Reichart Ramblings
The Thoughts & Travels of Shane & Amanda Reichart


Sep 9, 2023 - Amanda Reichart

We arrived in Birmingham, England long after we planned to. This is travel, as it turns out. You can plan your trip all out on Google Maps, have the flights, trains, and buses all set, but often timelines still won’t add up. I fully believe this is something God is using to prepare me for the next chapter of my life. To calm me down a bit and learn to go with the flow. Could this have been an ulterior motive of Shane’s as well?!

Gemma_and_Neale.jpgBut the important thing is we did arrive! After over 13 hours of travel from Iceland, I got to see my sweet friend Gemma and her husband Neale. It had been 10 years! They picked us up from the train station and off we went to a pub near their home. There we caught up (10 years means lots of catching up!) and learned some British ways. Like steak fries are called “chips” and you eat them with a fork. And regular fries are called “fries” and you eat them with your fingers. Also, lemonade is actually Sprite. Okay, so basically, we learned about food! But hey, that’s important!

It was such a gift to be able to stay with Gemma and Neale; they are such great hosts! We shared a cup of tea the British way, (with milk), and had a lovely conversation about the time we both lived in Jupiter, Florida. Reminiscing about how we met, and how life has changed since then was the end to a great evening!

Library.jpgThe next day we spent at the Birmingham library, per the recommendation of Gemma and Neale. I was instantly excited when they told me to visit a library but I suspected Shane might not share my enthusiasm. Gemma and Neale informed us, however, that this was no normal library and they were right! The architecture was stunning and the multiple levels of beautiful, cozy gardens overlooking the city and books as well as art made for a wonderful afternoon exploring! We then walked back into Birmingham with Gemma and Neale for a delicious meal in the city. Oh Library_of_Birmingham.jpghow I love walking so much! Except when carrying our bags, they are so heavy!!

We packed our last day in Birmingham with Winterbourne House and Garden and Cadbury World. The Winterbourne Garden made me feel like I was inside the book “The Secret Garden”! There was so much beauty everywhere, and not just flowers, though there were certainly plenty of those. One of our favorite spots was a small pond with stepping stones throughout. It was so unique I had never seen anything quite like it. I was tempted to skip Winterbourne as I thought two big excursions in one day would be too much, so even though our time was cut a bit shorter than I would have liked, it was definitely worth the trip!

Winterbourne Garden


Cadbury World felt the opposite of the gardens. It was much busier and commercialized though that certainly doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it! It was cute and interesting and the three chocolate bars we each received prior to the tour were yummy!


Stone_Henge_A_and_S.jpgBright and early Sunday morning we left for an excursion to Stonehenge and Bath. Stonehenge was windy, cold, and really cool. But my highlight of the day was driving into view of Bath… I don’t have a picture to fully show the view but I was in awe! It is the cutest town! Every building is the same hue of creamy honey making it look like a town out of a storybook. It is the perfect town for a leisurely brunch and window shopping while enjoying the beauty all around! We grabbed lunch (it was far too late for brunch by the time we arrived) and then climbed a hillBath.jpg for another view overlooking the city enjoying the trek across a cow-pie strewn, field dodging the “land mines” for the best camera angles! I can’t say enough about how pretty Bath is and while it is an expensive place to visit, I still recommend it for at least an excursion if you’re in England!

Our final day in England was spent exploring London. Oh, how I love London! Its architecture, while much more diverse than Bath, is also beautiful. Every building you see is unique and elaborate. I love this city! What I do not love is the lack of public restrooms. Anyone who knows me well also knows I have a small bladder! Trying to find a public bathroom in most European cities, I’m learning, is not easy. And I have begun to plan my day and my fluid intake around them! While Buckingham Palace is nice, its architecture is not nearly as interesting as Westminster Abbey. As the number of photos we took Big_Ben.jpgclearly represents, we could not get enough of it! After so many photos Shane’s phone died and I began panicking… I didn’t have data on my phone so we not only didn’t have our tickets for the London Eye but weren’t sure what bus we needed to get us to our Airbnb in Luton that evening. Thankfully the lady at the ticket counter was able to look up our tickets and we had the most amazing views from the London Eye just as the sun was beginning to set. I managed to use Wi-Fi from a nearby attraction to get directions and we made it to our Airbnb in time to get some sleep before our flight to our next adventure, Ireland!

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