Pip pip, cheerio, readers! I’m sitting here writing from Oxford, England, this week as part of a family vacay, our final one (and grand finale?) before Gabrielle heads off to college.
I’m looking out the window from the Red Mullions Guest House, getting ready to head back to London today, where we’ll hopefully tour Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The weather is warm and sunny and our Peugeot is ready to rock. William has managed driving on the left side of the road with aplomb.
Of course, the biggest development of the trip is that my British accent has gotten better over the past few days. I know, aren’t you as relieved as I am? Take a listen:
“Don’t listen to him. He’s all mouth and no trousers.”
“I was chuffed at the football match.”
“Great job, William, you’re a real corker.”
See what I mean? I’ve become positively blinding at this. And I feel it’s an important skill to have, in part because it makes me vastly more entertaining and, in a pinch, can make me feel and sound considerably smarter. My friends, for one, are going to be so grateful I’ve been working on this party trick. I sure know Gabrielle is.
Speaking of the 18-year-old, wow, what a difference being a legal adult makes. First off, when we left the country, we didn’t have to have a letter from her mom saying that Gabrielle had her permission to travel. Lisa was always happy to provide it, of course, but she had to have it notarized, which I’m sure was a drag. Plus, stepmother dear nearly always forgot to remind mother about the letter until a day (few hours?) before we left. Bollocks, stepmother, what a cock up! Insert sheepish face emoji here.
Second, umm, pubs. Yes, we can now say we have shared a few beers with our daughter (the legal drinking age is 18 here), which was a somewhat surreal event and yet, not really a big deal at all. The bigger deal is how scrummy fish and chips are, made extra perfect by being able to dip your French fries in the tartar sauce. Question: Why is ketchup even an option for French fries anymore? Don’t we all agree by now that mayo is the vastly superior condiment?
Anyway, a golden nugget of fish with salty, crispy chips is definitely the bee’s knees.
For the bulk of our trip, we stayed in a VRBO apartment, mostly so Gabrielle could have her own space, but also so we could have a little kitchen in case we wanted breakfast at home, which we often did. This proved, first, cheaper, but also such a lovely way to stay in the city. It’s always so magical to be able to imagine what it would be like to live where you’re traveling, and it’s all the easier to imagine it when you’re staying in a home, rather than a hotel room.
We leave for home tomorrow, and upon arrival in our driveway, I plan to hop out (whether the car has stopped or not) and sprint to the door so I can see the doggies. Oh, pet ownership is brilliant, but it makes being away so difficult. I have checked my phone about a thousand million times hoping for updates about Tilly and Fitz. Happily, we have the best dog sitter on the whole entire planet, Meg Cary, who will not only have taken lovely care of our babies, but will have checked the mail, washed the sheets, cleaned the kitchen and left us a lovely note written in unbelievably neat and tiny handwriting. Sometimes she even leaves us cookies.
God knows, I won’t need any of those though. Woah, momma’s diet went all to pot this week, mostly because I convinced myself that I would walk off all the calories in between meals. Not exactly sure why, since I had no plans of walking to, say, Manchester or Liverpool, which is what it would have taken to offset the bingeing in which I was engaging. No matter though, I’ll pull it together when I reach stateside.
Until then though, it’s time to enjoy another day of English loveliness, so I’ll sign off here, dearest readers. Cheers then!