Call-o was still feeling pangs of anxiety about hearing people break our bawls about not seeing the sights while in London, I’m thinking he was mostly fearing getting an earful from his mother…a very sweet, well traveled woman who will in fact break our bawls when we see her. The fact that there is not one photo of either of us anywhere in London is going to just drive her mad, it’s not that she is mean, nothing could be further from the truth but for her, seeing those pictures and knowing that we saw all the “important” stuff, well that means we had a great vacation, she’s more traditional that way.
So his plan for our final day was to pop on the tube, hit all the, “important stuff” and take a picture of Travel Buddy in front of all of them. Now for the sake of not making my hubby look like a total, mom-fearing-weenie he had first intended to have me snap photos of him in front of all these places but he was now on board with Travel buddy and thought it would be funny to have him be our proof of a great vacation mascot.
We woke Monday feeling a tad exhausted, didn’t sleep much after all the power outage excitement from the night, well…couple of hours before, but we had to get a move on if we wanted to take our little friend’s picture and still have time to do a few things for us, which of course meant sitting in a pub soaking up the beer, Gin and the comings and goings of a town we were now deeply in love with. “So we’ll head over to the Market, get something to eat and then hop on the tube” Call-o running down how the day was to go. “Okay, I’m ready when you are” I replied and we headed out to lunch at the little pub we were refused, (“Kitchens closed”) the night before, The White Lion.
After a plate of eggs, thick cut ham steak, chips and a pint of London Pride…well, the hubby seemed less interested in pleasing others. There was this mellow hue about him, the slightly melancholy but calm energy that I could feel from my little bench seat across the table from him. Plates cleared, second pints drained and I could just sense that he wanted to stay there, right there where he was sitting. Unsure what to do as I didn’t want to be the one to say, “Screw the pictures, let’s just do this our way” I offered a tiny solution, “We can go back out to the square, have a coffee at one of those cafes and then go take pictures” I said with a somewhat forced, perky voice. His reply, “Or we could have a coffee, blow off the pictures and spend our last day of our vacation doing what made us love this fantastic place. Let’s just do it our way”…I was so proud.
We walked around the curvy streets and found one of those little cafes that just have a few circular tables and seats that face the street, grabbed a couple of coffees, the paper and just sat there reading, sipping and watching the people go by. Listening to brief snippets of conversations that had started way down the street and would continue long after they passed us sitting on our tiny perch. A little girl, maybe 5 or 6 years old, wearing a new faux fur jacket, “What do you think of me now daddy?” tiny fists pushed deeply in the pockets of her fancy coat, shoulders standing at attention, tiny head looking up at her tall father, “You look quite idol in that, very pop star” he replied cradling her tiny head in his large hand.
“We had an argument the other day. I was firm but fair” a woman retelling of a work scuffle to her husband. “That place is very good, they have fab steaks and the set up is very American” two friends rushing by on their way to the square….we sat there for a good hour, warm coffee, flies on the wall, the ink from the paper staining our fingers….Our way.
Went back to the room for a brief rest and to find this chocolate that his mother had requested with the help of Google, turns out the stuff is like made by Nestle of something and it was available at ever grocery, who knew?! Rested, threw on our evening jackets and spent our final night roaming the square. We were dead tired now, not enough sleep, knowing the trip was coming to a close, wandering the antique market looking at old World War Two medals, letters still stuffed in their original envelopes…now that’s history, coffees, watching the street performers in the square, dinner and drinks in an outdoor café and we knew, just knew this was the perfect way to say farewell to the London that we fell in love with. Went back to the room early and drifted off to sleep.
We spent our vacation doing what we love, seeing the things that matter to us and found ourselves completely enchanted….what a lovely trip.