Tuesday, 28 April 2009

In My Mind I'm Goin' to Carolina

Can't you just see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine...

In two days, we'll be on a plane, headed Stateside for the first time since Crumpet was born. Actually, it will be the first time I've been back since last April, and it has been a long year. I'm ready for short sleeves, the chirping of the cicadas on warm evenings, the orange glow of the chimnea on evenings that are crisp, lemonade on the back porch, buttermilk pancakes, Cracker Barrel, moonpies...

If I could just skip the packing (which is more like a military operation now that I have a child), the journey to Heathrow (it will probably be the longest journey I've ever taken on the Piccadilly Line, especially if Crumpet doesn't sleep in the cheap new umbrella stroller we got last week, which doesn't recline), the chaos of airport check-in and security, and the long flight itself and somehow teleport to Raleigh-Durham, that would be great.

Stay tuned for an update on how our first flight with baby panned out, as well as what I am sure will turn out to be some other interesting anecdotes from our first official family holiday. I've got several blog entries already starting to take shape in my mind....

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Once Upon a Time in London


Last weekend was my parents-in-law's fortieth wedding anniversary, and we celebrated yesterday with a surprise party with family and friends in central London. The party took place at The Bridge House, a pub and restaurant on Tower Bridge Road that, ironically, is where The Other Half and I had our first date nearly seven years ago. My brothers-in-law, who made the arrangements, didn't choose this venue for that reason, but it was certainly a nice coincidence. There was something very special about Crumpet being able to celebrate her grandparents' fortieth anniversary at the restaurant where her parents' relationship sort of began. One day, I'll tell her the story...

...about how a young American girl, newly graduated from college and just starting life as a real adult (the bill-paying, career-minded kind) set off for London over Thanksgiving break to visit her best friend, stumbled into a random pub down a back alley in Covent Garden, and spotted a handsome Englishman at the bar.... About how that chance meeting led to a romantic dinner at The Bridge House, overlooking the glittering lights that bounced off the River Thames, and a moonlit stroll along St. Katherine's Docks.... About how that one date led to daily e-mails, phone calls, and letters back and forth between the charming Englishman and the Southern belle, until she took a chance and returned to visit him a few months later.... And about how that visit turned into thousands of frequent flyer miles between the two of them over the next three and a half years. The rest, as they say, is history....

Life may not always be a bowl of cherries, I'll tell her, but fairy tales do sometimes come true, usually at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways.