Nine months had passed since we left the beautiful land of rolling green hills, sheep grazed pastures, steam trains, and glorious accents to move back to US soil and take up residence in the not-so-green, not-quite-as-glorious San Francisco Bay Area. Naturally, when presented with the opportunity to return to for a quick two-week romp about, I seized the chance, brought my calligraphy toys in tow, and set off to ink England.
The first real highlight was getting to enjoy an international flight sans-kids! I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a carry-on full of me-things instead of snacks, sticker books, snacks, cars, snacks, trains, snacks, diapers, and oh yeah snacks. Instead, I loaded Dr. Vitolo's ebook on Copperplate Calligraphy in my laptop, stashed away a snickers bar (or three) and enjoyed a gloriously quiet flight.
LOST IN LONDON
Once in London, I again basked in the ease of traveling without mini sidekicks. Rather than overly scheduling my day, I just spent a little time each morning deciding which part of the city to get lost in and wrote out a few envelopes to "deliver" along the way. With my husband attending business meetings, I was able to wonder the dreamy streets of London all on my own and it was lovely.
SOAKING UP THE LAKE DISTRICT, QUITE LITERALLY.
After the first week, we migrated north to one of my favorite places on Earth: the Lake District. For eyes that have seen far too much crunchy brown in drought ridden California, the Lakes were pure heaven! As a Seattle native, I more than welcomed the chance to romp through bracken (ferns), climb the Langdale Pikes (mountain-ish hills that almost did me in), and soak more than one pair of socks and shoes in the water-logged bogs. It was glorious! At one point I had to resort to "cooking" my hiking boots by the open stove in order to get them dry enough for the next days adventure! The inner Seattle-slug in me was happy. Very very happy.
It was also here in the Lake District that I stole a day to simply stew by the log-burning stove, inhale one cup of tea after the next, and write calligraphy to my hearts content. The lakes offered inspiration at every turn and I was dying to use some of the local slate as a medium for some brush calligraphy. A trip to the Lake District home of literary legend, Beatrix Potter, added another element of inspiration and the two resulted in a little Peter Rabbit themed tea party (more on that later). Oh I indeed was having just a bit too much fun!
The days were full and wonderful and I am so grateful for the opportunity to refuel my soul in such a beautiful part of the world. At the end of the trip I was refreshed but bursting to see and cuddle my little ones again. And what a reunion it was! Until next time, England. You did not disappoint.