It's been only a few days since we landed back in LAX after two and a half weeks back in the UK. It was surreal going back 'home' in the town where I'd spent the last thirteen years and where my daughter spent the first years of her life. We met up with friends and family and reacquainted ourselves with the north-easterly winds that'd kept our cheeks pink for so long. It rained, we played indoor mini-golf, it rained some more, we donned our raincoats with thick fleeces, the sun came out for a bit, and then it rained some more. But we didn't mind, we were too busy having fun and doing castle and countryside adventures.
Now that we are back in California, it still feels like we're on holiday – after all, this is where we used to vacation, not live. Going through all 328 photos on my finepix and a fair few to sort out on my phone, it's clear that we made the most of every minute home (though I didn't get my steak and kidney pie I miss so much, apparently, the public prefers steak and ale, and my old haunts have altered their menus). We played in Manningtree at Robin's Nest, Marks Tey (Dermot O'Leary's old childhood house it up for sale), The Cottage Inn in Lynton, Dunster Castle, Framlingham, and did a bit of exploration and cheese eating at Cheddar Gorge.
For me, it was wonderful to get new photos of Framlingham Castle as not only is it my setting for book two in the Elspet Stafford Mysteries, but all my original photos were lost in the move (along with some great ones of Hever Castle and Hedingham jousting). I also gathered some extra references for future EHFA blogs, though one or two might jump out of the Tudor era. For now though, it's still all about unpacking and getting used to the 8 hour time difference. And trying to remember that I'm no longer on holiday!