The Cotswolds

Or what will hereafter be known as the Day of the Bathrooms.” More to come on that soon….

We took the Overground and rented a car in Hammersmith. It was quite the ordeal and it took us a lot longer to get on the road than expected. And it was our first time driving on the left! I was pretty tired, and honestly, not all that excited about a long drive and dragging the kids all over little villages. I rested in the car and tried to improve my attitude.

And my attitude did improve the moment we drove into the first adorable village, Kingston. There were houses covered in roses and vines, quaint little front porches and even a few thatched roofs! We ate our Salami and Cheese sandwiches in a little park and then proceeded on our way. I am really going to miss the beautiful dining al fresco views we’ve had in England!!

my attitude also improved when I had an ice cold dr Pepper. It’s the little things. I made Halle sit in this patch of greenery for a pic. But I’m pretty sure it was stinging nettle because we were both itching like crazy afterward. Halle much more so that me. Oops. We next drove to the Broadway Tower. It is a fun, eccentric tower right in the middle of nowhere. These sheep benches really stole the show. Blake especially loved them! One of the sheep had a head that would detach and in about 2 minutes flat he had a a whole story about this robot sheep whose head turned into a gun. Love that boy and his very active imagination.

We climbed to the top of the tower for some lovely views of the English countryside.

And then Blake bought me the cutest little notebook in the gift shop. It said, “Special Mum.” He conspired with Rusty so that he could buy it without me noticing. I was so touched that he would spend his money on me. He had found a £1 coin earlier in the day and was itching to spend it. He’d originally wanted candy or a soda and it really meant a lot to me that he chose to buy something for me instead. I love him!

Now for Stow-on-the-Wold, where our bathroom adventures begin. We parked in the car park and there was a bathroom nearby. We went, but it cost 20p and I only had £1 coin. The machine would ONLY accept 20p. We went in search of someone who would change the coin. No one would. So then we had to search for something that cost less than80p. We found a water. So, armed with our 20p we went back to the bathroom. Which was now closed for maintenance. There was another one about 1/2 mile away. So, off we went. Finally, finally we were able to use the bathroom. I had 2 20p coins and something told me to save one. But I didn’t. We used them both so we could be quicker.

Stow-on-the-Wold is also Home to the cutest little hobbit door you ever did see! Halle said she felt like she was about to walk into Middle Earth.

Lower Slaughter stole our hearts. It was everything I hoped the Cotswolds would be! We grabbed and ice cream cone and ate it by the water wheel. We saw some kids catching little fish with nets in the river. Of course our kids wanted in on that fun. But, that family had purchased the nets in Bourton-on-the -Water, one town over. We hopped in the car and raced to make it to the toy store by closing time. We made it, and after a quick dinner, armed with our nets, back to Lower Slaughter we went.

Oh, and we also visited the adorable model village in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Isn’t it the WORST name for the cutest town?

Everyone had a blast wading in the river and scooping up the little fish. Blake was so proud of every catch he made. He fancies himself quite the fisherman. And Halle even scooped up a big bottom feeder!

Rusty and I strolled around town looking at the beautiful homes and admiring the flowers and front porches.

We played and played until we were all exhausted and ready to head home. And bathroom situation round 2 here we come. No public bathrooms in Lower Slaughter were still open. So we drove for awhile until we found a biggish town. Of course, there were paid toilets and of course we didn’t have the correct change. Back we traipsed to the grocery store for another bottle of water. When I asked for my change in 20p coins for the bathroom, the attendant said in her perfectly clipped British accent, “It’s an awful nightmare isn’t it?” Yes, yes it is.

Rusty dropped us off at home and then went to drop off the rental car. He also had to get Blake’s iPod that got left at the rental car center. Trouble was, it was locked in a safe and no one knew the combination. It took forever to sort out and Rusty didn’t get home till after midnight. Which was rough because we were leaving the next morning bright and early for Scotland. It was our last night in our apartment! Halle says coming home is “Booo/yay!!” I think that’s a pretty accurate description.

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