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Places

Baby Jonah and Evin kicked off August making every day of their visit a play date for Ev and me (forget the babies?!). It felt like there hadn’t been any time between us. I invited her to another baby’s 100 day party, brunch at Ottolenghi, and of course, a bangin’ Sunday Roast with Pops. Exploring the neighborhood with one of my dearest friends let me pretend we were parenting together as we’d imagined it back in the states.

Uncle PScrilla and Auntie Jam’s visit brought more reflection and gratitude. Just like with Ev, touching base with long time friends highlights that we’re all still learning about ourselves and figuring out what we want to do when we grow up. Peyton created meals while Jam and I swapped music. The barrel of laughs started when Corey would return home after work. Saya soaked up all the attention from her newfound flat mates.

In between friends visiting London, Saya and I continued our art circuit. At the Serpentine Gallery, we were wowed by the incredible Faith Ringgold. What a talent. I also discovered Lee Krasner at the Barbican. She doesn’t have a definitive style, but has vibrant and strong brushstrokes on every canvas. We had a quick afternoon tea with Tia Franny. Sarah came by to play after work. I was reminded how much Saya has grown since Sarah’s last visit resulted in Saya sleeping against her chest for almost two hours! Saya’s development is also documented in two pictures below: turning over for the first time in her cot, and learning how to grab her toes. Finally, I attempted to take Saya to work, but she didn’t last long at the office (oops!).

Sam and I finally made our girls trip happen for the August bank holiday. Margate must’ve had the last airbnb for miles and we snagged it. The flat was sweltering but we were determined to make our holiday one to remember. Sam’s colleague, Tatijana, spent the first day with us winding through the small streets, playing at the arcade, and finding the drinks along the promenade.

We had gourmet meals every night: duck breast, roasted dove, and a magnum of rose. Sam even taught me how to shuck fresh oysters.

The ‘man to man’ coverage we played on our kids didn’t seem as tiring when we did it together. The three minute showers still felt refreshing and the cheap, no frills breakfasts hit the spot. I reflected how our first real vacation together felt familiar and relaxed. No decisions needed to be made ahead of time. Our rhythm with our kids felt as though we’d done this before.

For Labor ‘Yay’ Weekend, we welcomed the Freeds to Islington. We rode the bus and played in the park- both highlights for a 2 and 4 year old. We played red light, green light in the backyard and were introduced to their favorite cartoon, Masha.

Then Free booked us a weekend away at Bourton-on-the-Water. It’s a picturesque village in the Cotswolds with a small river running through it. We stayed a short walk outside of village, but ventured in each day to find activities that were perfect for families. Nothing was high tech or animated. Every block hosted an ice cream shop or cafe. Our pub lunches were cosy against a backdrop of stone buildings and low bridges across the creek.

We also made our own fun at the airbnb: obstacles courses and musical chairs. Probably my favorite memory was when we started to play hide and seek with household objects. The game where you hide an object, and then tell the ‘seeker’ if they are getting warmer or colder as they search.

Here is how the first scene played out when Free started hiding an orange for Ryan:

Free’s first rule: “You can ask three questions to help get ‘hints’ about the location of the orange”

Ryan’s first question: “Ok, where is the orange hidden?”

We erupted with laughter as he shattered our obtuse adult ‘rules’. Later, Ryan continued to show us up when it was his turn to hide the orange for his dad. Free closed his eyes to count to ten, and Ryan took no time to put the orange down his pants. His grin was priceless.

Minus the haphazard pack ‘n’ play provided for Saya, it was a great combo of getting to know Jared and Ryan and catching up with Free and Avery. Time slowed down while our kids played together and we uncorked another bottle of wine during this three day weekend.