Wednesday, August 12, 2015

That time I became an English Rose; though exceptionally wine sodden and noticebly wilted.

I’ve lived in a couple of different provinces in Canada, numerous states ranging from New York to California and several in between.  I even spent a week sleeping on a beach in Mexico.  My point is, I get around.  North America, that is.  This May, I finally ventured out of my comfort continent.

Erik and I whisked ourselves across the pond to The Lakes District in England where we joined his family who all flew in from PA.  We stayed in the most charming 5-bedroom cottage called Ings, right outside the village of Threlkeld.  I feel like I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have visited so many amazing places in my life.  But this place?  This place most definitely makes the top 3.  I don’t have the mental capacity to consider the other 2 right now so don’t bother asking.


This is the wasteland we encountered every morning when stepping out the back door.

The odd little creatures wandering past the kitchen window to keep me company while washing dishes. 

Apparently these are called sheep and we were there during  something called lambing season.  Previously, my only real experience with them involved mint jelly.

Never again.  Seriously.  After seeing these adorable little bouncing bundles of fluff, as delicious as they are, I simply can't do it.  I would never make it on a farm.  Or an apocalypse. 

There was a pub we frequented often for dinner that was within walking distance using the footpaths that cut through numerous fields.  Fields that had been frequented by a plethora of those bouncing bundles of fluff.  Fields that had accumulated copious amounts of sheep shit.

That little white dot right in the middle?  The cottage Ings we were staying in.  Adorbs.

Which clearly called for an investment in plaid adorableness in the form of wellies.  Which I insisted I would continue to wear regularly once I returned to my dry desert of Utah.  (It's been 3 months since my return and I'm not even sure where they are.  Shhhh!)

After dinner and drinks at the pub, while stumbling our way back to Ings, Jean (Erik's Sister who I absolutely adore and will go along with pretty much anything she suggests) insisted we should all go for a hike up the "mountain" we'd been looking at all week.

Yeah.  That's the "mountain", straight ahead.

Superb idea!  Jean, her boyfriend and I were the only three to think it superb.  So off we went!

It was not a superb idea.  

We had to stop every 5 minutes to catch our breath.  About halfway up (though that's probably being optimistic) Jean threw herself on the ground, gasping for air and insisted she tasted blood.  

We did not conquer the mountain that day.  Or ever.

But!  There was this!! 

And this!!

But best of all?  THIS!!!

My favorite part of each day, was gathering around the big wooden table upstairs by the fireplace after dinner.  We'd all have our favorite beverage of choice and we'd play games.  The first night, we made the mistake of breaking out the UK version of Trivial Pursuit for Kids.  I don't think we'd ever felt dumber in our lives.  Unfamiliar with British terminology or pop culture, none of us were faring well.  When it was my turn and I got the question, "How many years are in a decade?", I was so used to getting everything wrong, not to mention I was half a bottle of wine in, I panicked and could not, for anything in this world, remember the answer.  

I was soon vindicated from my solitary stupidity when the fact that I'd misplaced my drivers license came up.

Me: "It's no big deal.  I'll just get a new license once I'm home."

Erik: "You do realize that means waiting in line for a minimum of two hours at the DMZ."

Me: "UGH.  I know!  Except for that bit where I'm not going to ANY Koreas."