Travel Plans!

Smoke enhanced sunset
The sky here has been filled with smoke since Saturday when the High Park Fire to the west of Fort Collins started.  It makes for spectacular sunsets.

Smoke from High Park Fire at Sunset
Beautiful as it is in the light of the setting sun, that's an ominous plume of smoke traversing the landscape.  My soon to be foster daughter-in-law's grandparents live a scant 2 1/2 miles outside of the fire area, so we are all hoping and praying for this fire to come under control quickly!

Taking care of my Mom's estate has taken up nearly all of my time in the past two months, but there has been some time to plan a trip that I have only dreamed of until now!   This dream trip was first fueled when I was still a school girl, listening eagerly to the stories told by my adopted Grandma, Jessie Nevills.  She had taken a round the world cruise on the SS Rotterdam.  In her back yard, she kept a little house, which she called her "Jim Thompson" house filled with things collected on her trip.  Those stories whetted my dream of someday taking a cruise across the ocean myself, though not necessarily taking a trip around the world!

Most of my favorite authors and illustrators are from England and Scotland, and so from the time I was in High School, I've wanted to travel there and see the places that I've read about for so long.   I think it was through the pages of Victoria Magazine, that my dream trip started to come together and I started clipping magazine articles of trips on the QE II across the Atlantic and flying the Concord between London or Paris and the U.S.  And in between, I dreamed and dreamed of spending time walking the hills of the Lake District where Beatrix Potter walked, seeing the places that William Wordsworth wrote so movingly of or walking the Highlands of Scotland written about by my favorite author George MacDonald, or seeing the Yorkshire moors of the Secret Garden.  Then there was the lovely illustrated nature journal by Edith Holden that I loved and paintings by J. W. Waterhouse and J.M Turner that I also loved.  My sister and I read and studied the Arthurian legends in depth and later I came to love Jane Austen.  Oh how I longed to travel to England and Scotland!  So much that at times it hurt to think that I might never get there.

Then, just recently, Susan Branch started writing about her then upcoming trip to England and it refreshed my own dreams!  And suddenly, there was the realization that a golden opportunity had been placed before me to make my own dream trip come true!  So ~ before I find a job here or buy a home and get bogged down by the details of day to day living again ~ I decided to grab hold of my dream!

Trip planning 1
In early July, I will fly to New York City, and embark on a trans-Atlantic voyage to Southampton, England on the Queen Mary 2!

Oh My Goodness!!!  Pinch me!
7 nights aboard the QM2.  Three formal dinners!  3!!!
I had to go buy an evening dress!  My first.  EVER!  (I made all my prom dresses or wore vintage ones ~ but never got to go purchase one, so this is huge for me!)  My daughter and I had a seriously fun day shopping and found a lovely one!

And guess what?  They serve Afternoon Tea every afternoon!  Who needs dinner?  I'll be happy with tea and scones and clotted cream!

So many exciting new things to think about and experience!  A whole week on board to rest, relax and recover from all that has gone on during the past few months.  And then, a whole new adventure begins!

Trip Planning 2
The part I'm most excited about is that there will be a full week in the Lake District!  There will of course be visits to; Hilltop, Beatrix Potter's first home and studio purchased from the proceeds of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit"; to Dove Cottage, home to William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy; walks on the hills; boating trips on the lakes... and hopefully, lots and lots of time to sketch and do watercolors along the way!

Trip Planning 3
In all, I'll be in England and Scotland for a total of 6 weeks!  I'll have a week in Cornwall and the southwest where I hope to visit many of the Arthurian sites, then a week traveling up through the center of the country (and a little Jane Austen along the way) up to the Yorkshire Dales and Moors before heading to the Lake District.  Then two weeks on a tour of Scotland with a tour arranged by Scottish Folk Singer Alex Beaton, which will be led by Donnie MacDonald of the Scottish Folk Group, "Men of Worth"!   My last week in England will be spent getting from Edinburgh back to London, where I'll have several days to visit museums and see the sights before flying back to Denver!

So here I am, in my new hat ready and getting SO excited about this trip!

