In England

She’s Visiting England for the First Time

My mom is coming! YAY! Let us hope that nor’easter in the forecast doesn’t give us any trouble.

Also, let us hope that my toddler’s fever, chills, loss of appetite and sleepiness is NOT the flu, and that I don’t also get the flu before she gets here. Though, I suppose if I were to get the flu as a solo parent, doing so immediately upon my mom’s arrival would be the most personally convenient. Not that I wish that upon my mother.

Anyhow.

It’s her very first visit to England, or anywhere on this side of the Atlantic. I’m ridiculously excited to show her where we live. Maybe as excited as she is to see her grandson.

Living an hour outside of London means I’ll get to show her the places off of the beaten path that make up my days. While we won’t spend much time in London exploring the vast historic and cultural experiences it offers (*sniffle*), she will get to see much that the usual London tourist will miss. There’s something about introducing a place to a person that helps me reopen my eyes to the things I’ve begun to take for granted.

Recently I’ve challenged myself to think of the iconic little things that can be found outside of London to show her. Here is my list:

  • Centuries-old cathedral
  • Classic red telephone booth
  • Crooked timber frame house
  • Thatched roof barn
  • Proper afternoon tea
  • Weekly market (and the elderly ladies wheeling their market baskets, wearing paper poppies in their buttonholes)
  • Pub grub
  • High Street
  • Postman
  • Rain

You can find most of these things in (or on the way to) any town or city throughout England. Then you can round out that must-see list with interesting historical and natural destinations maintained by National Trust and English Heritage. Their websites allow you to search for properties by region, so you can tack on places of interest near you. Should the weather cooperate.

Of course it would border on absurd to miss London after making the long journey over here. If all you’re interested in is just seeing the London of storybooks, the Westminster tube stop brings you to the iconic views of Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, River Thames. If you want to feel it, start wandering away from the river. If you want to experience it, imagine anything you’ve ever been interested in or curious about, and look up a place to go before you visit. If you want to shop, well, there’s that.

My husband is no stranger to my request that he track down some kind of gig that would take us to (and pay for us to be in) London for a year. There is so much to see and do!

The long and short of it is, I think I’ve set myself up for a photo scavenger hunt to capture all of the bits and bobs that will always remind me of England, long after these days when I forget it’s all unique to this place.

Is there anything I’m forgetting?

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