Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The last leg of our UK tour...

So a day later than we'd originally planned, we loaded up our hire car and left Crowborough (now wet, rather than snowy) and headed up the M25 and onto the M4 to my homeland Wales.
Crossing the old Severn Bridge into Wales
Our extra day in the English countryside had been caused by the severe weather conditions we'd experienced for most of our visit back to the UK. This time rather than being snowed in, there was falling ice from the pylons of the Severn Bridge into Wales hampering our whirlwind tour. 

Luckily on Saturday morning they'd reopened the 'old' bridge and kept the 'new' bridge closed, so at least we didn't have to drive the hundred or so miles detour to get back home to see my family. 
The closed Severn Bridge into Wales
We started off with temperatures of zero to four degrees celsius, but as we continued to drive the temperature warmed up to the giddy heights of seven degrees. Luckily our drive was uneventful and surprisingly there wasn't any snow to slow us down.

Back in Wales we had a lovely time playing games with my niece and nephew (although I'll be happy not to play Cluedo again anytime soon, even though I was victorious in my deductions) and belatedly celebrating Christmas with the rest of the family.  

It wasn't long before it was time to leave again though and by Monday morning we were back on the road again. At least we'll see them soon when they come to visit us in L.A. in April.
Comfy beds at High Road House
We drove back on Monday through some fairly grim rain, but at least we made it back to London. We checked back into High Road House in Chiswick and then headed out to do some final catching up with friends.

Fortunately I managed to rearrange a drink with a friend I'd missed earlier in our visit due to the snow, so after a couple of cocktails (and lots of rain) I headed back into Chiswick (even getting my old bus home from work) for a last meal at Balans with Charlie and another friend.
Balans Chiswick in the snow in February
You may be wondering if we thought of our pup, Cooper, much whilst we were away. We did, but we also knew he was in safe hands, so our anxiety at leaving him was much less and so we could enjoy ourselves knowing that he was having a good time too (with his swimming pool and all that space). However on the last few nights I did dream about him a lot and couldn't wait to get back and see him.
Stylish bedroom at High Road House in Chiswick
We enjoyed our own bit of luxury on our last night in the comfy beds at High Road House. The next morning we were up early at 6.30am to get a taxi to the airport, but we still had time to make the most of what the hotel had to offer.
Indulgent Cowshed products
After an invigorating shower we made it to Heathrow with plenty of time to spare and grabbed a bite to eat for breakfast in the airport lounge.
Jason enjoying High Road House
It wasn't long before we boarded the plane and were enjoying a glass of champagne to ease us in to our transatlantic journey back to L.A. (via San Francisco). It's never too early for champagne (especially when it's free, or you've paid for it with your ticket).

And so in what seemed like a blink of an eye, our snowy visit back to Britain was over...

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