Friday, 31 May 2019

GB19 - Three go to Devon

The final payment has to be made by today so I did it yesterday. 

The three of us will have a week holiday in the UK instead of the planned trip to France.

Now I have made the payment I have the full address so I can refine the routes I have planned for getting us down there. Rather than a vague area. I can also see what there is to visit locally. Places where Reggie will be as welcome as we are. 

To ensure that we have a good start I have also booked a Days Inn motel part way along the journey. As the journey takes us on the M25 around the south of London and the nightmare it can be in a car on a Friday morning I decided to book an overnight stop on the Thursday evening at Fleet in Hampshire.  

It's not scenic. A chain hotel on a motorway/freeway service area. As long as there is a bed and somewhere for Reggie to pee etc. then that's all we need. 

We can set off in the morning and hopefully miss the motorway rush hour.

My current route down there includes a stop at Stourhead. A historic house.  Reggie can't go in the garden but we can have a pee break for all three of us!! And a top up.

We also pass Stonehenge. Could we stop? No. It's too far to walk and it is not dog friendly. 

The stones are in the middle of a huge field that is fenced off from where the public are allowed. Seems very unreasonable.

Food for thought. I have no more days off now until the end of the summer term and so my focus will be on work and then this trip. Okay you know me. I'll be looking for 2020...

Thursday, 25 April 2019

GB19 - Devon Staycation

FR19 may have crashed and burned but rising from the ashes like a phoenix from the flames is Devon Staycation. Coded GB19.

A week in ear!y August in sunny Devon. Or at least I hope it's sunny.

Devon is a popular holiday spot for English families. With two national parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, and places to visit where even dogs might be welcomed.

I searched for dog friendly on the 'net, with an added filter of "enclosed garden". I rejected a few until I came across Annas Cottage. And it features an enclosed patio and seating area. 

Even Reggie won't be too unhappy with that, plus in the reviews people say that there is a field for dogs to run around. Whatever he will make it his personal territory.

I paid a third deposit today. Balance end of May.

So now to plan things to do!!

FR19 - Est Mort.

Sadly we have decided to change our destination for the August ho!iday. All my plans and routes have been deleted. 

At some stage Tripit will update and remove everything from our calendar.

Maybe next year? Or maybe later in the year with a different guise?

Saturday, 20 April 2019

FL19 - Eventually


The weather forecast was for heavy rain and then thunder and lightning.

As boarding time approached we didn't get to move very far. The plane was here and so were the crew and passengers. 

Once on the plane we were told that due to the weather the area was shutdown for refuelling and flight. It was just about midnight when we eventually took off.

Estimated flight time 7h 40m. It would mean cutting it fine for the transfer in Dublin to the London flight 

We landed with about 35 minutes in hand but sat in the taxi way before getting a gate until 1345.

And our 1340 connection had left.

Stranding over a hundred passengers in Dublin. We were lucky to get a new flight at 1430. We saw quite a few others from the MIA flight. 

It took off 20 minutes late and we touched down just before 1600 at Heathrow. Our bags managed to come with us though and that might be a miracle.

DriveFly were really good and the car was there 

We were back in Hythe around 1800. A stop in Sainsbury's and home to Reggie.

After 33 hours awake finally bedtime.

Holiday over.

Friday, 19 April 2019

FL19 - Homeday

Late up. Why? At 4am I woke up wondering where I had put the DriveFly receipt for our car at Heathrow. It was in my backpack.

With a late departure we had a run out to get some vittels for the plane, and some US biscuits (it's kinda traditional) to take to work. I opted for Nutter Butter. You can't make that up.

We were packed up and the car loaded to check out before 6pm.

TomTom brought us right to the Dollar check-in. I remembered to fuel up this time. At $2.659 a US gallon. It worked out at about 31 mpg (US gals)  for the last tank fill-up we bought in Marathon on Tuesday.

Start mileage
End Mileage
In the end we covered 1158 miles in the two weeks.  Not bad really.

