Day 9: York, England – England, Scotland, England Trip

Tremendous day in York, UK today. York is a positively delightful city. Perfect weather, the trees are blooming, the town was teaming with people out for the holiday weekend and some kind of food festival was going on to boot. You know Easter is near but it isn’t overdone with bunnies and stuff. A lily here and there and a few egg references, but not the focus on the stuff and pomp like you get tired of seeing back home. That’s kind of nice. This is definitely a city I will return to revisit if I ever get the good fortune to travel back to the UK again. York is special.

After a quick run this morning along the river Ouse (here’s looking at you NYT Crossword puzzlers!) we popped in the ol’ Vauxhall and headed over to Harrogate to see Will and the Fort Mill High School band march in what might have been the smallest parade ever. The cool part was they marched on a route that made it easy to see them multiple times. The town seemed excited to see a big band like Fort Mill. We positively geeked out for the twenty minutes that we got to see him. Cindy even took a selfie with him which in High School kid land is the most uncool and embarrassing thing ever. I think Will may miss us because he hardly resisted it. Cindy’s kiss on his cheek before yelling “bye Baby Boy!” may have taken it too far. It was glorious to watch.

We ate a nice meal in Harrogate but we could tell Cindy was starting to fade. She’s been fighting a cold/sinus thing since about Tuesday and today it seems to be peaking. We hopped back in the Vauxhall and motored back over to York and put her to bed.

After a quick WIFI recharge, me and Stewart took Charlie over to Yorkminster via a pastry shop to lose him. Ok. We went on a walkabout with the intention of eventually getting to and touring the biggest thing in York. Yorkminster Cathedral. Which we did after buying a souvenir and an Easter pastry “for the kids” and taking a long break on a bench in a wonderful park alongside the Cathedral. What Stewart and me didn’t recognize while Charlie literally picked flowers in the park until we said stop near his 100th dandelion flower, was his rapidly plummeting blood sugar levels. Throw in a tour of an old and historic building where his sister was reading from a tour book that he secretly also wanted to do some reading from (of course without telling us) and you get to the losing Charlie part somewhat unexpectedly. You see, after much holding in of the feelings that he wanted to be reading from the guidebook too, he let those feelings come forth. Loudly. With many repeated phrases like “how come SHE got to read 12 of the 15 sections and now I only get to read THREE??” Sprinkle in a few “I never said you could read anys” from one older sister and you get to the part where I calmly (maybe too calmly, thanks building of God and God’s people!) asked Charlie to sit by the exit. In hindsight, admittedly, I requested this action without explicitly clearly defining the exit or the seat at the exit. Stewart, determined more than ever to finish the three sections, has me thinking that’s the only just and right thing to do.

Hi. It’s me Hindsight here again…this wasn’t exactly the right or just thing to do. Right. Maybe you being a bit of a bigger guy figure out how to get him in the game again…maybe use some of that ‘Charlie-whisperer’ stuff you brag a bit on and on about instead…just a thought (best read in your best Ricky Gervais voice).

One reading section later I think better and we head for the exit. Only when we get there, to the exit in the front of the church (near the entrance), do we discover the exit is on the side of the church. So, at a slightly quicker pace we rush back to the real exit except once there, no seats. No Charlie. But of course, he’s in the gift shop. But he’s not. So he must have wondered out front. But he didn’t and crap, there’s a lot of people. Where did all of these people come from? Now heads are on a swivel. Pace is higher. Stewart is silent. We head to the entrance. No Charlie. Back to the exit. No Charlie. Now everyone starts to look like a possible kidnapper. Pace quickens to that weird Olympic speedwalking pace. Back to the front. “Stewart, you stay right here and don’t move at all. Just watch for Browner. Seriously. Don’t move from this spot. Got it? Don’t move.” It’s said with the kind of frantic that just begs these throngs of possible kidnappers to take my second born too. Praying has commenced. And running. Back to the exit. Through the gift shop. “Even a church has the Disney gift shop-at-the-end-of-the-ride model in place?” I think to myself. I cut the line to the cashier. “I’m looking for my son. He’s 10 in a blue (it was gray) German soccer shirt (it was an Addidas sport shirt) and carrying an orange bag (it was a tan paper bag). Can I go back into the Church?” She opens the automatic doors. Front. Side of church. Other side. Back to the exit. “Dad! What took you guys so long? I’m so tired of waiting. And where’s Stewart? Have you wandered off again? Is she ready to let me read now?” Cashier and security guard show up. “I found him. Yes. This is him. Nope. Gray, not blue. That’s the bag. Nope. Not orange either.” She and the guard both hit their walker talkies and cell phones to call off the search. Geez. I’m that dad.

