Friday, May 27, 2016

Enjoying a right British break...

Once again our annual odyssey to Britain is over and it's back to the sunshine and bustling traffic of L.A. It's also that time to deal with jet-lag after the eight hour time change, so there's plenty of hours to reflect on our visit home to see friends and family.

Babington House grounds
We were back for just under two weeks, but the time flies when you're criss-crossing your way across England and Wales.
White Cross pub Richmond
The weather may have been typical British fare, and it's never any fun living out of a suitcase, but we had lots of fun seeing good friends and visiting our families, plus checking out old haunts and new eateries.
Thames path Hammersmith
In the past we've made the mistake of trying to fit too much in, see too many people, so this time we decided to simplify things. We had the chance to spend time in Chiswick in West London where we used to live (there's nothing like watching the sun come up with a cuppa in your garden), even walking along the Thames Path to Hammersmith for a pub dinner, I don't think I've ever eaten so much fish and chips in such a short period of time.
Bear of Rodborough Hotel room
After a weekend in London it was off west to Gloucestershire to catch up with more family and stay at the Bear of Rodborough Hotel.
Cotswolds countryside
One of the things we miss about living in L.A. is the food (which some may find odd about British cuisine), so it's always nice to enjoy a good hearty full English breakfast when we're back. Baked beans, sausages, eggs, mushrooms and bacon (and none of that hard, crunchy streaky bacon everyone seems to love in America).
Sunshine clouds South Wales
Actually I think all the bakewell tarts, Battenberg cake, coconut macaroons, sticky toffee pudding, treacle tart, sausages and mash, and Pizza Express American Hot pizza helped dispel the gloom and rainy weather until the sun broke through the clouds.
St Margarets Chapel Babington House
After a trip down to Wales, being trounced on the Wii by my nephew, drinking copious cups of tea and enjoying the delights of Rummikub, it was time to enjoy a relaxing stay at Babington House country house near Frome.
Babington House main bedroom
Traveling 5,500 miles and then whizzing about the country in a car never really feels that much like a holiday, so this time we decided to treat ourselves to a mini-spa break.
Babington House bathroom
We used to escape to the hotel and its Cowshed treatment rooms when we worked in London, it was the perfect antidote to the rat race of the big city, so one salt scrub massage and men's facial later and we felt refreshed and transported back in time.
Babington House Walled Garden
We were only able to stay overnight, but the food was great and it was interesting seeing how the place had changed in the many years since we'd been there.
Babington House lake
We went in for our massages around 5pm and when we were finished we were surprised to see that the sun had came out and we were reminded how glorious British summertime could be, and how light it stays into the night compared to L.A.
Babington House grounds
Driving back to London we were also reminded of how painfully slow U.K. motorways can be with all the never-ending roadworks, although we did get the drive past Stonehenge in Wiltshire, which felt like very British sight to see.
Stonehenge England
It's always bittersweet leaving everything behind in the U.K., but knowing we were flying back to our pup Cooper (who we watched every day on the webcam at his doggie daycare) is always a great incentive to get back to the West Coast.

Now it's back to playing catchup with work (it's always fascinating to see what billboards have popped up in my absence), trying to string a sentence together when jet-lagged (I'm not sure any of things I'm typing actually makes sense at the moment) and enjoying increasingly slow dog walks around West Hollywood.

Fortunately whilst everyone else escapes L.A. to enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend, we get to reacclimatise in a much quieter city than normal.

Here's to a relaxing weekend wherever you may be...

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