Our UK adventure began about an hour and a half earlier than expected, thanks to a terrific tail wind! You have to take the good with the bad, though, as that same tail wind caused about an hour and a half of non-stop turbulence… but we’ll take the early arrival any day!

Renting our car at Avis went smoothly. Not so smoothly for the fellow beside us. He had only brought pre-paid Visa cards, a debit card, and cash. They would not rent him a car!! No idea what the poor chap did. He may be trying to hitch a ride on the M5 – if you see him, please give him a lift! This poor guy’s misfortune does serve as a reminder: you must have a credit card to rent a car! After freshening up a bit in the ladies’ room…we met our CAR! The third star of our show. You know, he really needs a name. Our cameras have names. Our SatNav has a name. Our car needs a name. Ideas??

Courtney’s left-sided driving skills picked right up where they left off – a bit like riding a bike, I suppose. We plugged Joyce in (she is our SatNav, of course) and she directed us easily to Stratford-upon-Avon and the Ambleside Guesthouse. Coming here for me feels like coming to my English home. Peter and Ruth Halford are lovely hosts, and their hospitality goes above and beyond. Peter even hand-trims the fat off the bacon! THAT is extra mile stuff right there.

We hit the ground running. We had lunch at the Halls Croft Tea Room. All we have to say is…strawberry-rhubarb soda is out of this world! (I am sure we can’t find that at Wal Mart.) Today’s filming schedule included Halls Croft, Nash House/New Place, and Shakespeare’s Birthplace – all properties of the Shakespeare Trust. At each location, a guide gave us information – Rosemary, Julian and Sarah, and Chloe. At Nash House, they even served us afternoon tea in Shakespeare’s garden with Julian. A highlight to be sure. We have quoted Julian several times, especially as we juggle cameras, equipment, purses, and a filming schedule: “One needs staff.” Amen, Julian!

For supper, Peter’s recommendations never disappoint. We wanted some great pub food, but our favorite local pub does not serve on Sunday nights. So we opted for the Thai Kingdom. The prince of Thailand and his entourage dined here multiple times on a visit, so if it is good enough for him, it is good enough for us! And it was outstanding in every way. The food looked like art, really. It was a shame to eat it and mess it up. No, actually… it was worth it! Delicious. The mango mousse and the lychees were a highlight.

Then…we hit the wall. We turned in at about 9:00, when it was still basically broad daylight! Due to the latitude, the sun sets a good bit later here. BUT this also means it rises a good bit earlier. Like 4:00 AM early. Ugh. I need my Magellan’s Mask tonight (which actually kind of resembles a small bra!).

So night-night. Sleep tight…

And of course, enjoy the journey…

Heather and Courtney