the ‘rents come to london

IMG_7259in the middle of september, my mom and dad came to london!

it was pretty great to have them here. they have a deep love for this city and country, because they served a mission here thirty five years ago and have returned many times since.

ian and i enjoyed showing mom and dad around our new london life. we all slept on air mattresses in the still-unfurnished charian flat, shared meals of excellent food and even better conversation, and had a few fun adventures around the city and countryside together.

one morning my mom and i did the “tate-to-tate” – we explored the exquisite tate britian, and then took the boat down the thames to the tate modern! there is nothing like going to a good museum with linda eyre. she’s the best appreciator of beauty and work that i’ve ever known.

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^^ these colors in the main hall are so fantastic, and how about this sculpture made of slices of bread? fascinating. ^^
^^ a same-size oil copy of the lady of shallot hangs in my parents’ living room back home in utah. pretty neat to gaze at the original. ^^
^^ i adore how this room is stuffed with amazing art. brimming with creative representations of mortality. ^^

one night mom, dad and i met ian after work at the one new change rooftop, which provides stunning views over the city from a unique perspective behind st. paul’s. the sun was setting right as we got to the top, and these iphone photos don’t do the lovely sight justice.


after dinner that night, we told mom and dad we had a surprise for them, and we rode a red double decker across the waterloo bridge to the southbank centre.

when we first moved to london, ian and i had noticed a swing ride at “london wonderground,” a carnival just behind the london eye, and decided that taking ricky and linda to ride it would be pretty hysterical. we were right!

when mom and dad realized we were riding the swings they were pretty surprised but of course totally up for the adventure (they always are). we got into these little pods and then were raised up high while spinning, taking in the views with a side of nausea.

three of us really enjoyed the thrill. and ian hated every second after we started spinning – haha!
^^ best photo of the views through the eye and across the thames to big ben. we were spinning pretty fast! ^^
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^^ we are totally all smiling in that picture on the left. photo fail! ^^

on mom and dad’s last day in england, i went with them on a little road trip to the quaint town of batheaston. it was from this town that my great great great grandmother, ellen sarah harding, left everything behind to travel with five of her thirteen children (the other eight died very young) across an ocean and then a continent to zion. i am dumbfounded by this story of faith, and grateful that ellen sarah’s faithful blood runs in my veins. it was really special to visit batheaston and imagine my ancestors there.

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^^ we ended up driving into batheaston on this super narrow and windy road through a tunnel of trees – magical! and then we found the most charming english gardens along the canal…
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^^ and some delicious pub food at an old pub that was already an old pub with ellen sarah and her family lived in batheaston. ^^
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^^ the old church in batheaston, right across the street from the pub. ^^

after the ‘rents spent a few days with us in london, the boy and i took off with them on a cruise through the eastern mediterranean! what a treat! posts about days in dubrovnik, ephesus, santorini, olypmia and at sea coming right up…! but first! some snippets of our love story and some thoughts about our first year of marriage, because friday is our anniversary! i’m excited to celebrate our love, because it is really really really great.


  1. Slightly jealous. Any new job I started in the states require the employee to be on probabtion for the first six months not able to take benefit time for vacations.

  2. Seriously. You guys live in another dimension of reality where you can go on a vacation every other month.

  3. seriously. we feel so lucky that our lives have allowed us to travel so much, especially over the past year!

    i didn't really know, until ian started applying for positions across the pond, that european jobs in his field/level generally allow for much more vacation than american jobs in the same field/level. he has over five weeks off every year, a week of which he was able to take in his first few months, which we think is pretty amazing. and it has worked out so well that my job is flexible enough for me to have been able to take two (!) week-long trips this month (both of which have been in the planning stages for literally years).

    we definitely recognize that traveling very often is unusual, but also that it is possible! we've chosen to make travel a part of our lives, at the expense of not having other things be part of our lives, and that is just our personal choice. it's amazing what you can make happen when you put your mind to it (and of course also when things work out in your favor, which they have very much so for us lately, and we are grateful!).

    thanks for reading!

    1. Sorry, I don't buy into the "we sacrifice other things in order to travel". Like what, food? No, you eat out quite a bit. Your parents are officers of lots of corporations that probably write off a lot of the trips. And I'm sure you paid your way and paid for all the things you did on this trip - parents didn't treat you to anything....

    2. no, certainly not food :) but some other things that cost time and money.

      ironically, although my parents have never before helped fund our travel together (not sure what you have in mind as far as corporate sponsorships...) this cruise was actually indeed their treat, which was so so nice. they were speakers for the tour group we were on and asked if they could bring us instead of being paid. of course we paid for our own flights and any expenses off the cruise ship, and we got yo treat the parents to a few meals on land :) we felt so lucky (and a bit spoiled!) to go with them.

    3. You're a class act, Charity.

  4. You can also feel so lucky to have your mother with you! Because I for example would have not been able to appreciate the sculpture. Modern art is lost upon me. Maybe that's sad, but I just don't get it.

  5. How nice it must be to only have to work part-time!

    1. it is really nice. i am really lucky. we are tremendously financially blessed, in part because of hard work and being thoughtful about saving and spending, and in greater part because we are lucky.

