A Postcard from America

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Hello! Hope you’re well. We are on holiday in the USA; if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know this alreadyūüėä.¬†The photo is of Yosemite Valley, California which has been added to my Favourite Places Of All Time list. I saw monarch butterflies here – in Cook’s Meadow – which was so thrilling. The rest of my family walked off and left me as I tried (unsuccessfully) to get a good photo of one with its wings open! I am the archetypal Embarrassing Mother.

We’ve been overwhelmed by all the new experiences and wonderful sights we’ve seen. It’ll take a while for it all to sink in.. Of course, there have been the usual irritations, usually in the car during long drives – same bickering, different scenery! ¬†Six more days to go, though, and we’ll be back home, so we are trying to enjoy every second. I’ll tell you more next time (a few highlights only, don’t worry!). In the meantime, have a good week.

Sam x

A little piece of paradise

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Firstly, thank¬†you¬†for your good wishes on¬†my previous post. I’ve a lot of¬†catching up to do…

Now, I’m not going to get too¬†deep and meaningful here¬†about life balances, making time for yourself¬†and so on, but having a few days completely away from my¬†usual life has been¬†BRILLIANT. Before I left, I’d had niggling¬†anxieties about the journey and¬†about being away from the children, David and home (daft, I know); I was exhausted and fretful from¬†making sure everyone would be ok and that everything was organised in¬†my absence. But, as soon as we arrived at our friend’s house and¬†stepped out into the glorious sunshine, well, all my cares melted away. I actually felt physically lighter, the worries disappeared and I felt properly¬†relieved, and incredibly¬†happy.

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The sunshine (beautiful and hot), the air (clean and clear), the smell (delicious and herby), the atmosphere (peaceful and relaxed), the house and garden (huge and fabulous), the company (kind and generous) ‚Ästit was all utterly¬†marvellous. I¬†had five days of lazing about, sunbathing, reading, swimming, a little exploring, lots of¬†chatting and laughing, and not a lot else. Perfect.¬†A big part of what made it so lovely¬†was that we were staying with our friend. She picked us up from the airport, drove¬†us around,¬†took us to great places that we probably wouldn’t¬†have found if we’d been visiting on our own, and she thoroughly¬†looked after us. It was such a treat.

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That’s an avocado in the middle there! The garden was full of trees we can’t grow in our UK gardens ‚Äď avocado, almond, orange, pomegranate.
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A pink peppercorn tree ‚Äď Shinus molle ‚Äď native to the Andes. It’s fruit isn’t a true pepper but it is often used as a spice.
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Fabulous tiles everywhere.

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We visited a hilltop castle village where the street signs were in quirky, 3-d tiles.
We visited a hilltop castle village where the street signs were in cool 3-d tiles and there were flowerpots embedded into the walls.

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The orange-tree courtyard.
The orange-tree courtyard.

And now I’m home. Back to the hustle and bustle¬†of daily family life. The children were absolutely¬†fine. Of course they were. We missed each other and time¬†apart has made us (them)¬†appreciate each other (me) that little bit more. Bonus!¬†I feel restored¬†and¬†reinvigorated, raring to go, and I’ll never forget my¬†five wonderful¬†days in Andalusia.

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This wall-hanging is in my friend’s kitchen. Contribute to¬†others’ happiness ‚Äď I think that’s a good mantra¬†to live by. She certainly contributed to mine.¬†