Thursday, 25 March 2010

My very first blog! March 25, 2010

This blog has been created to protect some of you from a deluge of unwanted emails. Instead of writing them and clogging up your mail I thought I'd start a blog and those of you who are interested can check-in (or not) whenever you please.

It's been forever since I've been online. We are not having good luck with the internet here at all. Supposedly we are to get it FOR SURE in two and a half weeks. Joe bought me this little 1gb stick that is supposed to allow me to get a signal temporarily. This thing is so slow though I have about lost my mind trying to use it. Half the time it will let me on my aol account and let me SEE the emails that I have but not open them up! For someone who has been out of touch with everyone for two weeks you can imagine my frusration. So I really haven't been able to write any to speak of either. Just a couple, that must have been a fluke.

BUT I was able to get this blog started to look out!!!

We left on March 11 (Joe's birthday) for our new adventure (as we call it). Joe kept saying "We're off to our new adventure" when we left our house at Lake Anna for the last time, when we boarded the airplane, when we landed in England, when we walked into our house here for the first get the picture. It is both exciting and scary to us and we're going to try and make the most of it.

We were delayed three hours trying to get out of Newark. Of course they don't tell you the plane will be delayed for three hours, they tell you a half an hour and then keep updating the situation every half hour. Just to make sure you can't leave the gate and go eat or shop or do anything besides sit there and wait. I was entertained mildly by the man sitting behind us with a New York accent who was getting more bitter by the minute each time they would delay again. But then again Joe is no fun when it comes to making fun of people.

So we finally got here and it was raining (shock). Then the fun began. We had to walk in the rain to find the rental car pushing all of our luggage (4 big bags and 2 carry-ons) through the rain. They don't bring the cars to you here. You go to a car lot and find it yourself. Of course ours wasn't in the numbered spot that it was supposed to be in. It took us about 1/2 hour to get to the lot, then find someone to help us find it and then sit there once we were loaded and wonder how the heck we were going to be able to drive in the rain, with the steering wheele on the right and on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! Joe had a few miles of practice back in October when we came out. Not enough to make him feel comfortable at all.

We did have a UK GPS (they call them sat navs here). Thank God for that. Seriously.
Except they don't get you out of parking lots. So as we were entering our first of thousands of round-abouts that they have here Joe took the wrong turn and we ended up in the airport parking lot. Not the rental lot mind you, the parking lot that you have to PAY to get out of. He is really under stress at this time as you can imagine. He doesn't usually show it, but he's been a different man with this driving crap. So now we are in the pay parking and we can see a little pay booth. Here in the parking areas (which there are many) you buy the little pay tag before you leave the parking lot. Then you insert it in the machine as you leave and this allows the arm to move up. I knew this from last time we were here so I told him to let me out and I'd run to the booth for the tag. So I jump out in the rain and ran over there and I see the machine is all taped up. Another man is there with me and we both run back to our cars. I told Joe it was not working and he would just have to go up to the bar to pay. He didn't want to as there was a line of cars leaving and he didn't want to do the wrong thing. But I insist so in the line he goes. As we get up there we can see that everyone else has a pay tag so when its our turn we have nothing to put in the machine. I see another booth and take off to it as Joe is saying, "See! This is why I didn't want to get in this line". He is devastated that he is holding up the line while I'm out there running around. This machine was taped up too! I jump back in the car and Joe has pushed the button to talk to the operator. The people here are extremely friendly and not one person honked at us. We ended up giving a credit card to the thing and paying that way. BTW the woman said the booths weren't taped up, I don't know, they looked like it to me.

The driving here has got to be the biggest challenge of all. I would say it would be completely impossible to do without a GPS. With the GPS we have missed a ton of turns and been on many wrong roads. First of all they have round-abouts ALL OVER. I am not exagerating. The problem is the GPS will tell you to take like the third street in a round-about and say the name. Once you get in the round-about there are no street names. Plenty of signs telling you what each road takes you to like "this way to the M1" for example but NOT the name of the road you are looking for. You may say well if they tell you to take third one just take it. It is not so simple. Sure we learned that after a while, but at first you are looking for a road name. And sometimes you can't even tell which one is the third one! It took us a few wrong ways to figure out that instead of jumping off the round-about we could just keep going around until we figured out which road we wanted. All this wouldn't be so bad if you weren't driving on the left hand side of the road with people coming at you in all directions.

