My UK Adventure – Day 8

My UK Adventure – Day 8

This morning is my last morning in the UK, for the last of my trip I got to spend the morning with Marie in the park. Steve took me to the park near their house so he could do a little training with Fender and Marie. He wanted me to see how Marie was doing before I went back to the states. The dogs get to come to this park quite often as there aren’t many spots to take your dogs to do any running let alone any training. They are fortunate that they have a couple of parks nearby their house where they can take the dogs and they work out  quite nicely since there are trails threw out the woods so you can toss marks and have the dogs retrieve in a straight line. There are open meadow areas where they can do marks or blind work.

I had great fun watching and taking pictures of the dogs working. This was another highlight of my trip; the time I spend with Marie was priceless. She is such a different dog than my own Gambler who is her brother. I raised both of them from 7 weeks to 7 months when Marie went over to the UK. When Marie and Gambler were growing up I called them the Terrorist as they would get into everything. I know now that it was mainly Gambler and Marie was just following along. She is the sweetest most quite dog ever. All she wants to do is please you and love on you. In the UK your dog needs to be very obedient and make no noise when competing, well Marie has that licked. Hopefully she will do well with her field work overseas. I can’t tell you how proud I am as a breeder to have a dog out of my breeding overseas. It’s something that one only dreams of and now I am living the dream as well as Marie.

Training time was done and time for me to grab my bags and head to the airport. Zoe was nice enough to take time off to drive me to the airport so I didn’t have to take the train by myself. We weren’t sure if my plane would be taking off or not since Hurricane Sandy was reaching the East Coast of the states and flights were being cancelled. The internet said my plane was on time so we shall see.

I said my goodbyes to Steve and Fender. I said my goodbyes and gave big hugs and kisses to Marie. I got in the car, Steve sat Marie he crouched down next to her and held up her right paw and waved her paw goodbye to me as Zoe was backing out of the driveway. At that moment a tear was shed. I was leaving my girl for the second time. It was bittersweet as I was leaving her with 2 people that loved her so much and I left knowing I would always have my memories of our time together.

We made it to the airport and my flight was on time. I hugged Zoe and thanked her for the great hospitality and great time. A friendship was made between 3 friends and I.

I boarded the plane and was ready for my 8 hr flight home. As the plane was taxing down the run way and I was staring out the window I thought to myself as I was watching London go behind me that I was one lucky girl to be able to have taken a trip of a life time and that it was. I have many people to thank for making this trip possible. Without great friends, family co-workers this wouldn’t have happened. This was indeed something I could cross off my bucket list but I’ve decided that I’m not crossing it off my bucket list until I make my return trip which I hope is very soon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My UK Adventure – Day 7

My UK Adventure – Day 7

Today’s adventure was going downtown London (if there is a downtown London) and do some shopping, walking, more shopping, more walking. We took the train again into London but got off at a different station, from that station we then got on the underground subway. This was my first time on a subway also and it was kinda neat. We would get on then we would get off and get on another subway so that we were on the right one to get us to our final destination. I realized that a parent should use all their spare time taking their kids on subway rides and teach them from little on how to read the subway maps so they know how to do it as an adult. This subway trip was incredible, there were so many people so many subway cars and I didn’t have one clue as to where or what I was doing. Zoe did tell me that I would need to check my nose as I would have black boogers. Glad she filled me in on that, wouldn’t want to be walking around London with black boogers.

Our first stop was the famous Harrods shopping center. This is a shopping center with 7 floors totally the equivalence of 4.5 acres. That’s a lot of shopping in one building. The top floor had a small gun room where they had maybe 20 guns. The first gun I looked at was 84,000 pounds, which would be $134,000. Too much for me! The clothes I looked at also on the top level were way more then I would want to spend on my clothes. This place is for the ritzy ritz. It was interesting to look at all the nice stuff but need less to say I didn’t buy anything except gifts in the gift store. One of the floors had a really nice food area where they had all there specialty foods. They had a room with all their desserts, a room with all their coffee, fruit section, meat section, pasta section. I found it odd that people would go there and get there specialty foods rather than go to a grocery store which seemed easier. I guess if you want the best then you brave the crowds and traffic and go there.

From Harrods we got on the subway again and went to Covent Garden Market. This was an old part of town that still exists today. It used to be a farmers market till all the farmers markets became extinct and shopping centers moved in. It was a nice old world atmosphere with many different restaurants to eat at. Jacky joined us for lunch at Covent Garden’s; she took the train also so she didn’t have to deal with traffic and people. It took her 3 hours to get there from her place in the country since part of the train stations were closed down she had to take a bus for part of it. I thought that it was very nice of her to take that kind of time out of her day to come have lunch with me and say good bye, which meant a lot to me. We had a very nice lunch and then Jacky was off to catch the train again back home. She said there were too many people in the city for her and she was right. Talk about people there were tons of people. I’m not sure how many of them were tourists like me but there were tons. We walked and seen all the sites of London shopping. I saw the building where the Movie premiers are played at, saw the big billboard where companies advertize their businesses and you can see the billboard during televised events. Crossed over Carnaby Street and had to take a picture of the road sign. We went past the China Town of London, got pastries from a little café on the corner.

