Day 16! Hot Springs, Arkansas

Update: We’ve had the most horrendous thunder, lightening and rain storm but no tornado thank goodness. All’s well.

Well, we certainly didn’t bring the good weather with us to Hot Springs! Today we had a severe weather warning of rain, thunderstorms and even maybe a tornado! At the moment we have thunder all around us.

Bathhouse Row.

Bathhouse Row.

So, what is Hot Springs all about?  Hot Springs is known as Hot Springs National Park (it was the first US National Park) and takes its name from the 47 natural springs on the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain.  Originally Hot Springs was within the lands transferred to the US when the Louisiana Purchase was negotiated in 1803 and was home to the Quapaw Nation of Indians. It sits on thermal spring water and in 1809 when European settlers reached Hot Springs, they quickly realised the benefits of providing lodging and board for the visitors seeking relief in the hot spring waters.  By the 1830s a small town had appeared.

Bathhouse Row 2

Buckstaff Bathouse since 1912.

Between 1879 and 1895 the frontier town had been transformed into an elegant spa city with word-class hotels and Bathhouse Row where the Victorians would come to ‘take the baths’ to help relieve their aches and pains while curing their ills.  By the 1960s the bathing industry had declined and the bathhouses began to close. Bathhouse Row was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on 13 November 1974 and refurbishment started on the closed properties.  Today, two are open again for use.

An area of 5,500 acres provides approximately a million gallons of spring water a day and Hot Fountainthe water rising from the hot springs today fell as rain when the great pyramids of Egypt were built – 4,400 years ago (they have confirmed this through carbon dating the water) and the rain falling today will rise to the surface, heated and mineralised, 4,000 years in the future! The water becomes heated at a depth of about one mile before beginning its journey back to the surface.  It reaches the surface at 147 degrees fahrenheit or 64 degrees celsius!! As you walk along the street there are small fountains and sure enough, when you put your hand in the water it’s very hot.

Hot Springs Panorama 3The Ohio Bar 2We did manage to drive a couple of the scenic routes today and for lunch stopped off at the Ohio Bar and Grill in the Downtown Historic District of Hot Springs. The food was excellent.

The Ohio Bar first opened in 1905 and is said to be the oldest bar in Arkansas and its patrons included the likes of Al Capone, Mae West, “Lucky” Luciano, “Bugsy” Siegel, Frank Costello and other mobsters who frequented the Club for gambling and drinking. It’s also rumoured that Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton stopped by (although not together of course!) The bar is still more or less as it was back in its heyday with mirrors, fans and lights and has a massive 19th-The Ohio Bar 1century mahogany back bar measuring 15-feet-high and 24-feet wide with hand-carved horse heads and a mirror.  It’s believed to have come originally from Cincinnati and investigations are taking place to find out why it has the horse heads and also two ships’ mastheads either end of the bar.

Tomorrow we aim to ‘take the baths’ ourselves at the Buckstaff and experience what the Victorians so loved about Hot Springs!! Watch this space!!

Day 15! From Memphis to Hot Springs, Arkansas

Today was a driving day.  Only three hours but unfortunately due to road works, we came to a complete stand still for 30 minutes on one highway.  Just before we got there we dithered about getting off and trying a different route but thought ‘how bad can it be?’ Well, we soon found out!!

You know that thing they call ‘sod’s law’ well …….. just before we hit the stoppage I said to Si that at the next rest area we should stop so that I could use the loo (I know, too much information).  Anyway, I had no sooner uttered the immortal words and we came to a stop.  Isn’t that just your worst nightmare! What to do?  Well as luck would have it I had a very substantial plastic bag in the car (Dot, it was the one from Wilson’s Leather) so if the worst happened then I knew I had something to fall back on.

I was anxiously looking for the next rest area and there it was …………. closed!  We drove on to the next exit and came upon a petrol (gas) station and in we rushed, only to find that almost all of the people stuck with us on the highway had found the same place too.  There was a big queue for just one women’s and one men’s loos.  In the end, the women were using the men’s too.  What a nightmare!

Anyway, as we don’t have any new pictures for today we thought we would use this opportunity to post some of the pics that didn’t make the first cut!!  Enjoy!

Just realised I missed a few out, so the first ones are out out order!

A view from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.

A view from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.

A Buick Riviera in Nashville.

A Buick Riviera in Nashville.

