september 15: the jane austen festival in bath! it seemed like we had all morning to prepare. at breakfast in the main hotel cathy came in with curlers in her hair. courtney had set them earlier that morning. a few of the ladies had curlers in too, but wore scarves over their hair. since cathy stayed on the trip to bath last minute, the women pulled bits of their outfits to fashion one for cathy. we were glad she joined us for bath. before getting ready i sent a quick email to wish gr2 a happy birthday–she turned eight. my husband took the kids camping for the weekend. in the room, emily was working on her bonnet. curling hair with the dress on proved a challenge–i couldn’t quite take my arms above my head. since it was nice out i wore my light shawl. emily wore her spencer. we ran out of time for pics at the hotel and boarded the bus at 10:15 a.m.
we caught traffic coming into bath. the promenade started at 11 a.m. at 11:25 we were coming into the city. when we reached milsom street we saw the end of the parade. john pulled over to let us out to catch up with the group. we became the end of the parade. people watched as we walked by. we walked towards the river to the park by bath abbey where it ended.
a photographer from the chronicle took a picture of our group (below). there was a gazebo with musicians and a group of children dancing in costume. there were many people ooh-ing and ahh-ing each other’s costumes too. emily joined in the dancing and met a young man in costume. she said he introduced himself as darcy. when he asked her name, she replied: emma. she did not want to give the wrong impression.
some of us left for the jane austen centre for tea and lunch. emily, raquelle, heather, holly and jeannie caught up. we sat in groups since it was a busy day for the centre. i sat with wendy, trish and jessica. nearby, aylwen, courtney and nancy were at a table while karen, debbie, and francis sat at another. all of us in costume must have been a sight. i picked early grey tea and i tried clotted cream for the first time on my scone (it won’t be the last!). there was so much food!
when we finished, emily joined trish, jessica and i to the royal crescent. we walked past the circus and turned left up the hill. i thought about persuasion when we reached it. ahhhh, what would it have been like to live here?
trish and jessica were on a mission to see where the elliot’s “lived” in persuasion. emily and i wanted to take in as much as we could. tourists stopped to ask us why we were dressed. some asked to have their picture taken with us. we made our way back towards milsom street to window shop. we found the cath kidston store where we ran into wendy and courtney. i found some very sweet things for my girls–i could buy lots here. we shopped at a charity shop, stopped by the guild hall, searched for sally lunn’s with no success, walked back to the jane austen centre, picked up dinner to eat later and found the roman bath house. we walked in circles that afternoon. by 4:30 p.m. we met our group to return to corsham. what a day!
on the bus, holly invited everyone to their room in the evening to do a little show-and-tell of what we bought in bath. once we returned we took our group picture at the hotel. nancy, emily and i took turns taking pictures with the beautiful hills in the background.
we (finally) changed out of our costumes. i must have kept a very straight back all day–my shoulders and back were tired. as we ate our dinner and packed our bags, emily played persuasion on her computer. it was the perfect way to end the trip to bath. at holly, heather, raquelle and jeannie’s room we took turns showing what we bought. it was a lovely way to gather one more time.
before bed i finished thank you cards for suzi and jennie. the next day we checked out and left for london–heathrow airport for me.