A day at the movies…The Downton Abbey movie…No spoilers…

In August 2014, we held our breath as we approached Highclare Castle, home of the famed BBC Downton Abbey TV series.  No interior photos were allowed.  

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Wadebridge:“Wadebridge is a popular town in north Cornwall, very well situated for visitors intending to walk the Camel Trail. The most notable historical building in Wadebridge is not actually a building, its the remarkable Old Bridge built by Reverend Thomas Lovibond in 1460. The bridge stretches 320 feet across the Camel, with a grand total of 17 arches supporting it.”

_____________________________________

Image result for the downton abbey movie
The poster for the movie.

With numerous trailers shown online and promoted throughout England, we thought it would be befitting for us to go to the movies to see yesterday’s first release of the classic movie TV show, Downton Abbey.

The Towne Centre in Wakebridge.

While living in many countries throughout the world, we’ll find a movie that was made locally and make a point of downloading and watching it, including those with subtitles.  

Captured on a walk on the boulevard.

Primarily, our objective is to see authentic scenes of places we may like to visit while there or to get a greater understanding of history and culture.  Many well-made movies seem capable of accomplishing this to some degree.

The 89-year-old Regal Cinema in downtown Wakebridgde.

Having watched all 52 episodes of Downton Abbey over six seasons, all of which were since we began traveling the world.  An episode would air and a few days later we could download it, saving it to our hard drive and watching it at our convenience, always in the evenings after dinner, as a special treat.

The cost for one adult ticket GBP 7.30, US $9.13, about the same price or slightly less than in the US from what we recall.

The series was so inspiring in 2014 we booked a tour to the filming location for the series, the Highclere Castle, which is shown today as our main photo, which we’d taken on that special day.  Click here to see our post from August 21, 2014.

The concession stand.  There wasn’t anything I could order, as usual.

When we’d heard so much about the movie being released we thought it would be a treat to see it on its opening day while in England on Friday, September 13, 2019.  (The release in the US and other countries is on September 20, 2019, one week later).

Tom purchased a bottle of soda and popcorn as shown below.

We searched online to see if there was a movie theatre in this part of Cornwall where we could see the movie.  The Regal Theatre in Wadebridge, a 30-minute drive which was the most convenient location. 


The 89-year-old movie theatre was a site to see in itself with a bit of its history as follows:
The Regal situated at the end of The Platt in Wadebridge Cornwall was built by the Pope family of Padstow and opened its doors for the first time in January 1931. Several local owners operated the cinema under its initial name of the “Cinedrome.”

Our view of the screen from our good seats.
When we arrived an hour earlier than the start of the movie to ensure we’d get tickets and good seats to find the ticket office closed until 1:30 pm, we wandered about the cozy village, packed with tourists and locals.  

As it turned out we were the first to buy tickets and find great seats, smack dab in the middle several rows back from the screen.  In no time at all, move moviegoers arrived but hardly filled in the good-sized theatre. We’d expected the 2 pm matinee would attract a number of the locals but it didn’t.
Tom had to order his popcorn in a  bag.  The only freshly popped corn they had was “sweet popcorn” which he doesn’t like.  The only unsweetened popcorn offered is in a bag as shown.
Need I say, we loved the movie and giggled over having seen the magnificent castle on the big screen, five years later from our own face to face viewing.  We won’t share any details about the movie.  All we can say is if you liked the TV series, most likely you’ll enjoy the movie as well.
When we left the theatre, we walked past a creek with ducks.
After the movie ended we walked the short distance to the Co-Op Supermarket to shop for the final upcoming week in St. Teath, Cornwall.  We leave here in six days and have loved every moment in this scenic part of the country.  Cornwall has truly pleased and surprised us.

May your Saturday be as pleasant as ours, on a sunny day in the countryside.
______________________________________________
Photo from one year ago today, September 14, 2018:

This a white-crested seedeater.  For more photos, please click here.

Last night at the Las Vegas Strip…Dinner and movie…Two days and counting…

Tom, walking toward the entrance of the Palms, one of the less exciting casinos in Las Vegas located off the Strip near the Rio.

Last night, we joined Richard and friends for one last night at the Las Vegas Strip.  Since most likely we won’t have access to English speaking movies in theatres for some time, we all decided to see the popular war epic, Dunkirk would be a good choice.

Choosing to see it an IMAX theater may not have been the perfect decision.  The sound was ear splitting and although we sat a distance from the massive screen, it felt as if we were too close.

We walked through the casino after dinner to the IMAX Theatre to see Dunkirk.

As for the movie itself, I probably liked it the most.  Tom’s not a fan of movies that ‘jump around” from one segment to another and this movie, although visually stunning in many ways, did exactly that. 

None the less, Dunkirk was worth seeing and was for us, most likely, the last movie we’d see in a theatre until we return to the US in 2019 for another visit.  With Costa Rica, Argentina and Africa on the horizon over the next few years, going to movie theatres won’t be on our agenda.

