North Cascades VAC Rally

About a week after returning from Camano Island, I had fixed up the problems I found with my remodel (all minor), and we headed back up North to Rockport, WA for a Vintage Airstream Club rally. It was at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, a beautiful county park right on the Skagit River. We had two loops mostly full of Airstreams, with a big field and picnic shelter in the middle.

I was hoping to get some fishing in, I brought my fly rod and gear, but the water was so high from the spring rains, there were no banks to fish from!

The hills around the campground were beautiful, with their heads in the clouds.

This is at a nearby campground we explored while wandering. Beautiful moss covered trees!

We stopped at the Oso Landslide Memorial. I remember watching this on the news. It’s so sad. Such a beautiful area, my heart goes out to those people killed, and the survivors, of the sudden, enexpected landslide that wiped away their neighborhood. That hill in the distance is where the land slid off the face of the hill, and came all the way out to the highway behind us, wiping out everything in its path.

I don’t know what this mountain was called, I was thinking it was White Horse or something. There are amazing mountains everywhere around here. We headed South and did a loop drive around through Granite Falls to Arlington on Hwy 530. At one point we stopped for a quick nap and I took Navi for a quick walk, and there was a deer right by the road watching us! We stopped for lunch at a little thai place in some town and Navi was able to join us on the patio.

Her first time eating out!

I think this was Dave after we got back from an afternoon of wandering, doing tech support for his Dad.

The next morning Dave woke me up at 5:30am to tell me there was a siren going off! Indeed, it sounded like an air raid siren, Id never heard anything quite like it!

It went off for a couple minutes then stopped, and silence! What does that mean? Was the river next to the park about to wipe us out? Did we need to evacuate? I looked outside and expected to see people standing around discussing it, but nobody was up.

So I dressed and took Navi out, and saw lights on in a neighbor’s trailer and knocked, and asked if she knew what it was, and she said she didn’t, but figured we would hear more if it was important. I tend to think a siren is always important!

So Navi and I wandered down to the next loop where my friend/coworker Janet was camped, and knocked to see if she was up, and she was, but she didn’t know anything either. Meanwhile Dave was looking online for emergency alerts and couldn’t find any. I ended up chatting with Janet about work and stuff for a bit.

Later that day my neighbor had gone into town and bought something at the hardware store, and the clerk told her a log truck had crashed, and the siren was how they call the volunteer fire dept out! Mystery solved!

We decided to head East on Hwy 20 and explore more of the North Cascades National Park. Last time we were here we went as far as Diablo Lake, and turned back. Well, it turns out the best roadside views are juuuuust past it: Like, literally around the next bend.

Oh my goodness, so pretty! The turquoise water is caused by glacial runoff. The mountains are so high and craggy! And this is only half the view!


Looking at the tourist brochure, I saw something called the Liberty Bell, and I wanted to see that too, so we kept driving. The good stuff is always just a little bit farther! And when would we ever be out here again? We kept driving until we were on the dry side of the state.

Totally worth it!

We stopped at a roadside viewpoint, and Navi did great walking around all the people, even with the narrow pathways at the stop.

We went all the way to Winthrop for lunch. It’s a little old-timey looking tourist trap. Old buildings and wooden sidewalks. It was packed even though it was a Friday. We got a lunch and went and sat in a shady public area with picnic tables to eat. We could watch people playing mini-golf down below the deck. And of course, on the East side, it was HOT, so I tried to keep Navi comfortable.

On the way back we stopped to play in the snow. I couldn’t believe there was still snow!

Dave being a goofball

We got back too late to join our fellow campers for potluck, but boy did we have a full day!

Navi did super on this trip, but by the end she was getting pretty tired of the whole thing. Tired of strangers coming into HER trailer to check out the remodel, tired of people trying to pet her, and tired of going for rides in the car! She really did good though. It is asking a lot of her.

Concrete is just down the road from Rockport, and they are, obviously, very proud of their concrete.

On the way home we stopped at a McMennamins and thought we would just grab lunch to eat in the trailer, but then saw they had a patio, and dogs were welcome! So Navi got to eat out for a second time, and she had a nice safe little corner next to our table. the hostess brought her a little cup of water, and even came back with a piece of bacon for her later!

So other than getting through all the usual Seattle traffic (which runs roughly from Everett to Centralia it seems) we had a nice safe drive home, and another adventure was in the books!


