Leaving a beautiful place can be difficult. Having a treasured travel companion flake out on you is very disheartening. Writer's block during those times is not easy to overcome. Realizing that 14 full days had passed since I last wrote was disconcerting - how did that happen?
Ky and I left Dingle, Ireland and stayed overnight in the small town of Tralee in County Kerry on our way back to Dublin. We wished we had reserved more time as it looked like a wonderful place to explore with quite a lot to do. Our Airbnb host was a very nice man with a beautiful home, Sadly while we were there, he was unfortunate to have a fall while out on his daily jog. He returned home and it looked like a large bluish fig had replaced his ankle. A trip to the hospital showed that he had suffered a small fracture at the base of his fibula & he had ligament damage. Poor man! It only proved to me once more that jogging is dangerous to one's well being. I stay away from it!
We said our farewell to Ireland and sang our "On the road again" song. Next stop London! We had signed up for a pet set on the outskirts of London in a small town called Teddington and after hiring our car (that means renting for the Yanks reading this :-) we headed to the SW side of the Big Smoke as London has been nicknamed.
The lovely owners of the home introduced us to Zoe, a beautiful 13 year old cat who would be "ours" for the next 2 1/2 weeks. Afterwards they took us to a wonderful dinner overlooking the Thames which runs right through town.
We enjoyed getting to know them and sharing travel stories and kid stories as they have traveled extensively and they also two children just a bit older than our two. A couple of benefits of traveling is being able to reminisce about places you share in common with others, and my personal favorite is hearing others' stories and getting new ideas for places to visit. This couple was headed to St. Lucia in the Carribean and their photos and love for it definitely made us add it to our list.
We've of course found where pickleball happens and there is a great group here. It's a bit of a hike and due to the historical small village, small roads, more cars than villages were created for, the traffic everywhere around here is quite bad. Fortunately Ky has really got the knack for driving on the left side of the road down so we are making the treks to play - and it's worth it!
I've also been fortunate to find a fantastic Toastmaster's group here that was so enthusiastic and welcoming. They, like the folks in Edinburgh, visit a pub afterwards. That's just not going to work for my morning group back in the U.S., but when (if) we ever settle down I might have to join an evening group too!
Our hosts suggested lots of things to do nearby while we're visiting, and one of them was visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum. Right beside that is the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Science. All three are free! We took their advice and if you're ever in London, take a look. The V&A was stunning and while I looked around there, Ky found his nirvana in the Science Museum. The V&A is known as the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects. I didn't have quite enough time to see them all!
We can't say enough good things about this pet sit. Zoe is an absolute love, and she is happy to have us cuddle up with her anytime. She's not at all shy about crawling in to our laps. She likes to crawl under blankets or sheets and one of my best naps ever in our travels was while she snuggled up under the sheet right next to me.
Oh, and about that travel companion flaking out on me - my drone is very, very sick. It's going to have to go to DJI for repairs or replacement :-( Fortunately, my other travel companion, while a bit flaky, is still treasured :-)
It's not supposed to make this noise and end pointed downward :-(
Hugs from Teddington, Greater London, UK!