My Jane Austen Road Trip – Top 5 moments with giveaways

I started reading JAFF in 2010, created my blog in 2015 and in 2020 I’m celebrating the wonderful things this incredible community has given me.  Because of our common love for Pride & Prejudice, I’ve met wonderful people and developed friendships with ladies I’ve come to truly cherish. I’ve travelled to many different places, met many different people, and tried to bring a little of those trips into From Pemberley to Milton so you could also travel with me. Today, and as we are getting to the end of the blogs 5th anniversary celebration, I decided to share with you my top 5 moments of the many Jane Austen Road Trips I’ve done through the last years. Tomorrow, once I renovate the blog, I’m going to try to add a page dedicated to the road trips, but if in the meantime you’d like to see them, here they are:

 

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter II

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter III

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter IV

My Jane Austen Road Trp – Chapter V

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter VI

 

All of these trips were special for one reason or the other, and choosing only 5 moments to highlight was not easy, but it was also fun to revisit these places and go down the memory lane. It made me want to travel again to have a Chapter VII to present to you, Maybe next time I can even make some videos and share with you on the new Facebook page, how does that sound?

Until a Chapter VII can be created, the most memorable moments of these road trips were:

 

1 – Meeting 5 strangers at the Orangerie in Kensighton Gardens –  My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

My first JAFF encounter had to be on this top 5. I was super nervous to meet people I had never seen before and who were already all together upon my arrival. I was the last one to arrive and not only I didn’t know anybody at the time, I was also meeting some of my favourite authors. I was really insecure and nervous trying to appear as comfortable as possible, and the first moments were strange but also decisive to make me feel at ease. These ladies were awesome and at ease (at least them seemed more at ease than me) and we ended up talking for hours about everything JAFF related. It was incredible! It was the first time I ever spoke to someone about this magnificent genre, and I didn’t know at the time, but it was the beginning of many beautiful friendships. At the end of the day I walked in Hyde Park with Ana and my husband, and felt so connected to her that she easily became of the people I love the most in this community. I’ve been with her a few more times in the UK, met her husband and would even be with her this summer were it not for Covid. Elizabeth Adams was the clue that brought us all together I think. If you’ve met her, you know she’ll make everyone really at ease and comfortable and will bring everyone into a conversation. She has organized similar meetings in London and we’ve even repeated this experience thanks to her (I don’t think I posted a Jane Austen roadtrip of that other meet up). In the meantime she has taught me how to do grilled cheese in her old Tennessee house, tasted my mom’s cooking in my own house in Portugal, and made me laugh like crazy in many different moments. The last friend I’ve kept from this meeting was Joana Starnes, but that takes me to another top 5 moment.

 

2 – Fangirling over my favourite author – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

The day after that first meet up in London, I met Joana Starnes again in Richmond, we had some coffee, she signed all my books and we talked for hours!! It was then that I discovered how much we had in common in our JAFF preferences and when our friendship really started, I believe.

Again, I was super nervous, I mean, she was my favourite author and I was all alone with her, with no one else to divert the attention from me. With time Joana became a friend to me and not just an author, I’ve visited her family, had drinks with her and she even allowed me to read her manuscript of The Journey Home to Pemberley. And when I say manuscript, I really mean manuscript! Written with her own hands on a notebook. How cool is that? That one was hard to exclude from these top 5 moments…

 

3 – Finally visiting Pemberley – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter V

Visiting Lyme Park had been a dream of mine ever since I saw the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Every time I imagine Pemberley or read a book that takes place there that’s how I picture it so visiting it had been a long time goal. I had spoken with Joana Starnes about visiting Lyme Park with her before but, for one reason or the other, we never made it there. This means that when author Lory Lilian discovered I was going to England in July 2017 for the celebration of Jane Austen’s 200 death anniversary and invited me to embark on a Road Trip through the country with her to visit Pemberley, I could not refuse!!!

