Farewell BritanniaPosted: March 16, 2013
At the Lounge at Heathrow with my sad Anglophile girl, mostly because of her love and devotion to British boy band One Direction. It has been a fun, save cold, spring break in London. Being back here has reminded me how much I love this country, the sweet people, the lovely parks, the history all around, the tea.
I tried to introduce Carter to as much English history as possible from Westminster Abbey first built in 920 to Winston Churchill of 1945. I know that learning about King Henry VIII at both the Tower of London and Hampton Court may have sunk in, but all the other Monarchs and their order are confusing for the most studied history student.
We enjoyed two musicals, Chorus Line and Les Mis, Carter’s favorite, where in the small world way another Durham Academy family happened to sit directly in front of us. We shopped, just a little because Carter definitely has the Janie Carter gene of not wanting to over pay for anything. Between the exchange rate and the city prices Carter could not see spending much on anything. The one spending exception was the second day when it snowed and Carter informed me that the zipper on her fleece jacket was broken. Not that the jacket was warm enough for the bitter winds anyway, but she did get a new Northface jacket and overpriced, but cute hat.
In true London life we spent a lot of time on the tube and the bus. We got more than our money’s worth out of our travel card. It is so wonderful to travel with a child who is old enough to keep track of her own card and is good at navigating the underground. It was much more of a vacation for me because unlike traveling with small children, I did not have to constantly worry about where Carter was, or entertain her. For the most part she was easy, except when I would try and wake her to start her day, two hours after I had gotten up. Balancing making the most of one’s trip and a teenager’s natural need for sleep was our only difficulty.
Of course seeing old friends was the highlight for me. I’m sorry I did not get to the midlands to see my great friend Debbie, but she knows she is welcome to come and visit me in North Carolina. Also I was sorry Monica was under the weather, but seeing both Simons and Paul was, as the English would say, brilliant.
As sad as I am to go it is time to get back to my salad life and I don’t mean that in the poetic sense. Carter says she has never seen me eat so much bread in my whole life. I think she has no memory of me two years ago, but she is right I have had bread this week, what with all those finger sandwiches. Somehow rocket salad has never become a big thing at tea here. But it is not the getting back to the disciplined life I look most forward to, but going home Russ and Shay-Shay.
Experiencing new places is wonderful and I am thrilled that Carter has the travel bug, but going home to the one you love takes away any sadness from leaving the excitement of London. Thanks to Russ for giving us this great trip that he did not even get to enjoy with us because he was working to provide it. I think that I can honestly say that Carter and I are two lucky girls.