The plane roared its way down the tarmac, carrying precious cargo. We sat and watched as three pairs of wide, blue eyes stared out at the City of Angels disappearing behind them. We were off.
After all the years of saying goodbye to Grandma, they felt it was high time they and their parents came along. Week after week they studied their British History and fell in love with the Monarchy. The seven-year-old gazed at the Queen on Youtube, and was amazed. She was all dressed in her finest for the opening of Parliament, complete with robe and crown.
"She's gorgeous, Grandma. Just Gorgeous," said the small girl, with great respect.
Already it has been five days, with the rest of the trip sure to speed by just as quickly. We have taken in the wonders of the Tower of London with its Crown Jewels, torture chambers and chopping block (poor Anne!); Windsor Castle with its Doll House and State Rooms; the British Museum with its horrid looking mummies, and the splendid Mildenhall Treasure; we've seen the stately Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, ridden a London double decker bus and seen the Tower Bridge as its drawbridge lumbers upward to let ships pass. We have met good friends, and dined with them. And, at the end of each day we have have fallen into jet lagged heaps upon our Airbnb beds. Oh, the comfort of it all.
It has not escaped my notice that these three youngsters have faced each challenge of international travel with great composure - and a sense of humor. They are lovely, and funny, and fun. And only occasionally exhausted, at which time their mother comforts them and the strong arms of their father (or grandfather) carries them to where they need to go. That, too, is lovely. But today will be the best, for we will soon pack up and board a train for the Southwest of England, to Cornwall, St Ives, and the sea.
The sea, which draws so many of us so many miles, year upon year. We just keep coming. We just can't help it.
I can almost taste the clotted cream.
See you along the way!