9/10/2012

London

Happy Monday love bugs!

I know, I know. I've neglected my precious blog, and consequently all of you, for an entire week. A WEEK! I'm sorry! But as awful as that is, it was for a good reason. Trust me. Over the past 7 days life was hectic with many life changing events (some of which I feel more comfortable discussing at a later date, so stay tuned) and I needed a week free of blogging in order to take a couple hundred deep breaths, cry crocodile tears, smile cheesy grins, laugh like Jimmy Carr, contemplate tough discussions with friends and family, hug and kiss and cuddle my husband, and say a few prayers each night before bed. But I'm back now, filled to the brim with optimism and excitable anticipation for what the future holds.

 As you'll remember from this post, Carl had his final Immigration meeting bright and early this past Thursday at the American Embassy in London. You'll also remember from my rants about the cost of train fares, that we caught a high-speed Virgin choo-choo down from Liverpool the day before and spent the night in a Travelodge near Kings Cross station. In an attempt to be 'sensible adults' we went to bed relatively early on Wednesday night (watching the BBC news, how very boring and grown up of us) and woke up Thursday morning before the sun. I'm one of those people who needs a cup of tea and some groggy quiet time in order to mentally and physically prepare for the day, so I took a nice long shower and spent an extra five minutes blow drying my hair in the morning. A few days before heading down to London, Carl and I discovered that I wouldn't need to be present at the interview as the official paperwork stated only Carl needed to attend the arranged appointment. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't relieved. Creepy government officials (no matter what nationality) with their greasy side comb overs and fancy words intimidate me and make me more uncomfortable than my Bridget Jones scary-stomach-holding-in-pants on a night out. I knew that Carl was a bit nervous, however, and so I did my best to reassure him that everything would be okay and within no time we'd be together in Vermont starting the next chapter of our lives. And so in an attempt to cheer him up and calm his nerves,I made a nice cup of mint hot chocolate while he was showering and childishly arranged our Starbucks teddy bear, Philippe Mario, in a hilarious position for when he emerged from the bathroom. By 7:15am we were all dolled up, smirking 'wish us luck!' grins for the camera, and hurrying to sit in our entirely too expensive London black cab headed for Grosvenor Square.
 You'll be glad to know that although there was a minor hiccup (i.e. the Embassy failed to inform us in ANY of their provided paperwork that we'd need to bring passport scans for both of my parents - verifying that they really are US citizens and not 3 eyed aliens from outer space - so we came passport-scanless, obviously). We were, however, able to rectify this snare by waking my poor mom and dad at 6 in the morning and begging them to scan and email the requested documents pronto. Thankfully my Mom is a scanning ninja, and within an hour we'd forwarded the requested documents to the Embassy where they'll soon be processed and Carl's Immigration Visa will be sent via recorded courier to the house. Of course the hubs and I were a little bummed that we weren't able to leave London that day with his Visa, but we are thankful that this is only a minor bump in the road and were reassured that within the next couple of weeks it should be here, with us, in our hands. I've never been so excited to breathe a big fat sign of relief in my entire life. I'm praying it comes sooner than later.

I really think this whole experience has been God's way of teaching me patience. Because honestly, all of this waiting has nearly sent me bat shit crazy. Nevertheless, I just keep repeating that hugely obnoxious, yet entirely true, saying over and over in my mind. You know the one I'm talking about, right? The one that's a favorite to wise old grandmothers? The one that, as some point in their lives, they whisper to all of their impatient young grandchildren with big wide perceptive eyes like an aging owl. Always in the same fashion they calmly nod their intellectual wrinkled head and beckon their precious grandbaby to remember that good things come to those who wait.   

And so we continue to wait...and wait...and wait just a little bit more...
Hoping that good things will come our way.

But time passes slow when you're impatiently waiting all of the time, so we found things to keep us preoccupied in the meantime. Starting with doing obnoxious touristy stuff (which we'd previously participated in with Toni and Carl over a year ago) in London, my third favorite city (after New York and Paris) in the world. Being an obnoxiously giddy American again was fine by me...even if I had already seen it all before. What can I say? I play that part well. 

We did things like sit and drink latte's, and eat almond croissants, and read magazines and people watch in Starbucks.

