Cambridge and the (rainy!) Cotswolds

Aug 21, 2017


Our first(!) family vacation abroad far exceeded all my expectations, which I attribute to keeping that bar (of expectations) nice and low: 

long haul flights + two time changes + toddler = anything goes.  



Attempting to sleep (we took a red eye) with a toddler who prefers your arms (not complaining, snuggles forever!) to the wide open seat between you means we were all a bit worse for the wear upon landing at Gatwick. But(!) I'll take a happy, mostly sleeping toddler over a backache, anyday. When Owen leaned over and gave Mark the sweetest kiss on the shuttle in KEF I dissolved into a puddle, right.there.

Our friends also have a toddler (O and I are two months apart!) and pulled out every.single stop as our hosts -- Tom drove two hours each way to fetch us from the airport (and cooked dinner!), while Jess had every baby item we'd ever imagine of needing (and Mother's Day flowers for me!) including sourcing a car seat from a local friend to alleviate some of the packing jenga one surely assumes whilst travelling with a toddler in tow.  

GREAT FRIENDS.


Isla and Owen wasted no time getting themselves into mischief.






Kings College chapel


best scotch egg I've eaten, to date


Isla, the ADORABLE




Bridge of Sighs

we got a wee bit stuck in this very tree...



We spent our first day and a half meandering around their village and Cambridge, grabbing pints and popping into stores as we strolled. Punting along the river Cam was a special treat as Tom/Mark were our punters, and remember the river fondly from my time there studying abroad in undergrad.

Wren Library: we meandered the grounds Trinity College (as well as Kings College) and popped in to see their massive collection of manuscripts. Owen appreciated this stop for about five minutes before climbing underneath the display cases, which prompted our exit.  

Aromi: get the gelato. Trust me.

Pint Shop: quintessential modern English pub. Go for a pint, stay for the scotch egg.

The Eagle: their WWII graffiti ceiling is a gem. 

*of note -- I grabbed a Millionaire Shortbread on a whim and, OMG. I plan to recreate these in the very near future.



Roadtrip! #pipergopoulouses














Our carriage house in the Cotswold's oozed quaint and charming.  OOZED. And while it raining our entire stay (which means we must return again soon) we had a lovely time, minus the evening Owen's jet lag turned into excessive energy.  Also of note, I found kinder bars and proceeded to buy every one I saw. For myself.


Wheatsheaf Inn: Quintessentially English. Dimly lit, gorgeous appointments.  

Mermaid Inn: located in the heart of town, we snagged a private booth (I'm sure the adorable, squirmy toddlers helped) and had one of the most leisurely dinners with our babies in tow.  








Blenheim Palace was palatial and opulent. And rainy. But we persisted! We explored the grounds and came upon the cutest baby sheep while the boys walked off to look at historic things. 

 There were a very tense (for us) few hours when we lost Owen's sole pacifier (the rest were safe in our bags in Cambridge #parentingfail) but alas, all was well and best believe I have spare ones EVERYWHERE now.






























Cotswolds Wildlife Park impressed everyone with the lush grounds, endless animals roaming freer than we'd ever encountered in the states. We were within arms reach of most of the animals which was so special without massive barriers obstructing one's view. The park is welcoming with plenty of space for a picnic and even a playground! Should you find yourself in the area, it's a definite must-see.


After a bit of laundry, packing (playing for the babies) and rest, we boarded the train to london for the next stop on our adventure.

to be continued...

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