On the Road — UK Eat, Play


On the Road — UK Eat, Play

I had the normal air line experiences, you know — on the plane and then sit at the gate for an hour while they figure out how to find a tug to push back the plane that isn’t broken. You could hear the frustration in the pilot’s voice when we finally got moving and then found we were in a traffic jam on the ground at JFK.  But I made it to London unscathed and found the day typical — rain:  This is Oxford Circus on strangely enough, Oxford Street, London’s prime shopping area.

I stayed only one night in London but it was worth it. I was able to meet up with Petronella, Andres and Sean, and have a great dinner. They good friends, and a long story I will tell you if you ask, in person, with a drink in your hand.

The food at the “Giraffe” was great, particularly the chicken nuggets and ‘chips’ for Sean.

I rented a car the next morning and headed up country. Driving on the ‘other’ side of the road wasn’t really a problem, but figuring the distances and spacial relationships was. My first challenge was getting out of the car rental place. As I turned onto the street I found a ‘lorry’ – read that truck, three taxis and a couple of cars jammed in a street that we in LA would call an alley, but it was two way and no one was moving. Finally someone started the process.  I crawled up the street and a woman coming the other way in a Range Rover figured she owned the road.  I did too.  Our mirrors touched, but mirrors in the UK all are on hinges.  Now I know why, no damage.

I made it to the motorway and was feeling a bit peckish.  I found a “Welcome Break” and pulled off.

Waitrose is an upscale market, rather like Whole Foods or Gelsons in LA.  I’ll let you figure out where I picked up a snack for the road.

The country lanes are narrow, and you have to have courage to keep your car on the road when meeting another vehicle — I was literally run off the road — and got the car a tad muddy. No harm no foul — I found a drive through car wash and after ‘misaligning’ the car, stopping the brushes permanently, but with the assistance of the manager and two ‘engineers’, I came away with a nice clean car.

My next stop was Chris and Camilla’s — another story for another time. They live in a small village about 100 miles north of London in a house that was built in 1800.  Yep 200 years old:

Camilla served the traditional “Sunday Lunch.”  It rather reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner — Ham, Chicken, Vegetables, Salad, Soup, two kinds of dessert. But my experience is that this is typical in the UK — Sunday Lunch is a big, and very satisfying meal.

We caught up on gossip, everything that had happened since they were in LA this summer.  Their son , Max, is an American — he was born to his UK parents in Long Beach while Chris was working in Orange county. They have a US passport with his picture on it, when he was a couple of months old. He’s not too happy with the picture, as would be a typical 12 year old, but loves his dual citizenship

Daughter Alicia is 15 going on 21 and a heart breaker. She is a violinist, competition swimmer,  and works out every day, rain or shine. That say a lot in the UK where its, cold, wet, and even snowing most of the time.  Max and Alicia:

I got to bed early because Monday I was to head out to the National Exhibition Centre and the Parkex Show.  Time to get to the “Park” part of the adventure.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy