Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Jane

Our last days in England were wild...

The four of us made a last trip to Jane Austen's house in Chawton, the photos in this blog are all from our last visit to Jane's.

I loved being there with Mike and the boys.

Writing with quills.

Dark of the Moon.

Our last days included nearly having our car stolen by a man posing as a buyer. It ended in a mad dash for our car, a little scary. We are sworn off using autotrader.com! Ask Mike to tell you the story.

Photo by Michael.

Photo by Michael.

Photo by Michael.

Walking with monkey boys wears one out.

Jane's neighbors.

Graves of Jane's mother and sister.
While we visited this graveyard an American man frightened us by oversharing details from his life...his story ended thus, "She looks just like my dad but with BOOBS!"

After we visited the house we went for a short walk, I gathered a stone Jane may have trodden. It's in my pocket right now as I write from Greer, AZ.

Our days ended with a few goodbye dinners, very hard to leave our new best friends.

This is a fairly long and shakey video of our walk through a pasture filled with lambs and ewes.

Baby lambs are intoxicating.

Considering my original goals of getting my kids to try new foods and discovering the meaning of life, I think it went ok.

Michael amazed me eating new foods. He was the boy who would eat about 5 different things and I never would have imagined he could enjoy mussels, but he did!! On our journeys he tried cheeses in France, Lebanese food in Greece, beer in Belgium, pizza in Italy, soups, beans, pies in England. I am so proud of my man for plunging into our dream and making more of it than we could.

I discovered that Dominic is cautious and careful and needs to feel safe. It was hard to know this about him before we launched away from our safe and secure life. Blankey traveled everywhere we did. He was brave and himself and figured out how to make it all work. I am hugely proud of him. Plus he tried all sorts of new foods, including mussels, which he has decided he doesn't care for in pasta.

As far as the meaning of life I did figure out a few things. First of all, the pursuit of happiness is not the way to get happy. Secondly, I am needy, and so is everyone else and that is a good thing. Thirdly, I am filled with greed, and feeding that monster is akin to the pursuit of happiness. I will aim to steer away from filling my greed hole. And yet there is room in my life for more love and more friends and more adventure.

Leaving our loved ones, our home town and our patio furniture behind and crashing on the shores of England was the best. It was much harder than I imagined and so much more exciting, love filled and perfect than I ever dreamed.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mike Visits Bath

Palm Sunday we visited Bath!! Mike and the boys had never been. We went to the service at the Bath Abbey, which I loved because there was a choir of men and boys. I will miss Church of England choirs.

This is an example of something rarely seen. Brits being silly. These young people were syncronized swimming around the square of Bath Abbey.

The Roman Baths!

Definitely a great place to visit, and worth it to convert your admission to a pass good for two years.

I insisted that Mike photograph this couple in the photo below, and now I'm going to violate their privacy...they were groping each other violently for the duration of our visit. Tongue acrobatic-intensive kissing for all to witness, hands squeezing this and that. It was OBNOXIOUS and so I want to shout about it...

Can you guess which couple it was?
Then we hit a small fossil stand and the boys channeled my pops.

Watch this video to see what they bought, get a view of the High Street and listen for the didjeridoo.

Post fossil hunt we walked to the Jane Austen museum to have tea.

Fun for Mommy!

Boys with Mr. Bennet.
 Then we did the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour, a great way to quickly get an overview of the city and history.

Farewell Bath!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


In early April

we started to get serious about moving...

Listed our car,


and other car on autotrader and gumtree.

The boys had their last scoots to school,

Buddies for life.

and said goodbye to their teachers. Thank you Miss Fields and Mrs. Schuster!

Best friends.

I am writing this a few months after the fact...but it makes my stomach turn to think about confronting the magnitude of wrapping up our adventure, leaving our friends, getting rid of our stuff and returning safely across the pond.