Our final morning. Never a good moment but we have had a lovely time, and it has felt like a real break which was what we wanted.
We are docked in Southampton when we wake.
So we pack all the leftover bits up. Even though we had put our cases out the previous night, we still seem to have a lot of leftover bits, but eventually we get everything into the cabin case, the backpack, the Castaway cay backpack and my pool bag. We are not travelling light.
We head out of the cabin and back up to Lumieres for breakfast. According to the navigator this was our only option for breakfast, but I’ve since found out Cabana’s was open. We would have preferred Cabana’s as you can go when you are ready and it’s less formal, but we didn;t know, so we went and waited in the Promanade lounge until they opened Lumiere’s and then we had our final breakfast.
Katie opted for a breakfast burrito.
I wanted pancakes one last time.
Molly went for the full English.
and I have no idea what this is that Phil ordered.
We had a short queue to disembark, and then back down the gangplank to find our cases. All very easy.
This is the route we took (upto the final evening), so we didnt’ really go anywhere particular but the captain certainly found the sunshine. It was lovely and warm every day.
In order to make a longer holiday, we are spending 2 nights in Derbyshire before heading home, so todays plan is to go up Stratford for a few hours before arriving in Derbyshire. According to Google Maps, it’s abotu 2 hours to Stratford, and then another hour and a bit to the hotel.
Google Maps lied….
We left the port about 10.30, and we just hit traffic jam after traffic jam.
We got to Stratford at about 1:30, parked up very easily and headed into town.
We had a wander around down by the river, and in the park but really we were hungry, so we walked up into town and spotted a 1940s vintage tearoom.
It was very quirky and quaint, and just what we needed. We had tea and sandwiches, and we didnt’ take any photo of our food!
After lunch, we walk towards Shakespeare’s birthplace. We didn’t really have a big plan, just to have a wander and see what we could see.
We had a look in a few shops, and then got an ice cream by the river,
We had a few hours in Stratford, and then headed back to the car. Hoping the traffic had eased for our final stretch upto the hotel.
Unfortunately, we were straight back into traffic and it was a bit of a slog but we did eventually get there.
We are staying at a Holiday Inn just off the M1 and it turns out very near the East Midlands Outlets, which I hadn’t realised at the time.
We have booked connecting rooms, which are lovely, they are up a flight of stairs though and by this point we have 5 cases and 4 backpacks and no idea where anything is packed. I had a plan whereby the cruise clothes were in 2 cases, and the weekend clothes in 2 cabin cases, and then we had a case that would do both with toiletries in. This did not happen….. So we lugged all of the luggage up the stairs, fortunately, we had plenty of room in the room to open everything up and have a sort out and then we were able to pack away most of the cases again.
We all just flopped in the rooms for an hour or two and then we thought we might go down to the hotel restaurant for some tea. when we got there it was really noisy and a carvery and we just didn’t fancy it.
I quickly googled and found a Pizza Express down the road, so we went there instead. This turned out to be in the shoping outlet, although the shops were closing as we arrived.
Pizza Express hit the spot, and then we headed back to the hotel for an early night.