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What's New From September 2005

September 1
We are not packed yet, but we are getting excited. I am making lists and checking the weather, reading maps and so on. Our English friends (that we haven't really met yet) arrive in 9 days and we leave on the 12th. I will try to update this page as we explore sights in England so check back once or twice this month. Also on October 1, I will try to have another update with a new poll question and so on. 

New article on our web site.
I just uploaded another of our old newsletter stories. This one is from May 1997 and covers Nevada---Las Vegas and lonely roads. May 1997

Last month's question was: What is your marital status as a full-timer or full-timer wannabee? The results were pretty predictable. The majority of the full-timers are married couples who have been married a long time. To see the complete results please go to the poll page

The new question was suggested by full-timer Tom Jacobs who is preparing to do a  television and internet documentary on the culture of full-time RVers. He has a great survey on his web site and I encourage everyone to participate. It is completely anonymous. 

The new question is: What was the family annual income before full-timing? Remember our poll is anonymous. To vote please go to the poll page

New Mystery Picture
I stumped everyone again last month; only one person guessed correctly. He is a good detective and used the internet to find the answer.  I know you are dying to know where that truck was (it was so cute) so head right over to the Mystery Picture page and play the game. Okay this one might  be tough too, but come on and try.  I will tell you that this place is way west of the Mississippi River and home to my very favorite thing. 
September 16
Hello from England. We arrived here this past Tuesday. The flight was good and this house is charming. We haven't met any of the neighbors to speak of and we knew that would be the case before we came. This isn't like a campground or our village in Arizona where most everyone is retired.

We met Brenda and Peter before we left for England. They are lovely people. It was fun to be able to get to know them before we left for their house. 

Here are some pictures of their house. In the first group of the kitchen, look for the refrigerator. Then at the bottom of the picture section I will show you where it is. 

Kitchen cupboards left -center- right. Over the sink the window looks out on a beautiful garden.
The front door is on the left in the second picture. All of the rooms have their own doors and each door has a separate key (skeleton variety). The two doors open above are to the tiny room called "the snug" and the large living room. 
This is what you see when you first enter the house. To the right is the door to the kitchen and the downstairs office. All 5 of these doors are right there when you come in the front door. The picture on the left is to the living room and the other is the dining room. The picture on the right is the dining room after the doors are open. 
The picture on the left is looking out to the conservatory from the living room and the picture on the right is the living room from the conservatory.

The bedrooms (3) and an upstairs office and plenty of bathrooms make this a very nice house. Ready for the refrigerator?

But out in the garage is a more normal sized refrigerator with a freezer section and they also have a tall freezer out there. The clothes drier is in the garage also. Speaking of the garage, we are doing fine driving on the left side of the road. Their new Toyota Prius is very nice. Ron really likes it.

We are off this morning to Scotland. I will share more pictures later. 

September 25
We took a little trip up to Scotland last week which has always been our dream. We were scared to death to leave the driveway (because we weren't so sure of my navigational skills and Ron's driving skills as far as round abouts go) but once we got going we were really okay. It was a pretty long drive just to get to northern England and we had planned to make our first stop York, but there were no rooms available. It was early enough in the day that we just kept going north and finally found a room in a town called Northallerton. It was okay, but not much. The bed was horrible and neither of us got much sleep. 
At a rest area on the boarder of Scotland and England

The problem in trying to drive into the majority of Scotland is that Edinburgh and Glasgow (both big cities) block the access. The UK tapers in just where the two cities are so you almost have to go through one or the other. We were lucky that we were driving on a Saturday as traffic was light. Our first night in Scotland was spent in a little town which was in Kinross just across the bay (Firth of Forth) which is north of Edinburgh. 

The Salutation Inn in Kinross and looking down the street.
Every night when we checked into the B & Bs we carried maps and tried to plan where to go. Originally we were going to go way up to Inverness but the weather forecast for that area was rain and more rain so we decided to go first to St. Andrews, the home of golf. It was just a short drive from Kinross to St. Andrews and we took our time in finding a B & B rather than a hotel. We found a little bit of heaven in The Hawthorne House in Strathkinness. 
The Hawthorne House front and back.

Ann and Roy were charming hosts and our room was very comfortable. We were less than 10 minutes from St. Andrews which has a wonderful park and ride system. You park free and get a free bus ride. We did that each of the two days we were there. Of course the main attraction in St. Andrews is the old golf course and the golf museum. We explored those two and the town thoroughly.

Ron on the walkway near the first tee with the old club house in the background and one of the displays in the museum of old golf clubs (which are nothing like today's clubs).
Sights around town. 
Every proper town in the UK has a castle (falling down or standing tall) and St. Andrews Castle is of the falling down variety. Notice the sign in the barber shop for a free whisky with a hair cut. 
Pizza Express and a narrow walkway in St. Andrews
We were amazed that nearly every pub or restaurant offered some sort of Mexican or Tex-Mex food and there were pizza places all over. St. Andrews is a college town so maybe that helps to explain why.

After St. Andrews we decided to go a bit more north into the hills. We drove to Bankfoot, found a B & B then spent the day driving further into the lovely scottish hills around Pitlochry.

Loch (which means lake) Tummel
On our last night in Scotland we found a charming pub just down the street from our B & B. The name of the pub was Rumbledethumps and we found a dish with the same name on their menu as a starter. Deciding to make a meal of starters we first ordered their soup which was sweet potato with coriander then we ordered the rumbledethumps. Both dishes were out of this world. As soon as we got back to Sawbridgeworth (funny that we call this home now) I got on line and looked up the recipe for the rumbledethumps and made it. 

The other thing we did when we got home is cut the grass. We figured that neither one of us has mowed a lawn since the late 70s. When we lived with our former spouses, we had kids to do it and then when we divorced we lived in an apartment or town house then on the road for 14 years. Now we live in the desert without grass so it was a historic moment for us. 

On our way home from Scotland we spent one night at Bradford Castle (the name of a town) in northern England but I will share delightful pictures from there in the next segment. 

We are off again. This time we are going to Bath and then we will travel down to Lulworth which is on the English Channel.

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