Life vs. Holiday

Living somewhere that many people go on vacation is very different from going there on vacation. Since we arrived in London a little over two weeks ago, we’ve slogged through the mundane tasks of setting up life in our new home for six months, vs. basking in the pre-Christmas wonder of it all. Up until this weekend, my sightseeing consisted of the following:

  • almost every real estate office in town. I’m surprised that my phone didn’t have to be surgically removed, after two weeks of clutching it with sweaty palm, as if I was a teenager waiting for a new boyfriend to phone. Instead, I was awaiting news on apartment offers via text/email/calls.
  • walking tours to locate possible schools for my 5 year old, and when fortunate, inside tours of said schools.
  • slow-motion navigation of the grocery store – it may all be English, but who knew that “rocket” = arugula or that eggs here aren’t refrigerated?? seriously? are we just dairy-paranoid in the US…?
  • the Apple store at Covent Garden (the largest in the world!) when my brand new MacBook Pro died. It was worth the hassle just to see the store, I must confess.
This weekend, we could finally let our hair down and relax, after securing a fabulous flat and being on the receiving end of our own Christmas miracle – having our daughter get accepted to a school about 4 blocks from fab flat. As my Londoner friend commented, I couldn’t have planned that better had I tried. With the air let out of my balloon of angst, it felt joyous to watch my daughter ride the Christmas Carousel, to take her to visit Father Christmas a.k.a. Santa in his “grotto” (that’s where you visit him in the UK), and to spend the day at the Christmas market in Bath today. This picture of her on the carousel is exactly how I’ve been feeling.
I knew this was going to be tough before it was easy. I had much fear of the unknown. I don’t do well with uncertainty (must. plan. ahead.), or disruption of routine (yoga? when? poor 5 year old has been with me, every step of the way. So how much did I love coming across accepting what is on elephant journal? very much.). But damn it, I feel like I just climbed a mountain, and even if it wasn’t all graceful, I got to the top. And from here on out, my hope is to share my American Cowgirl in London adventures with you. Let the games begin. Yeehaw & Namaste.