A dressing room at the Grand Ole Opry.

A dressing room at the Grand Ole Opry.

Sitting Room at Graceland.

Sitting Room at Graceland.

Oh My!

Oh My!

You can see why we are all such good friends! Dot is our leader!

You can see why we are all such good friends! Dot is our leader!

Nat, your Mum must be so proud!

Nat, your Mum must be so proud!

There's that pesky squirrel again!

There’s that pesky squirrel again!

Simon in the Japanese garden at Sonnenberg Gardens.

Simon in the Japanese garden at Sonnenberg Gardens.

A Buddha at Sonnenberg Gardens.

A Buddha at Sonnenberg Gardens.

Convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers at Harpers' Ferry.

Convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers at Harpers’ Ferry.

Another outlook on Skyline Drive.

Another outlook on Skyline Drive.

A very kind Army Vet. offered to take a pic of us both whilst at a rest stop in Shenandoah.

A very kind Army Vet. offered to take a pic of us both whilst at a rest stop in Shenandoah.

Sandra talking on the phone to her brother, Tony, back in the UK whilst enjoying the view along Skyline Drive.

Sandra talking on the phone to her brother, Tony, back in the UK whilst enjoying the view along Skyline Drive.

A view from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.

A view from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.

A flower from the garden at Monticello.

A flower from the garden at Monticello.

The vegetable garden at Monticello.

The vegetable garden at Monticello.

A flower from the garden at Monticello.

Another flower from the garden at Monticello.

We saw the programme on TV where Frank from Antique Archaeology bought this head.

We saw the programme on TV where Frank from Antique Archaeology bought this head.

One of the band playing at Antique Archaeology.

One of the band playing at Antique Archaeology.

Sandra at Antique Archaeology.

Sandra at Antique Archaeology.

Simon at the Opry Land Hotel.

Simon at the Opry Land Hotel.

Simon's meal at Marlowe's.

Simon’s meal at Marlowe’s.

The entrance to Graceland.

The entrance to Graceland.

Basement TV room at Graceland decorated in yellow and blue.

Basement TV room at Graceland decorated in yellow and blue.

Elvis played this piano the morning of his death.

Elvis played this piano the morning of his death.

Day 14! Memphis

Today we’ve done the Graceland tour and I have to say that although we are not big Elvis fans we both found it quite emotional.

Graceland 7Graceland is a lovely place, not particularly large compared to some stars’ homes today. Elvis bought it in 1957 when he was just 22. He lived there with his Mum, Dad and Grandma.  Having been born into a poor family, their home had only two rooms at the time, he was a twin but sadly his twin brother was stillborn, he was conscious of hardship and was a very generous person.  If his brother, Jesse, had lived I wonder if they may have

Rear of Graceland

Rear of Graceland

been a double act!! He was always ready to help other people, and would give generously to people in need of help.  Cheques were on show for 1968 and each time he had given $1000 to each good cause, which at the time was a lot of money.

Cheques Elvis gave to good causes

Cheques Elvis gave to good causes

He was very close to his Mum, Gladys, and was always aware of how hard times had been for both her and his Dad and he was always buying her things to make up for the hard times.

Glady's pink Cadillac

Gladys’ pink Cadillac

He bought her a pink Cadillac and he kept the car after she died because he knew she loved it.  He would buy her jewellery, and things he thought she would like.  His Dad spent a period of time in jail and it was during that time when it was just Elivs and his Mum that they became very close. When Gladys died at the age of 46 he was devastated.

Graceland 9We were surprised at how many stage outfits he had.  All variations on a theme of jump suits.  Some encrusted with all kinds of stones.  We saw his car collection and were also able to go on board his private jet, Lisa Marie.  There were many different coloured seats and each had a matching seat belt all 24 carat gold plated.  He also had a Graceland 8private small jet called Hound Dog II.  The leather seats were yellow and green!!

Graceland 4

He was originally buried in a cemetery next to his Mum but for security reasons his Dad decided that both Elvis and Gladys should be moved to Graceland.  Elvis already had a meditation garden that he loved to sit in at quiet times, so their bodies were moved there and his Dad and Grandma, together with a memorial to his brother, Jesse, are there now too.

