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Blue ridge parkway in PINK

2006 Activities. As we have decided to NOT print and Xmas newsletter, you can download and print the one we created but didn't publish. It's a long story, but Al decided that when it ceased to be fun for both readers and Al, the letter won't be stuffed in the Xmas card. XMAS letter.DOC If you're new to the site and want to be really bored, you're welcome to look at the 2005 web site.

Spring - After a winter of vegetating, we decided to go to Plummer Manor in May. Somebody forgot to tell the weather man, as it bucketed with rain. After a short consultation from our bedroom window, we decided it would be cheaper to be stuck in our house than in the country house hotel. We promised ourselves we would go, but doubted whether it would be in the spring

June - After promising to do so for a number of years, Dave Wilson came to spend a week with us, and find out what there is to do... Not much as he discovered, except play golf, drink tea, and look at old buildings in Lavenham, Suffolk. I don't have any of Dave and I golfing as I was too busy impressing him with my golf 'slice'. We play at Stowmarket Golf Club Our 'Sunday Lunch Bunch' was with us of course, including Frank Lay and his daughter Jo. The picture was taken at the Brandeston, Suffolk Crown.

July - Al wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords, so off we went from Harwich, Essex (about 60 miles from Willisham) on Voyages of Discovery. This is the same small ship we took to the Mediterranean in 2005. The North Sea is noted for 60 foot waves and force 8 gales, but Moses was on this ship, and the sea was calm.

Our first stop was Flam, Norway, at the end of Sogne-Fjorden. We got on a packed train to go up the Flam Railway (what else?), stopping at a waterfall for a tourist photo opportunity of some waterfalls, and then to the top. The train coach was crowded, so we didn't get a window seat.. After a chance to brouse the (ugh) gift shop and drink coffee and eat cold waffles, we waddled back for our return train journey. After elbowing my fellow pensioners out of the way, we got a seat by a window for the return journey. The scenery was spectacular, of course. Valley Below.

We gave Flam something to remember us by (10 tonnes of CO2 and some Smoke) and made for neighboring Gudvagen. We then went to other Fjords and towns, notably Alesund, which consists of 7 islands upon which the town is built. One of the other towns was Olden (near Geiranger), which didn't have many facilities, but had spectacular, unspoilt scenery. We did go inside a couple of old wooden churches, proudly pictured the church Elders and then a more modern church (one with heat). We then went to Bergen, and spent the day walking around, visiting the old market, the mountain top near Bergen and the town center. We then returned to Harwich

September - Rather than go to Sicily, Al wanted to go to the east coast, and see the sights there. We stopped at Monticello for a day, and saw Monticello, which is symmetrical front and rear. The kitchen was away from the main house, with a passageway from the kitchen to the house. It had a large vegetable garden to feed the Jeffersons and their slaves. We then went to see James Monroe's house nearby and while it was small, it was interesting. Charlottesville is near the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway, where no trucks are allowed and the speed limit is 45mph. There are foot trails off various points on the 400 mile route, and spectacular views (for a crowded east coast state). We ended up in Asheville, NC, where we saw Biltmore, one of Cornelius Vanderbilt's houses, complete with modest greenhouse. Asheville wasn't much, but there were a few good places to eat. We returned to Washington DC, and saw the Capital plus Washington's, Lincon's and Jefferson's monuments, but George Bush didn't come out for a visit. We did stop at the Daughters of the American Revolution house and took a tour of the building including rooms appointed by each of the 13 original states, plus a collection of 1700 and 1800's toys. On our last day, we were able to meet with Darshan and Jr (Al's Brother Peary's daughter and son in law), who live in nearby Bowie, MD.

November. We returned for shopping and the Thanksgiving weekend. Not very exciting to photograph, but Al finds it necessary. We went up to Auburn to see Justin and his son Max, stopping via Cumbria. The drive from Cumbria to Hwy 101 was interesting, just a few turkeys near the road. As with last year, we stayed in Auburn at the Auburn Valley Ranch, where we felt like we were at home. After our return we saw Al's family, including son Greg, as well as Ray and Chris Page, long time friends of Gillian (and now Al).

December. More preparation for Christmas, a mad rush to do everything, and darned little time for Golf, except for the occasional round or two. We're still with Andersen Windows, so there are things for us to do at Willisham.