Two and a half weeks on the English island has created quite the impression on me.
Somewhat purposefully, we avoided the hub of this country, London, and pursued adventures in the South West and as far North as Edinburgh, Scotland, truly appreciating the significant cultural differences in the land of our national heritage.
Starting out on August 13th, we departed a cold grey California and arrived on the 14th to a rainy grey England and immediately began driving on the wrong side of the road. Our jet lag was severe, yet Grant’s G-Dub GPS kept us suitably entertained as we drove West to where we’d be parked for the next few weeks.
Contented with our time in the Salisbury countryside, we poked about the area, seeing the magnificent cathedral, the multitude of henges (and hedges), like Stonehenge and Woodhenge, and the ruins of Old Sarum, the castle. We attempted to track down various English geocaches and perpetually came up empty. We saw the sights of the English West Country, visiting close cities like Oxford, Bath, and Boscombe Beach as well as hiking through the local hills exploring the unique landscapes and interesting historical and cultural presence hidden in among the wheat and grass.
Then we boarded our train and headed North. Through the haunts of York and then along the coast, across the border, and on to Edinburgh for a Tattoo performance from around the world, a puppet show of immense supremacy (from a fringe act), and just enough beer and scotch to remember where we were. Truly spectacular.
Soon after, Tripp and Karen departed to Ireland and we boarded our train south, back toward Salisbury.
It was wonderful to see in just two and a half weeks how much Kelly and Rory were learning and growing. It was great to feel the stress and chaos of family. And even though we greatly overstayed our Benjamin Franklyin visitation rights, I’m glad we spent the time with Grant and Evelyn.