Our Great British Adventure, 2022!

With all the stories of delayed flights and lost luggage we packed our bags with some thought…

We arrived at O’Hare with hours to spare, lines were long but everyone was cheerful. There were not a lot of pre-boarding food options but we didn’t go hungry. Our British Airways flight took off a little late but caught up time over the Atlantic and we came through the clouds for a final descent over London…

Our initial plans had got changed at the last minute but never mind. We disembarked, walked miles, went through immigration, collected our suitcases (all safe and sound), collected a rental car and arrived at our first hotel just north of our friends’ home within two hours!

I though that was pretty good. Gill had tested positive on the Monday (it was now Thursday) so we just had dinner with Graham and their daughter Rachel that evening.

I made Rachel a quilt for her new, very pink, apartment. I think she liked it.A trip into the city on Friday translated to sitting in the garden for the day to keep the virus at bay. Gill and I didn’t run out of things to talk about.

On Saturday we made a quick surprise visit to see our friends Ellen and Fred.  

Time for us to test on Sunday morning. Both negative. Off east to see my dad. Dad took a nasty tumble at the end of April and has had to make a few adjustments to his life style. My sister had got food in for me to make dinner. I think I did OK.On Monday my brother and his wife picked us up and we visited Sutton Hoo, the inspiration for the Netflix movie, The Dig. The weather was co-operative and we had a lovely day out.Beautiful views of the Suffolk countryside.
Sutton Hoo is the site of several Anglo Saxon burial mounds… find out more about the story behind the movie on the National Trust web site here.

We did another test on Tuesday morning. Still negative. A quick shopping trip at my sister’s shop in the nearby town of Eye.

And a stop on the piggy trailAnd then off up North for our next appointment!

We had last seen Steve’s parents in real life in January 2019. We had tickets for April 2020 but we know what happened to those plans…

Tuesday evening we had dinner with them and Steve’s brother and wife.

Wednesday morning Steve helped his mom get set up on a new iPad. The old one dated back at least eight years and it was time. Notice the new blanket on the back of the chair? Yes, it really is a blanket… knitted… not a quilt 🤣

We spent a happy few days up in Sheffield with lunches with Steve’s sisters and a lovely evening spent with my school friend and her husband. Not a lot of pictures, you’ll just have to believe me!

Time to hit the road again. Apple Maps did well navigating us around hold ups and we got to Oxford in plenty of time for a wonderful pre-wedding dinner. Matthew and Rebecca had been planning their celebrations for a while and having a date certainly made us get organized to fly overseas so we didn’t miss a single minute!

Steve and I cleaned up well on Saturday morning.

The wedding was in the chapel at Merton College. (Apparently to be seen in a future episode of Bridgerton?) Both Matthew and Rebecca graduated from the college.After a lovely service and champagne and canapés on the lawn,

we were transported back to the reception in a pair of double decker buses!
More champagne, dinner and dancing, just too much fun! Thanks to Matthew and Rebecca for including us on their special day.

On Sunday we packed our bags again and headed back east to call in on more friends, another test (still negative) and then back to Suffolk to see my dad again before it was time to leave. A shopping trip to a local supermarket filled what space we had left in our suitcases with delicious necessities and off to the airport hotel ready for our Wednesday flight home.

We enjoyed cocktails at the roof top bar as the sun set.

The flight home achieved its aim… we landed safely with our luggage and were readmitted to the States!

There were some very long lines… an hour and a half to get through security at Heathrow (I timed it) and about the same for immigration at O’Hare. We had allowed three hours from checking in until the flight departure time and we needed it all. Apparently some people missed the flight, which meant the people on standby, because they had missed the previous one, got seats!

We tested again on Thursday morning, still negative.

But, no internet. We are having major work done on the outside of the house and the cable got cut while we were away… oops! It got fixed on Monday.

And… on Saturday my throat was sore so I took a test.

That’s mine at the top… the throat got sorer, my head hurt, my nose got blocked up and just a little cough. I had a rough couple of days but Jonathan sent me a present to cheer me… ( I had fun staging a photo shoot!)

I’m well on the mend now. Steve is still negative.

I always build recovery days into any overseas trip and I have been using them this time. I have managed to get in a few hours work in each day. I made 25 Dorset Feather Embroidery Needle Case kits made this morning! Next week I am off to to Atlanta and it’s good to know that I will be ready to go. After that there is International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, the Miami Valley Quilters Guild in Ohio, AQS Quilt Week in Grand Rapids (see my calendar for details) and then a trip to Dallas I will be telling you about very soon.

I took lots of pretty flower pictures while I was away. The lavender was in full bloom and smelt so good. Here’s a view through the lavender in the garden in Oxford to finish on.