I’ve put off writing this for a few weeks, because I’d like it not to be true. As mentioned in the last post, we cut our vacation short to rush home because Barclay was ill. He had pancreatitis. He spent three days in the hospital, and then got to come home with lots of medicine to take, and we were able to care and love on him for a couple days, but it got worse, and we had to rush him back to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. The next day they gave us bad news, it had gotten much worse, and we had to let him go.

Barclay was such a good boy. He was mellow and easy going, so clever, and sweet, and loving. He was also a real pest, a prankster, and had a sense of humor. He loved to do bad stuff to get attention, but it was never too bad, and he got lots of attention either way. He just loved to interact. He was confident, and carefree, and loved everybody he met. He gave big slurpy kisses. He slept in the tub, but he liked to sneak up on the bed before I came to bed and lay on my pillow, where he would get cuddles before retiring to the tub.

Barclay was our ‘back up eskimo’ to help soften the blow of losing our sweet Alki. They overlapped a couple years, and he did indeed soften the blow. He was really a special boy. We loved him lots. We met Sherry at a training class where I was so surprised to find someone else who had two eskimos! We became a big happy pack, doggie sitting for each other and going to the dog park, or just hanging out. I know Scott and Sherry loved him lots too. He was a lucky dog to have so many friends.

Our ‘backup eskimo’
With his buddy Chester
Sheepherding lessons!
Keeping me company at the toy store.
At the indoor puppy park
Growing up fast next to Alki
With his buddy, Jack
With Sherry, and Sake and Sitka
At a friend’s birthday party!
Roughhousing with his new sister, Navi
Airstream Camping
Helping work the wrinkles out of my first backdrop
Playing with baby Kiwi
Acrobatic Stickball!
Not usually a lap dog
Just chillin’ on my desk
The Pack
That time he ate my new Fluxx Deck
Snuggly on my pillow
Mr Smudgy Face
Stepped away for a second, came back to find him taking over the sewing machine
In Stevenson, on the river
Slurpy kisses
Walked in to find him sitting on the kitchen table, like that’s just a normal thing you do
Having a man to man talk
Recovering from his ‘summer of seizures’
Snow day!
Standing on the end table, totally not up to something…
Busted stealing a napkin
My sweet, happy boy

Barclay was super smart, and while I was training him, he was often training me! Usually he would have us well trained before I even realized it. He had stretched out his bedtime cookie (originally a reward for coming inside) into 3-4 cookies at bedtime!

For almost 13 years he was my Best Boy. The house seems so empty without him causing trouble and stealing things out of the recycling bin, or getting up in places he’s not supposed to be up on. Life with him was a constant surprise. He made us laugh all the time. Sweet Navi now has to get used to going for walks without him to give her confidence and take all the petting from the neighborhood kids.

They say every owner gets the dog they deserve. I’m sure I didn’t do anything to deserve such a wonderful boy. Rest in peace, sweet Mr Barclay.

Repainting the Airstream/Smoked Out

Pre-Covid (in the before-times) I had big plans to make some improvements to our little Airstream Caravel (grey tank, new wheels and hubcaps, new front window guard, glass side window to replace the plexiglass one) and get it out more this year. So much for that. But, now that I sold the Mustang, I figured I had a little Mustang money saved up that I could allocate to it and make those upgrades – except now everything is indefinitely out of stock.

The tongue and the bumper have been slowly getting cruddier looking, and they needed some work, and that was something I could easily do with things I could find at the hardware store. So I removed everything off the tongue and got to it, scrubbing every place with a degreaser to get it ready for paint. Luckily the rust was just mild surface rust.

I used this stuff to try and assure any rust that was still on there would get stopped. I tried to get all the nooks and crannies, especially around the equalizer bar hooks, and underneath.

Once that was done I dug around my spray paint collection and found a metallic silver, and decided to go for it. If I hate it, I can repaint it later.

I wish I’d masked off the jack before I sprayed!

Since this was going so well, I moved on to the rear bumper. It looked pretty crusty from multiple layers of paint over the years. So I grabbed the Mouse sander and smoothed it all out. Paint flakes were flying everywhere!

And then I laid on a couple coats of that black rust-killer paint.

I got more serious about masking back here.

