I've finally reached the last in my blog series of trip reports from our March trip to England. I'm left with pictures that simply didn't fit in with the other posts, but ones that I still wanted to share.
During my visit, we stayed with Dan's parents in the lovely town of Newbury. Newbury was fantastic. It's filled with many gorgeous Historic buildings, yet is modern enough to have a plethora of shopping, dining and entertainment options. The center of town is a short walk from Dan's parent's home making it easy to go explore.
Here are a few pictures of the snow in the front garden of their home.
Our rental van also got covered in snow. It only really snowed on our last morning, but the weather was cold througout our entire visit.
I liked the neighborhood watch stickers. Many years ago, I was working at Universal Studios and a group of police officers from London visited the park. While I was assisting them on the Jurassic Park ride, they handed me a sticker that said "I met the Met" and it had a similar picture and logo.
On my first morning in Newbury, we drove over to the nearby Highclere Castle. Fans of the show Downton Abbey will recognize Highclere as the home of the Crawley family. Unfortunately it was closed for the season (and filming), but Dan took this picture of me with a Highclere road sign that was located right across the street from the estate.
One of the more interesting aspects of traveling in a foreign country is checking out the local grocery store. England has several major grocery chains and on our trip, we visited two of them. Waitrose is the more upscale chain. They sell organic food, offer free coffee in their cafe and Pippa Middleton writes a hostess column for their newsletter. It's nice and similar to Gelsons or Whole Foods.
Tesco is more like Walmart. They sell a little bit of everything and although it isn't bad per-se, it's definitely downmarket from Waitrose. One thing that Tesco had that I've never seen in America, is a service where the store slices your bread for you.
I spent the first afternoon of our trip walking around Newbury with Dan's mom. I was so busy absorbing and enjoying the sights, that I really didn't take very many pictures. Here are a few snaps.
Followers of my blog might recognize the following location from my series on British candy. Dan's niece sent us a box with several items from Mr. SImms. We went inside to get to the bottom of the banana candy that they sell. The banana candy is good, but has a strange taste, almost fizzy and taffy at the same time. The nice girl working behind the counter looked up the ingredients, but alas, we couldn't figure out the source of the bizarre taste.
The town has a new outdoor shopping mall with a big underground parking lot that we used to go to the nearby Victoria Park. The park was huge with a playground that the kids really enjoyed. The park also had a shallow pond that is used for sailing model boats.
No matter where I travel, if I see ducks, I'm a happy camper. Newbury has a canal running through the town and the canal is home to loads of ducks and swans.
I had a wonderful first trip to England and I'm happy to report that I'm going back! The tickets have been booked and we will be traveling at the end of the summer. The England adventure, to be continued...