And as I like to do with all big trips for the little Brutalism family, I document things we learn from traveling internationally, because what is travel if not a way to broaden your mind?
That said, here is London 2019, what we learned:
1. You will find yourself playing that fun game of "Don't remember because I'm old?" or "Don't remember because I was drunk the entire semester?" daily when exploring the city and visiting historic sites. (Note: there are no winners in this game.)
2. You will be very excited when you happen upon this while strolling on the South Bank of the Thames your first afternoon in London:
|Yes, that's Stephen Colbert about 10 feet from us.
Just conducting an interview - very low key.
|He swapped glasses with his interviewee because he thought
they were cool.
3. While enjoying the Chihuly exhibit at Kew Gardens, and then taking a lunch break at the food trucks there, you'll hand your daughter cash to buy food and your husband will proclaim, "She needs a credit card is what she needs!" Later that same day, your daughter will declare, "I'll be mad. I'll be real mad!" and you will accuse them both of starring in a 1940s film noir because WHO THE HELL TALKS LIKE THAT? You will mock them incessantly and it will strike you so funny that you will then burst into laughter while brushing your teeth, when trying to fall asleep at night, and several times on the flight home.
|She needs a non-ridiculous family is what she needs, doll...see?
4. You will learn that you've lost your fear of confrontation when you exchange words with a cranky British woman on your flight who reclined into your lap when you ask her to kindly not do that. ('Kindly' may be overstating it...but still...who DOES that? This is why we left and started our own country, lap-invader. By the way, nice job with Brexit.)
|Delta Airlines released this bit of news the very next day. I'm certain the
two incidents were unrelated.
5. Your body will crave fruit and greens for weeks after a steady diet of steak pies, sausage rolls, bangers and mash, fish and chips, and beer. (Oh...and porridge...which I had to eat while declaring, "This is the best porridge, ever!", "I love porridge!" "Anyone want some porridge?")
|Assorted pub grub. And porridge.
6. You will learn how great it is to meet other people in the course of your travels, like lovely Shirley who sat at our table in the crypt of St. Martin-in-the-Fields for a mid-week jazz concert. She lost her 'beloved' 18 months ago and the jazz concerts were something they did together. So now almost-80-year-old Shirley takes the tube quite a distance to attend the concerts and enjoy a glass of wine while utterly charming her table mates.
|Jazz show in crypt = how to get me to church.
7. You will worry that your 13-year-old child might be disturbed by an evening Jack the Ripper walking tour in the East End of London. Instead, she will be fascinated by every bit of gory information and will devise her own theory of who the perp was based on the narrative provided. When you return home, she will ask you to read The Five aloud while she tries to fall asleep, and this will (terrifyingly) send her drifting off to dreamland.
|Next up for bedtime reading: The Tell-Tale Heart
8. You will be happily exhausted after visiting the Tate Modern and British Museum, taking a coach to Stonehenge, doing a London bus tour at night, riding the London eye, seeing a show at the South Bank Underbelly festival, spending hours at the Tower of London, listening to the speakers in Hyde Park, and having tea in a tea room/vintage shop that used to be a horse stable in the heart of Camden Market. (There's nothing particularly amusing here - just using this bullet as a diary of what we did so I can refer to it later as I remember nothing because I'm old - see #1 above.)
9. You will realize how much better connected your child is than you are when she runs into three kids from her junior high on the streets of London. You know, just like we all did when we were 13...
|We also visited Foamhenge at Cox Farms last year. We are big fans of henges.
10. You will be a little sad you missed the royal baby by a few weeks because seriously...how much fun would it have been to be in town when that happened and celebrate some happy news for a change?
And a pic of my husband to prove he was also there.
For what we learned, Indonesia and Hong Kong, click here
For what we learned, Costa Rica, click here
For what we learned, Italy, click here
For what we learned, Iceland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, click here
For what we learned, Bahamas, click here
For what we learned, France and Morocco, click here
For what we learned, Southern Spain, click here
For what we learned, Peru, click here