggs. Checked out, got pictures with Dave, the cook, and Finch, the young waiter. Chris checked us in yesterday. Walked to Lincoln Castle, but not opened till 10am so took pictures & went shopping. Walked down steep hill to High Street, row of thrift stores. Bought an Ermes manual clock, hair brush set. Finally found my size, bought a bunch. Roy picked me up at 12:10pm & headed to Cambridge. Lots of traffic on highway until exited. Arrived @ 2:30pm @ Arundel Hotel. Not friendliest people. room 311. Checked in & walked Cambridge to see colleges. Cambridge has The most of all cities in UK & Cambridge has oldest building in UK. We couldn’t get inside any of the Colleges, not open to the public. Thank goodness nice day to walk around. Saw Kings, Queen’s, Corpus Christi , Pembroke,St. John Colleges. There were lots of river gondolas. Had Indian delivered

14 June 2018

It’s Thursday 6/14th and we’re at the Mount Royal Hotel in York. Nice selection at breakfast. I had fish cakes and Roy had eggs Benedict. It was delish. Then walked out to York Minster. It was really windy. Overcast. Roy exchanged pass he bought and it incl Cathedral, city sightseeing bus and river cruise. I shopped a bit then we stopped for fish & chips. Sat upstairs. Then off to sightseeing bus. Exit to see York Minster in sun, then walked to cruise stop. It was 45mn. Then off to get car at Mount Royal Hotel to drive 1.5hr to Lincoln, our hotel for night. It was beautiful sunny day so by the time we got to the Tower Hotel in Lincoln, checked in and walked to Lincoln Cathedral and got perfect pictures with blue sky in background. The streets and shops are so cute. We walked around the Cathedral and on way bk to Hotel, Roy got Thai food. Room above Restau/bar so really noisy in our room with window opened. Roy fell asleep after dinner and all quiet after 11:15pm since bar closed.

13 June 2018

It’s Wed 6/13th & woke to sunny skies in Edinburgh. Left apt @ 9am for drive-by Castle tour. 1st stop, Kelso Floors Castle, arrived 10:30am. Home of the 10th Duke of Roxburghe. No pictures allowed. rooms were gorgeous decor. Bird Room had beautiful white owl & a few condors all intact & beautiful. Next one was Bamburg Castle by the sea, It’s on top of hill and a great view of the ocean. Stopped by Seacliff Golf Course for a picture of the ocean and the town. next one Alnwick . Parked & asked an old couple to take a picture. I took more when Roy parked & walked to the Bridge for more beautiful view of the Castle with the river at the bottom. Then Newcastle Castle. Small Castle but right next to a very nice bar, The Red Room. Really comfortable fancy bar inside with leather couches. Next to the Vermont Hotel. Then off to Durham Castle. Kids event Durham Dash was on same day. Ate@ Bells Fish & Chips. Delish. Had Currant licorice ice cream. Arr Mount Royal in York @8pm

12 June 2018

It’s Tuesday 6/12th had breakfast in our apartment. Watched news about Trump meeting w Kim Jong Un. Amazing history. Then headed out to pickup City Sightseeing tour red bus. A 10mn walk from out Airbnb. It was overcast and cold when we headed out @ 9am. Did one ride & back to apartment for Roy’s jacket & coffee break. Then back out, off @Waverly, walked to National Art Gallery square . Then back on bus to Georgian house. It’s across from Charlotte Square. Nice house with decor inside. Then off to Edinburgh Castle as the sun came out. It was high up and gave us a great view of the city. Walked through St Margaret’s chapel, war memorial, and saw Crown Jewels. Off to St Giles Cathedral. Walked inside to see stained glass, Picked up sightseeing bus at St. John’s Cathedral and did one more rounds since the sun is out. Gorgeous sunny day after all. It’s almost 5pm and we decided to pickup pizza and carrot and coriander soup for dinner at Tesco. Did 2 loads of laundry. Early bed at 10:30pm

11 June 2018

It’s Monday and we’re at the Moorings Hotel at Fort Williams. Breakfast =grilled kippers. It was delicious. Had with toast as croissants were super dried.them went outside and there were 3 boats at the Caledonian canal lochs. It was so neat to see as they move the boats from one level to another. Didn’t leave until 11am because we wanted to watch them sail off on the other side. Heading to Oban via A828. Stopped at Oban Distiilery at 12:30pm. Roy had a taste and I went shopping. Left at 13:30. Drove through gorgeous green landscapes, water was still, no breeze but nice and cool. Passed through various touristy towns. So much traffic through Glasgow. Got to Falkirk Wheel At 5:15pm thought closed but opened till 5:30pm. Got to see the wheel turn once. Really cool to see how you can go up river 35m through a swing. Then drove 4 miles down the road to see the Kelpies, 2 giant metal horse heads in the middle of a bunch of small canal locks. Left at 7pm, To head to Edinburgh