Two last prayers: “Please let Stewart be right where I left her” and “Please let me find the right time and way to tell this to Cindy.” Thank goodness. Prayer one answered. “Are you using data?”, I ask her (yup, still super worried about losing my shirt to silly international data charges…geez). Nope. She’s found free Yorkminster WiFi. “You know that’s not a safe way to use wifi, right?” Cmon man! Not. The. Time. And nope, prayer two isn’t getting answered as she’s already texted Cindy: Dad. Lost. Charlie. Overstatement of the year. Dad didn’t do a great job of telling Charlie where to sit. Big difference.

So we sat for a bit while Cindy made her way from her rest at the Airbnb. Charlie proceeded to need more time to himself. We kept our distance, but not too much. Cindy brought oranges and recommended an early dinner. I definitely married up.

We reflected on the trip at dinner. It was a great one. But not the same without Will. We all agreed next Spring Break will be mandatory for the five of us. Stewart is thinking Caribbean, Charlie is thinking a cruise. Cindy and me are thinking we have 12 months to redirect.

Long day of driving and flying tomorrow. Back to work/school on Monday. We are lucky to have realities like this to switch between. Until the next vacation.

(before dramatic blood sugar drop)

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Day 8: Edinburgh / York – London, Scotland, London Trip

It’s moving day, again! Edinburgh right to York. We were out around 9 to get into York in time to hopefully catch the York City Football Club match vs Spennymoor FC. I’m actually getting used to driving on the other side of the road but still fall into the old habits in parking lots. I’m finding my right hand and right arm is getting tired of gripping the wheel while my left hand does the shifting.

We also saw the return of Charlie the Car Puker today. It’s been a few years and sadly his aim into a huge shopping bag hasn’t improved much. Tough last two hours of the trip for all involved. Stewart and Cindy switched spots. Interestingly, Cindy argued much less with Charlie and Stewart did awesome at navigation once she tightened up her left from her right. Fairly important for helping navigate.

We drove straight to the York City pitch at Bootham Crescent where the crew working laughed out loud when we asked where to buy tickets. They “reminded” us that today is a cash game where you pay at the stiles. We quickly drove to the cutest Airbnb yet and then Charlie and me set off back to the grounds where we arrived with five minutes to spare. 23 pounds to the man operating the manual foot pedal turnstile and then up to the non reserved rows of the home stands. The experience of local English football was incredible. Maybe 2,500 fans crowded in a stadium that was almost 100 years old and a perfectly manicured pitch that shared time between the local football and rugby clubs. This was third or fourth tier English soccer with the away team in contention to be promoted if they can make it to third spot from fourth before the end of the season. York City played a great game but defensively were weaker and were beaten 3-2 in the 84th minute. When York scored their two goals the place was electrified. Sheer magic. The couple in front of us were watching their son play (#12) and he scored. I may have read a text on the Dad’s phone (I couldn’t resist) that said that goal definitely helped him get back in favor with the coach. He also won “man of the match” a high honor. Watching Charlie’s excitement to see English soccer was priceless. Seeing how good these guys were at the sport makes me pretty amazed at the quality of play overall. An awesome experience. The singing crowds. The clear understanding of the sport. The ages and gender diversity of the crowd. Excellent.

After the match we met Stewart and Cindy back at The Shambles, an old historic marketplace with buildings from the 1500s! It sits in the shadows of Yorkminster Cathedral which rivals the size of Westminster in London and Notre Dame in Paris. All of this sits along the River Ouse that winds through York. Boats, rowing shells, abound. A spectacular city – maybe my new favorite of the trip because of its walking and cycling friendliness.

Charlie and me snacked in Fish and Chips (awesome again!) and then we all ate at another traditional pub. This one was haunted by the ghost of Guy Fawkes (I think). Cindy and me enjoyed what else, but some Yorkshire pudding for dinner (mine sans beef). While authentic, still not fully getting what the draw of that dish is all about. Not what some of these condiments are all about. HP sauce?

After dinner back to the Airbnb for a nothing Gnome movie viewing. This time, Sherlock Gnome. Quite a cheeky movie and England appropriate. Aside from the mild motion-induced puke event, another great day across the pond.

