Saturday, June 25, 2011

London, Day 5: Homecoming

So I'm home!  Never have I been more happy to see three beaming bright cherubic faces run to the door hugging and dancing me home.  That is a homecoming!  It took quite some time to get here because of the DREADFUL wait at customs at IAH, a serious deterrent to travel abroad, and a surly driver taking me home, but all that frustration melted the second I got in the door.  I think the little lady was the least affected by my time away, but the senior statesman was a WRECK and still won't let go of me, and the baby was perturbed at my absence and is playing favorites with daddy right now. 

However, I did start my (very long) day in England and in addition to my random observations, I've also included the top 3 things I loved and hated about my week in London.  First the final observations. As you may have gathered from yesterday's Austen post, I LOVE the architecture in England.  It is spectacular.  I love the history.  I loved it when I was here a decade ago and it still resonates with me today.  The Cathedral was gorgeous but all of the flats and pubs and parks that I ran across held such a since of history and beauty.  I did happen upon a Starbucks tucked in between all the historic structures (apparently they're everywhere but I believe I previously posted on how the British hide things) which I found amusing and also incredibly relieving - I was dying for a good cup of coffee!  In addition to the architecture, I thought it was so odd to see people lounging on the streets in front of the pubs drinking beer.  Apparently from around noon to 2 people have liquid lunches and then they start back again around 4:30, so the pubs are so crowded that they literally lounge around the streets in front of the pubs drinking.  How do they get any work done?  And finally, speaking of streets, what the heck is up with their street system?  It's like a drunk toddler designed them.  They curve and spin and change names half way in and nothing runs parallel and perpendicular or matches any sense of logic and order.  I don't know how this exactly evolved, but it's the most confusing street system I've ever encountered (and I've survived Rome!). 

So, now my top 3 lists:

Top 3 Things I Hated:                               Top 3 Things I Loved:
3.  The food.  I remember this                    3.  The weather! I can not
from my last time, and I'm sure                   even begin to say what a
there are good options and                        reprieve highs in the 60s were
restaurants when you have                         (even with the rain) from the
time to hunt, but I didn't have time            brutal Houston heat and
to hunt which left me with a ton                humidity!
of bread and none of my favs.
2.  On a related note, gaining 100             2. Tea and tubs! I think I would
pounds - that may be a bit of an              be an entirely more relaxed
exaggeration but with all the bread          person if I stopped to take tea
and butter and fried food, none of          (and scones) each day at 3:30
which I eat at home, I've gained 10         then took baths at night. I only
lbs and had no chance to work out         got to take "proper" tea on
(right at the outset of swimsuit               Monday, but I got two baths, and
 season)!                                                  each really calmed me down.
1.  Being away from the Fab Four -        1. Time to write. Time to think. 
Bray and my three babies --                    Time to appreciate how much
absolutely the thing I hated most!           I love my family.

(A shot from my phone walking to the Cathedral to prove I was in London:)

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