In England · Military Life · Wanderings

Halftime Show: Our English Adventure Part 1

The new year has me thinking about how quickly our time in England has passed. We’re more than halfway there! Now, at the halfway point and just before our second son arrives, seems like a great time to review our time in England so far. What a trip it has been!

Let’s start at the beginning: pre-deployment. June to July 2011. (But only if you promise to overlook the fact that the photos are a hodge-podge of iPhone, DSLR, Lo Mob and black & white shots!)

Baby Eating Sock

We arrived in England with our 6-month-old son after living in a huge old house in Omaha for six years. Our first weeks were spent in temporary housing, car shopping, house hunting and learning how to drive on the “correct” side of the road.

Littlest Navigator

I instantly fell in love with the lavender and poppies blooming everywhere.

Poppies

Within two weeks we found an efficient small British-spec car and a very cool townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds. We also purchased a Maclaren stroller, because the Snap & Go frame + car seat combo was really cumbersome on the uneven sidewalks and our smooth-rollin’ BumbleRide was in a crate on some ship somewhere.

Our British Car

Abbey Gardens

It didn’t take long to discover the differences in English living compared to what we’re used to in America. Hot summer sun, dryers and farmer’s markets were what I missed the most.

Laundry Drying

Bury St. Edmund's Market

We took advantage of the transition period to explore locally, visiting some really remarkable destinations.

Wells-Next-the-Sea

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Ickworth

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Anglesey Abbey

(I think of it every time I watch “Downton Abbey.”)

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Anglesey Abbey Library

Anglesey Abbey

Ely Cathedral

(This is St. Edward’s chair seen in King’s Speech.)

Baby on the Throne

London

London Eye

Ipswich

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It would be months until our household goods arrived. A friend helped find loaner toys from an English friend of hers, beefing up the stash of small toys we packed in our suitcases. No exersaucers, no music tables, not even a pile of Tupperware. Our little guy learned to pull up to standing on suitcases in temporary housing, and taught himself to sit down from standing using just a bare wall for support.

Standing Baby

He slept in his Pack & Play in the mean time. We also discovered that there can be a few hot-for-England days in the summer. Temps in the 80’s feel especially hot after weeks in the 60’s and without air conditioning. Especially on the day you move out of TLF, schlepping the loaner items from Airman & Family Readiness and the giant bags of everything you brought with you. But it doesn’t last long.

Baby in Pack & Play

That’s just the first (maybe) six weeks we lived in England. Once my husband deployed, I spent my days hoping/nagging for the delivery of the rest of our stuff and desperately seeking things to do. Fortunately, there is an abundance of historic sites within an hour or two of anywhere in England.

To be continued…

Read on! Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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The more I dive into this review, the more I wish I had used something like Memory Hive to organize our adventures. Don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter our $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! {THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED}

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11 thoughts on “Halftime Show: Our English Adventure Part 1

  1. Wow, halftime already?! It is so strange to see the little guy as a baby since he looks like such a big boy these days.

  2. Um, can I come visit you? Lol. Those photos look amazing, although I wouldn’t trade the weather I have here hehe. Your son is sooo cute too, what a way to open up a blog post with that cute face right at the beginning. I can’t even imagine the transitions of bringing a 6mo to a new country, but you did it! Can’t wait to read the rest…

  3. Lynn, your pictures are just the best – you make even dreary English skies look vivid! The little guy has grown so much in just 18 months!

  4. Wait, so you get to come back soon? I didn’t know that! But these pictures are great and W is freaking adorable. That picture of him on St. Edward’s chair is so cool!

  5. sychela, the “coming back” part depends on your perspective. While there’s a good chance we’ll get back to the States at the end of this tour, we have no idea where. Hopefully there’s a Panera and Chipotle wherever it may be!

  6. Thank you for sharing! What wonderful adventure and how hard it must have been going that long without household goods -ugg

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