UK Adventures: Stony Stratford

Dear Andrea.

It occurred to me that even though we now live an ocean apart, we are still Two Girls, One Car. Three years later and you and I are both out and about having adventures. And only one of us has a car. LOL (I’m still trying to remember which way to look for traffic when I’m out walking. So no, I don’t plan to drive here any time soon.)

Last weekend The Husband and I went to Stony Stratford in Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is not an exciting place to visit, but we were going to an all-day gaming event on Saturday and wanted to bookend the day with some relaxation and a little shopping.

As all good adventures start, The Husband turned to Google to look for a place to stay. There are many reasons why he and I are well matched, a childlike humor is one of them.

cock hotel

Why yes, we did stay at the Cock Hotel. This is a photo of a storage shed in the back.

The hotel was very nice. Of course I didn’t take any photos of the outside. That would have been useful. The website has some pictures if you really need to see.

We had reserved a double room. Stumbling in after a few hours on the road it was perfect for us. There was a room large enough for the double bed, a desk and a small wardrobe. A door went into a new looking bathroom. The tub was deep. The room was on the ground floor with double doors that opened up into the courtyard. Directly across the courtyard was their rental space. On a quiet and sunny afternoon, it was lovely.

The only problem popped up at around 11pm. There was a birthday party with a DJ happening in the rental space. In the quiet of the night there was dance music throbbing into our bedroom. Under other circumstances we may have been okay with it, but we had an early morning planned and it was very difficult to sleep. Fortunately, the hotel staff were beautifully accommodating and moved us to another, much quieter room.

Our new room was bigger. It had a sofa, a bigger wardrobe and more floor space. It also had much more modern decor. For instance one wall had duck wallpaper. And as you can see in the mirror’s reflection the other wall had a pop art print of a cow. Nice!

duck wall

I really loved the duck wallpaper.

Breakfast was included with our stay and we took full advantage of that the two mornings we were there. The buffet was beautiful. The fruit was fresh and there was a selection of pastries, yogurt and juices. There was also a menu of cooked to order dishes.

I’m a bit sad we didn’t get a chance to eat in the pub. The dining room seemed really busy over the weekend and we didn’t make reservations. The pub looked to be standing room only. Friday night when we were out and about, we did stop to look at the dessert menu they had posted in the pub window. As we were reading, a woman standing inside the pub pointed at the lemon meringue sundae listed and gave us a thumbs up. Friendly and slightly silly people are great.

Just across the street from the hotel was a lighting shop. It was closed of course but the lights inside were simply magical. I’d been saying for a while that I could use a bedside lamp and that shop looked like it could offer something cool. We checked the opening hours and were happy to see we could stop in on Sunday.

Saturday after breakfast we set off for our walk to Wolverton, Milton Keynes. It took us about 45 minutes and was beautifully cool but not cold. I stopped to take one photo. As you can see, I found a lost knitting needle on the sidewalk. It was no longer there on our return trip so I hope that means it found its way home.

runaway needle

Here’s a silly map. The green line is our walk. The big red arrow is pointed to Milton Keynes central which you should note is a grid system. There aren’t many towns built on the grid system. The Husband was joking that we were going to to that particular gaming event because Milton Keynes grid system would “help ease my transition to UK life.”

silly map

Sunday was sunny and perfect. We wandered a little up the main street mostly widow shopping. I bought the perfect lamp at the little lighting shop and took photos of business names that made me laugh. I mean seriously, Back to the Fuchsia is the best name for a florist ever.

small back to the fuchsia

I’d love to see you post about your adventures too!

All my love,


Jiggity jig

Today is my first day back to work. I’ve spent much of my time so far checking emails and catching up with coworkers on the goings-on at our office. I still have photos that need to be organized; hell, I still have photos that need to be uploaded!

My body is still moving forward, a result of spending nearly two weeks in a car driving across the country. We saw amazing sights, from northeast to southwest and home again. The vastness and beauty of our country makes me feel quite small indeed. I wish I had something monumental and utterly quotable to say about our experiences; instead, all I have to offer is “OMG awesome epicness!”

We have a lot to say about the things we’ve done and seen, and the lack of road wifi gives us the opportunity to do post-vacation reflection articles instead of on-the-scene blurbs. So what was one of my favorite things about vacation?


The food. Obviously! All right, all right: there was much more to the road trip than just food, and I promise we’ll get to all of it eventually. Today, I just need to start some projects at work, then finish Portal 2 when I get home tonight.


adventure food

Again, I’m using hotel wifi before we take off in the morning. This morning we’re getting a slightly later start. I think Kansas is siphoning time away from us. More on that in another post.

One of the things I started doing on this trip was to scan candy racks for unfamiliar things. We’re stopping in gas station convenience stores every few hours; it’s an opportunity to find local/regional candy. There really hasn’t been much to find. Much like Starbucks and coffee, I think the Mars corp owns nearly all the chocolate in America.

Here are two candies that are new to me: Look! and Idaho Spud.

Look! is made by the Annabelle candy company based out of California somewhere. We’ve picked up a few candies of theirs; this is just one that got photographed first. This particular candy bar reminded me of a softer Peanut Chew.

The Idaho Spud says very little about it on the wrapper. I had to look at the ingredient list to see it’s a chocolate candy. Once I eat it, I’ll follow up with a comment on this post.

After a week of eating junk food, my clothes still fit as they should. But man, I am starting to crave a really good salad. I’m not really a fan of cold lettuce based salads, but right this second, I’d love the avocado salad at Mi Puebla in Mt Airy.


the return trip begins

We bid adieu to Las Vegas yesterday afternoon. It was a perfect day for a long drive. We got fairly far; I’m writing this from our motel room in Colorado. But next time we need to spend more time in Utah in daylight. We missed too many amazing scenic areas due to our driving at night. And I wish I got pictures of the herds of wild elk in Fishlake National Forest. That was f’n cool!

There will eventually be more photos making their way to flickr, but in the meantime here are a couple I took with my phone.

Utah may not have any welcome centers on the highways, but it certainly is winning on majesty.


2 girls, 100 cars

Part of the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender is a car show.  We got about halfway through it yesterday before our feet gave out. The plan is to finish up later today.

It seemed the perfect opportunity for using instagram, a photo filtering application I have on my phone. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from yesterday.

The grill is amazing.

This one made me laugh.

Just beautiful; chrome on red.

Caught a great sun flare on a fab orange car:

I just loved this truck, Larson’s Garage.  The second pick of just the hood hasn’t been put through a filter.  The color was simply amazing.

Close up of the hood.


Tonight is all about the cheap champagne

We just experienced out first Viva Las Vegas disappointment. We thought the burlesque competition was a little dull. The emcee was great, and a couple of the performances were fun, but overall the burlesque just kind of safe. Ah well.

The only thing to fix this: cheap champagne. I’m not kidding about cheap, this shit cost all of $5. Happily, we have the peach amaretto syrup I picked up in South Carolina to mix with it.

It’s suddenly a happy place in our hotel room!



Fire Chief Joanna

A full post will be coming later about our adventures at the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK, but I just had to blog this great little video of us discovering the replica of a fire station. Joanna needed to test out the fire pole, for science.

We had a fabulous time in Elk City, and I can’t wait to do up a whole story about it. In the meantime, I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos from the road, which you can check out from the sidebar.

About the girls

Joanna and Andrea
We're two East Coast ladies making a road trip cross country. Obviously this needs to be live-blogged.

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