Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Stay At Bosinver Farm Cottages in Cornwall

My review of Bosinver Farm Cottages in Cornwall was posted at Ciao Bambino today. It's worth a read, as Bosinver is such a unique accommodation in a truly gorgeous part of England. It was also a really special week for us, as my parents were here visiting and joined us for this trip. (Unfortunately my husband was back in the U.S. working and had to miss the fun.)

Our cottage was a dream come true. I thought I had stepped into a fairytale when I saw it looming at us from the hill. Surrounded by blooming trees and bright spring flowers, we're still debating what it's original purpose might have been. Still not sure, but I know its purpose the week we stayed was to provide us such a comfy home away from home.

The indoor pool really was a highlight of this place, at least for my family. Built to the highest of ecological specifications, my dad was particularly fascinated with how it was constructed. But mostly we just enjoyed the really warm water, the view over the green hillside, and the memories of little swimmers who were so excited to show their grandparents their improved skills.

I wish I could also share cute photos of my kids feeding the farm animals at one of the daily feedings. I myself enjoyed doling out seeds and oats to all the friendly animals. But let's just say my kids' fear of live animals continues. Sigh. They truly did enjoy admiring all the creatures found on the farm, but they did prefer to keep a safe distance.

I'll be posting a lot more about our time in Cornwall, because believe it or not, we forced ourselves to leave Bosinver's beautiful property once in a while.

This is a part of Friday Postcards at Walking on Travels.

Disclosure: My family was hosted by Bosinver for purposes of my review at Ciao Bambino. I was under no obligation to write about the property here. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

London Transport Museum

I've been talking to lots of friends and family back in Indiana about what a long, horrible winter it was for them. For those of you not from the area, there was a period of several days when everyone was (no exaggeration) frozen inside their homes. Not to mention almost weekly storms that dumped anywhere from several inches to a couple of feet of snow.

On this side of the pond, we had a much milder winter. I sometimes neglected to mention to those back home that we could occasionally still visit the playground or take a hike in the woods without risking instant frostbite. But even without the frigid temps of America, gray, rainy days still got the best of me mentally at times.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Day in Cambridge: Photo Essay

A highlight of my sister's visit back in January was a day trip to Cambridge. We're so fortunate to live just an hour from this remarkable place. I wrote about a kid-free day in Cambridge here and here, back when I visited while we were in the early stages of planning our move to England. It was fun to return, and this time bring the boys.

Our day started with a double decker bus ride on the Cambridge Park n' Ride system (it's easier to park on the outside of the city centre and just take the bus in). These moments are always a good reminder of why it's so fun to travel with little ones. We could have just taken a spin on the bus and they would have been happy with that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Highs and Lows of Expat Life

Whenever I undertake a major organizational project (like cleaning out a closet), it always looks messier at first, but by the time I finish, the results are usually pretty great. I think moving abroad is like that, too, at least for us. The first few months were a little ugly, but the more we get adjusted, the better it looks.

As I shared a few months ago in my post about our 6 month anniversary as expats, we are really settling into life here in England. I can't decide whether it is normal to take several months for a place to feel like home, or if that's actually a pretty impressive length of time given the amount of changes our family made when we moved here.

Regardless, I can already tell that the whirlwind of emotions I've had over the past year has stabilized. I was recently asked to submit a tip for current or future expats for the HiFX Expat Tip Page, which got me thinking about some of the highs and lows of this experience. Before I forget what this first year has really felt like (hindsight is always 20/20, right?), I wanted to share a bit about the emotional realities, at least for our family.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A day at Parques das Nacoes in Lisbon

I think I've been putting off writing about our day at Parques das Nacoes in Lisbon for a few weeks simply because it's probably my last post about our Portugal trip and I just don't want the fun to end. But alas, there are more trips on the horizon this spring that promise to be just as wonderful. So out with the old, in with the new... We had a lovely few hours at this redeveloped part of the city, so I'll mostly let the photos tell you all about it.


We spent our morning at the Oceanario de Lisboa, which claims to be the second largest aquarium in the world. Naturally, the boys loved it. What's not to like about giant tanks of sea life?

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Can Kids Do at Windsor Castle?

A few days ago I shared some of my favorite photos from our visit to Windsor Castle (and I wrote a more comprehensive post about visiting Windsor at Anglotopia). But what did my 4- and 2-year-old sons do while we were there?

Here are a few ideas to keep young kids entertained at Windsor Castle:

  • Pick up the children's audio guide.

(Funky glasses optional.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Day in Windsor with the Queen

I'm currently participating in Mom vs. Winter Germs (Round IV for us this year... and the germs definitely have me beat.) So for my next few posts, I'm going to rely more on my photos to tell the story, and less on my words. (Perhaps that's a good thing?)

Our day in Windsor Castle last weekend was perfectly lovely. Beautiful building. Exquisite, ornate interior. Charming town. Pretty much exactly what I expected. I wrote all about our day at Windsor and neighboring Eton for Anglotopia, but I left out one big detail. We met the Queen.