And England It Was

They say the boat chooses you.

I guess we have been looking for the boat, and we just have not come across her yet.  Maybe we are looking too hard.  So we will wait until the boat chooses us.  Maybe she is still being loved by her current owners.  We can wait.

In the meantime, we have been offered a position as Captains on a Lagoon 52 in France starting in February by someone we met in St Lucia in 2016.  

With this in mind, and because our boat has not chosen us yet, we decided to take the job and also head to England for a long overdue visit with family.

Darren’s brother Ricky and his wife Sandra were constantly in touch while we were in Puerto Rico, and offered for us to stay for a bit. However, we didn’t tell any other family of our planned adventure.  We wanted to surprise them.  As they knew we were hanging out in Fajardo, helping out Michael with his Sailing School, while looking for boats in the area.

Off we went from the warm Caribbean sun, to the cold dampness of England.  We hadn’t been back since 2008, so it would be a fantastic visit all around.

We landed, were picked up by Ricky and Sandra, after a long trans Atlantic flight and brought “home” to the Cotswolds.

I was quick to feel the magic and beauty of this area.  No wonder movie stars and famous people have homes here. 

The only other person , besides Ricky and Sandra, that knew we were arriving was Darren’s  eldest nephew Luke, whom Darren thinks the world of and works for Ricky and Sandra.  Because we couldn’t be hidden for a week, he knew we were in the country and was sworn to secrecy.  While there we were pleased to meet Luke’s lovely wife for the first time and their beautiful baby girl!  I, for one, have never seen such a happy baby! 

After a week in the south, and a few stops for warm clothes, (remember we just came from the tropics)  we donned our toques and mitts and long underwear and headed north to Lancashire with Ricky to surprise the parents, sisters and brothers. 

I wish we would have got Darrens sister Deb’s reaction on video, she was ecstatic to find her “big” younger brother and I on her doorstep.  After a few screams of delight, off we went in the car to Darren’s Mum and Dads.

I think it took them, as well as Dale and Gill, about an hour to finally sink in that we were actually there when we walked in the door.  Tears abound and hugs ensued.  We hadn’t seen Mum and Dad since our wedding in 2011 and they were elated and overjoyed to see us.   And when they found out we would be staying thru Christmas, they thought it was the best present ever.

Darrens other Brother Kelvin and his wife Christina came by, and we got to meet their beautiful daughter who we had only seen pictures of.  Lexi is a stunning young lady with the charm and kindness of her mother.

Back at Debs house, John,  Debs Husband was due home at 1700 hrs. Mean while Darren’s other sister had arrived. When John saw Dena in the foyer, a bubbling mess, he wondered what was up.   Directly behind the door we sat and was immediately surprised and speechless when he opened the door to find us.

Off to the local pub The Albion we went!!! But not without a stop first for some Fish and Chips!!! We had been a week in England and not had the famous fare yet!

Darren had a chance to catch up with his mate, John ” Brinny” whom he has been friend with since youth. It was a fabulous surprise all around and Darren was happy to be back to see and spend some time with friends and family.