How to visit England without ever leaving California

So you know how Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the day when you celebrate romance, love, and that special someone?

Well, we bumped it back a week.

Saturday morning, Scott and I left the boys with my folks and headed for England … or what felt like England, anyhow.  We went to stay at this inn in Muir Beach, just minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge:

At this point, if you are a fellow Anglophile, you are probably salivating like a St. Bernard.    Honestly, this is the most fabulous place. It makes you feel like you’re in a Daphne Du Maurier novel. It was built in the 1970s by an English expat, who lovingly designed it to make it look just like an old inn across the pond.  I think he did a darn good job.

Take, for instance, our room, which looks like something Moll Flanders would have slept in:

Here was the view out of our leaded windows:

There were great old framed prints on the wall.  This one clearly depicts a time long before PETA:

(Yes, that guy is trailing a dead deer by one foot.)

Oh, and this was our shower curtain, with knights, dragons, fair damsels, and castles galore:

Best of all, the inn is a short walk to the beach.  It was a cloudy, gray day; the water looked metallic and was unbelievably loud as it crashed to the shore.  It was the kind of beach I love.  It made me think about Star of the Sea, one of my very favorite titles for Mary. (I admit it; I’m a geek.)

“Do you think you would be a more spiritual person if you lived overlooking the ocean?” I asked Scott, as we sat on a bench on the bluff.

“I think you’d have to be,” he said.   We watched the waves together, looking at the splash of sunlight reflected on one little section of the waves, soaking in the loud thunderous crash of it all.   There is something so soothing about looking out at that line of the horizon.  It sounds cliched, but it made everything else sort of recede for a time … everything, of course, but the great guy sharing the bench with me and keeping me warm.  In fact, the entire weekend brought him — actually, us — into a nice sharp focus.

It was a most excellent getaway.

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