A couple of summers ago we had the trip of a lifetime. After months and really years of saying “I’m going to take my children to my home in England…someday.” We finally went HOME.
Our trip was amazing. The trip of a lifetime for me, my husband, and my kids. The trip was made more memorable because my mother and father were able to come with us. I will not soon forget the look in my parents’ eyes and the smiles’ on their faces as they watched my children meet the children of my English cousins. What a day that was!
After 4 days spent running from tourist attraction to tourist attraction in London, we headed up to my hometown of Manchester. On our train journey north, my kids happily chatted to their grandparents. I reminisced about my childhood and looked forward to sharing my hometown with my children. I shared many, many memories, including.
- The many rainy and chilly days spent playing in my grandmother’s back garden…even during the summer months.
- Holidays spent freezing to death on the beach at seaside resort towns.
- Chilly afternoons spent in the garden off a British pub eating a Ploughman’s lunch and watching my grandfather play crown green bowling.
- Waiting at the bus stop wearing only a school uniform on cold and rainy school days.
I’m sure you are detecting a pattern that England, especially the northern part, can be cold no matter what the season. As luck would have it, the 10 days we were in England were glorious. Bright sunny days. The kids could wear shorts. We were in heaven!
On our second day in my hometown of Manchester, we began the day with a tour of Manchester United soccer stadium. I’d spent a few Saturdays as a child cheering on my hometown team. After lunch, we joined our local family members at a luncheon.
Two years later, I still smile when I think of the look on my son’s face as he met his 2-year-old second cousin for the first time. In our family, I have two daughters, my sister has two girls, two of my cousins have two girls each and another cousin has one girl. “He’s a boy!,” my son screamed upon seeing my cousin’s son for the first time. My son was shocked to find an actual BOY cousin! Priceless!
The lunch that day was everything that my mother had hoped for. Cousins chatting to cousins. Older relatives meeting younger relatives for the first time. Photo opps. A traditional British lunch with all the trimmings. It was a truly amazing and glorious way to spend time with family.
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