Friday, August 13, 2010

Bits and Bites

On Thursday we left the house at 10 am and started our trek south. And west.
We stopped at Bath for two hours which was SO not enough.
What a delightful city. Rich with history (Jane Austen DID live there, after all) and beauty. SO many grand old buildings.

And the street musicians?
And the cathedral?
And the hanging baskets?
Lush and full.
And everything else?

If you ever have the opportunity to go - GO.

You know, sometimes the history in the places we're visiting on this trip messes with my mind. Things are OLD here. People that I've read about have walked these streets. Sat under these trees. Moved in and out through the market square. We just don't have that in Langley.

We drove over to Bristol in the evening for the sole purpose of attending the International Balloon festival. It was one of the first things I set in place when I knew we were coming to England. We fit other stuff in around it. I had visions of getting fabulous balloons-in-the-sky pics.

We got to the park at 6 in time for the 'mass ascent' that was changed to the 'shapes ascent' which was impressive in it's own right, but not what we were there for.  We stuck around, (freezing on the grass because we were ill-prepared for cool windy night) for the Night Glow event. As time ticked on and we got colder and crankier, I got more and more anxious that it would be lame. And everyone would whine at me and my plans.

When the balloons started inflating, the magic began and when they started glowing, my eyes filled with tears. We'd never experienced anything like this before, and likely never would again. It was worth the wait. When the Are We Human or Are We Dancers song came through the speakers, and the crowd (10,000 folks) sang along, I got goosebumps. It kinda felt like the candlelight service at Creation but not really.

I am so thankful for the people I am sharing this holiday with. As I stood there singing, I acknowledged that I was perfectly at peace. I love the people I'm sharing these experiences with. And the ones I love that I am not with, are in the hands of God.

This morning we dropped Clint off at the Bristol Train station - he's off to spend some time in London with people his own age. That can only mean trouble.
I'm hoping we will reconnect in Oxford next Tuesday, but he suggested we might just meet up at the airport before our flights home. So hard having a 23 year old independent child.

From the train station we continued heading south. And west.
With our chief navigator gone, John took over. Listening to Ding and Dong in the front seats was entertaining. We entered and exited roundabouts through some creative driving techniques and stopped for lunch at the funeral home this afternoon. They weren't serving.

If you're ever thinking of going on a holiday with 3 of your sons, one of their friends, your cousin and her husband, your friend and her husband, know that the two things you need to pack are patience and a sense of humor. If everyone is equally committed to being patient with each other and willing to laugh at themselves, it will be an awesome vacation. I promise.

We finally made it to Falmouth just before 5 pm. The skies were blue, the ocean was turquoise and the breeze was gentle. Half an hour later, the sky was overcast, the ocean was grey and the wind was fierce. It's Falmouth Week here which is a little bit like Mardi Gras. Costumed twenty-something year olds fill the streets in anticipation of an evening of street parties, drinking, fireworks and other shenanigans. We went for a walk before and after dinner (only about 4 miles) and I can hardly wait to walk into town again tomorrow. SO MANY ART STORES.

I've been reading The Happiness Project whenever I get the chance and I think when I get back I'm going to make some changes in my life.

I'm tired of feeling ugly.
I'm tired of hating to be photographed.
I really don't care if I get a pic of me in front of a statue or some other landmark. But it's tiring dodging other people's cameras all the time. I want to be able to relax when those around me have their cameras out.

And Jule? If you're reading this?
I need my bangs trimmed. It's been three weeks and they are impeding my vision by hanging flat in front of my eyes. Wish you were here.

If you want to see pics from these days, go here.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Two more days on the seaside. My favorite place to be.
2. Drew is being a good sport, even though he's got no one to play with.
3. I am not the driver anymore. You have NO idea how appreciative I am of this. NO FREAKING IDEA.


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