Day 7: Edinburgh – London, Scotland, London Trip

To sum up our day we took 33,000 steps and we took a sightseeing break back at the apartment to take naps and watch “Back to the Future 3.” We had some ups and downs today literally and figuratively. Edinburgh has a castle and a Royal Mile that literally sits above much of the city. They also have other topographical features with decent climbs. Plus they have caverns. Caverns full of mystery and intrigue. Caverns many steps down. And then there’s our 5th floor Airbnb. 60 steps one way. We also had hangry set in twice. Both times when we were trying to be proactive about eating something. Both times when we may have tried to cram one more thing in before eating. Worse as they set in there may have been words. Teenagery angst-ridden words. Not sure cranky crackers would have been enough. At lunch, the homemade mint, Carmel brownie bite was hardly enough. Amazingly, as fast as hangry hit it went away. Food has a way of setting things back right again. Even if one of the food solutions was Five Guys. Possibly our biggest meal fail yet on this trip. But it was 8:40pm and we had been turned away by four pubs with long waits. BTW, If you are a chef looking for work, Edinburgh has the job for you. Tables weren’t the hang ups but rather backed up kitchens.

Food aside, today was a great day. Possibly my favorite of the trip. Edinburgh is a special place. I was up before 7:30am local time for the first time this trip. Getting back to Carolina time shouldn’t be an issue at all give how I have hardly deviated from it. I laced up my running shoes to get another country I’ve run in under foot. I think this makes twelve for me.

Somewhere I read that one should run to the top of Albert’s Seat, a Scotlandesque rise in the landscape with great views. They were right, that run didn’t disappoint. I came down from the seat on the Leith town side and enjoyed a short jaunt into the town neighboring Edinburgh. A cool beach town with what seemed like a large running community. Once back to the apartment I experienced the world’s smallest shower. It made an airplane restroom feel nice and roomy.m. Another seemingly notable item is that UK really takes their hot water seriously. One doesn’t make that mistake twice.

We hit the road at 10:30am for the Royal Mile via The Grassmarket. We learned in a tour today that the Grassmarket was home to a hay market and the poorest of the poor in the old days. Today it was home to my first smoothie of the trip and for a land with little ice they did quite well. I miss smoothies.

Once fueled up with Smoothies and lunch we headed to our Ghost tour of Edinburgh Caverns. These were a pretty amazing set of caverns that existed after a bridge a king commissioned to get rich folk to the University without crossing paths with the poor folk. It created many nooks and crannies where poor folks gathered for not great reasons. Crime. Body snatching. Etc. The tour was awesome. Good history of Edinburgh and creepy too.

After the tour we decided more history and touring was needed. Or there was this huge castle on a hill and it felt weird not to go try to learn at least one thing about it. We learned it was 12-13 centuries old and had one of the oldest buildings in Scotland – the chapel. It was also apparently one of the smallest and definitely most crowded too. We also learned the coolest part of the tour was the view, followed by the prisons followed by the whisky tasting.

Next a break at the apartment after a cool distraction of some awesome gelato that was handmade daily. The cherries and marscapone was an incredible flavor. Naps. A WiFi recharge. Then back to the streets for more aimless wandering. Such wandering may have gotten the best of Stewart. She cracked and was showing signs of needing food immediately. This at the time that we realized we weren’t in our normal early bird eating hour of 6pm but rather that we were in the normal Scottish eating hours of 7:30-9:30pm. This resulted in four strikes and more wandering. Ultimately after the fifth shutout we broke down and feasted on, wait for it, Five Guys. Total. Food. Fail. To make up for this, Cindy and me delivered the kids to our apartment and found a nearby pub for a pint on our own.

Tomorrow, we travel to York and maybe, just maybe an English soccer match. Fingers crossed.

Day 6: Liverpool / Edinburgh – London, Scotland, London Trip

Another transit day. At home while planning the trip, 150-200 miles felt like three hour car trips. The reality is in England, that’s more like 4-4.5 hour car trips. Mostly this is due to slow going to get to the faster roadways but also a little to do with the fairly strict speed limits. I say this because maybe, just maybe four cities in 9 days is starting to feel like a little much. A lesson for next time.

Browner and me spent a quick hour back at the Liverpool museum where we learned all about their early trade with China (biggest Chinatown in the UK), the bustling shopping industry that was quickly crushed when cargo containers revolutionized shipping and Liverpool wasn’t prepared for that change and the evils of the sugar trade which Liverpool was a prime player in both the terrible human/slave trade and the beginnings of the sugar mafia. Leave it to the English to smack you in the face with the realities of their history. No sugar coating here. Yep, I went there.

