Monday, December 10, 2012

London calling

Over the kids’ recent school holiday, we flew to London. We visited the kids’ godmother, saw the sights and just soaked up the English language environment. On the flight over, we were in with a  plane full of Germany soccer  fans. We tried to figure out who was playing and when and where but everyone was speaking German and we didn’t make much head way. As soon as we landed and started going through immigration, everyone on our plane started talking English! We quickly got the game details (which I forget but Adam probably remembers). Just listening to soccer stats in English and I was interested!

But soccer was not the main sport of the weekend. Adam and Phil went to a NFL game in London. (New England Patriots 45 vs. St. Louis Rams 7). It was all very thrilling for Adam who had only embraced American football in the past year. Adam went wearing all the Green Bay Packers gear he owns.  At the game, Adam hung over the tunnel to the locker rooms. As the only kid, and the only one wearing NFL gear, he got a lot of attention from passing players. He came home with a defensive back’s glove, linebacker’s glove and receiver’s towel. A big enough haul to keep him going until flag football starts in Munich.
The rest was all London and lovely. We visited Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral but also stopped in a Starbucks, Chipotle and Foyle’s Bookstore along the way. We played in playgrounds we remembered from earlier visits. We visited the Tower of London (first Royal Observatory) and Greenwich Observatory, where the observatory was later moved too. There the kids stood straddling the Greenwich Meridian, one foot in the Western hemisphere and one foot in the Eastern hemisphere.  This seemed like an appropriate photo opportunity for our family given our move from one hemisphere to the other this past year.
While we enjoyed it all, we were most amazed by the grocery experience.  We wandered into a grocery store and were amazed by all the pre-made food.  In Germany, there is virtually no pre-made food. A box of macaroni and cheese is a rare find. In London, I gleefully bought pre-cut green beans and prepared hummus!  The other trick with grocery shopping in Germany is the hours. Most stores close at 7 and are closed all day Sunday. As soon as we landed back home, I rushed out to the store to get food before everything closed. I smiled to myself, as the couple in front of me bought a whole acorn squash, something I didn’t even buy in London when I saw it pre-cut. They are definitely making healthier choices but I have the time to post this blog.


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