Friends and sightseeing today...


A housing complex in the countryside.  It appears there are many single-family homes in England and Wales with adjoining walls, comparable to privately owned townhouses, apartments or condos in the US and other countries.
 Fascinating Fact of the Day About Shirenewton, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales:
From this site:
"After the Romans left, Chepstow was within the southern part of the Welsh kingdom of Gwent, known as Gwent Is-coed (ie. Gwent this side of the woods). To the north of the modern town centre, a small church was established dedicated to St. Cynfarch (alternatively Cynmarch, Kynemark or Kingsmark), a disciple of St. Dyfrig. This later became an Augustinian priory on what is now Kingsmark Lane, but no traces of it remain. The town is close to the southern point of Offa's Dyke, which begins on the east bank of the Wye at Sedbury and runs all the way to the Irish Sea in north Wales. This was built in the late 8th century as a boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms, although some recent research has questioned whether the stretch near Chepstow formed part of the original Dyke. It is possible, though not clearly substantiated, that Chepstow may have superseded Caerwent as a trading centre, and been used by both Saxons and the Welsh. The Lancaut and Beachley peninsulas, opposite Chepstow, were in Welsh rather than Mercian control at that time, although by the time of the Domesday Book Striguil was assessed as part of Gloucestershire."
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This morning at 10:00 am we're meeting up with Linda and Ken at the Chepstow Castle, a short distance from the center of town.  When they didn't get to their holiday home until late in the day, after a very long road trip, they were exhausted and decided to stay in.

As it turns out their holiday home is quite a distance from ours (40 minutes) and thus we've all decided to get together during the days and back to our respective houses before dark.  The roads are narrow, winding and slippery in the rain and not easy to maneuver at night in the dark.


Subsequently, today we plan to stop for a "cuppa," the English equivalent of a cup of tea, which these days may imply a cup of coffee as well, see a few sites and then head to a pub in the center of town in Chepstow which is packed with pubs and restaurants.
The view of the Wye River we encountered on a drive in the area.
Afterward, Tom and I will stop at the market to pick up a few items and head back to our holiday home to spend a quiet evening in.  Having late lunches with Linda and Ken won't require a full dinner to follow when neither of us will be hungry by dinnertime. 

This is typical for us.  We're so used to eating light during the day, that a full meal from noon to mid-afternoon is sufficient to hold us with a small snack in the evening.

With nothing planned for dinner last night, we'd planned to drive the short distance down the road to the local pub as shown in the photo below for a bite to eat.  As it turned out they were closed on Mondays.
The local restaurant where we'll dine after Linda and Ken leave Monmouthshire.
With few groceries on hand, we made breakfast for dinner of sauteed onion, and cheese omelets with bacon, which proved to hit the spot.  We settled in for the evening and watched a few episodes of shows we've found on the UK channel,  Acorn TV (Amazon Prime for a small monthly fee).  

With only 24 days until we arrive in Minneapolis with new phones awaiting us, I decided not to have my current phone repaired.  We placed the SIM card on Tom's phone for the remaining nine days we'll be in the UK.  

Once we board the ship on the 24th we won't have WiFi or calling on either of our phones but can use Skype on our laptops if we need to make a call.  Of course, we'll have the ship's WiFi on the unlimited package for the 15-night cruise.
These views are certainly more appealing on a sunny day.
As a matter of fact, we signed up for the "full perks" package when a special was offered after we'd booked the cruise.  The package includes WiFi for two, gratuities, the full beverage package for both of us and a US $400 cabin credit which can only be used onboard.

On the upcoming anniversary of our world travels on October 31st, most likely we'll celebrate by dining in one of the specialty restaurants, using a portion of the cabin credit.  

Any remaining cabin credit may be used in the shops aboard ship, for laundry, for more specialty dining, or services in the spa (which we never use).  The drink package includes specialty coffees which we both love.  
Cattle grazing on a farm in the area.
On most ships, they make my macchiato sugar free which is still delicious.  Based on priority benefits as Elite members we're able to order free cocktails from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm each evening.  

With this additional drink package, we can have any beverages at no cost throughout the day and evening.  We rarely drink alcoholic beverages during the day even when socializing while cruising.  

However, today, I may have a glass of wine and, Tom a beer during lunch with Linda and Ken.  Neither of us has had any cocktails or wine since we've been in the UK except for a few occasions when we've been out to dinner.

Well, folks, it's time for us to get on the road to meet Linda and Ken at the Chepstow Castle.  Tomorrow, we'll be back with photos!

Have a fantastic day!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 15, 2018:
"The cheetah's body is built for speed. Its legs are relatively long compared to its greyhound-like body; it has a big heart and lungs and wide nasal passages. It is the fastest land animal, timed running at speeds of up to 114km/hour."  For more photos of the "Ridiculous Nine," please click here.

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