Thursday, July 30, 2009

Short break: Portsmouth (Day 2)

6.30am. I was up with the sound of birds and the faint sound of a hovercraft! A bright blue sky outside suggests today might be a fine day weather-wise.

8.30am. Breakfast calls, so it's a short walk across the road (!) and in through the back-door to the breakfast-room. It wasn't a very big room, and it was very busy when we first got there – but we were soon seated. Michael took our order – scrambled egg and salmon on granary bread for Ann; scrambled egg, sausage and beans for me.

9.30am. After breakfast, we took the short 5 minute walk into Southsea.

Once in the town, we headed for a unique John Lewis still called 'Knight and Lee'. Unique because it was very small and it had possibly the loudest escalators we'd ever seen heard. The staff seemed to have tune-out the noise, but we found it quite irritating. Back to the mission: I bought Ann some casual shoes and a belt. We then headed for Debenhams (sorely in need of some money being spent on it) where I stocked up on socks and added to my t-shirt collection. We then walked back to the hotel.

11.10am. We headed back into Southsea, to the Post Office to drop off a package. Whilst waiting for Ann, a Hummer turned up to pick up a load of girls on some sort of celebration. The Hummer was the centre of attention, with locals taking photographs and other motorists taking note of it blocking-up the high street! 

11.30am. We set off for Devizes to meet up with Johnny H and his wife Mel. On the way there, we stopped off in Wickham, a rather quaint town. We popped into Lilly's a small tea-shoppe. It was already busy but we spotted a table for two in the corner. Ann chose a baked jacket potato with ham and cheese whilst I went for the cranberry, brie and bacon sandwich – both delicious…and the service was excellent.

12,30pm. After picking-up some flowers for Mel in the shop next door, we resumed our journey, narrowly avoiding a short down-pour of rain.

2.15pm. We had a fairly good journey to J and M's, but because I'd set the sat-nav for shortest rather than quickest, we were directed away from the motorway which added to the journey time – it took about two-hours.

It was good to see them both again especially Mel, who's recovering from a very serious operation. The time flew and we were there until 6.30.

Ann drove back, and this time we stuck to the motorway, reducing the overall journey time by about thirty minutes.

The Spinnaker Tower8.00pm. We stopped off at Gunwharf Quays and decided to try out Chiquitos a Mexican Bar and Grill chain. We were quite hungry by now. The service was sluggish and the food OK rather than anything better – it could have been hotter too! We weren't offered a dessert and it took an age to get the bill….but it filled a hole!!!

8.45pm We took a short walk along the top floor of the Quays towards the harbour. The view was spectacular, especially with the sun setting against The Spinnaker Tower (the phone on my mobile doesn't really do it justice).

9.45. We arrived back at the hotel. It's been a busy but enjoyable and rewarding day. Just time for a night-cap, a bit of TV and then … zzzzzzzz…