Whistle stop tour of late September: another baby, another continent!

Bursting with news here!  The most important first.  There is another new baby in the family.  I know, I know.  My cup runneth over.  How delightful.  The family is full of babies.  Younger son and his wife had their second child ten days ago, another little girl.  She arrived in haste and was delivered by her father, fortunately a doctor, in a layby on the A38 as they were driving to the hospital.  We will be meeting the new arrival on Sunday.

I blogged here about the arrival of their first baby.  Every time a grandchild arrives is different and every time it moves me profoundly.  This is the first time we have been out of the country when a baby has been born and that felt very strange but we were woken early in the morning in New York with a facetime call from the jubilant parents and had the chance to see their faces and the first sight of the new baby.  Since then pictures and calls have kept us in touch but I can't wait to see her and hold her and to cuddle the nearly two year old who so far seems very keen on her new little sister.


So add to that a swift trip to the US, principally for Ian's work but allowing us the occasional bit of time off for sightseeing and the last couple of weeks have been a blur and a blast!


First New York: wander around Central Park, up the Rockefeller Centre to the Top of the Rock for marvellous views over the city in the sunshine.


The following day a delightful lunch with Frances of City Views, Country Dreams  and Elizabeth of About New York.  I have met bloggers before  for the first time in real life and once again I had that sense of connecting with old friends even though we had never met in the flesh.  It is not possible to hide yourself if you blog about your life over time and I have never met a blogger whose blog I enjoy and been surprised that they were not as I expected.  Sometimes the physical appearance of someone does not match the picture you had in your head (not the case with these two!) but even if that is your immediate response the reality quickly overlays your imagined version and the essence of the person emerges warmly and clearly in conversation.  We had lunch in a diner and walked the High Line and I had that sensation of sharing a corner of someone's life which is so much more interesting than simply being a tourist.  Thank you Frances and Elizabeth for your company and conversation.


Staten Island ferry just to see the city from the water.


Ground Zero, moving despite the press of people.


A walking tour over Brooklyn Bridge, through Brooklyn Heights and into DUMBO (down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass apparently!) with a great tour company and a knowledgeable and funny guide.

I love New York.  I love its energy, diversity and the way it thrums with life and light.  It is hard to imagine a much greater contrast with our peaceful, soft green and quiet rural life.  I love my life and where I live but it is great to have the pure shot of energy that comes from visiting a major city like New York, London or Berlin.




And then less than forty eight hours in Los Angeles.  Why should it surprise you that a place looks just like your image of it?  Of course it does!  Sun, brilliant blue skies, beaches, tanned and beautiful people and lots of even more beautiful plants.

And then San Francisco.


The Golden Gate bridge emerges, just, from the famous San Francisco fog.



The view from the top of Mount Tamalpais is endless bay and mountains.  What a place to build a city.



The Farmers' Market in San Rafael is full of colour and real food.  I could have pitched my tent close by and lived there.


And the houses on the Crooked Street in San Francisco were like a film set.  Surely James Bond has driven a car down here?  If not, he should.

We were staying with some old university friends of Ian's whose warmth and hospitality provided the perfect end to our trip.   It was great to catch up and to have an insight into life in California.

And then home.  It took close on two days of travelling, a dreamy blur of near sleep and no sleep at all.


Waking early on the first morning at home in the sleepy disorientation of jet lag, all the colours and shapes were gently, gloriously familiar.  The garden is full of grass and six foot long runner beans. There is a list of things to do as long as both arms.

It is good to go away.  It is good to come home.

Comments

  1. What a wonderful trip Elizabeth and so very different to your Welsh mountain. As you say, it is good to go away... and good to come home! How exciting to meet some blogging friends along the way too and share in their lives - it does add an extra dimension.

    And what a wonderful event to come home to - your beautiful new grandchild - and such an exciting entry into the world. You are blessed.

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    1. Thank you Marianne! Yes we are very lucky indeed and very grateful for it.

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  2. Good morning from New York! Elizabeth, it was absolutely grand to meet you and Ian, and to have that beautiful afternoon for our walk along the length of the High Line. Elizabeth Wix and I agree that meeting you in person was like seeing a friend we'd known for years.

    More congrats and best wishes to you and your on the birth of the newest grandchild. What a sweet photograph that is of your son and grandchildren. Really heart melting.

    I also like seeing your pictures from California, but that last picture of home sweet home is a wonder.

    xo

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    1. Hi Frances! Yes it was grand for us too, a really lovely day! Thank you for the congratulations. It has been all excitement here. It would be quite good to have a couple of weeks quiet time but somehow we are all set up for more travelling!

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  3. Congratulations on the birth of your new granddaughter - a dramatic entry into the world by the sound of it:) Your trip sounds fabulous, in spite of many trips to the USA I've never been to either New York or California.

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    1. I would recommend both! Although the new baby obviously caps it all!

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  4. Hurray for another baby - and a husband there to deliver it!

    And isn't it great that you/we can get to know people all over the world, so that we can visit places properly and not just as outsiders, as tourists. Not that I do either, you understand, but that (and a Kindle) do undermine some of my (multiple) reluctances...

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    1. It is a surprising difference to go a place and meet someone who lives there who you already know, virtually or otherwise. Simply going as a visitor has its pleasures but you do have a sense of getting under the skin somehow and the whole experience feels more valid for reasons I struggle to articulate.

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  5. Congratulations Elizabeth! And what a fabulous trip. The High Line is on my absolutely must see list, I went to New York many years ago, probably before it was even the glint of an idea.

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    1. I would definitely go the High Line if you can get there. I am not sure it all works as a garden, but it most certainly does as an experience.

