Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They Came Back!

Like we always knew they would!  We were super happy to see Janet and Phil and did our whining, crying, yelping and running around routine that these suckers never fail to fall for!  You would think they would tire of it, but not so; they lap it up like crazy!  Having said that, we were super happy to see them.

Our last photo of the UK - Phil trying his best to stuff everything inside the suitcases.  Normally Janet and Phil travel pretty light, but this trip was the exception.  Janet wanted to finish the binding on a couple of quilts so that meant increasing their luggage.  Check in time - they could barely lift them but were under the limit.
Why does he look so shocked!  This is the first and last time they will travel with so much baggage.
Janet was so tired the next day she almost felt sick.  Trooper  Pain in the ass that she is, she leapt at was dragged to every outing.  They went for lunch and by the time they arrived at Fabric Depot, she was somewhat cheered up.  Janet bought some fabric and batting and Bronwyn purchased some tulle for her office Halloween costume.  The costume committee threw themselves into action after dinner!
Janet "measured' the tulle and Bronwyn "sewed" the tulle.

Bronwyn is going to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
Looks very good!  She even has Toto in a teeny little basket!
And look, even I can do my best to be Dorothy!
I'm a really nice doggie, but what I really wanted to bark out was get this junk off me!
Bronwyn and Mike left early to go to work and Bronwyn was super sad to say goodbye to me....damn straight - I'm a pretty special doggie!
After they left, Janet tidied up a bit and Phil started to pack things up.

Still waiting:
Noodles, seriously, can't you see what's goin' down?
Janet was beginning to think Noodles was going to stay in Camp USA!
At long last, they threw us into the back of the good ol' Volvo and drove us they could have the same Italian lunch they had yesterday?  WTF?  This is us, watching from across the street while they eat!

La Burina for Phil.
This is what Mikey had yesterday.
Gino's favourite for Janet.
This is what Janet and Bronwyn had for lunch yesterday.  This is Janet's absolute favourite.
Bronwyn told Janet that if she had a daughter, Bronwyn would dress her in tulle all the time.   Guess what!  Bronwyn could fulfill her dream at Costco alone!

and here

and here again...and this is just one store!
We are part way through the journey and I've had enough of this car business.  As much as I want to go to Camp Canada, my buttcrack needs to be hauled into the back of the car big time.
No, Phil, I don't want to get back in the car!
Bonus after the car ride!  We get to stay in a hotel again!  There are just two of us now, so nodoggy has to be snuck in.  I'm cool with this hotel business.
Noodles, maybe not so much!
Come out from behind the drapes, Noodies!  It will be OK!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Poochies In The U.K. Live The Good Life!

Wow!  They get to go to pubs with their people!  Being as how BC just permitted children into pubs, it's unlikely pups will be invited inside in our doggie life times.

This incredibly cute little guy actually belonged to the table next door, but he was completely fascinated with these people.

That's Trudy on the left.  This drinks only pub was discovered by Janet and Phil as they wandered around Kintbury.  They looked in the window and  a man beckoned them to come inside.  They hesitated and then relented and were really glad they did.  They met some fabulous locals.
Looks like Janet's photo is clipped, right?  Tablecloth next door!  This was a young doggie and an older one.  The young one wanted to play and was a major cookie nut.

They get to go on narrow boat canal holidays!

This little doggie was nervous as was his owner.  It was their first narrow boat canal rental.
This is the last place Janet and Phil stayed.  Dundas Arms - pub with rooms.
Lots of narrow boats going by in the canal they can see from their room.
Janet's blogging corner!  Last binding now finished.
They closed the road outside the pub for the better part of Sunday to work on the rail track.  There was much standing around and doing nothing as there is on a Canadian job site.
Yesterday, they walked along the canal path to Hungerford which was about three miles.  After they arrived and had lunch, Janet didn't feel very well so they took the train back.  Janet said cool!  One hour and 15 minutes to walk there and four minutes to ride back.  Janet wants to do more train rides in the U.K.

This pub was on it's way into Hungerford.
We doggies are in charge!

Look out Narrow Canal Boat Community - Janet and Phil are seriously looking at renting one for a week next year!
They walked along this canal for about two hours today.  It was very pretty and peaceful.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Working Holiday!

Lest anyone think Janet is doing nothing but vacationing, she wants qyou to know she is also on a research mission.  Her mission, should she choose to accept it, is to ascertain her version of the Best Fish and Chips ( otherwise known as Battered Local Fish and Chips in the UK).

First up and two times around:  The Old Thatched Inn.
This place was incredible.  Second visit, the bar manager already knew what they wanted to drink.  Exceptional!

Next up, The Mole and The Chicken:
Janet says this pub was in a remote location.  Having said that, she also says there are many, many villages everywhere that are within two or three miles of each other.

