Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The one that was the end

On our final weekend across the pond, we were given the greatest gift England has to offer. Sun. Lots of it. Sun and gorgeous blue skies and mild temps. So, while we wanted to go somewhere new, we didn't want to go too far, lest we outrun the sunshine. So we decided on Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

This is The Pantiles, a little pedestrianized area with lots of shops and cafes. It's named after the clay tiles that were used to pave the walkways.

The corn exchange and Goddess of the Harvest...

A couple of pics from our little walking tour...

A little game of hide and seek in the park.

If I keep my hands over my face, he can't see me, right??

Some of the gorgeous flowers we saw in the parks and gardens...

Jason's sniffer correctly identifies this as lavender. We were walking by and he goes "Hey! Something smells like my closet." Clever boy. (I use dried lavender and cotton balls soaked in lavender essential oil in lieu of icky smelling moth balls.)

Paddle boating on the pond in Dunorlan Park.

More in Dunorlan Park - the Grecian Temple...

and the fountain.

Ummm, a church? I dunno. I had to pee so I was kind of rushing us through this last little bit of our tour.

As the trip wore on, we got a bit nostalgic for ol' Richmond-upon-Thames so we made sure we made it back in plenty of time for lots of Sunday goodness. Namely, one last Sunday roast (an English institution if there ever was one) at the Rose and Crown...

And some English brew on the deck.
Finally, our last Richmond Hill sunset... We took our last bottle of Chateau Mauvezin from our Bordeaux trip up to the hill and enjoyed the views.

And that's it. Monday was a flurry of stuffing all the leftover crap laying around the flat into our suitcases and paying final bills. Tuesday, we flew. Fittingly enough, all weekend and all day Monday was beautiful weather. Tuesday, we woke to rainfall. All the better to disguise the tears that ran down my cheeks.

In closing, a look at our time in London, by the numbers:

3 years
2 flats
17 concerts
6 Jason Mraz concerts
32 musicals, plays, operas and ballets
41 teacups collected (antique and new)
6 London museums
8 fashion exhibits and shows
31 English palaces, castles and cathedrals
14 English Heritage properties
12 formal afternoon teas
107,345 blog hits (as of Tuesday September 30)
12 blog hits on the day of my first post
444 blog hits on the day we left London
40 trips
90 cities
18 countries

And countless picnics, pubs, pints, hangovers, laughs and tears...

It came and went in a blur. And yet I remember almost every moment with unbelievable clarity. Some of them I'll tuck away for keeps. Some I hope to forget sooner than later. Either way, they are all part of who I am today and who I will be tomorrow and a thousand tomorrows from now.


Anonymous said...

A great farewell--made my eyes well up a bit thinking of how lucky you & your husband were to live in London for three years at such a ripe time in your lives. Even tho it's hard to leave such fun times behind, your back in another great place-- Raleigh, and have the rest of your lives ahead of you (the strains of "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters begins to play)...

Welcome home!

geo said...

Hey Heather, when you were packing in such rush, did you happen to take the sun with you? We haven't been able to find it since you guys left.

Alice said...

And you'll be able to look back over your blog in the years to come - and remember your adventures and share them with your little ones. That's the one thing I love about these blogs: you get to keep all the good stuff.

Anna said...

Thanks for that post Heather... I think I've been stalking your blog for about a year and a half now, maybe even two. I'll miss your pictures of random English towns, but hopefully you'll keep visiting around the US.

Muz and Mo said...

Wow - so was that 6 of the 17 concerts were Jason Mraz? lol he is so fab
We are so lucky we got to know you guys during your time in London:)

heatheronhertravels said...

I've enjoyed your fun and nonsense in Richmond & random European cities - where you working your way through the Easyjet schedules? I grew up in Richmond - it's still great even if the affluenza gets a bit much some times.

Best wishes on your next adventures

Felanie Melanie said...

And I was a part of 1/3 of those Jason Mraz concerts :)! Gosh I cannot believe you are back and I am not there...yeah I am still thinking about it...although I must say that I am so so so glad that I got a chance to visit you in London as you were an awesome host! Now you get to be my host again when I come back to Raleigh :)! And by host I mean someone to drink mimosas with me :)!