Vienna was the perfect place to be to get into The Christmas Spirit, and December 1st was the perfect time to come home to our families and memories and traditions.
Looking back through these shots of course got me missing Vienna…but right now, I wouldn’t trade being home for all the markets and pretty lights and Kinderpunsch in the world. I’m taking turns looking at our tree and our stockings over the fire, and listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas for the fourth time today, with my mother curled up next to me as she “just rests her eyes.”
Merry little Christmas, everyone. (:
Here are just a few more shots from Cotwolds, plus Scotland and Wales. I realized when I uploaded my few shots of Scotland, how poor a portrayal they were of her beauty. The little time I spent there this semester was a return trip, though – I visited Scotland for the first time last summer, and got much better photos that time around. The panoramas are shaky first attempts, from a few semesters ago – but they are of the two most lovely places I saw in Scotland.
And speaking of beautiful things in Scotland, God answered my prayers and let me see some friends again, whom I met last summer. Shauni, Adam, Sara, and Billy – you cannot know how wonderful it was to see you again. And to meet you, Mrs. Nichola! It was a highlight of my entire three months abroad.
Other British highlights were buying too many books, drinking too much tea, seeing The Lumineers and The Civil Wars in Manchester, riding a horse named Penny around Scottish farmland, and staring out of train windows for hours at a time. The countryside there looks exactly as you imagine it – green and cloudy and sheep-ridden.
I’ll miss you, Britain. Take care, and Happy Christmas, while I’m gone.
I think these pictures convey that. Also that I completely win the Who Has the Coolest and Prettiest Sister contest. Sorry, everyone.
She turned twenty-two, two days ago. I gave her little nesting dolls from Poland and made her a cake in the shape of an owl, and we shot a roll of film (and some digital, of course) because we haven’t in a long time. It was a good day.
Also, I do know how to spell “Jordan,” but I didn’t know how to say it when I was little. I called her “Jordna,” and it stuck.
Love you, sister. You hottiepants, you. (;
If you’ve ever wondered what Heaven will be like, I think I found it a little over a month ago in the English countryside. This is Stow on the Wold, one of the many villages in the Cotswolds. (Most of which have prepositional phrases in their names. Thank you for your fine work, England.) We spent an evening and a morning there. On the morning, I woke up early and had an hour all to myself to smell lavender and pet grey horses on the nose and watch the sun peek out over the hills and breathe in big lungfulls of cold morning air and then breathe it out as steam and watch it curl and evaporate.
You may have to know me to fully appreciate how much of a direct gift from God all of this was for me, and how much joy it brought my soul.
Then I got to make amends with the innkeeping gentleman who scolded us the night before for squeezing six girls into a room intended for four. (I know it’s bad, but we had no money) I said I was sorry and thanked him for letting us stay anyway; he raised an eyebrow and said, ” ’twas very naughty of you,” and then we moved on to being friends. I told him and his wife about my travels this semester, and they let all of us (and our cab driver) stay for breakfast.
Then we drove into town, and I found a door that may or may not lead to Narnia and bought four books that I didn’t have room for in my backpack. A wild success, in my book.
Hopefully I will never, ever go a whole month between posts again. I just have one last paper to write before I’m all done with school, so I won’t be able to use the “busy” excuse again for a while, after Thursday. More photos from Britain, Paris, Hallstatt, and Vienna are all on the way, and I’ve got some shoots lined up with clients after Christmas!
And speaking of Christmas, I hope yours is off to a merry start. (: