Sunday, June 12, 2011

SFC 2010 Windsor and Home

We had such an incredible time with Andy and John in Bristol. Thank you both from the bottom of my hearts for the IMMENSE fun and good times we had. I love you both so much!!!

All too soon (as Crystal is fond of saying), it was time to head back to the train station to return to Windsor.

I spotted a GREAT pub sign...

Sounds like the PERFECT name for a bar or restaurant near Georgia Tech.

AJ thought so.

The trip to Windsor was uneventful. Standard train trip. We arrived in Windsor precisely 100 yards from our hotel, the beautiful Harte and Garter.

The cousins, who had gone to Bath, also returned to Windsor that day. It was fun to trade "war stories" with them over..what else? Wine.

Alix's shipboard friend came to spend the day with her at Windsor, and while they were out and about, they just happened to see Burgundy Rolls-Royce drive past. A tiny lady in a lavender hat was sitting in the back. I didn't believe her...until I saw a photo from Royal Ascot, Ladies Day. Which was the day we were in Windsor.

Yep. Alix scored a viewing of Her Majesty the Queen. On her way back to Windsor Castle after the races.

That night, we saw more absurd hats all around- in shops, bars, and patios.

Windsor was a cool town to people watch after Ladies Day at Royal Ascot.

The next morning, while the rest of the family slept in, Mama and I went for a walk across the river to Eton.

Yes, Her Majesty was in residence.

And in just a bit longer than the blink of an eye, we were almost home.

Luggage retrieved, and we were on the road. Lookchin picked the tunes.

Well, I hope it was worth the wait.

If it was, let me know.

If it wasn't, don't!!!

and remember....

Life is Good!!! What a Wonderful World!!!!!

SFC 2010 SS Great Britain

Ok...I admit it.

I have a "thing" for ships.

Imagine that.

So I was excited when Andy suggested that he hire a private guide to take us to see the SS Great Britain.

The SS Great Britain was the first screw propeller steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. In 1845, she crossed the ocean in a record-breaking 14 days, and established the first reliably-timed transatlantic passenger service.

She was designed by a Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the same genius engineer who built the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the first major British railway (the Great Western).

I won't bore those of you who aren't interested, but if you want to learn more about Brunel, you can start here, and here.

The SS Great Britain was retired in 1884 to the Falkland Islands, and was scuttled there in 1937. In 1970, the SS Great Britain Project was organized to refloat and restore this priceless maritime treasure. After a two month transatlantic crossing on a pontoon, she arrived home to Bristol, and berthed in the drydock where she was built. The amazing process of her conservation was begun and continued until just a few years ago.

Today, she is a marvel.

It was almost too difficult to choose which photos to share here. I took more than 250. But I managed to give a taste of this magnificent great ship in just over 30. But it really doesn't do her justice.

Our guide with our group.

In order to preserve her corroding hull, a glass ceiling was built around the ship and drydock. Below, the hull is kept a desert-like 20% humidity.

Part of the equipment used to dehumidify the air around the hull.

The caisson that keeps her drydock...dry.

The ultra-modern screw propeller.

Below deck is just as beautifully restored.

First class.

Officer's quarters.



Not first class.

DEFINITELY not first class.



Oh, enough. Just go see her yourself.

You will be glad you did.