Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Day Sunshine

That old Beatle's song is fluttering around in my head today.  The sun is shining and it's the perfect sort of Sunday, sunny, no particular agenda, lazy and relaxed.

I did go in to work earlier today, to finalize my sub plans.  I am having my every three year upper GI tomorrow morning and taking the day off.  (I have GERD and pre-cancerous cells in my esophagus, so it's something I have been doing for the last 12 years or so.) I got home barely in time to leave for church, and was sort of frazzled enroute, but once I was there I was glad I made the effort.  I love being in church, singing, listening to the pastor, and reflecting on my week ahead.  Ironically, there are many Sunday mornings that I am intent on making up any excuse possible, not to drag myself out the door.  Yet, I've never been disappointed.  Never have I arrived, sat through the hour, and said, "Boy I wish I'd stayed home instead!"  It just doesn't happen.

Anyway, on the drive home I told my husband I was going to head down to the Saturday Market.  I asked if he wanted to come along, and he didn't, so I was going alone.  I had a mission.  I wanted to replace a dead lilac tree that I had planted a couple years ago.  I was hoping I'd find one for a reasonable price.

I loved the drive, with the sun beating through the windshield, and my driver's window down for fresh air.  I found a perfect parking place fairly close (expecting the pot with the lilac to be heavy) and after maneuvering back and forth for what seemed like 10 minutes (I'm the world's worse parallel parker!) I was excited to see a gal carrying a lilac heading my direction! Hurrah!

The market was crowded in a nice way, with every sort of person imaginable, and lots of dogs to keep things interesting.  The playground was full of kids laughing and shouting, swings squeaking and parent voices. I saw numerous booths with fresh flowers. I didn't need any, as I have quite a bit blooming at home, but nice to keep in mind for later.

My neighbor took this photo of my daffodils out front and sent it to me!

Lots of folks were buying veggies, fresh and plants, but husband had already warned me not to buy plants, as it's too early for most veggies to be in the ground.

I found a pink lilac, and considered purchasing it, until I remembered the lilac gardens in Woodland, just a twenty minute hop north on the freeway. I walked the length of the market, just for good measure, bought homemade dark chocolates filled with coconut for David (and a small bag of kettle corn for me!) and headed out toward the freeway.

Arriving at Hulda Klager's Lilac farm I was disappointed to find an empty parking lot, and a sign telling me that I was one week too early!  They don't open until next Saturday.  Rats! I kept driving out to the tulip fields but it was so crowded that I couldn't find a parking space so I didn't linger.  Instead I checked out a couple of antique shops on the other side of the freeway that I'm always passing by as my family never wants to stop!  I didn't find much, just this cute little plant stand for on the deck, but it was fun to take my time and browse.

This will be sweet with a planter I've ordered from a former student, soon to arrive!

Last night I read this book about Mont Saint-Michel that Kailyn had given me for Christmas.  I found it fascinating and fell asleep dreaming about visiting this delightful old abbey in June.  My dreams turned into nightmares however, when I was unable to climb the stairs, and in pain going down the stairs!  Now I have my carrot to dangle in front of my nose and get me out of the house!   I reminded my husband that he had promised he would walk with me daily so we would be in better shape for our vacation.  So, after my afternoon of driving and antiquing, we took Nikki and walked around the neighborhood.
Nikki is bored with picture taking and ignoring me.  She wants to walk!

I spent most of yesterday on the computer, trying to figure out the rail travel between some of the cities and places we hope to visit.  I think I've determined that we will be wise to purchase Britrail passes for everyone while we are in England.  It appears to be the way to go when we are traveling from Manchester to Chester, and also to Liverpool.  I think we can use it when we get to London to travel to Cambridge, a dream for Jessica and I. If anyone out there knows that buying the rail pass is a bad idea, please let me know asap!!

I also researched the possibility of visiting the Isle of Jersey, and after figuring out the ferry schedule, and the limited time we have in that part of France, I resigned myself to putting that wish off for another time.  I checked out airfare from Portland to the Isle of Jersey and it isn't cheap, but . . . who knows what the future will bring??

It's been a good day, full of sunshine, laughter, and travels, both real and virtual.  I'm getting more excited about our plans, but also more nervous.  This trip is a BIG DEAL to me, and I am realizing that I can attempt to plan all I want, but the bottom line is I don't really know what to expect. I just need to trust that whatever happens will be what is supposed to happen, and it will be worth it!


  1. Your trip is going to be so amazing. I can't wait for all the details after you get back. I hope all of your plans fall in line perfectly. I love your flowers. Mine bloomed in March when we had the "pre" summer temps. Unfortunately so did my lilacs and then they got burned with the many freezes we've had since then. Dang, no wonderful smelling lilacs this year! I hope you can find your new lilac next week..don't forget! Keep walking before your will be so happy you did!

  2. Reading about your trip makes me excited for you! Remember- unplanned adventues often are the best and most memorable.

  3. Sounds like you are gearing up for a great time.

  4. It will be a great trip, one you will never forget. I predict it, anyway, and I'll bet I'm right. Of course you will take lots of pictures and share them with me. It will feel a bit like I'm going too. I have heard nothing but good things about the rail pass, although I don't know about it firsthand. Sorry you didn't get your lilacs yet. They are fat buds on all the bushes around here, soon to erupt in color and smell!

