Travel, coming home to England, miscellaneous notes

I sit here, in a rather lovely hotel room, in Didsbury, just outside of Manchester, about to head out to the Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden. (I should really add a “botanical garden” category with as many as I visit).

We’ve been busy, 10 days of Mark’s mom and grandmother visiting with us in the U.K. Followed by three, not the previously planned two, weeks in Pittsburgh, from landing Sunday morning in London to now being outside Manchester.

It is very surreal, coming “home” to England, but home it is, it *feels* like home.

I enjoyed being in our house again and being able to fuss with house and garden stuff. I planted and transplanted many more perennial flowering plants, the idea being the more I plant now, the more filled out and mature the garden will look when we actually return to living there. My brother is doing an excellent job taking care of the place (and our stuff!), I feel much more relaxed about this whole renting situation then I did when we first moved.

It was wonderful to visit with friends and family. I’ve never felt more popular! We should have left the country sooner! We were never this busy before we left, everyone wanted to make the most of the time we were there and it felt good to have a few weeks of being intensely social after a few months of (mostly) entertaining ourselves. Now we just need to see some follow through with all the promises of coming to visit!

Greenbean, Greenbean, Greenbean! We both loved having three weeks to spend with our kitty, Bean. Even on the first night we were home, she fell right back into all her old habits and routines. Nothing could make me feel more loved and missed than a buzzing Fuzzy Bean sleeping on my pillow next to me in the night like we never left her behind. *sniff* It will be months until we see her again. Mark’s mom is the best we could have hoped for in a foster home for Bean while we’re away. She sends us photos and shares little stories of her adventures with us almost daily. It’s so sweet and reassures us that she is being well cared for in our absence.

We came to the U.S. with three empty suitcases and managed to fill four, with a total weight of 208 lbs for the return trip home (with a weight limit of ~50lbs per bag, how did we know to buy just what we did :) Everything in the U.K. is extraordinarily expensive and I will never complain about prices of goods in the U.S. ever again. Hence, the orgy of spending for items we needed, which we bought in the U.S. and carted them back with us.

The coming weeks are promising to be interesting, with a week in Madrid and a week in Athens. I honestly do feel guilty that I get to explore and experience these places during the day while Mark is at work, knowing how much we enjoy each other’s company on adventures. But, such as the situation is, I’m making the most of it.

For now, I’m off to explore what Manchester has to offer, starting with the botanical garden.