Once upon a time a girl from a concrete town in the North of England discovered inspiration in a book, planned a trip and found home. A place to breathe, to marvel and to dream. Now living closer to that dream, our family's heart travels the last few miles almost every day as we talk about our Last Best Place and tell each other "Love you more than Montana".
Charles Kuralt proclaimed it to be ’the most beautiful drive in America’. The Beartooth Highway is the section of US Highway 212 between Red Lodge and Cooke City, Montana. It has a series of steep zigzags and switchbacks to the 10,947 ft high Beartooth Pass. I was so glad to be in the passenger seat on this drive.
Visit Britain | Yorkshire, Northern Ireland, Dundee, Edinburgh, London
Every Summer we pack the car, wake the girls in the middle of the night and start our drive to Montana. The girls talk all year about that night, the one where they are woken up with a whisper, “girls, girls, wake up, it’s here, tonight we are going to Montana, wake up, Montana is waiting for us.”
However, this year it is not to be. For the first time in over 4 years we are heading home to the United Kingdom. We packed up the car in the afternoon, and our journey commenced with a transatlantic overnight flight and then several hours driving in the car to Yorkshire, England.
Our plan involves planes, trains and automobiles and an 8 hour time difference, but so far the girls have held up like troopers. For those of you not familiar with UK geography, you can find a map here. We plan to visit Yorkshire, England; then travel to Northern Ireland, Scotland and back to London before flying home.
I am excited to be back ‘home’ for the first time in 4 years and some places I will be visiting for the first time since we moved to America. My oldest daughter is thrilled at the thought of seeing London, where she was born, but does not remember. Returning with young children, rather than babies or preschoolers, you see the country through their eyes, it is fascinating to observe the differences they perceive and what they are excited about.
My oldest exclaimed as we came into land over London (with views of Tower Bridge, the Thames snaking it’s way through the City and the London Eye), “Wow, I must say London is putting on quite the show!”.
I am also trying to deprogram the girls from calling me “Mommy” which is one American phrase I can just not get used to. Please girls, please call me “Mummy” especially when you are shouting from a bathroom stall in the service station asking where the automatic flush is you just sound so … American ;-)
Happy Memorial Day | With grateful thanks to all who have, and do, Give It Their Best on our behalf.
Remembering my grandfather who served as an RAF tail gunner in WWII and those servicemen and women who are away from loved ones on this day. I have huge respect and gratitude to the family of those serving, I can only imagine how hard it must be to parent when your partner is in harm’s way so many miles away. Praying for the safe and speedy return of our troops, of those brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, husbands and fathers who are Giving It Their Best so we can be free and safe.
"The American Dream should require hard work, but it should not require 80-hour workweeks and parents who never see their kids from across the dinner table. The American Dream should entail a first-rate education for every child, but not an education that leaves no extra time for the actual enjoyment of childhood. The American Dream should accommodate the goal of home ownership, but without imposing a lifelong burden of unmeetable debt. Above all, the American Dream should be embraced as the unique sense of possibility that this country gives its citizens the decent chance, as Moss Hart would say, to scale the walls and achieve what you wish." David Kamp, from his April 2009 Vanity Fair article "The Way We Were"
The husband just ordered this Yellowstone topographic map from Best Made Co and, of course, had to get the felling axe too in preparation for the day we build that cabin in Montana. Check out the video Remington Fells a Tree for inspiration.