Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cheerio Darling!

 In the grand scheme of the need for gainful employment to support a family, there are upsides, and then there are downsides.  Upside: money.  Downside: dealing with money.  Downside: recurrent traveling to distant lands for long stretches of time.  Upside:  frequent flier miles.  Downside:  many hours spent on a plane.  Upside: using frequent flier miles for purposes other than work.  Like flying your wife to London and Cambridge so she can join you on an exotic, once-in-a-lifetime, routine-altering excursion!

That's me, I'm the wife who got to do that. Can you believe it?  Ryan and I got to travel to London and Cambridge, alone!  Without kids!  With lots of sleeping!  With many meals enjoyed at restaurants where we sat uninterrupted through our entire meal, from the beginning to the end.  I ate most of my food hot!  Unless, or course, it was not intended to be hot.  

Here's a brief synopsis.  I like brevity when writing.  If you'd like a detailed, blow by blow narrative, give me call and I would be glad to keep you occupied for some time. 


Judging by the view out the window, you can see we had pretty nice digs in London. Just past that beautiful Renaissance Hotel, was King's Cross Station, so we were very central.  

As you turn the camera around, the reality of our room comes into view.  Sweet.  Bunk beds are the best when you are enjoying a vacation alone with your spouse.

Here is the spread at The Orangery, where we enjoyed high tea when we arrived in London.  This tea room is at Kensington Gardens, right by Kensington Palace.  

Seriously, the best tea I've ever had.  It was absolutely delicious,  we each drank our entire pot.  And ate orange cake (of course) and carrot cake, yum.

King's Cross station was all decked out for the olympics next year.  That train station is pretty impressive.  It feels like the crossroads for the whole U.K. that it is.

Victorian Albert Museum.  

One of the guys at the Victorian Albert.  I think he's been growing that mustache since they put him in there.

The art lit room at the museum.  So cool, so overwhelming.  So all-encompassing.

 A little Chihuly in the foyer of the buildling.  Chihuly is the best.  I wish I could go to Venice and see his "Chihuly over Venice" display.  His glass sculptures are lit and hung over the canals and you can enjoy them as a gondoleer gently navigates your way.

A classic London shot.  Harrods is way in the background.  The double decker bus is there.  I'm there.  I'm not quite as classics as the other elements though.

If you happen to go to London, you should make it your highest priority to go to Ben's Cookies.  You will never look back.  You will only want to revisit Ben's Cookies and get every variety as often as you can.

Ryan enjoying "the tube."  London has the best and easiest public transit system ever.  Plus, they announce the stops with British accents, and happen to be saying names like "Piccadilly circus" or "Paddington station."  It's so amusing, although I think I was the only one who got a kick out of repeating the announcer in my best British accent.  Other riders looked like Ryan most of the time.

The spread at Harrods.  Harrods is like Nordstrom on steroids.   It's a beautiful place to shop.  Or in my case, window-shop.  Unless I'm buying chocolate, then I'm on board for the whole experience.

The royal borough of Chelsea and Kensington.  A.K.A., really beautiful flats in London.  Which, as we researched, go from 8,000 to 40,000 pounds a week!  Yes, I said week.


Cambridge University located in Cambridge UK is made up of several colleges.  These are the dorms from one of the colleges.  Look at those dorms!  So classy and beautiful!

The River Cam runs through Cambridge and lends itself to boating, strolling, and lots of cute little ducks.  I expected James Herriot to pop around the corner with his dog on lead any minute.  

King's College.  The most spectacular college campus you'll ever admire.  The chapel here is where I attended Eucharist.  The service was incredibly beautiful.  The acoustics in this ancient and awe-inspiring building left me breathless and struck with the need to close my eyes to do the sound justice.  

This picture was taken my last evening in Cambridge.  Although maybe not the most technically beautiful or perfect picture, the shot captures a personal feeling for me.  This vacation was like a serene patch of beauty on a sometimes rocky path of life.  We all encounter little, or very big, identity crises at some point along our paths, so I know my own little struggle with who I am was not a singular one.   As I boarded the plane to leave the charm of the U.K. behind, I felt a refreshed connection to Ryan, my children, and my own identity in a way I haven't for quite some time. 

Thank you to Ryan for working, flying, consulting, and all those other things you do to make this trip possible. And following my every whim as we bashed around London.  And for being so handsome. 

Thank you to the lady in Dallas who changed my flight last minute so I could go. (this is a great story, if you want to hear a great story, or learn how to get what you need from a delta representative over the phone, you should hear this story).

Thank you to Kerry and Karen for their amazing commitment to be surrogate parents for a whole week.  To a four-year-old and a two-year-old.  I could go on forever about what this means to me (and what it meant for them).  Thank you a million times, thank you!



  1. Amazing! So happy you guys could have this experience!

  2. AWESOME! It looks like you had a fabulous time!