Sunday, 27 January 2008

First mudbath!

Having had Charlie home for a week, the first Shire playday of the year beckoned.
And in true style Jen buried Charlies nose in a big puddle of gloop.

On the way home we blew a head gasket... oh what joy!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Charlie's home safe and sound

A little later than anticipated, but Charlie Camel has made it back to Blighty safe and sound. Jen and I took the morning off work to collect him from a warehouse in Northfleet, Kent.

We arrived there as arranged at 9am after a night at Jens mums, 10 miles down the road. Unfortunately Charlies import paperwork hadn't arrived and so we weren't allowed to take him home. A tantelising 10 minutes wait brought good news though as the paperwork was finally faxed through and we were allowed to take him home.
We did notice that both of the rear tyres had some damage, presumably where thay has been chocked badly.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Sweet home Southampton!

Thats it, we're home :-(
But we had an interesting reception at the airport. Moo had been promising to come and pick us up, but he got called to Germany with his work, so instead he managed to arrange for about half of Shire Land Rover Club to come and meet us... at 7:30am on Saturday morning... at Heathrow! You're all mad!
But thanks guys, it really made a fantastic ending to a fantastic trip!

More news on the shipping. I got the full story from Kingstown about the delayed shipping and now we don't mind it taking a long time. The problem is that the warehouse closes over the Christmas period and they don't want to risk having any containers turn up during that period. If they do then there is an £80/day charge! Ok... we'll wait till after Christmas then!

Thursday, 29 November 2007


Well, that really is it now. We checked into a Motel in Linden last night and had a meal at the really nasty diner next door. 2 Lasagne's, 1 hot choc, as many pepsi re-fills as you want, 1 side salad and 1 extra large portion of Garlic Bread... all in for £10!
This morning we got up and drove 5 miles to the car hire place to pick up our Kia Optima (sounds remarkably like a battery to me!) with Sat-Nav :-) Jen punched in the shipping company's address in Linden and set off, me in Charlie Camel following close behind.
15 minutes later we arrived at Pembroke Shippings warehouse, sorted out paperwork and were then informed by the nice lady with the face like thunder that it would be at least 4 weeks until the car ships to England! HUH!!! 4 weeks... Steve (Kingstown), if you are reading this expect an email! Gutted! So it probably won't be until the end of January that we see Charlie Camel again :-(
Having waved goodbye to Charlie, we jumped into the jap-crap, set the sat-nav destination to Baltimore airport, set the cruise control to 70mph and sulked our way here to the Holiday Inn Express. We are going out to get horibly pissed tonight to drown our sorrows. Then we'll probably do the same again tomorrow as we have to hang around at the airport for who-know-how-many hours. (Well, Dan will, I'm driving back from resturant... but I do get to eat Cheesecake... Mmm! Jen)
And to make matters worse, Jen has just started singing "And now the time is near!"

Dad, it's been an amazing trip, glad you and everybody else who has posted has enjoyed it.

So, now that we won't have a vehicle to play with off road I'm just gonna have to get cracking on Bertha! :-D

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Blue Ridge Parkway

For the last couple of day's we've been driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway through The Carolina's, Georgia and now we're in Virgina.

This has to be the part of America that looks the most like the UK, principally because we spent one whole day driving through thick fog and rain! lol!

By the time it got dark we had visibility of about 15ft and the going was pretty slow.

Luckily the next day was a little bit clearer and we got to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery.

We stopped pretty early today so we could take advantage of the sunny (but cold) weather and sorted Charlie out for his journey in the container as tomorrow's our last full day with him - boy, that went quick! Tomorrow we're planning on finishing the Skyline drive which will bring us out at Washington DC after 110miles which will leave us only about 220miles to New Jersey where we'll find a motel and drop Charlie off in the morning... :-(

See you all at the Jolly Sailor Saturday night!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Heading North and Blog Comments

We started our northern trip after Sea World heading for the Blue Ridge Parkway - a road running along the course of the Appalachian Mountains which, if all goes to plan, should put us out near Washington DC. It was a recommendation from a family camped next to us at Key West.

Today was spent following the I75 to Macon and then the 129 to the 441 and at the moment we're staying around the I95 before following the 441 to the Blue Ridge.

Nothing much else to report so instead we're going to answer the comments that have recently been put on the blog, which we love reading :-) :

Richard and Tracy: You are evil. If it's just the new job, we know about that - Hehe! If you're moving away because of it, then you're not allowed :-( But we're both going mad trying to figure it out!

Granny Billie: Thanks for the Happy Birthday message!

The Farter: We saw Hemmingway house, but didn't visit as we were tipped off that it was a bit rubbish so we went to the pub instead :-)
We arrive back in Blighty on Saturday morning. Keep drinkin' those John Smiths!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

The Keys... its Itchy!

Driving down to the Florida Keys is an interesting experience. From the Mainland to Key West is approximately 100 miles, and it's pretty much all big long bridges intersperced with the odd tropical, palm tree covered paradise island.
We had planned a couple of days down at Key West, one day relaxing in the sun and another day investigation Key West. Well, all went according to plan, we spent a day at the camp site chilling out. Before we realised it was late afternoon and time to get some more relaxing done at the local bar :-)
Then the following day we made our way into Key West to check the place out. What a funky little town! We took a walk from one end of Duval street to the other, and then made our way back up Whitehead Street and into Malory square to watch the sunset. This is something that Malory Square is well known for and the watersedge was chockablock with people and street entertainers. The sunset was pretty cool to say the least, and the numerous boats and clippers made it picture perfect.

Having been nibbled half to death by the midgeys and itching like a pair of flee bitten muts, it was time to head north again. It was Thanksgiving day so the roads were pretty quiet. We popped into the Everglades again to experience an airboat ride after my Dad sent several nagging messeges instructing us not to leave without taking a ride. WOW! What a ride! I'm sure we didn't go that fast, but with the noise from the V8 engine, silenced only by some flexi-pipe and a couple of cherry-bombs and the wind being sucked past by the 4ft propeller bolted directly to the engines flywheel it felt like we were tearing along! Now an airboat ride isn't the best way to see wildlife, most of it gets scared off by the noise, so we just held on and enjoyed the ride which included some amazing acrobatic boating manouvers.
Whilst there we also checked out the live snake show and as luck would have it Jen got dragged out the audience and had a massive albino python plopped on her shoulders! LOL... she took it rather well actually.

Anyway, onwards and upwards, and heading towards Orlando again, this time to check out SeaWorld. We took a quick detour to do a drive through of Miami, famed for its ArtDeco buildings, and its home for the filthy rich!

We finally arrived in Kissimee quite late looking for a campsite and eventually picked a Motel as it was cheaper than camping... work that one out!

Today, as it was Jens birthday yesterday and she's always wanted to go to SeaWorld, we spent the whole day there. What an amazing place, far better than I expected, and we fed the dolphins!

Now though, with less than a week to go before we come back home it really is time to start our northbound journey. We're hoping to have time to check out the Blue M ountian Ridgeway.