Thatched roof house heaven

LOCATION: Housesitting outside of Cambridge, England

WEATHER: WOW!!! A record high of 82 degrees for April in England. Sunny.

A lady came to take our dogs that we are caring for on a “play date”. The dogs do this regularly for their socialization. With them in good hands, we took off for the day to tour the countryside. We went to an area that my brother (who lived in England several years ago) recommended.

We don’t have GPS in the car that we are using, so I mapped our route on my ipad. Due to my finely-honed navigational skills, it took 2.5 hours to get to our destination 35 miles away!!!! Poor George. I gave him terrible directions, and at one point, got us on the expressway on our way to London. Not good!

Finally, we made it and had a lovely lunch in a pub that my brother recommended.

We made a big circle to another village he recommended, following narrow country roads. We spotted a LOT of thatched roof houses, my favorite!

As we were driving along in one village, we passed a brewery so, of course, had to stop.

There are a lot of things I admire about the UK and think they do smashingly (like pubs). However, in this case, I say that American engineering far surpasses the Brits’. This is the British version of a growler….

In the USA, we have a growler which is a big glass jug that we fill up with our favorite brews when we visit microbreweries. This is the UK version – like a milk carton that holds two pints. We bought this filled with some good beer at the brewery we visited.

As I said, my direction-giving is not the best, and it often includes shouts from me like “Stop! – we missed a turn!”, or something similar. At one of these shout/stops, the container of beer turned over. Unlike the American version with a tight cap, this one just burst open and the beer came sloshing out. What a mess, and the car reeked of beer smell. I just hoped a policeman wouldn’t pull us over and we would have to try to explain the smell.

Then, our route took us through a town with very narrow streets (like most of them). The roads are sometimes only wide enough for one car; other times they will accommodate two cars, but then parking is allowed on the roads, resulting in one lane again. At one town, we faced a big lorry (British English for truck). He couldn’t get by us and we could not pull over any more. So, after a lot of backing up, horn-honking and shouting, we made it through.

Just as I was feeling pretty good about getting us home, we encountered the much dreaded “Road Closed” sign. We couldn’t figure out an alternate route. As we were sitting on the side of the road (with me now hugging the beer container), we saw other cars going on that road, so we decided to try it. Yay! No sign of road closure.

We really had a lovely day and enjoyed the beautiful countryside. The flowering pear and cherry trees are at their height. Daffodils and tulips everywhere. The fields are full of yellow rape-seed flowers.

Back at home, we recuperated in the garden from the drive.

DINNER: The homeowners left us some ready–made fried fish (like in fish and chips) which we had with some lentils and veg.

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