Cornwall family vacation

Growing up, we spent almost every summer visiting my grandparents in Cornwall, England, and it was easily the most magical part of our childhoods. (The beaches! The boats! The pirate lore!) Now, as adults, we try to take our own children every couple years, and it makes my heart burst. Here are a few photos from our trip last week…

Polruan view of Fowey

We stayed at my grandmother’s house in Polruan, a tiny fishing village, overlooking the harbor.

Cousins

The cousins — aged 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8!

Polruan

Every morning, and many afternoons, my grandmother would sit in her garden and work on her embroidered pillows. She busts out one a month, and my aunt says they don’t know what to do with them all! Here she’s working on a Klimt pattern, as she says “the complicated ones are rather fun.”

Polruan boat ride

Alex and Joanna

During the day, we’d often go on a boat ride into the ocean…

Cornwall family vacation

Other times the kids would go crabbing. (They caught zero crabs, but the attempts were valiant!)

Cornwall family vacation

Cornwall family vacation

And one afternoon, we went on an adventure to Sam’s on the Beach, a restaurant a couple towns over. My great uncle Donald ordered bottles of rosé, and we ate seafood pasta and fish and chips…

Cornwall family vacation

…while the kids played in the sand.

Joanna, Toby and Anton

Cornwall family vacation

Then, most evenings, around 6 p.m. (or “drinks o’clock,” as my cousins say), we’d come together in the garden for snacks and wine before dinner. The kids would run around or watch cartoons, and we’d relax after the day.

Cornwall family vacation

Somehow Alex ends up dressing like another person on every vacation. (Exhibit A, exhibit B.) Here he’s twinning with my cousin, Olivia. Makes me laugh so much.

Cornwall family vacation

We felt so lucky to stay with my grandmother, and I snapped this photo of her bedroom. How beautiful are the purple walls?

English dollhouse

Right next door, in the room where we were sleeping, Anton was playing with the dollhouse my grandfather built decades ago. My grandfather was passionate about every detail, including a grand piano, a miniature cheese plate, and tiny lamps that actually turned on (!).

English dollhouse

Doesn’t it look right out of a house tour?

Polruan ridge

At the end of the week, we flew home to New York, and I got the sweetest email from my aunt: “Now you have all left, the silence is deafening. I’ve been sweeping up sand and the odd lost toy and sock, sticky marmalade patches on the floor, the stinky crab line — and loads of empty wine bottles. The machinery is humming and the dryer buzzer keeps going off. I definitely feel miserable to have the place boringly cleaner and tidier. Sadly it all goes back. We all go back.” Truer words. I’ve been so homesick this week and miss the salty air and soundtrack of seagulls. Please don’t forget about us, Cornwall. We’ll see you in two years! xoxo

P.S. Our past four England trips — Toby and Anton are so teeny.