Graceland 5

Graceland 6

Graceland 2

Beale Street

Tonight we took our lives in our hands and hit Beale Street!! The street to be in Memphis.  We ate at BB King’s Blues Bar and listened to Blind Mississippi Morris playing and singing the blues. He was excellent.Blind Mississippi Maurice 2

Beale Street 5

Blind Mississippi Maurice

We were lucky that when we arrived in Beale Street there was a display of ‘hot rod’ cars … Si was in his element.

Beale Street 4

Beale Street 3

Beale Street 2

So tomorrow we leave Memphis and head to Hot Springs, Arkansas but before we go I just wanted to share with you a picture of  ‘a new place we’ve found to dwell, it’s down at the end of Lonely Street at the … Heartbreak Hotel’. Now if that doesn’t get you singing then nothing will!!

Swimming pool at the Heartbreak Hotel

Swimming pool ‘down at the end of Lonely Street at the Heartbreak Hotel’

Day 13! Nashville to Memphis

Well, if I get through this it will be a miracle.  I’ve been drinking!!

Today, we drove 3 1/2 hours from Nashville to Memphis.  The trip was an easy one, we passed the time listening to Patsy Cline. She was a Country singer who died at the age of 30 in a plane crash back in 1963.  So many young Country singers seemed to have died in crashes of one kind or another.  Her songs live on today.  Check out two of her greatest hits below.  The lip syncing is off in the first one.

(I don’t own the rights or anything to the videos).

HH2We are staying at the Heartbreak Hotel right next door to Graceland, the home of the King, Elvis Presley.  We will do the tour tomorrow so expect more pics then.

Tonight we’ve eaten at Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant.  It’s famous here in Memphis, Elvis used to eat here too.  The food was excellent and the portions huge.  I can understand how easy it must be to get into the habit of eating large portions.  Marlowe's 2

Poor Si was rather shocked at the size of his ribs!

Pink Caddy 1If you phone the restaurant they will come and pick you up in a pink Cadillac limo, so of course we had to do that.

They very kindly drove us back to the hotel afterwards and in our case it was a jolly good thing they did!! After starting with Pink Cadillac cocktails Pink Caddy 2 and then progressing to other alcoholic beverages we probably wouldn’t have been able to do the mile walk back!!

Day 12! Nashville – Part 2

Nashville 6It’s been a day of ‘firsts’ today! First, we did the behind the scenes tour of the home of Country music, the Grand Ole Opry, stood on the stage and sang a song and then we ate fried green tomatoes! (The picture is a copy of the official one taken of us today so the quality is not very good).

Nashville 5The Grand Ole Opry was ‘born’ in 1927 and to any Country music fan is the place to be and a ‘must’ to visit.  We walked in the footsteps of all the great, old and modern Country singers.  A lot of them live in Nashville and perform there on a regular basis to sold out shows of 4,400 people.

Nashville 1

Nashville 4

Nashville 3

One interesting fact is that each member of the Opry has their own mail box actually in the building and if a fan sends a letter to their idol, just addressed to the star’s name and Grand Ole Opry, then the letter is placed in the mail box and the stars come and empty their box and take the fan mail away to answer.

Fried Green TomatoesIf you have seen the film ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe’ then you will know all about fried green tomatoes.  They were delicious.

The Opry has its own outlet shopping mall so you know what that means …………. more shopping!! It’s now official ………….. we’ve purchased the extra suitcase to put all our purchases in.  It’s Memorial Day Weekend here so there’s lots of exceptional offers in all the shops so it seemed rude not to take advantage of the cheap prices.   Well, that’s what we are telling ourselves anyway! We got a really good deal on the new suitcase.

The other ‘first’ is that I’ve spoken to my brother, Tony, on Skype for the first time.  He’s new to 21st Century technology, he’s just bought his first computer and smart phone, but he seems to be handling it all really well!!

Day 11! Nashville

Well, Nashville does indeed have a lot to offer.

Antique ArcheologyWe started the day by visiting Antique Archaeology (their spelling)! Does anyone besides us watch the TV programme on the History Channel on Sky TV? Well, just in case we are the only ones, the programme’s about two guys, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz who are American pickers.  They travel the US searching for old stuff. They have two shops, one here in Nashville and one in Iowa and we will be visiting that one later on our trip.

We arrived at the shop this morning firmly believing that we would be the only two turning up and saying “hey we watch you on the TV and we thought we’d come and check out your shop”.  Well, how stupid are we!! We turned up at the same time as about 150 other people so it seems as though we are not the only ones watching them after all. There was Antique Archeology Bandeven a band playing music. It was quite the carnival event.

