The flight from Tokyo to London, via Abu Dhabi, was almost exactly as long, dull and soul-sucking as you might imagine. And that’s not because we were flying with a kid. Georgia is over-the-top good on airplanes and she totally rocked this long flight! We’re so lucky.
We arrived in grey, drizzly, amazing, fantastic England just as smelly, tired and brain-dead as you’d expect a trio who has been inside a tin can for 24 hours to be. Our dear friend Gill picked us up from Heathrow Airport and brought us back to Winchester, Hampshire where Andy and I used to live and where we’d be staying for most of our time in the UK.
In addition to staying in Winchester with our friends, I’d also booked a side trip for the three of us to stay in a sweet little apartment in Kensington in London. London! At Christmas! Sparkling lights! Rosy-cheeked Santas! Warming glasses of mulled wine in cosy pubs! What could go wrong??!
Um. Georgia got sick. Like, we ended up in the Emergency Department. Her fever was spiking in a scary way and I was freaking out. She got a clean bill of health from the incredible doctors at the NHS and we had to decide whether to go ahead with our days in London, or stay in Winchester. In the end, we decided she could recover on a couch in an apartment in London just as easily as in Winchester and if we went on to London we’d be able to take advantage of the city if she started feeling better.
Which she did. Kids are amazing. She was certainly more tired than usual, so we ended up wearing her in the Ergo on our backs for most of the week, but that’s fine! I was just so pleased that she perked up and we managed to get out and explore one of my very favourite cities.
We had shockingly great weather during our stay, so we spent ages just wandering around and checking out all the great Christmas decorations. London does Christmas so beautifully. Each street is decked out with shimmering lights, the shop windows are full of tempting gifts and pubs are packed with jolly patrons sipping holiday-themed ales and aromatic mulled wines. Once Georgia was feeling better we even went to Hamley’s, the 7 floor toy store of doom, and braved the crowds to let her slowly examine each and every toy on display.
Was our time in London the Magical Holiday Twinkle Fest that I’d hoped for? No. Not even close. But, we were together. We were healthy. And Georgia got to take a picture in front of “the Queen’s house.” Long term family travel doesn’t always look the way you thought it would, but with a family as gorgeously sweet as mine, who cares?