Thursday, June 4, 2009

England, 2009

This past April, My dad and I visited England for the very first time.  This was a dream come true for me in that I have always wanted to visit the area in England where my ancestors were from.  It was an incredible adventure to share with my father.  We had planned the trip, almost a year in advance and knew exactly where and what we wanted to see and do.  Obviously, we planned to visit the quaint village of Cranfield.  Our Wheeler ancestors were all from there.  We also wanted to spend time exploring the surrounding areas and stately homes that grace the countryside.  We originally talked about trying to find hotels to stay in along the way.  Then I had the idea of trying to find a cottage that we could rent that was centrally located near all of our destinations.  After searching the web for possibilities, I came across a place called "Dormer Cottage" in Stewkley.  I can't tell you how wonderful our stay was in this warm and friendly little village.  Our host Jill Scott met us at the door with open arms and generous hospitality.  The cottage itself was built in the early 1600's.  It had two bedrooms, one large bath, a full kitchen, and a sitting room.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  You could almost feel the history in the place.   From the exposed beams in the bedrooms to the large fireplace in the sitting room, complete with a bread oven.  We looked forward to our return every afternoon to Dormer Cottage after a day of exploration.  On the day that we arrived, Jill made delicious Easter cookies that were waiting for us in the kitchen.  Our trip to England would not have been the same if we stayed somewhere else.   I plan on a return visit to England next year with my wife and 10 year old son.  I don't need to tell you that I will be staying at Dormer Cottage with Jill Scott for part of that visit.  My return to England will include more family history research and to see more spectacular sites with my family.  But I will also be looking forward to seeing my new friend Jill Scott.    

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