This is dedicated to my Grandmother. She was a wonderful women and fellow traveler who would have loved the idea of us traveling around the world.
As we are working on packing up our memories, I have come across several photo albums. One of those albums was a trip that I took with my Grandmother Stevens to England and Ireland in 1997. After the trip, my mother and I put together an album for my grandmother as a present. My grandmother before her death had given back this album. Going through the album, I located her journal from the trip. I have enjoyed re-reading the journal which brought back many of the fun memories of our travel together. At several points, the journal also made me chuckle. Most people will journal about the sites, people they meet, and feelings during the trip. My grandmother did write about the sites, what we saw and did. But interestingly, it mostly focuses on the food we had and where we ate.
I should not be surprised by the details around the food as my grandmother had been a Home Economics teacher before she retired. She had always loved experimenting and trying new foods. My mother has told me on several occasions that for fun my grandmother would read cookbooks and that growing up the family would eat some rather funky combination of foods. Going out to eat with grandmother always guaranteed that she would be sampling my food too. No plate was off limits! I imagine if my grandmother had been proficient with a computer she would have been a great food blogger. Her descriptions are detailed to the point that I can picture some of the foods we ate on our trip.
Though we saw some amazing sites and learned many interesting facts on our trip together, the best part of this trip was how it brought us closer together. This is something I especially value since she has passed. Some of my favorite memories of my grandmother are the simple moments we shared on our trip; from the picnic we had on the Atlantic to the meal we had in an Oxford pub. It makes me laugh out loud to remember how aghast several of the other ladies we traveled with were that my grandmother would dare bring me into a pub of all the places to eat lunch, despite the fact that I was in my mid-20’s. During our trip together, she also introduced me to the idea of sending a postcard home to myself. To this day, I still send postcards to myself when we travel. I am always excited when we finally get that post card to see how long it took to arrive and to be able to reread what we did. The closeness and memories are one of the many reasons I keep traveling with my family. It is always a breath of fresh air to escape the day-in and day-out drudgery of school, work, and other distractions that prevent us from spending quality time together as a family.