And on to the countryside

We enjoyed our time in London. We saw a lot for the time we were there, we started to get used to the buses and how to get around town. (We preferred the buses to the underground trains — like Paris, much easier with the stroller.) We really liked our hotel and even got to meet a few people — B is at that age where, at the slightest provocation, he will share his life story with any random stranger (he’s cute and articulate, and people are completely charmed, so well make some new friends).

But the hustle and bustle of the big city was also pretty intense, and now we’re on to quieter things.

We left London by train this morning, and travelled out to Oxford, where we rented a car, and then, we were off — except not quite. First, Dan had to practice driving on the wrong side of the road, on terribly narrow streets. We drove for a good 15 minutes in the wrong direction only because he would only make left hand turns and/or follow the car in front of us. (I shouldn’t laugh, though — he managed something I wouldn’t have even attempted.) And then, once we were ready to go, we couldn’t get out of town — they were having some kind of fair that closed all of the streets in the direction we wanted to go. After a long while, we made our way out of town . . . finally.

20120903-235151.jpgOur next stop was the tiny town of Sherborne, to see the place where my mom attended school. That trip took us well off the beaten path, onto teeny back roads and through beautiful, picturesque countryside. The building itself is now private property, and surrounded by enough “no trespassing” signs and video. cameras to keep us from exploring, but it was neat to go there anyway.

After that, our plan was to drive up through the Cotswolds, and maybe stop for tea. By the time we arrived in Stow on the Wold, though, B was sleeping, so Liam and I walked around for a bit while Dan sat with a sleeping Benjamin.

20120903-235244.jpgThen we drove up to Stratford upon Avon. By the time we got to the town, both boys were sleeping, and by the time we had checked in to the hotel, they were both completely fed up with the whole process. So, we rewrote the plan for the evening from strolling through another part of the Cotswolds to walking down to a park near here and running around for a while, followed by ice cream on the way home. We now have two very sleepy, very content, very worn out boys.

So far, this part of England is beautiful. (It reminds me very much of Middleburg in Virginia.) It is green and rolling, with fields full of cows and sheep, fenced in by stone or lovely post and rail fences. I love it. As much as I enjoyed it, I felt a giant sense of relief when we left London — I like the city, but I’m really a country girl.

Tomorrow, we have a long day in the car, followed by 2 peaceful days of staying in the same place. I’m hoping that tomorrow ends up being a restful day in the car — for all of us — and not a frazzled disaster.

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