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Our trip to the Lake District was just a little vacation we wanted to take, since Tim had some extra vacation. However, the hip thing to do now is to take a “baby moon” when you’re pregnant (according to pregnancy websites: it’s kinda like a honeymoon, but before the baby is born). So we decided to call this trip our “Baby Moon”.

Day 1- Monday, October 26

From Harpenden to Keswick (a town in the Lake District and the “w” in Keswick is silent) via A1(M) A1 (British Highway: Arterial road 1/Motorway 1) the trip was roughly 286 Miles. Timothy did ALL of the driving to Keswick. It was roughly 5 1/2 hours with a few stops. The drive was more scenic, than if we took just the Motorway. It was a bright and sunny English day, and the fall foliage was just gorgeous the whole way!

Once in Keswick, we checked into our wonderful B&B, the Ellergill B&B. It was recommended by Rick Steves, and Rough Guides, and so do we! We used Rick Steves’ book and Rough Guides, along with a video Rick Steves posted on Youtube about the Lake District to plan our trip. The B&B was just around the corner form the main market street and several restaurants/pubs! It was also about a 10 minute walk to Derwentwater (a lake).

That evening, we walked to the lake shore right at twilight. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Once it became dark, we went to town for dinner and turned in early.

Day 2– Tuesday, October 27

We woke up bright and early to walk to the lake shore before breakfast. Once again it was so peaceful and even more beautiful in the early morning sun light. Timothy and I really lucked out, our first day was a beautiful sunny/dry day! After our early morning walk, we went back to our B&B for breakfast! A Full English (vegetarian) Breakfast- eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, with juice and coffee/tea. It was very good, and a perfect way to start the day!

Our host recommended we walk 1/2 way around Derwentwater– going west towards Nichol End Marine, and then south past Catbells around the lake to Mary Mount Hotel for lunch. The was was relatively easy. The 4 1/2-5 mile hike should have taken about 2 hours, but being 7 months pregnant, it took us more like 3 hours, with lots of stops for pictures and taking in the beauty of the Lake District.

Once we got to the Mary Mount Hotel, we were ready for lunch! The pub at the hotel had large windows with a great view of the lake and Catbells fells (a local mountain). It also had a ton of bird feeders, and a bird guide for us to learn about the different birds!

From the Mary Mount Hotel, we could take the Keswick Launch Company boat ride back to Keswick. The ride was very enjoyable, and we got to enjoy more of the lake. From there we walked through town and back to our hotel to relax, before dinner.

Day 3– Wednesday, October 28

After sleeping in (or trying too), we had another Full English Breakfast, before heading out for a hike to Castlerigg Stone Circle. Our original plan was to drive, but Google Maps said it was only 1.8 miles (one-way). So we decided to walk. Not a smart move. When we started walking it was overcast, and shortly into our walk it started to rain (lightly). Then about the last quarter or half (it felt like more) of the walk was UP HILL!!! It was tough, but I did pretty good for a pregnant lady! Once we got to the stone circle, it stopped raining and we had an amazing view from the top of the hill of the surrounding areas. It was breath taking. After taking lots of pictures, we started to walk back. Then it started to POUR!! It was an interesting walk back to town, and we even got lost a little. After lunch at a local cafe, we relaxed at our B&B until Dinner time.

Day 4– Thursday, October 29

Once again, we tried to sleep in, but it is not as easy as it seems! We had another Full English Breakfast before heading to the Southwestern corner of the Lake District to Muncaster Castle. The hour long drive was very scenic and beautiful. However, it was very stressful. English roads are very narrow and windy! Plus this road had lots of sheep and cows roaming freely! We even got in to a few “traffic jams” with the sheep and cows!

Luckily, even though the morning was wet, shortly into our drive the rain cleared up and turned into another beautiful day. We toured the castle (that is still lived in), the grounds, and a owl/eagle/hawk sanctuary! We also went though their family friendly scary halloween maze, and watched a spectacular bird show! Thankfully, I only had 1 heart attack during the show.

We then headed back to Keswick for dinner, and another relaxing evening.

Day 5– Friday, October 30

It was sad to leave the Lake District Friday morning after another Full English Breakfast, but we were ready to go home. Plus there is always laundry, and house work to do after a vacation. The drive back was LONG! We went down the M1 (motorway). And there was a lot of construction and traffic! It probably took us 7 hours (including lunch break). This time, Timothy started out driving, but after lunch I drove, and did a pretty good job! 🙂 We were very thankful to be home, even though we highly enjoyed our “babymoon,” and hope to go back to the Lake District one day! There was still so much for us to see and do, and so much more hiking to do.

