Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Day 4: The Cotswolds

We use a Groupon to take a bus tour of the Cotswolds, which is officially an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The Cotswolds are basically rolling English countryside with rural villages and stone houses that look like they came out of a Thomas Kinkaid painting - but you know, not sucky.
Mark at the London Google office. (The clock reads “Mountain View.”)

Our first stop is Bibury which is so charming that three people leave our tour, find an Air

Bnb, and choose to stay the night and return on the next day’s bus. Julia asks why we
didn’t do that. If I’d thought of it I very well might have. Of the things we did that didn’t
involve tea, Bibury is the highlight of our trip.
Kathy at the iconic Arlington Row in Bibury. I feel like The Painter of Light's going to get me.
Fun with walls.
The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is lovely, and - you guessed it! - located right on the water. By the time we get to Stow-on-the-Wold (dig these hyphenated names!), Mark is pretty much Cotswold-town’ed out and we stop for tea.
Kathy seizes the moment at Bourton-on-the-Water.
It doesn't take much to push over Kathy.

Julia's turn!

Julia thought pretend "push people in the water" photos were the best thing ever.

Cotswolds selfie!

The kids are wearing what I thought was country-inspired attire - meaning hats - but admittedly in retrospect it IS a little much. On two separate occasions two Asian women on the tour take pictures of the kids without asking. (I’m not sure why but Asian women stateside have gone gaga for my kids before, too. At one Taiwanese restaurant, the servers flashed peace signs, took selfies with James, and gave the kids free food.)

It was Julia's idea to pose that way.

Our tour guide takes a fancy to the kids, and they speak to him in their British accents. (He

claims he’s impressed.) Julia also reveals to him their plan for celebrating July 4th (that
day) in England by raising their fists against the British. He laughs and says they deserve
it. He ends up telling this story to everyone on the bus microphone, twice.

Julia loves selfies with Mommy.

Not sure that paint's working…

Julia’s favorite thing of the day: Bibury and sticky toffee pudding.

James’s favorite: Sticky toffee pudding.

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