Introduction

In the spring of 2001, David (Tonya’s biological father), & Holly Butler, Holly’s sister (Sally) and husband (Dwight Brown) invited us

to take a trip with them to the UK and stay with Dwight & Sally’s son and his wife (Chris and Janet Brown).

 

Chris is a corporate Ford employee and is on temp. assignment to the UK and European offices.

His wife, Janet, took a contract with the London Underground developing business cases for platform safety improvements.

They rented a four bedroom house outside Old Harlow  in Essex and offered up their house for anyone willing to make the flight over the pond.

 

In addition, the Butlers and the Browns wanted to extend the overseas visit with a European continental motorcoach tour.

They settled on a 12-day Traflgar motorcoach “Whirlwind” tour that started and ended in London with stops in France, Switzerland,

Italy, Austria, Germany, Amsterdam, and Belgium.

 

And … as it turned out, the Butlers have a family friend who lives 20 miles from Tonya’s birthplace in Bad Kreuznach, Germany and

was willing to intercept our tour in Heidelberg and drive Tonya and David to Bad Kreuznach and get ‘em back to the tour.

 

Below is a summary of our visit to the British Isles and the European continent.

 

Web links to the locations and points of interest are blue and underlined.


If you “right-click” and open the blue underlined link “in a new window” you’ll be able go to the site and keep this

page minimized on your task bar and available for recall.

 

David & Tonya Miller’s 2001 Euro-Tour 

We departed LAX Saturday, Sept 08, 7:00 pm (LA time), and 10 hrs. later, arrived in London Sunday, Sept 09, 1:00 pm (London time).

Date
While in the UK we were guests of
Chris & Janet Brown (CJ’s) in Old Harlow, Essex

and later that evening … 

Su

Sep 9

Arrived at London’s Heathrow airport, through customs, quick money exchange, load up in Chris’ rented van and we’re off to Old Harlow, NE of London by 2:00 pm (London time)

Had a killer Dinner @ CJ’s (Chris & Janet’s)

Menu: Tomato/Basil SaladPasta w/ Arrabiata Sauce steak/Chicken Tiramisu

M

Sep 10

Jet lag recovery at CJ’s quick walk up the “River Stort” navigational canal to the “Mudhen Restaurant” and marina where we saw dozens of the 6’ x 50’ canal boats.

Dinner at nearby East Indian restaurant

Tu

Sep 11

10:10 depart Stansted Airport  for Dublin , Ireland

Dublin south

coast tour with taxi driver.

Powerscourt Garden” tour

(where we learned of terrorist attacks)

 

Check into Aaron House Bed & Brkfst. on Merrion Road in Ballsbridge (south Dublin).

Dinner at local “Cooper’s Café” restaurant, pints at “Crowes”

W

Sep 12

Dublin sight seeing:

Trinity College (“Book of Kells  Long Room”) / Christ Church / St. Patrick’s Cathederal / Guiness Brewery /

Another night at Aaron House.

 

Th

Sep 13

Continued Dublin sight seeing:

Jameson Distillery

5:40 fly out of Dublin Airport.

Dinner at CJ’s

F

Sep 14

UK sightseeing:

Leed’s Castle

  Dover Castle

Pizza Hut outside Harlow, Essex

Sa

Sep 15

Laundry prep for the 12 day EuroWhirl Tour

 Dinner at CJ’s

Day #

On TheTraflgar Euro-Whirl #693 12 Day Tour …

and later that evening …

1-Su Sep 16

7:00 a.m. Check in @ Trafalgar Tours in downtown, London  UK

Took the Dover ferry to Calais, Fr., and boarded the Traflgar bus for Paris, Fr.

 4:00p: Arrived by coach at the Paris Holiday Inn La Villette

That evening, we saw: Effel Tower, Seine River cruise

 

2-M

Sep 17

 

While in Paris, we saw: 

Nortre Dame Cathedral, “Hill of Martyrs”, Louvre Museum

That evening we had dinner at a local “brasserie

(wished we did the optional Moulan Rouge dinner show)

Another night at the La Villette Holiday Inn

3-Tu

Sep 18

 Onward from Paris to Lucerne, Switzerland

We had dinner/lodging at Lucerne’s Cascada/Grande Hotel Europe

4-W

Sep 19

 In Lucerne we saw:

Lions Monument

Bucherer dept. store

In the afternoon we drove onto 

Milan, Italy

After we arrived in Milan we had a specialty dinner down an alley, in a small restaurant with very hospitable service.

Spent the night at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza

5-Th

Sep 20

Spent day driving to

Rome, It.

