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Trip Report England via the QM2, Part II

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We left Southampton on Sunday morning, after our sad departure from the Queen Mary 2, having had a marvelous week at sea.

We found Europecar with no trouble, (of course the cab driver knew the way!) and off we drove off (me with great trepidation, Jim with none) on the left hand side of the road. (Well, we hadn't driven in the UK for 6 years, meaning we are 6 years older!)

Bless his heart, he had no trouble at all, but I continued my "back seat" driving, and continued to call it "navigating!"

We had a small SEAT, a Spanish car, which proved to be fine. We had had one on some other trip, and we always seem to do well with rental cars, and certainly have had nothing but good luck with AutoEurope. We didn't take a GPS this time, because we pretty much know our way around England. (Ha!)

Oxford is not hard to find, and we got to the Old Parsonage Hotel at about 12:30, just about the time our European cell phone rang! It was our friend Lizzie, coming out from suburban London to meet us for an overnight reunion. She had just gotten off the train at Oxford station. Perfect timing.

We loved The Old Parsonage when we stayed here 15 years ago, when our dear friend's daughter got married nearby, and we remembered the lovely place, with the excellent food. We had a lovely room, huge and charming, on the main floor.

We had lunch in the dining room, the walls of which are covered in interesting paintings. This is just the kind of place I love, and our lunch was a super start to our 24 hours in Oxford.

We drank a Gavi di Gavi, and I ate grilled scallops with peas and broad beans. This might not sound like much to you, but we never can find broad beans in the states, and the good English chefs just seem to have a way with them. It was a marvelous dish!

Lizzie is an English barrister, now retired, who I had met many years ago at a bar dinner, when she was visiting in the Hudson Valley with an old classmate. We really hit it off, and have been friends for probably 25 years or more. Such fun to meet up with her, and catch up. She'd been to visit a couple of years ago, but we would be happy to see her every week: she is such fun and so clever, and we've learned much from her. I can remember going to Magistrates' Courts' all over London, with her, when she was Chief Clerk of the Inner London Magistrates' Courts. What an education!

But I digress. (again)

Lizzie, clever girl, was not over-spending on a fancy room as we were, but was staying in one of the colleges. Aha! We learned something from her once again.

She had discovered that one can book a room at several of the Oxford colleges, during the off time when not so many students are around, and the prices are generally quite good value.

We walked with her to Wadhams College, where she was staying, and sorted out her room. I was most impressed with the just-completely-refurbished room, with private brand new bathroom that she was given for 30 pounds!

Next I'll tell you about gardens at Oxford Colleges, our reason for being in town.

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