This is the exterior of a little cottage where my husband and I will spend the greater part of our vacation to England this summer…a trip that has been a far-off dream in my mind for many years, and one that I still can hardly believe has been not only planned but booked and partially paid for.
Our plan had been to go for our tenth anniversary, to celebrate a milestone in our marriage…a chance for me to walk in all the places where my favorite books are set, duck into little shops on cobblestone streets, sip tea and nibble on flaky pastries filled with way too much cream…even a walk in the rain would be exciting because it would, after all, be English rain.
Our anniversary is in early Spring (9 years this March) and summer is preferable for traveling in England, especially in the Lakes District where our little cottage lies nestled in a sleepy village. We also took into account our schedules for the next year, and found that there was a short stretch of time this summer that we could, with certainty, slip away and make this trip a reality.
We decided to jump on this opportunity, and within a week’s time I had done all the required research on accomodations, flights, transportation, and projected costs, and had everything booked. You would think I would be elated.
I was totally and completely sick to my stomach.
What about the cost? What about leaving the children for such a long stretch of time? What if it rains every day for twelve days? What if the food is bad, the bed is hard, the people unfriendly? What if my husband wrecks the rental car just trying to get out of Heathrow? (Come on, you have to admit, that is a legitimate concern!)
It took nearly three days for the fear and anxiety to subside. After all, where’s my sense of adventure? A long break with my fabulous husband (who happens to be my very best friend), tucked away in a sweet little cottage, roaming the English countryside. A day spent in Ambleside to see Charlotte Mason’s book collection and Beatrix Potter’s watercolour paintings…a day in Bath strolling down streets lined with breathtaking Roman architecture…a day in London riding red buses and taking in some of the greatest art of the Western world and doing…you know…London stuff.
So I will take courage and not worry about how things could possibly go wrong. This is not the kind of thing that we normally do…it’s more like a “once in a lifetime” event, and I hope that each day, each moment will be savored and enjoyed and that we can glory in God’s creative majesty as we climb the fells and row on the water and take in a different culture (albeit one not too dissimilar from our own).
Feel free to chime in with “you must do” or “you must see” if you happen to have taken such a magical trip yourselves!