Some of our traveling companions left for the airport at 6 this morning, but our shuttle didn’t depart until 9 a.m. Nevertheless, we arose at 5, and readied our luggage and ourselves for the longest day. What with resetting our watches 8 hours back to Pacific Daylight Time, we were up a full 25 hours before we got to Portland!

Gratefully, my checked luggage cleared the weigh-in without hesitation, and my carefully packed carry-on, chock full of 47 refrigerator magnets, six souvenir shot glasses, 10 collectible spoons, 12 souvenir books to read another day, and a variety of other knickknacks, was not violated when it went through security either. Hooray!

Along the way, there was plenty of time to think about all we’d experienced the past 12 days. The people, the food, the general knowledge that I have now that I did not have before. I started thinking about everything from writing a children’s book about the Herdwick sheep, to the hundreds of little domed enclosures for roaming pigs, nicknamed “Pork Hostels” by us on the motor coach. My mind was a virtual kaleidoscope of our trip all the way home!

I couldn’t have lived without a friendly, neighborhood Sainsbury’s near almost every hotel where we stayed. Sainsbury’s is the equivalent of Safeway, give or take, and I often loaded up on sodas for the next day’s journey. Cold water was always available on the motor coach for a pound, but sometimes only a caffeinated soda would do.

Subtle accent changes by region are apparently evident only to the trained ear, and apparently, my ear is not trained. I could not pick out a distinction between even the Scotsmen and the Englishmen, but Sue sure could, and even the specific region within the country. At the Scottish show it still wasn’t all that obvious, and even the guide in Edinburgh could have hailed from London, for all I knew.

On my checklist of things I wanted to do on this trip, having a crumpet never got crossed off! I guess I’ll have to return someday to eat one of those, and also to get up close and personal with my deceased relatives near Wookey Hole. As if I needed a reason to return!

It was a fabulous trip, and I’d do it all again tomorrow, except for the cold I managed to bring home as an unwelcome souvenir! That, and those low-beam dormer ceilings, were about the only two things I could have done without. Thank you Sue, and YMT, for another amazing adventure!

And with that, this travel blog comes to THE END…