Today started out with a hot chocolate at what has already become my favorite cafe in Thame. Accompanied by a cherry and almond bar and a good book, I could have stayed there all morning. Instead, I got to pretend I was house hunting as I accompanied A on a tour of two estates. Driving around the countryside is at once spellbinding and nauseating…I cannot quite get used to riding on the wrong side of the road.
We decided that both of the houses were not quite right, but it was fun to imagine the lawn parties and croquet games one could play on the expansive grounds. I could almost picture the game of lawn tennis that might have been played by ladies in long skirts and fabulous hats while the men discussed politics and smoked their pipes.
The highlight of my day was strolling around the Thame Food Festival, scheduled in my honor of course. It is not unlike the Grower’s Market in my own town, but there was lots more tasting and the addition of food stands. As one should when in England, we stopped for a spot of tea and enjoyed the sunshine.
Starting my trip this way is perfect. I get to adjust to the time change and ease my way into my trip. I get woken by friends who have already learned how I take my tea and bring me a cup to start my day. I get to enjoy the pace of a local weekend with friends and plan for my upcoming days as a busy tourist. I only hope that I make friends feel as welcome when they visit me.