Two years ago I took my almost-six-year-old daughter on her first trip abroad. We flew to London, England, to spend two weeks with my college roommate M, her husband S, and their toddler, E. S was our completely amazing tour director and driver whilst Titi M started a new job. We missed her every day, but loved the chance to get better acquainted with Uncle S.
The following are excerpts from the travel journal I kept during that trip.
Car park = parking lot
On the road to the seashore, Cadence spotted our first pasture of sheep of the trip. (Sheep, especially in the English countryside, are my favorite.)
Seeing the English Channel for the first time was breathtaking.
What a day!! Took the scenic route to and from Brighton on the coast.
Stopped first in Bexhill-on-Sea, the retirement capital of Britain per S, for a walk on the seashore. Cadence picked up seashells, and had a good time. We got back on the road and then stopped for McDonald's--English style. The tables and chairs were so unique. I took a lot of pictures of the dining area. S was glad to hear they were serving apple pie. We proceeded to Brighton. Parked near the water and began our walk toward Brighton Pier. We found four postcards for a pound, a tea towel with the Queen on a 50 pound note, and S bought a Big Bang Theory poster that is completely awesome. On the walk towards this totally cool shopping area called the Lanes, Cadence started chasing S's shadow and vice versa.
I loved the Lanes so much, and found this amazing boutique. I walked in just to look around. It was teeny tiny, but had such cool clothing. I tried on a dress--I could feel my heart start beating faster--and splurged on it. 79 pounds. I thought of L (a fashion-forward friend at home) the whole time. The clerk had this amazing outfit on, so I asked permission to take a photo and she obliged.
We took refreshments at a totally amazing restaurant called Bohemia (in honor of M). We split a dessert platter and hot drinks. Cadence ordered a hot chocolate and it was an experience. A warm glass of milk was served with a stick of square chocolate to stir in. It was really neat and tasted great...
We took a completely scenic, English drive that avoided all the motorway traffic. S was so pleased and I loved looking at all the houses, street signs, and asking questions.
Cadence bought a postcard for her third-grade buddy, Johna. She wrote: I love you because you are my buddy. I like you because you are nice.
There was a beautiful, big-flaked snowfall on our drive home. It was so beautiful to see with English cottages all around.
I keep thinking, "I can't believe we're here," and then tell myself, "Yes, I can--it seems the most natural thing ever."
I have renewed interest in trying Jane Austen. I may try Mansfield Park since that is the one featured on the stamps I bought yesterday.
We all picked our favorite parts of the day:
C: picking seashells and getting dessert.
S: the drive home and seeing how happy I was when I found my dress.
This really has been a 5-star day!
Cadence wrote quite a lot in her journal tonight. I was really proud, AND she said she loved doing it. :)