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London Calling . . .

So last week on my knitting blog, Knit the Stash, I filled out a questionnaire for a knitting swap, Beat the Winter Doldrums. Knitters do cool things like this. Get together, make small projects for each other, add in a pile of goodies and send said box of goodies along to a new friend. The questionnaire is to give your secret friend an idea of the things you like, and one of the questions was something along the lines of “where would you go for a vacation right now.” Now I know what the DH would answer: Hawaii. Before you could even finish the question.

But here is the weird part. I just couldn’t shake my answer: London. I’m so dying to go back. I can’t shake it. I’ve been thinking about going back for weeks now, and looking at the calendar to see where I could possible sneak away and go for at least 10 days. So all these notions of going have been rattling around in my cold winter head, but I haven’t written them down. Things happen when you write them down. Pluck them out of your secret stash, and commit them to writing. In public. And going back to London was just that, until last week. I filled out the questionnaire and I just wrote away on how much I want to go back. And I kid you not, within twelve hours I got an email and a snail mail begging me to come to London. Well, they didn’t exactly beg me in particular, but oh, it was like being told you can go in the tourist fudge shop and have only salt water taffy. (Okay, I’ll save my rant on tourist fudge for another day.)

The first one came in an email from Linda de Sosa, and I’ll share the info with you:

This September, 2008, I would like to invite 30 fellow addicts to come with me while we enter Regency England. Highlights in Bath, Brighton, and London include:

Museums – Tyrwhitt-Drake Carriage Museum, Museum of Costume, Museum of Eton Life, Jane Austen Center
Walking tours – Mayfair, Bath, Royal Pavilion in Brighton
Period Homes – Syon House, Chiswick House, Spencer House
Waterloo – National Army Museum, Apsley House
Rare Interior Tours – One of the few Gentleman’s Clubs left, Buckingham Palace

Regency: Regency murder mystery, taking the waters in the Bath Pump room
Motorcoach tour: the dark side of the Regency – crime, law, poverty, and orphans

And to arrive in style, join me in an optional transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 prior to the tour. We will have waltzing lessons and Regency romance novel book discussions.

Contact: Linda de Sosa

The Queen Mary? OMG. I suppose if I sold the kids and the DH on eBay I might get enough. The DH does do laundry so he’d get a good price.

Yes, well, after spending a few hours fantasizing about this tour, then the mail comes. From JASNA. That’s the Jane Austen Society of North America to you non-Austen geeks. And while the above tour had me drooling, the JASNA tour had me at “Hello.” The tour? Jane Austen’s Great Houses in Fact and Fiction. And what a cool tour it will be. There isn’t anything about it on the JASNA site, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Review original Austen materials at the British Library and the National Portrait Gallery
  • Tour Brighton
  • The Vyne, a great house Jane attended many parties at
  • Inside Chawton–which is privately held
  • Visits to houses that Jane visited and were used in the various movies, including Chatsworth, Lyme Park, and Sudbury Hall

But it is in July. July when I need to be finishing a book. July when I am going to go to SF. July when the kids are OUT of school, when I can’t possibly go. Not in the least. Not at all. But Lyme Park!! Look at it there, just taunting me. And Brighton. Gads, I sound like Lydia Bennet.

Then again, I wonder if I can get an extension on my deadline . . .

So what is your secret travel dream? Let’s write them down and see if they can come true.

6 comments to “London Calling . . .”

  1. Christina Arbini
    January 21st, 2008 at 11:33 am · Link

    Definitely returning to Italy is top on my list. But, in regards to England, I’m with you, Elizabeth! I’ve been to London twice and am so eager to return there, too. I just fell in love with England, namely London and Bath. Not only did I “take the waters” in the Pump Room in Bath, but I have a bottle of the stuff sitting in my master bathroom at home (purely as decoration, of course). 🙂 I felt like I’d been transported to a different time while in Bath and your pictures and descriptions of that tour brought it all back. Sigh. I feel your pain. 😉


  2. Kelli Estes
    January 21st, 2008 at 10:16 pm · Link

    OMG! I don’t even write Regency yet I’d kill to go on that first trip. Oh wow, you’ve got to go so I can live vicariously through you!

    Don’t you love the power of putting a dream to paper?


  3. Haven Rich
    January 21st, 2008 at 11:55 pm · Link

    Elizabeth, I can honestly say I hate you. Not in that “I hate you, I wish you’d go poof” sorta way, but in the way that says “I’m so jealous I could scream!!!” kinda way.

    I don’t even get emails that interested!

    I am really drooling over the second one…umm and the Queen Mary cruise.

    So to answer your question I’ll just go with: I’ll have what she’s having!

  4. Keira Soleore
    January 22nd, 2008 at 12:08 am · Link

    London by way of Hawaii. I’ve been to London twice: The first through Heathrow, the second time to ride the Tube and take bus trips to parts south. I haven’t seen London proper. I want to. Badly. Let’s play hooky together. I have the same issues as you with July, except for the one issue I want even more than London: a publishing deadline.

  5. Eva S
    January 22nd, 2008 at 3:08 pm · Link

    I have found a new place to dream about, Santorini Island in Greece. There is a wonderful hotel, Suites Of The Gods, listen to this(I borrowed from Google):

    “In the oldest winery of the island, maintaining the folklore of the past, an ultramodern, earthly, Cycladic structure is now located 350 metres above Athinios seaport.

    Suites overlook the enchanting Caldera, the legendary volcano, the blue Aegean skyline and the island’s glorious sunsets. Owing to its privileged position, the property is considered to be in one of the finest areas on the island.”

    The view is so wonderful, someday I just have to go there… I’ll just keep on dreaming…

  6. therese
    January 23rd, 2008 at 11:34 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry!
    My dh and I are finalizing dates and locations for London, Italy and Salzburg this July.

    Yeah, I’m missing nationals in SF but, I’m not a big name in the biz (yet) or doing any workshops. Sometimes we just have to focus on our research instead. Oh wait, I don’t write historicals….


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