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Continuing the Journey

So, if you thought we were done with the trip, you thought wrong. If I don't write about it, I'll remember only how great it was, not the details. Thus, let's get to some of those details.

As you can imagine we were a bit tired upon arrival in London. Matt was kind enough to get up very early to make the journey out to Heathrow, guiding us every step of the way through the maze of people. Taking two different subway lines, we got to Matt's stop in about an hour. Here's one of my favorite pictures of the trip:
As you might notice, he's pulling my bag for me. Of course, I was able to take this photo because I was lagging behind, something that would be repeated throughout the trip!

July 5th was Matt's 35th birthday. Imagine our boy that old! Seems like only yesterday.....blah, blah, blah. Because we were to be in Bath on the actual special day, Tom brought over an amazing peanut butter cake he made complete with re-burning candles. To say that Matt was both pleased and surprised is an understatement. In fact, he claimed it was the best cake ever to which I say Amen!
Can you believe how cute it is? Anyone who knows Matt knows he has a major sweet tooth and this vegan cake fit the bill! Knowing how a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is Matt's go-to meal, Tom found the cake pan on Amazon. What a clever young man.

In fact, he's so darn clever, there doesn't seem to be any subject he can't explain. His mum described him as "knowing how the world works" from the time he was a baby. Before boarding our train back to Leicester, we took a little stroll after lunch to see Melton Mowbray.
In this photo he's leading the way through the streets where he grew up. Visiting England in the summer is the way to go because there are flowers everywhere. The extremely long days of summer lead to extremely short winter days so I imagine folks make the most of the growing season. Coming from Florida, the growing season is all year, however, with the extreme heat and thunderstorms of summer, our flowers decline in June, July and August. Just as our geraniums are petering out, there's are in full array.
As in this display in front of Buckingham Palace. The queen did not show her face in case you're wondering.

Several mornings I walked about two blocks to Columbia Road, seeing this along the way:
My mission was to purchase pastries for breakfast--wonderful croissants and pan au chocolate for extremely reasonable prices. Adjacent to a small park I cut through, wild poppies were popping up throughout these wildflowers. (Completely weird sentence, however, don't know how else to say it.) I was amazed at how many I saw during our road trips through the country side. Lovely, lovely.

Something else that struck me were the colorful doors everywhere. The city of Bath is pretty much made of a limestone material called, appropriately enough, Bath Stone, a warm honey colored block. I can only imagine the colorful doors are a way people express their personalities, because most of the buildings look exactly alike. Reds, greens, blues, yellows, and even this color:
I'm pretty sure this is a shop front which most likely has residences above. Here's what I mean:
This was a bit of a gray day, shortly after our arrival. Unlike here, the rain does not prevent activities, you either put on a rain jacket or use an umbrella. Yesterday, in the span of about three hours, 3.5 inches of rain fell in very violent fashion, complete with huge cracks of thunder and lightening. I'd gone to check in with Corrine, pretty much getting stuck until I remembered Herb probably had a gigantic golf umbrella! She is no better, but the good news is, she is no worse than when I left.

As I mentioned in my last post, the streets are a crowded jumble of people from all walks of life, wearing all manner of clothing. If there are fashion trends I don't know what the are; I've never seen such an array of shoes, handbags, tote bags, jackets, pants and shirts. Notably lacking were shorts, however, as in the top photo on occasion some people wear them. Mostly we walked as fast as we could to keep up with Matt, Bruce doing a much better job than myself. He's pictured, or at least his back is, on the left leading us through the great crowds near Trafalgar Square:
The city life is ever-changing, exciting, and vibrant, not to mention it seems quite convenient to walk or have others drive you around, yet in my mind, there is something to be said for the quiet life we lead. Sounds silly perhaps, but I think at our age, living closer to nature is right for us. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to discover a new nest out front on Wednesday after mowing the lawn. Thursday morning mama cardinal was busy pulling off bits of a frost bitten palm frond to increase the nest size. When I showed Nancy the nest Thursday afternoon, it was twice what it was on Wednesday. That sort of thing makes me happy.

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