We are sticking to the original plan. Leaving Switzerland tomorrow evening, overnight near Gatwick, home on Friday. I thought the cottage we had originally booked was available for the next two weeks (except for a few days when we would move to one of their other cottages), but some last minute bookings had been made. I figured no one would be booking in the Cotswolds after all that flooding – but I was wrong.
Rural Retreats had a few other cottages available, but none was what we wanted (too large or not in the right area or no phone/internet/cell reception). I did some quick searching, but realized we had left it too late to get everything organized. We would have had to book today and changed our flights tonight.
August is high season in the Cotswolds and the weather is good in England now. I think people from London made last minute countryside bookings. And who could blame them?
We don’t have to leave Gstaad until 1:00pm tomorrow, then have a two hour drive to Geneva airport (but are giving ourselves three hours to do it). We get to drive by Leysin where we were for the first part of this trip, then down to the Autoroute and along Lake Geneva to the airport.
Since our flight to Gatwick is less than 24 hours from the Dallas flight in the morning, we can check our luggage all the way through. Hopefully, all the way to Albuquerque (I will show them our American tickets from Dallas to Albuquerque). If all goes well, we will arrive in Albuquerque at 4:30pm (12:30am Switzerland time) with our luggage, pickup up a rental car, and drive up to Santa Fe (one hour drive).
Buddy (the cat) will come running to greet us. 🙂 Buddy the cat will be thinking to himself – who are they?
We are spending tomorrow night at the Alexander House Hotel, where we spent our last night on last year’s trip. It is a fabulous country hotel and spa, just ten minutes from Gatwick. They used to offer airport pickup, but they don’t seem to any more, so we will have to take a taxi. They have two restaurants and I booked us into the “casual” one. If everything goes like it did last year, this will be a luxurious last night on a fabulous trip.
Packing our carryon is the tricky part. You know how bad I am with packing. I have a small rolling suitcase (20″) which will have a change of clothes for going to dinner, a toilet kit, our computers, iPod so we can zone out watching that TV show “Dirt” (I downloaded it) – that is if we get seats facing the same way. If not, we may have to resort to reading or …. conversation.
We have to leave at 8:15am in the morning for a 10:35 flight.
It has been pouring rain most of yesterday and today. Yesterday it cleared in the afternoon so we went out for a nice walk on one of the running paths they have here (from Schonreid). Today we got all ready to do the two and a half hour walk to Gsteig, the one where we got drenched last week and only got half way. We left the building and it started to rain. We went back and the skies opened – and have been open since. We should have gone in the morning, but I was searching for a cottage in England.
Steve just pointed out how high the river that we look out onto is right now.
This has been a wonderful trip. It was more like a “beach vacation” without the beach, than a normal travel trip. But our last few years of vacations have been like that. Instead of the beach, there was the mountains. Instead of swimming, there was hiking. It has been very relaxing and pretty “healthy”. We have not had that many meals out and have been cooking simple dinners at “home”.
Steve and I have had a lot of time to spend together and to talk. Under normal circumstances we are together a lot. We work in our small second bedroom and sit less than three feet apart, but we are each pretty involved in our own work. We spend most of the day together. We get to talk when we do our morning walks and in the evenings. But this vacation has given us a lot more time together and it has been great. For me, one of the nicest things about vacations is not having to work (I kept up with email and did a couple of days of work – Steve did the same) and having all the time with your spouse.
I wish we were going on to England, but I was not looking forward to all the phone calls to rebook everything. I wish we had decided what we are going to do this fall – move to England for a year? Move to Boulder? Stay in Santa Fe? But we didn’t. With all the changes we have made in our lives in the last 25 years, you would think this next change would be easy, but it isn’t. Nothing is clear to us yet. But that doesn’t matter – as John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you are making other plans”. And life is good! 🙂
Goodbye Switzerland! Goodbye hiking trails! Goodbye to lovely tea rooms serving great coffee!