Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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Russell Cotes Museum, just a few minutes from our hotel. We'd hear many recommendations for this home that had been converted into a museum. Julie was taking some extra time to finish her blogs.
The weather, finally, was just great for our last day. We'd mainly dealt with rain and clouds, but today was sunny and warm. The museum was easy to find and quite interesting. Several rooms were closed for reorganization, but the rest was worth seeing. I was actually more impressed with the design of the rooms themselves than necessarily all the art collected by the Russell Cotes family. It is an good example of a Victorian home, with different dedicated (now) to different art collections. There were stained glass windows, elaborate door trims, an even stained-glass skylights. The view from the house, of the Bournemouth beach, was beautiful. The grounds also contain a small but nice garden.
The Bournemouth Eye is a tethered helium balloon that people can ride up to a height of nearly 500 feet. Tory had seen it earlier and we were curious. We decided to overcome our fear of heights and take a ride.
After coming back down from the balloon, we walked to the tea shop. I took several minutes deciding what to get (I also try to find unique varieties of tea), then we walked back to the hotel. Julie left us a note that we were to meet Claire at 6pm in the lobby, when she'd drive us to the pub and restaurant for our dinner tonight.
We met Roy, Jacob, and louise The Lord Nelson pub in Poole. We talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. After a drink or two, we needed over to an Indian restaurant, where I had a tasty order of Persian Chicken Biryani. We talked for hours about ourselves and about teaching. It was great to have this final collegial, friendly time together.
We looked for another pub to continue our conversation, but they were all closed. So, we decided to say goodnight. I will miss Claire and Jacob and Louise and Roy-they have been very friendly and very open. I definitely hope to see them again soon.
Claire drove us back to the hotel, where we said goodbye. I spent the next few hours packing. Tomorrow I have a 6am taxi ride to Gatwick to catch my plane home. I've had a great time on this exchange, with experiences and friendships I will treasure. But, it is time to head home.