Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

The Hoare House, aka Stourhead, a National Trust Estate

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

Stourhead

I’m back from my “Garden Tour of England” and as you have learned from the previous post, written by the garden fairies here at The End Cottage, we are caught up with my own garden chores and all the guests are back home! Hence the delay in sharing my adventure!

It takes me months to plan which National Trust properties I will visit. After I decide on the properties I determine as many public and private gardens as I can in close proximity to the National Trust sights that I have picked out, and voila, my schedule of touring is complete! There is so much to see and do! So, let’s take a walk through the grounds and home of the Hoare family, here at Stourhead. It is the first of many delights this year on my Garden Tour of England. I have separated the posts into the house and to follow, the gardens.

The Story of Harry……… really it starts with all those Henrys and Richards in the Hoare family, who had nicknames of “good,” “magnificent,” and “naughty” to tell them apart. Sir Richard Hoare, was a goldsmith, in 1673, in London. Goldsmiths had secure premises and were the storehouses for cash and valuables so they were in a unique position to start a system of banking: lending their customers money for interest. He was granted the Freedom of the Goldsmith’s Company on July 5th, 1672 and this marked the foundation of the Hoare’s Bank. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1702 and then became Lord Mayor of London in 1712. His son, Good Henry, was a partner in the family bank, Hoare and Co. Henry the Good, lived at the bank during the week and wanted a country estate for holidays and leisure. In 1717 he bought the medieval Stourton estate for 14,000 pounds and renamed it Stourhead after the source of the Stour River. He built Stourhead House based on a 16th century Venetian villa, but died before his grand design was completed.  Henry Hoare, “the Magnificent,” grandson of Richard, and son of Henry the Good, dominated the family with his wealth and personal charisma and was a great patron of the arts. He expanded the estate and the gardens that were considered a showcase. The garden was completed in 1770 and it’s fame spread quickly and became a must see destination with the breathtaking landscape and classical temples set around the lake. The grounds included a Grotto, a Gothic Cottage, the Pantheon, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Flora.

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Temple of Apollo, Stourhead

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare (perhaps the naughty) and his wife Augusta inherited Stourhead in 1883, but it soon spiraled into decay when costs grew impossible to manage, because she loved living in the country and he preferred city life. Ainslie’s flamboyant lifestyle forced him to leave the bank and auction Stourhead paintings, furniture and books. He left Stourhead in 1885.

In 1894, after the death of his cousin, Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare and his wife Alda, inherited the unoccupied house that had sat empty for 10 years and the 2,650 acre estate with the run down, neglected and overgrown gardens. They decided to pack up and leave their home, Wavendom in Buckinghamshire, and move with their son, Harry Hoare, to Stourhead, to create a special home for their only son. Harry and his parents loved the estate and worked hard to make it the beauty it once had been.

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Entrance Hall at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

The Library at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

Little Dining Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Column Room at Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

I love that Poppy Red Color!

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Column Room, Stourhead

Detail of Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room, Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

An Ornate Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Italian Room at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

The Picture Gallery at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

Fancy Way of Saying, DO NOT SIT at Stourhead

In 1902, a fire broke out in a chimney and burned for hours. The center of the house collapsed from the attic down to the cellars. The family, servants, gardeners, estate workers and farm hands worked to salvage as much as possible from the burning building. Paintings were cut from their frames and furniture was thrown out of windows. The Hoares worked again to restore the house they so loved, especially  for Harry, since he had grown up here and loved every inch of the place and this would always be his home. As you can see from the many rooms of Stourhead, saving everything would have been quite a challenge! It was vast with huge collections of Everything!

On August 1, 1914, Harry joined the Dorset Yeomanry and within a week he was no longer the estate manager, working for his father, but a soldier fighting for his country. His military career was plagued with injury and ill health and every time he was taken ill he would return to Stourhead to be cared for by his parents. After each recovery Harry returned to the battlefield.

During WWI the house and grounds were opened to the “Tommies” from the nearby Red Cross Hospital at Mere. Alda made arrangement for the soldiers to have outings on the property. Especially popular with the men was  fishing in the Flora Bay and afterwards Alda would serve tea to all the boys at The Flora Temple. Flowers, grapes and vegetables were also sent to support the troops at the hospital.

