As most of you know, Wife and I are DINKS. Yes that's right I said it. Dual-Income No Kids. We enjoy the good life. No messy diapers (well except for when I eat Chinese food), no incessant whining about "if we're there yet" (wherever the hell "there" is), and certainly no kicking of people's seats in airplanes. Yes it is the good life.
So what do we do with this "good life"? Well I'm glad you asked. Largely we sit around the house watching Law and Order reruns. I mean what else would you do other than watching very formulaic television? Oh you're CSI fans? I can appreciate that.
In any case about four months ago my wife went out with a bunch of women who belong to another socio-economic demographic, the SILKS. Single-income lots of kids. Well during the course of their girls night out it became quite apparent to Wife that these women, while no doubt loving their children (we hope so anyways) would love the freedom to go on holiday whenever or wherever they wanted. In fact the underlying theme became one of discontent over never being able to travel like they dreamed.
Now for most people this is a common rumination. The dream of "what could have been". However as I stated before we're DINKS, so why ruminate when we can do. So we called our friends in England (also DINKs), called our cat sitter (yes I know it's sad but we don't trust our "kids" with just anyone), and booked our flights. We were off to England.
Now here in is another of the great joys of being a DINK. Not only do we get to book our flight at a moment notice with little if any planning but we also get to do so with little if any planning. We had no itinerary for where or what we wanted to see. We had a vague idea that we wanted to see London and possibly celebrate a drunken Hogmanay with my kilt wearing, sheep stomach eating cousins. Other than that we had no plans.
Now this can be good and bad. It means that we're completely flexible about where and when we can go places. It also means that you might forget to bring the address of the place you're staying at with you. This can cause problems if for example you don't have an EU passport and you have to pass through customs and say to the customs officer..."um, well I know we're going to be in Dorset, I'm sure I packed the address in my checked luggage." It doesn't make a very good impression. But whoever got in trouble for lying to an immigration official...oh yeah right.
Not withstanding this little faux pas we got through immigration safe and clear only to find our ride...not there. Three heart attacks later John arrived just like he said he would. He'd gotten a flat tire on his way to the airport. Which actually was the worst thing that happened to us for our entire trip, so I think I can characterize this vacation as a success.
Since I'm sure you don't want to hear all of our travels I'll give you a day by day synopsis:
12/28 Drive to JFK, drop off our car with friends, fly over the "pond".
12/29 Jetlagged arrive at Gatwick. Visit the London LDS temple and the city. Take oodles of pictures.
12/30 Drive north to York. Do the ghost walk through the old city.
12/31 Hang out in Halifax take a surprisingly long nap. Go to Leeds for the New Year
1/1 Shop and spend money we would otherwise spend on diapers.
1/2 Go north to Hadrian's Wall and Dumfries Scotland. Return to the southcoast.
1/3 Decide we should go to Barcelona for the weekend. Book our flights and all. Go to the movies.
1/4 Visit Corfe Castle on the south coast.
1/5 Fly down to Barcelona.
1/6 All day in Barcelona touring around. (Please note if you follow the link, I didn't take those pictures so that's why there aren't more of the Wife)
1/7 Visit Girona and return to England.
1/8 Fly back to NYC. So sad.
Well that's all for now. I'll post more of the photos into albums as I have time. Also Wife wants to mention that deep fried Mars bars are the greatest food ever invented and that if she had her druthers that would be all she'd eat. Personally I think she's trying to convince me to try them so I have a coronary young.
Song of the day: Actually I'm going to make this the album of the day. Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble's Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon. It's a fascinating blend of East and Central Asian music as only Yo Yo Ma could do. I highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates classical music.