I still remember the screams and giggles in the car as we drove through the estate until we reached the grand house! We were pretty much acting like Lydia Bennet at that moment! It was a glorious feeling, and I remember I could not stop looking at every single corner with amazement. I just wanted to stay there forever! We visited Pemberley with Mira Magdo (who even took us to THE POND), author Andreea Catana and editor Ellen Pickels and we even met Amanda Grange there too, but the highlight of that trip was being there, at Pemberley, feeling its magic and being mesmerised with its beauty. I truly felt there was no place where nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. Oh…I obviously returned the following day just to walk around Pemberley’s grounds 🙂

 

4 – The Winchester celebrations – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter IV

On July 18th 2017, due to the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, there were many events taking place all over the world, but the place to be was Winchester, and that’s where I was! This visit was part of a big Road Trip I took with author Lory Lilian, but the entire day at Winchester was very special and has to be on my top 5 Jane Austen Road Trip moments.

Lory, Andreea, Ellen and I were met by Joana Starnes and Mira Magdo at the garden in front of Winchester Cathedral, took some pictures, were interviewed by the BBC radio, attended a recital in the Cathedral, and travelled the streets of Winchester to find the house where Jane Austen spent the last weeks of her life, and where she eventually died on the 18th of July. The entire day was memorable! We met and saw many people on that day, and I even got to know and spend some time with Cassandra Grafton who wrote one of my all time favourite books,  A Fair Prospect trilogy.

Everything about this day was special, and I don’t think I’ll ever have a day like that, not only I was surrounded by like minded people, but also there was a special energy in the air that I cannot explain. Winchester was the place to be on that day and I’m glad I was there 🙂

 

5 – That one time I slept in an NYC hotel with a complete stranger – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter II

If we are talking about memorable moments, then flying across the Atlantic to meet and sleep in the same hotel room with someone I had never met before has to be on this list. Back in 2016 I visited NYC and had a chance to meet Claudine Pepe, a fellow blogger and Jane Austen enthusiast. We had been speaking online for ages but we had never met before and were both a little afraid to share a room with someone we had never seen before, however, there was never an awkward moment or lack of subjects to talk about. We talked for hours about everything we loved and hated in JAFF, did some touring in the city and even went to see an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamil performed by Bedlam’s actors. It was a lot of fun!!!

As I compiled everything for this post I realised there were many amazing moments and places I’ve visited that were never featured in this blog, so I really do need to think on a way to share that with you, and most of all, I have to go on another Jane Austen Road Trip! Let’s see…if the UK opens its borders without the need for a quarantine, I may take a flight to Manchester and visit Lyme Park again 😉 Until then, I hope you liked this post, and don’t forget, there’s another giveaway 🙂


Another incredible aspect about the JAFF community is the generosity of its members, both readers and authors. For today’s post 2 wonderful authors offered to giveaway some of their books to my readers simply for the pleasure of allowing other people to enjoy their works. They deserve a huge thank you from my part! It was very kind and generous of them to offer their books on this celebration. They are Lory Lilian and L.L. Diamond and they are offering the following to 5 different people:

 

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Audiobook of Confined with Mr. Darcy by L.L. Diamond

1 Audiobook of Undoing by L.L. Diamond

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post and let us know if there is any particular place you’d like to visit on a Jane Austen Road Trip, or tell us which book from these authors you’d like. Have you read many of their works? Share you love for JAFF with us until next Saturday and the winners will be announced next Sunday.

Thank you so much for the generosity Lory Lilian and L.L. Diamond!

Good Luck Everyone! 

19 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

19 responses to “My Jane Austen Road Trip – Top 5 moments with giveaways

  1. Loved reading and viewing your travels again. What fun to meet these authors and friends. I feel as if I know many of them even though we have never met. I am very grateful to the JAFF community and for their generosity. It has been a joy to celebrate your 5th Blog Anniversary and am looking forward to your new blog pages. Thank you for the generous giveaways from Lory Lilian and Leslie Diamond.

