Creating lasting memories….

I was all dressed and ready to go at 6:45 am on Monday. I’d been up since 4:00 am. Was I a little eager? Of course, it was to be our first girl’s trip away just the two of us…. my daughter Georgina and I and we were both incredibly excited.

We decided we would visit London in the school summer holidays, but a “secret” business meeting was requested and I decided to combine both. I know it’s all a little cloak and dagger, but I am very superstitious and don’t want to tempt fate! As my PR guru Claire would say, this meeting was stratospheric for me and my business….and it went exactly as I wanted, Georgina sat at the boardroom table like a little angel!

The commuting time is approximately three and a half hours but it is three and a half hours of heavenly solitude. No baby wriggling, no argumentative children (Gee was on her best behaviour!) and no husband questioning me on my inability to travel light! Nope, it’s just me and Gee – and yes I brought everything but the kitchen sink, but hey I’m the one carrying it!

During the nice leisurely train ride I see families heading to the capital for their holidays, and I think “my kids would love this trip but THANK GOD I don’t have them all with me.” My mobile rings I look at my caller ID. It’s my husband, ALREADY!!! He just calls to wish me well and he says he misses me. How sweet eh? Then he reminds me to remember I have Gee with me, and not to absent mindedly leave her behind, whilst my attention may be drawn to a pair of Cesare Paciotti’s!

On arrival at our hotel, Radisson Edwardian Mountbatten we quickly checked in, here I was reminded it was actually 9 years since I had stayed in this hotel…..it only seemed like a year or two, considering in that time my life has changed beyond recognition, then I was “just” one half of a couple now I am that and more…throw into that 3 kids and voila! Gee was very impressed, she thought the receptionist had remembered me personally!

We quickly located the nearest stop for the Original Bus Tour and off we went, we spent the next few hours in the glorious sunshine atop of the open decked bus viewing all the sites. These included Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, London Eye and more bridges than you can count. When we had done the full circle of this tour, we dashed through the streets of the west end, quickly glancing through the crowds awaiting the arrival of the celebrities, for the London Premier of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight. We had arranged to meet my Australian niece, currently living and working in London, for dinner. After a rather swift dinner we went to see Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre, no wonder this show has received rave reviews and Olivier awards…one word BRILLIANT!!!

Next morning, off in a taxi to my “secret” meeting, that’s all I can say except it was very productive, watch this space. Then we headed for Madame Tussaud’s, and thanks to the wonderful lady black cab driver we had, she assessed the queue and said that it would be a 2 hour wait!

So off to the Westminster and a river cruise instead, then onto another bus tour, then to the London Eye. Where I had forgotten I was afraid of heights, only to remember after the pod door had been closed. Those 25 minutes seemed the longest of the entire trip…..once off the London Eye we had a lovely walk along the embankment then onto our final bus tour of the trip.

We arrived back at the West End in time for afternoon tea and some retail therapy, well it was a girl’s trip! Once again we were joined by my niece for an early dinner, we then said our goodbyes and then headed for the station for our train home.

Once we had slipped off our shoes and relaxed as the train pulled out the station, Gee asked for some paper and pens. Then she began, oh my word did she begin. Here was I thinking at my “secret”meeting earlier in the day, she had been quietly listening to her Ipod, when in fact she had been taking in every word that was said. She suddenly proclaimed that now going to be a wedding planner, just like Mummy.

Gee then proceeded to spend the next two hours writing down and discussing loudly, every miniscule detail as she planned a wedding aboard a luxury yacht moored at Sydney Harbour. I had to persuade her that stretch Hummer’s are not de rigeur for a sophisticated wedding in Sydney. She wanted to know which were the very best local flowers suitable for the bridal bouquet, which location she should look to book the honeymoon hotel, she even drew a carriage and a table plan! This was all to the amazement of fellow passengers within earshot, but everyone seemed to enjoy her stories!

So watch out Georgina may be planning your wedding in the not too distant future 🙂

  1. Loved reading about your ‘stratospheric’ trip to London – crikey you packed a lot into one day Karen … were your feet aching and how big was your bag!! (I know from the pics that you squeezed the laptop in! – I get withdrawal syptoms if I don’t log in too ..). Ahh little Georgina – there is no doubt that she is going to one clever lady when she grows up – to be honest you could do with an assistant, and with that halo of ‘little girl lollipop’ curls, she will have everyone twisted round her little finger!! Really exciting about your meeting .. how frustrating that we can’t share, but then this is rather a delicious secret!! Clairexx

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