From the museum, we swung by the car park to get the car, then the Airbnb to get Cindy and Stewart and then we hit the road for Edinburgh. The drive was stunningly beautiful. Grassy mountains, hilly farmland, stone walls, small rivers with cute bridges. The best part of the drive was easily the last twenty five miles where we drove on the two lane winding Scottish country road (A702). Sheep littered the countryside. Tiny new baby lambs stuck close to their mums. Super cute.

Once in Edinburgh we quickly checked into the Airbnb. Of course using the instructions for our next Airbnb in York may have delayed our entry to this building in Edinburgh a bit. We are finding that gaining access to Airbnb’s needs some improvement. Limited access to data and fear of large data charges doesn’t help this problem either. We are also noticing that since our last major trip, Airbnbs seems to be owned less and less by some cute couple named Lisa and Paul and more so by a company with a grumpy guy named Mitch who answers the phone when your code to the lock box for the York rental doesn’t work on the Edinburgh rental. Slightly less charming than the “hold on and I’ll come meet you” response we got at the one in Paris.

Edinburgh. Wow. Just wow. Such a wonderful city with tons of history. Today we walked in the super cool Princes Park which sat just below the Edinburgh Castle. Then climbed the hill to the The Royal Mile a cobblestone street that stretches from the castle, past parliament to one of the older churches in town (pictures at the top of this post). We also visited The Elephant Room tea and coffee shop where JK Rowling wrote her first two Harry Potter books. Just behind this coffee shop you’ll find a graveyard with tombstones incribed with some of the names of the characters in her books. Just beyond that Victoria street, the street she supposedly modeled Diagon Alley from. Very cool.

After a nice walkabout and an Italian dinner near the theatre district and our apartment, we retired for the evening where we watched the second Back to the Future movie. During movie time Cindy sleuthed our that Will was only two miles away and thirty minutes from curfew so off we went. We got there at 9:21 leaving us with exactly 9 minutes to say hello. Worth it though – we missed that boy. He was watching the Man City game which they won over Tottenham but somehow fell out of the Champions League championship. Something about not winning by enough goals and a tiebreaker that went Tottenham’s way because they scored more away goals?!? Makes complete sense so long as my ten year old keeps explaining it to me.

Upon returning to the hotel we parked in a Just Park Parking lot that had the narrowest entrance road I’ve ever driven on. Both mirrors had to be pulled in and the car’s sensors were going nutso. Oh and we found out we aren’t actually driving a Skoda but something called a Vauxhall Grandland X. Who knew?

Day 5: Liverpool – England-Scotland-England trip

Another lazy morning in England. I don’t remember having jet lag this bad in prior trips. Maybe a lack of exercising? Still so hard to get out of bed in the mornings. The kids found one of their favorite vacation routines this morning. Lucky Charms (you know their magically delicious!)! One day we are going to get a bill from some vacation spot that discovers one of my biggest fears: that all these years my kids have been just eating the marshmallows and dumping those cardboard pieces of unluckiness that comes in the Lucky Charms box behind the headboard. Accidentally eating one of those fiberous pieces of awful sticks you with a taste not even wasabi can rid you of. Oh, you got stuck on the headboard part? Yep. Unlike anything we’d ever allow in our own home, we let our kids eat dry Lucky Charms in their vacation beds. And just when you thought you knew you some Suttons, right? I can almost hear my five star Airbnb rating plummeting and this summer’s HHI home being canceled as we speak. Just speaking truth to power.

Today we took our second-ever walking tour (credit to you Seiberts!). It was a Beatles walking tour and it didn’t disappoint. So many Beatles facts packed into 90 minutes. I’ll repeat them all now. Just kidding. I did walk away thinking that maybe there could be a little more Beatles in my life. Then I spent the rest of the day hearing The Beatles in EVERY LIVERPOOL LOCATION WE ENTERED and thought, “nope, I think I’ve been playing The Beatles about the right amount in my life.” Imagine what Liverpool will think when someone hears a non-Beatles song for the first time. I kid Liverpoolians. I kid.