And finally another layer of the silver metallic. At first I thought it was too metallic, but it’s starting to grow on me.

Then a foul wind blew in, and we were suddenly in a crisis caused by a windstorm and wildfires all around us, and the air was hazardous to breathe, and things were quite apocaplyptic!

Well, shit…

So I popped on my respirator and ran out and reassembled the tongue in case we needed to grab the trailer and get out of town in a hurry.

Ready to roll!

So for a week we were stuck inside, trying to keep the smoke out.

Eventually it was over 500, which is just nuts. It’s terrifying to be inside your house, knowing you shouldn’t breathe the air outside. We kept the pets in, and just let the dogs out for potty breaks, then shooed them right back inside, which made everyone unhappy. Our cat, Mighty, started attacking out feet just because she was pissed about staying inside. The dogs were bored. Luckily we could still work, and Dave went out and photographed a few houses, and wore the respirator when he had to be outside. Crazy times. Finally the winds came back and blew it away.

A few days later we got wind and rain, and were back to normal. This will do for now. None of those other trailer projects HAVE to get done right away. The trailer is ready to use as is, and we have reservations coming up soon for Deceptions Pass, which is exciting because it’s a new part of WA for us. Off to the San Juans we go!

Jellyfish at the Lake

This is worth sharing – better late than never. While fishing at Battle Ground Lake last fall, I saw a little jellyfish in the water, and got it on video!

That was a pretty fun trip. I had taken a day off from work to go fishing, and I almost didn’t go because it was raining. But I put on my waders and a raincoat and went anyway, and I was so glad I did, because it was a beautiful day, with just a short sprinkles early on. I had the lake all to myself almost. No fish, but a nice day trying.

Sprinkles! The only time I briefly used my raincoat all morning. Dave left me out about 4 hours before he came back to get me. It was just a really nice morning out.

England – London – Part 3

After lunch we used the local wifi to call a taxi, to take us up to the British Museum. The Museum was very busy, though the line to get in wasn’t too bad. Being short, I find crowds tiresome.


Dave could see everything.


But to me it all looks like this.

At this point we had been walking so much for the past week and a half that I was just beat. I just wanted to find a bench to sit down and gaze at something interesting for a bit.

2018-10-12 08.05.55

Done! The Eqyptian displays at the museum were really amazing. There was just so many things to look at. And then there was the Assyrian section, and the greek section, and watches and clocks, and it just went on and on and on. So much to see. We sort of raced through it glancing at stuff, but not with enough time to really absorb much, which would have taken a lifetime.

After the museum we bought a ticket for a hop-on bus, and enjoyed the view from the top deck heading back to our part of town, but the bus driver said it was the last stop, and shooed us off in Picadilly to catch a connecting bus back to Victoria Station.


Oh my god, SO MANY PEOPLE!

We waited at the bus stop so long for the next hop-on bus to go to Victoria Station, we were about to give up and go see about taking the underground, but finally one showed up, and we got a bit of a tour around the area until we finally were back home again.

Back at home, I was surfing through the local restaurants looking for something within walking distance, with good Indian food, because everyone said you have to go have Indian when in London. We finally settled on a bistro attached to a hotel not far from us, which seemed to have a good variety on the menu. We walked down there and went in and the lady asked if we had a reservation, and we did not, but she got us seated, and we found ourselves in a weird table with our backs against the wall, side by side, facing other tables, which is an awkward seating arrangement for a night out.

The waiter came over and showily shook out the napkins and laid them across each of our laps, and asked what we wanted to drink. I said water, and he rattled off choices, and I picked one, but I should have said ‘tap water’ I guess, because later we found that carafe of water was extra. They asked if we wanted the tasting menu at £80 a piece, or a la carte. A la carte, please. We were still a bit confused about how this had sounded very different online. The menu wasn’t as we saw online, but I found something to try, and Dave found a lamb shank that sounded good, though both dishes were fairly expensive. They brought appetizers and asked if we wanted rice. Sure. That rice was another $4. And bread was more $$ as well. Then later they brought out some sort of tomato cocktail aperitif, and they didn’t ask if we wanted it, they just gave it to us. Dave’s lamb shank turned out to be quite large, we could have just split that.

