Another country can be added to my list of conquests (and yes that is how I see every place I travel, as an opportunity to master their culture and acquire their love and customs) and saw my ever-doting-and-fabulous grandparents as well. I flew out to Grantham, Great Britain last Friday with two hours of sleep, a backpack, and my travel playlist to my name. After a long morning (that really was just an extension of my Thursday thanks to my lack of sleep) I finally arrived at Harlaxton Manor. Oh, what a sight it was to see. The long drive stretched for a mile before a glimpse of the manor finally came into full heart-stopping view. This is where I would like to mention that although Harlaxton is technically a “house/manor” it is undeniably as grand as any small castle nestled into the European countryside. When the setting sun hits the front of the manor, the entire countryside lights up with reflected light stopping you in your tracks. I was given a lovely tour by a lady named Anne, and later an even better tour from my very own grandparents (They knew where all the secret passage ways were, it was no competition) and I was absolutely astounded by the interior as well as the exterior. The rooms were filled floor to ceiling with cedar staircases, blue and gold filigree, mirrors, glass, and art. The grounds contained flower gardens that my grandmother and I fawned over and views that made my heart soar.

Not only was Harlaxton beautiful, but the undivided attention and love of my grandparents was a gift in its own right. They took me to their favorite pub (twice) and fed me good food until I couldn’t breath, let alone move. They smiled, and told me they were proud of me, and I felt myself sink into a warm sense of comfort that can be so evasive when you’re far from your family. We also got to spend a lovely evening with their long-time friends David and Janet, and again I was overwhelmed by the love and hospitality of two people I hadn’t seen since I was five years old. I know that Grantham has little of the booming incessancy of London; but the green countryside and its quite nobility and comfort was more than enough for me, far more than I deserved to be quite honest. As were the people.

Shaina

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