Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Without a plan

Saturday started out as an unknown.  I knew the weather was going to be beautiful - sunny and no rain (I know really?? the UK??).  A beautiful fall day for us to get out and explore - what do we do?  I had been wanting to hit a up a PYO (pick your own) farm for some apple picking but that was near rugby and I did not want to pay for a train 2 days in a row.  We had been wanting to check out a different rec center for indoor climbing that was east of here down the coast and that would include a bike ride along the ocean.  We definitely needed to get on the bikes - it had been awhile.  So we packed a lunch and headed out along the water and we would go from there...............

we found the downs link - an old rail line that has been turned into a walking/biking trail

the adur river

where might the path lead us?

english countryside

special treats we found along the way

wild blackberries are the sweetest

Dillon exclaiming how awesome this bike ride was

possibly black elderberry????

this guy came to say hello

another hi

the golden glow in the afternoon sun

more wooly friends

the fishing boats right before home

we stopped on the way home and picked blackberries

nothing beats a fresh blackberry crisp - as Michael said "this is the best dessert ever"

a perfect end to a perfect day

after checking out the adur recreation center we realized we were close to the downs link.  we hopped on it and found a map posted.  michael suggested we try to go to henfield and stop at the old railway pub for a drink.  we could not really tell from the map how far it would be but thought it would be worth a shot.  we meandered through the english country side - pausing to say hello to animals, enjoy the view and spotted some blackberries.  after we made our way through the town of bramber the trail began to get a little harder (the boys did not have gears on their bikes) with some hills.  we stopped and asked a kind lady at her farm if we were indeed still on the downs link and how far it might be to henfield  - well it was about 3 more miles but this big hill would be the last.  As she said with a smile you will get there eventually - haha - not what ro wanted to hear.  we pushed on and soon arrived in henfield  - the boys inhaled huge adult size burgers and plates of chips.  we were re-charged for the ride home.  we paused by the river and picked a bag full of blackberries and continued on our way to the ocean and eventually home - arriving as the sun was setting.  We could not have planned a more perfect fall day.  The setting was idyllic (many times I looked around and said wow - this is just amazing) and the sense of exploring somewhere unknown to us added some excitement.  I still can hear the kids saying"wow - this is cool" and "this is really fun".  We finished the day off enjoying the crisp made from the handpicked berries and cuddled up on the couch with achy bodies.  We are guessing it was 20 plus miles but much like a fish tale the number keeps growing.  What I do know is I am super proud of the boys for pushing on and enjoying the day, taking it all in and appreciating what we have all around us.  Thank you to my family for a wonderful, wonderful day.


  1. I finally carved out some time to come catch up on your blog... it's been a few weeks. I've read every post so far and have been enjoying your adventures vicariously. It's striking how different your life is there from the island, but yet still similar in some ways as well. And I can also feel how fast the ten months you'll get to enjoy there are already going. I'm excited for you guys to start traveling around other parts of Europe. What are your plans?

    In the mean time, not being on the island and being away from my family is driving me absolutely crazy. I find myself going back and reading both my and your old blog posts just to keep from feeling to island-sick (like home sick, but for the island.) It doesn't seem to help.

    Thanks again for this blog, and keep the posts rolling!

  2. YES- time is flying by really really fast. I already feel like we need to "hurry" and do things before we leave. Yes - very similar in that we are on the coast, exploring the local area and our daily lives are filled with some of the same. The differences? hmmm - the temperature, activities, no car, the weather and the kids are more involved in sports here. Bigger travel is coming soon - the middle of October we are headed to Scotland and mid November we go to Barcelona - we are very excited. There will be some traveling over Christmas and in the spring we will make our way to Holland my fathers home land and France is in the works. I still have your email and trying to plan a mini-road trip from the south to the north.

    Hang in there Casey I am sure it is hard but really time will fly by and you are all keeping very busy which helps immensely. Even though it seems difficult it appears that everyone is more content then you were at the beginning - so I would say that you have probably made the right choice for your family. I too have been returning to the old blog to reminisce - I know I miss swimming in a warm ocean and Dillon is really missing the surfing.
    Thank you for touching base and all my best to you and the family. If Tanner is interested in corresponding via snail mail with the boys send me your address in an email.

  3. Hi Chey - I can completely connect with this and I love this part of the UK....I grew up in Hampshire.

    Thank you for finding me - I simple adore your blog. Such beauty.

    Nina x

    1. Nina - thank you. We are so thankful for the opportunity to explore a new country. I see we are of similar mindset.

  4. I love your photos - a really great evocation of an autumn day in the country!

    Pomona x

    1. Thank you Pomona - I was hoping to capture the great day that we had.

  5. how did i miss this post? this is possibly the best post from the other side of the pond yet. wow... that first picture is like a painting. i loved riding bikes as a kid in germany. there were so many wonderful bike paths we would take through the countryside. it's so nice to pick your own berries. i think you'll need to go back for those elderberries and make your own syrup. i see you found nina at tabiboo! that's how i even checked over here. this post didn't pop up in my feed for some reason.

  6. Thank you Anushka, I think blogs have a mind of their own sometimes!!! Glad you found this post. Thank you for sending me to tabiboo!!! A wonderful blog!!! It would be wonderful to make our own magical, healing syrup this year.