November offered much excitement and rest as we had the privilege of hosting friends from home and conquering a month of seasonal colds. The first weekend we celebrated Guy Fawkes Night, which we have come to learn has many different reasons for the celebration. In the very early 1600’s Guy Fawkes attempted to assassinate King James I, he did not succeed and the King lived.
To celebrate the life of the King, “Guy Fawkes Night” was invented and communities of people gather at night and enjoy a bonfire and fire works.
A couple of weeks later we were thrilled to host our friends Sarah and her daughter, Baye who stayed with us for a couple of nights during their English tour. Baye is Lua’s age and they had not seen each other in over a year.
They quickly connected and started off just where they left off, except of course now they can carry on a conversation and verbally communicate their needs. It was such a joy to witness them greeting each other in this new, grown-up way of showing up in the world.
And for me it was such a blessing to have Sarah stay with us. It is an incredibly special occurrence when you can connect with old friends whom you haven’t seen in over a year and start right where you left off. I cherish these friendships and connections. Life is always changing, but to know and feel the constancy of the love of friends and family helps create a sense of home where ever we live. We are so blessed to have a worldwide connection of loved ones, we think of you and we love you.
There were so many things that we wanted to show them about London, this amazing city that we love. However, when traveling with 3 year olds it is best to keep it to about one activity a day. We were lucky with beautiful sunny weather, so we took them to see a couple of Lua’s favorite London hotspots.
We started at Big Ben and then walked to Buckingham Palace to watch Changing the Guard’s ceremony. The following day we explored our neighborhood and let the girls play at one of our favorite play grounds in Clapham Common.
On their way back after visiting other friends in England we took the girls to The London Eye in the late afternoon so they could see the city at night.
It is a stunning site, while Sarah and I excitedly pointed out the lit-up landmarks, the girls were more interested in the little i-pod screen in each pod!
Then we took them to Lua’s favorite restaurant and our Friday night dinners with Gabe hotspot, Masala Zone. We enjoyed delicious Indian fare and then to our surprise we got to see the amazing Holiday Lights display at Oxford Circus!
It was so much fun having them stay with us, we look forward to a return visit so that we can continue our tour of London!
We also had a lovely surprise visit with our friends Mora and her daughter, Mallika from California. I became friends with Mora after volunteering at Blossom Birth in Palo Alto while I was still pregnant with Lua. Mora is the Executive Director of the organization and has a gift of bringing people together in a warm and welcoming community. Blossom Birth provided me with support, information, and resources about everything to do with having a baby. At the time Mallika, her daughter, was only 2 so it was so fun to see her now as her 5 year old self! We met up at the Natural History Museum and explored for a couple of hours.
And at last we finally made it to that highly anticipated day, our return to The States! The 9 hour flight went very well, Lua was entertained the whole time with the video screen in her seat. The jet lag has been an intense experience with Lua waking up in the middle of the night, although each morning she has been able to sleep one extra hour. By tomorrow we might be at 5:30am if we are lucky! We are so grateful for all of the help from my parents as the three of us adjust to the extreme time change.
And next we fly to California, then New Mexico to visit more friends and family! We are so excited to see you!!