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First trip we lost a car, this trip we lose a lady >)

First trip we lost a car, this trip we lose a lady >)

Old Jun 26th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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It might have been better if you broke it, but maybe not. My break, of the calcaneus bone, was X-rayed and diagnosed as a "severe sprain." Honestly, my left foot looked like a huge eggplant for 6 weeks. I was cleared to go to France for 3 weeks, and did, using wheelchairs at airports and trains, and stumbling around on crutches the rest of the time. When I got back home and it was still all messed up, I had an MRI that showed it wasn't a sprain after all, but a 4-part fracture.

PLEASE get some good physical therapy and take care of it. Soak it in Empsom salts, do your stretches and exercises, and be really careful to protect it. It's been almost 2 years since I messed mine up, and it's still stiff and not working quite right, and the doctor says I'll probably have arthritis in it at some point. PITA for those of us who love to move around on our travels. I wish you the best of luck with it!
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Old Jun 26th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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May I add my cheer for the NHS? We are just returned from 23 days driving Glasgow to Kent and all was great until my husband contracted food poisoning in Alnwick - a very lovely place that shall remain nameless. DH has a really sensitive stomach anyway and we unfortunately didn't take his initial reactions seriously until three days later when he nearly collapsed in Durham Cathedral. University Hospital North put him right in 2 hours,explained that it could take 5 days to recover and got us on our 2 hour drive to Hawes. Unfortunately a week later he relapsed and had to see a private dr. in Kent. All tests, dr.costs and prescriptions we just given to us despite our offers to pay - we are still pretty stunned by it all.
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Old Jun 26th, 2014, 02:30 PM
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nice to read another "the NHS is wonderful" story, oliverandharry.

I hope that your DH is fully recovered.

looking forward to hearing more of your ...is that travels or troubles, JJ? can you put the foot up while you type?
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Old Jun 26th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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Yes, do take good care of that ankle. I sprained mine badly when I was 14, and it was easy to turn again for ten years afterwards.

Your report is wonderful to read, as always, even with those "friends" along.
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Old Jun 26th, 2014, 11:02 PM
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"weekday mornings in small-ish towns are probably fairly quiet"

They really aren't. As one of the few people on this forum with frequent experience dealing with minor injuries in small towns, I can say with some authority that janisj was bloody lucky.

The more frequent experience goes:
- suffer minor injury
- get directed by local GP over phone to walk-in emergency centre in nearest small town "which will have better resources than we've got"
- get to small town (by definition, almost impossible without a taxi or bus for most people with most minor injuries), then wait two hours
- get referred to major A&E in local bigger town, with a minimum 4 hr wait "while more serious crises are handled"

The NHS has many strengths. Dealing with very minor, or very major injuries, are among them. Breaking a leg isn't.
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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Janisj, so sorry about the broken leg, but on reading that the girls brought back no food I had an accident with my cup of tea, my airways and the laptop. Still mopping up LOL.
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 12:14 AM
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For goodness sake, if they had actually seen more of York than the inside of a Starbucks, one could just about excuse them for leaving you in the lurch.
They should have made a fuss of you, sat with you in A & E, and plied you with magazines and coffee. They should also have realised that you might not have eaten and brought you some goodies from Betty's
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Glad to read your ankle is healing though it is a slow process. You were lucky with your NHS experience, as flanner points out.


I've just had a bad NHS experience, having got home a few hours ago after spending the past several days in a south London hospital where my daughter was kept waiting 46 hours for a supposedly urgent appendectomy. Most of those hours she was nil by mouth. When they finally operated, she was returned to her bed still with an intact appendix. It was a further 6 - anxious - hours before anyone came to tell her why she had been in so much pain. I have had to ask, demand, pester, constantly for everything for her. The nurses were lovely but short-staffed and rushed off their feet. The doctors didnt really seem to care much. I hate to think what might have gone on had she been on her own.

It is interesting reading more about the Bs - despite having met them I still find it hard to believe they could both be that thoughtless.
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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Julia: oh that sounds awful. how is your daughter doing now?


Zeppole: I thought you weren't going to read/participate here again. Please stick to your word.

I'll leave it to the several fodorites posting up thread who have actually met me to judge - not you thank you very much . . .
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 04:55 PM
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Janisj, please continue........
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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It is much easier traveling with people you know very well. Less easy traveling with friends with whom you've never traveled. Friends of friends is even more difficult.

That's just because people's interests are different, vibes are different, and rhythms are different.

And sometimes traveling with family can be the worst, especially if one of the members doesn't have a filter.

I completely admire JanisJ, whom I have met on more than one occasion, to know that she is a fabulous person, and great traveler, who, as you can see from this thread, has planned and executed this trip about as perfectly as possible, knowing in every trip there are stumbles and times when you have to go to Plan B.

