WE MADE IT.
We are officially in London Y'all! Our trip here was a fumbling, bumbling mess at some points. (We are still missing a carseat.) But in general, against all odds, we made it to the airport pretty smoothly. The kids were incredible on the plane. They sat in the row in front of us and that was a total win. We got to watch inappropriate movies with cuss words and they binged on 'Frozen 2' and 'Paw Patrol'. If they whined, we just pretended not to know them. You're welcome for the parenting hack. I will also mention to anyone traveling, they are not serving cocktails on planes. Consider yourself warned.
After flying for 14 hours, we arrived at the airport to discover it was somewhat of a ghost town. Most shops, banks & eateries were closed due to Covid. I think the quiet actually helped us keep our heads about us and maintain MOST of our luggage (excluding carseat). Speaking of luggage, we had so much of it, we had to hire not one, but two 8 passenger vans to cart our craziness to our flat. The girls giggled and gawked at all the sights and sounds while our incredibly informative driver, Barry, told us his life story and all of his favorite things to do in London.
After arrival to our flat, we came spilling out of two black vans like a circus troupe. Luggage and kids and large southern accents took over a beautiful building on Baker Street. So let's chat, about the flat, as well is our quarantine.
Our little flat is nestled in between Regent's and Hyde Park, two of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen. Regent's park is made up of winding paths, waterways, ducks, (lots of duck poop) and bridges. The famous Hyde Park, once established by Henry VIII as his private hunting ground, has historically hosted such bands as The Who, The Rolling Stones & Pink Floyd. I realize I have gone off on a tangent. If you are a history lover like me, you are swooning. If you hate history, skip this paragraph and I'm sorry. Back to the flat. Our temporary quarters are at the corner of Bickenhall and the famous Baker Street. Baker street is the home of the world's most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. The walk to the park is lined with little shops and a vintage looking museum dedicated to the beloved character. If this street wasn't amazing enough, we are across the way from a KFC AND a Starbucks. Shazzam! Home can't be that far, fried chicken is here. Because we are quarantining for the next 13 days, I am soaking up every detail of our daily stroll and the places we can go: the market, the parks, oh right, thats it!
At first, the thought of quarantine when I am so ready to "get out there and get the stink blown off of me" was hard. This city, is everything that excites me: beauty, history and friendly people that make gin. (I may have found paradise.) Quarantine has been an even harder sell to my kids, whose little hearts are already struggling with homesickness. They have awoken in the middle of every night asking if we can just go home. I wish I could tell them we have a home. I know that in reality we don't, and that fact just about rips my heart out. I would usually combat the tears with excitement and lots of things to do, but instead we are in our little flat dreaming about activities we hope to do soon and recovering from jet lag.
So, I could be upset. We could all focus on being bummed at the bum situation. Instead, I am going to be patient and thankful that we can take some time to adjust and reconnect after all the travel craziness. Because here is the truth...one day we will move from this place too, it is a guarantee. As a military family, our home, is our people. So as long as "we" are good, this next chapter in London will be good, maybe even the best yet. The world can and will wait for us, and when our "qurantimer" is up, we will spill out of this flat like a band of southern bandits and we will make a new mark on the World's Famous Baker Street.