The reason for my recent blog neglect and overall absence from the cyber world is a result of my holiday. A lot of people here go away for Christmas or New Year (or both). We went away to beautiful Devon. We stayed near the coast in a place called Tuckenhay Mill (click here to see the exact cottage we stayed in!), and that was extraordinary! Can I just say that I love England? This place was so cute, small country cottages, beaches, rivers with moss covered trees and rocks (really, nicer than it sounds) and old bridges and castles. Talk about fantastic! I took some really lovely pictures there, only some of which I will post right now.
These two pictures are my very favorites I think!
I think the English do it right. They take time out to go on long, relaxing holidays filled with time together, time to lounge, time to clear your head and make all the stress that has been building up disappear. This cozy little cottage tucked away in Tuckenhay was just what I needed to end the year and start a new one. The holiday activities included:
a wildlife preserve for sea animals and birds
(yes, I was that close!)
This seal was hillarious, it was posing for me-it would hold a pose until I flashed my camera, then it would do another one and hold. Can you say Diva?
observing (and at times getting soaked by) huge waves
and some mild sight-seeing.
This is Salcombe castle, and battle grounds for the Civil War.
Looking out from one of the bridges
This bridge is thousands of years old! (so I am told)
This one is not thousands of years old, but it sure looks cool.
And this is my favorite shot. It was an absolutely beautiful day!
We also visited this cute little town called Totnes. It is one of those towns that is so inviting, so warm and small, you could live there you're whole life and be perfectly content. You would go to the butcher to get your meat, the farmer selling his goods for your fruit and veg. Maybe in the afternoon you would drop by the community center for a family craft or a mingle and tea. Basically I am saying that if I ever return someday to live in england, look me up in Totnes.
I apologize, because these pictures do it no justice at all!
Ringing in the new year was also great. We all stayed up and watched Take That perform live on BBC1, and then watched the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever seen live in London. Click Here if you have 11 minutes and 25 seconds to spare. I highly recommend it, because it was amazing! Definitely a highlight, along with holding hands and singing auld lang sang, breathing English air, writing new years resolutions, and making a "January 2008" folder for my pictures. The beginning of the new year also inspired a lot of thinking. I have been thinking things like, "holy crap I will be 21 this year" (that happens every year), and the fact that both Jared and I could be going on missions this year. Now that's a strange thought! I guarantee that will come quicker than I can say "wait a minute!" I also had time to review last years resolutions, and record what I had done to complete them. This was a first for me because usually I make new years resolutions, write them down, and loose them 4 days later. Last year I was a genius and I typed them on my computer and saved them for now, and it was really great to see what I wrote last year. This years resolution list includes a lot of stuff that I wont tell the world, but other things like this:
read a classic novel
learn a classic piano piece
(see?! CLASSIC is TAKING OVER ME!)
sing for an audience
run a 10k
scrapbook my "European experience"
When I said I had 12 resolutions this year, or goals rather, everyone looked at me like I was crazy...which I very well could be! But why not start out the year ambitious? I decided this was going to be the year Two-thousand and GREAT!
Well, the time we had flew by like all vacations, but it had to end sometime! The drive back was lovely. We passed Stonehenge both ways, so the next time I want to go the probability of me getting lost and driving in the opposite direction has decreased by roughly 12%. I spent 4 and a half hours driving through England, most of which was countryside (something I never, never thought I would do!). And while I was driving I, being recently inspired by something who knows what, played classical/instrumental music the whole way. Ok maybe all classical is a stretch...there was some Simon and Garfunkel rockin' my car. I put on my favorite soundtrack, Gladiator, followed by the Last of the Mohicans. Now Gladiator distinctly reminds me of Italy-how can it not? When my Parents and I were in Rome staring at the Colosseum I could here Gladiator music playing...well kinda...my Dad was humming it, and I might have joined in with some harmonies. We also listened to Gladiator when we were taking the train through the Italian countryside-the combination making my Mom cry at one point. (sorry mom). So as Last of the Mohicans played in my car and I was zooming over hills and spectacular scenery I couldn't help but notice that it fit perfectly. This music was meant to be played while driving through England (Daniel-Day Lewis running in slow motion through grassy hills coming in close second). It was especially perfect when the music really picked up at the exact moment Stonehenge appeared in the distance... I am telling you, it doesn't get better than that. Ok so maybe I see things in a little bit of a "music video" mode, but it makes for an enjoyable car ride. So I ask you, my friends and family, what is your soundtrack? I am so curious. What music do you hear in your head as you pass that Harmon's or cross over the bridge onto the highway, or look out over the valley from the mountains? I am wondering. If you don't have one...get one! But let me know what it is...and no stealing mine!
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Fabulous New Year!