"Any minute now, you are going to see the sea!" said Grandma as the little train chugged along. Three blond heads turned toward the window, and waited. When it finally appeared, admiration sprang from all directions as a hush settled.
There it was, the 'wow' I had anticipated, having held Cornwall in such regard for so long inside. Now it wasn't just a photograph anymore, to them. It was real. And it was shared.
We gathered our belongings and lined up to exit the train, Mother and Father close behind as rear guard. In only a few steps, a magnificent ACE Cab/Van approached our little group. "Ma'am?," said our driver. "Right this way. Welcome to St Ives!" He chattered amiably and answered queries about where it was that we needed to go. He then drove us to it 'post haste'. Every cab driver drives post haste in St Ives, because they can't help it. We never know how they get up the nerve. But he got us there in great style, depositing us within mere feet of the sand, received his pay, and was off. We watched him go, picked up our bags and turned to look at the cottage. And what a cottage it was!
"Grandma!" said the 9-year-old as he entered. "It says to kindly remove our shoes!" Ooh, I thought, that is a good sign. That means nice carpeting and perhaps a bit more poshness than our erstwhile Airbnb had offered. We began to suspect that we had come up in this world.
In a series of discoveries, everyone went from room to room assessing the new digs. Bedrooms were discovered and assigned, bathrooms were counted (three!) and cheered, while Mother and Grandmother peered inside the kitchen cupboards and hidden places in search of goodies. We found Brie, olives, a loaf of bread, fresh English butter, and a bottle of wine! Oh, and I mustn't forget - they left us milk! I have said it before, and I'll say it again - no one does hospitality quite like the British. There's something so civilized about it, and always will be. Rule, Britannia.
The sun is only just beginning to set, and it's 9:30 pm. The children are tucked in and already drifting, leaving the grownups to collapse again into jet lagged heaps. Only this time we get to collapse upon the most plush and deliciously cozy beds. No horrid creaking with every move we make, no more painful banging of shins upon sharp wooden corners. It is Cornwall. It is St Ives. It is the place where civilization finds its zenith, and the SconeLady finds her heart, year after lovely year.
See you along the way!