We didn’t realize it, but this was all adding up. In the US, things like rice and bread are usually included, and they don’t just bring you things that they charge extra for without asking if you want it, and letting you know it costs extra. At home I don’t expect water to cost extra! By the time we were done, the whole little meal had added up to $120! Probably the most expensive meal we’ve ever had, and there wasn’t even any alcohol involved! And it certainly wasn’t the best meal we’ve ever had, the whole thing felt awkward and weird. We had an annoyed laugh at getting snookered like a couple tourists, and headed home to our hotel for the night. We may have hit Shake Shack for a treat on the way.

Last day in London! Breakfast at Starbucks, then hop on a bus and go to Westminster.


Beautiful Westminster Abbey. We hopped on another water bus and headed back to:

2018-10-13 06.29.15-1

The Tower of London. This time we decided to go check it out. We had already done everything else on our list, and Dave wanted to see the Crown Jewels. We got the tour from a Beefeater, to get a bit of history and context, then went and looked at the line for the Crown Jewels, which went around the block and through the courtyard. Now it was Dave’s turn to get frustrated and lose his cool a bit. It was a VERY long line.

We looked at getting lunch before getting in line, but the food there looked like basic cafeteria fare. We instead went to the ice cream cart in the courtyard. While standing in line, a VERY stiff breeze blew through and launched a stack of ice cream cups into the patron’s faces!

After we had ice cream in hand, the line didn’t seem so bad. It took a while, but there were ravens to entertain us.


The raven was free to go where he pleased, but he mostly hung around this post, cawing and fussing at everyone. The ravens are part of Tower legend, that if the ravens leave, the kingdom will fall. So just to be safe they have a Ravenmaster and keep a small flock on hand.

No pics, but we did finally get to the Crown Jewels, and they were indeed very impressive. Afterwards we went looking for lunch, and walked over to a waterfront area nearby, again with no phone research to lead us, and tried a restraint that sounded good. The French host asked us if we had reservations, and we said no, and he seated us, and we took one look at the fancy cloth napkins, and remembering the previous night, got up and left. Too fancy for us, we’re not falling for that again!

I think we finally just grabbed a sandwich from a coffeeshop, and it was good.


On the way back to our hotel we stopped by for a photo with ‘Little Ben’, since Big Ben was enshrouded in scaffolding.

For dinner we took the easy route and hit a little hamburger joint down the block and took it back to our room, and ate while watching our new favorite British show – Bullseye. Because competitive darts/trivia is just so British.

The next morning we got up before dawn and headed down to catch the tube to Heathrow.

2018-10-14 00.30.47

We had no problems in customs, and grabbed some breakfast in the concourse, bought a few souvenirs, and turned in our British money for US dollars. It was baarely light when we got a glimpse of our plane.

We had a really nice stewardess who was from Louisiana, but now lives in Scotland, giving her a Southern/Scottish accent.  We had the seats at the front of our section, so we had tons of legroom, and the stewardess’s seat was there for takeoffs and landings, so we got to chat with her quite a bit. It was nice having the room to stretch out or stand up a bit. We watched a couple more episodes of The Crown and relaxed.

2018-10-14 04.07.17

I got a peek at Iceland before the sun came up and the windows darkened. It was all just clouds after that anyway, all the way to Seattle. We had a layover in Seattle that was long enough we could have just driven home, but at least we had wifi for entertainment. Eventually it was time to fly home, and we had great views of Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, and Mt Adams, Lake Merwin, and finally Vancouver Lake. It’s so cool to see all the local landmarks from the air! And then we were home. Sherry gave us a ride form the airport, and the pups were waiting for us at the house. Our first overseas trip was completed.

The whole trip:

England – Getting There

England – Bath

England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle

England – York

England – York Part 2

England – London

England – London Part 2

England – London Part 3





England – London – Part 2

After our dinner we went to hop back on the water bus. This morning the bus we had taken took us from Westminster to the tower of London, where it turned around and headed back to Westminster. So I got the bright idea that we could hop on at the Globe, and ride it to the Tower, and then back to Westminster, initially going in the opposite direction. But this boat kept going East. So I figured, that’s cool, we get to see more of the Thames than before, and kick back and enjoy the ride. But it kept going, and soon it was dark, and we were surrounded by people who were clearly commuters, popping open beers and settling in for a long ride. We were getting a bit nervous about how long this ride was, when Dave went and asked one of the stewards how far the boat went, and he said Woolwich, which it turns out is quite a long ways!


