Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A tree is a tree. A cave is a cave. A village is a village.

Dearest Dan,

We're going to have our first early night here! It's almost 11pm, and I can't believe we're getting ready for bed before midnight! Woohoo!

Today was, as you put it, marvelous. We got to enjoy a lazy morning and sprung into action to make puri aloo at Bua's suggestion! I can see that I get my spontaneity from my family. We got to go through hills, reservoirs, and lakes to get to the beautiful village of Castleton. I don't remember coming to this area called the Peaks District with all these hills, lakes, caves, and hiking trails when we were younger. The English countryside is just like I imagined and remembered it. Rustic pubs around corners, sheep and horses polka-dotted on hillsides (or in Serenese - baas and horsies), little tea shops and ice cream parlors in little cobblestoned allies. Today, I really felt like we were in someone's fairy tale. Stone-laid paths leading to castles and caverns. Little secret gardens, streams with ducks waddling about, and tea (a drink with jam and bread, or in our case, scones).

Our companions were great! Bua and Phuphaji are fun to spend time with, and Seren just lights up the day with her smiles! I love spending time with young humans - the whole world looks different through their eyes. My favorite moment from the day was you reading our favorite Winnie the Pooh story to Seren. Her smiles and giggles were to die for!

My ride in the cave with you in the Speedwell Cavern was fascinating! First, I was having a hard time processing the sing-song Irish accent of our tour guide and the constant ricocheting of his voice in the eerie acoustics of being 220 meters under the ground on a cave lake wasn't helping. I totally felt like I was in the boat with Dumbledore headed towards the cave lake to find a horcrux. Except, it was only better - we got to ride for about an hour deep under ground in a cave in a boat! I wonder a lot about that little girl in front of us who laughed and talked loudly and disruptively the whole journey into the cave and when we told her mother we couldn't hear anything, her mum said she had learning differences and put a phone in the girl's hands. I can imagine that's a touch position to be in, but I also wonder what I would do if I were in her position. Maybe something different. Maybe the same exact thing.

Our Cave today

The Cave Lake - HP 6 - Credit: Harry Potter wiki -

220 meters below the earth! First discovered in 1770!

The amazing entrance to the Devil's Arse. Who knew it would be so pretty?

Then, wandering through an English village and devouring English tea and scones with clotted cream and jam was heavenly. I think I consumed enough dairy to last me a lifetime on Pluto. It was so so good though! And having high tea in England is a whole different experience!

Fresh and hot scones with hot tea and rich rich rich rich rich clotted cream and jam!

At night, we made it to an English pub (Porter Brook) and though it was marinated in smells of fish and chips, we enjoyed our yummy veggie burgers - so much so that a stranger asked us how they were - and I'm convinced he based his question on our constant oohing and aahing and mmming while we are our burgers. Then we walked home and talked about life, the past, the future, and breathed in every step and every moment.

Today, I learned that my grandfather used to say, "A tree is a tree is a tree". No matter what and where, a tree is a tree. But I'm not too sure about that. A tree in Castleton, England, UK has seen and lived things that a tree in Boulder, Colorado, USA has not. And vice versa. I am glad I got to take in things, experiences, and life unique to where we were today.

Thanks for that.

And now...

time to cuddle and snore.

I love you,

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