Chloe and I are off to London tomorrow evening, our first vacation as a mother-daughter team. I have been anticipating this moment since our babies were born, hoping that someday I’d be fortunate enough to travel with them one-on-one when they were old enough to enjoy and appreciate it.
London has been at the top of Chloe’s hit list since she first read the Harry Potter series. After much procrastination, she finally put her nose to the grindstone yesterday to figure out what she’d like to see and do while on the other side of the pond. Her list is a great amalgam of off-the-beaten-track sites, from vintage clothing shops to obscure museums, that will complement what we already have planned.
While we’ve left plenty of time for serendipitous exploration, we’ve programmed a few special events that should make this vacation one we’ll both remember for a very long time. On tap: opening night of the world tour of “Hamlet” at Shakespeare’s Globe on the Bard’s 450th birthday, the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour, a day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge, and “The Mousetrap,” the world’s longest-running show. The last one made the list because (1) hello, Agatha Christie, (2) it’s an institution and (3) why the hell not?
I’m very curious to see how the two of us will get along. I don’t doubt that we’ll aim a good amount of exasperated eye-rolling towards one another. But we share many of the same interests – her list contains several bookshops and outdoor markets, for example – and humor. She’s willing to do a lot of walking, at least in theory. She’s much more adventurous when it comes to food than she was even a couple of years ago and is looking forward to exploring the ethnic restaurants near our hotel in the East End.
While we’re galavanting around London, Sophie will be with her Grammy annoying (Sophie’s word, not mine) her favorite uncle in Austin. My husband will benefit from a house devoid of his daughters and wife, and will have Truffle, the only other source of testosterone in the house, to keep him company. At least he’ll meet lots of neighbors when he walks the canine monster around town. There’s nothing like a cute puppy to generate conversation. I hope they won’t drive each other too crazy.
Stay tuned for dispatches from the UK. Cheerio!