So we got off at the next stop, which was Greenwich. By then it was raining, and dark, but we had a quick walk around town.

2018-10-11 10.48.54

Of course everything was closed as far as visiting the observatory or anything, but we did get a peek at the Cutty Sark from the outside, which was pretty cool.

2018-10-11 11.25.11

We had a front row seat on the boat coming back because there were no commuters heading INTO town. Great view! We also quite enjoyed watching the men rope the boat to each dock it stopped at, tossing the docklines skillfully over the mooring posts, quickly and smoothly each stop, then giving it a quick toss to unmoor and the boat would be off for the next stop in seconds.

2018-10-11 11.56.54

We got back to Westminster, and had a good look at Big Ben. It is not all I hoped it would be. It is under restoration for the next three years.

2018-10-11 11.59.51-2

We headed for the underground and stopped to listen to this guy playing beautiful violin music in the tunnel. When I posted it to FB a friend said he had seen the SAME GUY playing in a tunnel in London years before!

The next day, we decided to head out to see Winston Churchill’s War Rooms, and drop by the Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews along the way. When we got to Buckingham Palace we heard a band playing, and noticed mounted police gathering, so we stopped to watch.

2018-10-12 01.53.31

2018-10-12 02.01.42-Edit

Then we heard the band playing ‘September’, which was a surprising choice for a marching band, and when they finished they marched on out, and continued on towards the palace. There were a LOT of people gathering there, so we headed over to the Gallery and the Mews.


The Gallery had a collection of items from India, which was all very interesting. The Mews is where the Royal horse and carriages are kept.

2018-10-12 03.33.02

We saw a groom walking this horse around the parking area, and he was getting a bit feisty about all the leaves blowing around.

2018-10-12 03.31.44

It was cool to come to one of the biggest cities we’ve ever visited, and see horses!

2018-10-12 03.42.30

2018-10-12 03.44.12

Inside the museum, along with other carriages and cars the Queen uses, was this display of a carriage used in coronations – The Gold State Coach, built in 1760. It was neat they had it set up with horse mannequins to display the ornate tack the horses wear while pulling it.

By the time we got done with the Mews the crowds outside had thinned out a bit, and we headed down to the War Rooms. Unfortunately the crowd had apparently gone there, because the line was VERY long. We re-evaluated how badly we wanted some WWII history, and decided to pass for now.

2018-10-12 04.42.39-1

We continued walking, and eventually came to Trafalger Square. Neat architecture here as well. Everywhere in London is a mix of old and new.


Dave was excited to see this pub since he’d just finished playing Sherlock! We passed on it, as it was just another chain pub.


When we couldn’t walk any further we stopped for lunch at a little cafe across from this theater where Iam Mckellen was doing a show. Pretty cool. The little cafe was nice, with an open window looking out on the street, and we were sitting at the window, enjoying watching the people go by. When I ordered Fish & Chips, the guy wrote it on his order pad and said ‘fish & chips & beer’ and we were like ‘wait, what’, and he says ‘it comes with beer’, and we said ‘we don’t want beer’, which puzzled him ‘no beer?’ ‘No, no beer’ and ordered a Sprite, which is when I think we found out that in the UK Sprite = Diet Sprite. If you order ‘lemonade’ you get something like 7Up. Cultural differences, I guess!

Next up: The British Museum, and surprisingly expensive Indian food.


The whole trip:

England – Getting There

England – Bath

England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle

England – York

England – York Part 2

England – London

England – London Part 2

England – London Part 3

England – London

Our train pulled into Victoria Station, and we followed the flow of the crowd out onto the street. We looked at our offline maps and confidently went in the wrong direction for a few blocks, then turned around and tried the other direction. On the way we passed this:

2018-10-10 10.22.23


We continued and found The Grosvenor Hotel. After checking in we followed the long, convoluted trail to our room which involved TWO elevator rides with a long walk between them, as we were in the annex. Later we discovered we were at the farthest end of the hotel, as indicated here:


And if we’d taken the right exit from the station, we would have come out literally right next to our hotel.


The view from our window. Neat!

We decided to head right out and walk off all those hours spent on the train by swinging by Her Majesty’s home.


This was pretty close to our hotel, and we would be walking by it many times in the next couple days.


