Wednesday, May 16: Our last morning in the Lake District. We will catch the 11:45 bus to Windermere for the train back to Manchester. Tomorrow we fly home. The air this morning in Grasmere is cool and damp. I hear birds cooing and calling and an occasional 'baaa'. . . .
I had Heidi's Lodge crumpets for breakfast. Much better than our English Muffins back home. . . .
The sun finally made an appearance so we go for one last walk. I wanted to see Allan Bank where William Wordsworth lived after Dove Cottage. Interestingly, Canon Rawnsley bought Allan Bank in 1915 after he retired and lived there five years before his death in 1920. . . .HERE), was cold and damp. Their two youngest children died while living there. In 1813 they moved to Rydal Mount where he lived until his death in 1850.
The walk from Grasmere to Allan Bank was not long. . . .
Sheep were lolling about. . . .
Allan Bank is not kept as a museum solely about Wordsworth. It had a fire a few years ago and is in transition concerning its use. We did not plan to go inside so just enjoyed the surrounding area where Wordsworth would have walked. . . .
Looking down at the village of Grasmere. . . .
When we got back to Grasmere we had time to visit a few more shops. I found this Bunting by Cath Kidston. Here it is in my bedroom. . . .
Soon we were on the bus. I sat in the back facing backwards so I could have one last view out the back window as we left Grasmere. . . .
I could imagine Wordsworth and his sister walking around the lake. . . .
When we got to Windermere we were told the trains were running a bit late and we should take the train that was arriving in a few minutes for Oxenholme to make sure we made our connection to Manchester so did not have time to see anything but the station. . . .
Here is ours arriving to take us to Manchester Airport. The train we'd originally booked to take us here was just arriving on the far track! We would have had to make a mad dash through the tunnel to get to this side to make our train to Manchester. . . .
We came a day early because we had an early flight in the morning to Philadelphia. We called the hotel from a special phone in the station to come pick us up at the curb. . . .
Etrop Grange Hotel is literally a hop jump, and a skip from the airport (½ mile) which made it very convenient for getting to the airport quickly in the morning but not convenient for sightseeing . . .
It had a lovely garden area, but because it's situated next door to the airport is not as serene as the photo depicts. . . .
The lobby area gave the Hotel an elegant feel. . . .
The original house was built in 1780 by a school teacher for his wife. Over the centuries additions were added to turn it into what it is today. . . .
There were only a few rooms up these stairs in the oldest part of the house. . . .
I had no complaints about the food, however. It was delightful. . . .
Since there was nothing to do we went back to our room and watched Sleepless in Seattle because that was the only thing on TV that interested us--we enjoyed seeing the scenes in Baltimore where we'd be landing the next night! Our son would pick us up and then we'd drive to another son's to get Gabriel, our Westie, and drive the hour home arriving before 9:00 p.m.
We'd walked 8,534 steps, 4.2 miles, 17 flights of stairs today.
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Thursday, May 17: The Hotel limousine drove us over to the airport after breakfast. On our trip over American Airlines had to book us a British Airways flight to London, as you may recall, because the flight from Baltimore to Philadelphia had been delayed and we'd not make the connection to Manchester. We'd had to rebook our train tickets because the available flight from London to Manchester was later in the day. You can read about THAT misadventure HERE if you want the details. We found the American Airlines plane to be a little roomier and the flight attendants to be more accommodating, however, not as quiet as the British Airways plane. The meal of Curry Chicken was quite good.
We arrived in Philadelphia at 1:35 p.m., got through Customs, and found some rocking chairs in the terminal to rest our weary bones while we waited for the last leg of our journey home. We were going to wait till 4:30 to get something to eat before our 5:45 flight when my cell phone dinged at 3:37 with a text message, then dinged again. I told Ken--OH NO. That's how the texts arrived telling us our flight from Baltimore to Philadelphia had been cancelled and booking us on another flight--only this time the rebooking would be for TOMORROW at 5:45! We could WALK to Baltimore in that time! To make a long story short the steps that Ken's fitbit logged at the end of the day tells it all: 9,449 steps, 4.5 miles, 2 flights of stairs.
After finding Customer Service, having to take the airport bus to a different terminal to collect our luggage which first had to be found, booking train tickets for Baltimore, taking a cab across Philadelphia to the train station where Ken is collecting the tickets. . . .
....we managed to make it home by 10:00 p.m. and be asleep in our own bed soon after 10:30.
We woke up the next morning feeling like we were still in England because everything looked so lush here. We'd had the rain that England didn't have while we were there and my garden was bursting with new growth. . . .
The only thing missing were the SHEEP! Gabriel, however, was a good stand-in.
Thank you for following along and commenting on my many posts about my time in England. I hope it has helped to encourage you to make the effort to go see it for yourself--despite the travel headaches we had. As it turned out that connecting flight on American Eagle the next day was cancelled, too. Next time we are going to avoid connecting flights on regional airlines.
And lastly, be sure to check out this blog post by Sandra Hutchinson: A Week in Beatrix Potter's Lake District in England -- She was a part of Mandy Marshall's and Betsy Bray's tour of the Lake District that included Susan Branch's picnic. The tour visited every place Ken and I went and more!