The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I think I tend to be more like Mrs. CO on this one. When I'm on a trip, I want to SEE ALL THE THINGS! DO ALL THE THINGS! I don't travel much, so when I actually do get to go somewhere, I want to experience everything!

My husband is more like CO - he likes to take his time a little bit more, and he likes to spend more time sitting in the hotel room, relaxing, reading, that sort of thing.

Usually when we go somewhere, I'll find an activity that I want to do that he doesn't (like horseback riding or anything involving heights), and I go and do that while he hangs out in the hotel room and has his relaxing time.

Neither of us is big with scheduling - I usually have a list in my head of things that I'd like to do on a particular trip, but I don't usually plan things out to the hour or even the day. When we went to Banff a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to see Lake Louise, do some hikes, and go horseback riding, but that was as far as it went - we didn't really plan when we'd do those things, so we just did them as we felt like it.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Well, to start off, I think she's definitely feeling at least partly responsible, because she's been fairly nice and pleasant the last few hours. :)

Here's the weird thing: 20 years ago, we were exactly the opposite. I wanted a full schedule, eat standing up, and take no prisoners. She always wanted a beach holiday or a pool holiday.

When that changed, I don't know, but it changed.

LaT - you're right about hotel versus cottage. While I can hang out around the hotel, it's hard for the wife. A down day would be:

Short walk to wake up
Breakfast at the hotel
Another walk
Tea in the bar, read, surf internet, find place for lunch
Walk/short drive to lunch
Walk around wherever the restaurant is
Afternoon drink in the bar
Research place for supper
More walking
TV
Supper
After-supper walk
TV
Nightcap
Sleep

She's never comfortable just hanging around in a hotel.

I know most people I talk to IRL, they're go-getters, and vacation is for doing and exploring and discovering. I felt that way 20 years ago, but now it's for eating, walking, and sleeping. :)

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:54 pm 
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Ok, the formal schedule for today:

Breakfast in the room, out the door, heading for Bourton-on-the-Water (where cream teas go to die, aka "The Venice Of The Cotswolds").

Little quirky car emergency on the way. I started the car (digital display), and where it would normally display a big number for the mph, it had a running timer (28 hours and some change). I guess if you wanted to see how long it took to get somewhere, you'd use the timer.

Well, that's no good, I like the mph display.

I pulled over at the next pulling-over spot, and the display had a little check mark icon to stop the timer, so I looked around for that...nothing. I figured I must have bumped something by mistake to flip it to the timer, so it should be easy to flip back.

I looked and looked, nothing. I checked the owners manual on my phone, and this is what it said:

"...to disengage, follow the instructions on the display."

Well, that's helpful. :?

Time was wasting, so on we drove, but I started to feel my eyes drawn to the timer, kind of like the guy in Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. Pretty soon, all I could see was...THE TIMER!!! Ticking, always ticking...OH GOD MAKE IT STOP!!!

We got to BOTW, and the wife looked at it and said, "Hit menu...then arrow...then arrow...once more...now menu again...there."

Ok, smarty-pants, how did it get that way to begin with? I sure didn't hit menu-arrow-arrow-arrow-menu by mistake the day before!

Anway, walked around BOTH, which really is quite pretty, and just enough tourists to ruin every picture. You'd see a completely person-free scene, nice stream in town, pretty houses, trees, take out your camera, frame it, and...here comes some jerk and his butt-ugly wife, and they can't just walk through your shot, they've got to stop, look around, start walking, making you get that camera out again, then stop and go back. Fuckers! :x

We stopped for a cream tea, and that was good. I got a kick out of an ancient gal in there with (probably) her granddaughter. She was half-deaf, so she was loud, and she said the funniest things.

First, she started loudly reading the sayings on the wall:

"Oh look, Shelly...'Smile and the world smiles with you...that's really true, isn't it, dear? If you smile, then someone else will smile, and so on, until the whole world is smiling. Isn't that nice?"

The way she gave a lecture on a simple saying made me laugh.

Then, it got better. Shelly was speaking softly, so I don't know what it was about, but this is what I heard:

<mumble mumble>

"No! Not with Mrs. Fell?! Never!"

<mumble mumble>

"He can't have! She's so *untidy*!"

<mumble mumble>

"Well, you won't catch me talking to him! Not after that!"

:lol:

Left BOTW and headed for Broad Campden, had a beer and a disagreement, then down multiple single-track roads back to the hotel.

This is our last night at this hotel, checking out in the morning for two nights at the airport Hilton before flying out, so we wanted a nice dinner.

We picked a pub we saw on our first day in, on another single-track road, called the Green Dragon Inn. It looked like slightly upscale but pubbish. It boasted locally-shot pheasant (we've seen upwards of 17,000 pheasants since we've been here), and included the warning that the pheasant might contain the odd bit of buckshot, so beware.

My turn to have gammon, egg, and chips and the wife had a sirloin steak. The food was a bit better than ok, but the desserts really made up for it.

The wife had banoffee pie, but this was a spectacular version, very deep, rich, homemade caramel and I had a ginger pudding with warm custard sauce on top (and all over).

Sigh...

Cool/annoying thing: we ate in the bar, which was beautiful, and right after we sat, in came about a dozen guys from a day of shooting. Knee britches, matching vests, socks, the whole bit. Neat because, does it get more British than a pub full of shooters, annoying because they were LOUD! And this was the *second* time this happened (the other was the unfriendly lot at the Falkland Arms in Great Tew).

It was all made better when a woman came in with her wolfhound. He was a treat.

