June 11 – SaturdayWe had to leave Tintagel by 7 to get to the Enterprise Car Rental by 9 when they opened, so we missed Peter’s wonderful breakfast. Instead, he packed breakfast for us to take along! (What a sweet guy.)
It was an uneventful trip to Exeter, and we arrived a tad early. Still, a nice lady (Rachel) let us in and went over our bill. It seems that Enterprise were saying that I still owed for a broken down car in Knaresborough! When the manager arrived, we discussed the issue with him, but it was out of his hands. To release our car, we had to sign over 1000 pounds of deductible to Enterprise (about $1500). I wasn’t happy. But, at least they were able to get us to the train station in time for our train to Chiswick (an outlying area of London).
Have I mentioned how much I love trains? We were whisked away to Clapham Junction and then to Chiswick where we got a taxi to our lovely hotel, the Best Western Palace Suites. Our room was nice, the area, beautiful, and our time there short. I was only to be there for a night while Sharon was spending an extra one beyond that.
We got settled, then walked to the underground station so that I could see how early the trains left for Heathrow the following day. Well, just across from the underground, a church fair was going on! It was such a lovely way to end my trip this year… craft booths, bands, food smells… so quaint. So English. We had a blast, then found a nice restaurant for our last real meal out. I love Chiswick. It’s so much more relaxed than central London. It’s about half the distance to Heathrow from there. And, there are so many quaint shops and tree-lined streets that I feel I could almost live there (if I didn’t like the North so much!).
|Booths at the Fair|
|Band at the Fair|
|Interesting Semi-Circular Building Next to the Fair|
June 12 – SundayI got up early and got things together for my trip to Heathrow. It’s about a half mile to the underground station and then I had to change trains once for Heathrow. Still got there in plenty of time to check bags and get through security.
I shopped in the duty free hall and boarded my flight well on time. In fact, we were due to get into Houston early, but that fiasco is also documented in Surviving the Ride.
FinaleI learned a lot from this trip. I learned that I will likely not rent from Enterprise again. I may not even rent a car again! I learned that people are kind, friendly, and charitable almost everywhere you go in the UK. I learned that, while traveling with someone can be challenging, it can also be fun. I learned that I belong there. With all my trips and all my friends and all my classes and studies… I am currently living in the wrong place. I don’t know how I will get there, but I know it’s in the works. I learned that Devon is way too far from Tintagel, that the weather in the UK means very little to me (I didn’t feel uncomfortable at any point), and that I don’t care much for cities. I’ll bypass them as much as possible in the future.
I learned that it takes longer than you think it will, that Pete’s brulee porridge is still “da bomb”, and that I can still climb mountains.
God Save England, and God Save the Queen!