Nashville is a great place for live music and has the Country Music Hall of Fame and

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Museum.  Visiting is a must for any Country fan.  It shows the complete history of Country and Western music and has over 400,000 pieces of memorabilia including Elvis Presley’s solid gold piano and gold car that has a gold television and record player.

In Downtown Nashville there are literally dozens of bars, most playing live music all day, where a good time can be had by all.  If you are a young girl then shorts and cowboy boots are the order of the day. Simon will try and get a picture tomorrow ……….. as long as he doesn’t get arrested doing so!!

Nashville CostumesAnother programme I watch is a series called Nashville (it’s on More4).  It’s about two Country singers and part of it is actually filmed here in Nashville (surprise, surprise). Some of the costumes and things from the series are on show too.  Gosh, those dresses are really small.  I need to get back to the gym as soon as possible!!

Day 10! From Virginia to Tennessee

Well, this will be a short blog today as we spent all day in the car!

Mimslyn Inn

We left our hotel in Luray and the temperature had dropped from 83 degrees yesterday to 45 degrees this morning.  It was cold and as you can see, overcast!!

We’ve now made it to Nashville after a very uneventful 567 mile drive and also going through one time zone in which we gained an hour.  The skies are blue and the temperature is 73 degrees.

We spent most of the drive time playing the driving licence game, we now have 38 of the 50 State plates but we gave up counting dead animals on the highway ….. too morbid!

Tomorrow we will start discovering just what Nashville has to offer.

Day 9! Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia

Monticello 1aToday,we spent a wonderful day visiting Monticello, the home of America’s third President, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Building commenced in 1796 and 70% is still  original, it has 60% of its original contents and unbelievably, 30% of the window/door glass is original too! Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence that resulted in the declaration that “All men are created equal – and have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  This resulted in the War of Independence with us Brits in 1775 to 1783 …… and of course, we lost!!!

Monticello Vegetable Garden

Monticello Vegetable Garden

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Mulberry Row - home to Jefferson's slaves

Mulberry Row –  Jefferson’s slaves were homed here in log cabins

Jefferson studied science and was an enthusiast of the arts.  In 1819 he also founded and designed the University of Virginia. Although he felt that slavery was an abomination, that didn’t stop him keeping over 600 slaves himself.  He did however, treat them better than most and kept families together instead of selling them.  Unfortunately, he died deeply in debt and all his assets, including his slaves, had to be sold.

The term ‘sold down the river’ was first used in relation to slavery and meant that a slave was sold to another owner who lived ‘down the river’.

San at Monticello 1a

Monticello is the only United States Presidents’ home that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the way back from Monticello we experienced a storm the likes of which we have never seen before. It was of Biblical proportions and we believe was the butt end of the recent tornado in Oklahoma.

Tomorrow it’s ‘goodbye’ Virginia and ‘hello’ Tennessee as we move to Nashville, the home of Country music. It will be the first of our really long drives and should take us about eight hours.





PS: It occurred to me later that I should have mentioned that Charlottesville and the surrounding area is home to The Waltons!  Does anyone besides me remember that series? I think that must have been my first real obsession, I used to watch every episode.  I’ve even got the whole nine series on DVD.

‘Goodnight John Boy’.

Day 8! Shenandoah National Park – Skyline Drive

Shenandoah Nat Park 1aToday we drove the majority of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgina.  The total length is 105 miles.  The scenery is amazing.  This is Sandy Bottom (nothing to do with me, no comments please!!)Shenandoah panorama 1a

This is a three shot panorama taken from the Stoney Man outlook.

Joe and Lawrence 1a

Whilst at the Crescent Rock outlook we met Joe (standing) and Lawrence from Manchester (no, not the UK one)  Tennessee.  Poor Lawrence’s Harley had broken down and they were waiting for a tow truck.  Their planned holiday had come to an abrupt end. We had a lovely chat with them, offered our sympathies and water and wished them well.

Deer 1aThe Park is full of wildlife including deer and bears.  Today we were lucky to see a deer up close but alas, no bears! You will notice that the deer is tagged and is wearing a radio collar! Wonder what he was listening to!! He took no notice of us at all so it must have been something good.

