As a mother of two active school-age children living in the New Jersey suburbs, our family vehicle is very much a part of our family. We drive almost everywhere with children and gear and friends in tow. Add office life and social commitments – it’s safe to say our lives as professionals and parents and chauffeurs are full. So you can imagine my absolute delight and glee when my husband and I left the car and our children in the hands of their loving grandparents and flew off to England for a “holiday”/ work combo trip!
For 10 ten days we navigated the city of London by foot, train, Underground and river boat and were able to capture the true essence of London. Staying 25-minutes outside of the city for the beginning portion of our trip, each morning with our Oyster Card in hand, we boarded the train and headed into London. With a quick exchange in the Underground, we made our way to my husband’s office. Work first and recreation in the afternoon was our motto and it served us well.
The sun shining and the temperatures in the 70’s was quite unusual for London, but we took advantage of all the city had to offer. A river boat trip down the Thames gave us a glimpse of the hustle and bustle from both sides of the river. A walk past Parliament, Westminster Abbey and to Buckingham Palace allowed us to take in the sights by foot. A stop at the local pub allowed us to converse with the locals and rest my poor feet, who had become slaves to my poor shoe choice.
Each day brought us new discoveries – a ripe enormous fig tree nestled in the middle of St. James Park – and visits to sites we enjoyed on our last trip together to London – a walk across Tower Bridge. By the end of our first week, we had traversed most of London and I didn’t need to think twice about minding the gap and found myself looking left at each corner!
The weekend brought us to England’s countryside as we carpooled with our local friends to the cities of Ilminster, Glastonbury, Wells and quick stop at Stonehenge. Thatch roofs cottages lined the country roads and just the most quaint villages welcomed us with endearing conversations and delicious foods. But like all good things, our weekend came to a close and we returned to the city of London.
With my stint of the trip coming to an end, I did my best to consume every last pound on my Oyster Card. A trip to Kensington and some last-minute gift shopping in Harrods brought my card to just enough to get me to Heathrow Airport.
The morning of my departure was most fitting. The rain that is very much England-norm fell lightly as I made my way to the Underground to the Station to the Airport. This leg of the trip was mine to take alone, since my husband still had work to finish and reality was waiting for me on the other side of the pond.
As my flight took off and we reached higher and higher altitudes, I was thankful for this opportunity for a Change in Latitude.