2007 - The Year of Spending Dangerously! travel blog

Loree, Storm and Sky

Hillside House

Black swans at Leeds Castle

Who knew - a vineyard at Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Loree, Rea and Tudor

Rea and Tudor in action

Vicious guard dogs

Entrance to Hillside House

Lowland Gorilla at Howletts Wild Animal Park

After a not so bad flight from Calgary to London, we managed to get on the right combination of trains and tubes to get to Bearstead where our friend Loree met us. We've spent a nice couple of days catching up with Loree, James, their kids Alexander and Rea, their 2 dobermans Storm and Sky, their mini wire-haired dashhound Molly and their 2 cats Lilly and Charlie! Loree and James live in a village in SW England called Sutton Valence and their house, Hillside House, is a Tudor style house that was built in 1435. They have a beautiful property with a couple of acres of garden, pool etc as well as the beautiful house. They've done a lovely job of modernizing the house without losing the history.

We spent an enjoyable day at Leeds Castle. The Castle itself is very impressive and the surrounding grounds are beautiful. There is a small vineyard on the grounds as well as an aviary, golf course and hectares of open area (kept neat by Loree's friend Caroline's 1000 sheep). Loree's daughter Rea spends as much time as possible with her horse, Tudor, at the nearby stables. We were treated to a jumping exhibition by Rea and Tudor.

Also spent a day at the Howletts Wild Animal Park which has one the most successful breeding programs of Lowland Gorillas. The Gorilla families are reintroduced to the wild.

We've really enjoyed our visit with the Trotmans and are now on our way to catch the Eurostar train to Paris.

By the way, if you're wondering about the strange color of one of the dogs, that is Storm and he is in fact wearing James' t-shirt. Dobermans can apparently do a bit of damage to each other when they get carried away playing and Storm got a bit chewed up. Loree is a vet and stitched him up but Sky likes to rip out his stitches. Poor storm, being beat up by a girl is bad enough but then the humiliation of having to wear a shirt.....

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