Friday, January 22, 2010

Run around, run around, we get around

Whew! I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

Some stats:
Vancouver - California - London - Vancouver
Total days - 17 and change
Total kms - 17926
Total tube trips - 17
Total hours waiting for delayed transit - 5.5
Total blog posts - 8

In the grand scheme of practicing our blogging chops from the road, I'm pretty happy with how it went. I can't vouch for my grammar when writing at 1am, but it was a lot of fun to recap as we went along. I found that as I was walking along the streets of London I was thinking, how am I going to create a story arc for this day, this event, this experience? It sharpens the mind a bit to think that way. I started taking better note of the historical markers around us, a keener eye out for photo ops, and perhaps trying harder to engage in the experiences.

And then there was the nine-year old. Traveling with kids = completely different from just Sarah and I on the road with a map (if we remembered one) and a rental car. I know this is old hat for many of you out there, but it was new for me and wow is it amazing and exhausting. At the end of the trip, I took a look through Sophie's pictures (she got her first camera before the trip) and found that most of the pics were of the fam - of Katie studying, or Rachael making funny faces, of Bella and Rascal (the Haynes dogs) starting up plaintively at the camera. I had a moment where I wondered if I should have pushed her to take more shots of the sights, worried that she would regret not having them later. But then I realized that what she took pics of was what was important to her, and that was a bit of a soul-warming thought. If she turns fifteen and wishes she had shots of Big Ben, well Cousin Steve took about a hundred, so we've got that covered.

I was going to go off on a big tangent about the struggles of blogging from the road, but I'm feeling more like looking through pics instead, so I'm going to do a short photo recap of some of my favorite moments. Hope you enjoy!

The clear day when we went to the top of Mt. Diablo was amazing. I was able to point out to Sophie and Sarah all of the landmarks we'd seen or were about to see - Mom's house, Dad's house, Golden Gate, Tahoe, Walnut Creek, etc etc. I could almost see all these names connect in Sophie's head to the expansive landscape sprawling out in front of us.

Does it get any better than old friends, breakfast at Mary's Kitchen, and a nine-year old in a red beret? I think not.

Christmas day with the fam is one of my favorite days of the year. It doesn't get much better than a sugar rush before 8am.
The Victoria and Albert Museum. Bad ass. Just like Queen in 1977.

This pub was nearly enough to make me move to a tiny hamlet outside London, buy a barstool and become the English version of Norm. Roaring fireplace, 7' ceilings, families playing board games. Amazing. (Though can I please please get a cold beer? I know I'm an ignorant American. Just get me an ice cube.)

Standing in the middle of the Millennium Walkway, the railing dips down below view and it feels like your standing on the prow of a massive ship as it steams up through the city. I love how London mixes the old and the new to make something stunning.

Favorite pic from the trip. If you have a moment, click on the photo to see the large version. Wandering through the Cotswolds, I kept expecting a knight on horseback to ride up to the side of the car and ask me as to the nature of our metal carriage.

You'll appreciate this later Soph, I promise. :)


  1. "Just like Queen in 1977" awesome.

  2. Well I have yet to travel with kids, but I remember traveling with my parents when I was eight around Europe. It was one of the best experiences of my childhood. There is nothing better than traveling to develop children's minds. That's true learning I think. :)


  3. Natalie - That's good to hear! I hope we managed to make such a strong impression on Soph. It sure was fun having her.

    Mike - They had an amazing collection of concert posters at the V&A. The Queen one was pretty amazing.

  4. Have been sat in the sodding library for 8 hours (5 days and counting until the end of this nightmare!) and your pictures made me smile! Thank you! Seeing london through your eyes makes me appreciate my home so much more! Was amazing having you guys with us over the holidays! Come back, I miss you!! xxx

  5. You can do it Katie! It was great to spend some time with you and the fam, I hope we can make it a regular gig. Have fun celebrating when finals are over.