Picked up a very nice BMW 520 Diesel at Victoria Station at 9:30 am. GPS is a must as there is always a learning curve driving on the left side of the road.
Drove to Windsor Castle and arrived at about 11. Very light crowds as it was threatening rain, but the tour did not disappoint. Beautiful collections of gold and silver work, paintings by Hans Holbein the Younger (who painted Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in the 16th Century), and amazing tapestries.
We then continued west and drove to the village of Lacock in the county of Wiltshire.
After a quick pint of a Wadworth Swordfish Rum Infused Ale, we finished the drive at our Hotel, The Bird, in Bath.
We went into town and visited the Jane Austen Center, well worth it for the animated presentation, and costumes to be tried on.
We walked through Bath and were amazed at the shops, restaurants and social scene.
We finished up with Fish and Chips and two Gin and Tonics at The Saracens Head, the oldest pub in Bath.
From the Captain Whidbey website:
The presence of the inn itself demands this kind of myth-making. Its hulking imperfections, hidden staircases and infinite doorways, narrow pathways and intricate stonework, call to mind an honest, handmade world, where times were slower and things made to last. Rumors of its past are worn proudly on its proverbial sleeve — stripped wood where there once was a second floor balcony, prominently displayed plaques of historic register, mismatched sediments of historic photos, the speckled outline of a dart board and creaking floorboards. The front door was originally the back door because most guests arrived by boat.
Since 1907, Captain Whidbey has been a locus of natural beauty, community gathering and quiet, exalted delight. A place where locals and visitors do things together — even if those things are simply eating, drinking, appreciating nature, looking out across the water, feeling alive, feeling grateful.
Captain Whidbey is the Unofficial Official Lodge of Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve. The gateway to beautiful and rugged wild, Captain Whidbey fosters a sense of romance, a longing for adventure and a communion with the natural world.
To read more: https://www.captainwhidbey.com/
From a Wall Street Journal online article:
Beethoven moved nearly 70 times while living in Vienna. Two of his former homes are open to the public, and many more are marked with commemorative plaques.
High above Vienna’s historic center, at the edge of the hilly Vienna Woods, the city’s Beethoven Museum, is housed in a onetime bakery complex dating back to the late Middle Ages, with an 18th-century annex containing a small apartment where Beethoven spent the summer of 1802. While living here, he composed his tragic “Tempest” piano sonata and began work on his 3rd Symphony, the “Eroica.”
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN is as Viennese as apple strudel. Though born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, he moved to the Austrian capital when he was in his early 20s, and then spent the rest of his 56 years changing the course of Western music from the city on the Danube. A quirky, cantankerous celebrity in his own time, he premiered his groundbreaking symphonies and concertos in Vienna’s grand palaces, escaped the summer heat in what are now its sleepy suburbs, and moved around between dozens of supposedly squalid apartments that sprawl across much of the city.
To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-to-binge-on-beethoven-in-vienna-11568303745
From the OpenHouseChicago.org website:
The Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago (OHC) is the city’s annual architecture festival. For one weekend in October you can explore Chicago’s most iconic and unique architectural treasures. From mansions to sacred spaces, theaters to private clubs, hotels to secret rooms—OHC gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at many of the city’s great spaces that are rarely, if ever, open to the public.
OHC is a citywide event that includes more than 350 sites located in more than 38 neighborhoods. Sites reflect the cultural diversity and history of Chicago, as well as the unique character of each community. Locations include private clubs, residential spaces, offices, hotels, theaters, design/architecture studios, schools and places of worship as well as manufacturing, cultural and government facilities. This diverse selection of sites allows visitors to plan an itinerary according to their own specific interests. Browse the sites that have participated in OHC since 2015.
To read more: https://openhousechicago.org/
From a Michigan.org online article:
There are over 140 miles of trails and roads leading to great views on Mackinac Island. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to buy a map of the trails, significant points of interest and self-tours. Or visit a rental bike shop for a map, (though these have less detail). One of the most popular trails is the 8.2-mile road along the island’s perimeter. Typically there are bikers along this trail, but plenty of pedestrians also use it to see the beautiful shorelines. The road is not very hilly but it is long, so take your time to enjoy the views and be sure to stop occasionally to read about the history of the island. If you’d like to get deeper inland, there are several trails that lead to great views of the changing reds, yellows, and oranges as well as vantage points to see the beautiful shorelines. Stay aware of bikers and horses and be sure to stop at Sugar Loaf, Fort Mackinac, Skull Cave or Arch Rock for amazing views.
To read more: https://www.michigan.org/article/trip-idea/pure-michigan-hiking-trails-see-brilliant-fall-colors
From a Bon Appétit magazine online review:
Immediately upon checking into one of the Sound View’s cedar-paneled rooms, all clean white sheets and sailcloth pillows and views straight out onto the beach (ALL of the rooms at the Sound View look straight out onto the beach), I felt my blood pressure slow. For lunch, we jammed lobster rolls the size of our faces into our faces by the pool. Come late afternoon, we sat on our sandswept porch drinking canned rosé and watched the sky turn gold.
For dinner at The Halyard (Sound View’s hotel-restaurant-that-decidedly-doesn’t-suck), we grabbed a corner table on the open-air deck and ate peak-season heirloom tomato gazpacho and crisply seared scallops caught just a few miles away. Afterwards, loose on Greenport IPAs, we moseyed over to the piano bar for karaoke night and performed Alanis Morissette duets for a group of drunken Scottish people (all of whom are now our best friends) late into the night. It was a perfect weekend, the kind that made summer feel as endless as it did in the good old days, back before Google calendars existed.
To read more: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/sound-view-hotel-north-fork