October 2014


From London, we picked up a rental car and drove west, diving quickly into the countryside of England.  Unlike the US, there appeared to be no sprawl lining the highways, no massive billboard signage, no strip malls.  It was gorgeous.  In time, we wound through the scary single lane track and found our way to the Jarman’s.  Fi and I had been great friends in Penang.  Darcy and Miles are days apart in birth and Hazel and Theo met initially en utero and we were neighbors for 18 months.  Two years later, we reunited and it was as if we never skipped a beat!  We had a great two-night stay with them, enjoying the last of the blackberries, donning wellies for a walk out, and of course a great friendship.

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Every time we go home and come back again, we fly around the world.  Twelve time zones in one direction, 13 in the other (if we over lap the end of Daylight Savings, as we did this time).  It’s taken over four years to wizen up – why not stop along the way?  For our maiden stoppage, we chose somewhere just 2 flights and 7 time zones from Penang, with a direct flight back to our US destination.  See how we did that?  No extra planes!  Pretty fancy!

What was the stop?  London!  We had 3 days, here is a little tour of our visit through Tim’s lens (for the most part):

Day One: We checked in to our place at Victoria and headed out immediately via double decker bus to the South Bank.  Gorgeous Indian Summer Saturday, we strolled with the masses, played with the street artists, drank at a pub, ate at Borough Market, and soaked it up.

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Day Two: More public transport!  A boat this time, all the way to Greenwich.  It was a blustery day, and we truly enjoyed our time aboard the Cutty Sark, coffee and scones at the Red Door, a spin through the market and Sunday Roast (and more good beer) at the Greenwich Meantime Brewery.  In the warm afternoon, we thoroughly enjoyed the park and Royal Observatory.

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Day Three: A morning at Hyde Park where Tim took a chilly dip (57*F Serpentine Lake!), followed by a tour at the Tower of London, where 880.000 ceramic red poppies (and about as many tourists) were out for the centennial of Armistice Day.  We were getting a bit tired after a museum stop at the National Gallery, but a trip for sourdough pizza and (more!) IPA had everyone in good spirits.  Our days ended at 7pm.  Jetlag and lots of walking/sightseeing!

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Final Morning: Tim did his marathon-training run through a downpour (finally London weather!) while the kids and I packed and leisurely ate breakfast at the hotel. Then weather turned AGAIN for the gorgeous and we headed out for a quick hour at the Natural History Museum.  We all loved it!  We then grabbed our bags, ticked my must-do with a stop for provisions at Ottolenghi, and were off to the airport to pick up transport for our next leg of our UK journey! (warning, these are my snaps, not Tim’s)

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The Result: We LOVED London!  It was the kids’ and my first time, and Tim hadn’t been for years.  What a fabulous city, especially when you pretend pounds are ringgits (1:5 conversion), and just get on with it!

The kids have been asking, begging, to sleep stacked.  For ever.  I suggested stacking their cots, but Tim thought that would look too much like cages in the pound.  True.

This is better, and way more fun.

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This is the 500th post on this blog.  Maybe I should write something special today.

Should.  I should go back and update the links.  I should tag posts.  I should update the header photo, which still shows us as a family of 3 from 4 years ago.  I should assemble and print baby books from the kids’ monthly updates through age four.  I should at least make our wedding album.

But instead I upload photos, and write, and upload photos with the occasional video thrown in.  This is it, what I compile of our life.

I love blogging here (and here, and here).  I love going back and experiencing a snapshot of our lives over the last five years.  I especially enjoy the times when I felt literary or lucked into producing some clever anecdote.  Those times I wonder, who was she?  As a new mom, so much of my creative energy flowed here, captured on paperwhite and bronzed in cyber space.

Where am I now?  Slowly, I slipped into being a working mom.  The kids go to preschool, and I juggle like all moms do.  The house, the meals, taxiing, training, blogging and managing a decent social and travel calendar.  Often my intentions of connecting with home are realized too little too late (literally – time zones!), and I take solace in the fact that I’ve put a little out here.  Even if our connection is one-sided, I’m glad to write and post for you.  Thank you for coming.

I wasn’t sure where I was going when I started this post.  But here it is.  I’m thankful.  Thankful for my literacy, my education, this outlet, my experiences, memories and snapshots.  And thankful for the readers who have connected with us these 5 years and 500 posts.  Thankful when you tell me you read the blog. Thank you.

Off on another adventure, our flight leaves in 4 hours.  Look for the trip report soon!

 

 

Here are some recent pics of our little man. Growing up as he is…

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The kids were off for a week from school, and we got up to all sorts of fun stuff.  Most of it outside, most of it involving climbing or pushing one’s personal limits.  And mom’s safety limits!  We also saw a movie in the theater (Hazel’s first!  She slept…), hung out with friends and came to my fitness classes.  Fun!

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