Things like drool over the most gorgeous macaroons we'd ever seen perfectly displayed in one of the most expensive restaurants we'd ever seen.
Things like practically run (obviously with our mouths filled with drool, after eyeing up the previously mentioned macaroons) to my favorite cupcakery in the entire world (yes, the same one I talked about in this post). Where I dorkishly (that's a word in the dictionary of Amanda) stood infront of the famous hot pink bakery with a bag of goodies like a proud toddler in front of FAO Schwarz. Oh, and I also begged the husband take too many pictures of me eating my pumpkin whoopie pie...(which was MIND BLOWINGLY delicious, people! For cereal.)
We I did things like drop the above mentioned bag of Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes right in front of Buckingham Palace as a result of FREAKING OUT because the Royal Guards were still wearing their bright red uniforms (they change into these crummy dark blue ones for the Winter -on October 7th this year, in case you're wondering. The last time I was in London I practically cried a river because they weren't in their famous red outfits, so this time I had a kitten when I noticed their flamboyant red coats and fluffy black hats. Like a pig in shit I was). Oh, and I also shamelessly whipped little Philippe Mario out of my bag  in order to have a mini photo shoot with the guards (in case over the past year you've had your head shoved in a cave and haven't yet noticed, he's practically a part of our family and is the finest example of the teddy-bear version of the traveling gnome).
We did things like admire all of the West End shows in Leicester Square, and take pictures of double decker red buses, and eat yummy authentic Italian food. I had hand made spinach, garlic and ricotta ravioli in a creamy tomato, basil and mascarpone sauce. Oh, and a big fat slice of Lemon Torte. Oh and hell yes it was worth every single freakin' calorie. 
We did things like hold hands while walking through Trafalgar Square, St. James Park and Westminster just in time for Big Ben to chime 8 o'clock. 

Things like pay a freakin' arm and a leg to ride the hot, smelly, jerky 'tube' (aka subway) around the city. And play in Piccadilly Circus. 
And finally we did things like walk to Hyde Park and eat lunch in the very first ever Hard Rock Cafe (where Carl was in absolute awe of John Bonham's drum kit, Tony Iommi's jacket and Eric Clapton's guitar, which I bet you didn't know was what made all of the Hard Rock Cafe's what we know today!) 
Immigration hiccups, cupcake dropping and all, I'd say we had a lovely time in London. I spent the majority of our little getaway being nostalgic and attempted to soak up my surroundings like a porous sponge. I think that's why I got teary eyed as I stood in St. James park holding Carl's hand while Big Ben sang across the city. I looked up to him and I smiled because I knew it would be a very long time, if ever, that we got the pleasure of standing in the middle of London again. I soaked in the smell of the bus fumes, and the riverbank and the 90 million Starbucks'. I relished the sound of pebbles below my feet and the excitable chatter of thousands of tourists. I shielded my eyes from the sun as I watched yet another passenger plan prepare for landing at Heathrow. During our time in London, as I walked from famous land mark to famous land mark, my heart was happy and I felt blessed. Blessed to have had the opportunity to call England my home for the past four years, and blessed that I was enjoying time before I leave in it's beautiful capital city. 

But while the original plan was to leave England as soon as we had Carl's immigration visa, yet again there's a change in plans and England may now be my home for another couple of months rather than weeks. And while it's frustrating and daunting - of course I cried so hard that I broke blood vessel in my eyelids (yes, its both disgusting and true) - they say everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that these delays are a blessing in disguise. 

I'll talk more about this new revelation later down the road (don't worry, it's potentially wonderful) but in the meantime please send positive thoughts mine and Carl's way. I've never been the girl to find the four leaf clover, I'm normally the one stepping in a dog turd, but I suppose it all boils down to that damn age old saying: good things come to those who wait.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, love bugs!
Lots of love, love, love,

3 comments:

  1. So I'm dying to go to London. When do you leave? It would be so much more fun to go when you could come meet me!

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  2. Looks like such a WONDERFUL time! I didn't see all these pictures...maybe because I was stuck on the pumpkin whoopie pie pic. Ha! Despite things not going as planned, I am so happy that you were able to have such a great getaway with Carl. Thinking lots of positive thoughts for you my dear! xoxo

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  3. You write so beautifully Amanda! I seriously could see the sites in my head as if I was there! So sorry there's a bit of a hiccup. I'm sending lots of hugs your way!!

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