It’s early in Yaxley, and I’m writing in Sue and Roger’s conservatory (sunroom) so I can see the sky above me through the glass. It’s a gray and rainy day, but I’m cosy with my steaming cuppa, plus Elliott the dog and Skittles the cat to keep me company. I’m trying to catch up on things (I’m dead last in my fantasy baseball league) while I contemplate our first three weeks on the road.
It’s gone by in a whirl. After spending the early part of March selling, donating and tossing our remaining possessions, we had one last great BBQ dinner at Dalie’s with Rosemary and Greg, then loaded up our 12 foot Penske truck and left St. Louis on March 26th.
Perry drove to Defiance, OH that first day and we spent Easter weekend with Gary and Peg (his dad and dad’s wife). After lots of home cooking and card games (and Easter baskets, thanks Peg!), we set off for Rochester, NY for a week with Mason & Karrie (Perry’s brother & sister-in-law), Sadie and Finn (the twins) and Tobey, Henry, Hannah and Bill (the cats). It was a cuddle fest with Sadie and Finn (who are now one) obliging Auntie Paula and the cats obliging Uncle Perry.
After 14 hours on the road (all driven by Perry, what a guy), we said goodbye to the trusty Penske (they were seriously awesome and I’ll never use Uhaul again) and placed our 25 totes of worldly goods in M&K’s attic. Thanks guys!
We spent a very long day in the JFK airport waiting to fly to London. While we arrived into brand-new, Delta Sky Club-containing Terminal 4, we were departing out of the less-than-desirable Terminal 1. In addition to our backpacks, we had one suitcase with back up personal items and toiletries to keep at our home-base of operations (aka Roger and Sue’s) here in England. As we had to collect our bag, we couldn’t hang out in Terminal 4, but since Norwegian Air didn’t open their counter until 5:30 pm, we couldn’t go through security in Terminal 1 until we checked our bag. We spent five hours sitting on chairs that they purposely make uncomfortable with sharp metal bars to prevent you from sitting back. Ostensibly, this is done to keep the random public from hanging out at the airport all day, but for the actual travelers stuck there, like us, I considered this classic New York ‘You’ve spent your money, now get the hell out of here’ attitude.
So far, it’s felt like home being in the UK with lots of familiar faces and places, and the country has even managed to gift us relatively decent weather. We’ve had quiet walks in the beautiful countryside and even managed a three-day trip down to Cornwall, which I will write about separately, but mainly we have been catching up with our lovely friends during many events and outings.
- A visit to Susie’s cottage in Buckinghamshire with Alex
- A day at Sacrewell Farm with Karen, Harry & Dominic
- A grand return to pub quiz at the Three Horseshoes for two consecutive Thursday’s (one win and one snowball jackpot)
- A pizza party at Sue and Roger’s with homemade, wood-fired pizza courtesy of Chef Sue, followed by a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity (Roger won)
- Lunch with several friends from AB Mauri
- A night out in Stamford with the pub quiz team (a Turkish feast followed by a pub crawl)
- Afternoon tea prepared by baker extraordinaire Alison
- A visit with our former neighbors Liz, Kim and Lottie, but sans Puss the Cat who has moved on to a new home, the tart!
- A visit with an American, Erica, who recently moved to Peterborough and married a local! In one of those ‘small world’ coincidences, we were introduced by Rosemary last summer in St. Louis and agreed to meet up when we arrived.
Food has also been a major factor (as you can see by the food centered outings above), but I’ve also gotten my fix of favorites courtesy of Tesco.
- Bacon sandwich with HP sauce
- Warburton’s crumpets (sorry, Kingsmill)
- Cheese! (Wookey Hole Cheddar & Wensleydale with Cran)
- Walker’s Sweet Thai Chilli Crisps
- Wispa biscuits
- Unlimited fresh figs (Perry)
Throw in all the Sauv Blanc and G&T’s, and they are going to have to roll me out of here.
We leave for Copenhagen tomorrow, but I want to thank our friends for the British hospitality. We are grateful to all of you! Roger & Sue, Karen, Harry & Dominic, Alison & Mario, Helen & Sean, Mike & Lindsey, Liz, Kim & Lottie, Alex, Susie, Juliet, Joanne, Hannah, Kaye, Kristy, Elizabeth & Billy.
Bring on Scandinavia!