This is my 1,000th blog post since I started this site back in August 2003. It’s strange, thinking about those first few entries, which started about nine months before I met Dave. If I could have imagined my life now, I’m sure that my imaginary future most certainly would not have included spending Christmas in England with my husband’s family, sitting at a cozy warm kitchen table with a cup of tea and my laptop, and looking up to watch sheep graze in the pasture behind my in-laws’ house. Meanwhile, my husband and our 2 year-old daughter take a nap together upstairs.
It’s not what I would have expected, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, yes, obviously we made it to the UK in one piece. Catie did phenomenally well on the plane until the last half hour or so, but even with the one meltdown at the end, she did far better than we expected. We went through the border (where Dave got to through the fast & speedy UK/EU passport line, and Catie and I had to wait in line with all of the other “foreigners” – aka Americans, since I think most everyone else in line was on our same flight from Dulles). The very nice immigration lady told me that next time, Catie & I can go through the UK line with Dave, since we’re a family, even though Catie & I don’t have UK passports. Good to know!
We got our bags, got a rental car, and spent the night at a hotel near Heathrow. The next day, we got up and drove to Carlisle, where my mother-in-law, her partner/boyfriend (Grandpa Roger, as he’s known around these parts), and my brother-in-law Steve all live. It’s about a 300-mile drive from London, and it was probably too much to ask of Catie with the previous day being all travel as well. She did great for the first half of the trip, but the poor kid was just exhausted and bored, and she decided she’d had enough. We ended up pulling over and rearranging suitcases so I could sit in the backseat with her to calm her down, which (surprisingly) worked.
Also, from the backseat, I was able to effectively ignore Dave’s driving, which helped. I mean, he’s an ok driver, I just kept involuntarily reaching for a steering wheel that wasn’t in front of me, and almost screaming, “LOOK OUT!” because I kept panicking that we were on the wrong side of the road and the other cars were going to drive straight into us. It’s much easier to ignore the fear of your certain impending demise from the back seat.
We’ve spent the past two days just recovering from jet lag and not doing much else. This morning, Catie & I watched the UK version of the Wonder Pets. As in, the voices of Linny, Tuck & Ming-Ming are done by entirely different child actors with British accents. It blew both of our minds. (And, before you ask, no, the British version of Ming-Ming can’t pronounce her R’s either.)
Tomorrow, we’re driving up to Scotland – we’re spending one night in Inverness, then heading up to the Highlands to stay in our cottages. It feels weird to say they’re “our” cottages – like, oh so casual, “why yes, we own some land up on the northern coast of Scotland, doesn’t everyone?” But now that Dave, Steve, and their mom have made this a joint business venture, those two cottages really are ours, and someday they’ll be Catie’s.
I understand the cottages are near the cliffs and the ocean, and it’s supposed to be really beautiful there, so I look forward to taking a LOT of pictures.
In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites that I’ve taken so far. The rest of the set is here.
So pretty! Glad to hear that everything went well and you’re there safe and sound. 🙂
I’m so glad you guys there okay. The thought of the driving on the wrong side, give me goosebumps. Blech.
So glad that ya’ll made it in one piece and that all is going well. I’m looking forward to picture over-load, since I’m living vicariously through you the next 2 weeks!!! Enjoy the rest of your trip and the cottage stay!!!
Love that last photo! Sounds like you’re going to have quite the holidays!
Love the pictures! And I know you will have a wonderful time! I’m glad Catie lasted until the last 30 minutes of the flight. That’s pretty awesome for an almost 3 year old!
They drive on the WRONG side of the road in Australia too. Traffic looked strange to me the whole time, and the few times we road in cars or buses it freaked me out a bit.
It sounds wonderful! Enjoy!
Let’s not be ugly americans, y’all, they just drive on the LEFT, not the wrong side of the street, and they love you if you call it that.
Cutest grandbaby I’ve ever seen….
Glad you’re there safe.
Happy 1000! I remember the very beginning of your blog, when you were posting funny dating stories…how time flies. Hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family.