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Goin’ Home, HONESTLY

August 12.

Well, I guess its a sign that you’ve had a pretty good trip when a 16-hour flight delay turns into a lucky break. The extra day allowed for an interesting trip on the Thames and a lovely visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew Gardens, enhanced by the beautiful Chihuli glass sculptures on display there. To be sure, the delay caused logistical challenges and additional expense (which I hope American Airlines will reimburse us for), but, given the choice, I definitely would have opted for the extra time. The girls,who were tired and prepared to go home yesterday, would probably have opted to do that, but enjoyed the day, too.

The overarching high point of the trip was being with the girls. Not only do we love our granddaughters because they’re our granddaughters, we love them for the people they’ve become. They are terrific travel companions–curious, game, flexible, grateful and enthusiastic. And just great fun, with excellent and sophisticated senses of humor. There’s nobody we’d rather take a trip with.

Through careful planning, Carol managed to combine three important aspects of our experience–the touristy things one should do on a first trip to London, a good deal of theater and music that the girls have particular interest in and visits with eleven friends, all in nine (really ten, as it turned out) days. Because it was just the four of us, we were able to make last minute changes/additions on the fly. As the girls would say, “kudos to Gee-Gee.”

We were extremely lucky with the weather. We had only a modest amount of rain that did not interfere with any of our plans. And even more importantly, the temperature was very moderate and even cool. A hot spell such as what England experienced earlier in the summer would have changed the nature and enjoyment of our experience dramatically.

Indeed, Carol pointed out that even her mistake in booking that required us to move a night earlier than she’d intended proved fortuitous, because it left us in a place where we could store all of our bags during our activities on our extra day.

I debated whether to take my good camera and a couple lenses, ultimately deciding to take them. And I didn’t use them at all. This was really a trip to record our experiences, not to make a feint at creating art. There were a very few times when using my better camera could have been advantageous. But having only the iPhone was rather liberating, and I’m not at all unhappy having decided to do so.

The four of us talked about our experiences, identified twenty separate experiences and each of us ranked them 1-20. That the process was not easy attests to the fact that we had many special experiences. We created a system of allocating points to the experiences based on our individual rankings and, while there were clearly differences in our levels of enjoyment, there was a rather high consistency between those ranked in the top and bottom six. I know you’re dying to know how they came out, so here they are:

1. Come from Away (musical play)

2/3. A tie–tour of Buckingham Palace/tour of The Globe Theater

4. Day in Chipping Campden

5. Tree (musical play)

6. The Mousetrap

And the bottom six were:

20. Thames boat ride (the very short one we took early in the trip; ride to Kew Gardens ranked much higher)

19. British Museum (probably because it was on our very first day, so that we were tired and had less than an hour to explore)

18. Covent Garden

17. Taming of the Shrew

16. Petticoat Lane and Spitalsfield Market

15. Sever’s House (House arranged as if it were in the 18th century)

The eight experiences not listed as top or bottom six were all excellent, and we loved seeing all of our friend (which we did not list as “experiences”).

To sum it up: this was one of the very best trips that Carol and I have taken (and we’ve taken some very, very good ones)

I’ll close with a photo of the two who made this trip so magical for us.

10 comments to Goin’ Home, HONESTLY


    Love seeing how happy the girls are.
    It was a wonderful trip and we loved following you.

  • Wendy Snell

    Thanks, Dadz! I’ve been following, but (obviously) not commenting. They had a fabulous time! It was rich and wonderful and they were full of tales and excitement. We’re so glad they got to do this trip with you. And we’re so glad to have them back.
    Love you both,

  • Julie Heifetz

    What a fabulous trip for all of you! So well-planned, and so thoroughly enjoyed!
    Rest up because before you know it, it’ll be time to take Jasper and Max!


  • lauri pollack

    Thank you for sharing. Loved the whole trip. Girls are adorable.

  • kay osborne

    Great family stuff. Happy for the girls and for you and Carol. You’re very lucky as I’m sure you know, and have made good choices, I daresay.

  • arnie

    Lucky and privileged, for sure, Kay.

  • Zoe

    We had an amazing time!!! Thank you so much! 🙂

  • arnie

    Mind the gap.

  • Ahdina

    So inspirational that you travel with your grandchildren. I tell everyone that I meet, who has grandchildren, how you and Carol travel with each of them to unique places. What a gift.

  • Phoebe Snell

    That was a sweet blog post Boppp! We love it that we get to travel with you!

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