While we were on our walking tour I walked past a Weimaraner with a tail and had to take a double take as then I remembered the dogs in Europe can’t have docked tails or cropped ears like they can in the states. Another thing I had to make sure I got a picture of since I am a Veterinary Technician and work in a clinic that see’s patients with docked tails and cropped ears.

I didn’t buy much while on my shopping trip except gifts for my friends. Steve and Zoe saw that I wasn’t buying any souvenirs for myself so they bought me a souvenir plastic duck that had a British flag on it so I had a memento of my time overseas.  I thought that was very lovely of them!

We took the train back home and enjoyed chili that Zoe made that was amazing! We watched TV and I turned them on to CSI Miami which they tell me now they are addicted to.

This was another amazing day and once again Steve and Zoe did a fabulous time showing me the sites of London. One of the best parts was coming home to hang out with Marie. She is such a love!

Here is a youtube picture video of my trip to London:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWVf-Vytjx4&feature=g-upl

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My UK Adventure – Day 3

My UK Adventure – Day 3

 Today Jacky and I started the day out by going to an English restaurant and having a true English breakfast. She asked me if I wanted an English breakfast and I said “sure”, not know what I might be getting myself into. The big platter of food came and let me tell you it was a big platter of food. There were baked beans (probably not called baked beans over there), friend mushrooms, 2 pieces of bacon (bacon there is round and not in strips), 2 sausages, 2 eggs and toast. I was very surprised by the beans and mushrooms on my breakfast plate. I like both of them and wasn’t complaining but just thought it was an odd combination. The sausage has such a different taste then the American sausage, must be their secret spices. I really loved the taste of the sausages. The whole plate of food was delicious and of course I ate it all along with my cappuccino. Since we ate so much for breakfast the next thing on the agenda was to tour the local castle and walk off our breakfast. The whole time Jacky has been living their she hasn’t ever toured this castle which I thought was odd but then I thought back to the places in Wisconsin that I have never went to and I live right there but others who come to visit want to see these places.

 We went to the town called Arundel and toured the Arundel Castle. Here is a expert taken from their website. You can read more about it by following the link.  

 “The seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, each having its own unique place in history and is home to priceless works of art. Come and see paintings and furniture, tapestries and stained glass, china and clocks, sculpture and carving, heraldry and armour in stunning room settings.”

 This was an amazing site to see. To see a real live castle that is still being occupied by family members. They opened this castle up to the public so they could generate some income to offset the cost of maintaining it. I couldn’t even imagine what it cost to maintain the castle or even heat the castle. It is hugh. We toured the keep which was a lot of walking, so many different areas of the keep and different stairways that were very small and many winding steps. There were different props set up to give you the feeling that you were there and knew what it was like back in the day. Not a period of time that I wanted to live through but to each its own. My favorite part of the keep was the dungeon where they kept the prisoners, they also used that deep dark hole as there fruit/vegetable cellar. Another favorite part was the hole in the wall that they said was their toilet, they put a wooden seat over a hole in the side of the wall and you used that as your toilet and the waste just went outside the castle where it rotted away. Got pretty stinky and attracted rodents and flies in the summer.

 The next part of the tour was the castle itself with all its artwork, amazing woodwork, and decorations. The set ups in these rooms were real and not props. The décor was unbelievable. The weapons and armor they used were on display, a lot of item from back in the day were on display. We couldn’t tour the whole castle as the family members wanted their private spots kept private but what we did get to see was so indescribable and so very lovely. The armoires were beautiful, vases and collectable were just perfect. Some of the real artifacts of the kings and queens are still on display in the castle. It’s something that everyone should see, that’s all I can say about it. You won’t be disappointed on this tour.  

 From the castle tour we went to The Black Rabbit for tea time or should I say beer thirty.  I had one of their home brewed beers, sat outside by the river overlooking the castle and watched the beautiful swan family swimming in the river below.

From there we were on our way to go pick up Marie. Marie is out of my Sand Spring Chesapeake lines bred from my stud Norman. I raised Marie until she was 7 months old; at that time she was able to enter the UK without any quarantine. The UK doesn’t have rabies and they don’t want any rabies so they have very strict import rules. I was just delighted when Jacky told me she wanted a puppy from my lines. An American puppy going to live in the UK, who wouldn’t be happy about that? Marie is co-owned by Jacky and I but lives with Steve and Zoe. We met up with Steve and Zoe and it was time to see if Marie remembered me. I got out of the car went over to Marie said hi to her, hugged her and she gave me a big kiss. I guess I would say she remembered me. We packed up Marie in the car and away we went back to Jacky’s. On our way back home we stopped for another English meal, fish and chips. Another fabulous meal. Everyone in the states told me I needed to have fish and chips that it was a must. I’m so glad I did as it was very tasty. I wish I knew what they did to it to make it so yummy but I know if I tried to make it at home it would be a flop. Guess I have to make another trip….oh darn!

 Back at the ranch Marie hung out with her old playmates Mara, Cooper and Robby. She just adored Robby and I think she was very happy to see her buddy again. After play time was done then she curled up in a ball right next to me on the couch and again I knew she remembered me. I was in my glory, was in a foreign land that is absolutely beautiful, was with a great friend and had my puppy (who now is not a puppy but 17 months old), life couldn’t be better.

 Off to bed for us.  We got a big day ahead of us tomorrow. We are going on an English driven pheasant shoot; we are the handlers for the shoot so we need our rest for all the retrieving that is going to take place. Nighty night!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.