Monday, June 28, 2010


My journey home started with a proposal and an email.  A wedding proposal to be exact, which was given to my cousin, who later sent an email inviting me to celebrate her big day with the rest of my extended family. 

Initially I wasn't going to go.  In doing so I'd break all my previously stipulated principles.  And I couldn't do that, because I am a woman of my word.  I try not to waver in my thoughts and actions.  I stand firm in my resolutions.  In going back to the states I'd be unfaithful to myself, who I am, and my hard rooted principles... unless...

Unless I could save face by going back without having to take any vacation days.  Because I did have a desire to see both my immediate and extended family and have a mini-reunion of sorts; one that we haven't had in nearly 10 years.  And I did want to see friends that I hadn't seen in over 2 years (since I can count on one hand the number of friends who had come to visit me during that time).

And when I received confirmation from my manager that I could work from the office in North Carolina, thus enabling me to take a 2 week vacation without using a single vacation day (well, I did use one day), I bought tickets for my flight home.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Over two years ago, when I stepped on the plane to Amsterdam, I said goodbye to my home country and didn't look back.  Initially it was because I was too enthralled with the prospects of the new adventures that lay ahead of me.  Time wore on, and my love for Europe grew through all my travels.  Because of that, any thoughts I may have had of a return visit dissipated.

When anyone asked if or when I would go back, I'd reply "not anytime soon, that's for sure" before they finished their sentence. When they'd question my desire to see family and friends, I'd respond "they can just as easily see me, and have a LOT more fun in the process!

My confession is this: I had no desire to return to the US.  Mainly, I didn't want to use any of my 5 weeks worth of precious vacation days in a place I grew up in. And dare I say, I even became a snobbish expat, loving my current country (or continent, actually) better than that of my birth.  There, I said it.  Fellow Americans, forgive me.  Now let's move on.

....Because I did go back.

But I'll tell you about that later.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Holy Ground... in my eyes.

London Temple

Before and after seeing the Druid's holy ground, Britt and I went to two places we think are holy.  We figured if we had to make a spontanious roadtrip, we were going to make the best out of it... and the only way to do that was to include the Preston and London temples. 

Preston Temple

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy ground?

Since the construction of Stonehenge is left to speculation, it has become a site of mystery and more notably, spirituality amongst Druids. They believe the site holds healing powers.  Some theologists have suggested it was the ancient Druids themselves who built Stonehenge as a temple.  Others state that the Druids were formed in the late 1700's, thus dispelling previous theology.  Either way, Druids of today can be found gathering around the magnificent structure every year during Summer Solstice.

Little did I know, though, that I would have a Druid encounter of my own. I first noticed him while Britt and I were snapping away at our cameras, as he made his way beside us, barefoot, holding his sandals in his hands.  Knowing that walking barefoot signifies the ground is holy (thanks to the story of Moses and the burning bush), I turned my attention away from Stonehenge to him.

He walked up as close to the partition as he could, knelt down and bowed his head.  30 seconds later he stood up, still facing Stonehenge, with his arms extended downwards, his palms facing the same direction he was, while looking up into the sky. He then turned with his back towards Stonehenge and assumed the same position as before.

As in awe as I was to see Stonehenge itself, I was equally in awe of the ritual I had just seen.  And I ended up catching glimpses of it 3 more times as he made his way around the structure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

1 of 56 Wonders

Why are there multiple classifications on the 7 Wonders of the World?
7 Wonders of the World
7 Wonders of the Modern World. 
7 Wonders of the Medieval World. 
7 Natural Wonders of the World.
7 New Wonders of the World.
7 Wonders of the Industrial World.
7 Wonders of the Underwater World.
7 Wonders of the Ancient World.

If I'm not mistaken, that makes 56 Wonders, not 7.  I'm not writing this as a complaint by any means, since, through my travels, I've found multiple locations that I wish could be added to the list.  My goal for a while has been to see THE 7 Wonders of the World.  So far I haven't even been able to start that list yet.  However, branching into the categories, I recently saw my second of the 7 Wonders of the Medieval World (the first being the Colosseum). After all, if I was going to be stuck in England, there's no way I was going to pass up Stonehenge. And as a member of the primary list of the 7 Wonders or not, it is an incredible and marvelous structure.
Stonehenge is surreal and much larger than I had ever imagined it to be.  It was believed to be erected between 3000-2100 BC.  Each stone measuring around 22ft high with another 8 or so feet below ground and weighing about 25 tons. And there are an unlimited number of theories based on how people, in an era thousands of years before Christ, managed to not only erect the mighty structure, but bring the stone from distances as far as Wales and Scotland.
I was in awe.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Cotswolds

If you've never been to England, and you're preconceived notion of what the country looks like is anything similar to mine, you'd love the Cotswolds.  It's the epitome of everything I think England should be.  Green rolling hills, stone walls, sheep, and towns with names like Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.
chocolate shop in Stow-on-the-Wold

Moreton-in-Marsh Curiosity Shop... leaves you, well, curious.

It's the type of place you wish you were riding through in a 1950's British convertible with the top down in order to see it all... in as much style as the landscape has.  And I'm certain the beauty of the landscape only enhances as the Summer season approaches.  But green leaves or no green leaves, the Cotswolds is still picture perfect.