On December 19, 1917, Captain Henry Holt Arthur Hoare (Harry), was shot in the lungs at the Battle of El Mugher in Palestine and died of his wounds in Raseltin Hospital in Alexandria. He was buried in the Hadra Military Cemetery there. Harry’s parents were devastated after his untimely death and made plans to bequeath the home and grounds to charity, opening the estate to visitors. On show days visitors were shown around by the butler or the head housemaid, following strict rules. In 1946, one year before the death of Harry’s father, the estate was split and half was gifted to the National Trust and half remains in family ownership.

Visiting this extraordinary house and gardens was made that much more interesting by learning about the family, the house and grounds. That’s what makes the estates in the National Trust so interesting, they are preserving History! Particularly fun was the large display of 19th century women’s hats found in the estate ticket office! Women and children spent a lot of time trying on the hats and primping in front of the mirrors! A first for me in a National Trust property!

Hoare and Co. is the oldest private bank in the United Kingdom. As the business prospered it was moved to 37 Fleet Street, where it still is today and run by the 11th generation of Hoare’s direct descendants.

Next we’ll visit the Gardens at Stourhead! See you there!

Where Is CadyLuckLeedy?

At the Trellis

At the Trellis

Hi! Garden fairies here. We are the fairies that live at The End Cottage, abode of CadyLuckNeedy, er Leedy! Ever since we returned from the UK, we have had to do most of the work in our garden! You see we think we are being punished, just a bit, because we pulled off a fast one! Last year we read all about her “English Garden Tour” on the blog, after Cady had made plans to tour gardens on the National Garden Scheme and the National Trust, in Kent and Sussex.  It sounded like so much fun and all those pictures of flowers, stately homes, and cottage gardens were fabulous! So this year when Cady planned another tour, this time to Cornwall, Kent and Sussex, we hid in the suitcases and went too! Boy, did it get hot and stuffy in there, not to mention all the movement! We were quite dizzy for a few days, but, it paid off when we got to Cornwall and met up with some of our garden fairy friends! What a blast we had! All those gardens with magical hiding places were just right for partying! We will add our own thoughts about the gardens if Cady doesn’t get a move on with the blog! Just what is her problem?

After we returned from the UK it has been guest after guest at the cottage! And Cady really ignored us and became the big entertainer of guests! First, it was the grandkids and all that talk about college, blah, blah, blah. Then it was “Aunt Jan.” Forget about helping us in the garden. Cady and Aunt Jan just sat on the sitting porch and yacked it up and laughed and laughed.

The Sitting Porch

The Sitting Porch

You could hear them from down the street!  Occasionally they looked over at the garden and as always after a big garden tour you knew there was going to be changes in ours! Gardeners just can’t help it, they are always changing things up! Their big idea of fun was to take the pictures of plants they liked and trot off to the nurseries looking for them!  They went to the nurseries (every day) and brought back more plants and work for us to do!  I think they got a pot fettish, because all the new plants were going in new big pots! Green ones, blue ones, purple ones!  

One of the Green Pots

One of the Green Pots

Everyday more pots would be brought in, not the plastic kind, oh no, they had to be big, and heavy, and frost proof too! Do you know how much time it took to get all those pots planted? We heaved and ho-ed, big bags full of Miracle Grow into those pots, not an easy task for the likes of us! Then we had to move the planted pots here and there to get just the right amount of light with their best side showing!

Plenty of BIG Pots

Plenty of BIG Pots

Voila! The Planted Pots with Snow and Summer Jasmine in the Front Cottage Garden

Voila! The Planted Pots with Snow and Summer Jasmine in the Front Cottage Garden

The Hidcote Blue Lavender

The Hidcote Blue Lavender

The New Foxtail Ferns

The New Foxtail Ferns

First Lady Speedwell

First Lady Speedwell (Planted in the Ground)

Jazz Hands Chinese Fringe Flower

Jazz Hands Chinese Fringe Flower

Chenille on the Sitting Porch

Chenille on the Sitting Porch

Dwarf Lime Spirea

Dwarf Lime Spirea

Snow and Summer Jasmine

Snow and Summer Jasmine

A fairy’s work is never done! We met up every night at dusk at the trellis. Minerva from the Woodland Garden and me from the Cottage Garden would decide what would be completed next. Plus we had all the weeding to do to make up being gone from the garden almost a month! In the meantime Cady and friends just sat on the sitting porch or the sleeping porch and ignored us, while admiring all our work! What about all those gardens in the UK? We want to read all about our new friends and see if you can spot us in the gardens! She needs to get a move on!

