We’re Members Too: A Jaunt to Jolly Old England

A Jaunt to Jolly Old England

Sue Miller | Manager, Automotive Services Call Centre

I have been obsessed with all things English for as long as I can remember. As a very young child, I was fascinated by Davey Jones from the Monkees and Jimmy from H.R. Pufnstuf. My relatives were fond of British humour, so I was exposed to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Two Ronnies and Benny Hill at a young age—if you know me, this explains a lot of things. The 80’s came along and I dove deep into the English New Wave movement, and was a walking encyclopedia of music facts and song lyrics. By the age of 16, I pinned a map of England to the back of my bedroom door to track where bands came from and where they were touring. One of my most prized possessions was a British bowler hat that I wore with my edgier outfits under very big hair. I got a degree in English literature, and I watch a lot of BBC. You get the picture.

But despite all of this, I have never been to England. I always wanted to go, but like so many others, there is always something that comes up: school, a new house to pay for, children, work. And I was OK with it; life goes by with its ups and downs and I rolled with the punches. But after a couple of big life events, I thought about John Lennon’s famous line: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” It was time.

So, where to start? I have worked at CAA in Automotive Services for almost 18 years. I’m a big fan of road trips and have travelled most of the east coast, almost always by car. I was familiar with CAA’s TourBooks® and travel medical insurance, but booking a European vacation was completely out of my element.

I consulted with a CAA Travel Professional - Heather Stewart from Corporate Travel - and was given different options of tours in Great Britain. She answered my many, many questions. In the end, I selected Trafalgar’s Scenic England tour with a couple of extra nights in London. I will be visiting Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, Liverpool, York and Cambridge among others and will also be taking advantage of some of the tour’s optional events, like a cruise around Plymouth’s harbor, to enhance my experience. To really personalize my vacation, I did my own research and booked myself tickets to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Merchant of Venice in Stratford-upon-Avon and to see Paul McCartney at the O2 Arena in London on my last night. Talk about going out with a bang!

I have pulled out and dusted off my bucket list: a ride on the London Eye, a barefoot walk across Abbey Road, a play in Stratford, a tour of the Roman Baths, a visit to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, a concert in London. All these things I get to check off my list. My son and I leave in two days. He is 16, the same age I was when I pinned that map to the back of my bedroom door. Funny how things come full circle.