Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Wife and I are back safely on this side of the pond after two weeks of traveling in the U.K. and France. We were with two different couples, but all six of us were together only three days in the Cotswolds of England. 

Every time I take a trip like this, I learn new things, or re-learn old things, for example: 

-- When one tries to cut corners to save money, one often gets what one pays for, which on this trip was demonstrated by a rental car abandoned roadside in the Cotswolds, rented from what one might describe as a fly-by-night operation. When I was supposed to be hiking the Cotswold Way, my travel companions and I were dealing with this. But lemonade (or ale, more accurately) was made from lemons as my buddy and I found a splendid little pub in the charming town of Winchcombe to wait things out. 

-- With international travel the way Wife and I do it, making our own way (or the way Wife has planned for us; I could never do it on my own), one must be flexible (see previous reference to abandoned rental car) and expect the unexpected. 100 percent of the time, plans will change. 

-- Wife is an outstanding travel planner. She can drive and navigate, and I am the grateful beneficiary of her skill. 

-- I find the majority of people to be kind and helpful, no matter where they live. That's encouraging. 

-- While Wife and a couple of my friends are capable of driving in a foreign country, including one where driving is done on the side of the road opposite as in the U.S., and roundabouts are the order of the day, I should always be a passenger. I have neither the skill nor the patience, and I am glad I know this about myself. 

-- The people in the U.K. loved their queen! I guess I knew this, but witnessing the outpouring of affection for her, especially in Scotland where she passed away less than 24 hours before we arrived there, was nothing less than awe-inspiring. 

There were more lessons, but these were the main ones that remain top of mind for me. I'll post more about the trip, along with some pictures, in the next few days. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


Wife and I will be taking a trip we have been planning for quite some time. 

I have longed to return to the Cotswolds, the region of beautiful rolling hills in central-southwest England, since visiting there with Wife and Daughter in 2013. I have also wanted to go to Scotland. 

Wife, since going to northern France in 2016, has wanted to take me there, especially to Normandy. 

We will board a plane with our ultimate destination being all of the above. 

We will fly into Edinburgh and get on a train bound for St. Andrews, where we'll join another couple from here who will be a day ahead of us. We'll be in Scotland for about six days before we take a short flight to Birmingham, where we'll rent a car and make the drive to Stow-on-the-Wold, which will be our home base the few days we are in the Cotswolds, with our time there ending with a day trip to Oxford. 

Another couple will join us in Stow and will stay with Wife and me the remainder of our trip. The first couple, the one we will join in St. Andrews, will part company with us after our last day in the Cotswolds, and go to Ireland. 

The remaining four of us will take the Eurostar across the England Channel to Paris and head north.  

As usual, Wife has planned this excursion. I, along with the ones joining us, will be the beneficiary of her organizational skills. 

I'll look forward to sharing some pictures at a later date. 

And in the next 30 days or so, I hope to be making an announcement about my future column writing and blog writing. The newspaper column is very likely coming to an end, but I hope to continue it in another format, possibly combining it with the content of this blog. Still looking into all of that.