We may have to re-think going on a tour of the gardens again. We have been working every night and even in the day, (Yikes, we get so little rest now) and we are exhausted! But, we thought we should let you know what has been going on here and our big dilemma! Too Much Work! Hopefully Cady will read this and know we have found our way into the cottage (with the help of Bella, but don’t tell Cady or Bella may not get any more treats)

Bella

Bella

We now can post on her blog! That may get her moving!

Till next time! Posting has been daring and fun so we may try this again!

Minerva Woodland and Flora Cottage, fairies at The End Cottage.

 

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

It has been soooooo hot here! This should perk everybody up!

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 10 TO 12

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)
  • 3 pints chocolate or vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

Preparation

For Butterscotch Sauce

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until both sugars dissolve. Increase heat and boil until large bubbles break on surface and sauce drops thickly from spoon, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cream and vanilla (mixture may bubble vigorously). DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm slightly over low heat before using.

For Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with parchment paper; butter paper. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop half of dough by large spoonfuls into each prepared pan; spread evenly.
  • Bake cookies until light golden, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies in pans on racks. Carefully turn out cookies; peel off parchment.
  • Place 1 cookie, top side up, in 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Drizzle 1/4 cup sauce over. Spread evenly with ice cream; drizzle with 1/2 cup sauce. Top with remaining cookie, top side up; press gently to adhere. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons sauce. Cover pan and freeze ice cream cake at least 5 hours. Cover and chill remaining sauce. DO AHEAD Cake and sauce can be prepared 3 days ahead.
  • Cut around cake with small knife to loosen. Release pan sides. Let cake stand until ice cream is slightly softened, about 20 minutes. Rewarm butterscotch sauce over low heat. Cut cake into wedges; serve with sauce.
  • Check out http://www.epicurious.com/ for more recipes!

Some Things Are Never Easy!

The Dreaded Airport!

The Dreaded Airport!

I’m back from vacation!

As one gets older things are not so easy! I put this post under the Travel Tips category, but maybe it would be better under Travel Warning!

My observations:

The long term parking lot gets farther and farther away from the airport. At our airport the only solution was to walk from the new LONG TERM lot to the departure Terminal!  A good 30 minutes and pulling/carrying luggage to boot! Are you kidding me?

There is a great deal of distance to walk in the airports now to get on or get off a plane! You know you are in trouble when the signs are posted to let you know how much time is needed to get from A to B! 20 minutes? Are you kidding me?

At the Departure Gate, a good hour is spent notifying passengers to MAKE SURE their wheeled carry-on luggage fits in the bin used to measure said luggage. No one pays any attention to said notifications, but the passengers begin to eye up everyone’s carry-on luggage. When the announcement to board plane is made the boarding attendant personally asks, as she takes your boarding pass, that each passenger place their carry-on luggage in measuring bin to see that indeed your carry-on is the proper size. Most fail, and passengers get to leave their luggage, to be properly stored in the baggage section on the plane. Results: Over 1 1/2hours to board plane and plane is an hour late taking off!  Check YOUR Baggage in the first place!

The seats on airplanes are getting smaller and smaller and I sit in business class!

After arrival at destination, to get to the Car Rental Station, one does the required 20 minutes from Landing station to terminal, including 3 sets of escalators, and more walking to wait in line at Passport Control. Following Passport Control, you are off to claim baggage in another section of the terminal. From there you exit the terminal, walk over the sky bridge to another building and take a set of elevators to the ground floor and a large bus terminal. Now you wait in the proper bus line that it took you 20 minutes to figure out, because there are lots of buses going everywhere and you must wait on a particular brand of Car Rental Bus that finally picks you up and takes you to the hinterland where the said Car Rental Station is. At the Car Rental facility there is another line and although you have pre-booked everything there still is a line and finally after a thorough car examination, by the attendant, you can escape the airport. Now the fun begins because you are driving on the opposite side of the road and on the opposite side of the car than you are used to! There is always an adjustment period, and lots of driving reminders from your better half!  There, now didn’t I make that sound more civil than it actually was?  But, who cares you are out of the Airport!

Moving on…………………now to return home.

On final arrival at destination, at the end of the trip, new adventures await. There are now new computer kiosks to check your passport, take your picture, and get your fingerprints. This all has been added since you departed the same airport three weeks prior. You still get to talk to the agent, who asks if you have any food with you, or plants before he welcomes you back to the US.