The Sports Book at the Palms.

Of course, we often watch movies on Amazon Prime and those we download using Graboid, (monthly payment of $19.99) that we’ve continued to use over these past many years of world travel.  By use of this app and others, we’re able to see most US and British TV shows and movies.

The IMAX theatre is located in The Palms, a lower priced resort, hotel, and casino located off the Strip near the Rio.  We were disappointed by the dining options available prior to the movie but its didn’t make sense to go to another casino for dinner.  As a result, we dined in the casual and somewhat mediocre spot not far from the theatre.

McDonald’s bright lights in the food court.

In any case, we had an enjoyable evening, our last time out and about in Las Vegas.  Yesterday, during the day, I visited with my dear sister Susan for the majority of the day, saying our final emotional and tearful goodbyes.  The many times we spent together over these past 23 days will remain in my heart until I see her again during our next visit to Nevada.

Using Skype, Susan and I speak often and we never feel quite so far away.  Once we’re settled in Costa Rica, I’ll call her and once again, we’ll catch up as we always have which means so much to both of us.

The large oval bar found upon entering the Palms.

Today, we’re staying in, packing a few odds and ends.  But tomorrow will be our packing day when we’ll organize, fold and put together our “stuff” before leaving early on Tuesday morning.

Also, today, we’ll make one more round of our favorite pizza.  Once we leave the US, it’s never quite the same, when we can’t find authentic spicy Italian sausage.  We’ve asked in every country we’ve visited and even in Italy, it wasn’t comparable to the sausage we’ve used in the US.  We’ll still continue to make our favorite low carb, grain/starch/sugar-free pizza using whatever sausage we’re able to find.

Tom’s Reuben sandwich with fries.

With only two days remaining until we leave the USA once again, we’re grateful for the quality time we’ve been able to spend with family and friends but, we’re especially excited to return to our nomadic lives of world travel. 

Enjoy your Sunday…or Monday, if you’re on the other side of the International Dateline, where we’d spent almost the last two years prior to returning to the US.

The bright light from the Luxor Sky Beam with 42.3 billion candelas, as we entered Highway I215 to return to Richard’s home after the evening ended.  The light is visible by aircraft from a cruising altitude 275 miles (443 km).

____________________________________ 

Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2016:

Although we were in Phuket, one year ago today, we continued to share photos from our Vietnam/Cambodia river cruise.  Kong, our tour guide, encouraged kissing in front of the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House where the movie, The Lover, was filmed in Sa Dec, Vietnam in 1992.  We had no trouble cooperating!  Please click here for more photos.

Scenes from a rainy day in Phuket…Story and visit to a location of a romantic movie viewed aboard the Viking Mekong River Cruise…



Kong encouraged kissing in front of the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House where the movie, The Lover, was filmed in Sa Dec, Vietnam in 1992.  We had no trouble cooperating!

 As I continue to improve a little each day after spending more time resting and less time bending and walking, I’m anxious to get out to take photos.  Traveling on the bumpy road from the house in the less-than-stellar rental car is an athletic event in itself, requiring I hang on for dear life even if my stability weren’t at risk.


There are numerous open air type markets and shops along the highway.  I was having a hard time in the rain taking good photos with the window open.  Thus, the rear view mirror was in the photos.

It has nothing to do with Tom’s driving skills.  He’s as careful as he can be driving the old car on the rough roads.  Once we reach the main highway the roads improve tremendously although seeing out the scratchy windows is its own challenge. 

We feel badly that we’ve yet to post many local photos hoping that today, after posting, if there’s a little sunshine, we just might give it a try and make an effort to find our way to the beach to take some photos to share.

A church or temple along the highway.

In the interim, we only have a few photos from our last trip, our on a rainy day that hardly meet the standards of what we prefer to post.  Surely, our long term readers understand the dilemma and for those of our newer readers, please bear with us…better is yet to come.

Finally, I’m beginning to feel hopeful that this injury is temporary.  Given another month of recovering and I expect to be as good as I was before the occurrence around June 1st in Bali.  No words can describe how excited I am to return to my “old self” being able to do the simplest of tasks without Tom’s help. 

Watch out!  There’s a tire in the road!

Oh, don’t get me wrong…he’s been amazing, never once complaining about waiting on me; pouring my coffee, iced tea, setting my computer on my lap atop the stack of pillows I use to keep the screen at eye level and so much more.  I’ve appreciated every bit of assistance saying thank you each and every time. 

Not once in these past two months since the injury has he been “overly grumpy” regarding my situation.  That’s not to say he doesn’t do a minute or two of “overly grumpy” for some other often peculiar reason, having absolutely nothing to do with me. 

Yikes! The less-than-stellar rental car’s windshield wipes don’t work well.