Si & San Shenandoah 1a

In the adverts for tourism in Virginia, their slogan is “Virginia is for lovers” so not wanting to disappoint, here are two of them!! Soppy or what!!

Virginia is for lovers! 1a

Day 7! Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Had a long five-hour drive today from upstate New York to Luray, Virginia.  To pass the time we played the USA Licence Plate State Game that we bought from the Windmill Farmers Market.  Basically, you have to spot the State that vehicle licence plates are from and then turn over a marker on a board and name the State’s capitol as well.  Today, we saw 20 out of the 50 States.  It was great fun.  I know, sad or what!  The second game we played was to note how many dead animals there were on the Highways.  There were quite a few, the saddest was a bear cub. Well, we had to pass the time somehow.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Anyway, we stopped off at Harpers Ferry on our way to Luray. Harpers Ferry is famous for the attack by John Brown in 1859 when he tried to take the US Armoury in the town and start an Army of Liberation to free slaves. Thirty-six hours later he was captured and then tried and hanged. Some say he was the spark that started the American Civil War.

Where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River.

Where the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry

Jefferson Rock

Jefferson Rock

This is a beautiful historic town where two rivers meet, the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers.





This is Jefferson Rock where Thomas Jefferson stood in 1783 in the Autumn while on a visit to Harpers Ferry and was so impressed by the scene before him that he declared ‘this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic’.

Day 6! Canandaigua, New York

Phew it’s hot today!

Started the day in Bath at Dot’s summer villa where among other creatures, squirrels rule the day!!

Look, no hands!

Look, no hands!

Sonnenberg Mansion

Sonnenberg Mansion









Today’s place of interest was Sonnenberg (German for ‘Sunny Hill’) Gardens and Mansion, the home of Frederick and Mary Thompson. Mr Thompson was a founder and life-long director of the bank that is now called Citibank. Frederick and Mary had no children so when both had died in 1923, Mary left the estate to her nephew, Emory Clark, who in 1931 sold it to the US Government and in 2005 it became the fifth state historic park in New York State.

One interesting point is that when Mary died in 1923, each of her staff received $1000 for each year they worked for her plus one piece of furniture each. A lot of money back then!

Sandra and Dot at the Japanese garden

Sandra and Dot at the Japanese garden







Tomorrow we leave Dot and John’s to travel to Virginia.

Day 5! Geneva, New York

Belhurst Castle 2We started the day by driving to Belhurst Castle, originally called ‘Bellehurst’ meaning beautiful forest) in Geneva for Sunday brunch. The food was excellent as were the mimosas!! We will definitely be visiting here again when we return to this part of the world at the end of our journey in July.

Belhurst Castle Brunch 4The property that surrounds Belhurst Castle was originally the site of a Seneca Indian village and home to the Council of the Six nations of Iroquois. In May of 1824 the land came into the possession of a Mr. Joseph Fellows, a lawyer from our very own Warwickshire.

Belhurst Castle S&S 2In 1830 a gentleman called Mr. Bucke lived at the castle and used the alias of Henry Hall.  After dying in 1836 it was discovered that William Henry Bucke had been treasurer of the Covent Garden Theatre and had embezzled theatre funds, married his stepmother, fled to the US and assumed the name Henry Hall in an effort to avoid capture!!

The Castle has changed hands many times over the years but since 1992 has been owned by a father and son and is now a luxury hotel, complete with a ghost called Isabella (an actress from Covent Garden who was also married to William Bucke).  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties and has been voted ‘One of the Most Romantic Places in New York State’ and at least two weddings a week are held at the Castle.

After our lovely brunch Dot took us to the Waterloo outlets!! A great time was had by all and as those who know me well will not be surprised to hear me say ‘yes, of course I bought shoes’, plus many other things.  Simon lost total control and actually bought some things too!!!! Oh dear, I feel the need to purchase another suitcase!!

We are now spending the night at Dot’s summer villa in Bath in a beautiful wooded setting with a lake …….. a lovely end to a perfect day.

The Lake at Hickory Hill

The Lake 

The Barn at Hickory Hill

The Barn 

Day 4! Dundee!!

No, not Dundee Scotland but Dundee in upstate New York!!