10 June 2018

So quiet AM from our room at the Waterside, in front of River Ness.breakfast was great. Continental and hot breakfast @8am. Then walked down the river to see Inverness Castle. Last night we decided to head up to isle of Skye so we left at 10am to go see Loch Ness. It was overcast and intermittent sun. First we stop at Urquarte Castle. Gorgeous view of castle from entrance. Not much of the structure is left but super crowded, especially at gift shop. It was beautiful lake like water and can see the Isle of Skye across. Met Bob and his wife from Yorkshire. He was super funny. Hung out there for a bit as it was so beautiful. Then drove 3hrs to Porter on the Isle of Skye. Gorgeous drive full of mountains, green everywhere, water and yellow flower bushes. Got there about 4pm, walked around Porter then off to our hotel at Fort Williams.

9 June 2018

Saturday @ Hilton Garden Inn. Up at 6am for breakfast. Out @ 8:50am to Stirling Castle. It was cloudy when we got there @9am but when done @ 11am, clear blue sky. Gorgeous day. It’s the Queen’s official birthday so there’s a 21 gun salute @ noon. This Castle >100 years old & built by King James V. He married the King of France daughter but she died when he brought her to Scotland. Then he married another French noblewoman, Mary de Guise. He had this Castle built with exterior statues to show his strengths. Visited Doune Castle where Outlander was filmed & Monty Python too. then stopped at thrift stores in Aviemore as MacAllen distillery’s closed on weekend . Got a mini Wales bone China bell+ London cup + a Gaelic hand made vase. Then to Colloden Battlefield where British fought Jacobites. Gorgeous sun@ arrival. Then to Waterside Hotel in Inverness. Dinner @ Saffron Indian restaurant. Finally Fresh naan!Delish. Asked for waterfront room. Got large honeymoon suite. Gorgeous& worth £160

8 June 2018

We’re at the Hilton Garden Inn right on the river and this huge semicircle bridge. Just finished sending pictures. I’m up to Bath. Time to go to sleep. Up about 8am and headed to breakfast. All set to see Glasgow on the city sightseeing bus. They stopped every 10mn so very easy to hop on and hop off. It was overcast in AM but then gorgeous sunny day. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was gorgeous, it was right next to University of Glasgow. Stopped in Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. We had to return to hotel for tickets to Cathedral but then turned out we didn’t need it. It was great to take pictures from the open bus. Then saw Sichuan Restaurant so tried it. We had fish Kung Pao and Mongolian lamb . Best Schzewan we’ve had . Then Mohammed was our Uber driver back to Hilton. Watched planet of the apes movie and worked till 2am. Then went outside to take pictures of the Hydro at night, all lit up.

7 June 2018

Up at 5am and read til 6:30am. Left Bull & Stir by 7:35am, before loading zone parking limit. It was clear and sunny. Drove to Currall’s Bakery for meat pies. They’ve been there for 88 years - lots of reviews online. They were still hot and delicious. Then off to Sizergh Castle, to see the gardens. We didn’t go inside only gardens were opened at 10am. It was small and beautiful. They had this huge lily pond with swans & Ducks that used the lily leaves to hop from one spot to another. Arrived at almost 3pm to Culzean Castle by the Atlantic Ocean. Got to tour inside, nice decor. Garden was plain. The drive was absolutely gorgeous...so green with sheeps and cows grazing. Roy decided to take the lake road, which wounded thru mountain areas of Scotland. Lots of vacationers.