Last contender, and trust us, Janet has sampled others in between:  Dundas Arms which is were they are spending the last three nights.
They really like staying here at the end of the trip as it's in a small village, has great food and rooms with many  fantastic pubs nearby and is only about an hour from Heathrow.

The was really tough but came down to The Old Thatched Inn and The Mole and the Chicken.  The latter won as their tartar sauce was just a teeny tiny bit better than The Old Thatched Inn.

Janet and Phil will be home soon...we can't wait to see them.  Just so you know, previous to all this fish and chip testing, this is what Janet used to look like.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Janet and Phil Leave The Farm

They have had a busy two days.  Yesterday, they visited Wassendon Manor, which was really impressive, but Janet didn't care for it.

The house was built by the de Rothschild family and was never occupied on a permanent basis.  It was built for the sole purpose of showing off their wealth and art collection.
The Box Hedge was lovely!
Janet's flash went off by accident in the dining room.  The whole house was almost in semi darkness to avoid the art work and tapestries from being damaged.  It was overkill on many levels, but that isn't why Janet didn't like it.  The house was built and furnished by an incredibly wealthy family who at some point in time no longer felt the need to pay for the upkeep.  They wanted to turn it over to the National Trust, but initially the NT would not accept it.  They no longer have the funds to accept properties that do not come with an endowment.  The Rothschilds in the end did offer some sort of financial deal.
Prior to going the the Manor, they had lunch at what Janet thinks is the best place to date:  The Mole and The Chicken, located in the middle of Buttcrack, U.K.  It was fabulous!

Sorry, a little bit dark!
They left the farm this morning.  Good bye, cute farm animals!
Good bye, Mr Goat and super cute llamas!

They also visited a couple of cute villages.  Thatched roofs rule, but we're going to bet that having it redone is not for the faint of wallet.

At the suggestion of our friends and neighbours, Jim and Anne,  Janet and Phil also went to the Morgan Car Factory.  Too amazing!  Janet was fully prepared to be bored out of her skull, but this was not the case.  They HAND MAKE 1000-1100 cars each year and the process is unbelievable.  They do not make for the mass market (obviously, Janet!) as almost all vehicles are pre-ordered.  Everything is done to the customers specifications - over 150 shades of leather for the interior and more than 3000 shades of exterior paint.  Entry level vehicles start at about 35,000GBP which Janet thinks is a score for a hand made vehicle.  She says it was nothing short of incredible!
Janet thinks this might be the Plus 8 model?  Jim??

Wooden frame, made of ash.

Interior being fitted with carpet and leather.  Everything with the exception of the BMW motors was made in this 100 year old factory.
Turns out this is Mr. Rockers Remembrance Week!  Janet has a new camera and the jpg numbers put the her new photos ahead of some old ones, which gives Janet a chance to look at photos of her Mr. Lovely.
Hello, Mr. Newborn Baby!  Rockers loves you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Mother Of All Shopping Outlets!

Unbeknownst to Janet or Phil, the town they are staying close to has a very famous "discount" outlet - Biscester Village.  It is full of nothing but high end designer shops - Stella McCartney, Burberry, Gucci, Prada and on and on!
Janet and Phil stopped by to see what they couldn't afford to purchase.  Get this - 4 coaches from London, filled with Asians and Middle Easterners.
By accident, they drove by on Sunday and there were 8 coaches!
They even had a currency exchange - at a very favourable rate, Janet is sure!
This line in nothing compared to Sunday's line up.
This is one of about 30 toilet "suites" in the women's washroom.  Guess a gal needs space to place her shopping bags!
And, a "Contemplation Room"!  Best Janet could figure out is that is a prayer room.
There also appeared to be a foot washing station.
Like all good malls, Christmas can't come soon enough.
Please say it isn't so!
Super Chef Janet kicked it up a notch with some roasted pork belly.  It came already seasoned so all she had to do was put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours and turn it every 30 minutes.  She tossed in some steamed veggies and fingerling potatoes.
Lunch today wasn't so hot.  It was a highly suggested eating spot by their "Good Pub Guide".  Service was really slow.
Phil had Pork Escallope with Creamy Mash.  The Creamy Mash didn't arrive with the dish and took a really long time to arrive.

Janet had Seafood Gnocchi, which was quite tasty but most of the seafood was small, canned shrimp.
Janet lied about not purchasing any more fabric.  She is just about finished hand sewing the binding on the second quilt she brought, so needed an airplane project.  She stopped into Bicester Wools for a brief moment to see if they had a little cross stitch kit she could purchase.  Forty five minutes later she left with the little kit and a "Knitty Critters" bunny kit and some quilting fabric by a British designer and made in the U.K.  Sucker!
Cute, right?
Last, but for sure not least, here is a photo Janet just came across of our beloved Rockers opening the door on his own.  Janet still mourns him and says she misses us a ton!  Janet says hello to every dog she passes whilst on vacation.
Love ya big time, big buddy!