Day 61 (3.15.17): Our Amazing Backyard

A few facts you should know about the small house we’ve rented in Woodstock.

  1. We don’t know exactly how old it is, but when it was built the US was still a colony.
  2. It’s less than 100 steps to the nearest pub.
  3. The backyard is about is about two village blocks from the front door.

Okay, so strictly speaking, we don’t have a yard.  We are, however, a short walk from Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Winston Churchill’s family.  They had a huge, amazing garden – more than 2,000 acres – and all the members of Team Hubbard are now card carrying members of the Palace, entitling us to come and we go as we please.  In fact, our street, Brown’s Lane, is named after the landscape architect who designed the gardens, Capability Brown.


There’s even a small side gate that we can use to avoid the peasants … err … crowds.  This is part of what we see when we step through our gate.


We can also see the palace in the distance.


On Wednesday, while I was getting settled in at Oxford, Julie and the girls took a break from school to go have a picnic at Blenheim.  The weather was too pretty to waste indoors.  The short walk includes some amazing buildings along the way.


We can’t wait to see what they look later in the spring.


Once at the Palace grounds, Julie and the girls enjoyed a light picnic in a courtyard.


After lunch, Julie, Lydie, and Cassie walked towards the so-called “Pleasure Garden.”  The girls enjoyed climbing around the gnarled trunks of massive English oak trees.


This one had a hollowed out “door” and a little “window.”


Julie and the kids also visited the butterfly house, which was already filled for spring.  By far, however, the girl’s favorite part of the garden is the massive hedge maze.  They love it!


They had a great time running around and through repetition, repetition, repetition quickly memorized the layout.  A group of English middle schoolers arrived for a field trip a short time later.  Lydie and Cassie enjoyed having the upper hand in knowing the maze! Julie saw one English boy come stumbling out of the entrance to the maze not the exit.  He exclaimed melodramatically in a thick English accent, “I’m a failure!”  This has become our short-hand expression on our trip when we cannot do something.  Thanks, English boy!  You succeeded at something after all.

Lydie and Cassie have already been back to the maze multiple times in the past week.  I went with them one day after work to play a game of tag.  It took a while, but I eventually cornered them.  I’m not a failure!


Update from 3.22.17:  Lydie and I went on a walk through the Blenheim Palace grounds today after work and school.  The weather couldn’t make up its mind, and we saw a beautiful rainbow.




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