Speaking of kidding. Liverpoolians seem to enjoy a good joke every now and again. Once they commissioned a sculptor to make an eagle for the top of one of their three riverside graces (buildings). Problem was the sculptor had never seen an eagle. So he made it look like he thought an eagle should look which was apparently a mix between a large raven and a duck. And the Liverbird was born (Google it). This is really proof that the internet isn’t getting the credit it deserves as that just wouldn’t happen in these times. Taking it one step further, Liverpoolians have tied these Liverbirds (Bella and Bertie – Bella looked to protect the sea bound people of Liverpool and Bertie looks inward to protect the pubs) to the top of the roof of the building because as legend has it, if they ever flew away (somewhat laughable in itself if you saw their paltry wingspan and broad body – an emu has more shot at flight) then the city of Liverpool will sink into the Mersey River. So there’s that.

The tour took us to the Cavern Club where The Beatles played almost 300 times (along with almost every other major act since then). This place was amazing. We learned how the song title Eleanor Rigby came to be and spent some time on the tragedy of John Lennon. Throw in a little history about The Mersey River, the Irish Sea, some traditional English weather and the company that built the Titantic and you have our morning in a nutshell.

After the tour we made our way to Albert Docks where we ate at a restaurant that looked like the English version of an Appleby’s except we didn’t really notice until we were seated. This happens to us on vacations. We get near or all the way into low sugar mode (and by we, I mean Charlie maybe because I’m afraid to say Cindy) and food selection becomes very secondary to proximity. Decision-making slows and always worsens. Usually another factor is thrown in to cloud the situation further. Today’s random factor was a class of 30-40 middle-schoolers from France. Middle school kids worldwide are all the same. They talk all at once. Few hear anything anyone else is saying. They walk 4-wide minimum and never in straight lines. One of the 4-wide is sporadically sent sprinting in an odd direction with little indication of such action and less peripheral awareness. And somehow, they can convince a mid-40s male dealing with family blood sugar issues that all of this is no accident. Back in the English Appleby’s we ordered two beers, nachos and garlic toast and got on with our day. Not a total fail until later that same afternoon we realized that from the other side of the building we had selected the restaurant in the Holiday Inn Express. Nope. Not feeling much smarter. Anyone up for joining us on our next vacation? Anyone?

We made up for the lunch snack blood sugar fail with a quick sweet bite and coffee from another one of Liverpool’s fine coffee establishments and a nice rest and WiFi recharge back at 8 Vernon Street.

The biggest news of our day? Nope. You didn’t guess it. It was that Charlie finally bought his English soccer cleats. Adidas Pogba cleats named Elixor or Excavator or Excalibur or something like it. These exact cleats DEFINITELY could be bought in the United States at any Dick’s Sporting Goods Store but we wouldn’t have had to carry them with us for the next 6 days across three cities. But at least he can wear them while eating Lucky Charms from his vacation bed.

Day 4: London/Liverpool – England-Scotland-England trip

We turned on our first news in days tonight to the sad news of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. While a historic tragedy for sure, there does seem to be a minor miracle that amongst the destruction no one died. Me and the kids visited the cathedral in 2015 and were awestruck by both the number of people visiting it and the shear size once inside. I remember being surprised at the amount of wood along the top of something so old. I also remember sitting outside behind the cathedral amongst several trees and thinking how peaceful it was compared to the front sides of the church with the hundreds of people. I hope it can be rebuilt.

Today, back here in London, was moving day. We exited the luxury and comforts of the Mayfair district and the London Grosvenor Marriott (and that club level living!) for the working man’s wharf city of Liverpool, home of The Beatles. To make this move we trekked 0.3 miles to the Q-Park Park Lane at Hyde Park (yep, three parks in that name) to a home of countless Bentleys, Ferrari’s, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. Seriously, there were millions of dollars of sports cars in this car park under Hyde Park along with 10-12 Alamo Rental Cars, one being our 5-door Skoda rental vehicle. It’s hard if not impossible to imagine a life where one buys a vehicle for hundreds of thousands of dollars and then parks it below ground allowing it to dust completely over unused. But I digress.

So admittedly I’ve been a bit nervous about driving on the left side of the road. In three days in London I haven’t really gotten used to looking right first before crossing the road. So what does one do? Get behind that wheel with two of his three kids and his wife and DRIVE! At first it was every bit as weird as I had feared. Plus driving in London had a lot going on. But I had a good navigator partner in Cindy to my left (weird) and the trusty Skoda and its very easy to drive 6-speed manual transmission. I was also relieved to find the foot pedals and gearbox were configured the same as our normal (ahem) cars. Not only that, but once on the highway, the Skoda has lane correction sensors so you could actually drive with no hands until Cindy and the kids immediately requested I resume driving with hands at 10 and 2.

