Day 1

Trip Start May 04, 2007
1
16
Trip End May 21, 2007


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Saturday, May 5, 2007

We're here! Matt, Tory, and I made it without much concerns. Our seats on the flight were the last row before the "facilities" and Tory's original seat was in a row that only reclined back about 2 inches. Not good on an 8.5 hr flight. There was an empty seat next to Matt so she was able to move... but moved next to a guy that elbowed her repeated during the flight and was hogging all the leg room on the row. Just a few areas of concern. As for the flight itself it was uneventful... which is always good. We landed just before 10am and were through customs, baggage, and the like within 15 minutes. Very impressive. A taxi minivan was provided by Bournemouth & Poole College (B&P). Matt made the first faux pas of the trip and trip to get in on the wrong side of the taxi. I guess it'll take some getting use to using the left side of the car and not the right. We had a good laugh about that. The drive from Gatwick airport to Bournemouth was just over 2 hrs. Lots of traffic on the motorway (stopped dead more than once). We were all quite tired and kept nodding off during the drive.

We arrived at the hotel, Anglo Swiss Hotel around 12:40pm. Val Holmes, our contact with B&P College met us at the hotel around 1pm to welcome us and to give us some information about the school, map of Bournemouth, and a cell phone for local contacts. She left with information on what time we would be picked up on Tuesday morning (Monday is a bank holiday so the college is closed).

My room wasn't ready so we headed out to get our bearings of the Towne Center and beach area. Very nice walk. Lots of sunshine with a very crisp breeze. I was surprised how many people were at the beach and even more surprised how many were in the ocean. It wasn't that warm outside! I guess low 60's is warm for this part of the country. Val Holmes had mentioned that England has had the warmest April on record. I think the weather is cool and a nice change from the humid warm temperatures of Houston. Local traffic moves a lot faster here and small vehicles come whipping around corners in an instant. I've had quite a bit of anxiety making sure I'm looking the "other way" before crossing the street.

We got back to the hotel and I was able to get access to my room. Although I was exhausted I managed to unpack, wash up, and try to get some sleep. I slept a couple of hours and then showered and ready to meet Tory and Matt downstairs at 6pm. The hotel has WIFI access but it's not connecting in our rooms. We have to go to the lobby downstairs to connect.

After contacting home so family knew we made it safely we headed out to find a place to eat. We were all starving at this point. We walked back down to the pier area but it was closed (the pier itself). We decided to eat at "the best place for fish & chips", Harry Ramsden's overlooking the beach. The fish and chips were very tasty. Service was pretty quick. Our waiter had an ancient but I don't think it was English. He sounded eastern European but I'm guessing. I think he had a bit of trouble understanding us. At the end of the meal Matt asked about how much to tip. I reminded him that you usually don't tip in England unless the service is really above average or the food is just to die for. Since we paid with credit card we thought we could leave a little something on the receipt but there was no line to include a tip. Matt mentioned he felt bad about not leaving a tip especially because the waiter was there when we paid out at the register. Just another cultural difference.:-)
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Comments

idolina
idolina on

Howdy!
Strolls by the beach sound just great! You are such a trooper for taking such great pictures with so little rest. I can't wait to see more pictures and reading about all your adventures.

ftsai
ftsai on

Impressed
I am so impressed with the great detail you are all sharing and the research. How are you doing it? Tape recorder or ginko baloba? Such an adventure and enlightenment.

Flo

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