  5. Don't worry about the trip. It sounds like you have pretty much of it planned out, and the rest of the time, just go with the flow and enjoy.

  6. Well Sandi you know we never really know when we make a decision weather it's the right one or not so just go with the whole thing and I'm sure you'll have a great time!!
    It sounded like you had a great day on your own! I had a good one yesterday too. Worked outside all day. It was beautiful out!
    I'm supposed to be riding my bike today. Hasn't happened yet!!
    Love Di ♥

  7. I think you will have a wonderful trip. Just go with the flow. I have a niece living in London. I have always wanted to visit and now I think I am too far over the hill. lol

  8. I'm so excited for you and your trip. I'm sorry that you might not make it to the Isle of Jersey, but it does seem it would be costly in time and money.

    I bought a BritRail pass when I went to England and Wales in 1994. I thought it was the best investment ever. I'm almost certain I traveled from London to Cambridge on BritRail. I can't remember for sure now. Cambridge was my first stop after landing in London. I loved Cambridge!

    I do remember going to Eli and then getting on BritRail to go Wales. I had a very exciting trip to Wales. I will have to write about it. Let's just say BritRail took very good care of me.

    I spent several days in Aberystwyth, Wales, then I traveled all the way to Canarvon, Wales by BritRail. From there, I then went down to Cardiff, Wales for a couple of days, and then back to London. I used BritRail to go to Windsor and several other places while I was in London. I did all of this by myself. It was a fantastic trip. I have heard some people sleep on the train to save on rooms. Since I would fall asleep sometimes during the trip by rail, I always set the alarm on my watch to wake me up so I wouldn't miss my stops or transfers.

  9. hope you have a wonderful trip! sounds like you have everything in order. lovely shot of the daffodils. still waiting for my tulips to bloom. love spring and gardening.

    wonderful post and thank you for sharing
    take care

  10. I love the Klager Lilac farm! I can conjure up the smell right now - such a magical place. Hope your upper GI went off without a hitch and you find the perfect lilac plant soon. In the meantime, daydreaming about France sounds divine.

  11. I used the train at night going from one country to another in Europe. That was in 1969. Nowadays, newspaper articles discuss how gypsies board the train, steal valuables from passengers, and jump off the train. Europe isn't as safe as it was in 1969. But, maybe I am wrong. Good luck whatever you do!

  12. I don't think a railpass is a bad idea. You always get something off when you pay in advance. As you will be using it a lot, you'll probably make savings that way.

    However are you going to find the time to do everything you're planning? If you find a spare day come down to Ludlow!

  13. Thanks for your comment on my blog, Sandi. I don't live near you anymore, but I went to college just outside of Portland and lived in Oregon for most of my life. I also had a long-distance relationship with a guy who lived in Seattle so I traveled that I-5 route between Portland and Seattle a great deal for a few years. I used to stop at the lilac gardens for a breather and to stretch my legs. Lilacs are my favorite!

  14. I enjoyed spending the day with you here. Did you finally get your purple lilacs? How did that upper GI thing go? I hate those.

  15. I always enjoy your posts Sandi, and know that you'll have a fabulous time when you travel. Husband and I travelled entirely by rail overseas when we were younger and it was fun - though Easter in Italy was all a bit full-on and crowded at the time! Hope all went well with your routine check-up.

  16. Hi Sandi, I could not find an E-mail address for you and wanted to let you know I like my iPad but would advise getting it at least a month before your trip - the sooner the better. I bought the camera connection for mine and can download my pics - make sure your camera is compatible. My Sony DSLR is not but my Cybershot is. I also purchased the iPhoto app which I've been using to edit my photos - I like it. The app I am using to post to my Blog is Blogsy and that is NOT intuitive though it seems reliable once you learn it. So far, I've done a post on each blog with it, and what you see on the app is what publishes. The Blogger app is useless (but free). Good Luck! (You will also want to download the Zite app and Evernote - both of which I love!

  17. It's lovely getting a insight into your life Sandi. Good luck with the lilac. The British rail network is pretty good really but can be expensive, so any special passes you can get sounds the way to go.

    Interesting to see Mont Saint-Michel mentioned- it has a sister equivalent in Cornwall, SW England, called, (or course!) St Michael's Mount. Have been to the English one but not the French...

  18. It will be totally worth it! Having traveled all over Europe I can tell you it is an adventure of a lifetime! I hope you have a blast!
    I've been to Mont Saint-Michel. If you get a chance it is gorgeous and worth a trip!
    I have to say I'm jealous my friend. haha BTW if you get a minute my mom just started blogging and this is an all new adventure for HER. I think she would love you
    Her Url is If you don't have time no worries. :)

  19. Hoping all went well with your procedure and that you will one day be able to take that wonderful that would be!

  20. Prayers on the way that your test come out normal...I know that these tests can be a bit nerve racking! Nikki looks adorable! She and my Max would get along I think ...they look a bit alike. Thanks for the cool comment on my blog...yes, those tents might come in handy for sure!LOL
    Blessings, Joanne

  21. The most important part is to be flexible so you can enjoy what has been planned or even let it go and try something unplanned.

    IPad travel may cost roaming charges that can get very high. Stay in wifi airplane mode and keep roaming on off!!


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