Witney

On our second day at Eynsham Hall we decided to skip Blenheim and go into the little town of Witney. As the bus didn’t run on Sunday, we decided (foolishly on my part) to walk the more than 3 miles into town.

The walk was lovely, past beautiful little houses, fields of sheep and cows, and gorgeous views.

By the time we got to town my feet were aching fiercely. So we stopped for a pint and crisps (which were pork rind) at the closest pub, the Blue Boar. They had a hog roast on the back patio and live music.

We wandered around the main street and market square down to the church, and walked around the grounds because the church closed 5 minutes before we got there.

One thing I didn’t expect in England is the bees. They’re everywhere and because there aren’t screens on the windows they fly sometimes indoors. I’m afraid to get stung somewhere nasty, like my eyeball.

We took a cab back to our hotel.

image

Memories of Eynsham

Today we left the country for the busy streets of London.

It’s been absolutely wonderful at Eynsham Hall. The building is gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the views.
There’s a long driveway leading to the main building from the street and the gardens are immaculately cared for.

The day we arrived we walked partway down the drive, then turned around thinking we had hit a back entrance. We followed the online map and dragged our luggage along the side of the main road, pulling it up into the grass when cars came by. A nice motorist stopped and have us a lift back – down the long driveway until we reached the main hall, sweaty and tired from dodging cars and pulling our luggage on grass and weeds.

I’ve never been so grateful for a warm shower and a clean bed. By then we’d been awake for nearly 24 hours, with a few little pockets of an hourish of sleep on the plane. My hair, which looked great in its bun after we got to Heathrow, was a scraggly mess by the time we got to Eynsham. I’m sure I looked like a crazy person. Thanks to the diplomatic Vincent (“Let’s find our room first, we’ll take pictures later) I have no photographic evidence and had no idea what a mess I looked till we got to our room.

Also, most of my good pictures are on my camera, but I don’t have the converter for iPad so I can’t show you until we get back to the states.

image

image

image

The travel bug – it’s a disease

Sitting in my room on a very cold January night I spend my final minutes perusing travel blogs before I go to sleep. I thought I would have fine dreams of trips abroad, whisking myself away on trains and planes.

Nope.

Instead I had a really strange dream about a gigantic front lawn, my roommate’s sister’s family and living in a large white house — though the inside was the size of our apartment. And we cooked grilled cheese.

Not exactly globetrotting.

Instead, my travel blog addiction becomes a daydream. And I’ll share with you some of my favorites at the moment. Since I haven’t actually set up my New Year’s goal to open a savings account for a future trip to Italy (or England, maybe), this is all dreamin’.

Lordy, do I love this view. I would walk along here wearing scarves and contemplating very heavy topics, I assure you.

Now, how do we get me there?? Whose couch can I crash on?

This blog, Going Dutch and loving it, has some absolutely glorious pictures of a field of crocuses. I would rock the heck out of a picnic there! Click the links for more pictures.

These old buildings at Thorsten Koerner’s Blog are gorgeous as well. I know absolutely nothing about architecture but I adore looking at old buildings and imagining what it was like when they were built. I love the idea of living in an old house — something with character and history — but I hate the idea that your plumbing could burst at any time just because it’s goodness knows how old. Our apartment was built in the 70s, I think, and there are days I feel like the whole thing should just be knocked over and rebuilt. Anyway… Here’s a sample from the blog on Rattenberg.

Thorsten Koerner´s Blog

I wasn’t going to link to this blog with pictures of Seattle because it’s simply not that far away, and because I’ve been there, so I have my own pictures of the city and our own trip to the Space Needle, but …then I saw this picture.

And it kind of looks like Brigadoon, like the house just appeared with all its occupants and could disappear at any moment. It might be disappearing right now, for all we know.

So, here’s Seattle.

My Hometown is Better Than Yours

Sweet dreams, friends!

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 1

As it’s the holidays, and actually going to be a whole new year in just a few days it seems like a good time to remind myself of all the things to be happy about.

100 is a pretty big number but I think I can make it!

Here we go:

1. My crazy family.

My crazy, crazy family.

2. My wonderful boyfriend.

Boyfriend and me, in Japan at Freshness Burger.

3. Traveling and taking vacations!! (being able to visit Sedona, AZ and Tokyo, Japan this year.)

I know one person in this photo - can you pick them out?

4. Starting this blog so I can share part of my life with all of you lovely random people!

(I don’t really have a picture of that.)

5. My health and the ability to use that precious gift to share with others.

Celebrating sister's birthday by giving life. Does my hand look really big to you? And am I the only one who wonders if people who think they are vampires sneak in and steal donations sometimes? Gross.

6.  The most adorable furbabies. And discovering a Reddit thread for guinea pigs!

7. Adventures, like going ziplining for the first time this year!

8. The fall. There’s almost nothing I don’t like about fall weather, clothes, pumpkins, etc…

9. Food! I’ve becoming something of a cook over the past couple years and it makes me so happy to share meals and treats with the people I love (or even like a tiny bit haha)

10. Learning to make collages with my pictures! You’ll see more of this on the blog in 2012! Thanks to Ellyn at Mandoo and Lumpia for telling me how to do the collage thing.

Happiness # 6-10

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 1

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 2

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 3

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 4

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 5

100 Things to be Happy About: Part 6

100 Things to be Happy About

Sedona: Tlaquepaque, New Age shops

I thought Sedona would have New Age shops all over the place. Its reputation for spiritual journeys and breathtaking scenery had me expecting stores built into the sides of mountains, and New Age shops on every corner.

In fact, one of the main things my mom had heard about and wanted to do was take a photo of her aura. Which we did.

Earlier we had visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is also thought to be a vortex site, but no one was spinning off to the left there. I have no photos from that trip because I thought I had forgotten to bring my camera. Of course, after we got back to the main town I found the camera buried in my purse. D’oh.

This lovely picture was taken by my sis.

Thank you sister! Chapel of the Holy Cross.

The chapel was very small, but had a serene air to it.  They had a nice little gift shop downstairs that was much cooler (in temperature) than the upstairs area during midday. I recommend visiting, though the walk up to the chapel is a bit steep. A sweet little elderly woman was on the bus tour with us. She was worried about walking up the path to the chapel and struggled a bit getting to the top but she made it back down OK.

On the way back from the Chapel, the tour guide told some great stories about the wealthy people who had settled down and built mansions in Sedona.

As we left Sedona to head back to regular life, we hit up the last vortex site at Bell Rock.

We also visited Tlaquepaque‘s artsy shops. It took the entire week of our vacation before I could pronounce the word. (It’s like “te-la-kee-pah-kee,” if you were wondering.)

They had some cool stuff, and a ton of art installations and statues, but I was more interested in the first large New Age shop I’d seen since we arrived in red rock country

And there, I bought a love candle. Betcha didn’t know that existed! It’s actually a really nice candle and it’s orange.

Intrinity Sculpture

The Intrinity Sculpture was pretty darn cool. There’s a shop next door to this one that carries mostly all crystals and rocks. I over heard people talking about different healing properties and the like.

Tlaquepaque fountain

Here, they have a statue of Sedona Schnebly. Some fun facts from the Sedona Museum:

“When Amanda Miller had borne a daughter on Feb. 24, 1877, in Gorin, Missouri, she “just thought up” the name Sedona for the child because she thought it sounded pretty. So, the name Sedona isn’t Spanish, nor Native American.  It was “just thought up” by a woman of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage living in Missouri.”

Sedona Schnebly statue in Tlaquepaque