Waiting at the baggage claim, you wait and wait and wait, because this time your plane arrived early and it seems every other plane has arrived at the same time too. TWO hours later you have your luggage, (this is the reason no one wants to check their bags) as you watch the Customs Line get longer and longer and six lines deep. Once in line with the throng of other people, the beagle sniffing drug dog is the only thing one finds remotely amusing! Who knew they used little beagles for this job? When you finally get to Customs (after another 1 1/2 hour wait) I am again asked about any food or plants and after 2 seconds of questioning I am allowed to pass. I want to Run out of that airport Screaming, but I don’t. There is probably another line for that!

Believe me when I say ONE NEEDS a Vacation from the Vacation upon return! My front porch may be my next vacation spot!

PS OK, My ranting is over! I did have a lovely time in England doing my annual garden tour. As always, there were some setbacks and some new unplanned adventures. Read all about it in future posts, now that I have re-couped from the air travel! Have you had similar experiences? I have traveled to Europe at least once a year for over 15 years and I have never experienced “Airport Situations” as this years! And I get to experience it again in September!

PSS…….If one is looking for gainful, steady employment I think the drivers of the small shuttles that Beep, Beep, Beep along while taking passengers from one spot to another, may be a good prospect with job security to boot! I can’t see the “Airport Situation” getting any better any time soon! There, all is off my chest!

 

Great Expectations

 

A Young Daphne du Maurier

A Young Daphne du Maurier

No this is not about the Charles Dicken’s classic novel. It’a about how I always have such “Great Expectations” before I set off on a new adventure (vacation)!

My new adventure is Cornwall in the United Kingdom and I am really looking forward to it. So I have been doing some research (as always) and this time was led to books by Daphne du Maurier, an English novelist who wrote between 1931 and 1989. She was born in Cornwall in 1907 and died in Cornwall in 1989. So I think she would know about Cornwall! Three of her books were written specifically about life in Cornwall; Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and Frenchman’s Creek. So I ordered a book from the UK that contained all three books. It was published in 1939 and the book itself was a treasure. The binding was like new, so someone cherished this book. There was that musty smell that old books have, with the pages yellowed on the edges. I felt the book had just left the library of Miss Jane Marple’s cottage in St Mary Mead! I have a good imagination, don’t I? Agatha Christie is another author I enjoy! Imagine my surprise to find out that the sweet looking, Daphne du Maurier, who wrote these fantastic romantic novels, also wrote The Birds, which was made into an equally famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock!

I read all three novels (they were romance) and I did get a good perspective of the sea, coves, bogs, moors, smugglers and inns in Cornwall. I got a good idea of the Cornish people as well; very sturdy those folks! So now in my mind I have “Great Expectations” for Cornwall. I googled Jamaica Inn with the plan of going there, since it still is a working inn. The reviews, however, were very dismal. The location is off a very busy road (as it was in the old days) but the Inn is more like a rest stop on a toll road. Very touristy. It did not meet my expectations, so rather than ruin my dream I’ll think of Jamaica Inn as written in the book.

Another book I read before my vacation was The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit. Wow, this garden has been in Cornwall since the 1600’s and there is quite a story here! Heligan is on my “List of Gardens” to see during my Second UK Garden Tour. I won’t spoil it for you, but I must say, I think it will be the first garden I’ve ever visited that had an exorcism by a priest in the 20th century! Now that should interest you, it did me!

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

I was also inspired by all the documentaries, mysteries, and great TV programs to be found on the Acorn App (all British TV) that is streamed to my TV! I hardly watch anything else now! No sex, no violence, no filthy language here! How refreshing! I especially like all the Agatha Christie, Miss Marple series, with my favorite Miss Marple being Geraldine McEwan, who was the sleuth from 2004 to 2009. What a darling old lady she was! I am glad I got to peek into her cottage at St Mary Mead (on TV) because I know I will see small villages that are very similar on my Garden Tour and I just know my book came from one of those cottages! Hopefully, I’ve offered some inspiration for your pre-travels, it’s good to know something about the place you’re visiting, so you get a feel of it before you arrive! Great Expectations To You!

