Monday, November 18, 2019

Famous Tavern

All roads lead somewhere.
We weaved our way through cobblestone streets and narrow passageways.

Where'd we end up?
Here. At the Turf Tavern.

It was closed but the owner still let us take a peek.
Apparently, it's all the rage.  A pretty popular hangout.
I have no doubt. Just read the sign!

No matter where you go to get a bite to eat in England, the pubs are cozy. The Turf Tavern feels like your're eating in someone's backyard.
Plants and flowers spilling from their boxes complete the ambiance.
Liquid encouragement anyone?
The Turf is famous!
Oxford. It's full of Magic.
Remember. It says 'alleged.'
Recognize any names?

A fun little detour on our way to our next destination. We thought we'd have time to come back and eat. We didn't.
Just another good excuse to go back on holiday and visit Oxford again. Twist my arm.     

Thursday, November 7, 2019

I wanna go back

Yesterday it snowed. Made me late for work. Not sure what it is about the first measurable snow of the season, but drivers forget how to...DRIVE.

We've turned the clocks back and rolled up the garden hoses. Winter seems to be knocking on our doors.

I'm not ready. I want to go back to Fall where the trees are splattered with hues of red, orange and yellow.
I want to go back to leaf  peeping in New England.
Outstanding scenery.
More to come!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bed and Breakfast. The only way to stay

When you go on holiday, where do you like to stay?

For me, the only choice is a bed and breakfast. It's the best way to be a local. The inn keepers know all the secrets to the villages. Where to eat, what lines to avoid, best places to tour. It's a win win.

Besides, how can you not stay in a place like this?
Look at it. The stuff of fairy tales. 

That's our inn with the purple flowers bursting from the windows.
Ever wonder what an inn looks like?  Come. Take a peek inside.
A comfy chair, a lamp, and lavender. How can you not read in this cozy corner?
This is where we sat for breakfast each morning.
Tea, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches made with cheese and yummy English bacon. We never got hungry.
Up the stairs we went to get our first glimpse of our room. We learned on this trip we packed too much. Our luggage was heavy. Note to self. Next time, pack lighter.
Every morning, I had tea. It has become a daily ritual in my life. The simple things in life truly are the best.
Can you even stand it? CS Lewis books in our room! I was in my glory. Such serendipity. My favorite author's books on display for me to touch and open and count all the ones I have on my bookshelf at home. I had no idea what was in store for me in the next few days, but you can bet I was awake to find out.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Ever heard of Sylvester Marsh?
Me either.
I learned about him while visiting the Cog Railway in New Hampshire.
There's a saying about all journeys begin with a single step. Sylvester Marsh did exactly that when he and a friend hiked up Mt Washington. He had no idea just how difficult that climb would be.

It was dark. They were freezing. It hailed, and they got lost. Basically, the two almost died.
Never the less, it was worth the dramatic sunrise.
What a view.
So, Sylvester decided to build a way for future generations to get to the top a little bit easier.

Enter Cog Railway. 
People deemed him crazy. It wasn't easy, but he succeeded in doing something many thought he couldn't do.
Sylvester was given five years to build the railroad.
Workers found ways to have fun ...YIKES!
Umm...NO. Just, NO!
As close as I will ever get!

At one point, the mountaintop was a place for many to stay on holiday. There was a grand hotel, a post office, and a weather observatory.
There was even a newspaper publication called Among The Clouds. I likely would have worked there!

All was fabulous until a fire burnt everything to the ground. SIGH.
Automobiles came on the scene, and then there was that stock market crash. Not many wanted to take a ride to the top anymore.

So many factors happened to get to where The Cog Railroad is today. Basically, Boston and Maine gets out of the railroad business, Henry Teague then ran the railroad as an attraction, a 1930s hurricane ripped the tracks, Henry dies.
New owner. A derailment causes a death. Weather, which by the way, there is about 42 feet of snow a year! On and on the tension builds.

The whole story is fascinating. A tale of conflict and perseverance in the midst of incredible heartbreak.
"I think I can, I think I can..."
Had to take a photo! Yep...there it was flapping in the breeze, winking at me!
If you ever get to New Hampshire, take a ride on the Cog. You won't regret it.

Monday, October 28, 2019


One of the things I had to be so careful about while inside The Kilns was taking photos.

Many items are copyrighted. So, needless to say, all photos I took inside will have to stay private for my memories only. SIGH.

Bummer. I would love to show you his desk, the kitchen, bedroom, Eagle and Child sign, his marriage license...the list is endless. Put this tour on your bucket list. You'll be so glad you did.

As we entered, we were ushered into the living room area where I got my first glimpse of  THE DESK. The one where CS Lewis sat in the early morning hours with his cup of tea and wrote.

A discipline I'm trying to emulate.

I imagined him sitting there obeying the call to write. I bet he would be so surprised by all those who dub him their favorite author.

Did you know CS Lewis served in WWI? It's where he met Paddy Moore. The two became fast friends. Each made a pact with one another that should either one die, the survivor would take care of their family.
Paddy Moore did indeed pass, and CS Lewis spent the rest of his life keeping that promise.
He took care of Paddy's mother, Jane. Not an easy feat. Paddy also had a sister named Maureen. Both came to live with CS Lewis and his brother Warnie at The Kilns. There's so much I could say here about that relationship...perhaps in a future blog!

One of many fun facts I learned while visiting...CS Lewis never learned how to type. He always wrote with a dipped pen! Can you imagine?
Here I am in the garden at the Kilns writing in my journal. "I am sitting here on the bench in the garden unable to take it all in. Oh the conversations that must have gone on here..."

After the tour, I wanted to spend some time at his grave site. CS Lewis is buried in the Holy Trinity Church cemetery. There's something personal about standing at the grave of someone who lived such an incredibly rich life. It begs the question. How am I living mine?

CS Lewis was a humble man. He died the same day JFK was assassinated. I think Lewis would say he liked the fact his death went relatively unnoticed. Someone a bit more famous had died, shadowing the famous author's passing.

I've read not more than 30 people attended his funeral. Peanuts compared to what the numbers likely would be if he would have died in this generation.

I think that's why I love him so much. So humble. He simply did the next thing without even thinking the generations after him would keep him on the best selling list continuously. He had no idea his writings would influence so many people. He just simply obeyed his calling and wrote. He did the work of waking in the wee morning hours, brewed a cup of tea, and wrote.

I can only follow his example and write simply because that is what I feel called to do.
Thank you favorite author, for your humble example to persevere in doing the day to day habit of doing the next thing.