Monday, July 05, 2010

Around the world: England

After the wedding, we headed for London to visit our good friend and the twins’ godmother. We landed awake and practically giddy after the “short” flight, only 8 plus hours and we were thrilled. Outside the cool grey skies seemed perfect to us. Once our Irish driver dropped us at our hotel, the kids asked which language he was speaking.

We walked the streets of London in sweatshirts and sweaters. The kids enjoyed being able to read the street signs. With Hong Kong’s road traffic driving on the left hand side, we were all well prepared for crossing streets and such. We enjoyed the locally grown produce and marveled at the “low” prices. Hong Kong food prices, with everything imported, are perhaps the only food prices that can make London’s look low. Regardless, we had much fresh fruit and vegetables and loved it.

Our friend showed us all a great time, taking us to museums and helping us navigate public transportation. As always getting there was as much fun as the destination with the kids. We were also taken to see Wicked which was a big hit with everyone. We have plans afoot for a Wicked Party (green face paint and mint ice cream are as far as we have gotten) later in the summer.

A highlight of our London time was time spent walking in the Hampstead Heath, a huge green space near our friend’s place. With lakes and trails and open fields of grass, it was paradise to us urban folk. On the first day, we found a playground there and returned regularly. The playground there was about 10x bigger than any playground we have in Hong Kong and we were all happy for the space to spread out. I thought a little wistfully that the next time we are all in Europe the kids might have outgrown playgrounds. But then again, maybe not.

At this Heath playground, Adam kicked a ball around with another boy. We overheard the boy ask Adam which football team he supported? We were not sure how Adam would respond. Would he think American football? Did he know any teams either from American or European football? Without missing a beat, Adam said he supported Barcelona! In that instance, Adam seemed much more worldly than he ever has before or since. Now he has Germany tattoos all over and talks non-stop about the World Cup. He went from savvy to fanatic in a blink of an eye.


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