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  2. Enjoyed reading your travel exploits. Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. maryvad

    Rita,

    Isn’t it lovely to walk down memory lane and happily reminisce
    on fun filled times spent with kindred spirits?
    I remember reading about your adventures and looking at your lovely
    photos and thinking wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall and eavesdrop
    on the wonderful chats,convivial conversations and the guilty pleasure involved in rambling with nothing in mind except Austen and the best place to view Lyme Park to its best advantage! Happy thought,indeed!
    Many thanks for the generous giveaway.
    Stay safe. 🍀

    Like

  4. Glynis

    It’s such a shame there’s no chance of road trips this year. As far as I know you still have to book to go into Lyme Park. I think the gardens may be open now but not the house? I wouldn’t be allowed to go anyway as even though it’s only a ten minute drive, I’m classed as Greater Manchester and we’re in lockdown again! I’m not sure about LP as Disley is not in Gtr Mcr but some of the grounds would be?
    As you know, it was lovely to spend time with you and Joana, especially the Darcy brainstorming!
    I look forward to seeing you again if ever this situation is over! Please don’t enter me in the giveaway as I have all Lory’s books and don’t have audiobooks.
    Stay safe.😘

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  5. So many lovely memories and great adventures!
    It was great looking into these moments again, here’s to many more!

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  6. Lory Lilian

    Ha ha – Rita, do you remember when we went to Lyme Park the second day and the security guy at the gate asked us “you are looking for Mr. Darcy, right?” 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  7. J. W. Garrett

    I don’t do audio so that limits me to Lory Lilian books. Sorry, Leslie, no offense.

    Oh, Rita, I love your pictures and all the fun you had being ‘fangirl’ when you met all the JAFF authors and bloggers. Heavy sigh. I am so glad you were able to do this trip. I mean… look at all the travel restrictions now. I am creating a ‘Bucket List’ of things to do when we are allowed to travel again and heading to England is top on my list. Yep… one day. Thanks for sharing all your exciting travels. You have helped me hone my list to the essentials necessary for a ‘Jane Austen’ themed trip. Happy Anniversary on your blog. I love it. Stay safe and healthy. Thanks to the generous authors for their giveaway today. Good luck to all in the drawing.

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  8. Christina Boyd

    I can’t wait until you make a road trip Here. We can wear bonnets and make it Austen-like as you visit the wilds of the Pacific Northwest!

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    • I wish I could! If the borders were open I would travel tomorrow!!! I’m still hoping I can make it this year. But let’s see 🙂 I would t even need to wear bonnets if you took me to those beautiful mountains you have there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. maomac

    What lovely travels – thank you for sharing with us again. I had hoped to travel someday to visit Jane’s England. If the Covid situation can be calmed, perhaps I can dream again.
    I have read and enjoyed many of both Lory’s and Leslie’s books. Thanks to you both for using KU. I would love to have an ebook if selected – I do not currently do audio books.

    Thanks again to you all.

    Like

  10. Jennifer Redlarczyk

    Take me to Pemberley and I’ll be happy. I was supposed to go this October, but with Covid the trip is off. Love your posts!

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  11. Wow, Rita, what a dream come true! Someday I wish to follow in your footsteps on my own Jane Austen adventure!

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  12. I would like to visit Chawton.

    denise

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  13. Thanks for sharing your travels Rita. Awesome places and people to meet and share these days. I am not much for travel but I hope the few I do will be some of these places you mentioned. Awesome to meet also and have my books signed by such great authors.

    Thank you and thanks to all the authors for this chance to have a copy of their creations.

    Like

  14. Thank you for sharing your wonderful traveling pictures as well as the authors you have met. I would love to travel but, with all of the travel restrictions who knows when would be a good time. With all of the Pride and Prejudice reading to actually see the real places would definitely be on my bucket list. Congratulations on your 5th Anniversary! Thank you for offering the giveaway.

    Like

  15. Laurie McClain

    What fun you have had with your fandom, Rita!! You’ve also done an amazing job with your blog, and with letting us know of the freebies and discounted JAFF via FB!

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  16. OMG, Rita, feels like yesterday!! Such beautiful memories!!! I’m so lucky we’ve met, and that we became friends! You’re such a wonderful person!! Yes, I think so too, that’s when our friendship started, in that cosy coffee shop-bookshop in Richmond. I so wish we had managed to go to Pemberley together in 2017, but then we had so much fun the following spring!
    Love your Top 5 moments, and I’m so happy and honoured to be there for so many of them. Thank you for your beautiful friendship, and I hope we get to go on another P&P trip soon!

    Like

  17. Dung

    I love your road trip adventures! I had some similar experiences as well! Good times and lots of wonderful memories! Cheers to more road trips and many more memories. I love the JAFF community!

    Like

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