One last note about driving. Like the French, the English drivers are a polite and orderly bunch. Speed limits are not suggestions here but very much adhered to in the UK. While there were a few exceptions to this rule, the idea a camera will take your picture and send you a ticket seems to work. Trucks drive slower than cars by law. That helps keep them in the slow (left) lane. The far right lane is for overtaking (passing) only and indicators (blinkers) are nearly always used. Additionally, the M6 had several roundabouts as a part of the highway. These were in place of interchanges. Speed limit signs were only posted if it was different than the national speed limit of 70mph and better seen via Waze than via very limited signage on the road. Oh yeah, and parking spaces are super tiny.

The English countryside is pretty. Very pretty. Grassy. Green. Cool old homes. Some small rivers. Rolling hills. Somewhat Virginia-like except with coal-free, energy-generating windmills.

Liverpool? It’s early. I’ll know more after tomorrow. In SAT language, London:Boston :: Liverpool:_________? With an hour or two wandering around town and one grocery store visit under our belts I might be inclined to answer with Columbia, SC. But it is early still. Plus the Beatles, right (although it is notable that none of them exactly relocated back home to Liverpool after making it big)?

Like Columbia, SC we have managed to find a gem or two. There are cool coffee shops all over the place and we had an excellent dinner of tapas at a restaurant called Rocket and Ruby. It should be noted that tapas and my kids seem to go together quite nicely. They seem to think it is extra fancy and I like the smaller price since they haven’t yet caught on that each dish is typically a bit smaller. Never mind if they are hungry again within 30 minutes. Details. We’ve also let the kids know our pace in Liverpool will slow a bit. More WiFi breaks back at the Airbnb which they were a bit more excited about than I’d like to admit. It is a nice Airbnb. Charlie liked the toilet mixed right in with the shower. Stewart said “I didn’t think it was going to be this nice when I saw it from the outside.” A nice lesson in itself.

Day 3: London. England-Scotland – England Trip

Here’s what’s weird. Me waking at 6:20 but dozing for another 2 hours before finally getting my lazy arse out of bed. Few things frustrate me quite like not piecing it together in the morning. After a quick shave (also weird for a vacation day), shower (not abnormal) and visit to the club level (ahem, you gotta love a theme!) for another breakfast of beans and eggs, we headed off into what was at first the quiet streets of London and then we reached St. James Park where we saw the start of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace with what looked to be all of London surrounding us. We skedaddled because us Sutton’s aren’t huge on crowds. So where’d we go? To the next most crowded part of London near Big Ben and Parliament (Chevy Chase in “European Vacation” anyone?). Big Ben looks a lot different up close and in person than all of the times I’ve seen it on TV. Can you say overrated??

From there we were off to the historic London Dungeons. Except it was only historic if you think this is where the idea for Myrtle Beach was born. Whoa…But at least Charlie loved it. Stewart nearly threw up in it and Cindy and me fought over who should take her out and who should stay for the remaining 100 minutes (not exaggerating) until the tour ended. Seriously, if there are real and historic London Dungeons and we got suckered into the Ripley’s version don’t tell me. It’s better that I leave London only judging the London Capitalists than to know we took a wrong turn into squander-ville.

After this it was time to experience Greenwich Mean Time and some Tube-riding.

Two Tubes and maybe some inadvertent above ground walking at Canary Wharf later (where Charlie stumbled upon this gem of a workplace) we emerge into the cute space of Greenwich. Once in Greenwich, we ate at a pub that served a little more than beef today, a nice change. Then up the hill to the Observatory where we stood both east AND west of the meridian at the very same time. Charlie may or may not have asked multiple times if this is the reason we came all the way to Greenwich. “Of course not” was the best lie I could come up with on the spot. Then I distracted him with a spot of candy.

Some tubes back to the Adidas store just 16 minutes after it closed. Why is this important? Only Browner knows. Something about buying cleats in London. Tears may or may not have ensued. Seriously, why are we buying soccer cleats in London? I’m going to need this answered by a rational non-related, non-ten year old.

Where to next? That’s right. The Marriott lounge. Today, grapes, olives, cheese, cheesecake and beverages while we watched Tiger Woods win the Masters. Hey, 2019, the 2002 PGA Pro Golf Tour called and wants it’s champion back. It took 15 minutes to realize we weren’t watching rain-delay coverage from a prior decade when Tiger was actually dominant. Sheesh. Off to the Mayfair Chippy for what is supposedly the best fish and chips in London. Sans kids. Date night. Ta ta. Cheerio.