Having had to plan and execute a trip a few years back with my mom and a friend of my mom's, as well as have to share rooms with them, I have to tell you there were times when I just wanted to scream or bail on them and shout "ingrates". But I didn't. Instead, you continue to try and make it a great, fun, and memorable trip, and keep your head while all around you are losing theirs, using Kipling poetic license.

And I remember having to mediate between the two of them. And carrying everyone's suitcase up and down trains because the friend, who was my age, had a sudden back problem. And I didn't complain because at the end of that trip, pulling the luggage out of the caravan, I got a meniscus tear that ultimately required surgery.

This recount, and the way it is recounted is REAL and is what makes it totally interesting and amusing. If anyone has actually ever traveled with people they don't really know, they get it. That's what made Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad so interesting and so amusing.

And so, with that, please continue!
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Old Jun 27th, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Well, I have to say I think your itinerary so far is excellent. Very well- planned with options when the weather doesn't cooperate. Unfortunately your traveling companions leave much to be desired. Thinking B 1 might be trainable. Given strict rules on who is in control of steering wheel and without her domineering, churlish, self-absorbed sister around, she might possibly be bearable. Maybe. However, I would have duct-taped B2 to a Starbucks chair before leaving London. Their lack of sympathy with your accident is appalling.

Certainly aghast at their visit to York. What an absolute waste.

Again I commend you on your planning and on the site initiative as well as your perseverance. Well done.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Love your Trip Reports!!! but I am curious, why do you do it? what's the incentive? it seems that you have a better time traveling by yourself, but for us readers your travels with the B's is keeping us very entertained. My husband and I just returned from a month in Europe. Our niece joined us for 2 weeks (first time traveler). All was wonderful, but sometimes stressful (restaurants,she only eats meat and cheese..lol)
Are you in the travel business as a profession? or just plan trips with or for friends? I'm just curious, and this is typed with positive not negative.
Looking forward to the next report!
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Where's the rest of the report??
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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OK - zeppole/sandralist's post was deleted (I didn't request it . . . honest) but what else got nuked?

Anyway. I'm in the middle of booking my next trip for Sept - but I plan on finishing the TR later tonight - promise.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 06:49 PM
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My response telling off sandra/Zeppole was deleted too. I questioned whether or not she had previous history with you or had just decided to attack you. I'm glad her post is gone, it was really uncalled for. I didn't request it though.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 09:18 PM
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I am finding your report an entertaining read. Granted, I've wondered why you handle things the way you did with these ladies. I don't like confrontation but would have spoken up at some of these occasions. But, frankly, it's none of my business. I don't know you or your 'friends.'

Just enjoying the tour with you ! Love hearing about the B&B's, pubs, small villages. All of it, really. Some smiles when the B's are mentioned.

Sorry, about your foot, though.
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Old Jun 28th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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<B>Saturday - South to the Cotswolds, A terrific gastro pub/B&B. Sunday Lunch at Julia_t's - </B> and 4 days of B1 & B2 sightseeing and me sitting in various car parks listening to Radio 4 . . .

It was hard getting to sleep since flexing my ankle and the weight of the bed covers really hurt it. I planned on not taking any of the pain meds unless absolutely necessary. Well - I had a long drive ahead of me tomorrow and needed at least some sleep so decided it was absolutely necessary. I slept like a baby after that.

At breakfast Nicho and Jill asked where we went for dinner . . . uh, well (they said I should have come down to the family quarters and they would have taken me to their fave pub -- but by the time they got home I was dead to the world) After breakfast Nicho brought our bags down, we checked out and were on our way by about 9:30. This day was pretty much a straight shot south. We had originally planned on detouring by way of Chatsworth - but a few weeks before the trip I learned that there was a major horse show there on Saturday. The website said touring the house shouldn't be affected - but that parking and traffic would be impacted. So I decided to go straight south and visit Blenheim Palace instead (flanner can stop reading now since the place seems to make his blood boil )

There was some construction on the A1 and along one of the motorways, but mainly the route was open and clear so we made really good time and we pulled in to Blenheim's grounds just before 1PM. (At this point B1 decided I was a driving Savant -- I hadn't ask her to open the road atlas once the entire way. But the drive was very straightforward and after about Nottingham/Leicester I was 'old familiar/home territory' ). I've never seen the Palace car park so full (I've been to Blenheim countless times -- probably 15-20 at least.) We drove in from the High/Marketplace and no other cars were queued at that gate, so I figured there wasn't a crowd. Wrong - the main entrance leads off the A44 and there was a HUGE tail back of cars/buses coming in that way. I dropped the girls at the top of the car park and figured I'd find a spot not far out. Wrong. The only space available was one in the overflow area in the trees almost out to the main gate. I was a good 300 yards from the house.

