Last post - for this trip! Sunday June 19th 2016.

Well last night was amazing and was certainly one thing Brighton could do that other places couldn't so we'll always have a soft spot for Brighton.  The theatre performance was wonderful. Sorry no pics but you can read about it and hear one of the songs that received a standing ovation last night via these links.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m2U0iJmMdvQ

Today dawned clear and sunny and we had more fun over brekkie when Garrie's new admirer swooned as he approached and she said "oooh 007 again". Someone from the kitchen who seemed in charge was close and she told him that 007 was in town so I took my opportunity to shush her and tell her we were trying to stay incognito. She just laughed and he looked dubious but every staff member who came out of the kitchen was checking Garrie out. I had fits of laughter but Garrie was quite glad to leave and his new admirer was very upset when he said he wouldn't be in for breakfast tomorrow but very pleased when he gave her a hug and a kiss. (Perhaps she'll never wash that cheek again).

 We left Brighton early wondering if the London to Brighton cycle race happening today would cause us an issue - didn't see hide nor hair of it.

We headed to Windsor as we thought a walk in the gardens there would be good for the soul after Brighton and before our long trip home. We found our first free parking place in England and set off for The copper horse of Snow Hill.  The statue is of George III.
It is huge and marks the end of what is known as the long walk. So I turned around and took the Long Walk.
And yes, we walked it! We had already walked a fair way to get to this point and had been told the long walk is over 3 miles long, with Windsor Castle at the end of it. Added the long lens so you can See that.
Oh and why Windsor? Because it's pretty close to Heathrow.
It is a long walk and I turned to farewell George part way down.
It was also a pretty hot walk and someone had packed his cap in his suitcase so your lovely silk bag, much used this trip, found a second use Tina.
We walked down almost to the gate then turned around the side as we were getting a touch weary and hungry and we passed a couple of horses.
and we found this gem.
Our last proper meal on English soil was a beauty. I had salmon and veg and Garrie had traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pud. All very delightful and washed down with lager (of course). Revived we continued on to the palace. The flag tells you the Queen is in residence. One of her horses won at Ascot (nearby) yesterday so she probably had a sleep over.
A lovely family were trying to take a selfie and I asked if I could help and they returned the favour.
You can see the guard on deck in this shot.
And the Royal squirrel in this one.
No Gai we didn't go in. No pics allowed and a lot further to walk to get in so time to turn for home. We did find some Royal deer on the way back.
So I'm writing this from the American Airlines lounge at Heathrow (courtesy of my life membership of the Qantas Club) and soon we'll be doing what this plane did today.
Loved the green of the Great Windsor alarm but who knew the Queen put up with more air traffic than Brighton-Le-sands!  We walked a fair way too. My Fitbit says 19,580 steps so far - that's 14.25km. 

So trip wise it's been great.  We've seen some amazing things - highlights include the Church of the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, the Vasa in Sweden and the Victory in the UK.  The weather has been pretty good with only a couple of days where rain had to be avoided and non where rain really stopped play.  We've enjoyed the longest Main Street in England, (Combe Martin), some of the best food and a wonderland cruise with a Captain who entertained us and who has a catch cry of "life is beautiful." He is quite correct.

If you ask me whether I prefer time with friends and family versus the cruise, it's no contest. Loved the time we had with friends and family and I know even more strongly that I am someone who loves green spaces versus cities too.  I'd cruise again but I'd be very selective about destinations, I'm not a cruiser for cruisings sake.

Finally not looking forward to the bloody long flights it takes to do all this. Anyone with a Fitbit knows they keep your sleep hours too. Here is my display from our flight over (well part of it).

Hoping for something better on the way home in just three hours time.

So this is it folks. Last post of this trip. Thanks for coming on the journey with us and any improvement ideas gratefully received as you know there will be another one - when you least expect it...