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Martha & Steve’s Big Adventure

Saturday 25 June 2016

Paddington bearLast year had numerically-significant birthdays for both of us. Martha, never having been out of North America and being both a gardening and perfuming fanatic, got interested in the idea of going to th UK (for Great Dixter) and Paris (for perfume, duh).

We had planned to go in September 2015, after most of the (other) tourists had gone home and the weather would have cooled a bit. As it turned out, we pushed the trip first to early May of 2016, and then to mid-May through mid-June. Turns out that this was lucky in more than one way, but I’ll get to that later.

Most people (who blog; not really most people) would have written about their trip during the trip, so that the recollections would be fresh. I didn’t want to do it that way: one, because I’m a contrarian; two, because neither of us wanted to take hours (or even minutes) a day to do this. If we weren’t out doing something, we wanted to be recovering from what we had been doing, or planning events for later in the trip (yes, I didn’t plan it all to the minute this time).

So I’m writing this as a kind of expedition post-mortem; with the perfect hindsight of the entire trip, it’s easier to gain perspective on what did and didn’t work, and what we would and wouldn’t do again. Minor spoiler: yes, we would do it again.

I’ll start with the pre-trip planning (which started in September 2014) and continue through the trip proper in subsequent posts. Feel free to skip sections that don’t draw you in; the detail will likely be overwhelming in places.

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