Travels and Travails

The vacation is almost over. England has surrendered to me and my ‘weather superpower‘. It has provided good weather everywhere the girls and I have been. Each day has been between 21C and 24C (70F and 75F). I’m in England, so the weather is perfectly valid topic of conversation in case you’re wondering.

Tomorrow it is down to Haslemere in Surrey to spend some time with a European couple who live a 1/2 mile from me. Their girls are friends with my girls, so it will be a fun afternoon and evening on a 3-acre estate in the countryside.

This week has been an odd one for a vacation.

I spent the first two days at friends in Staffordshire, dropping my girls off each day to spend some time with their grandmother (on my runaway wife’s side). They ate fine hearty British cuisine like cod and chips (“chips” being the fatter variations on french fries — although my French subscriber will not appreciate a reference to “French” and “fries” in the same sentence!).

I spent the next two days up in Derbyshire with my cousins. The girls and I hiked up some hills and took some nice photos (drat the summer haze though). We had some nice country meals and chatter, and generally had a chance to “chillax” as one of my daughters puts it.

After a long drive back to London on Thursday night, there were other plans, some of which worked out in the end, some of which came to naught. C’est la vie. Overall, the important thing is that my girls have had a nice time in London. Today, after a tour of Buckingham Palace, we wandered west to Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch. We took the Tube for a few stops then walked around Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus, south to Trafalgar Square and the bank of the Thames. All of us have walked miles this vacation.

This evening I took the girls to a rather cleverly-designed playground not far away. They had a blast and I was part of a game of tag. At some point though, I realized I had smashed the screen on the cell phone in my pocket. Arrgh! This was my daughter’s cell phone (my iPhone doesn’t work in the UK) and I will have to buy her a new one when I return. Darn. What annoys me is that this one was unlocked and could accept any GSM SIM card in any country. Very useful and I had been able to text with it, call back to other countries and so on. Now I have no way of even knowing if anyone’s trying to text or call me. Oops.

When I return to the USA, I will encounter some Quality of Life issues that I’d forgotten about. As part of my trip back here to Old Blighty, I’ve been reminded that there are some things I quite like about the European way of life. I know my kids liked it…they have told me a few times they don’t want to leave, they want to stay here in England.

After all the time and money that went into getting the Green Cards, it would be quite ironic if I gave up on the whole thing and brought the girls to Canada, or back to England, or elsewhere in Europe at some point in the future. Still, I’ve done more radical things in my time.

In closing, one thing I have missed is sleep. For one reason or another, I have had to get up early or been unable to sleep well for the entire vacation. So I will return as sleep-deprived as I started. I worry about this…

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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8 Responses to Travels and Travails

  1. TikkTok says:

    Quality of Life things? I’m curious……..????? 😀 Making me wonder what I’m missing out on! 😆

    • Hi TT,

      I don’t mean anything mysterious by this.

      In England and most of Europe, there are some interesting differences in lifestyle: longer annual vacation time, shorter working hours, more flexible working hours, more places to walk to rather than drive, cheaper/free healthcare, etc.

      The U.S. has other kinds of advantages that can’t be ignored: cheaper technology, air conditioning in hotter climes (which is most of the U.S.), more space, larger houses, higher relative salary, better healthcare overall (if you have insurance), etc.

      • TikkTok says:

        Aaaaaahhhhhh, more vacation time……… less heat……..more rain………. Just was wondering if I was missing something earth shattering! 😆

  2. Damn! Now I have a craving for fish’n’chips!

    But I’m happy to hear that the vacation went well. Also (being a very, very proud European), I’m actually happy to hear that your girls seem to have gotten a bit of the European flavor in with their upbringing. Vacation is always different than every day life and they might feel differently about a lot of things if they actually had to go to school in England. But don’t be surprised if at least one of them decides to move her life to the UK once the chance is there 😉

    • The kids loved having fish and chips with their mother’s relatives. I stayed away and ate out with my friends nearby. I happen to be unable to eat fish or any kind of seafood anyway, but it still made sense to be somewhere else.

      You’re absolutely right about life and reality being different than vacation trips. I hope one or more of them has a study year in England or somewhere in Europe sometime. I think they’d grow from it and see exactly that difference you refer to.

  3. Surrey gal says:

    Europe is a very nice place to live. Middle East is great too, especially for children.
    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your stay here!

    • Are you sure about the Middle East being good for children? My very limited impression was the opposite. But then I spent my time in Saudi Arabia…

      • Surrey gal says:

        Saudi maybe not the best of them all,but in general yes, ME is great. Good schools (mainly primary, so your girls too big for that now), easy life, low crime, no drugs, limited alcohol…

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