We were late for the ball.
It was a hot day in the Georgian city of Bath, nearing ninety degrees. After failing to hail a taxi or get an Uber, my Dad and I decided to get into our carriage, otherwise known as a silver Volvo, and speed into town. By some miraculous turn of fate, we found parking, though not very close to our destination. Running across Pulteney Bridge, my Dad lost his shoe, or at least the sole of it.
This Cinderella story had a happy ending. We made it to the ball, The Jane Austen Festival Regency Costumed Summer Ball, to be exact. We managed to arrive while it was still considered to be fashionably late. Everyone was dressed in 18th century or Regency finery. As we arrived in the ballroom, I was announced as “Lady Greene” hailing from the “Spanish Possession,” a way to say the anachronistic state of Florida.
Stepping into my fantasy of Regency, England was simply a dream come true. I felt like Catherine Morland or Elizabeth Bennet, some of Jane Austen’s heroines. I must admit I made many missteps during the dances, looking more like a puppet with a few missing strings rather than the graceful lady I had imagined myself to be. Who knew line dancing could be so difficult? I also did not meet Mr. Darcy. Despite this unfortunate fact, this magical night was a coda to a cacophony of experiences I had while abroad. It truly was a happy ending.
After the ball was over, it was time to go back to reality and everyday life. Admittedly, I was tired and desired the comforts of home once more, such as air conditioning and ice. I have now been back in the “Spanish Possession” for a little over a week. My shelves are lined with all the little treasures I picked up on my journey: train tickets, art prints, postcards, books, scarves, and keychains. My computer has the 4,428 pictures I took on my trip. I also have my experiences, bundled up like a gift, stored in my memory. I dearly miss London and the United Kingdom. However, I am sure I will return very soon!