We came home for enough time to plan the son’s 1st bday picnic. He spent 7 hours outside having a blast with family and friends. We also had a weekend away at the cottage with the fam, rocking cottage life in the Bruce Peninsula. Not long after we started packing again for 2 months away in Europe visiting family and friends there.
Our first stop was England. The flight was not super eventful which was nice, just tiring as Cillian was at the stage where he was moving and walking around and not much interested in sleeping in an overnight flight. We planned to rent a car from Gatwick and drive over so we have it for the weekend. This was important since we planned to attend a friend’s wedding in Surrey and then drive to Manchester.
The wait to pick up the car was excruciating, almost two hours trying to contain a child who only slept an hour or so in one night. Chris is the flexible driver and has the amazing ability to drive on the left side or right side without any problems. He got us within a minute of our destination when we bumped the wheel into the island in the road. It must have been some really strange angle since the bump did not feel to great from inside the car. But it dislocated the wheel to the point we could not drive anymore, we got stuck in a tunnel with no emergency lane, no phone signal. We were lucky it was a low-speed tunnel, people were very patient and Husband masterfully managed to get us out of it without losing control of the car. We tried to get a replacement car but no such luck with the customer service, Cillian got sick with a fever so we sadly missed the wedding.
We spent the week with family and friends. It was not an easy week as my sister in law went through a health journey that started when we were there. Cillian always distracts everyone from their troubles so our timing was pretty good in trying to provide a helpful presence. She gracefully powered through some tough months and we are very excited to have her for a visit early January. As early as January 1st.
We have not seen our friends here in 3 years so it was a blast to see them all and enjoy quality time together over pizzas or in the park chasing Cillian around, allotment visits, just regular laughs and reconnecting.
Unlike other times we didn’t scout eateries in London. We were mostly homebound and that was perfect. We did have a lovely brunch at the Hackney City Farm.
Our home for 4 years was waiting for us to see it for less than 48 hours. It was short but oh so sweet to go to the place where it all started for our life together. We stayed with our dear friends Mark and Francesca and their two awesome kids Leah and Noah. They live in Chorlton a greener part of Manchester. We just basked in some sunny walks and found the best pub known to accomodate young families, Jackson’s Boat. Basically a pub and a playground all in one. We reconnected with friends, very quick sessions but the kind that always makes you feel like home and longing to return soon.