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Learning Choices


Grandmas Trace Their Own Grandma's Roots


Judy Engel is an older adventuress who loves to travel. She's been to Germany four times and England once. Born in New York State, she moved to California at age 20 when she married a sailor and has lived on the west coast ever since. Last year she went off to the U.K. to explore the region where her grandmother was born, raised and married. Judy writes...

I've been married for 35 years, I have three children and five grandchildren. Recently my two cousins and I (all grandmothers in their sixties), left our families behind and travelled to England in search of our own grandparents' home. We, three relatives, live on different shores of the U.S. so we travelled overseas separately and met at Heathrow Airport. We were basically strangers to one another -- each of us had gone our separate way after graduation and saw each other rarely over the past 40+ years. Now, there was so much catching up to do!

We began our journey in Oxford...

Our adventure began with a bus trip to Oxford and locating our B&B which would be our base for the entire trip. We purposely rented a room with three beds so as to really get to know each other all over again. It was like the dorm room we never had in college.

The B&B that we chose in Oxford was Green Gables on Abingdon Road. Their rate was $US42.00 per person which included a full English Breakfast ( bacon, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomato, toast and cereal) -- certainly plenty of good solid food to get us started in the morning. The room was small (only because we insisted on the three beds), but it was clean and the hosts were very nice. If other Journeywoman would like to stay here as well, they can contact Parvesh Bhella. E-mail:

Just down the street from Green Gables was a pub called The Duke of Monmoth which served delicious and reasonable sizzling platters as well as other light snacks of soups and sandwiches. We liked it so much we went back three times!

Oxford is a wonderful city. We spent several days just walking about looking at the grand historic buildings, the world-famous universities and the parks. The botanical gardens were a pleasure to explore and experience.

The Thames River (called the Isis in Oxford) has tow paths along each side for walking or biking. Each morning I took off by myself for about an hour and strolled along the river. It was idyllic -- watching the student skulling teams as the morning fog rose above the spires of the universities, walking through Christ Church Meadows, or just enjoying the quiet of the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day began. I loved it!

We spent several days touring the areas near Oxford as well. We found a tour company called Cotswolds Roaming which has mini vans servicing small groups of tourists. What a convenient, easy way to travel! For about �28 -�32 a day, per person, they picked us up at Green Gables B&B each morning and returned us right to our door each night. Their guides took us to all the must-see spots the travel books recommended -- Blenheim Palace, The South Cotswolds, Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon. We just sat back, left the driving to them and enjoyed it all. Contact for Cotswolds Roaming is tel: 01865 250640.

Finding the church grandma was married in...





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