After nearly 6 months, we finally have a proper phone and really truly internet.
I’ll give you a moment to take that in.
The long, ugly, frustrating story would take me far longer to relate than anyone would be interested to read (the letter I’ve begun to our service provider is 2 pages…..so far), but suffice it to say, we are now connected, once again, to the world, and it’s a beautiful thing. During this period of radio silence, a lot has happened, as you can well imagine. Rather than a blow by blow accounting, let’s have a quick overview, shall we?
August 24th, I took possession of the house while Brad was away. I managed to drive myself to the grocery, and to the house without hitting anything or anybody (success, as far as I’m concerned). Two days later I was on my way back to Seattle, to celebrate my sweet mother’s 80th birthday, with a surprise party cobbled together across the ocean—-with lots of help. She was completely stunned, and a good time was had by all 🙂
September brought lovely weather, and a good time of settling in. We discovered the pub within walking distance, Windsor, and many of the other things in our neighborhood. Toward the end of the month, we attended Evensong at St Georges Chapel at Windsor with friends we had met just that morning (we walked across the tomb of Henry VIII and third wife Jane Seymour on our way to our seats).
October–on Columbus Day (a day off for Brad, but not the rest of England, obviously) we went to Hampton Court Palace.
Since it was the 500th ‘birthday’ of Henry VIII, there were reenactments going on. Brad and I were in the welcoming party following the Kings marriage to Catherine Parr. Turns out we are Aunt and Uncle to the new Queen, and she asked that Brad take over as Lord Chamberlain. Who knew 🙂
Later in the month we were here:
Brad was attending a conference in fascinating Berlin, Germany, and I was lucky enough to tag along. We explored the area around the Brandenburg Gate; (found a Starbucks 🙂 ) saw bits of the Berlin Wall that are still standing and Checkpoint Charlie. While Brad was busy in meetings, I took myself to the Germaldigalerie, enjoying an impressive display of Rembrandt’s, as well as other masters. The conference dinner was is the Parliament Building, with a great view and even better food. It was a lovely visit.
November, and Thanksgiving rolled around and since it was a holiday for us, we looked around for a quick vacation. We settled on……
Yep, that’s Disneyland Paris (or what they used to call EuroDisney). It was cold and wet for the most part, but we were prepared and had a great time despite the weather, though next time I think I may vote for Greece or the Canaries.
December, and even though we had decided we wouldn’t go “home” for Christmas, we changed our minds. December also brought our 30th wedding anniversary, and we had decided to do Disneyworld, which was the original plan before we found out we were moving to England. Brad had a conference to attend in Orlando the first week of January, so we just combined the whole thing of it (poor English, but there it is). SO, we flew from London to Seattle, and Christmas with family, then left on the 28th for Orlando, ready for some sun. We had a couple really lovely days, spent New Years Eve in Epcot and a crowd of 10’s of thousands, and then the weather turned and Orlando and most of Florida suffered record low temperatures.
It. Was. Cold.
Alex joined us for the second week, and he and I braved the cold and wandered from park to park, while Brad was busy with the AIAA conference. We even enjoyed a Cirque du Soleil performance.
If you were to ask Alex, I’m sure he would say that his favorite part was being able to get beer-to-go at Downtown Disney and Epcot. Bet you can guess where we spent the most time 🙂
January, and back to England, and the highlight of the month would have to be a day trip to Oxford. Brad was meeting with a professor at the college, and I spent the afternoon driving around looking for parking, and seeing some of the sites. I ate lunch at The Eagle and Child, former meeting grounds for the “Inklings” otherwise known as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkein along with other authors from time to time. They met at this wee pub in the Rabbit Room, and I sat in that same room and enjoyed fish and chips. I sat there wishing that the walls could share their secrets. I really need to get back and do more exploring.
February found us in a place in the world I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be.
You read about it, you study its history, you see the documentaries on Discovery and History, but to stand at the foot of the pyramids, realizing that they are 4500 years old is nothing short of amazing.
Egypt is full of things to see, and we were lucky enough to spend several days in Cairo and a couple days in beautiful Alexandria.
And now we’re home, and the internet works and at least for today the sun is shining. Life is good.
*just in case this doesn’t work….I can see the photo’s in my edit window, but they don’t show up when I preview. I’m hoping they will be there once I hit ‘publish.’ Here it goes.