If I had to think of one word to describe our week in Southend-on-Sea, I might use "quiet." Quiet in the best way possible, though. We came directly from Madrid, where our final days were full of packing, cleaning, and just a pinch of chaos (that any international move can involve).
Hello from Worthing, England! We left Spain two and a half weeks ago and are really excited to be spending this month in southern England, dog sitting, visiting friends, and seeing more of this sometimes-sunny country! We've focused all of our previous visits on London, so it's been great to see some other towns and areas (although we have already snuck in a quick weekend to the capital...it's the greatest city in the world, how could we not?!).
Well, my computer went kaput late last week so I am relying on posts that I already had the photos uploaded and ready and just needed to do the writing for...as all my photos are lost somewhere in cyberspace/computer graveyard currently. This could be last of the France posts unless someone is able to resurrect the old one BUT four people at the Apple store told me the issue is "muy, muy raro" and sent me away, so I'm not holding out too much hope. Until we decide to buck up and buy a new one, this is all I've got. I know you're just as sad as me. ;)
Danny's favorite village on our trip through southern France was Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (see all about it here), and although it was really, really lovely (the river! the cliff! the pretty houses! the valley below! the combination of everything put together!), it was a touch touristy for me, and wasn't my top spot. Loubressac, while it doesn't have the natural beauty that some other villages can boast, is impressively beautiful architecturally. Every single house, even the newer ones, is pretty, and feels really classically French (even though I'm really no expert).
Just when I think we've seen it all in Madrid, I'll overhear friends or coworkers talking about somewhere they went over the weekend or I'll reopen a guidebook to make sure we've really checked it all off, and sure enough, we haven't. That was kind of the case with Parque de El Capricho - I'd heard a few a friends mention it and had brushed it off like, "I know all the good parks! This one can't be worth it!!" But then...I saw a picture. And someone mentioned only certain amounts of people being allowed in at a time, and I started to get intrigued. I told a friend that we were going to try to go and they encouraged that idea, so Danny and I went one Friday after school and the gates were locked. Well, it must be closed forever, I decided. There was no notice up or anything, but I just knew that must be the case and was all mad about it because it's no short distance from our house. Thankfully, one of our other favorite parks is a short walk away or else I may have thrown tomatoes at the El Capricho gates because who closes up parks without posting a sign?!?!
I started this list well over a year ago, in fact, probably closer to a year and a half ago, but I didn't feel qualified to do anything with it except keep it tucked away, add to it here and there, and if needed, take away from it if the time ever came. Well, I thought about it again recently and scrolled through it on my phone, looking with fresh eyes at all the things my newly-arrived-in-Spain-self thought was worth placing on this list. Nothing was ever taken off the list, and only one or two things were added over the past year.
On Friday night we left Toulouse in our rental car and headed north for Cahors, the first stop on our road trip around southern France. Cahors caught my eye because of its pretty bridge, the Pont Valentré. We got in to our Airbnb as it was getting dark, which wasn't our plan, but we decided to stop for groceries before leaving Toulouse so that we could have some picnics in the coming days, and that set us behind a bit. There wasn't anything too noteworthy about our stay that evening except it did have the best WiFi of our trip.
If you've been following our blog or Instagram this spring, you might be starting to wonder if we really do any work or if we're actually just traveling all the time. Well, I'm here to set the record straight...although Spain has a plethora of public holidays and there's even more for school children, we haven't been on a non-stop trip around Europe and north Africa (as awesome as that sometimes sounds). We mostly do ordinary, everyday things, like work, hang out with friends, go to the park, try new recipes, read books, volunteer, and go grocery shopping, that are just as great as traveling around.