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  6. Fab pictures - not many babies born on the A38 ! That will be part of her life story - I wish her a good journey through the rest of it x

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    1. Thank you Paul. We are already wondering if she will be characterised by impulsiveness and an ability to surprise!

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  7. Lots of excitement in your life! A new baby, born in a "different" sort of place. Visits on both coasts of "the colony across the pond." (Or one of those colonies — the other being Canada.)

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    1. One of these days we will get to Canada too Rob! We have friends in British Colombia who we would love to see.

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  8. I wish I'd known you were going to be in NYC... it's only a short hop from Long Island, and I'd love to have met you in person!

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    1. Well that is another reason to go again! I would love to meet you too. It may well happen...

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  9. Hello Elizabeth, huge congratulations to your new grandchild. What a joy! Your journey across the pond sounds like a dream, found out about through Frances blog. All things you show are on my wishlist, thanks for sharing. Enjoy autumn now and best wishes from Belgium.

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    1. Hello! How good to hear from you. It has all been very exciting! Best wishes from North Wales to you and yours. maybe you will get over here again?

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  10. Wow, you have had a very busy, but great time! Congratulations to all your family on the birth of the new baby! May she have a long and happy life! So glad you enjoyed your travels, lots of things to see and do for sure. xx

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    1. It is quite funny that our normally reasonably routine life has been gloriously disrupted by two babies and a travelling excitement in quite a short space of time. Bit like the old saying about buses...

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  11. I found you through Frances' blog. Congratulations on you new granddaughter. What a thrill it is to welcome a new life into a family. I am sure you are so happy to be home now.

    I love all the great cities you visited, especially San Francisco. It is truly a magnificent place to live, however, it is also very expensive. Even a tent would cost you dearly.

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    1. Yes I had the impression San Francisco was a costly place to live! Beautiful though.

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  12. What a lot of excitement lately!
    The lovely grandchildren - the best thing of all.
    Then the trip which sounds marvelous altogether. It was such fun meeting you and Ian. Do hope all went well with the business part of the trip. I expect you are quite glad to be home and somewhat peaceful. A friend in Wiltshire reports blissful early autumn weather...enjoy your posts on Instagram too.

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    1. Fun for us too! Yes thanks, the work bit went well and we came home to glorious weather!

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  13. All the pictures are wonderful but the first one is the best, congratulations.

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    1. It is isn't it? Love everything about it!

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  14. So happy about a healthy baby! I guess you didn't make it to NH. Another time perhaps, or maybe, just maybe sometime we may make it over your way.

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    1. It would be wonderful if you made it our way nan! No, sadly we didn't get to New England because the need to get to the west coast reared its head. Hope we will one day!

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  15. What a whirlwind of wonderful you've been swept up in! Beautiful photos, but that top one takes the cake...enjoy!

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    1. We are enjoying it all hugely. We have met the newest arrival and the five week old baby is also thriving. It's all good!

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  16. What joy, excitement and fun! Nothing quite as awesome as the birth of child...

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  17. Wow, what a whirlwind of activity! So Exciting. Thanksfor sharing all these wonderful stops along the way.. and a big Congrats on the new sweet babe!

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  18. Many congratulations on the latest - and very keen - arrival! I'm a bit late catching up on your lovely packed post. I'm afraid my MiL is in the wars again so we're seeing a lot of the M4.

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    1. Yes, read about your mil on your blog. So sorry to hear. Hope she is improving.

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  19. Awwww, so many exciting events for you, and a gorgeous wee baby too, congratulations :)

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  20. And another congratulations from me! My second child was born in haste under a grand piano so I understand - though I shall never travel down the A38 again without wondering which layby it was! I was abroad when I had my first child so my parents had to wait a while to get a view of their first grandchild - no Facetime in those days!
    Your USA trip looks amazing too - but welcome home and cherish these times with your lovely family, as I know you will.

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    1. Under a grand piano! Now that is what I call stylish. Lovely to see you here!

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  21. Congratulations on the new arrival - the thrill never lessens!
    So you've been to this side of the pond and met Frances - you Lucky Duck! There are few of us left from the CL days so many years ago. I wish your trip to San Fran could have extended to the Island. We'd have given you a royal welcome!

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  22. Oh, Elizabeth - it's been ages since I've blogged, but even longer since I've read any blogs - just spent this morning trying (vainly) to get caught up on my favorites, and I'm still behind! Congratulations to you on yet another precious grandchild - I know you must be over the moon with so many Littles in your life these days. Loved your post summing up your whirlwind US trip - we were in NYC in August to move #2 into university (he is right at Lincoln Center, the lucky so-and-so) and saw many of the same sights. I think we all liked the Highline best, but all of it was delightful. Loved your shot of the GG bridge - it was like that when we were there last summer - how does anyone ever get a clear shot of it - it seems like it must always be shrouded in mist. I took on a part-time job teaching an evening class at a local Uni, and as always, 'part-time' has taken over most of my time - at least for the moment while I get up to speed. In any case - I am still determined to get to Wales and meet you in person...but first I need to work on passing that driving licence test...I think learning to drive in the UK is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done! xx

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  23. Clearly I'm catching up here so a little belatedly my heartfelt congratulations on the birth of another granddaughter. I'm still getting used to the grandparent thing with just the one tiny grandson, where I imagine those new 'Granny' feelings are all old hat to you now, blessed as you are to have so many small people in your life, but I can also see that the arrival of another is new and fresh every time. Enjoy all the cuddles.

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  24. I'm just catching up with your blog, Elizabeth. How wonderful – two new grandchildren! Many congratulations to all. I love your description of watching your children parent their children and 'passing the baton'. I hope it's all going swimmingly and you're having many lovely moments together. Sam x
    PS Also lovely to read about you meeting up with fellow bloggers. What a fab thing to do.

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