England

Grimston Lodge, North Yorkshire

We made it!

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Seeing as nothing fills John with hatred and bile more than Papa John and air travel, we did remarkably well! It had a lot to do with the final season of Breaking Bad, which we polished off somewhere over the Atlantic ocean (holycrappthatshowisgreat.) The flight to the UK clocked in at 7 hours and 20 minutes, and it didn’t feel that long. We both got about 30 minutes shut-eye, but was then rudely awakened by a warm croissant and a shallow bowl of orange juice.

De-planing, border crossing and customs went very smoothly. I proudly showed my UK passport to the border agent, not that he cared, and was ushered back into my homeland. I haven’t been back to the UK since 2002 and I couldn’t think of a greater place to visit than with my sister in North Yorkshire.

We drove from Manchester to Gilling East, which took a little under 2 hours, and as we got further north, the landscape started to change. Sheep and their new lambs, penned in by centuries-old stone walls, stood on green hills and stark moors. This is the landscape in my mind when I think of England, and I must admit, I got a bit misty…could have been the lack of sleep.

My sister and her husband live in a very small village called Gilling East. 18 months ago, they bought a small cottage that once belonged to the nearby manor.

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They are renovating it from top to bottom, and almost every sentence during the tour ended with ‘but it’s not finished yet…’ John and I are amazed that not only do they have the know-how to take off a roof (which seems quite simple in theory) but that are also fully prepared to put in back on again. There’s more accomplished than they let on…I think it’s amazing.

We made it through a cup of tea and then our heads starting dropping, so we decided to take a quick nap. 3 hours later, John and I stumbled out of the bedroom, heads full of cobwebs. In an effort to clear our brains, we set off on a walk through the countryside.

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For some reason, the sheep are giving us the stink-eye. How do they know we are strangers? As we walked through the field, the flock designated two big buggers with horns to come and investigate. I know they are just sheep, but John and I made quite a speedy exit. Sheep 1, City Mice 0.

After our near-sheep experience, we settled in back home and ate more Shepherd’s Pie than is medically recommended. Played with this guy, Milo, who I believe would play fetch for eternity.

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Our day ended with a productive booking session, during which we shored up lodging for the next 2 weeks, transportation to and around Scotland, and our flight to Copenhagen. It’s a bit scary to look forward on the calendar and know that we will be strangers in a strange land fairly soon…but for now, there’s no place like home.

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Categories: England, Europe

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