Wow, now THAT’S GOLD!


I have a crush on these little black taxis, I wonder if I can get one in the US?

The first night we decided to take a night time bus tour, as Rick Steve’s guidebook recommended them as a great way to get your bearings, and during a time when you probably wouldn’t be doing anything else. I think it probably did help a bit. Problem was, getting to it. We bought tickets online, then were supposed to catch it by the Ritz, on the other side of the park next to the Palace. But when we walked there, we got a little lost, and ended up hurrying, and ultimately flat out running to catch the bus just as it was ready to go! I did not think I had any running left in me after all the walking we had done, but there you go. We got our seats, and enjoyed a cool evening tour around town.

The next morning we got breakfast at a nearby coffeeshop, then took a bus down to Westminster to catch a waterbus to Tower of London, because I believe the main thing we had to do that day was go to a play at the Globe, and we already had tickets, so we couldn’t be late.


Water Bus! These were part of the bus system and you paid for them with your Oyster card, same as regular buses, so that was pretty cool. Transportation, plus a fun ride on the river all in one!


We got off at Tower of London, but after seeing the lines and the price of admission, we decided to pass on it. We headed over to cross to the South Embankment to walk to the Globe. And to do that we had to cross:


Tower Bridge! It’s beautiful!


Once on the other side there’s a nice promenade that runs the length of the waterfront, at least as far as we went. Lots to see, and benches to rest on (we were getting REALLY tired from all the walking).


Along the way we saw whatever this is. It wasn’t moving, but it looked like a lot of its parts were water-animated when it was turned on.


We also saw this beautiful ship in drydock.

Finally we got to the Globe, where we got our cushions and waited with a mob to get in. For a weekday afternoon, there were plenty of patrons!


Lots of people on the floor! The whole theater was packed. The seats in the balconies were benches scrunched up to the railing so tight my knees were touching the railing and I couldn’t quite put my feet on the floor. It was super-uncomfortable, and my legs fell asleep, which definitely cut into my enjoyment of Othello. It was probably the best performance I have seen of Othello, but if Dave hadn’t wanted to stay I would have bailed at intermission.

Afterwards I had a little meltdown as I was tired, my feet were tired, my legs were sore, and we didn’t have a phone to direct us to a good restaurant, so the last thing I wanted to do was wander aimlessly looking for a place to eat and end up at some weird pub that didn’t have table service. Dave stayed cool and led me to an italian restaurant nearby with a view of the river and St Paul’s Cathedral, and table service. Perfect.

Next: A long boat ride to nowhere, as I get us lost.


The whole trip:

England – Getting There

England – Bath

England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle

England – York

England – York Part 2

England – London

England – London Part 2

England – London Part 3

England – York (part 2)

I am mixing up what happened when a bit. We got in a lot of walking and exploring. We wandered all over that town, down little alleys, hung out in a town square or two, admired the old buildings, and stopped for tea and pastries in little cafes. Our three days in York are a bit of a blur!

2018-10-09 02.23.17

That is not warped because of lens distortion – that is how it looked!

2018-10-08 07.18.41

Wherever you go, there’s the Minster!

2018-10-09 02.23.34

2018-10-09 02.19.56

The Shambles – look at those buildings leaning this way and that. The overhanging floors were on purpose to give maximum walking space below. This was a butcher’s row back in the day, and the windows on the street levels have wide sills for laying out meat on.

2018-10-09 02.20.52

Pastries (yum)! I abandoned my low-carb diet for the duration of the trip. This stuff was too good to pass up on.

2018-10-09 02.15.21

This is the street where our flat was, with a pub below and a lovely pastry shop across the street, and restaurants and shops all around.

2018-10-09 01.24.26-1

Hmm, I didn’t read this bit in my Rick Steves book until one evening while laying in bed…

2018-10-09 02.15.45 our flat on Grape Lane!! Ahhhh! We’re in the brothel district! Well that’s pretty memorable!

Also memorable – while trying to take a picture of our flat’s front door, I fumbled the phone and it fell flat on it’s screen..and shattered. First phone I’ve broken, and I literally bought it a week before the trip because it had a better camera than my old phone! Luckily it was a cheap one!


2018-10-09 04.13.44

One day we hopped on a boat and took a little ride up and down the River Ouse. We saw more of these adorable canal boats, and got a lovely view of town and countryside. We saw more men with carp fishing setups just like we’d seen in Stratford.

