Flying From the U.K. to the U.S. During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Well, we made it back across the pond and to Virginia on Sunday. Deciding whether or not to make the journey back to the States this summer to visit family was probably a harder decision than when we were offered the opportunity to uproot and move to London with a 3-year-old and another baby on the way. More complicated.

Obviously, flying during a pandemic is risky; however, at the current time, the only people allowed to enter the U.S. are U.S. citizens, and Americans entering the U.K. are required by law to quarantine for 14 days, so direct flights between the U.S. and the U.K. are practically empty.

(BTW, I’m looking into donating to a carbon-offset project, because I feel pretty guilty about flying on a nearly-empty plane.)

Non-essential businesses have only just started reopening in London this month, and for the time being, the U.K. has things relatively under control.

Sign: Please no hugs no handshakes during coronavirus season
A local bar’s new outdoor seating on our high street last weekend, which is now closed to vehicles on the weekends

The U.S., clearly, does not. But fortunately the area my in-laws live in is not a big crowded city, and we are pretty much just staying put at their house. We recognized that this could be our only window for the rest of 2020 for flying to America to see our family. And while being locked down and not able to get to each other, we realized just how far away we really are. We decided it was important to go while we have the chance. Continue reading

Mums’ Mini-Break in Madrid

Another mum walked by as I was typing this at E’s gymnastics place and said, “Mums’ Mini-Break in Madrid? I need one of THOSE!”

Oh you do, honey. We all do.IMG_4018You know what I love? My children. You know what I also love? Traveling without my children.

It’s been over a year since I took this trip to Madrid with two of the good friends I’ve made in London, so it’s no doubt time for another… Continue reading

Cracking on With Christmas

(I was going to title this “Kicking off Christmas,” but I realised that is a very American thing to say, as here “kicking off” means starting to throw a fit. So I revised to something that sounds a lot more British.)

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This is our third Christmas season in London. Yes, Christmas, not holiday season; the holiday season here means summer vacation; and even though in general I find this a very tolerant melting pot of a city, Brits don’t seem to be concerned about religious political correctness surrounding Christmas the way Americans are, hence every public school child performs in a nativity play, and no one seems bothered by it. Continue reading

An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 2

{Read An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 1, here}

On Tuesday of our week in Cornwall, we visited St Michael’s Mount. The thing about visiting this island is that when the tide is low, a causeway appears and you can walk over from the mainland in Marazion. But when the tide comes back in, the causeway completely disappears under water, and you have to take a ferry.

So we waited for the causeway to open that morning, and walked across.

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An English Summer Seaside Holiday, Part 1

At the end of August, we took a weeklong family holiday to Cornwall, which E had been excited for all year. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to her expectations, since she’d been asking when we were going to Cornwall since before Easter. But as it turned out, it did; she had a fantastic week filled with kite-flying, sand castle-building, fish and chips, and ice cream cones.

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Our cottage in the town of Marazion was a Saturday-to-Saturday rental. Because driving there takes at least 5 hours (with no traffic) and there’s always traffic in London, we left at 4:30 a.m. Which was the best decision we could have made. We were sitting in a cafĂ© in Marazion, ordering breakfast, by 9:30.

We passed Stonehenge right at sunrise, and there wasn’t a tourist in sight!

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