Monday, March 16, 2009

What's a Durdle?

I'm not entirely sure but we saw one on Saturday. More about that in a minute. Cause right now it's Monday and Spring Break has officially ended. My girls +the boyfriend went back to school yesterday. It’s hard putting both of your children on a flight across the ocean. It’s hard coming home to a very quiet house. I think God knew we needed to see the sun yesterday and the skies here were crystal clear and a most beautiful shade of blue. After dropping everyone at Heathrow just before noon, we decided we would take my husband’s little car for a spin with the top down. We called some friends and met them for lunch at a nearby pub. We sat outside and soaked in the sun and warm temps (well, warmish…it’s still England in March after all!) and that was so much better than sitting in the house feeling sad.

My husband left this morning for a business trip to France and I am pretty sure I could cope with my very quiet house much better if I spent a few days in France too. Instead, here I am ploughing through a mountain of laundry and getting the house back in order and catching up after a week away from my normal routine. I’ll get used to the quiet house again but it takes me a few days and that’s okay too.

We wrapped up our week of Spring Break with a day trip to the Dorset Coast on Saturday. I think it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It’s about a two hour car ride from our home but I confess I like a car ride with my family. Great for bonding, especially in England where driving somewhere new can have a bit of an amusement park thrill ride feel to it. Our first stop was Corfe Castle which is one of Britain’s most majestic ruins with breathtaking views over the Purbeck countryside.

Corfe Castle dates from the time of…guess who again??? If you said William the Conqueror you would be correct. It has been here for over 1000 years and at one time or another has been a military garrison, a royal residence and a family home.

It was deliberately destroyed in 1646 by order of Oliver Cromwell’s Parliament. Corfe Castle is now in the hands of an organization called The National Trust which protects special places all over England, Ireland and Wales for everyone. There are literally hundreds of country estates, castles, abbeys, and gardens now in their care and they make for wonderful days out all around the UK.

Ater exploring the castle we ate a picnic lunch and then headed about 10 miles further down the road to a spot known as Lulworth Cove. Lulworth Cove overlooks Weymouth Bay and the water is at least ten shades of turquoise here.

We took the scenic path (that's code for lots and lots of walking and climbing) along the coast to one of the most photographed sites in the world known as Durdle Door. When you finally come up over the hill and experience your first glimpse of this natural rock arch it absolutely takes your breath away. Well, whatever breath you have left after the walk up …did I mention it’s quite a hike? You'd have to agree though that it is most definitely worth it.

One thing we’ve noticed living overseas is that many sites we know would have big huge safety fences, handrails and tons of DANGER signs if they were located in the US will, in the UK and around Europe, simply have a small notice saying something like ‘Mind the edge’. My husband would say fences shmences…this way is so much more exciting. Then Daughter1 would agree. Daughter2 and I would love to grab a handrail now and then.

We spent the better part of the afternoon just admiring the scenery while sitting on the pebble beach. When it was time to head back no one really wanted to leave. It could have been the view. Or just maybe it could have been Daughter1 acknowledging out loud that this is probably her last visit to the house that has been our home for the past 6 years. Or it may have been the suitcases waiting to be packed for the trip back to school and classes and obligations and real life.

Then again, it might really have been the view....Cheers, Joyce


  1. Breathtaking scenery. I think I would have to agree with you that being in France would be better than doing laundry.

  2. What a beautiful post. That last bit was really sweet and poignant. I can imagine how reluctant you all were for the visit to end.

    May you achieve laundry zen this week and relax to the swoosh of the washing machine. ;)

  3. Hi Joyce! I hope you are a little less sad tonight/tomorrow?(not sure of time difference!lol) I know the feeling and my daughter is only 1/2 hour away! I would need a sedative sending her across the "pond"! Glad you got to spend the day in such a beautiful way! I just wanted to jump into the picture and walk down the scenic path! What a gorgeous shade of turquoise the water is! When I think of England I never think of ruins and ocean (duh)!! just cottage gardens and the beautiful Cottages! Catching up on laundry certainly takes your mind off things but definitely France would be a better choice!!!lol Thanks for your sweet comments on my post! Have a great week - Sincerely, Jeannette

  4. What beautiful scenery!!! You all have had the most amazing week with your daughters and the boyfriend. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures with us. I feel like I have been traveling myself. I know the feeling of an empty house and it is not fun. Luckily I had my Bible study today and we celebrated my birthday there with lunch together. Tonight I went out to dinner with some of my closest girlfriends. Have a great week! Love & blessings from NC!

  5. Joyce,
    Thanks to you, the great posts with English travel recommendations, and gorgeous pictures, our family is heading to those places in just a couple of weeks. Our friends, Sarah and Sydney will be thrilled that we are taking them there shortly after they arrive here from Michigan. I can't wait!

    You do a wonderful job journaling your family's experiences and my life has been enriched to know you through blogging. I sure hope we get to meet someday. :-)

    Blessings to you today,

    P.S. I'll let you know about the crazy travel plans I come up with. :-)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures with us.
    Wow!! is alll I can say. I can see that you wouldn't want to leave.

    My eyes teared up a bit at the end of the post. I imagine it would be very difficult saying goodbye to the girls. I'll keep you in my prayers.

    What a fun week they had and how precious to have such a great relationship with them. Memories like you all shared this past week can never be erased.

    I'm having some of my own (as you know) this week on vacation with my mom and sister. God is so good, isn't He?

    Have a good day Joyce!


  7. Joyce,
    These pictures are incredible! It certainly would take your breath away to see it all in person.

    Hope things are getting back to normal with the college ones back in the states. I left mine on Sunday as well.

    Take care and have a great weekend.