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The Adventures of the Red Baron (and friends)…

October 27, 2010

So I previously mentioned that I had escaped England a few weeks ago. The main reason was for a few days of work in New York City and New England, but I was lucky enough to be able to lengthen my stay for a bit of personal time. A few head scratching synchronizations later, we were able to get David to fly in as my business time ended, and were able to head back to see my Dad and family in Pennsylvania. Our time was limited to a few days, but after a year of absence, anytime is nice! We managed to be entertained literally the entire time we were there with visits from my brother and his wife, my step sisters, niece, nephew (first time visit!), aunts, uncles cousins etc. We managed to squeeze in a few adventures as well.
First we traded our city clothing for some outdoorsy stuff and headed on a bit of a hike/walk on the Appalachian trail. For those of you not familiar with the east coast of the states–the Appalachian trail is a 2,000 miles worth of maintained trail running from Georgia to Maine. It’s about 2 minutes from my dad’s house so we could easily go for a little walk on a glorious fall day, grab some vistas of the herds of wildebeast (or were those cows?) and still be back in time for some sandwiches.
We also took to the country lane at night, turning off the flashlights and walking through the woods in the dark, which was ahhh mazing. As it’s the driveway (quite a long one) we knew where we were walking, but still surrounded by forest. The moon was quite bright, but still dark enough for David to play Professor Astronomer, pointing out all the constellations to the rest of us. It was one of those times out in the fresh air that I had to just keep smiling and telling myself that I’m a very lucky lady.
Then, to make sure we really felt like we were outside of London, we hopped into a biplane ( think the Wright brothers plane with two sets of wings) for an open cockpit tour of our surrounding area! It was incredible! It all happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to think about my fear of heights. They slapped a flight cap on our heads (aren’t they fetching?), we hopped in and within a minute or so we were in the air with minimal instructions of ‘don’t get in the pilots way during takeoff/landing’. David and I sat together in the front seat, with the pilot behind us for the 15 minute trip. That doesn’t sound long, but was definitely enough time for our area which is basically the same scene over and over…field, another field, a barn, a road, a field etc. I was slightly freaked about landing, but it was a waste of emotion. The landing was incredible, much much smoother than any other airplane I’ve ever been in. All in all a great trip home,  but it’s nice to be back to well, my other home…

Want more…?

This is what we got up to last time we were home: A trip to Boston I & Boston IIVermont, Massachusetts & New York, and of course my hometown area
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 3:32 pm

    Are you crazy? There’s no chance you’d catch me in one of those tiny planes. No way. But, I’d love to see the constellations – you’re lucky to have someone to point them out to you – I haven’t got a clue either.

    • Pillar Box Post permalink*
      October 30, 2010 8:28 pm

      Haha, yah fair point! I’m actually kind of surprised i made it up as I’m scared of heights, but it felt like it wasn’t planned or even my idea and it all happened so fast by the time I really thought it through it was too late. It helped that everywhere I looked around was suitable runway material! As for constellations…I THINK what he was saying was accurate but he kept blaming being in a different part of the world for putting things out of line, so who knows! Ignorance is bliss sometimes, I just nodded and went ‘oooooh!’
      Hope to see you at the meet up?
      Brittany

  2. Jacqueline permalink
    October 27, 2010 8:14 pm

    Hi Brittany,

    I only discovered your blog last week when I was googling French bulldog images and stumbled, so to speak, stumbled upon a photograph of Olive Juice. However, the superb design and brilliant writing kept me reading and I will continue to do so – thank you so much for creating something so enjoyable!

    Your latest post reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about and I was hoping that you could give me some advice. I’m seriously contemplating getting myself a French bulldog (hence the googling), but am a little worried about what to do when I need to go out for the evening or when I need to go abroad for a few days. How do you go about this with Olive?

    I do hope you don’t mind me asking…

    Very best wishes,

    Jacqueline

    • Pillar Box Post permalink*
      October 30, 2010 8:18 pm

      Hi Jacqueline,

      FIrst off, welcome to PIllar Box Post! I’m so glad I could get a bit of ‘walk in’ traffic from my lovely little lady–she’s going to request commission soon. Thank you so much for your kind compliments, they really mean a lot!

