I can often be heard saying that I feel peace in the country and alive in the city.

I have had multiple international trips where I have purposely chosen to spend time in both the city and countryside…and the combo is magic!

My trip began in Gardenstown, Scotland in a tiny fishing village by the sea.

I shared a peek into my time in a previous post.

When it was time to say goodbye to the sea and our cab was pulling away I had my head turned to the sea until it had disappeared from site.

As we passed pastures, flocks of sheep and stone fences…we knew that what we had just experienced was real and deep.

It was time to board a plane to London and to experience as much as we could in a few short days.

I have to start off with food because our first night in London we had the most incredible Indian food at The Red Fort.

I have to tell you that until my time in Scotland and England I had never had Indian food.  How is that even possible? The most fascinating fact I learned was that Indian food was becoming the official food of England.  Baby, we have come a long way since I was in England 20 years ago and I thought fish and chips was the jam.

I am now pretty much obsessed and I must find good Indian food in Denver (so if you know of one please let me know).

Even though some of the other women from the retreat were also spending time in London this was really a time for Alexis and I to end our trip together all alone.

We were able to meet up a few times with Judy, Kathie and Michel but also to explore on our own schedule.

It was marvelous.

We spent a whole morning at The National Portrait Gallery viewing the visiting exhibit of John Singer Sargent. I never get tired of seeing his incredible use paint to create light. It makes you gasp sometimes.

{A tiny bit of one of the most gorgeous paintings I have ever seen. Ambrose McAvoy}

Because a friend had told me how wonderful the food (and view) was from the gallery’s upstairs restaurant we took our time with lunch and then just walked around London.  That night we just popped into a restaurant near where we were staying and did what we do best…talk and dream and scheme and laugh.

The next morning we headed out to the Tate.  Good stuff I tell you!  I was in heaven and I could have spent all day looking at the art, drinking coffee and just spending time with my friend that gasped at the same paintings I did.

We were able to see the Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden  exhibit and it was one of my favorite exhibits I have ever seen.

It is one of the sweetest gifts in the world to have a dear friend that shares your loves.  To travel, create, explore with my dear friend is a true treasure and something I hold onto until our next adventure.  Our conversations never run out and it covers family, faith, art, children, dreams, somedays…all of it.

After the Tate we made our way back to the hotel for massages (tough I know) and then to get ready to see Sunny Afternoon! Our seats were incredible and the cast was phenomenal and truly sang and danced their hearts out.  I can’t wait for the show to come to the US and to get to see it again.  Our night ended with dinner and drinks with our other traveling friends and then everyone headed back to bed for early flights back home.

I think it takes days, weeks and sometimes years to fully understand the beauty that comes from taking time for yourself and seeing the life that grows from it.

In bits and pieces I am beginning to process this incredible dream trip and what it means for me.

I hope you do something small or big or bold or quiet just for you.