Wednesday, May 09, 2007


We had a fabulous time in the English countryside this past weekend. If I'd had a working camera, I could show you just how lovely the Cotswolds truly are. Alas, I have only a horrifically blurry set of photos and my memories, so I'm afraid you'll just have to trust me that it was all quite spectacular. And spectacular it was...

We drove through some of the most stunning pastoral scenery I've ever seen in my life and we wandered through some of the most charming Cotswold villages I could ever have hoped to see. I had wondered if the countryside would live up to the hype, and there's no question that it did. I've seen my share of farms and open spaces in my life, but never anything as gorgeous and green and picturesque as this.

We ate delicious meals in pubs that were around long before Christopher Columbus discovered America and we snacked on delectable ice cream that was very clearly not of the mass-produced variety. Everything we ate, in fact -- from the eggs we cracked open for breakfast to the clotted cream that went on my scone at tea time -- was locally grown and produced. Was it my imagination that I could taste the difference?

We all stared in awe at the stately old buildings and beautiful grounds of Oxford, wondering aloud whether one day one of our children might return to study there. The kids giggled as they fed goats out of their hands and chased baby pigs down a path, and they laughed uproariously as they jumped on giant trampolines. Evan watched closely as a giant steam engine refueled with water before carrying us in an old fashioned First Class car through the forest. Julia worked carefully under the tutelage of an experienced potter to create something special on a pottery wheel. Paul sang silly falsetto songs about each and every animal we passed along the way. ("Daddy, look! Sheep! Sing the sheep song," Evan would cry out every time we passed a pasture. "Daddy, these songs are getting worse and worse," Julia would groan when he obliged.) I took lots of blurry pictures, for all the good that did me.

Yes, a memorable weekend, to be sure -- just the kind of experience we'd dreamed of giving our kids here in England. And sure enough, the kids pronounced it a fabulous trip. Evan declared that he'll never forget how fun it was to share a bedroom with Julia. Yep. A country full of beauty and he liked sharing a bedroom. And Julia? Her favorite part of the weekend was "the fact that we had a swing set right outside our cottage." Uh, kind of like our house in New Jersey, perhaps?

All righty, then. I can't wait to see what they make of Prague. Perhaps there will be some particularly fabulous hotel soaps waiting for us there or something.


Blogger denzylle said...

You're not alone!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Yeah-ha, this is very familiar. Not the travelling part; I'm simply jealous of all that. No, the travelling with kids part. Endearing, isn't it?

10:14 PM  

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