6 June 2018

This is Wednesday 6/6th. Woke up to gorgeous sunny ocean view from our room window. To breakfast, buffet, with gorgeous view. Headed out about 9:15am to Devils Bridge. Gorgeous drive through so much green hills, sheeps, saw a couple of hawks. Arrived at noon, walked to see it. Small waterfall so didn’t climb down. Drove to Caernarfon Castle. Much was still there. Climbed to top of many of the towers and got a great view of the surroundings. Gorgeous weather, like a typical Laguna Beach. Then drove to Bodnant Gardens ... gorgeous flowers and tall tall trees. Left at 6:45pm to Bull & Stirrups in Chester. Arrived at 8pm. Our room is super cute and all new with AC!! Headed straight to 9 Elephants Thai restaurant. Totally booked but told Eddie that we came from California so he got a table for us. Menu has fancy names for dishes we know.
This is Tuesday 6/5th. Left Bath apartment at 7:15am after quiche breakfast. Drove to Wales, stopping at Cardiff Castle. It was very cloudy and cold. It was ok. One main Castle with only 2 floors and another tower but mostly ruin. There was a bunch of French kids touring there too. From there we headed to Pembroke Castle passing Tenby. Then to st. David cathedral by 2:30pm. It’s gorgeous sunny now. Then to Cardigan and our hotel The Cliff Hotel and Spa. It’s gorgeous right by the sea. We checked in to room 133 then headed to Abdul’s Tandoori restaurant. It was delish. Met his daughters and Abdul, the Chef. Walked outside our hotel for sunset at 9:34pm. Back to room and sleep at 11pm

4 June 2018

Woke up late 8:30am@after another 1am night. Headed straight to Roman Bath at 9:30am. Overcast and cool. So interesting to learn about the hot springs that Romans came for. Then walked to Royal Crescent and the Circus. The architecture here is mainly what they refer to as Georgian style. Had breakfast at Boston Cafe. Shopped at thrift stores and Tesco for dinner stuff. Totally relaxing day. There are musicians in the middle of Bath Abbey. Walked back to Roman baths to get pictures with sun. Had dinner at apartment. We’re totally cracking up about church bells ringing constantly from 8-10pm.. not sure why.

3 June 2018

Sunday 6/3rd. Another middle of night wake up. Roy up @5am sat out deck by river @Duke of Wellington guest house. I got up @7:45am, English breakfast, not as good as Sturdy’s. Left @ 9:44am to Broadway Tower. overcast so didn’t climb it. Then to Snowhill to see Charles Way collection of 22k mostly handmade in UK then to Sudeley Castle. An old castle, now privately owned. It was ok, there were only a couple of rooms to see & garden was ok. Had picnic lunch outside entrance with goodies @ Bakery on the water. The French bread was delish. Then to Chedworth Roman Villa. Gorgeous green English countryside with sheeps along the way. Got there 3pm. Left around 4:30pm and headed to Bath. Met up with Charlie to get keys to our apartment. Apartment is so cute. 1 bd/1ba in center of Bath, 2mn walk to cathedral. Settled in, walked for an ice cream and back to apartment. We were both still tired so watched a documentary about Queen Elizabeth balmoral Castle & Les Dawson Ate in & relaxed

2 June 2018

It’s Saturday 6/2nd and were at sturdy’s castle - got up at 3am... then back to bed at 4:30am. Up at 7 to get ready for breakfast. Had English breakfast with pancakes. It was delicious. Then off to Bleinhem Palace. It was unusual when we got there because the Love to Tri event was on so there were tons of people there for blood cancer triathlon. The palace was where Churchill was born and is buried close by, drove through the Coltswolds, Chastleton House, where we walked amongst sheeps, House was left as is and there was a mini set of playing cards. So funny, I walked out from the entrance and lady asked if I was ok because the exit was at the other end of house. Then to Hidcote Manor & Garden, it was beautiful flowers, then headed Burton-On-the-water, cute small tourist town. Stayed at Duke of Ellington, small room, room overlook by the river
This is still Friday at 6/1st . We left Windsor Castle about 4:30pm and headed to Oxford University. Arrived at 6pm. Was raining on and off. We walked to Christ Church, Balliol College, Merton College, Trinity College and Radcliffe Square. Loved architecture of buildings. They’re so old Shppped At Tesco for groceries.Left about 7:30pm and arrived at Sturdys Castle at 8pm Room was nice but no AC. Worked until 1am to clean up accounts.
Left Thursday 5/31st from SNA at 11am. Through Dallas Ft.worth to Heathrow. Centurion lounge in DFW was packed. Had ribs with turnips coleslaw. It was delish. Arrived 10am London time Friday AM. Headed straight to Alamo, got car really fast then out to Windsor Castle by 11:30am. Got to Windsor Castle about 12pm. Was so glad Roy bought tickets ahead so we didn’t have to wait in that long line!! In the sun!! It was so nice to see where just 2 weeks earlier Prince Harry and Meghan got married. It was on and off sun and wasn’t too crowded. The inside of St. George Chapel was amazing. The ceiling details, the wood carvings and the stained glass was gorgeous everywhere. Then off to the state Department section where they were more like inside Castles, with rooms and official areas for dignitaries and government functions.