Erin in Florence

Hi! I'm Erin.

Welcome to my site! Here you'll find photos and stories from my adventures living in England and traveling Europe. I share my love for beautiful sprawling landscapes, rich history, diverse and delicious cuisine, and endless opportunities for adventure. 

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The Lake District: Bootle

The Lake District: Bootle

Last weekend we drove north to the Lake District and stayed on a quaint farm in Bootle. It was another long and harrowing drive, but it gave us a chance to get away from the city and see a less-touristy area. William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter spent some quality time in the lakes and we could see why!

Waterfall
Waterfall

Great views and opportunities for hiking, more sheep than people. (Although, quite a bit of motocross, which was weird/annoying.) Speaking of views, hikes, sheep... I feel a bit like a broken record... English topography is not as varied as we're used to in the States. If you end up on a motorway over here, you will definitely see great views, loads of sheep, hills... there are plenty of stopping points on the roads to pause and admire the scenery. If you venture off the motorway into the neighborhoods you will find opportunities for "English walks" and also feel like you've started a game of really high stakes Mario Kart. We were never a big video game family, but I am SO grateful that our neighbors had N64 so I could gain some valuable maneuvering experience.

Here's a good example of a two lane road with a fantastic blind turn.  Full marks if you avoid the oncoming car, hedge, AND house. Oh, and the pedestrians (us).

Beautiful and hazardous

Dave the Danger Ranger, if you're reading this, I can't wait to drive across the country with you :D  Seat belts, everyone!!

We did a small walk through Bootle that took us to the top of a hill where we could see the Irish Sea. Penny was a champ! Until she wasn't...

Penny
Sheep

Our hosts invited us to dine with them that evening, which was a literal farm to table experience. When we arrived, Mike was covered in feathers and without any hint of apology explained that he was fixing the duck for dinner. I tried not to think about bonding with a duck and then very unceremoniously eating it. But that's farm life! They live off their land and that's just the way it goes. And I admire them for it. Dinner was delicious and aside from the pasta, every bit of it came from their farm. Breakfast was similar - fresh eggs, bread, and sausage. Amazing.

BUT! My favorite part of this place was the little piglets!! Their largest litter ever complete with a runt, named Runtles. I have way too many pictures and videos of these little guys. You can see them in action in this video. Try not to watch as Runtles gets picked on. As always, many more photos are on my Flickr page.

Piglets

We drove to a small village called Coniston after saying good-bye to Runtles, and explored the area before heading back to Birmingham.

Coniston
Lake Coniston

Connor disagrees with me, but I thought this adventure was a bit underwhelming. Instead of taking the Mario Kart with your eyes closed option and driving north in the dark on Friday night, we decided to head up on Saturday morning. This didn't give us enough time to tackle a decent hike. Sunday was similar since we wanted to be home by 5:30pm (this did not happen. 7 hour return drive. Woof). No big deal, we made the most of it and had a great time. But I learned my lesson - despite having spent hours researching different hikes, I wasn't able to find that much information so I just sort of gave up thinking we'd figure it out when we got there. Does that ever happen? Just figuring it out in a village with maybe 50 people living in it? Or ever, for that matter? I really don't think so. This planner is going back to her planning ways.

Autumn, Cooking, & Tid Bits

Autumn, Cooking, & Tid Bits

An Afternoon in Northampton

An Afternoon in Northampton