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

 

 

 

Sitting On My Porch Today

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

I saw……. The same gal I see every morning walking her canine. The thing that puzzles me is the big rucksack she always has strapped to her back. It looks like she is trekking in the Himalayas! Also today she has added a new item, a very large branch from a tree! I do not know what this all means exactly. Dear readers, any ideas? Who says a Small Town is boring?

PS  I am trying out this post to see if I can actually post from my phone! I may be trekking myself in the future and a post from the hilltops could be awesome!

AnyList: A Must for Planners!

Make a List

Make a List

I am a list maker! And an itinerary maker, a book reader, a blogger, a plan maker, and oh yeah, a grocery shopper! So I am always looking for a better way to keep it all together! And I want it on my IPhone, my IPad and my computer, simultaneously. And all in one place!

This week I have been experimenting with the App ANYLIST and I love it!

Here are the reasons why:

I can quickly create any Organized Custom List I want and find it on my IPhone, my IPad and my Computer in one place. I can make Folders and keep lists in each folder. For example; I have a “Travel Folder” and in it I have a “Travel To Do List”, a “Packing List,” and an “Itinerary List,” to name a few. I also have a custom “Book Folder” with lists in it, and a “Blog Folder” with lists. All kinds of Lists and each in it’s own Folder! I can mark items off the Lists one by one or create a “Favorites List” to save items for the next time I travel and I won’t have to make each List over again. I can just add new items to the custom “Favorite List.”

I can share my lists with friends or family or mark them private.

It makes a FABULOUS Grocery List! It automatically puts your items in a grocery category and you can customize the categories to the Layout of your grocery store and how you shop there! For example; if you go down the vegetable and fruit aisle first at Kroger, the fruits and vegetables would be first on your list at that store. Do you shop for different items at different stores? Do you shop for bulk items or at vegetable stands? You can customize your grocery items to different stores or locations.

If your husband is like mine and wanders a different way in the store, the list can be set up for him with his shopping pattern!

You can import recipes from the web or write your own and save the ingredients to your List. It also saves the actual recipe and instructions too, and shows which item goes with what recipe. And puts the Recipes in categories too, like,” Main Dishes, “Breads,” “Pasta,” whatever category you want them in.

You can take a picture of an item, if you want a specific brand of anything. This is good too if your husband is shopping for you, as he will most likely come home with the only product you didn’t want, or buy several different kinds of something because he had no idea what you wanted! I know this from experience ladies!  You can also add a note to the Grocery item, such as to remind yourself you have a coupon.

You can add anything to any List by Voice by using Siri! I Love this, I don’t even have to open AnyList to add something!

Location Reminders alert you when you go by your Grocery Store, etc. that you have items on a List for there. So you won’t get home and say, “I drove right by the grocery store, or CVS, or the cleaners, and forgot I needed some things!” Your Lists can be categorized to your local store, how cool is that?

So, if you are a List Maker like me or an Organizer, this is the App For YOU! Enjoy!

PS…… I needed some help with one of the instructions and a real person answered my email promptly. Another great thing. And they send out new messages periodically to review a feature of the App, so you will get full use of it! Absolutely LOVE IT!

PSS… I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

 

Before you Go on Vacation You Might Want to TEP!

Let's TEP!

Let’s TEP!

Where are my emails? What info did I have in my Itinerary? How can I send a post and a picture to my family? How do I see all the maps I downloaded? How do I call my vacation host? What’s the weather for today? I need my Wi-Fi!!!

Does this sound like you when on vacation?

It’s that time of year again when I’m off for a vacation and absolutely DREAD turning on my International Service on my phone! The roaming rates are sky high to begin with and I am at the mercy of internet service at my place of lodging! We do not EVER use the free Wi-Fi services offered at coffee shops or other places. They are not SECURE!

So this year we are using TEP, a portable Wi-Fi, for Smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Why are we going this route?

Here are the benefits:

  1. It is a small hand held device that provides internet access with your own Wi-Fi network and your own personal password. It will fit in my husband’s pocket or my small purse!
  2. It will connect up to 5 devices at the same time, in every country that I would ever think of going to! Even on a cruise ship!
  3. It has 8 hours of battery life with a 20 hour standby time. It comes with a battery charger too.
  4. There are no set up or cables required.
  5. There is no Data limits or caps.
  6. You can rent the device or buy it. (We travel a lot so we bought one, the fees are lower per day and you are only charged for the days you use it. If you rent one it is mailed to you and then you are charged a flat fee for every day it is in your possession, whether you use it or not and we didn’t want to have the hassle of sending it back every time)
  7. There are no ROAMING FEES!
  8. 24/7 customer support. Get in touch via phone, email, chat, or social media!
  9. 100% No BS money-back guarantee, guaranteed.
  10. The reviews were fabulous!

