Wednesday, May 23, 2012

For the Love of England - Part 2

So there I stood, cheese sandwich in hand, on a street in London. LONDON!!

You guys (that’s Midwestern for “y’all”), I grew up in the cornfields of Illinois. Occasionally my parents would take us to Chicago where I visited beautiful museums and a handful of old buildings, but as I looked around me, seeing London for the first time, I realized that I had never really seen anything old.

My country was a baby compared to England. A mere 200 years old compared to her thousand or so (give or take a few hundred) years. The buildings and museums I had visited in Chicago would be considered “modern” in England.

Granted, Chicago was nearly completely burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, so pretty much everything here has been rebuilt since then. So you’ve got to give Chicago a bit of a break for that. Chicago truly is a beautiful, modern city.

But still, I had never seen anything like these buildings.

Very quickly I fell in love with the sense of history and the preservation of it. It became clear to me on that first visit and has been impressed upon me every time I’ve gone back, that people in the U.K. clearly love their history and their buildings and monuments.

And why not?

These are some of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Not to mention all the crazy goings on that have taken place in them!

Tower Bridge (NOT London Bridge—that’s the next bridge down)

Hampton Court (King Henry VIII’s home—sure would love to have been a fly on the wall back then!)

(tee hee! I just noticed that my sister is in the corner of this picture. Hey, Jenn!) 

Edinburgh Castle (O.K., technically not England, but definitely in the U.K. and definitely old and mysterious)

The hallowed halls of Oxford

Not to mention the old homes and pubs you see on every single street

The sense of history and of preservation in England is truly amazing to me. It sparks my imagination and gives me a great appreciation for the people who have seen fit to carry on this legacy.

Last week you told me one place you love to visit, now tell me: what do you love about where you live?



  1. Hooray for England!! So fun to hear your thoughts and to see those wonderful pictures. LOVE IT!

  2. I love how the people
    here embrace each and
    every season....NOTHING
    keeps us indoors for very
    long, except snow storms
    and tornado warnings!

    I loved Edinburgh Castle
    and hope to visit it again,
    someday : )

    xo Suzanne

  3. I have been yearning to visit London for years. YEARS! The sense of history is one of my favorite parts of traveling overseas.

    I love how much there is to do in Nashville! There's good music all over the place, including free concerts in the summer and fall. Fried pickles, of course. The weather is a step up from Chicago, especially in the winter. It felt like home the very first week I moved here.

  4. Ah, England ... how I miss you and a girl that lives there.

  5. Leigh, you're making me want to come back and really explore your city. My husband and girls were there earlier this year and loved it.

    Suzanne, I think it's cool that you like that about where you live. You people are hearty up there! :)

    Glenda . . . :(

  6. I love the proximity to the ocean...we can pack up our sanwiches & be at the beach for dinner in 10 minutes. I love the proximity to the US border (I love you, Costco Bellingham!!!!), and also to my parents, who live about 3 minutes away. I love the great West Coast food, and the fresh produce we have access to. We're also within about an hour of the mountains - Whistler, where some of the 2010 Olympic events took place. We seem to have it all!

  7. Oh Mrs. C.--I've never been there, but it sure sounds WONDERFUL!!

  8. Shelly, if you make it, I'll be your tour guide! Cindy

  9. You know I share your love for the U.K. I'd love to live there for a while--maybe when our kids are grown?? Who knows?

    Chicago IS indeed a wonderful city. There's just something special about visiting big cities, if you ask me--so many things to see in a navigable area. But one of my favorite vacations was the time we spent two weeks in the small resort town of Verbier, Switzerland. Jack worked for UBS for awhile; there were a lot of good things about having a Swiss bank as an employer!

  10. I love my neighborhood, and my next-door neighbor in particular. From my door to hers is less than 20 steps and it feels like communal living sometimes. I love that I've lived here my whole life and can picture almost any house on any street, and can walk downtown, to church, the college, library, parks, etc. I used to dread the thought of ever having to leave Wheaton, but I do love to travel. Maybe someday I'll have a chance to explore other cities for more than a week vacation.