We have been home for several weeks – recovered from jetlag, unpacked, bonded with the cat, got the leak under the sink fixed – and are back into our routine. I am happy to be back in my nice home office! I have been working on the content for the “Cotswolder” website and hope to have it ready in another month or two.
Here is a good article about vacation rentals for two in England: 20 Romantic Cottages for Two, Treat your loved one to a romantic Valentine’s getaway in a bolthole for two. From a converted dovecot to a former coastguard station, Annabelle Thorpe picks 20 unique country retreats which are all available in February. The Observer, Sunday January 13 2008.
I am making a list of my favorite vacation rental agencies and other resources for finding vacation rentals in the Cotswolds – comparing websites, comparing prices for US agencies who represent England agencies (I am surprised at how much you can save by booking with the English agency). I am also writing up descriptions of our favorite Cotswolds towns and activities. I will post on this blog when I get the new pages added.
Chris and Frank are in Paris
Chris, a SlowTrav moderator, and her husband Frank are in Paris for three weeks. I have been following along on her blog The Best Trip Ever. The weather has been colder and wetter than she expected, especially compared to their California weather at home, but the trip sounds relaxed and delightful.
More About Jane Austen
Over the years we have been to Steventon where Jane Austen was born and lived for the first part of her life, Adlestrop in the Cotswolds where she visited her uncle, Bath where she lived after leaving Steventon, Chawton where she moved to after Bath (her father died and she moved with her mother and sister to live near her brother), and Winchester Cathedral where she is buried. We have not seen the house she lived in at Winchester for the last few months before she died and we still have to see some southern England sights that she would have seen.
I found a good “Jane Austen” walk from her home in Chawton on a Hampshire tourist website. Literary Walks in East Hampshire: A Walk from Chawton to Farringdon [page gone].
“…and the plan is that we should all walk with her to drink tea at Faringdon” Letter to Cassandra, 29th May 1811.
Going to Savannah!
In just over a week, we are off to Savannah, Georgia for a week to attend a SlowTrav party (The Great Slow Travel Gathering). It does feel a bit strange now that Slow Travel is no longer “mine” (SlowTrav.com was sold to Internet Brands in 2007) and I don’t have anything to do with the site or the forums, but I am looking forward to seeing old SlowTrav friends and meeting people that I have talked to on the forums for all these years. Four days of events have been planned by the organizers. Steve and I are also looking forward to seeing Savannah and blooming flowers (nothing has bloomed yet in Santa Fe). We booked an apartment in the center of town for a week.
After Savannah we will drive up to Charleston for a night, then to Atlanta for the Vacation Home Expo, where I will be helping at the Slow Travel booth.
I am already planning the next trip to England. A few nights near Chawton to do that Jane Austen walk and see more of the area where she lived, a week in Glastonbury because we never made it there on the last trip (we have been there for a day trip, but Deborah Crombie’s mystery “A Finer End” made me want to go there again), a week in Devon because we have not spent enough time there, and, of course, a couple of weeks in the Cotswolds.
We are giving up for now on our “year in England” for many reasons.
- I really don’t know if I can do without this southwest sun for that long.
- I want to be here for the November elections – this is all too exciting to miss.
- I can’t face moving out of our house to rent it out.
- I want to get my new websites going ( www.cotswolder.com and www.sloweurope.com ). I had forgotten how long it takes when you are starting from nothing, but I love working on a website!
- I want to do more traveling in the US this year. We did a lot of traveling here 20 years ago and I want to revisit some places – still looking for a place to move to.
- We want to do a longer trip to France. Steve has been working on his French for a few years now. He reads the newspaper every day in French (Le Monde, downloaded to his Kindle). He listens to the radio in French. We have not been in France much since our big trip 20 years ago, except for two weeks in the Luberon in 2004. It seems like the time is right to go for a visit.
I look at our photos and think about our Cotswolds trip and am happy that we were able to spend that time in the Cotswolds. It would have been better if we had not been sick for the last two weeks, but these things happen. We were not much better when we got home (our English virus may have morphed into a Santa Fe virus – lots of things have been going around here), but at least we were at home.