Today we visited The Windmill Farm and Craft Market in Dundee, New York.  The Windmill is the first and friendliest farm and craft market in upstate New York, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Region.  It has become a premier tourist attraction, with a weekly attendance exceeding 8000-10,000 people. Now in its 26th year The Windmill plays host to nearly 200 shops.

We visited the Stoltzfus Pie shop, owned by Mennonites from New York. Simon decided he would like two apple dumplings!!!! and I bought the banana bread.

Mennonite Pie Shop

Simon and his dumplings!

Simon and his dumplings!

Day 3! Watkins Glen Falls, Watkins Glen, New York

Today, Natalie arrived from Pennsylvania.  For those who know me (Sandra) well, know that I’m a huge Twilight fan and Nat along with Dot are my two Twilight buddies.

The Guys 2We all took a trip to Watkins Glen Falls to hike the gorge trail and see the 19 different waterfalls. Before arriving at the falls we stopped here at Montour Falls which is a 150′ waterfall named after Queen Catharine of the Senecas.

Montour Falls

Water has shaped the natural landscape of Watkins Glen.  During the past million years, water and glaciers have covered New York State several times transforming the land in its path.  The water we saw flowing today will take 25 years to reach the Atlantic Ocean.

Watkin's Glen 3aWatkin's Glen 2a

Day 2! Elmira, New York

ElmiraMade it to Elmira in ‘the beast’ and now staying with our good friends Dot and John.  It’s really hot here, 78 degrees, so a little different from back home.

The GuysHere we all are (together with Kasha the dog) looking like the ‘all American family’.

'The Beast'

‘The Beast’

Day 1! Heathrow to Newark, New Jersey

We arrived at Heathrow in good time, all thanks being due to our great friends, Sue and Tim, who were super chauffeurs. We owe you one or two!

Well, this is our aircraft, Mustang Sally Mustang Sallyand us waiting to get on board. We look as though we must have had a glass or two but that was just me!! Si had to drive later so no alcoholic beverages for him!!

We had a smooth, uneventful flight and when we eventually arrived at Newark Airport it was the busiest we have ever seen it and had to queue for an hour to get through Immigration but they did let us in after all, so that Waiting to Boardwas a relief!

We collected our hire car and for some reason they upgraded us (which means they didn’t have the 4×4 we ordered) and we now have a Ford Flex (picture later) that accommodates us and our baggage and a lot of space to spare!!

Today we travel up to Elmira in New York State to stay with our good friends Dot and John.

D Day!

Well, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this at Heathrow!! The last couple of months have certainly flown by!

One week ago we were underweight with our packing ….. well that soon changed and we found ourselves well and truly overweight!! The bags that is, not us … well, not yet anyway!!

Out went one pair of the ‘smart’ shoes for something that weighed a little less together with other items of clothing, including the gym gear (sorry Bex, it had to be done).

We’ve had our full English breakfast and now are in the lounge waiting to board in about an hour and then it’s off into the friendly skies and ‘US here we come!’ Catch you on the other side.

One Week To Go!!

Well, one week to go and the itinerary has changed yet again!! Denver has ‘bitten the dust’  in favour of Deadwood, Cody and The Black Hills of Dakota.

At the moment we are way under in our baggage weight allowance!! That’s a first for me and I don’t know how that’s happened.  I must be losing my grip or something.  No doubt by the day of departure that ‘error’ will have been corrected.

86483515We’ve booked accommodation for our visit to Yellowstone National Park and will be staying in a cabin that’s 8300 feet above sea level.  The only road up to the cabin is very steep and made of gravel.  People who have stayed there before say it’s a very hairy trip up and down and is not for the fainthearted!! I may be laid out on the back seat of the car with a cool towel on my brow while Simon manoeuvres his way to the top!!

Two Weeks To Go!

IMG_1220Just two weeks to go until the big day and passports are ‘at the ready!’

It’s incredible how quickly the days are flying by! The big question as far as I’m concerned ‘what clothes and shoes should I pack?’ has now been answered.  Just get everything out that I would like to take and then start to eliminate for various reasons.  I now have a (for me) relatively small pile of clothing and minimum pairs of shoes just waiting to be packed.

As some of you know I’m a bit of a shoe nut so my decision to only take two pairs of ‘smart’ IMG_1218shoes, walking trainers and three pairs of FitFlops was a life changing moment!! It’s so much easier for men when it comes to holiday packing. Shorts, trousers, shirts, shoes, underwear ………… done!!