Just over four months from now, Torri and I will be embarking on a mother/daughter trip across the pond in celebration of her high school graduation. We’re both beside ourselves with excitement; the itinerary for our trip is chock-full of life list must dos. Given the catalog of Adventures by Disney trips to choose from, Torri settled on the Cities of Knights and Lights itinerary with very little indecision. Because Adventures by Disney has already done most of the planning for us, I’m left with but a few days on either side of the trip to schedule. Anybody who knows me well, though, knows that I don’t take this responsibility lightly. If we’re going across the pond, by golly we are going across the pond. To that end, I’ve been piecing together a list of experiences we simply must live out. I’m not talking about bullet items like, “see the changing of the guards.” Not that seeing the changing of the guards is ho-hum by any means, but a) it’s already part of our Disney itinerary and b) my list is meant to read more like a juicy novel. To make my list, the item must be more than a simple snapshot or a check the block; it must be an experience. It must leave us salivating for a specific taste or leave our skin tingling with the buzz of anticipation. With those guidelines in mind, take a look at five of the things I’ve come up with so far and let me know what you think. Note that this list focuses on the early part of our trip in London; I hope to share my part duex (Paris!) sometime soon. Also? If you’ve made the trip yourself, I’d love input.
1. Savor fresh-from-the-oven scones and clotted cream at afternoon tea – It’s a girls trip; you had to know we’d take tea. When she was a wee little thing, Torri used to dress in her Cinderella gown and serve tea from her dainty plastic cups. While something tells me she won’t be rocking the Cinderella look this go ’round, taking afternoon tea with her in one of London’s renowned tea rooms is sure to be an insanely delightful full-circle experience for both of us.
2. Find the perfect souvenir during an afternoon of shopping Oxford Street – Neither of us are the shop-till-you-drop types, but we simply cannot go to London and skip the shopping, especially considering we’re leaving four loved ones at home. Whether it’s marmalade for my mom or a double-decker red bus toy for Jayce, we won’t leave without the perfect something for everyone.
3. Descend underground for a ride on the tube – While not all Americans view public transportation as a novelty, for those of us that hail from the West, a subway ride is pretty cool. And London’s tube isn’t just any subway; there is a whole bar themed after it aboard the Disney Fantasy! Torri and I will most definitely sit knee-to-knee (or stand bracing ourselves by the poles, as the case may be) on London’s infamous tube. And yes, we’ll mind the gap. ;)
4. Immerse ourselves in the buzz of live theatre – As of yet, I’m undecided as to whether we should take in a West End production, or make like a groundling in the early 17th century by visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Whichever route we take, I’m sure that seeing a show in London will be something that neither of us soon forget.
5. Delight our taste buds sampling gastropub favorites – Topping my personal foodie wish list are traditional fish and chips served in newspaper and the sticky toffee pudding I’ve heard so much about. And while I know they’re traditional, you can bet I’ll be skipping things like ox tongue, or steak and kidney pudding. Ew!
What do you think? What would you add (or subtract) from my list? Have I captured the quintessential London experience? Inquiring minds…