Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Big Trip

We were lucky enough to be able to spend the last week or so visiting with Lo's sister who recently moved to the UK after marrying a lovely British bloke. I'd never been to the UK so when I found out we were going, I was thrilled.

Our home base for the stay was this little cottage in Bredan below. It had been a horse stable in a previous life. Horses don't live there anymore. It was just perfect for the three of us. And it had everything. It had a dishwasher. I don't even have a dishwasher at home. It had a loft bedroom, and cathedral ceilings. Steps away was a fully equipped park for the kids with a dreamy stone playhouse and an indoor pool. It was a short walk past a perfect lawn-bowling green to our UK hosts' home. Were we spoilt? Understatement of the year.

We spent the first few days eating, drinking and making merry. First, we celebrated the Royal nuptials. And then we celebrated our own hosts' wedding. For these occasions, they rented a bouncy castle, and large blowup slide for the kids, both of which I had to inspect for bounciness and slidability o' course.

We visited some local landmarks: the gorgeous Tewksbury Abbey...

with its vaulted ceilings and amazing stained glass windows.

We visited the town of Tewksbury. It was lovely. Everywhere in the town there were handcarved details like this door.

We went to Stratford and the birthplace of Shakespeare. The Avon river was home to many boats and waterfowl which enthralled the boy and his little cousin.

We visited a few antique shops some of which were tucked away down pretty alleys overflowing with vines and whose floors were striking cobblestone works of art. I want one.

We visited Warwick Castle where my camera died. Sadly, no pictures.

We feasted like kings. Our hosts served up some fantastic meals. One night we had the beloved fish and chips. Another night we enjoyed Indian food. Still another, we had a pig roast with all the fixings. One night, our hosts roasted lamb, baked yorkshire pudding, and grilled root vegetables. And another night they took us out to enjoy the ambiance of an English pub. I mean, they seriously went all out to keep us entertained and well-fed. I'm still full just thinking about it.

Our boy had so much fun visiting his cousins. He played and bounced like a wild-man and stayed up late every single night. He'll be tired for the next 3 weeks. He actually wants to go to bed. It's a miracle!

The English countryside with its pretty villages was so beautiful. I can't say enough about how picture perfect all of it was. I am in love with those hand-built stone walls that line every field; I want one. There are green hedges that soften every property line and vines growing with abandon everywhere. I can't imagine a more picturesque place to live. Unfortunately I was so busy taking it all in, I mostly forgot to take pictures. I guess this means I'll have to go back...

Oh darn.

Well you have a restful weekend, and a very happy Mother's Day to you if you're a mom! I'll see you again soon!


  1. Welcome back!! The English countryside is beautiful, it sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. Some of the best Indian food I ever had was in the UK!

  2. What a WONDERFUL time it appears you had. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your hosts appear so gracious and sharing, your photos of the area are so beautiful, it makes me want to go!

    I think the boy has a great idea, get some rest. Glad everyone is back safely. But, we did miss you blogs. Congrats on the writers blog!!!

  3. How gorgeous is that picture of the duo peering over the wall, it is brilliant! I do agree with you about testing out the bouncy castle.. elfin saftey and all that official stuff lol!!

  4. Thanks Ann P! I would highly recommend you taking a trip there if you get the opportunity. It's so pretty and the people were just lovely!

  5. Have a lovely stay in the UK, it was my home for many years. Glad you are enjoying it - Read you interview, fabulous Michele - Hugs Nat

  6. What a fabulous vacation. Such lovely things to see and do.

  7. It sounds positively wonderful, Michele. I visited the UK when I was in high school, and I would love to go back. I LOVE the picture of you in the bouncy house :)

  8. Oh... I don't think I can process everything I've read just now, for a while... Magical, wondrous... you've been experiencing everything I have been dreaming of! England is my promised land. Would die to go there and have an adventure! Thoroughly enjoyed the post Michele! Hope you share something else soon!

  9. What a fabulous trip. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  10. Sounds magic!!! I've only been to the UK for 4 days...3 nights in London and a day in Bath. It was amazing but I really want to experience the countryside, too. So glad you enjoyed your trip!

  11. Sounds wonderful! Isn't it great to experience new places with locals by your side? Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow! you had great time. I lived in london for 3years,but I always loved the countryside. city was great for fashion & work. I miss my friends ... thanks for sharing

  13. So glad you enjoyed our country and tewkesbury is in such a lovely area, to taste the UK in.
    I was driving past our yorkshire hedgerows yesterday beside the fields and the hawthorne bushes were just a mass of striking white blossom. It struck me again, how beautiful our hedgerows can be and how traditionally distincive they are to the english way of country life.
    Our field boundary walls too have a crazy patchwork look to them, esp from the air and given the various brown/chalky, fields of ploughed soil, lush green food crops, of yellow rape, blue linseed and later, golden corn with blood red poppies, well it is a joy to see.
    So glad you had a great time here :)

  14. Welcome back and nice to meet you! It's a pleasure to look at your blog, it's plenty of really nice things! Congratulations!!!
    Goodbye ;-)

  15. thanks so much Clara, thanks for stopping in an leaving a comment!

  16. It looks like it was a wonderful vacation. So smart to rent a bouncy house for the kids.

    Its good that you didn't spend all your time taking pictures. It's better to enjoy the moment instead of worrying if the lighting is right. You know the old joke -

    Q: How was your vacation?

    A: Let me check my pictures.

    Welcome back.

  17. Sounds like a wonderful break Michelle! Don't they have beautiful old historic building over there.

  18. Sounds wonderful! I have yet to make it to Europe and all posts like this just make me want to jump on a plane now. So glad you had a great time.

  19. Thanks for sharing your trip images with us..i hope you have enjoyed a lot & have a nice time :)

  20. I've been dying to know where you went - ooh, England! So envious! I have never been there, unless you count the odd random hour stuck inside Heathrow waiting for a plane. Your pictures are so gorgeous, and lordy, it sounds like you were treated like royalty! So glad you had a wonderful trip. Now back to work entertaining me, dammit!


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