Report #5: The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King
Sam, Cindy, Karen and I were camping in Malibu some 25+ years ago when Princess Diana died. We remember clearly where we were on that sad day. Now, Karen and I will always remember that we’d just rode into England when the Queen died at 96, throwing the entire country into a prolonged state of mourning. The outpouring of grief among the British is truly stunning. King Charles has very large slippers to fill.
Since our last report, we meandered down the Dutch, Belgium and French coasts to Calais. Next morning we took the Chunnel to the UK and spent the next couple of days riding across the south coast of England, then northwest to Bath, which is where I write from now.
Thirty nine years ago to the month Karen and I took our first trip together to…. Bath! She was working at Bankers Trust as an analyst and I was working at Saatchi & Saactchi, both in NYC. We’d met a couple of months earlier and were dating pretty heavily. If I remember correctly, she was visiting a friend who lived in Bath and she asked me to tag along. A couple of decades-long trends started then:
- We travel well together
- Our trips are often spare-of-the-moment
- I rented a car and for most of the time we wandered the English countryside, driving on the wrong side of the road
The pace of this trip is slowing, softening. We’re going shorter distances when we’re on the road and taking more time in each location. We like our comfort, staying in much better hotels than ever. There are few better feelings than crawling into fresh sheets after a hard day on the road for a late-afternoon nap. Then we get up and hit the town (until 9 of course).
While we’ve remained rubber-side down ever since our first tip-over on day two, (knock on wood or carbon fiber) I’ve made a couple of riding mistakes in recent segments. The combo of riding on wrong side, figuring out the reverse roundabouts, navigating with two often-conflicting GPS devices, dealing with traffic and the rain have resulted in some unforced-errors. None resulted in serious consequences, but it reminds me that not everything is as good as it was talent wise. I make sure I read the note I taped in my glass cases with renewed dedication every day: “Pay Attention.”
It’s good to be in a place where everyone speaks some version of English: ). Makes everything a lot easier, especially during times of need (when we’re lost). We’ve met a bunch of nice people, including five Westie owners! We love talking about our dogs. Everyone uses the same adjectives: “independent,” “adventurous and “stubborn.” We couldn’t be describing ourselves could we?
Here’s what the past couple of days have looked like:
Next stop is the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Report to follow:)
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