September 29, 2001
Our last day here and we’re so sad to leave, but happy to go home to our families. Our hosts are heading out for a weekend away, so we say goodbye to them this morning. It was so good to meet and learn about them. The entire family is so generous and welcoming and we all totally enjoyed our time with them.
Marci and I decide to go into the city for our last day, see one last play, ride the train and tube one more time. Jean has decided to hang out at Fox Hill for a day of rest and re-packing. At first I didn’t understand why she would come all the way over and then sit in the car or stay here. After spending some time here though, I get it. Just to be here, to see the history, the gardens, the country. To sit in an English garden with a cup of tea is really heaven. You don’t have to be constantly running, you just have to be there, breathing the air, listening to people speak, eating the food. It’s England!
The city is even busier on Saturday than during the week if that’s possible. The trains as well, so much humanity packed into one place. It’s astounding! Marci and I climbed the 193 stairs at Leister Station from the tube to the street. Not bad for a couple of middle aged women!!
We decide to see “Private Lives” with Alan Rickman, a Noel Coward play from the 30s. It’s very funny and the sets and costumes are great. I love that you can go to Leister Square any time and get excellent tickets to almost any play you are interested in seeing. In a couple of hours you are swept away for a fraction of what you’d pay on Broadway.
After we arrive back at Crystal Palace Station we climb the hill to Church Street and stop to get a bottle of Bailey’s as a thank you for the Haighs. They really did the most extraordinary favors for us from the very first day. I don’t know what we would have done without them.
We walk up to the “Tales of the Sea” for our last fish and chips dinner in London. We decide to get take away and have our dinner together at Fox Hill, and talk about all of the wonderful places we’ve been and then to bed early to catch a 9am plane.
September 30, 2001
We had to get to the airport three hours early because of the extra security. I’m anxious to get home. I can’t sleep on the flight home, thinking about all of the things we’ve experienced and people we’ve met and thinking about the people I love at home.