This is going to be one less headache when traveling! And with the money saved I can buy another plane ticket for a vacation! Yipee!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

JustPark: How To Find a Parking Space ANYWHERE in the UK!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

Time for the annual Garden Trip to the UK! YEAH! For Americans there is the thrill of driving on the wrong side of the street with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! Now if that is not enough to say you are having fun then let’s add looking for a parking space in a village with unknown, very narrow streets where you pull in the side mirrors to keep from hitting the cars that are double parked on the only main street. And these are the villages that have only one main road!

Last year, after driving from Heathrow Airport to Tenterden, we thought we were well into the feel of the wheel so to speak. The hardest part is pulling out onto the road, we tend to forget and go back to our old ways on the wrong side. It’s good to have another person with you to remind you, “You are on the wrong side dear,” or more like, “What the hell are you doing? You’re on the wrong side!’

When we arrived in Tenterden we immediately began our quest for a parking lot. We wanted to go to the grocery store and have a look around town before we went to the B&B. We pulled into a lot and a spot after waiting for someone to pull out. It was a very busy lot to say the least, but we were so glad we had even found a parking lot! We got out of the car and noticed quite a few people were sitting in their car. Well that was good because we couldn’t figure out how to pay the meter. There was only one at the end of the lot. A very nice man came to our aid and said we had to put in the number of our license plate to correspond with the number marked on the pavement of our spot in the lot. Back to the car to get all the proper information. Then back to the parking meter and after having to get the correct change made from quite a few of the car sitters, we were making quite an impression. Then I noticed a very sick looking woman walking with crutches from across the street to the car park. As I looked up I saw the sign, “Surgery Parking.” It was what we call, the doctor’s office parking lot. OMG! So we went and moved the car. We drove down the street a little further and found the entrance to the grocery store parking lot. Imagine our amazement that you pay to park here as well! But at least we knew how to pay the meter and after again getting change from some more of our new car friends, we were able to get out and about. Now picture this scene, to some extent, in every town we visited. At least after that first day we always tried to keep a lot of change with us!

This year I found the App, JustPark, an app for parking in the UK. I tried it out to see if it would actually work in some of the places I was going. It did. Just put in location. The map pops up with the location of the lot. Then pick a lot, if there is more than one. Sometimes in really small places there is no lot, you may be parking in a private drive close to your location. It also shows how far you are from particular sights or events. Good to know! A virtual camera shows you the actual parking space. It asks you what day you want to park there and for how long, and you can extend it without returning to the lot to put more money in a meter, so no parking tickets either! The App shows you the fee to park there. Because I have put my credit card info into the app, at home on a secure computer, my spot is paid for when I get there. The map screen shows me exactly how to get to the lot! I hope this works as well as I want it to! It will make my day so much easier! Check out JustPark.com! Oh and how do I always have wi-fi everywhere abroad? Without the roaming fees that drive me crazy? See my next post on TEP!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now. And no I am not taking my Abarth!

 

 

Thursday Doors; The Hidden Doors of Italy

 

 Italian Door

New Doors Set into Old Door Opening

 Italian Door

Italian Door Blocked Up

Blocked Up Italian Door

Blocked Up Italian Door

 Italian Door

The Wrought Iron Italian Door Covering

New Very Narrow Italian Door

New Very Narrow Italian Door

Today for Door Day I thought we might look at some more of the fascinating Italian Doors! Sometimes when I am looking for doors I come upon doors that look like there have been different doors in that spot in the past and new doors have taken their place for whatever reason. I always wonder what was the previous door like? Some have an arch where the door would have been and some entrances have been bricked up!

 Italian Door

Italian Church Door Within a Door

Then there are the doors within the door.  I see these quite frequently at churches. The main doors are massive and quite heavy, so there is a little door in the big door, making it easier to pass through. Look for the pull, that is still above your shoulder! The heavy, giant, door usually has a bolt system on the inside. Is it to keep out unwanted guests?

 Italian Door

New Italian Door

And then there is the door that looks like it is in the mouth of a grotto!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!

 

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