  6. I appreciate that you are so willing to honestly and openly share your life through this blog. Your life is so different than mine and (gasp!) that's okay! You inspire me to travel more and step outside my comfort zone. Thanks for sharing and updating so often.

  7. Hi Charity! I'm a stranger who has enjoyed following your blog for quite some time. I've experienced many life milestones on a similar timeline as you have (I got married just over a year ago, moved over the summer, and recently started a new job) and have found your blog a source of inspiration aalong my journey.

    I recently read a quote by Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, that made me think of you: "enthusiasm is a form of social courage." It's so much easier to be criticial and contemtuous than to be enthusiastic. Thanks for choosing the latter and for inspiring me to do the same!

    1. What a wonderful quote! And so true!!

      Charity, I enjoy reading about your adventures! My husband and I enjoy traveling too and will get creative to do so! Good for you and Ian!

  8. Could say the same about you, Jenny. Although you're usually on one of the Eyre blogs taking up their shield of defense against disagreeing commenters.

  9. Post 1 of 2 (length):
    For some reason I feel compelled to comment here despite leading a very different life than Charity. Our main similarity is that we both make travel a priority. Two things: Firstly, about time off. Some of us considered weeks of vacation when picking a career (and had the luxury of doing so). I know I did and continue to do so; when recently switching companies I (was fortunate enough to have the ability to) turned down/didn't consider ones that offered 3 weeks or less. (I'm in America). When getting a promotion at my current company, I negotiated for an additional 5 days of vacation at a sacrifice to my salary (again, a luxury). Also, whenever I have switched jobs (corporate America, accounting/finance positions) I have been open about vacation I already had scheduled when getting an offer. So at a company whose vacation doesn't vest for 6 months, as someone above mentioned, I was able to take vacation during those 6 months because I had negotiated it before I even started (by telling them it was already booked). Once my vacation vested at the 6 month interval, I automatically lost the week I had taken. Finally, I don't feel badly about taking vacation. I work really hard, more than 40 hours a week when I am working and I will absolutely take 100% of the vacation days I am given (obviously not during very busy times at work) and I will fight any boss who tries to tell me I can’t (you literally gave me the days!). In my line of work there are many, many people who let their vacation days expire because they think they "can't" take them or they are worried about what will happen when they are gone. Make yourself valuable when you are there, train others/staff well to handle things in your absence, and plan vacation around less busy times and just go!

  10. Post 2 of 2:
    Secondly, about prioritizing spending. Obviously we have no idea how anyone ultimately uses their spending unless we see all their accounts. The friend you admire who always has the latest fashions may have $0 in a 401k, may be living in credit card debt, may be bankrolled by her parents or may be eating Cup o' Noodles nightly to make this happen. We just don't know. I think what is rubbing everyone wrong when Charity is talking about her "sacrifices" is that what she considers to be a SACRIFICE (for example- and these are MY words not hers- maybe only eating out 1x/week) is a LUXURY to others. That's just the way it works. So when I say I, too, sacrifice to travel I am referring to sacrifices in my own income bracket. I travel more than my peers in my same income bracket because I don't own a car, rarely shop, don't pay for a gym, never get my nails done, etc... so compared to people who make equivalent salaries as me, I have more money to travel because I am prioritizing that over other things. I think that's what it comes down to. Sacrifices are relative and I sacrifice compared to others in similar brackets to achieve travel. If I had to cut out all those things I mentioned above just to feed my family, the conversation would be different and it would be ignorant of me to say to someone in that position "oh, just sacrifice more and you'll be able to travel, too!". So I think that is what is rubbing everyone wrong with the word "sacrifice" here. If you have disposable income you can choose how you use it and if you are smart about how you use it you will have money left over for travel! But it's that disposable income piece and it comes yes, from hard work as Charity said, but also (and primarily at our young age-Charity and I being close in age) from being fortunate. I am absolutely fortunate in that I'm in a career that pays well and so is my husband and that, in many ways, I started on "third base" because my parents valued education, helped with student loans, and pushed me to a career they knew I could make money from.

    Whew! That is all. Charity, I hope I didn't put too many words in your mouth. All things being equal, people who do travel more usually make travel a priority and make some sacrifices to ensure that it is. But the ability to sacrifice and travel, that in and of itself is a luxury.

  11. thank you, two-parted anonymous, for sharing your perspective so articulately. and for helping me see how the use of the word "sacrifice" (which was inserted here by a commenter, not by me) may have affected the interpretation of my explanations.

    i agree with you whole heartedly that the ability to "sacrifice" disposable income towards travel (or even to have disposable income in the first place!) is a huge luxury. as i mentioned above, i completely acknowledge that we are tremendously financially fortunate - in part because of hard work and thoughtful spending and saving but *in greater part* because we are just really blessed/lucky/privileged.

    and thank you to other commenters for helping me evaluate the ways in which i am perceived online. it is valuable for me to know when my words or tone are misunderstood, or when they are rightly understood and i need a mentality check.

  12. Thank you for sharing. Love the pictures:)

  13. Thanks for openly sharing your life and travels. It's been fun to see the world through your lens. I'm happy for you and your new life in London! Here's to many more adventures!

  14. I just want to say how much I admire you, Charity. I just read the comments and have to agree with a previous commenter- you are a class act.

  15. So fun to have your parents there. I keep trying to get us there for a visit. Someday : )