But first, we finish packing, close on the sale of my Mom's house this coming week and move to temporary Summer quarters with my son Jonathan!  And of course, this coming weekend, we celebrate the wedding of my foster son Gary to his lovely Marcy!


Adrienne said…
Oh, my! I'm SO happy that you are going to see a dream come true! Wish I could stow away in your pocket. Please share your trip with us - we can't wait to hear all about it.

P.S. - Love your new hat! You look great, my friend.
Terri said…
Wow! Sounds like an awesome trip! I hope you have the best time ever!!!
Kathy said…
Pack a small battery operated fan, or a couple of those sandalwood fans you can find in asian gift shops. Even when it's not particularly warm the higher humidity can be uncomfortable, especially in shops and museums. It's good to have "your own breeze".
This sounds like a dream-come-true adventure, to be sure.
Kath said…
You are very like your dear Mamma. Have a great trip.
I am so happy you have decided to grab hold of your dream and take the trip. There are so many things to see in the British Isles! And textiles, stately homes and museums everywhere. Have a great time!
Cathy said…
You are awesome, girlfriend! I know you will have the time of your life. And I look forward to your incredible photos, stories and drawings when you get back. Carpe Diem! Hugs, Cathy
Ati said…
Lisa, I wish you a pleasant trip and I hope you enjoy all the beautiful places in England. It is so nice to get your dream comes true.I have been there several times and enjoyed it much :)
Marty52 said…
How wonderful for you... sounds like a dream come true to me!
Hello Lisa, WOW what a wonderful dream holiday you have plan. I am a B Potter fan and I would love to see the Lake District too oneday. Enjoy every minute. Hugs Judy
Anonymous said…
Lisa, Have a wonderful time. So happy for you- that your dream is coming true. Jane in MO
Good for YOU! Susan's England trip has fueled a lot of folks' thoughts of travel; I'm so glad you're acting upon your dream!
Anonymous said…
WOW, wonderful, fun filled trip is wished for you!!!!!
Dawn said…
Oh, Lisa! This sounds incredible! I am SO happy for you! You must enjoy every single moment for the rest of us who only dream of such a trip!!!
Devon said…
How my what an awesome trip you are going to have,,I am so jealous..that is also my dream to go over to england,,and by the way you look marvalous in your hat,,
Lynn B said…
Hi Lisa,

I have just been reading about your forthcoming trip to our beautiful country. I live only 1.5 hours away from the Lake District and I have visited Beatrix Potter's house, you will love it!
I have visited a place called Bath in England many times, this is where Jane Austen lived for a number of years. She also went to dances in the Pump Rooms where you can take afternoon tea there to this day. I am going to Bath in two weeks time, I can highly recommend a visit for lunch at the Pump Rooms, it is like going back in time, it really is quite lovely.
Try to fit Bath in your agenda, you won't be disappointed!
If you need any more information just email me and I will be delighted to help.
You are doing the trip from New york to Sounthampton that my husband and I would love to do!
I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

Lynn B

Lynn B
Julie said…
How wonderful! You have a very busy and enjoyable trip coming up and I hope you have a fabulous time visiting here. I hope the weather is kind to you too but enjoy it all the same as it is the rain that makes England and Scotland so green. A fan is a good idea though :-) I shall wish you a very warm welcome to the UK in advance. Have fun!
allie aller said…
How richly you deserve this dream trip, Lisa! I am so happy for you....and for us...because the photos you take and share will be amazing, and the inspiration that will infuse your needlework will uplift us all.
Say hi to Tintangel for me!!!! And Bon Voyage....
Con said…
I hope you have a wonderful vacation; you have lots of places to visit and fun things to do. I look forward to hearing your report when you get back - that sounds a bit like school doesn't it!

However don't forget your wooly jumpers and rain coat - summer seems to have passed us by here in UK this year.
Sharon Zimmerman said…
I'm so happy for you. Dreaming of a trip of a lifetime is one thing, but actually being able to take it is another. I wish you safety, health and happiness on your journey. I'll be praying for you too.

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