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London, Ipswich and Points Beyond
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August 22nd, 2004


Woke up at our usual time this morning. Had the usual tea in the room and watched the news while Len wrote up the trip report for the previous days. Once we'd finished that and gotten ready, out to the breakfast room for that wonderful Full English. Knowing the kids would probably want to sleep in we popped over to Matt's and made some noise to see if anyone was awake and no response. So we left a note in the mail slot and headed into town to kill a few hours. Killed an hour or two in Waterstones book shopping. Seeing as I haven't been able to find my Ipswich Ordinance Map I was looking thru the "Local Interest" section and found a similar map, only this one was superimposed over aerial photos of the area. of course the first thing we did was locate Matt's house.. or at least the little blob we think is Matt's house. Also picked up one of the pop up maps, but this time for San Francisco (for our guest room), one of London to give the kids, and two other books from the humour section - "The Xenophobes Guide to Californians" and the "Xenophobes Guide to the English". Can't say much about the English one, but we were all disappointed that the Californians all seemed to be based on Southern California, which we all know is a different state, or should be.

Headed back to Matt's and were told everyone had been awake for hours. Once everyone was up and ready to go we piled into Dave's car for a trip to the seaside. Dave's car holds 5 people just fine. However there were 6 of us going to Felixstowe. Poor Matt had to squish down and ride in the boot of the hatchback. Not a pleasant trip for him, and no more legal there than here. We had to make a stop at an ATM so Matt could grab a few quid. This entailed squeezing him out and back in an inconspicuous fashion. Not an easy task in a busy parking lot. We did see one really cute car there, but not certain what model it was. Made by "Smart" and if it hadn't had huge glitter Playboy Bunny stickers on it it would have been great looking.

Guys on the Beach Hopped onto the freeway and crossed the Orwell Bridge, covering the few miles to Felixstowe in 15-20 mins. Then the tricky part. The miniature golf place is right on the shore with lots of shops selling food and snacks. With it being such a perfect blue, sunny day everyone had come to the seaside, and parking was rather tight. Dave managed to find a great spot that someone was pulling out of. He must have better parking karma than I do. Again with the "move along, nothing to see" unloading of Matt from the boot and we were off for a killer game of Miniature golf. Matt & Dave insisted on treating us and the 6 of us got out clubs,balls and scorecards sorted on the way in. I went first being the worst player of the lot. Within two holes I'd managed to knock my ball off the green and into the pond. Luckily it landed in the rocks on the edge so I was able to retrieve it. There was a group in front of us that was a little slow, and as our group was rather large, so there was a bit of a backup formed. I came in only 12 over par, so that was a great score for me.

Once we'd finished our round of golf we we starting to get peckish and went American Style Doughnuts looking for foodstuffs. On the way we passed a sign for "Doughnuts - Try them American Style with Ice Cream and Hot Caramel". I thought maybe it was just me, but I have yet to find an American that eats them hot with ice cream and caramel sauce. Maybe it's a South American thing? We stopped at a sausage and chip stand. Adri and Matt opted for chicken nuggets, but the rest of us went for sausages and chips, though I was tempted by the mushy peas. Len ended up ordering the sausages that were batter dipped and deep fried. My arteries hurt thinking about it.

We sat on the seawall to eat, enjoying the sun, playing in the sandy shingle and long enough for me to play in the water. Found a few shells and some interesting rocks. Eventually it was time to go home so we brushed off the sand from our feet and piled back into the car. Poor Matt got in badly and wrenched his neck. The sacrifices one makes to show guests a good time, poor thing. As we were leaving town I saw the coolest sign on a lamp post. Alas, I couldn't get the camera out in time, but I had witnesses - "watch for suicidal bicyclists on pavement". Had to look twice to confirm it really said what I thought it said.

Once we got back to Matt's place we started discussing food. We hung around and watched the Olympics a bit and decided to order Chinese take away. Matt knew a place that delivered and had good Chinese, and happened to have a menu at the house. He has a fave dish that he always orders so he got that and the rest of us decided to pool our resources and try different things. Sweet & Sour pork, duck fried rice, garlic beef in chilli sauce, chow mein, et al. Once we had it figured out Matt phoned in the order and the minute they heard his voice asked if he wanted his usual. Food showed up about 45 mins. later. Their Chinese food comes in little plastic containers, much like the Zip-Loc plastic containers you can buy in the supermarket, not the cardboard containers we're used to. Though the food we ordered our first night came in the containers we've come to expect. Fortune cookies are extra, not included, though many places will apparently toss in the shrimp flavoured rice cakes I think. They also don't seem to have egg rolls or won tons on the menu, but they do have chop suey, something that's been available only in ChunKing cans for for the last 40 years. They did both seem to have fish & chips, sausage & mash and Full Breakfast on the English section of the menu. Polite Notice Serving was fun as Matt's not used to having so many for dinner and we had to scramble for plates and utensils. It was good food, though smaller portions than we're used to in the States. Ordering that amount would have had us in leftovers for days.

After dinner we decided to hit a pub in town and Matt attempted to explain the secrets of the fruit machine to me. I'm hopeless as after about 2 rounds I was lost. Grabbed a few pics of more amusing signs on the way home. Dave had to make the long drive back to Oxford so we said our good byes, and it turned out Matt had the early shift next morning, so we had to say our farewells to him that night as well, as he'd be gone by the time we got there in the morning. So after many see yous and bye byes we headed back to the hotel to get things ready for heading towards Heathrow in the morning.

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   Last modified April 26 2014 17:36.