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For Timothy’s birthday, we took a nice day trip to Southern England! It was nice to relax on a coach bus, and listen to our amazing guide. We really enjoyed this trip! Plus, the weather was AMAZING for England! Our first stop, Leeds Castle was breathtakingly beautiful! We got to explore the castle, which was restored by an American who bought it 1926, and the pretty garden with amazing views (for those of you who love golf, they have an amazing course). It is definitely a must see! Then we went to Canterbury Cathedral. It was really neat to visit together. There is so much history and beauty at this cathedral! The architecture and art in this cathedral is very impressive.  Lastly, we went to the coast to view the White Cliffs of Dover! The sky was so clear we could see all the way across the channel, to see FRANCE! It was amazing. We had such a fun day together.

Description of Trip:

“Escape the hustle-bustle of London for a day and travel to the English countryside for a tour of Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover. Enjoy a private viewing of beautiful Leeds Castle before the doors open to the public, get an exclusive tour inside UNESCO World Heritage–listed Canterbury Cathedral, and admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover.”(Viator/Evan Evans Tours)

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Day 3 (Sunday) was a lazy day. After sleeping in, blogging, and doing a lot of nothing, we finally headed out into the city. We decided to go to the National Gallery.

My favorite section was the impressionist wing. I am now a fan of George Seurat. He is amazing. We also saw Monet, Van Gogh, and even a “cartoon” done by Leonardo Da Vinci. We only got to see maybe half of the museum, and will definitely be going back. After the museum, we went out to Indian, before heading “home”.

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Day 2 in London: we walked around the city, seeing some of the most famous sights. We mainly wanted to scout out places we want to see more. We also wanted to become more familiar with the city and how to get around. I’m really glad we did because the streets in London can be quite confusing! What looks like one continuous street on Google Maps, can actually be different streets that change names every couple of blocks! It was also nice to figure out how far things actually are from each other. The Eye of London, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, and Churchill’s war room are all about a 20-25 minute walk from our temporary apartment, which is so cool.

We also took a train to a commuter town we are interested in moving to. The town was really cool, but more urban than what Timothy and I were hoping for. We went to the tourist center and got some good information, and were told of another town close by, but smaller and more residential. We are looking forward to meeting with the realtor and finding our future home.  Also, the train ride was really nice.

PS: We won’t blog about every day, but we will if we do something exciting! 🙂

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Are we moving to the U.K.? Great Britain? or England?

Ducky: “I’m confused. Are we moving to the U.K.? Great Britain? or England?”

It is official. We will be moving from Israel in early January, just under the 2 year mark (Wow! 2 years already) and will be in London by the end of January (Tim’s start date is Feb. 2). But before making the move to England, we first need to go to the U.S.

Like most events, it is all a whirl wind/roller coaster ride. Here is a list of everything that needs to be done:

  • Tie up loose ends in Israel, prepare to move, and pack!
  • Fly to NYC, finish the last steps of the visa process
  • Visit Tim’s family
  • Fly to TX to ship our stuff from storage (Plus coordinate our stuff in NY & CA to be shipped as well)
  • Fly to London
  • Start the next Phase… finding an apartment, unpacking, and culture shock!

We are definitely looking forward to this next adventure. We are thankful/blessed for the crazy life we live, but the process of moving is daunting. I’ll be happier looking back on the move, than experiencing it!

In other news: Timothy will be attending NIPS conference in Montreal in December and my dad will be visiting me in Israel! Tim and my dad’s trip will overlap, so I will only be alone for a couple of days, which I’m so thankful for.

Bonnie Mann update: Timothy’s mom started a new treatment last week. However, she is also battling a bacterial infection. Please pray that the antibiotics will work and for the new treatment.

Also, a very good friend of mine mom was diagnosed with stage IV cancer last week, and it just broke my heart. Like my mom, surgery is not recommended. I pray that there will be another option for her.

Holiday plans: In Israel, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Years are just another day. But, Timothy and I have Christmas music, movies (thank you Netflix), a few decorations, along with Stuffing mix to help us celebrate. This year, our Christmas wish is a cure for Cancer. In the season of giving, Timothy and I ask that instead of a gift for us that you make a donation. Life and family is so much more precious than toys and gadgets. However, Christmas just won’t be the same without the traditional gift of underwear and socks from my mom.

AmericanCancerSociety

American Cancer Society: https://donate.cancer.org/index 

Cancer Research UK: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate

Exciting News! I am very proud to announce that Timothy was hired as a research scientist at Google DeepMind in LONDON, ENGLAND! Yap, you heard right- Jolly ol’ England. How did this happen? Well, like many things in our life- hard work, NETWORKING, being in the right place at the right time, and a little bit of charm paid off! Timothy met a member of DeepMind at ICML (International Conference for Machine Learning) in Beijing (yap, China) back in June, after Timothy presented a paper! In August, Timothy visited DeepMind. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but this is an amazing opportunity for Timothy.

As of right now, we don’t have a hard date for the move, but Timothy will be starting in January, and we will be in Israel until the end of December (Timothy still has a lot of work to finish at the Technion). We are currently in the Visa process, so there is a slight chance the Queen will not let us into the country, but we are pretty sure her Majesty will not hold a 200+ year grudge against us for being Americans. 🙂

From Tim's trip to London.

From Tim’s trip to London.

 

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