That evening in Rome, we saw:

Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia

 

Had a dinner at a local restaurant off the Piazza Venezia

Spent the night at a very nice hotel outside Rome called Central Park

6-F

Sep 21

During the day in Rome we saw:

Vatican Museum (Gallery of Maps), Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum Forum, Domitilla Catacombs

Another Central Park overnighter

(had a great dinner at the renown Tanagra restaurant with live Italian singing entertainment)

7 Sa

Sep 22

Drove onto Florence, Italy where we saw:

The “Peruzzi” leather shop

We spent the night at the Bologna Ramada Inn

8 Su

Sep 23

In the morning we drove to Venice, It. (raining) where we saw:

Glass blowing at Vecchia Murano glassworks, canal cruise

That night we had dinner at lodging at

9 M

Sep 24

 We drove to Verona where we saw Juliet’s balcony then continued onto Innsbruck, Austria where we shopped downtown and took an alpine horse & wagon ride (in the rain) in the hills above Innsbruck.

(D) Best Western Mondscheim / Grauer Bar

10 T

Sep 25

Drove onto Munich, Gr.  where we saw the Marienplatz clock, Hoffbrauhaus. We met up with a Butler family friend (Scott Beeker) who walked us through Heidelberg in view of the Heidelberg castle who took Tonya and David to Tonya’s birthplace, Bad Kreuznach, SW of Mainz near the Rhine. David remembered his barracks and we found Tonya’s birth hospital.

Scott took us to his personal favorite Greek restaurant and ordered special food for us. A most excellent meal. Scott ordered a taxi and we caught up with the tour at 

11 W

Sep 26

 Took a river cruise down the Rhine to ??? and headed toward Cologne, where we saw the Cologne Cathedral. We continued onward to Amsterdam

A quick tour through the Stoelitie diamond cutting business, hotel check in at the ???. Then back on the bus to our canal cruise and ‘Floating Sea Palace’ dinner.

12 Th

Sep 27

Quick stop at a local windmill and we’re on the road through Antwerp towards Calais, Fr. Another ferry ride to Dover, through a UK passport checkpoint and we’re on a bus back to London.

Arrive in London by 6:00 pm (after a short bus mech. problem), secure a van taxi, and we’re off to CJ’s.

KFC dinner and we’re off to bed for recovery.

Date

Back from the tour and still guests of
Chris & Janet Brown (CJ’s) in
Old Harlow, Essex, UK

and later that evening … 

F

Sep 28

Late get ups, news updates, and laundry chores

 Dinner at CJ’s

Sa

Sep 29

On the WAGN train, connecting w/ “The Tube” to see:

Buckingham Palace, lunch at the original London Hard Rock Cafe, then a tour of the Houses of Parliament. a trip through Covent Garden Market area for dinner at a “Spain-ish” restaurant.

Train rides back home, tired, bed-ee-bye.

 

Su

Sep 30

Body hurts, Butler eggs and bacon, girls w/girls, boys w/boys and we’re off to the Bluewater Mall

(a huge mall complex built on the remains of an abandoned quarry)

Dinner at the “Santa Fe” (inside the mall) and we’re home late again.

M

Oct 1

Tired, lazy kick-back day

TV “Attack” news updates

Tu

Oct 2

Back in London via the trains/Tube to the Piccadilly shopping squares and the Towers of London to see the Crown Jewels.

Prime rib dinner at the NEW “Outback” restaurant

W

Oct 3

Drive up to Cambridge for a tour of the Botanical Gardens and the Cambridge township.

Spaghetti rerun

Th

Oct 4

Half the crew is off to Warwick Castle and Stratford on Avon and the other half is off to Bainbridge Designer Outlet mall.

Another killer CJ dinner

F

Oct 5

David M. is off to the British Museum (by himself) while the others are off to the shopping malls

Dinner at “Robin Hood,” a killer “Thai” restaurant (go figur’)

Sa

Oct 6

Everybody off to a play while Janet & Tonya “bond” at London’s upscale Harrods department store.

 

Su

Oct 7

Up at 6:00a for a 7:00a ride to London’s Heathrow.

 

We departed Heathrow at 11:30a (London time) and arrived 11 hrs. later in LAX at 2:30 pm. 
Rode the Santa Barbara Airbus to SB where Bob & Debbie greeted us, dined us, and got us home by 10:00 pm (Pacific time).

Later that week, the CA central coast warmed up to enjoy a long awaited nap in the sun.

 

Concluding Remarks

 

In three words or less, “absolutey amazing.”