Adventure! Romance! Questions?

Adventure! Romance! Questions?

JRR Tolkien said, via Bilbo Baggins, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Its fitting for me to quote this little exchange between Bilbo and Frodo, because it took place on the eve of their shared birthdays, September 22nd, (now known as Hobbit Day) the day before Frodo dares to step onto the road to start his epic adventure. Hobbit Day this year will be the day before Downtown Dad and I step onto the road (or into the air as it were) on an epic adventure of our own.

Together, in honor of our thirtieth year of marriage, we are venturing further out our door than we’ve ever gone — to England! We want this trip to be many things; fun, romantic, enlightening, but most of all, we want it to be an adventure – minus that dangerous business part, right? So we’ve done a lot of planning and research (did I say a LOT? I meant a TON of research) trying to come up with a balance between plunging headlong into questionable situations, and plodding with all the other tourists along well-worn trails. We like our adventures, but we like them on the comfortable, safe side, while still allowing our feet to occasionally be swept off on something unexpected.

While our kids take turns destroying  mooching off of us staying in our house, we’re taking two full weeks to travel, walk, explore, and otherwise commune with Britain’s history, legend and myth. Our destinations include Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon, Stonehenge, ancient castles and cathedrals, the Cornwall Coast, and “the old smoke” itself, London. We’ll be seeing and staying in places both of us have talked about wanting to experience for 40 years! Trouble is, we’re painfully aware that we are 40 years older than when we first dreamed of throwing our knapsacks on our backs and val-der-ee/val-der-ah-ing around Great Britain.

Back in the day, there were guidebooks that said if you stayed at hostels, ate minimally, and hitchhiked everywhere, you could travel around Europe for $5 per day.  Haha! I can’t even live that cheaply here at home! And, while we will not be staying at Buckingham Palace, we have no intention of “roughing it” either. Not only have the prices gone up, but to be honest, as Baby Boomers, our physical needs have gone up as well.

We want to get out and walk, but we also need to know where the bathrooms, and places to rest are along the way. We want to experience the regional flora and fauna, but we also need to have the right layers, footwear, and equipment to help us do that. We want to be free to explore at will, without the restrictions of a guided tour, but we need to know about local regulations, customs, and costs. We want to experience all of the romance and adventure Southern England’s thousands of years of history has to offer, but we have to fit that into 12 days and a budget!

Over the next couple of posts, I’m going to share some of the questions we’ve had to wrestle with, the decisions we’ve had to make, what we’re packing (and not packing) and the solutions we’ve come up with in order to plan and execute the perfect boomer adventure to Southern England!

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