This morning, I was torn between wanting to lie in bed a while longer and wanting to go out to take some early morning pictures on my last day of vacation. Knowing I could catch up on sleep when I got home, I was out the door a little after 6 AM. If you’re not an early morning riser, become one! Even if it’s only once in a while. One of the things I love to do at home when it’s above freezing is get up early on a weekend morning and head to the beach for sunrise. There’s something entirely different about being out before most of the world wakes up. This morning I had the same feeling I get on those mornings at the beach. My first stop today was Ebrington. I wandered around the village for a few minutes taking pictures and then headed off to the field with the sheep near the church in Chipping Campden. I planned to just stop for a few pictures, but ended up leaving my car and going for another walk on one of the walking paths. This one crossed the sheep pasture and met up with the second part of the path I was on yesterday behind the church fields. There was dew on the grass and a low fog over some of the field, and it was just a perfect morning to be out enjoying it. I passed only two other walkers on my way.
After my walk, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and pack. Once I had my things in the car, I set off for one last walk around Chipping Campden and then headed to the airport. Since my route took me through Moreton-in-Marsh again, how could I resist stopping at the little candy shop I visited on my first day? The owner recognized me and even threw in some extra chocolate for my trip home! Then it was back on the motorway to Heathrow for my flight back to Boston. Fortunately, the damage to the rental car was easily dealt with and the guys checking in my car got quite a laugh over what they decided was probably an owl lodged in the front of the car. I had to pay for the damages, but will (hopefully!) be reimbursed by my credit card rental insurance.
This was probably one of the best vacations I have taken. I didn’t do a lot of planning ahead of time, and just decided to figure out each morning what I would do that day. The people were very friendly and driving on the opposite side of the road definitely put me out of my comfort zone, at least at first. And the experience of visiting the Cotswolds was exactly what I had hoped it would be. I have a hard time comparing my vacations because how can you compare something like the Grand Canyon or the Grand Tetons to the villages in the English countryside? They are so completely different that I can’t rank any one as better than the others, just all great travel experiences. I will post more this weekend about some of the highlights that I haven’t mentioned, but my bed is calling to me tonight!