I sat in the car for about an hour (radio 4 is good company ) but then realized the girls would never ever be able to find me. So I took the crutches and slowly made my way a couple hundred yards to the top of the car park and sat on the grass for another hour+ til they came out. I saw them in the distance and stood and waved the crutches but they didm't see me and started walking back to where we had driven in. Not sure why (and didn't ask) since that was away from the car park and from where I had dropped them off. I yelled and yelled but they kept walking. So I moved out closer to the road and sat back down til they figured out they were going the wrong direction (I couldn't move fast enough to cut them off). They did figure it out and eventually came back w/i shouting distance and we walked back to the car while I tried to get out of them what they thought of the house. They did mention enjoying the Winston Churchill exhibition but other than that it was a bit like pulling teeth "What did you think of the long Library - isn't that a gorgeous room?". "Yes it is pretty", "What did you think of the xyz?", "Yes - that was interesting." So to be honest -- I don't know if they are in flanner's camp or in mine

From Woodstock it was short drive to Kingham - and the Plough - our home for the next three nights. Kingham isn't 'technically' in the Cotswolds, but being only about 4 or 5 miles east of Stow-on-the-Wold its close enough for government work . . .

The Kingham Plough is a well known Restaurant/pub w/ rooms over. One of the owners and the executive chef is Emily Watkins who once worked for Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck so a VERY good pedigree. Emily wasn't cooking/on site during our stay since apparently she was a finalist in a cooking competition (The Great British Menu) something like Master Chef/Top Chef in the States, and she was off to the West Country to relax/prep for the next installment.

http://www.thekinghamplough.co.uk

The rooms are very nice but also quirky. For instance the linens are very luxurious - but (at least in my room) there was no closet or hanging space of any sort. There was a rickety chest of drawers and 4 hooks on the back of the door and 3 more hooks on the back of the bathroom door. My bathroom was very large w/ a huge tub and lovely Penhaligon toiletries. I had room 1 on the 1st floor (2nd floor) so only one flight of stairs. The girls were in room 3 on the 2nd (3rd) floor so I never did see their room. B1 liked their room but B2 wasn't impressed -- not sure exactly why but if they had the same closet (or lack of closets) issues I can understand. Didn't bother me but it wasn't that convenient.

I REALLY enjoyed staying here. mainly because of the amazing FOOD and also really good service. We had pre-booked dinner for 7:30 Saturday night - and asked julia_t to join us. But Saturday is a busy day for her so she graciously invited us to her home for Sunday Lunch. More on that later.

I had a fresh pea starter that was absolutely <i>amazing</i> - and looked like a still life painting. My main was lamb 2 ways - a loin that was tender like butter, and a miniature shepard's pie plus baby carrots and kale. A simple but amazing dish. it was sooooooo good!

Breakfasts were very very good too -- not your typical B&B fare for sure. One thing (and more whinging here - I'm giving fair warning) . . . They explained when we checked in and it was spelled out on the breakfast menus in the bedrooms - that because everything is made from scratch, two dishes needed to be ordered the night before (one was the eggs benedict and I can't remember what the other was). Everything else on the menu - no problem but be sure to tell them ahead if you wanted one of those two. . . . and all three mornings B2 ordered one or the other of THOSE two dishes w/o pre-ordering. We ended up sitting around for 45 minutes while her breakfasts were prepared. I wasn't going to say <i>anything</i>. The second time though B1 mentioned that she really REALLY should pre-order those dishes. But it didn't matter - day 3 same-o same-o.

One neat thing about staying at the Plough - it is directly next door to a cottage I rented for a week back in 2001. In fact September 2001 (we were on the first Virgin flight out of SFO after they resumed regular service after 9/11). The owner of the cottage still lives in the attached house. One day while the B's took a walk I found the owner working in his garden (backs up to the Plough's car park) and spent a lovely hour chatting over tea and biscuits - he actually remembered us from back in 2001. The Corner cottage and village green across the road were as far as I could manage on the crutches so that was the limit of my 'exploration'. But having stayed there before I was fine w/ that. The girls did take a long walk every afternoon/evening - While I stayed around the Plough. The weather was magnificent so I mostly sat out on the terrace chatting w/ pub visitors/guests.

Its getting late so I don't think I can finish tonight. Tomorrow morning for sure

<B>Sunday - Date w/ julia_t; Sun/Mon/Tues - A tour of carparks of of the Cotswolds and Thames Valley.
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 04:22 AM
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Hi JANISJ,

Just returned from London and catching up with your saga. Kudos on your patience. The Plough sounds delightful. Hope your ankle is healing. Thanks for sharing...
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 04:41 AM
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latedaytraveler, I hope you will be writing a trip report too! I've always enjoyed following your adventures.
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