After all that, back to the hotel, then I legged it the 15 minutes down to Sainsburys to take out some cash, then back again, and here I am.

Oh, we drove through Chipping Campden, it's also picture postcard perfect.

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"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:02 pm 
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I'm still tossing up what to do for vacation next year. This is making me want to fly to London, rent a motorcycle, and ride off to the Cotswolds for a week ...

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:15 pm 
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^^^ The roads are good for it. You could also go to the Watsonian sidecar company and get fitted out for a very expensive and unique sidecar!

I forgot to mention, I bought a Harris Tweed bucket hat, a wool blend medium-weight jacket, a blue and white reversible wool blend scarf, and a two-cup Brown Betty teapot with infuser. The wife also got a 100% wool scarf and a mug that says, "I'd rather be on holiday."

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"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Location: UK
^^ If you keep your mouth closed, you'll look more English than Miss Marple!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:14 am 
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^^^ Back when we lived here, when I was in the US Air Force, my coworkers gave me the nickname of "Sub."

At first, I couldn't figure it out, but then they clued me in: a couple of weeks earlier, we'd come back from a holiday in Scotland, and I was showing everyone snapshots, and there was one of me in a checked tattersall shirt, olive drab walking trousers, a wax coat, and a tweed hat.

One of the guys took a look at that and exclaimed, "Godamn, you're a straight-up bloke! You've gone straight-up bloke! Good job, Nigel!"

Straight-Up Bloke=SUB=Sub. :lol:

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"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:36 am 
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Here's where we ate last night:


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"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown
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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:09 am 
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Well, we've made it to the Doubletree just outside London Heathrow. I think this is the Hounslow area.

It was a decent drive over/down. Started the morning with cereal from Sainsbury's. We had to use the bathroom glasses for bowls. Sainsbury's has plastic plates, plastic saucers, plastic cups, plastic wine glasses...no plastic bowls.

We decided to take the more leisurely A40 over to Oxford, instead of the more direct A419 to Swindon. I think we both secretly wanted another stab at seeing what's left of RAF Upper Heyford, and this route put us about 20 minutes away, so we did that.

It was, as expected, somewhat sad. Really, the best days of our lives were at Heyford. We liked our jobs, we liked where we lived, we had plenty of money, we were young and thin, no kids or pets, and we were living the dream.

Now, Heyford is part what looks to be an industrial park and part housing estate, and still being actively developed.

I think what put the lump in my throat was seeing all the new construction, not recognizing things for a second, then catching sight of one of the old airbase buildings. Once that happened, it's like the whole base rose from the rubble: "There was the CBPO! That was the hospital! That was where the entry gate stood!"

I was similarly affected the first time I went back to Plattsburgh after the base closed. Just depressed. I don't mind bases closing, it happens as needed, but I hate when they're sold off and torn down. For decades, policy was to hang onto military installations, in case you needed them again, but now they tear them down. Plattsburgh, for example, had been a military base, off and on, since 1812 or so, and now it's an industrial park and commercial airport.

Anyway, stopped off at the Oxford motorway services on the M40 for surprisingly good pizza. We were expecting utter crap, but it was quite tasty.

When we checked into the hotel, the receptionist gave us our key cards, but told us the wrong number. We went up to the second floor, keys didn't work, MrsCO went back down, recoded the key, came up, it didn't work, so I went back down, and she was working on it, and I pointed out the keys worked for the lift, just not the room.

She looked at the room number and said, "216, right?" Another guy in the lobby turned around and said, "That's my room."

She got very apologetic, sorted it all out, then offered to carry our luggage for us, which I assured her was completely unnecessary and really, no big deal at all, and then about an hour later, she personally came up to the room with a big plate of fruit, so that was nice.

Now, the room (and the hotel) in Cheltenham annoyed my wife at first, but it grew on her, and she said she'd definitely stay there again.

This room...she's already said never again. The room is tiny. No closet, just a small shelving unit that holds exactly five hangers. We had six pillows before, now we have three (why the odd number?). The climate system runs on a timer. Plugs are too far away to use your phone while plugged in. No USB plug-ins, no luggage stand, no little table. One chair.

But you know what? The bathroom light switch isn't behind the door, so that's a plus. :lol:

Also, she gets 1,000 points if we eat in the restaurant, where the one in Cheltenham gave her only 500. So we're planning on the hotel restaurant tonight.

Oh, one last funny Cheltenham hotel story:

So, every day there, I had to get ice for an ice pack for the wife's knee. Twice a day.

There was no ice machine in the hotel, so the little booklet in the room said to see the bar staff or reception for ice.

First couple of days in the bar, when asking for ice: "Oh, I'm sorry about your wife's knee. I hope she's better soon!"

Next few days: "Yeah, give me a few minutes."

Fifth day: "When are you checking out?"

Sixth day: "I'm busy, here's the bucket. Fill it yourself."

On the last morning, I went to jokingly tell him goodbye, and he just glared at me. :lol:

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"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Cotswolds Trip
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:55 am 
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Supper at the hotel was very good, better than in Cheltenham, and the service was better, too.

They had a bigger selection, and I had the Pie Of The Week, chicken, ham, and leek pie, with mixed veggies and mashed potatoes on the side.

MrsCO had a vegetarian hotpot; big bowl of broth with skinny rice noodles and veggies in it. We shared dessert; pecan cheesecake with pistachio ice cream, and we got a bonus of a scoop of vanilla because they brought that out by mistake first.

Today...off to Windsor in the rain. I think my new tweed hat is going to get broken in.

_________________
"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." - Unknown


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