Sometimes all you really need is a little piece of home…and this weekend I got just that!
This weekend my amazing best friend Maren and her little sister Nicole came to London for the weekend to do some sight seeing! We did all the usual attractions like Buckingham Palace, Trafalaget Square, Liecester Square, Big Ben, London Eye and the River Thanes! It was a very exciting weekend especially for me as this time we came and did things that I had never done in London before like high tea at the Kingsway Hall Hotel (AMAZING!!) as well as see covent garden, have a Big Ben cookie, a Lebanese dinner, and the best yet was going to see Wicked this evening! It was an amazing performance and evening as a whole!
During our sight seeing adventures of Saturday Niamh Wilson, a fellow Oakville friend who we have all known since we were children and one of Nicole’s best friends, was able to join us with her boyfriend which was really nice as well. It was a good Pine Grove reunion!
The more I see of this city the more I could see myself coming back to live for a bit!
Until next time London…
Throughout my life I have had the amazing opportunity to have stories upon stories told to me about my family history from many of my ancestors and relatives, but without the knowledge and help from my Great Aunt and Uncle Doon and Dave I would have never had the opportunity to make one of those stories a reality for myself. This past 24 hours I had the amazing opportunity to go to Fowey, Cornwall in England and spend the evening at Fowey Hall Hotel.
Fowey Hall Hotel is particularly important to my family and I as 6 generations ago my Great Great Great uncle Sir Charles Hanson, Lord Mayor of London, upon returning back to the UK from Canada, bought land and built the what is now a hotel as his home. Where much of the original structure lasts from when Charles and his family lived there, there has been improvements made and adaptations created in order for it to be a functioning hotel. The owners of the hotel have managed to keep Charles study, dining room, library, and lounge all in tact and very similar to how it looked in 1889 when the house was built upon his return from Canada.
Upon our arrival on Sunday afternoon the staff of the hotel were extremely welcoming and helpful with the organization and getting settled in. As the girls that I went with said “you have arrived home,” that is exactly how it felt. Being able to spend time in my family’s home was one of the most rewarding and incredible experiences I have ever been able to endure. I cannot put into words the amazement and appreciation I have for my family’s history and to learn about it first hand was truly the best gift I have ever been given. The last Hanson that was able to visit the hall in our recollection was my great aunt Doon at the age of 12; therefore, having her help me to be able to go back and experience what she did then I will never be able to thank her enough!
As a family we are a united front, and being able to see and learn about my ancestors who were born in 1846 and before was incredible.
In the small church of Fowey there is a memorial plaque in the inside walls commemorating Charles and his wife Martha (As shown above) with the family crest carved above. AMAZING! it truly was a blast from the past and the opportunity of a lifetime!
Fowey – a beautiful town – and an even better experience!
love from the Hanson across the pond
P.S. a little notable fact – in the novel “The Wind in the Willows” Toad Hall is based off of Fowey Hall; therefore many of the room s that are not named after Charles and his family are named after the characters in the children novel. For my Children’s Literature class this week – purely out of coincidence – I have to read “The Wind in the Willows”. I did not know before my trip that the book was based off of Fowey and the hall itself !