Sunday, July 5, 2015

Vacation Journal - Part 5 - Meeting blogging friends Em and Seagull Suzie


June 5th, 2015



Today was going to be another fun day as we were meeting up with two blogging friends, Em of Dartmoor Ramblings, and Seagull Suzie of Beautiful Brixham.  There won't be any pictures of them on here as I promised them their anonymity. There will be shots of our day together though, of my beloved Dartmoor.   



Em was a gracious host.  We spent several hours with her and a lovely evening with Seagull Suzie at our local pub.  As you might guess from their blogs, they are lovely ladies who take marvelous photos.



Our nephew has done an amazing job getting us around and Gregg and I are so grateful, especially Gregg who normally does all the driving when we are on vacation over here.  Would you believe I am too nervous to drive on the opposite side of the road now?  After all those years of driving in England, at least from the age of 18 to 25 when I met Gregg, and now 40 years in America, it has taken its toll on the left-hand, right-hand driving on the road.  I just can't teach myself to switch any more. Gregg had a lot of time as a passenger to take in all the sights and he thoroughly enjoyed each and every relaxing ride.



We arrived at Em's pretty home earlier than we expected but she didn't mind at all and welcomed us in, gave us a lovely cup of tea with home made cookies (I would love that recipe Em).  We talked for a little while and then she asked us if we would like to go for a walk.  We were all looking forward to it.



After we had finished our tea Em took us over the Moors.  We saw lots of those lovely Dartmoor ponies and there were sheep everywhere.  In fact you have to be very careful because these weren't fenced in and were left to freely go anywhere they wanted to. 



Case in point, two jumped in front of the car.  Fortunately we weren't going very fast and we saw them coming.  It was a winding, hilly and narrow road.  We followed them for several minutes, having to keep pace with them trotting right in front of us.  They made us laugh with the nonchalance of it all.  They didn't get off the road until they were good and ready.  It was quite an adventure getting to Em's, a fun one and that scenery!  I can go on and on how absolutely stunning the Moors are.  You can see them in greater detail on Em's blog.  Her photos show her great love of them and of nature in general.



Em is very knowledgeable about the area and during our walk showed us the remains of bronze-age villages.....



and the names of different wildflowers, bluebells and many others.



I really wish I had taken more notes of them.  I do remember, and she will have to correct me if I am wrong, that one particular delicate little wildflower was picked in abundance and stuffed into pillows back in the old days.  They would have been soft as down and their aroma must have been lovely.



Em took us up to one of the Tors.  A Tor is a high hill, especially a bare rocky one, the term mainly used in the Southwest of England.  The word's origin is Old English torr, probably of Celtic in origin; compare Scottish Gaelic torr pile, Welsh twr.  I found the above info here.  



Em, my niece and nephew climbed to the top.  There was an easy path up but Gregg and I stayed below and enjoyed waving to them. We sat on a rock below and enjoyed the surrounding scenery.  Incredible!



If you have taken a look at Em's blog, you will already know about Snippet and Jack.  They are sweet little dogs and so much fun.  They both loved climbing and exploring.  Here's Jack on the Tor.



 Here is our nephew playing with Snippet.



At one point Jack disappeared down an animal burrow under a huge rock.  



Not knowing how clever he is - he is part Jack Russell and the Jack Russell breed was originally made for such things, we were a bit concerned.  But Em said if we walked away he would know and follow us.  He did of course.  I must say, we all fell in love with Snippet and Jack, and this lovely dog came by for a visit.  He was accompanied by two of Em's friends riding their horses.



We had a lovely time with Em and I was quite sad for it to be over.  She gave us a fantastic walk and thank you so much Em, for sharing your part of Dartmoor with our family, a gift we will all remember for a lifetime.



Em had recommended a place for lunch in Chagford, a town which was on our way back to the cottage.  It was called The Old Forge Caffe and Restaurant.  A great choice!  The lady who took our order was very nice and welcoming. The chef was actually the owner.  Our niece had ordered a cheeseburger and fries and she said the fries were the best she had ever tasted, and was nice enough to tell the lady.  She beamed and said she would tell the chef/owner, and that he would be very happy to hear that.  Our nephew ordered pork chops with veggies.  



Gregg ordered the English Rarebit (above photo).  He told our niece and nephew how his mother had made it all the time when he was growing up, and this was a nostalgia food for him, that his mother would have loved this version.  She would.  



I ordered ham with a jacket potato and baked beans.  The beans were not out of a can, most definitely home made and had a delicious, tomato-ey flavor.  We all had a salad which came with our meal.  



I had a pot of tea for one and....



everyone else had freshly made lemonade.



Lastly, we shared dessert.   I can't remember what the cake was but it was delicious topped with the ice-cream.  It also came with a raspberry sauce.   

After our meal it was time to get back to the cottage so that we could meet up with Seagull Suzie at our local pub.   It was a lovely evening and so very nice meeting her.  We talked and talked and talked.  So much fun and meeting these two ladies in one day was a very enjoyable experience.  Our evening went quickly and it was once again time to say goodbye.  

Thank you Em and Seagull Suzie, loved meeting you both and we will look forward to the next time.

June 6th, 2015

After our long day out yesterday we stayed at the cottage to have a rest day, and caught up on mundane things like laundry.  Niece and nephew went off shopping and we were glad they had time together, as they had been so good to us we felt they deserved some time to themselves.  

At 6.25 p.m. they came home after having a very enjoyable shopping trip, and had a lovely browse around the stores.  They brought dinner home.  They are certainly taking care of all our needs.


In case you miss vacation posts I will be adding a link to the previous ones.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.

(To all the hosts of the memes I love to participate in, I will posting my journal for a while but will be back joining in once these are over with.)