« british holiday «

Okay, okay, so much to tell!  Dave and I spent a week together in and around London, England.  Warning:  this post may contain some British speak, but I got hooked on the way they speak and their words and love it!

This vacation and subsequent post would not have been possible without some amazingly awesome people:  my mom, Megan, Ali & Josh.  Seriously, these ladies (and guy) embraced the opportunity to help us – practically pushing me out the door :).  I can’t even begin to think about EVERYTHING they did because I know I’m not aware of most of what went on.  As much as I thought I would worry and want to be involved from afar, I realized I didn’t need to….I knew the kids were having a great time and being taken care of (plus there was nothing I could do anyway).  The 7 hour time difference made this easier for me.
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So knowing I could take a short hiatus from “Mom,” meant I could focus on being a wife and it was incredible!!  After 16 years together, Dave and I still have the best time together and this trip will go down as a favorite.  We had the best weather — sunny and 70’s the entire time (very rare for that neck of the woods), we were able to do everything we wanted, and we got to spend oodles of time with family.

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Let’s start at the beginning.  Adobe holds their biggest conference here in SLC in March, and then they hold a similar smaller conference in London in May.  There was talk that Dave would not be going this year to London.  Then in mid-April it was determined that he would in fact be going and he wanted to take me along.  I honestly didn’t see how it could happen — we have a very large/expensive get-away planned for the end of the year.  But then my family stepped up and made it possible by agreeing to childcare.  Since Nate & Tasha moved to the London area 6 months ago they were VERY anxious for a familiar face, so we were glad we could make it work.

Dave flew out on Sunday and was able to spend a day with Nate & Tasha before heading to London for his conference.  I left Tuesday and arrived first thing Wednesday.  I was not thrilled about flying that far by myself, but it ended up working out just fine.  I was very excited to see two familiar faces waiting for me at the airport: Nate & Tasha.  They whisked me off to the beautiful countryside of England where they live.  Nate headed to school and Tasha and I hit the ground running to keep me awake – it wasn’t hard because there was so much to see and do; oh and the driving on the wrong side kept me on edge :-).  We were able to spend the day shopping which was a highlight of the trip.  I can’t remember the last time I spent the entire day shopping, knowing I didn’t need to get home – so liberating!  I was also able to experience the everyday life of the England McNamees.
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Wednesday also happened to be our 16th anniversary!  Dave was nice enough to take the hour train ride to Nate & Tasha’s to pick me up.  Then we took it back to the hotel in London where I slept like I’ve never slept before :-).

Thursday was Dave’s last day of his conference and in order to save time and money, we decided it would be best if I took the train by myself to meet Tasha rather than Dave taking me.  That’s where my small-town girlness came out.  I was so scared figuring out all the tube routes I needed to take to the train station, but I did it!!   And we spent another brilliant day together, enjoying the best views on a hike and some incredible food!  I then took the train by myself again to meet my sweetheart in downtown London.

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We spent the next day together, just the two of us touring London.  According to my FitBit, I walked almost 20,000 steps so that sums up the day.  We rode a boat on the Thames, took a spin in the London Eye, explored Kensington Palace {where we learned all about the indomitable Queen Victoria – she really was awesome}, saw all the necessary sites: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Tower of London, Parliament, and so much more!  I’ve been to London before and it wasn’t my most favorite; this time I loved it……every second of it! It was lovely to be with just Dave exploring this huge and busy city.
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Early the next morning we packed an overnight bag and headed back to Haslemere (an hour south of London) to spend more time with the McNamee family.  They took us to all of their favorite spots which were beautiful, incredible, amazing, unbelievable and which we loved, but Dave and I just couldn’t get over the greenness.  Everywhere it’s green.  The trees and shrubs are everywhere.  So much so that you can’t see anything.  Houses are hidden, fields are hidden, the train is hidden.  It is so different from here in the wide open space.  If I had to say just one sentence about the English countryside it would be this:  those places you see in Jane Austen books REALLY ACTUALLY exist, and they are even more beautiful in person!!
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After eating way too many delicious sweets, chocolates, and Indian food (my favorite), and attending their ward we decided to say cheers and head back and enjoy one last night in downtown London!  Our hotel was literally a stone’s throw from the Tower of London, so dinner at a pub overlooking it seemed the appropriate way to bid the city adieu.
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All that jet lag and prep was worth it.  Best 16th anniversary trip ever!!

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our last name as found in and around England

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