Livin’ the Dream

Brie: It’s official. We made it to heaven on earth.

This weekend, we decided to send Adri back to Italy with a bang by visiting Chatsworth House, site of the Hollywood version of Pride & Prejudice. After a week of awkward Halloween parties (actually we were very cute matching librarians), we were not looking forward to waking up at 4:30 in the morning for our 7 o’clock train. We made it though, bleary-eyed and slow-footed. Once on the train, we napped and watched the sun rise.

As soon as we stepped off the train in Chesterfield, we hopped onto a bus towards Baslow. We grabbed a cup of much-needed coffee and some Bakewell cakes. Adri wasn’t a big fan, but Marianh and I loved the coconutty deliciousness. During our second breakfast, we watched a weird group of local bus paparazzi, and wondered who famous would be taking a bus… It’s still a mystery.

And then we started off to Chatsworth House through the park. It was so beautiful. We could not have gone on a better day. The sky was clear, the air was crisp, and the leaves were on fire. We passed some precious cottages, and SO MANY sheep. To make things even better, we had some great coupons and our tickets to the house and gardens were super cheap. As soon as we entered the gardens, we were floored. First, we saw some owls and other birds of prey, some of which may have been used in the Harry Potter films, no big deal. We walked up through the rose gardens, the vineyard, the cottage garden (where the shrubberies were shaped as chairs and tables), and the kitchen garden. We made our way through the Rockery, saw the best view of the day, down to the Cascade with water flowing down the hill, and through a TERRIFYING coal tunnel. After enough Halloween until next year, we caught our breath at the ponds, and got lost in a hedge maze.

And then, it was the moment of a lifetime. THIS. IS. REAL.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymuKUvp2y…) We took pictures of the view, and were instantly in love. Literally, every two steps we had to stop and sigh. On such a gorgeous fall day, how could we not? Later, we bought souveniers, pasties, and soup, and Will joined us from London. We made our way through the house, in awe of the painted ceilings and carved wooden paneling. The Veiled Vestal Virgin, Mr. Darcy statue, and Harry Potter’s Firebolt were nice surprises too.

While Marianh showed Will the abbreviated Garden Classics Tour, Adri and I ran up the hill to look at barnyard animals and take a little hike. On the way out, we ran into a dog the size of a bear, and Mr. Dursley’s twin brother. Unfortunately, our busride back didn’t take us to the rail station, so we took a tour of Chesterfield at a breakneck pace. On the way, I snapped a picture of the famed Crooked Spire, and ran across a graveyard (how much more Halloween can we get). Funnily enough, our train was late. All of the connections were easy-breezy, even if I was worried big-time. That night we slept like rocks after a 18 hour day, and with a showreel of picturesque panaromas playing in our dreams.

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