In retrospect

A few afterwards afterwords...

1. See? I was there, too. I love this photo with Maddy, complete with drunken sleeping guy behind us.

2. Maddy sporting a fascinator. Let's all wear hats more, okay?

3. Sam is at the point where he just tolerates my picture taking.

Me: Come on, let me take a picture (with chocolate smeared all over his face after a nutella crepe). You know how much your mama loves a good photo.

Sam: know your son loves his good dignity. Sorry mom.

I didn't take the picture. Dignity trumps photography. Most of the time.

4. Pilgrimage to the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. This insures that my kids never grow up, right?

. . .

Favorite times: the Fat Bike Tour around London | just sitting in the parks watching people (I even saw John Oliver doing interviews for the Daily Show in St. James Park) | 39 Steps via the Half Price tkts booth | Les Miserables (according to G, the musical that launched a trip to London. It's a little bit true) | Churchill War Rooms | walking around with G on a night out | Portobello Road Market (crazy fun on Saturday mornings) | the London Eye | the Hyde Park ward | seeing Rosetta Stone and Elgin marbles in person at the British Museum

The weather: The weather deserves a starring role in the story of our trip. It was extraordinary. The sun, the lilacs and every other conceivable flowering thing, the green grass, the warmth. We were there during a charmed stretch of days, that's for sure. You can tell in my photos (last post) that I was obsessed with the blue-blue sky. It sprinkled once for about an hour. Truly a London rarity. Thanks, mother nature. We owe you one.

Memorable moments: when I fell down the stairs at Pizza Hut (for starters, it's embarrassing that we were even going to Pizza Hut in London but we needed something fast before a show, okay?), Sam falling down the stairs at the Serpentine, looking over at my kids' faces during Les Miserables (tears were shed). Actually, I had many stop-and-bottle-up-time moments when I just felt so lucky to be with my family, at these ages, mindful of the fleeting time. This was a trip well savored, I promise. At least once we got over grumpy jet lag.

Food: Zizzi | Byron's | pub fish+chips | picnic food from Harrod's | nutella + strawberry crepes from a street vendor | truffles from Harrod's | awesome fresh fruit and delicious bread and croissants

Trip Reading: Vogue & Vanity Fair, Anna Quindlen's Every Last One (me) | The Book Thief (Sam) | Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer & The Fifth Witness (G) | The Secret Lives of DressesJane Eyre (Maddy) |  Roma & The Postmistress (Lauren)  

Notes for next time (ohpleasemayIhaveanexttime?) things we missed but wanted to see: Hampton Court | Stratford | Bath | Cambridge/Oxford | St. Paul's | National Gallery | Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Farm & the Lake District | Stonehenge | Colchester and ancestral villages | Harry Potter sites | the V&A.

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photos via my iphone + the instagram app