You will have noticed I have made reference to Ubers a lot in these blogs. For the uninitiated (basically mum and dad), this is what they are.  They are people who are using their cars as taxis. You book them via an app on your phone, so you request one, and about a minute later […]

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Today was, I suppose, one of the highlights of the holiday. We were off to see a real live bone fide NFL game. Now this isn’t my first game of American football, no sirrree y’all. Nikki, my big sis, was one of the early adopters of gridiron (nope, no idea why it’s called that, just believe […]

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“So what brings you to Nashville then?” Seems to be the opening gambit of every uber driver we have encountered since we touched down on Thursday. That’s actually a good question.  I suppose a combination of Rayna James and Bob Harris. Yes I am a big fan of the TV series Nashville but I have […]

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Today we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The cultured of you will know it as having one of the best collections of art in the world housed in a stunning neoclassical building. The rest of you will know it as the building with the big steps that Sylvester Stallone runs up at the […]

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The dilemma you always have when you come away is “how much cash should we take?”  In the olden days you had to go to the bank and get travellers’ cheques (Google them kids, they were real) and find a bank on holiday and cash them in (but you also had to produce your passport, […]

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They don’t half like to run in Philadelphia. Now I am not adverse to a bit of running myself.  Have I told you about my triathlon?  No?  Well you must be the only person I haven’t bored to tears about it. I was even considering bringing my running shoes to keep my hand (foot?) in, […]

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I  know I wrote a blog four years ago about how good the service is in America  but they seem to be getting even better. When we were in Washington we went to quite a posh restaurant (well posh for us.  Tablecloths and everything.) The server had the most earnest look I have even seen. […]

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We have been doing a lot of traveling around via the metro when we have been visiting cities. Washington has the most modern one and it is only 40 years old. It also has amazing stations which are like underground cathedrals subtly lit with up-lighting. By comparison, the Chicago CTA trains have been running since […]

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We have been staying in the Logan Square area of Chicago. Before I came away I spent a couple of nights in an Airbnb in Cambridge and on my second night was joined in the little flat by an American gentleman called Miles. He was in Cambridge at a conference but came from Chicago and […]

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Fresh from the success of last week’s ball game, we repeated the experience today. Chicago does like its sport.  I have never seen so many sports shops selling Cubs, Bears, Bulls, White Sox and Gray Skids merchandise. The two baseball teams are the Cubs and the White Sox (yeah I know, can you imagine going […]

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Klaxon alet: prepare for a statement of the flaming obvious:  things are big over here. The country is big; the portions are big and as a result a lot of the people are big. But the museums are also big.  Washington has an area just full of national museums which are all free.  I can’t […]

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One thing that has struck me this trip is how passionate the Americans are about trying to get enough water into you.  So far every restaurant we have visited has given us a glass or bottle of tap water with our meal.  (Ok I say every restaurant, McDonalds and Nando’s haven’t quite gone that far, […]

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Washington is a modern city, well sort of. It was built in the 18th century and designed by a French planner Pierre L’enfant and is largely based on the recently redesigned Paris. The founding fathers liked what they saw in Paris as the planners had cleverly avoided showing them that the the Arc Du Triomphe […]

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Those of you die hard blog followers will remember our first experience of a ball game (if you are new to it or have forgotten, you can refresh you memory here). Last night we went to our second game. Yeah we are die hard ball fans. 2 games in 4 years. This time it was […]

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For our first day in the capital city of the USA, we thought we would do what any self respecting British tourist from the North East would do and stopped random strangers and asked where the Nissan factory was.  Once we got bored of that game we headed for the Capitol to find out what […]

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Well we are off again.  We planned this trip with as much care and planning as ever (basically we wanted to go to Chicago, but it was cheaper to fly to Washington, we liked Nashville the TV show and the internal flights to Philadelphia were cheap as well, so boom, itinerary sorted). We have booked […]

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I’m sorry I have missed a few days’ blogging.  Unbelievably in a place where there is nothing to do I have been kept very busy.  So, blogs which I have not managed to write since the last time include: – Mountain Deep River High (or scary places to take photos from) – Don’t drink whisky […]

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You may have got the impression from my blog the other day that this place is hilly.  That’s because it is.  So in my mind, this is the last place that you would want to ride a bike.  Admittedly for every up slope, there is a down one; but really, why go to all that […]

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Today was Abuela’s birthday. Now Abuela is a no nonsense type of woman (as the chicken that she is killing for the Paella this weekend will testify).  She doesn’t really do birthdays in a big way.  Little did she know that her daughter-in-law and amigos had been planning a surprise.  (I love the fact that […]

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So we eventually arrived in Bogarra at 8:00pm.  To put this place into context it used to have a population of around 5,000; but according to Tibu it is now nearer 800, with  the number of under 25’s being around 100.  We are all classed as young here.  We like this place.  It is up […]

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So, we eventually found the hotel and the next day we got up and started the feeding frenzy.  The hotel was a like a nice Jury’s Inn and offered the usual standard breakfast fayre in the cooked food department; scrambled eggs (but with ham in), fatty streaky bacon and mini frankfurters.  Now I like a frankfurter. […]

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“Fancy a cheap holiday?”  Ah my favourite 2 words. Cheap and holiday.  They go together like fish and chips, or pie and mash or Eurovision and failure.  The suggestion came from our friends Rachel and Tibu (see other Spanish blogs for the full relationship). Tibu is Spanish (come on, how many people from Lancashire do […]

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Yesterday when we were getting our bearings in Pisa I stumbled across a poster advertising the Vespa museum.  (I literally stumbled.  The pavements here could challenge Sofia and Bruges).  I love Vespas.  I used to have one, but ultimately it was impractical.   Forgive me if I have said this before (Matt Cherry will tell […]

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Yes we are on holiday again.  I know there have a been few cries of disbelief on Facebook today, but I have worked nearly 3 weeks so needed a break.  Well actually we always have a winter weekend away before Christmas with our friends but due to diary clashes it happened a bit earlier than […]

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So we finally decided to go for a walk.  People keep telling us how lovely the walks are in Madeira but the main problem I have with them is that they are usually outside and inevitably involve hills.  I’m not a great walker for 3 main reasons 1) I have bad knees 2) I’m overweight […]

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Ok, before we get started, lets do some Parish announcements – I know some of you also had birthdays yesterday and weren’t mentioned, but you never asked.  Quiet bairns get nowt, as Karen would say. – I have now fixed the previous blog titles so they read Day 1-9 (sorry Tessa, that was confusing having […]

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Well dear reader I left you last night with some breaking news. When I was writing last night’s blog, the phone in the apartment went, which surprised us as we had forgotten that we had a phone.  It was our host who informed us that tonight was Fiesta night in Machico.  He suggested if we […]

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The forecast for today was overcast and when we woke up the planes flying over our heads looked as though they were flying into a misty haze, so we decided that it was time to head off to Funchal.  We drove on the VR1, exited through the gift shop, and picked up our photo.  Karen […]

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