That ride from the airport was awful. A half hour ride tooks us 3 hours. But mostly because there was an accident on one of the highways. They haven't figured out here that you can push the accident to the side and allow a couple of lanes to go through. No, they close the whole highway for HOURS to do an accident investigation and everything. You come to a complete standstill. Unbelievable. So we took many detours and wrong turns by the time we got to our hotel. We had travelled all night, by then it was around lunchtime here. But it felt like the middle of the night. I literally fell into the bed when we got to our room. Poor Joe had to run to the office (about 5 minutes away for a UK driver) to say hello. I don't know how he did it. But he didn't stay too long and eventually we were able to get an early dinner and hit the sack.

continued later...


  1. Cool! I'm your first fan! Gosh Kathie - I'm so proud of you. What a great way to keep in touch with us. For some reason, Joe saying this is our new adventure (over and over) reminded me of dad -LOL!! Bet he would love that.

  2. Glad you and Joe made it OK. Keep up the news, great to hear about your "adventure". Randie White

  3. Thankful to hear from you. I'm so glad you are doing this Blog, what a GREAT way for all to hear about your many adventures. You should write a book about this ADVENTURE you and Joe are on! LOVE YOU GUYS!! Jill

  4. I can just picture both of you through that entire day, OMG! Sounds like fun! Tell us about the house!!!

  5. Glad everything went well as can be expected and that you are safe. I remember the first few days of driving in and around europe but after a while you start acting like they do without even knowing it and when you return stateside, you start all over again. At least english is the spoken language, imagine if Joe went to Poland, russia etc...Just a little teaser of upcoming postal news events, Claudia quit, sent 3 page detailed letters to all senators and representatives on the postal committee and everyone in the leadership line from the PMG to the OIC of Gtown. Amy has posted a coy in break room and took a copy the union HQ. Waiting to see what comes of it. Talk to you later, Gene

  6. Hi Kathie, So happy to see you have a Blog already. I read the post aloud to everyone here. We had a good laugh. I hope you continue to keep this updated and maybe even join facebook too.

    We miss you and Joe,
    Tamara and Family

  7. Hi Kathie - I figured you find a way to talk to everyone all at the same time!! The visual of your story is pretty hilarious! Keep it coming! Tell Joe I'm proud of him for taking on this "new adventure". I miss you guys.

  8. Hey Kathy Hey Joe (BTW Happy B-Day Joe).
    We're so glad you guys landed safely. Your first day sounded like an Adventure of it's own. You made us laugh with so much. I can see Joe now with all that stress...LMAO...
    We are so looking forward to your continued stories of the Adventures of J&K in the UK...:)

    Cheers Mates, We love you and miss you.

    Mike & Anna

  9. I am soooo jealous! I can't wait to come visit in the fall. I laugh each time I read a new addition to your stories - I swear Kathie you should write a book!

    Cherio -
    Cathy Hunter

  10. Glad to see that you are getting out and about. Your stories are hilarious, I can picture it all happening, they should make a movie of your adventure! Brian and Crystal and the kids came over for Easter, it was a nice day too.
    Talk to you soon, keep writing!

  11. OMG...the cheese rolling video is hilarious!! right up your alley. have fun!

  12. Hi there! I found your blog through Postsecret. I had read a while back that you had moved to England, but I didn't know you were writing your own blog! It's great! It's also very funny, especially to me. We moved here to England in February. My husband is in the military and we are also here for three years. But I haven't read a single post yet that I didn't see some piece of information that mirrored our experience! No screens, laundry quirks, understanding other English speakers, not having adequate coats on a trip, and I could go on and on! I'm sincerely impressed with how much you've written in your short time here - and even more at how much you've done. I do have two boys - one was in school and the other will start with his big brother in September. Anyway, glad to see this blog - I'm going to keep reading if not just for suggestions of things to do. We have been to some of the places you've blogged about. We recently spent two days in Harrogate and visited Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey. I highly recommend them both if you get to the area again (North Yorkshire - I also loved York). Oh, and I almost forgot! We also moved here from Maryland! I know, not a shocker after telling you we are military. There were just so many similarities! Enjoy your time in England. Cheers!

  13. Gosh, sorry for the run-on comment and my lack of good engrish. I'm very, very tired today. I meant to say we haven't done as much because my boys were in school. :) Take care!