The car was rented on a full to full basis and judging how much to prepay was always guesswork. I usually slightly under guessed but this time I need to be more spot-on.

I can't be to peed off that when collected it was one bar from full and we took it back full!

So here I am whiling away the last hour and a bit nearer to Gate F19. All checked in.

Loads of bloody kids!!!!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

FL19 - Fursday

Really more like Kindle Day and lunch at Denny's. The sausage, bacon and egg with pancakes combo for $5.99 was perfect for lunch.

Last full day here and we had a lie-in. A relaxing day before lunch and after.

Claire to the pool and me the not so calming afternoon watching Arsenal at Napoli in the Europa League. Albeit on a Spanish language channel as I can't find it in Ingles.

Except despite advertising the game last night they are showing Valencia and Villareal. Grrr.

And so thoughts turn to dinner. Where tonight?

Taco Bell have joined Wendy's on the ❌ list after Claire was "unwell" after the last visit. Wendy's went there in 2014 after the greasiest slimiest burger ever ..

In the end we went for a drive up and down the streets of Weston. Firstly to Walgreens for more turmeric to take home and then to Publix. Fried chicken and potato salad. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

FL19 - Flamingos Day

Today we went to the Flamingo Gardens in nearby Davie. 

We have been a couple of times before and it always a good half day checking out the animals and birds.

Glade and human friend

Animals like Glade. A four year old alligator that came to the gardens after being rescued. Along with many others he was part of an egg theft and kept in a Tupperware and us far too small for his age.

Others are generally rescues and brought in by the public. Even the black bear!

American Black Bear - rescued

Plus the birds the park is named after.

They have mostly kept the park for native species.

Elvis - large male alligator

Close-up of Elvis

But there are some imports. Such a peafowl.

And then back to the apartment via my usual visit to Walmart for Fruit of the Loom underpants. Sadly Hanes have taken over and no FotL to be seen in briefs!! So bought only one packet of Hanes. End of an era.

I watched Tottenham beat Man City in the Champions League semi final. Bah! And Claire had a doze. 

Dinner tonight is the Chinese we didn't eat last night. We over ordered and have around half left.

Tomorrow is our last full day here in Weston. So we need to think of something to do.

We fly home Friday but not until late so we could stay here later than a normal check out. Officially we don't actually check out until Saturday.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

FL19 - Back from Keys

That's about it. TomTom decided not to take us on any toll roads but on the 997 and 27 that I have expected.

Since last time they have dualled 997 part way but the bit to the north of Homestead still single with road works. Still better than I75 and US1.

Stops? One at a Dunkin for breakfast and one at a t-shirt where Claire bought some fancy Skecher shoes for $34.

Then back to Flamingo One. Lunch? Cereal! I watched Barcelona show Man Utd how to win without breaking sweat and Claire had a nap. 

Now at Starbucks in Weston. Tried the app on my phone that I use at home. I expected for it to register two drinks but not take money... It did the latter. Have no idea about the reward star!!

Coffee in the sun
Weston Town Center

Monday, 15 April 2019

FL19 - Monday Also

With a trouser belt malfunction we had a short trip to a local KMart.

A new Dickies belt purchased and then a little drive up and over the Seven Mile Bridge. I forgot to check the odometer but I am unsure it is not that long.

We stopped off at a bit of beach. There is very little like this it seems.

Then back to Sea Dell.


Across the road at the Cracked Conche Cafe. It seems that conch is like a big whelk. And rubbery. Very rubbery.

The portions enough to feed a family of five. Had we not been at a motel and at the apartment we would have had a box to takeaway.

Pictures taken on the way back.

Cracked Conch Cafe, US1 Marathon FL

And the motel.


The world is our oyster.

FL19 - Sea Dell Motel

A nice old fashioned sort of place.

We have room 12 on the back of the site

Our neighbours have the Challenger that you can see part of. Sounded nice when it arrived.

Good enough and near where we wanted to be. Plus much cheaper than Key West.

Sea Dell Motel

A walk down the street show us the sea, but like most places, no access as the coast is privately owned and fenced off.