2018-10-09 02.36.18

We walked to the other end of the historic part of town to see York Castle, dramatically perched above a car park. The wiki says this stone castle was built in the 13th century to replace wood structures that had stood there since 1068!

2018-10-09 02.54.43

We walked around the upper wall. Dave is not fond of heights, but I enjoyed the view.

2018-10-09 03.26.50

Back into town, this part is new compared to the part we were staying in. Victorian, I’d guess from the looks of that building.


We walked our feet off in York! This was a nice bench with a view of the Minster where we enjoyed some take-away fish & chips for lunch one day.

On our final evening we went and saw a play at the York Theater Royal, which was a very nice theater, recently restored, but beautiful and classic inside. We saw a play called ‘They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay’, which was a comedy farce with five players, one of who plays multiple parts, and exposes all the problems of the world for blue collar workers set against a humorous looting of the local grocery store. It was very funny and well done, and showed us that although UK has some things figured out better than we in the US do, they still have a lot of the same problems and worries for folks at the bottom of the pile. The actors warmed up the audience before the show with some folk songs.The player who played multiple parts differentiated his parts by popping on a mustache and changing hats, and the other characters made fun of how similar the characters looked, it was VERY funny.

All good things must come to an end. We LOVED York! There was so much to see and do, and it was all in easy walking distance. I’d be game to come back to both Bath and York for a visit again.

2018-10-10 03.39.44

It was finally time to jump on a train (after first visiting the train museum and looking over a collection of royal train coaches) in the neat Victorian-era train station, and head for our next stop..London.


The whole trip:

England – Getting There

England – Bath

England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle

England – York

England – York Part 2

England – London

England – London Part 2

England – London Part 3

England – York

We arrived in York just as the sun was setting. We grabbed our rolly suitcases and headed into town, navigating by phone, to find our AirBnB flat, above a pub. After we settled in, we went down and wandered around the immediate area, trying to decide on where to go for dinner, and finally came back to our pub and ate there. It was very good, kind of gourmet pub-food!

Our flat had an entrance on the ground floor, where a little room had a clothes washer, and then the next floor had the bedroom and bath, and up one more was a living room/dining room/kitchen. It was quite roomy for us!


For some reason there was a small reflector telescope there, set up all wrong. I entertained myself by sorting it out. It wasn’t even pointing up!

The next morning we grabbed breakfast at our pub and headed out to catch the local volunteer guide tour. We met at the museum just outside the city walls. Although there is a modern part of York, we were staying in the historic portion, which is ancient, and is still mostly surrounded by medieval protective walls.


The guide took us to see some of the original Roman walls, topped by medieval walls.


In one place as we walked along the wall you could see where the moat used to be.

2018-10-08 04.03.52

In the center of historic York is the Minster, which dates back to at least the 1200s. Obviously it took a very long time to build something that big! It looks amazing from every angle. It very much dominates the skyline.

2018-10-08 04.36.29

At one point the tour group stopped in the shadow of the Minster while the guide told us about how the medieval stained glass windows were removed and shipped out to be hidden in countryside homes during WWII to protect them from bombing. We were freezing the whole time, because the Minster is so big it causes winds to blow down the sides of it.


When he let us go, we went back and explored inside the Minster. Unfortunately it was under restoration inside. I would have liked to be able to see it without all the scaffolding. Maybe next time.



Outside the city walls, near the museum, is what’s left of another church. Built in the 1200s, St Mary’s Abbey was torn down during King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539-ish.   I think this was one of my favorite things in York!


As we walked around it, we looked down and realized the footprint of the original building is clearly visible, and it was HUGE (as you can see in this view from Google Earth). The best part is that if you go into the museum next door, down in the basement you will find more of the Abbey preserved on display!




And back outside, if you walk around you will find the remnants of the wall that would have protected the Abbey grounds.

2018-10-08 07.30.33

We just sat on a bench and rested for a bit and enjoyed looking at this and imagining what it must have looked like in it’s day.

With the big churches out of the way, lets go look around in town…


The whole trip:

England – Getting There

England – Bath

England – Stratford on Avon and Warwick Castle

England – York

England – York Part 2

England – London

England – London Part 2

England – London Part 3