Rochelle Canteen: In search of the best scrambled eggs on earth

Breakfast at Rochelle Canteen.

This post is the thirteenth in our England 2015 series.

When we starting making our bucket list of things we’d like to do in England, I noticed that I didn’t have very many things that were meaningful to me, personally. There were lots of things I wanted to do with my family, but it was hard for me to identify activities that were a must-do for me. I finally came up with two: I wanted to go running in London (you’ll read later about how that turned out), and I wanted to visit Rochelle Canteen. Continue Reading →

Somebody Stop Me: The wax and wane of appetites

A full English breakfast at the Regency Cafe in London.

This post is the twelfth in our England 2015 series.

Travel invites the indulgence of appetites — so many things to eat! and see! and do! and more to eat! The impermanent quality of life on a trip inspires that carpe-diem instinct, urging us to take in more and more since we’ll be back home mowing the lawn before we know it. Continue Reading →

Impromptu Magic: One bartender’s transformation of an ordinary lunch

Window seat play.

This post is the eleventh in our England 2015 series.

A fleeting, ordinary moment can take root in one’s memory with just a bit of attention. Continue Reading →

The Four Things: Focusing at the British Museum

Viewing the Rosetta Stone.

This post is the tenth in our England 2015 series.

“One day some soldiers were digging near Rosetta when they found a stone, something like a tombstone with three kinds of writing on it….This stone is called the Rosetta Stone. It is now in the great British Museum in London and is very famous, because from it we were able to learn so much history that we otherwise would not have known.” — V.M. Hillyer, A Child’s History of the World Continue Reading →

Touring the Playgrounds: Frolicking our way through England’s jungle gyms

This post is the ninth in our England 2015 series.

At Trafalgar Square

In our trip-planning, Jon and I had discussed our philosophy of travel, specifically what efforts must be made to guard against the overextension of our children. “We’re here to have fun,” we said. “We won’t be able to cram everything in, and we want to have some blank space in our days for spontaneous moments.” This developed into a clear policy: No more than two major activities each day. This guideline allowed us to tackle some delightful adventures as well as protect time for spontaneous experiences and frivolous excursions — including impromptu stops at a variety of playgrounds. Continue Reading →

It’s Just a Flesh Wound: Diving into England’s bloody history

The yeoman warder at the Tower of London.

This post is the eighth in our England 2015 series.

As we readied our minds for the trip, I became excited about studying English history with the girls — until I was blindsided by the quantity of bloodshed and decapitation in the available narratives. Continue Reading →

How to Talk English: Learning to embrace Britishisms

Posing with King Henry VIII.

This post is the seventh in our England 2015 series.

As soon as we had secured our plane tickets, our first task was to contact our dear friend and host Teresa, a spunky, energetic 86-year-old Englishwoman. She and the Boyd family have been friends for decades, and she has been urging us to bring our family to visit for years. Continue Reading →

Homesick for Cats: Missing Franny and Pepper all over England

Pepper and Franny.

This post is the sixth in our England 2015 series.

The hardest thing about traveling for our seven-year-old daughter Rosie wasn’t the unfamiliar food or the jet lag or the miles of walking we did every day. It was missing our cats. Continue Reading →

Perfecting Fun in Quiet Desperation: A lesson from the London Eye

Rosie sticks out her tongue.

This post is the fifth in our England 2015 series.

On our second day in London, we decided to take a trip on the London Eye. This giant ferris wheel opened in 2000 and consists of 32 large glass-enclosed capsules that hold up to 25 people each. The view is incredible, and the girls had been drawing pictures of it practically since the moment we announced our plans for the trip.  Continue Reading →

The Champion: Our favorite burger for the travel-weary

Scalp massages at The Champion.

This post is the fourth in our England 2015 series.

Our arrival day was exhilarating, but exhausting. After sleeping minimally on the plane, we landed at 8:30 am England-time with the intent that we would power through until bedtime in order to beat jet lag. Continue Reading →

Departure: The journey from crazy to calm

At O'Hare and reading to go!

This post is the third in our England 2015 series.

The week of departure was chaos. Pack the bags. Shop for airplane snacks. Clean the house. Finish up work projects. Pack up the cats and bring them to our friends’ house. Back up the computers. As I tied up loose ends at work and at home, staying up into the wee hours of the night, Jon voiced his concern that my stressful aura would spill over into our precious trip. Continue Reading →

Obsessing over Shoes: Gaining self-knowledge through packing

Ironing in England.

This post is the second in our England 2015 series.

About four months before our trip — on January 5, to be precise — we bought our plane tickets. “Hooray!” we rejoiced. “It’s really happening!” And I immediately became preoccupied with the questions of what to pack. Continue Reading →

Learning to Crave Tea: Cultivating our appetites for England

Lucy and Rosie collect snails in Wiltshire.

“A pleasure is full-grown only when it is remembered.” — C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

In May 2015 — one year ago this month — our family of four took a two-week trip to England, during which I gathered up an assortment of notes, photos, and memories. Continue Reading →

St. Patrick’s Potpie

St. Patrick's Pot Pie (with broccoli on the side)

I have a little bit of Irish in my background, but I’ve never done a very good job celebrating St. Patrick’s Day aside from wearing a bit o’ green. But after years of experimenting, I’ve finally landed on a winner: a truly delicious and mishmashed celebration of Irish food. Continue Reading →

Huzzay! It’s the 2015 Boyd Mad Lib!

Christmas Card 2015

Yet again this year, we are sending out a blank Mad Lib for the fun-loving among you to create your very own version of a Boyd holiday letter. But if you’re curious about the official version, read on. Continue Reading →