I must admit I haven’t been my usual “overly bubbly” self during these months of pain and discomfort.  Although my optimism did kick in when Tom was having angst when he was unable to find a gas station while worrying about running out of gas. 

Ms O.B. kicked in with cheerful encouragement and optimism while he fussed while driving in the rain, terrified of running out of gas and barely able to see out the windows of the less-than-stellar rental car.  Some things never change. For him, grumpiness seems to revolve around driving, traffic and transportation.


Lots of tuk tuks and motorbikes were on the highway in the rain.
Hopefully, tomorrow, we’ll be back with new photos of Rawai Beach in Phuket.  We’re hoping to head out shortly now that we have a sunny day.

Kong suggested we’d find a “happy room” (restroom) down this passageway between the house and the building next door.

In the interim, as we wind down the final few photos from the Vietnam and Cambodia cruise/tour, we’re particularly excited to share today’s story about a movie we watched during the cruise.

Interesting design in the 121 year old Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House house in Sa Dec.  See here for more details.

There was a meeting/video room in the lowest level in the Viking Mekong  where the cruise staff held meetings, cocktail parties on rainy days evenings and conducted a variety of lectures and seminars, most of which we attended.

Each room contained original furnishings.

The seating was relatively comfortable with rows of similarly heavily padded sofas and chairs grouped together.  I was able to sit for extended periods amid a bit of squirming and repositioning once I maneuvered down the steep stairway.

We were offered hot tea and a rest while inside the house.

With no elevators on the boat we had a series of three stairways, some steeper than others, to navigate during the cruise which never kept us from attending any activities on other levels such as the two levels up to the sundeck where the nightly cocktail party was held.  Our cabin was located on the same level as the dining hall and disembarking ramp which proved helpful with my injury.

View of the street and the river from inside the house.

We’d read some online reviews for this cruise/tour where a few passengers complained about the stairs aboard the ship.  During the cruise, we came to the conclusion that this cruise/tour may not be ideal for those with mobility issues which was my case due to the injury. 

Ornate ceiling and lighting fixture design.

We had no other place to be during this period and had no choice but to continue on.  Had we a permanent residence we may have decided to forego the cruise and stayed “home” to recuperate, perhaps losing the entire cruise fare.  But, that’s wasn’t us.  The small ship and three hotels were our “home” during that 17 day period.

Over a period of several days, Kong mentioned a movie he suggested we watch that was to be held after dinner on July 18th at 8:45 pm since the following day we’d be visiting the location in Sa Dec, Vietnam where the movie had been filmed and was the basis of the story. 

Elaborate Buddhist shrine in the house.

This concept particularly appealed to us when we usually make an attempt to watch a movie made in a country in which we’re living at a particular time such as when we watched (as an example) such films as “Casablanca” while living in Morocco in 2014 and “The Descendants” while living in Kauai, Hawaii in 2015. (Please click links as included here).

Watching a highly acclaimed Academy Award nominated movie made in Vietnam was especially appealing when we’d be able to experience the actual location  where the movie was made in Sa Dec, Vietnam the following day.  Watching the movie which was inspired by a true story at the location of the house, made the tour all the more exciting. 

Bedroom in the house with some updating.  The house is used as a B &B for certain events explaining the flat screen TV.

Kong had warned the passengers that the movie, The Lover, was “racy” with explicit sex scenes.  None of that phased us a bit. We’ve always enjoyed a well done sexy movie and this would be no exception.

By 8:45 pm, we made our way down the steps to the meeting room on the lowest level of the ship.  After yet another big meal, I wondered if we’d be able to stay awake for the two hour movie but as it turned out, neither of us dozed for a moment during the movie. 

Artistic design on dining table.

However, the “packed house” dwindled down throughout the movie to a total of eight of us by the end. As passengers exited as the scenes became racier, we heard some grumbling over the movie being “too explicit,” “too racy for public viewing” as many couples got up to leave during the viewing.  We looked at each other giggling as the room almost completed cleared out.  This made for interesting conversation the next day.

Table décor in main living room, most likely a modern day addition.

The movie, beautifully filmed in 1992, included excellent acting by its equally beautiful and exceptional Asian actors, cinematography (for which it won awards), an appealing musical score and an interesting story line.  Yes, it was racy which may have been daring for Vietnam at the time but the sexy scenes were done tastefully.

The next day, we embarked on an action packed tour as we’ve described in past posts with photos, a portion of the tour to Sa Dec included the tour of the historical aristocratic home for which the story, The Lover, was inspired.

A popular tourist attraction, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House  is easily visible from the main road in Sa Dec.

Visiting the historic aristocratic house left us feeling happy we’d watched the movie in it entirety the previous evening.  Enjoy today’s photos from that visit.  We’ll be back with more tomorrow!

Have a restful and pleasant weekend!

_____________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2015:

Many of the restaurants in Port Douglas, Australia (Queensland) are huge and elaborate attracting the most finicky of diners and tourists.  For more details, please click here.