Europe: Part Six (My English Family)

By Erika Moen on December 28, 2011

(This is part of my series of recaps about traveling to England and France this year from October 25 – November 8th)


The best part about visiting England is spending time with my wonderful in-laws. Matt has the most loving, accepting, multi-national family anybody could ever hope to have– they made me feel like a member of the clan well before we even started talking about marriage. I love them like my own flesh and blood and feel just as loved and embraced by them in return.


If you’ve visited Matt’s website, you’ve noticed his domain name is InternationalHobo.com– a name he chose on account of the eclectic mix of nationalities his family is composed from.

His grandmother immigrated to France from Wales as a late teenager, where she had Matt’s mother and continues to live to this day. His mother, in turn, immigrated to England from France while in her early twenties, and though she has lived in the UK longer now than she lived in her mother country she still has a lovely, strong French accent mixed in with her British one. Though Matt cannot speak it, he understands French nearly fluently on account of growing up in a household where his mom and her second, French, husband spoke the language to each other every day. Matt’s father immigrated to England from Australia, where he met and married Matt’s mother, which is, in turn, why Matt’s accent slips into an Australian twang at times (along with the American he’s picked up from me).

Coming from a family with such trans-continental itchy feet, it’s only fitting he then immigrated to the USA to marry me! He is my International Hobo.

Lookit Matthew at 18, just a year before we met. Can you blame me for cradle-robbing him as a two-years-older woman? NO, I think NOT.

The heart of his mother’s house is definitely the kitchen, where all spend most of our time together.

View of the Kitchen while sitting at the counter.

Matt and his brother.

Matt sitting at the kitchen counter.

Matthew and his mom


Matt is the cook of our little two-person family here in the states, a skill he learned from his own mom. I never ate so well in my life until Matt came along with his French cooking.

I bought some lilies for Matt’s mom.



Some sketches of the lilies, Matt’s back, and hey, why not?, some seabirds.

As an entire group, both sides of Matt’s family got together to go on an epic two hour (each way) bike ride along the English countryside.



Then we stopped at pub and had an enormous lunch followed by this dessert, that I forget the name of.

And then on a completely different day, Matt and I went to a fish’n’chips shop with his mom and she took this photo of us. It is the old guy in the background that really ties this shot together, I think.

Read all the Europe entries together, in reverse-chronological order.


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