Thank you. And welcome to Chickenblog. We are at the beginning of our family trip to Europe, a trip Geoff and I have anticipated since we were in high school. Now we are here at last, with our four children and about to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. The thing is, it's tricky blogging from here, because I do not have my usual posting set-up. Regular readers already recognize my methods and musings, but I am feeling caught off guard about greeting new visitors and naturally when someone new is at my door I want to make them comfortable and I want to have everything tidy and inviting... uh-oh, babbling.
We made it to The British Museum. Marvelous. It's like high school, when I enjoyed flipping through the pages of my history book to look for pictures and the more tangible bits of the story. We stood before the Rosetta Stone. Not a replica. Not a grainy textbook image, but the actual tablet fragment that unlocked the mystery of hieroglyphics. The British Museum is free and has been around since 1753... before we were One nation under God... William took pictures. Max enjoyed looking for a treasure to bring home. Alex found a ball... twelve free moving ivory spheres, carved from a single piece... one inside the next and about the size of a tennis ball... we need pictures, I know. Soon.
Next we Tubed to Hyde Park, the lake and playground, the Boathouse. It's so interesting to see unfamiliar trees and new flowers. Big trees. Really big. And beautiful flowers, like foxgloves and different poppies. At the lake were geese and ducks, coots, a great heron. Even the squirrels were charming. We walked quite a bit and then we played with a boomerang and a flying floppy disc. Then I lost my phone. Then I found my phone. Then I vowed to not lose my phone ever, ever again, because that was so not fun. Then we got floored by Harrod's where food and merchandise is displayed in theme park grandeur. Then we tried to keep Geoff awake for the Tube ride back to our hotel.
Back at the hotel Alex asked about the rest of our trip. He wanted a break down on the big city vs. small town ratio. He sides with small towns and countryside. He's not keen on the traffic here, or the rush of people jockeying for real estate on the Tube. Cities. They are frenetic. The energy seems to permeate the air and when inhaled can be a bit of a jolt. I like it in doses, like the times we stay in San Francisco or visit Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, but it's not our usual pace, so I understand Alex's feelings. He thinks it's all bit too much.
Good thing we began in London, where at least the language is familiar. I think jet lag and culture shock is a lot to mange and cope with.
And today? Today we ride the train to Paris. Another big city and us without a French Rosetta Stone... oh dear. It's too soon, isn't it? Our London time is brief, and I know we are missing an awful lot, not to mention the rest of the country. Next time I want to go the Lake District, to Scotland, to that area southeast of here featured in Jane Austen's novels... sigh. Next time, right?
Before we are all aboard, we need to wake Max, gather laundry and pack. We are close to the
Reading and enjoying all of your comments. Thank you. Geoff promises pictures asap, so stick around.