      As for your puppy questions…that was definitely something we thought about before we got Olive. I must admit, it really is a bit of a life changer, it’s one step away from a baby, I swear! But, depending on your situation, it can be completely do-able. I am lucky to live with a permanent chore sharer (my husband) who takes half of the duties…we usually try to arrange for someone to be home and not go out on the same nights as each other (if we are going out separately). Obviously as a couple we go to things together as well though and so we do leave her for an evening to go out. Thankfully we live in Central London, so we can arrange to stop home before we go out to take her out and feed her. We aren’t ‘stay out until the wee hours’ people so it’s not too tough for us. When she was a puppy she was crate trained so she would stay in her ‘house’ (others may know it as a cage) which some people can find cruel, but is in my opinion (as well as lots of dog handlers) a great way of keeping the puppies safe from themselves. I think one book quoted about how you wouldn’t expect a baby to be safe if you left it sleeping outside of a crib or a carrier, and that puppies need some limits to make sure they don’t chew through some cabling or something. She would go in their herself and I think she missed it a bit when we finally packed it away when she ‘grew up’. So in short answer, we try not to leave her alone all evening too often, but it happens…and she is fine!

      As for holidays…when we first brought her home we fully expected to board her when we went on holiday, but so far we’ve been working through a list of willing candidates (friends, family, co workers) who have wanted to keep her for a bit…we haven’t had anybody opting for a second run so we’ll see! Olive is quite the charmer and dog sitting her I think is a light way of having a dog without the commitment that a lot of people can’t make when they are living in the city. I don’t know where you live or what the situation is there….but in London there are a lot of home boarding options which I think we would go with if the situation arises. We had a dog growing up and she went to a kennel and I didn’t find anything wrong with it, but that dog was a bit more of a dog and less of a ‘cuddlebug’ and without sounding like a complete pansy I think Olive would be a bit scarred if she went from cuddling in bed to a kennel outside by herself. Home boarding sounds a bit less frightening as you sign up to a scheme that matches you with someone on their list who has been checked and Olive goes to live in a house. You can pay to have her be the only dog, or the price is cheaper if you allow her to go with another dog or two. Whew, so does that help at all? I hope you are able to make a frenchie work in your life as I thoroughly recommend…they are just tooooo lovely!

      Hope to see you ‘around’
      Brittany

      • Jacqueline permalink
        November 1, 2010 5:08 pm

        Dear Britanny,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful reply – this really helped a lot to set my mind at ease.

        In general, I think my routine will work quite well with a dog. I’m an academic and work mostly from home, as does my husband. However, I do have to spend a few mornings at my faculty office (which is actually only a five minute bike ride away) every week and I was worried about what to do when my husband has to be out too. Crating sounds like a very sensible solution – thanks!

        As for the odd weekend or week abroad, the London boarding system sounds excellent, but I don’t think it’s available in the Netherlands. However, having the dog stay over with friends is a brilliant idea and turns out to be a very feasible option. I had already received a lot of offers from friends and relatives to take the dog walking (one keen male friend stated that Frenchies are ‘total babe magnets’) but it hadn’t occurred to me yet that some of them might also be willing to look after it while I’m away. So thanks to your advice I checked with a few of my friends (the ones with less suspicious motives) this weekend and got back some really enthusiastic replies. Fortunately I will be able to arrange to stay at home for the first four months after the dog’s arrival, but it’s a relief to know that I already have a support network in place for when it’s is older.

        Again, your reply really helped to reassure myself that I can provide my dog with a good home. So this morning I phoned the Dutch bulldog society and after a stern vetting, I found myself approved, welcomed into the French bulldog fold and placed on the list for a puppy or rescue dog in February!

        Thank you so, so much!

        Very best wishes,

        Jacqueline

  3. October 31, 2010 1:39 am

    Love the Red Baron pix! What a lovely memory for you both.

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