Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Many Modes and Miles to Go Before We Sleep

I awoke early and began getting ready for our very full day of travel.  Allowing Mario to sleep a bit later, I was surprised to see him still snoozing after he assured me the night before that he had set his alarm.  "Mario" I called in a curt but quiet tone, so as not to awake the rest of the household, "Get're late!"
He bolted upright and said with a serious but sleepy tone, "Okay, I'm on it!"  I chuckled to myself, and later, so did he when I related his morning salutation.
Since we had said farewell to the family the evening before, Jean-Luc helped us pack our bags, and then drove us to la gare (station).  He was off to a conference via the train, as we boarded the bus bound for the  Lyon airport.   EasyJet airlines would take us from there on a short flight back to London.
We said "au revoir" and recounted our wonderful memories with the Tabailloux family during our 1 1/2 trip to Lyon.  This city was the birthplace of Antoine de Saint-Exupery; author of the children's book, "Le Petit Prince,"published in 1943. Commemorating this fact, his statute was built close to the terminal.
After a lovely breakfast of croissants and cappuccino, we had an uneventful flight to Gatwick airport, where we waited for our sequence of trains that would whisk us to the Cotswolds.  The Great Western train line did not go directly to our destination, so, two stations and three trains later, we arrived at Broadway, the northern most town in this chain of quaint villages.
Hailing a cab, we took off for our B&B, "The Olive Branch", a 16th century guest house, which was voted the best in the UK during 2005.  What a lovely reception we received from David and Pam Talboys!  They have delighted guests all over the world during their time as B&B hosts...and they truly have a gift for warm hospitality, and an eye for decorating.   We felt right at home, as they helped us bring our suitcases up the narrow winding stairs to our room overlooking the cobblestone street.  Our reservation at a near by restaurant, "The Broadway Brasserie," was for six o'clock, so we freshened up and headed out.  Did I tell you that today is my birthday?  What a gift to stay in this bucolic spot!  I took the photo below to
remind me of my special day.  Our dinner was quiet, which was
welcomed after a very scheduled pace.  The food was hearty but with a gourmet appeal.  We sat at a wooden table with quite comfortable chairs.  Afterwards, we walked a bit down the street, admiring the varied stone facades fashioned long ago.
Heading to our lodging, I remembered that I had not touched base with Caroline the guide from "Tour Tailors." She would be taking us via van throughout the Cotswolds tomorrow, since it would be difficult to visit each location on our own without a vehicle.  Bus schedules were erratic, and bicycles would take too long.  We needed to be on the train back to London by 5:30pm tomorrow.
So, locating her number when we reached our B&B, Pam helped me navigate the UK phone system, and soon the arrangements were made.  We headed to our room, made a cup of tea from the supplies left for us, and tucked ourselves into bed.  We did not need to count sheep, as our surroundings lulled us to sleep.

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Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
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