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
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.
Hopped onto the freeway and crossed the Orwell Bridge, covering the few miles to
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
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.
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
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.